Offense runs wild; defense dominates for West Point's eighth state title

Collin Brister
Sports Writer

West Point was able to move the football efficiently in their first three drives. They took the opening possession of the contest at their own 48-yard line and immediately moved it down to Laurel’s 19, but they were stopped short on a fourth and six.
They responded the next possession and got back into Laurel’s red zone, but were once again stopped before reaching the end zone. Jose Garcia knocked home a 36-yard field goal to give West Point the first score of the contest.
West Point scored a touchdown on their third drive of the contest after taking over at Laurel’s 49-yard line. Chris Calvert and Marcus Murphy rushed for 38 yards on two consecutive plays, and two plays later senior quarterback Clayton Knight hit Semaje Harris for a five-yard touchdown to give West Point and after Garcia made the extra point West Point led 10-0.
West Point wasn’t able to get anything going on the first possession of the second half, and immediately had to punt the ball back to Laurel leading only by two points.
Laurel fumbled on the first play of the second half, and West Point recovered. The Green Wave turned that turnover into points behind hard running from Andre Lane and Marcus Murphy. Murphy punched it in from three-yards out with 4:09 left in the third quarter.
West Point continued to dominate on the ground, and scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game on the ice.
Murphy finished with 151 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns. Andre Lane had a solid night rushing the football as he had 90 yards on 16 carries.
West Point finished with 326 total yards in the contest, with 307 yards coming on the ground.
West Point’s defense dominated its first three drives of the first half, as they forced Laurel to three three-and outs.
On Laurel’s first three possessions they had negative eight yards of offense and weren’t able to move the football at all on West Point.
The Golden Tornadoes found their rhythm on their fourth drive, as senior quarterback Tyquan Ulmer was able to get loose on a couple of runs, and the senior quarterback found Je Vah Jones for a 24-yard touchdown to cut the Green Wave deficit to 10-6.
West Point’s defense was dominant in the second half. Even after Laurel forced a Green Wave interception and returned it deep into West Point territory, they kept them out of the end zone and forced a Laurel field goal that was shanked.
West Point wouldn’t let Laurel find any more success on offense, holding them from the end zone for the remainder of the game.
West Point’s defensive line caused havoc in Laurel’s backfield all night, as Laurel rushed for only 24 yards on 20 carries. Laurel only had 74 yards through the air, combining for 98 yards in the contest.
Terence Cherry finished with three sacks in the contest, and Tae Hampton finished with five tackles on the night.