The Water Valley Junior High Blue Devils 7th and 8th grade teams both improved to (5-0) in the 2009 season, defeating the Pope Bulldogs 22-0 and 18-0 on Tuesday, September 29, at Clark Field.
The 8th grade Blue Devils played the first contest and it was a defensive struggle. Turnovers cost the Blue Devils on their first two possessions, and the score was tied at zero at the end of the first quarter of play. The defense setup the offense’s first score as Defensive Tackle Dakendrich Gooch forced a fumble and Defensive End Lee Mitchell was opportunistic and pounced on the loose ball.
With first and 10 from the 18 yard line, the Blue Devils did not waste any time as Running Back Cortaveus Hawkins ran it in for the score. Quarterback E.J. Bounds added the two-point conversion run on a quarterback keeper.
The defense, which was led by linebackers Nikki St. Romain and Hunter Stanford with six tackles each, forced another quick three-and-out. Fullback Hunter Stanford responded with two long runs to push the ball across midfield. The Blue Devils decided to try a quick strike as Bounds hit Receiver K.J. Lee for a 42-yard touchdown pass. Lee and the offensive line took matters into their own hands and added another two-point conversion.
Rather than sitting on the ball and running out the half, the Bulldogs attempted a quick screen that resulted in a lateral pass. Cornerback Cole Camp scooped up the loose ball and scampered 36 yards for the fumble recovery touchdown.
The second half was more of a defensive stalemate. The lone highlight was an E.J. Bounds sack on the Bulldogs’ quarterback from the safety position.
In the nightcap, the 7th grade Blue Devils were also victorious by an 18-0 tally. Running Back Deon Hilliard had two touchdown rushes and Cole Camp, filling in for injured Brandon Bounds, found receiver Thomas Johnson on a 40-yard touchdown pass. The seventh grade Blue Devils’ Defense were led by Linebacker Dee McNeal and Safety L.J. Hawkins, with 3 tackles each.
The junior high teams now face a challenging stretch of games where they play up classifications. They travel to Senatobia on October 6 to face the 4A Warriors and then host the 4A Lafayette County Commodores on October 13.
They will then conclude the 2009 season by hosting the South Pontotoc Cougars on October 20.