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Blue Devils Earn First Region Win To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

Junior Ray Turner braces as a Hawks defender grabs his helmet. – Photo by Leslie Brooks

By Mack Gordon

Sports Reporter

WATER VALLEY – The Blue Devils hosted the Holly Springs Hawks with their postseason hopes on the line last Friday night. In order to make the playoffs, the Blue Devils knew that they would have to win their last two games over Holly Springs  (1-9)(0-4) and M.S Palmer to earn the fourth seed spot in  Region 2-3A.

The Blue Devils (2-8)(1-3)  used a strong defensive performance and just enough offense in the second half to keep their postseason hopes alive, defeating the Holly Springs Hawks 14-6. 

The Blue Devils alternated junior Ty Varner and freshman Blayne Clark at quarterback throughout the game keeping the Hawks defense off balance. Varner had a key pass that resulted in a touchdown early in the second half, and Clark was able to get the Blue Devils running attack going in the second half with several key runs. 

The Hawks took the early lead with a defensive touchdown on a 16 yard fumble return. The extra point was no good, giving the Hawks a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. Neither offense could sustain a drive throughout the entire first half, heading to halftime the Blue Devils trailed 6-0 in the must win game.

The Blue Devils scored on their first possession of the second half when Varner connected with Jayvon Morgan on a 43-yard touchdown pass to give the Blue Devils a 7-6 lead. The Blue Devils extended their lead on their next possession to 14-6 when Taghee James scored on a 2 yard rushing touchdown. 

The Blue Devils leaned on their defense the rest of the second half. Offensively freshman quarterback Blayne Clark came in and added another running threat throughout the half.  On one particular drive in the second half, Clark was able to use his running ability to rack up 30 rushing yards on several plays to put the Blue Devils deep in Holly Springs territory. The Freshman Quarterback finished with seven carries for 45 yards. The Blue Devils defense held tough and did not allow the Hawks to score throughout the second half, for the 14-6 victory. 

“Defensively I was really pleased with their effort, Offensively we have to get better inside the 20 yard line,” Coach Brad Embry told reporters. The Blue Devils host the M.S. Palmer Dragons this Friday night at 7 p.m. 

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