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WATER VALLEY – The Water Valley Blue Devils (2-2) came up short Friday night against Calhoun City after the Wildcats (2-2) had an explosive second quarter scoring four touchdowns that helped propel them to a 40-27 victory.
The second quarter blitz followed a scoreless quarter that started with the Blue Devil defense forcing a turnover on downs on the Wildcat’s opening possession. The Devils’ offense flipped the field and was nearing the red zone before Calhoun City intercepted the ball in the endzone. The teams continued to trade possessions in the first quarter. The Blue Devil defense forced a punt at midfield on the Wildcat’s next drive and Calhoun City reciprocated as the second quarter started with hard-hitting football.
A big run and costly penalties against the Blue Devils put Calhoun City on the scoreboard on their next drive, starting the second quarter miscues for the home team. A ball sailed on quarterback C.J. Telford on the first play of the next possession, setting up an interception to put the Wildcats’ in business on Water Valley’s 25 yard-line. The Wildcats scored on the next play, notching their second touchdown of the night with only 20 seconds off the play clock between scores to take a 14-0 lead.
Brayden Buford racked up 12 yards on the opening run of the next drive before it stalled and the Blue Devils were three-and-out. The Wildcats were able to drive 65 yards to the end zone in their next possession as the scoring frenzy continued and the visiting team’s lead increased to 20 – 0.
The Wildcats were back in easy striking distance on the ensuing kickoff followed a muffed return that put the ball on the ground for a Wildcats’ recovery only 33 yards from the goal line. Calhoun City found the endzone four plays later for their fourth unanswered second quarter touchdown to extend their lead to 26 – 0.
Buford scrambled for 22 yards and 13 yards on consecutive plays as the Blue Devils finally got some momentum late in the second half. Telford connected with Sayveon Freeman on a 17-yard pass in the endzone and the Blue Devils were on the scoreboard with four minutes remaining before the half, 26 – 7.
The Wildcats marched to the red zone on their next drive before Quinton Cox recovered a fumble to give the Blue Devils the ball as the half ended.
The Blue Devils’ fourth turnover came with a fumble on their opening drive in the third quarter and the Calhoun City offense wasted little time scoring to bump their lead to 34 – 7.
The Blue Devils’ offense continued to struggle for yards and were forced to go for it on fourth and short to try to stay in the game. The attempt was good, giving Water Valley some momentum as Telford launched a 35 yard pass to Que Carothers to put the Blue Devils in the red zone. A pair of quarterback keepers by Telford pushed the Blue Devils to the four-yard line. Telford connected with Jeremiah Griffis in the endzone for the score, and the Blue Devils cut to lead to 20 points – 34 to 14.
The teams would trade possessions before the Blue Devils marched 73 yards to the endzone on a drive that came on three big receptions by Carothers, a strong run by Buford and a 12-yard touchdown reception by Elijah White. The Blue Devils’ deficient was cut to 14 points, 34 -14, with 5:28 remaining in the contest.
An unsuccessful onside kick by the Blue Devils set the Wildcats up midfield and the visiting team capitalized on the short field with a 32 yard touchdown run by the quarterback to go ahead 40 to 20. The Blue Devils answered with a 57-yard drive in the final two minutes of the game capped off by a seven-yard touchdown reception by White for the final points of the game, winning 40 to 27.
The Blue Devils will be back in action at Bobby Clark Field Friday night against Winona for homecoming.