Score early, score late and dominate all four quarters on defense is one way to get the job done in football.
The West Point Green Wave (9-2; 7-0) employed that strategy on Friday night, defeating the New Hope Trojans 38-7.
This concluded the Green Wave 2012 regular season, one that boasts nine strong wins, seven of which were division victories, including a district clincher last week against Oxford.
West Point finds itself in what has become the norm for the Green Wave program over the past few seasons. The team will enter into the first round of the playoffs next week at home.
“I’m glad this week is over with,” said West Point Head Coach Chris Chambless after the game. “In a game like this, you can lose a lot of focus, but we played through it and got the win.”
Chambless had the luxury of doing something on Friday night that has not happened too often since district play began seven weeks ago. He got to rest some key players who will be fresh for post-season play thanks to the much-needed time off.
“We got to play a lot of people,” Chambless said. “We got some experience in there, and we need that. That will be good for the future.”
Five minutes into regulation, neither team had scored a touchdown, but when West Point found its groove, the team put up three very quickly.
Tez Lane, who has led the offense all year long drove the Green Wave deep into New Hope territory with about seven minutes on the clock. It was Aeris Williams, however who would take the ball in for the first touchdown, a 10-yard rush to make it 6-0 with 7:10 to play in the first.
New Hope could not get anything going on offense. The ball seemed to go backward on each snap. That was until the Trojans tried a pass, and it landed right in the hands of Nelson McIntosh who returned the interception 15 yards for a touchdown and a 12-0 lead with 6:24 to play in the first.
The Green Wave rounded out the first quarter’s scoring when New Hope managed to get a punt away on fourth down which landed into the hands of Williams at midfield.
Williams darted to the near side and broke free of several tacklers and made it all the way to the end zone for a touchdown and an 19-0 lead after the Eric Lemus extra point was added.
The only other score in the first half came when Ladarius Patterson got a hold of the ball with 8:49 to go in the second quarter, and he ran it in four yards for a score and a 25-0 halftime lead for West Point.
The Green Wave had a solid showing in the third quarter, but there were no points put on the board. The clock ran fast, as New Hope attempted to pick up its tempo after the halftime rest.
There was just nothing the Trojans could do against the Green Wave defense, even after some of the starters were being rested.
In the fourth quarter, Patterson got loose for a second time with 6:14 to play, and he ran it in from three yards to score making it 31-0.
About three minutes later, West Point had the ball again, and Dason Thomas was getting into the action, so much so that he would run the final touchdown of the night into the end zone for West Point, a three-yard rush to make it 38-0 after Lemus’ extra point kick.
With 2:08 to play in the game, New Hope finally broke free of the West Point defenders and scored a running touchdown for its only seven points.
Now the Green Wave will host the first round of the playoffs in search of a championship crown that was last won by this program in 2010.
“These guys worked all off-season for this,” Chambless said. “That’s what you have to keep reminding of.”
In 2010, Chambless and the Green Wave dedicated the state title win to the West Point community. This year is no different.
“We’re playing for the community as a whole,” Chambless said. “We’re playing for those who are not able to be with us out here, and we’re playing for those who’ve never had the opportunity to play the game of football.”
The Green Wave will open the playoffs at home against Canton High School next Friday.