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No one who was present at Hamblin Stadium on Friday night could say that both West Point High School and Noxubee County High School didnâ€™t play their hearts out down on McCallister Field.
Both teams came out and played their games. The Noxubee defense was impenetrable most of the night, and it certainly was when it really counted. West Point was not allowed a single point, and with the exception of the lone touchdown of the game, the Green Wave defense played virtually flawlessly, as well.
The action words for Friday nightâ€™s game were â€śgritâ€ť and â€śdetermination.â€ť
Noxubee and West Point had equal amounts of both, but it seemed as though the contest would be decided, ultimately, on the single breakaway run in the last minute and a half of play during the first half when Noxubee was able to take advantage of the momentary chink in the West Point armor.
During his talk with the team, Coach Chris Chambless emphasized to his players just how important it was that they learn something from their losses, just as they should from their victories. The very fact that they played the whole game, as they always do, as though the very next play would be the last, displayed an amazing amount of heart.
The last quarter of play in the game made the entire crowd hold its collective breath for the duration of the twelve minutes of play.
While the Green Wave was proving that it would not allow Noxubee another inch of room in which to gain access to the end zone, because of the bungled attempt at a two-point conversion by the Tigers after their touchdown, all West Point needed was to be able to get in the end zone, and kicker Eric Lemus (#14) would have been able to split the uprights, giving the victory entirely to the Green Wave.
Due to some questionable calls and the fact that at least a minute and a half was needlessly ticked off the clock throughout the course of the final quarter of play, that opportunity could not arise for West Point.
It seemed from the very outset that Noxubee was absolutely ready for the West Point offense.
In the past, the Green Wave offensive line has been able to clear a precise path for Tez Lane or Aeris Williams, but the Tigers seemed to swallow whomever tried to run up the middle.
Some of the greatest improvements on the part of the West Point defense have been in the performance of the safeties and defensive linemen. The Tiger offense was not able to complete many of the passes it attempted due to good coverage of the receivers.
Defensive lineman Ed Brown (#56) was able to keep the first quarter score at 0-0, sacking Noxubee quarterback Ballard eleven yards behind the line of scrimmage.
The entire game was hard-fought for both teams, and hard-won for Noxubee. West Point made sure that if the Tigers wanted to keep a perfect record at least this far in the season, they were going to have to put up a real fight and earn their victory over the Green Wave.
It is highly unlikely that Noxubee will forget that game anytime soon.
Yet, both teams move on to their next challenge. Monday began the return to the practice field and the weight room for West Point, and preparations for Lake Cormorant have already begun.
The team, remarked Coach Chambless after the game on Friday, has a twenty-four-hour rule on defeats as well as victories. They mourn or celebrate as would be appropriate to the outcome of the game, and then they move on. Most important to be recognized is the ability to regroup and look ahead to the next contest.
For the West Point High Green Wave, that contest begins at 7:30pm next Friday night against Lake Cormorant at home. The team should be rested and recovered in time to take on the Gators, who come into the match-up at 3-1 for the season.
Be sure to come out and support the Green Wave, and donâ€™t miss a minute of the action.View more articles in: