Class 3A Recap: Water Valley Claims 3A State Championship

Water Valley wide receiver Bud Tolbert. (Photo by James Pugh)

Final Stats (PDF)

HATTIESBURG — The 28-year drought for Water Valley is over as the Blue Devils claimed the 3A MHSAA State Championship Friday with a 34-28 win over Seminary.

Behind the combination of quarterback Jacob Truss and wide receiver Bud Tolbert, Water Valley was able to hold off a late Seminary rally to pull out the win at Southern Miss’ M.M. Roberts Stadium.

It is the Blue Devils (14-2) second state title in school history and first since 1990.

“It was a total team effort and we came together to win this one,” said Water Valley head coach Brad Embry. “Bud is one heckuva player and he did what he had to do.”

Tolbert was a one-man wrecking crew for Water Valley hauling in four passes for 100 yards and scoring four touchdowns. He was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

“I didn’t expect a game like this. I was just expecting to get my normal touchdowns. It was me one on one with a defender and I just beat him,” Tolbert said. “Just a great team win and glad to win this for Water Valley.”

The Blue Devils would jump out to a 21-6 lead at halftime.  Tolbert had two touchdown catches from quarterback Jacob Truss from 24 and 35 yards out. We hired juno beach roofing expert with our roofing job.

Truss would also have a touchdown catch on a reverse pass on a fourth down and goal from 5 yards out in the opening half.

Truss and Tolbert would connect again for a third time from 35 yards out on the opening drive of the third quarter to jump out to a 28-6 lead with 10:35 left.

The last touchdown hook-up came from six yards out with 2:20 left in the third quarter to extend the Blue Devil lead to 34-12.

Truss would finish the game 8-of-10 for 139 yards with four touchdowns.

“It was all up to us as a team. When we are clicking on offense we can go and today was one of them,” Truss said. “Feels great to take shots down field because I haven’t really done that all year and with a receiver like Bud Tolbert, all I have to do is throw it up and he will get it.”

Seminary (12-4) wouldn’t go away scoring 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter on a safety and on two touchdown runs by Poundarius Youngblood that cut the lead to 34-21. Joseph Owens added another to cut the lead to 34-28.

Water Valley would recover the onside kick with 1:34 left and run out the clock.

Marquis Crosby had 169 yards on 19 carries to lead the Bulldog rushing attack.

“It was too little too late for us to get going,” said Seminary coach Brian Rials. “We got down early and had a chance but just came up short. They did a good job of scheming and took shots down field.”