By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – The West Point Green Wave are going about the 2012 season in workman-like fashion.
They took that approach into Friday’s matchup with Division 1-5A foe Saltillo, eventually wearing down the home-standing Tigers 31-7.
“We got a win, and we played hard,” West Point head coach Chris Chambless said. “We’re striving for perfection.”
If not for a last-second field goal by South Panola and a touchdown by Noxubee County, the Green Wave (6-2, 4-0) would have a perfect record for the season. And West Point played fairly flawlessly against Saltillo (5-3, 2-2).
Winning the battle for field position early, West Point put up its first points on a 15-yard run by Aeris Williams in the first quarter.
Williams, who rushed for 223 yards, added his second score of the contest in the second period on a 3-yard run. Later in the quarter, Delentez Lane punched the football in on a 2-yard run, giving the Wave a 21-0 halftime lead.
“We broke a few tackles tonight, but Saltillo tackled well,” Chambless said. “And we threw the ball decent tonight, too.
“Defensively, a lot of times, we had 11 guys around the football.”
West Point padded to its margin in the third period with an 11-yard run for Williams, his third touchdown of the contest. The Wave wrapped up its scoring with a 43-yard field goal by Eric Lemus in the fourth quarter.
“We had to throw the football tonight because we knew it would be difficult to run against them,” said Saltillo head coach Pat Byrd, who saw starting quarterback Andrew Soper leave the game in the second quarter with a hip-pointer. “With Andrew getting hurt, it threw our offense in a quandary, but that’s the game.
“This time of year, you need effort and execution. We got the effort, but not the execution.”
Saltillo did break onto the scoreboard later in the final quarter on an 80-yard pass from Tyler Tomlinson to A. J. Hunt.