Thursday, October 27, 2005

Byhalia fights hard in loss to Blue Devils

Sports Editor

In a game which had a score that belied its orchestration, the Byhalia Indians were right in the game with the Water Valley Blue Devils throughout the first half.

The Indians had first possession but didn’t have much offensive success. Bubba Thomas was calling signals for Byhalia in the early going, and later it was Montrell Hardaway.

Water Valley took the punt and used the option to sweep the right end of the Indians’ defense for the first score. Derek Croy made it 7-0 with his kick.

Byhalia gave up the ball again after a very short possession. But the Indians received their first break when the Blue Devils, driving again, fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Jamie Jones at the 50. Thomas hit one of his wide receivers, Rico Harvey for short yardage but they couldn’t move the chains.

Then they got another break. Water Valley drew a roughing the kicker penalty and the ball was advanced to the 32. Their offense stalled and the Indians had to punt.

The major portion of the second quarter was a test of defensive fortifications. The ball went back and forth. The Blue Devils, trying to protect their vapor thin lead before halftime, opted for the “take a knee” routine to run the clock. They were awarded long yardage when the Indians blitzed and roughed the passer; however the defensive still held and the half ended with the score in the favor of the visitors, 7-0.

After the half Water Valley started to get game from its offense. Shannon Crow, the big fullback for the Blue Devils, did a lot of damage. Aided by Ronnie Ferrell and Jarvis Roberson, they picked up yards and scored again. They failed on the extra point attempt but had a 13-0 lead.

The Indians were showing no signs of conceding. Adrian Mims took the Blue Devils kick at his 10 and ran it back to the Water Valley 30. The huge gain was nullified by a “blocking in the back” penalty which hurt the Indians. They went three and out.

Water Valley was threatening again when the Indians caused and recovered a fumble. But they had to punt and the ball landed on their own 13. With that kind of field position the Blue Devils’ Ferrell made it 19-0. The extra point try failed.

The Blue Devils picked up another quick score when Byhalia lost control of the ball on the kick off and Water Valley covered it in the end zone. This time the extra point was made and the 26-0 score was final.

This was homecoming for the Indians.

Coach Gaylon Jones named Jamie Jones as the most valuable player of the game.

“Our defense really played hard,” Coach Jone said. “The kids really bought in to what we asked them to do.

“I was very pleased with our effort on defense. Offensively, we made too many mistakes.”

The Indians (0-7) travel to Senatobia (6-2) this Friday night for another Class 3A, Region 3 contest. The Warriors, the defending Class 3A state champs, are leading the district with only two regular season games left.

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