STARKVILLE - The West Point Green Wave had their first taste of live football Saturday afternoon at Davis Wade Stadium, and although they came out with a 21-20 loss to long time rival Louisville in the first game of the 10-team jamboree, head coach Chris Chambless knows it was a just a measuring stick to see where they are heading into the opening week.
“We didn’t approach this with a game plan,” he said. “We approach these games as seeing the guys we want to see running certain plays. There’s certain situations in a game where we wouldn’t run those plays. We had so many plays we wanted to run and so many different looks on defense we wanted to do.”
Now he says after watching film, they’ll be able to correct those mistakes.
Louisville went three and out on their opening drive and the Green Wave offense quickly went to work with senior quarterback Dequinten Spraggins orchestrating a five-play 65-yard drive that he capped off with a 40-yard touchdown run.
Louisville responded when Wyatt Roberts connected with CJ Bates for a 54-yard touchdown down the sideline to give the Wildcats a 7-6 lead after the extra point. It wouldn’t bet the last time two hooked up.
Spraggins fumbled on the first play of West Point’s next possession and the Wildcats again took advantage of the young secondary when Roberts found Bates for a six-yard score.
“Our secondary is brand new,” Chambless said of his young group. “We have four new faces out there and that’s been the hardest working group this summer since the spring. They have improved. We’re going to get a lot better there.”
West Point bounced back on their next possession on the shoulders, or rather fast feet of Tez Lane who broke half a dozen tackles on his way to the end zone for a 49-yard touchdown.
The Green Wave defense gave up another big play, a 75-yard Bates touchdown to put the Wildcats up 21-12. The third in the first half for the duo.
West Point again, didn’t hang their heads, instead responded with several big plays themselves on their next possession including a 45-yard pass and catch from Spraggins to Lane. The drive however, ended
with a turnover.
The second half was a much different story for the Green Wave as they were able to run the ball more efficiently.
“We work on running the ball year-round,” Chambless said. “When we can move the chains running the football, that’s a big positive for us. I was real pleased to see that.”
West Point pounded the football in every direction for a 63-yard drive capped by a five yard Mario Virges touchdown run.
Chambless said that the players remained positive after the game, knowing the jamboree was a learning experience. The real season starts next Saturday against South Panola.
“We can’t duck our heads and act like this is the end, because it’s not,” he said. “Our kids know that, they are very mature individuals.
They know what we have to do to finish it,”
Tickets will be pre-sold Wednesday, August 17 and Thursday, August 18 from 5-7 p.m. inside the athletic office on campus.View more articles in: