By NEMS Daily Journal
BRUCE – A 30-yard fumble return was the difference for Water Valley, as Bruce, the No. 1-ranked team in the Daily Journal’s small school poll, was dealt its first loss, 20-19.
A 48-yard pass from Rashad Turner to Davis Brown and a 22-yard run by Zay Armstrong had the Trojans (3-1) up 13-7 at halftime.
But what could have been a big defensive play for Bruce in the third quarter turned into a disaster. The Trojans forced the fumble, but the Blue Devils recovered and ran to the end zone. The PAT put Water Valley ahead 14-13
Bruce went back in front 19-13 on a 1-yard run by Donta Armstrong, but Water Valley (3-1) hit another big play, an 80-yard pass-and-run with roughly 41/2 minutes remaining, and the PAT was the decisive point.
Bruce had two late possessions but mounted no serious threat to regain the lead.
In other action
Mooreville 35, Alcorn Central 2: Griff Loftis threw three touchdown passes, and Josh Johnson scored on runs of 10 and 9 yards as Mooreville (3-1) won easily.
Loftis’ passes covered 15 yards to Quantrell Burkes and 34 and 44 yards to Eric Dilworth.
Alcorn Central (1-2) avoided the shut out with a safety in the fourth quarter.
Vardaman 36, Falkner 22: At Vardaman, the Rams (1-2) took control with 22 points in the second quarter and led 22-6 at halftime.
Vardaman quarterback Cody Jenkins scored on a 1-yard run and threw touchdown passes to Ta West, Evander Holmes and Dontae Walker.
Walker scored the game’s first points on a 19-yard run.
Falkner (1-2) got a pair of touchdown runs from Kendrick Williams and one from Hunter Hopkins.
Coldwater 39, TCPS 7: The Eagles (1-2) got on the board first with a 32-yard pass from Andrew Soper to Lee McBunch, but Coldwater (3-1) closed with 39 straight points.
For Coldwater, Marcell Newsom scored on runs of 3 and 24 yards and caught an 8-yard scoring pass from Jordan Robinson.
Houston 32, Ackerman 7: At Ackerman, Houston amassed 442 rushing yards, led by Kantrell Murry, with 227 yards, and Sharone Wright with 134 yards.
Murry scored on runs of 69 and 96 yards, and Wright tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Townsend.
Townsend put the Toppers (3-1) on the board for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Ackerman (2-2) answered, but Houston closed the game with 25 straight points.
Starkville Academy 42, Leake Academy 14: Ryan Mann ran in from 8 yards out, and Drew Pellum passed 38 yards to James Mapp as the Vols dashed out in front in the second quarter.
Mann scored three other touchdowns on runs of 5, 2 and 58 yards.
Starkville Academy, which improved to 4-0 under second-year coach Jeff Terrill, also got a 39-yard touchdown run from Brandon Sharp.
Oxford 40, Senatobia 20: At Oxford, Mont Dean scored on runs of 17, 10, 1, 79 and 1 yards to lead the Chargers (2-2).
Dean’s two second-quarter touchdowns had Oxford ahead 21-7 at halftime.
Oxford also scored on Parker Adamson’s 11-yard pass to Stan Ivy.
Kossuth 13, Tishomingo County 7: At Iuka, Jay Vanderford’s 2-yard run with 1 minute, 9 seconds remaining kept Kossuth (4-0) unbeaten.
The Aggies are ranked No. 2 in the Daily Journal’s Class 3A poll.
Kossuth totaled 330 yards and held Tishomingo County (1-3) to 144 yards.
The Daily Journal did not receive reports from: Bolivar, Tenn 15, Corinth 14; Caledonia 24, East Webster 0; Calhoun Academy 36, Kemper Academy 14; Nettleton 34, Okolona 26; Calhoun City 43, Velma Jackson 40; Biggersville 26, Houlka 7; Mantachie 31, Union County 6.