West Point outlasts Grenada 32-13

(courtesy)
By: 
BRIAN HAMILTON
Staff Writer

West Point is accustomed to jumping out to a quick start, building an insurmountable lead, and letting the clock run for the majority - if not all - of the second half.

That was not the case on Friday night in Grenada, as the Chargers were still within striking distance of the Green Wave, trailing only 18-7 at the half.

“You’ve got to play four quarters of football and I was glad we got to do that tonight,” West Point head coach Chris Chambless said. “We knew it was going to be a physical game and we got after it tonight and we were able to overcome some adversity.”

Grenada did a much better job of moving the ball than in the first meeting, rushing for 136 yards and passing for 86 yards and two touchdowns. The first meeting between the two teams was a lopsided 48-0 win by the Green Wave.

“They came out and did some stuff we hadn’t seen before and we had to adjust to it,” Chambless said. “They came out and threw the ball for some big plays, but we don’t dwell on the last play, we try to fix things and move forward.”

Marcus Murphy went in for a 1-yard touchdown on West Point’s opening drive, but a missed extra point left the Green Wave with a 6-0 lead. On the first Grenada possession, Jason Brownlee intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards for a pick-six. The Green Wave led 12-0 with 6:12 to go in the first quarter and it appeared evident that the route was on.

Only it wasn’t. Grenada had showed up to play in the rematch between the two teams.

The Chargers responded on the next possession with a lengthy drive that ended with a 25-yard Jared Barnes touchdown pass to Jamarius Robinson to cut the West Point lead to 12-7 with 32 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The score remained 12-7 throughout most of the second quarter, until Murphy went in for a 13-yard score with 13 seconds remaining until halftime. West Point missed on all three extra-point attempts in the first half, sending the Green Wave to the locker room with an 18-7 advantage.

West Point would begin to distance itself in the second half, as Murphy broke free for a 91-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter to give the green Wave a 25-7 lead. Chris Calvert ran for a 31-yard touchdown with 11:16 to stretch the Green Wave lead to 32-7.

Barnes threw for his second touchdown of the night with 7:13 left, when he found Dontavious Shipp for an 11-yard strike, cutting the West Point lead to 32-13. Murphy had a long touchdown run called back late in the fourth quarter due to a holding penalty. The Green Wave then kneeled the ball twice to run out the clock and come away with a 32-13 win.

The 19-point margin of victory registers as West Point’s closest game of the season.

“We knew it's the playoff, second round," Chambless said. "We’re going to get everybody’s best shot, and on the road we knew it was going to be hard for us. We overcame some adversity, pulled together and stayed together. That’s what it takes to win football games.”

Murphy ran for 177 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries, while Calvert rushed for 77 yards and a score on 10 touches. Murphy was also 3-of-4 passing for 68 yards.

Tray Brownlee and Xavier Fair led the Green Wave with six tackles, while Terrance Cherry and Radeon Carr finished with five apiece. Cherry and Fair each recorded one tackle for loss.

Grenada ends the season with a record of 7-6, while West Point improves to 13-0 and will face Olive Branch at home in the Class 5A semi-finals.

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