As the Division 1-5A schedule turns the corner and heads for home, the West Point High School football team finds itself in a familiar spot:
Undefeated within the district, and in control of the division race entering the homestretch.
Since joining the division in 2008, West Point is a perfect 19-0 against district opponents, and are outscoring division foes by an average of 21 points in that span.
Tonight, the two-time defending state champs will look to continue their stranglehold on Division 1-5A when they host Saltillo for homecoming, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Once again, West Point is off to a hot start in division play at 3-0, while Saltillo limps into tonight’s meeting with an 0-3 mark, and the Tigers have allowed 115 points in three division games so far.
Still, West Point head coach Chris Chambless isn’t letting his team take
anything for granted.
“Every game is a big game, especially at this time of year,” said Chambless. “We are not concerned with our record or their record, we are concerned with coming out and playing good football. That’s what you have to do to win in this league.”
Chambless should know, as he’s got his team in the driver’s seat of the district race once again. In his five previous years as head coach, Chambless’ squad has captured a division crown four times. Looking to make it five of six this season, the Wave will have to deal with a remaining schedule that includes road trips to Center Hill and Oxford, a home date with New Hope, and tonight’s test against Saltillo.
Overall, West Point has now rebounded from a 1-3 start to climb to 4-3 overall, and the Wave has won three in a row, punctuated by a convincing 37-19 win on the road at Clarksdale last week.
By contrast, Saltillo enters tonight at just 2-5 on the season, with wins over Class 2A Baldwyn and Class 3A Booneville.
Offensively, Saltillo prefers to throw the football, averaging 241 yards per game through the air, as opposed to just 76 yards on the ground. The primary connection for the Tigers is between quarterback Chase Watson and wide receiver Jalen Gaston. both seniors, the pair has hooked up 30 times this season for 707 yards and seven touchdowns.
“They can throw the football, and that’s what they want to do,” said Chambless. “We have to stay focused on the task at hand and keep their receivers in check.”
On the other side, West Point’s offensive gameplan will be easy to predict as well, as the Wave has three ballcarriers at or above the 500-yard mark already this season. Quarterback DeQuinton Spraggins leads the team with 68 carries for 603 yards; junior tailback Tez Lane has collected 574 yards on 79 totes; and Aries Williams has 488 yards on 82 carries.
Spraggins has also passed for 651 yards and five TDs.
“Offensively, we have played well the last few weeks,” said Chambless,
“and defensively, we’ve played good football, too. We just have to cut down on our mistakes on both sides of the ball to get where we want to