BLOG — The nerves showed at times for Water Valley’s Jonathan Kent. So did the flashes of potential.
Saturday night’s jamboree went about as expected for the quarterback making his first start as the full-time guy.
Kent rebounded from incompletions on three of his first four attempts and an interception to finish 8-for-13 for 120 yards and a score, helping the Blue Devils nip Corinth 14-13 in a two-quarter varsity scrimmage at the Ole Miss Jamboree at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
“The first drive, it was just getting nerves out,” said Kent, a senior who’s getting his chance to operate the Blue Devils’ offense following the graduation of four-year starter E.J. Bounds. ‘The whole offense was getting the nerves out.”
After throwing the pick late in the first quarter, Kent completed six of his final seven passes as the Blue Devils rolled up 176 total yards. The signal caller had help from his backfield in the form of running back Brandon Bounds, who answered Corinth’s first touchdown with a 9-yard scoring scamper with 11:13 left in the scrimmage to knot the score at 7.
Kent completed all three of his attempts on the Blue Devils’ ensuing possession to help give Water Valley the lead for good. The last completion was a screen pass to wide receiver L.J. Hawkins, who turned upfield and outraced the Warriors’ defense 20 yards to the end zone to put Water Valley in front 14-7 with 8:24 remaining.
“We just had numbers, better numbers than they did,” Kent said. “We knew L.J. could run that.”
The defense allowed 217 yards but preserved the win with a stop on Corinth’s two-point conversion try with less than a minute left. Warrior quarterback Antares Gwyn ripped off back-to-back runs of 27 and 1 yards to get Corinth within a point, but the Blue Devils swarmed to Armad Wicks on a speed sweep to stop him short of the goal line.
“It was a good start,” Water Valley coach Brad Embry said. “Obviously there’s some things we can work on, but that’s expected. I would be shocked if there wasn’t. I thought we played fast. There was still some confusion. We threw the book at them for two weeks (in practice) and did a lot. I’m pleased with this starting point.”
Bounds ran seven times for 41 yards. Hawkins hauled in three passes for 67 yards.
Water Valley will start the regular season Friday at home against New Albany. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
JV Devils get win
Ty Varner connected with Jayvon Morgan for a 31-yard touchdown pass to give Water Valley a 6-0 win in the junior varsity portion of the scrimmage.
Varner, a freshman, finished 3 of 7 for 68 yards. Stanton Sparks had two catches for 37 yards, and Sam Van Winkle had three carries for 10 yards.
See Monday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage from Saturday’s game. (August 16, 2014)