West Point proves its mettle in defeat

By Brandon Speck

West Point lost its season opener but won plenty of respect in a 12-10 loss at South Panola on Saturday night.
The Green Wave move into the top spot in the new Daily Journal Large School rankings.
Previously top-ranked Stark-ville fell from the top spot following a 29-8 home loss to Noxubee County. Oxford replaces Tupelo at No. 3 after a 28-22 win against Grenada.
Lafayette remains atop the Class 3A/4A ranking after an 8-3 home win against Tupelo that extended the Commodores’ winning streak to 33 games.
New Albany and Itawamba AHS each move up a spot to second and third. The two will face off Friday in New Albany, possibly Ashton Shumpert’s first game of the season for the Indians after missing the opener with an illness.
Previous No. 2 Aberdeen fell to No. 5 after a shutout loss at Columbus, while Amory’s 48-14 win at Mooreville moved the Panthers from fifth to fourth.
In the Small School rankings, the top four remain the same, as Bruce, Baldwyn, Calhoun City and Falkner all won. Previous No. 5 Vardaman fell out, replaced by Okolona, a 33-0 winner over Houlka. Vardaman hosts Bruce on Friday.
The updated MPB will be released today. The statewide AP rankings will begin next week.
PRAISE for O-LINE
West Point’s defense denied South Panola the end zone. Clayton Sibley’s fourth field goal was the winner as time expired.
West Point coach Chris Chambless praised his defense but didn’t fail to notice his other line. The offensive line gave way to 166 rushing yards to the Tigers’ 129.
“We’ve got a new offensive line unit and they exceeded my expectations,” Chambless said. “That South Panola defensive line is one of the best in the state.”
Aeris Williams had 102 yards on 20 carries. The Wave went ahead on their last drive, 86 yards on 15 plays.
“You’re going to miss blocks. You’re going to miss assignments. That’s going to happen,” Chambless said. “Getting back up and not missing them again, that last drive told me a lot about our team.”
GAME OF THE WEEK
The Journal’s Game of the Week features two teams aiming for their first wins on Friday as 3A Aberdeen visits 4A Shannon. Shannon lost 41-30 at Kosciusko Friday, while Aberdeen lost 21-0 at Columbus.
THREE FOR THURSDAY
There will be a trio of Thursday night games this week, including a keen area rivalry – Baldwyn hosts Booneville – and the 10th Joe Bowl, with Falkner visiting Walnut.
Also on Thursday, Hamilton will visit Houlka.
brandon.speck@journalinc.com

DAILY JOURNAL RANKINGS
(Updated each Monday)

Class 6A/5A
1. West Point ( 0-1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
This week: Open date
2. Starkville (0-1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
This week: at Madison Central
3. Oxford (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .NR
This week: hosts Charleston

Class 4A/3A
1. Lafayette (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
This week: hosts Greenwood
2. New Albany (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
This week: hosts Itawamba AHS
3. Itawamba AHS (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
This week: at New Albany
4. Amory (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
This week: at Nettleton
5. Aberdeen (0-1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
This week: at Shannon

Class 2A/1A
1. Bruce (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
This week: hosts Vardaman
2. Baldwyn (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
This week: hosts Booneville (Thursday)
3. Calhoun City (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
This week: at Houston
4. Falkner (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
This week: at Walnut (Thursday)
5. Okolona (1-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .NR
This week: hosts East Webster