Water Valley Blue Devils kept their season alive Friday night as they defeated the North Panola Cougars 41-22 in the first round of the 2012 3A Playoffs.
“We played well early, defense played well,” Water Valley coach Brad Embry said. “We came out in the second half maybe relaxed a little. The name of the game is win and advance, and we took care of business.”
With the lopsided win, Water Valley (10-2) moved into third all-time in points scored in a single season with 465.
Water Valley also set another milestone as Friday’s game marked the 700th contest in program history.
Junior Blue Devil quarterback E.J. Bounds completed 8 of 12 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore running back Brandon Bounds earned 36 yards on the ground with 10 carries and 2 touchdowns.
The defense came up big for Water Valley with two interceptions on the evening, one of which was a 47-yard pick six to make it 20-0 heading into halftime.
North Panola did not go down without a fight as it continued to play hard and managed to outscore Water Valley 22-21 in the second half. Sophomore Cougar quarterback Willie Hibbler, who did not even start the season at quarterback, showed great poise leading North Panola on scoring drives of 91, 67 and 71 yards. The Cougars’ first-half deficit, however, was just too much to overcome as the Blue Devils would answer with scores of their own.
Water Valley moves on to the second round and will travel to play the undefeated East High Trojans, the very team that ended the Blue Devils season last year.
For more on Friday’s game, check out Monday’s print edition of the Oxford EAGLE.
(November 3, 2012)