West Point returned to Starkville for the second time this year to take on the Yellow Jackets in the North Half Championship game. The Green Wave had a tall order ahead of them as they wanted to seek redemption over Starkville who knocked out West Point in the 2011 playoffs.
In a hard fought game, the Wave and Jackets needed more than four quarters to decide the winner in Starkville. After one overtime period, the Yellow Jackets were the victors with a Gabe Myles two-point conversion run, 29-28.
Offensively, the Green Wave faced adversity for the majority of the first half when they could not get a rhythm started after their first drive. Yet it was a gutsy Chris Chambless call in the last three minutes of the half that turned around the Wave’s offensive momentum. Instead of punting the ball on 4 and 2, Coach Chambless elected to go for the conversion inside his on 40 and got it. After fourth down conversion, Tez Lane connected with Aeris Williams for an 18 yard touchdown pass and brought the score to 14-7 at halftime. West Point went on to score two more times in regulation and once in overtime. The Wave were more effective in the second half and were able to stay in the game with 21 unanswered points.
Lane carried the ball 16 times for 130 yards capping off another stellar game in the ground attack for West Point. Like a two-headed snake, Williams helped Lane on the ground carrying the ball 25 times and broke the century mark for 104 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Lane was 2 for 4 in the air amassing 27 yards.
West Point played a strong game on defense though falling behind 14 points in the second quarter. Mario Virges played a strong game leading his team throughout the night. The second half was a stronger half as the Yellow Jackets had shorter possessions on offense and had a harder time scoring.
Friday night was tough for West Point Seniors as they do not get to try for a State Championship. The last time West Point made it to Jackson was in 2010, the current Seniors’ sophomore year.
West Point finishes the year with an 11-3 record and not too much to hang their heads about except not making it to Jackson. The Wave’s three losses (South Panola, Starkville, and Noxubee County) will all compete for a state championship in Jackson within their respective classifications. West Point will hope to return to field next year and make another run for Jackson.