The West Point Green Wave (11-3; 7-0) had a number of lopsided victories during the 2012 season.
One thing the team did not have was a lopsided loss.
Of the three blemishes on the West Point schedule, including Friday night’s season-ending loss to Starkville, the Green Wave did not lose by any more than six points in each defeat.
The first loss of the season came during week one against South Panola. The final score was 12-10 in favor of the hosting Batesville team.
That was the first time West Point really established its defensive dominance during the season. Led by players like Freddie Reed and Ed Brown, the Green Wave kept South Panola out of the end zone all night, even gaining two points on an early safety.
Panola had the benefit of hitting four out of four field goals on the night, which was just enough to combat West Point’s 10 points.
After battling the best 6A has to offer, West Point was faced with rival Noxubee which was ranked at the top of every major poll by week four.
Noxubee scored six points in the second quarter of that game, and the 4A team defeated the Green Wave 6-0.
West Point got its offensive act together after that loss, and it went on to play undefeated ball throughout the rest of the regular season, including seven consecutive district wins.
It appeared that West Point was peaking at the right time, running on all cylinders by the time the playoffs began.
Canton was no match for the Green Wave, falling 38-0 in the first round of the 5A playoffs.
Ridgeland got an even worse pounding from Tez Lane and the Green Wave offense the next week, beating the Titans at home 56-21.
Then came Starkville. A true rivalry, Starkville had already lost to West Point 47-22 on September 7.
The Yellowjackets did not seem to have that sound defeat on their minds going into Friday night’s game.
It was a new contest, and they were ready to play.
The West Point defense was a little off in the first half, allowing the Jacket offense to score 14 points and make positive yards on just about every play. Starkville quarterback Gabe Myles was nearly untouchable as he scrambled all night to evade Green Wave defenders.
West Point would score 21 unanswered points against Starkville, but like the first two losses of the season, the game was close right up until the end of regulation. Starkville of course tied the game at 21-21 and missed a potential game-winning field goal as the clock ran out to send the game to overtime.
West Point quickly scored to make it 28-21, but Starkville’s offense did the same to bring it to a 28-27 game with a PAT looming.
Instead of kicking for the tie, Starkville made a gutsy move and went for the win. It worked, making the 29-28 contest the closest loss of the year for the Green Wave.
West Point is once again home early at the hands of Starkville, but there is one thing this team proved in 2012. If a team was going to beat the Green Wave, it was not going to an easy task, and it was going to be a close game.