By Bryan Davis
After beating powerhouse football programs like Wayne County and West Jones, the Brookhaven Panthers likely thought they could handle the West Point Green Wave team as well.
If they asked Provine, Oxford and Ridgeland, however, they might have been a little nervous going into Saturday night’s 5A state championship game with the Green Wave.
West Point, a team that played close and from behind in many of its district games this year, began its peak right as November rolled around.
Starting with the season closer at Hernando, the offense began to run at will, and the Green Wave defense was penetrating every facet of the opposing offensive line.
“We tell our kids that teams that run the ball and play power football always have a chance to win,” Chambless said. “Teams that do that and have great defenses will win.”
In that Hernando game, senior running back LaKenderic Thomas rushed for 262 yards.
The following week, the Green Wave started their historic playoff run, in an attempt to repeat their 2009 state title. They began with Provine, at home, and they won that game 36-14.
The next challenge was Oxford, on the road. On another cold night, West Point continued to sizzle, winning that game 27-12.
“Throughout the playoffs, we’ve had a great defense,” Chambless said. “Our offense, man, what can I say about them?”
Last week was by far West Point’s most dominating performance of the season. They hosted Ridgeland in a 47-0 shutout, in which the Titans were held to just 20 total offensive yards.
On Saturday night, the Green Wave would face their toughest opponent to date. The Panthers were playing great ball, after beating an undefeated team in West Jones to win the South last Friday.
Once again, the Green Wave pounded out yards on offense, while allowing nothing on the defensive side of the ball.
In the second half, the Green Wave started the final two quarters with the ball, and in both cases took over six minutes off the clock.
“We don’t look at the stalled play as being bad,” Chambless said. “We’re just fine with driving it down, and we know we’re not going to get it in sometimes.”
The Green Wave would score their third and final touchdown on the second long drive, successfully keeping the ball out of the hands of Brookhaven’s potent offense.
“You’ve got to dominate in all phases of the game,” Chambless said. “One of those phases you have to dominate in is time of possession to be able to win.”
West Point’s repeat, record wise, is an exact replica of last season. They won all but one game, and rolled over opponents in the post-season.
The 2010 playoff run, however, will likely be remembered as the most dominant of the two title runs.