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For West Point, it's not all about the offesne

November 17, 2011

For the third consecutive season, West Point has found themselves one win away from the north state championship game.

The old saying ‘third time’s a charm’, could ring true for the Green Wave if they can get past Starkville on the road Friday.

So far this season, all the talk about West Point has been their offense. And why not?

They average nearly 300 yards rushing per game and feature some of the most explosive running tandems in the state. Two players have already rushed for the century mark this season, senior quarterback DeQuinten Spraggins has 1,100 yards rushing with 14 touchdowns while sophomore Tez Lane has 1,089 with 11 TD’s. And you can’t forget about Aries Williams with 778 yards.

With their ground and pound type of offense led by a senior core of lineman making holes upfront, the Green Wave have scored a ton of points this season. But the defense has also been crucial to their success.

In 12 games this season, West Point only gives up an average of 21 points, and in their eight victories on the year, including their last three, the defense has given up just 16 points a ball game. It’s like the two go hand in hand, when the defense goes three and out, the offense hits them hard and often.

West Point’s defense is led by a core group of linebackers who have been multidimensional this season in stopping the run and pass.

Junior Freddie Reed and senior Charles Heard, lead the team in total tackles this season with 74 apiece, averaging over six a ball game while senior Brandon Edwards has 70 on the year, tallying over five a game. Junior lineman Ed Brown has 62 on the season, with five others registering 50 plus so far this year.

It’s not just tackles in the open, West Point has recorded 25 sacks this season, led by Brown and Reed with seven and 6.5 respectively.
The Green Wave have eight picks this season to compliment six fumble recoveries.

The Green Wave defense was recognized earlier this season when Edwards was selected to represent Mississippi in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and Heard with represent the North in the Bernard Blackwell Game, both in late December.

Without a doubt though, West Point’s success on defense has come in
the second half. In all eight wins this season, they’ve given up just 55 points in the second half, averaging a little over a touchdown.

That run includes two shutouts at home versus Starkville and Neshoba
Central.

Over the last 10 meetings, West Point has owned the series, including five of the last six and defensively have been solid, nearly two touchdowns conceded per game over that span. The 12 points given up in their first matchup this season, was the lowest since their shutout
victory in 2008 (34-0).

A repeat performance tonight will move them one step closer on the road to Jackson.

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