On Tuesday, October 20, the Water Valley Junior High Blue Devils traveled to South Pontotoc to take on the Cougars. The 7th and 8th Grade Teams had the task of playing teams that had never been defeated in their playing careers.
The 7th grade team would eventually win by a margin of three inches as Cornerback Elijah Rogers stopped the Cougars’ quarterback on the final play of the game that prevented the Cougars from tying the ballgame. The final score was 22 to 14 as the 7th Grade finished the 2009 Season with a mark of 6-1.
The 7th grade offense was paced by running back Deon Hilliard as he accounted for two rushing touchdowns of 26 and 59 yards. Quarterback Brandon Bounds rushed in the other Blue Devil touchdown. Running back Elijah Rogers and Bounds punched in the two-point conversions. Defensively, the young Blue Devils were paced by defensive ends Austin Avant and Derrick Brady, who had four tackles each. Linebacker Warren Draper also contributed with three tackles and one quarterback sack.
The 8th grade Devils’ completed their two-year span of undefeated football as they overcame the Cougars by a 36-0 final tally. The defense wasted no time as the Cougars came out passing the football. Safety E.J. Bounds intercepted a third down deep pass and raced back to the five-yard line. This set up a five-yard Cortaveus Hawkins rushing touchdown. K.J. Lee added the two-point conversion. Defensively, the Blue Devils were paced by linebacker Hunter Stanford, with seven total tackles, and defensive end Lee Mitchell, with five total tackles including two for losses.
Hawkins would add another rushing touchdown as would Bounds and Lee. On the last play of the half, Safety K.J. Lee intercepted another Cougars’ pass and raced 42 yards to the end zone. Unfortunately a penalty brought the ball back to the 12-yard line for one untimed down.
The Blue Devils capitalized as Bounds hit wide receiver Cole Camp for the passing touchdown. The second half of play would see more Blue Devil domination at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The offensive line, comprised of Dimetrius Rainey, Dakendrich Gooch, Montez Hairston, Dillon Zinn, Mac Williams, and James Washington, opened up gaping holes and lanes for the running backs. Cole Camp would add the lone fourth quarter touchdown on a 48-yard rush from the quarterback position working in reserve for Bounds.
“This team has been a pleasure to work with. They truly try to get better each time they go out to the practice field,” reported Coach Richard Russo.
“They are hungry for victories in the off season, at practice, and during the games. For the majority of them, they try to be leaders in the classroom and in the community as well. I am looking forward to watching what all they will accomplish in the next four years and in life down the road.”
Coach Clint Faust added, “It was a privilege to coach such a great group of young men. I believe if they all do what is expected of them in the classroom and stick together, they can contribute a great deal to our high school and varsity team toward becoming a state championship team and contender.”
Coach Bryant Mix also chimed in as coach of the squad. “It has been a pleasure. This is a rare group that doesn’t come around that often. If they stick together, the sky is the limit for them.”
The Junior Varsity Blue Devils also played a contest against the home standing Cougars. Facing a 22 to 0 deficit, the young Blue Devils put on an impressive and gutsy comeback effort before eventually falling 22 to 14. Jarvis Carson had the lone rushing touchdown on the evening. Quarterback Matt Dalton had his best performance under center in 2009 as he improved both in passing and rushing the ball.
He connected with wide receiver Greg Hervey for a 56-yard passing score and again on a 48-yard strike which put the Blue Devils in the Red Zone. Defensively, the Blue Devils were paced by defensive end Alden Burns,who accounted for six total tackles including two for losses.
Due to inclement weather, the Water Valley at Lafayette Junior High Game was cancelled on Thursday. The 7th and 8th Grade Teams will now turn their attention to the off-season strength and conditioning program. Another important component is for team members to achieve the grades necessary to be eligible next season and preparation for spring football.
The junior varsity will remain with the varsity squad as they are making their 2009 playoff push.