Green Wave continues winning ways to start 2018 campaign

West Point's Brandon Harris (2) runs for a gain against Columbus on Friday.
Staff Writer

Players come and go at West Point but the beat rolls on for the Green Wave.

After back-to-back Class 5A State championships on the backs of players like Marcus Murphy, Chris Calvert, Jason Brownlee and Terrance Cherry, many wondered how the Green Wave would replace the talented group. Thursday’s season opener at Columbus proved the cupboard is far from bare.

The Green Wave suffocated the Falcons on the defensive side and they wore down the home team on the offensive side. The depth and the talent proved overwhelming in favor of West Point as it emphatically took home a game-one win with the 55-6 beat down.

“What I saw is great effort," Green Wave head coach Chris Chambless. "We knew that we would miss some assignments, but how were going to bounce back would tell the tale. We bounced back with great character. I’ve seen it in practice, but I wanted everybody else to see it tonight.”

There was a much production from some of the new faces in the backfield as West Point racked up 399 of its 522 yards on the ground.

Leading the way was Dantariyus Cannon, who had 118 yards on six carries, but Kameron Martin rushed for three touchdowns on eight carries with 74 yards.

Jimothy Mays added 85 yards of his own and Brandon Harris had 63 with both scoring touchdowns.

“We’ve got a whole backfield full of running backs and we’re all capable. We’re all strong,” Martin said. “We’re deep and any of us could get the job done.”

Not to be discounted, the West Point defense was on top of things as usual. They surrendered just 104 yards for the game and nine first downs while also intercepting two passes.

The second of those came from Latarius Embry, who ran it back 63 yards for a score.

“They came out and the linebackers played really disciplined," Chambless said. "Things clicked for us. We’ll go back and look at film and hopefully we’ll get even better for next week.”

West Point put together back-to-back three-and-outs in the first quarter and surrendered just one first down while the offense went to work on the ground. Three different runners got to the end zone in the first half on West Points three possessions with a 2-yard run from Jimothy Mays, a 14- yard score from Kam Martin and a 12-yard scamper by Brandon Harris for the 21-0 advantage.

More firepower surfaced when Dantariyus Cannon to get the football inside the red zone and Martin scored on the next play for the 28-0 lead.

The Greenies capped the first half with a 10-yard pass from Jake Chambless to Shun Crawford giving West Point scores on all five of their drives in the first half. It was 35-0 as the teams went to the locker room.

The game was academic from there as the Green Wave continued their domination in the second half and worked it to a running clock in the fourth quarter to end the Falcons’ misery.

Now the Green Wave competition stiffens over the next two weeks as they start with a home game against Louisville next week and then go on the road to Starkville.

To this point, though, Chambless likes how his team has built itself.

“We had great leadership from our seniors and our coaches (Thursday)," Chambless said. "That’s how I gauge success with how these young men are going to lead the team. They did a great job. It’s a lot easier todo when you’re rolling, but they’ll be able to handle adversity and come out strong.”