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Eighth Grade Finishes Season Undefeated

The eighth grade team members and cheerleaders celebrate after winning their last game to remain undefeated for the season. – Photo by Mark Anthony

Staff Report

 
WATER VALLEY – The 2012 8th Grade Blue Devils followed the lead of the 2009 and 2011 squads by completing an undefeated season on Tuesday night at Bobby Clark Field. After a slow start, the Devils cruised to a 40 to 6 victory. Those six points on the scoreboard were the only six points surrendered by the Junior Version of the Wrecking Crew defense all season long. The Devils improved to (8-0) and capped off a tremendously successful campaign.
    Behind the offensive line of Rob Mitchell, Johnny Richard, Ja’Kendrick Neely, Ty Campbell, Corterrious Booker, and Jalin Morgan, tailback Quez Towns had the best night of his young career with 123 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns. Late in the first half, with the Devils clinging to a slim 12 to six lead, Quarterback Ross Ingram found Wide Receiver Jack Pritchard on a 53-yard strike to give the Devils a 20 to six lead at the intermission. Leading the Defensive charge was Defensive Lineman Rob Mitchell who ended the evening with 11 total tackles and seven tackles for a loss including two sacks. Linebacker Campbell and Safety Julian Williams also contributed with six total tackles each. Pritchard added a red zone interception with the Bulldogs moving the ball deep in the second half.
    During the 7th Grade Game, the youngest Blue Devils continued to show marked improvement as Fullback Sam Van Winkle and Tailback Tyrese McGuirt each had two long touchdown runs, although one of Van Winkle’s was called back due to penalty. Quarterback Ty Varner also found Wide Receiver Jayvon Morgan in the left flat for a nice pitch and catch.This victory allows this team to finish with a (5-2) record.
     “It’s invaluable when you have varsity coaches teaching the right way to do things with the same terminology and the same drills that we’re doing in Varsity,” Head Coach Brad Embry reported about the junior high season.  “Coach Mix, Coach Faust, and Coach Russo take junior high football very seriously. They do a great job from planning practice to Summer Youth Camp to workouts. It’s a grind because they go through three practices a day. They’re one of the main reasons we have come as far as we have,” Embry continued.
 Defensive Coordinator Coach Richard Russo echoed many of those sentiments. “It’s a lot of fun to go undefeated with the 8th grade in 2009, 2011, and 2012 as well as 7th grade 2008. That preparation, work ethic, and commitment to this program is showing up with our varsity record as of late. This particular team has come as far as any group I’ve seen in my 12 years as players, as students, and as people. If they stay together and keep their nose out of trouble, stay eligible, and hit the weightroom like they should, then the sky is the limit for this group.”

2012 8TH GRADE SCORES BY GAME

Spring Jamboree: vs. Lafayette 6-0 (At South Panola)
Spring Jamboree: vs. Pope 18-0 (At South Panola)
Fall Jamboree: vs. Grenada 12-0 (At Vaught-Hemingway)
Fall Jamboree: vs. Pope 18-0 (At Vaught-Hemingway)
Game #1: vs. Coffeeville 44-0
Game #2: @ Calhoun City 18-0
Game #3: @ Pope 36-0
Game #4: @ Coffeeville 2-0 (Forfeit)
Game #5: vs. Charleston 12-0
Game #6: @ Bruce 6-0
Game #7: @ Senatobia 2-0 (Forfeit)
Game #8: vs. Pope 40-6

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