Water Valley wasn’t able to overcome a three-touchdown first half deficit, falling 35-28 to Choctaw County to end their season in the second round of the playoffs.
Choctaw County scored on its first possession of the contest to go up 7-0, and then went up 14-0 after a pick six when a Water Valley receiver fell down.
After a Water Valley punt on the next possession, the Chargers moved down the field to put up another touchdown and put Water Valley in a three-touchdown hole early in the second quarter.
The Blue Devils, with their season on the line, wouldn’t lay down and would score two touchdowns late in the first half to cut the Chargers lead to 21-14 as the two teams went to the locker room for halftime.
The first touchdown came with 5:19 left in the first quarter, with quarterback Jacob Truss barreling toward the end zone on a third-and-goal.
After Water Valley was stopped short deep in Charger territory, the defense forced a three and out and the Blue Devils took advantage three plays later when Truss hit Darius Tolbert from 46 yards out with 15 seconds before halftime to cut the score to 21-14.
“When you get down like we did in the first half, it’s on you,”Water Valley Head Coach Brad Embry said. “It’s about winning and moving on, and we weren’t able to get it done.”
Water Valley was able to tie the game in the middle of the third quarter behind a 54-yard touchdown run from running back Dre McCray, The next two consecutive possessions resulted in touchdowns for the Chargers to give them a 35-21 lead, but a 35-yard Blue Devil touchdown pass from Truss cut the score to 35-28 with less than four minutes remaining.
Choctaw County was able to recover the onside kick and run out the remaining four minutes of the clock.
“They were able to get the ball out in space and make some plays,”Embry said. “They’re a very good football team, and they just made more plays.”
The loss was the finale of several historic Water Valley careers. The 2020 senior class won the 2018 3A State Championship and made three consecutive playoff appearances.
The Blue Devils finish the 2019 campaign with an 8-4 record.
“It’s extremely tough right now,”Embry said. “But we’ll look back at this class and we’re going to be extremely proud of everything they’ve done.”
By Collin Brister