By Jeff Clark/The Columubus Commercial Dispatch
WEST POINT — A 38-0 victory over Canton was not only the eighth straight win for the West Point Green Wave (10-2), it also places Coach Chris Chambless’ team one step closer to becoming the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A state champions, a place they haven’t been since 2010.
After a slow start in the first half scoring only 14 points, the Green Wave showed signs of life in the second half, scoring 24 additional unanswered points. It was the second straight week the team has scored 38 points.
Chambless said the win was do or die for the Green Wave.
“It’s always good to win, especially when you know there is not a tomorrow if you don’t,” Chambless said. “Anytime you get a shut out, it’s great. Our goal is to allow less points than anyone else in the playoffs. We are off to a good start.”
Green Wave senior running back Delentez “Tez” Lane gave West Point an early lead with a 34-yard touchdown run. Aeris Williams rushed for a 3-yard touchdown to help solidify the first quarter lead 14-0. Canton would keep the Green Wave scoreless the second quarter.
After an opening 38-7 win over division foe New Hope, Chambless said his main goal in practice was to minimize mistakes and work on finishing the game.
“We stopped ourselves (in the second quarter) and when you do that, you know it is fixable,” Chambless said. “Our guys knew we stopped ourselves, so we didn’t panic. We had some play call confusion and that hurt us early.”
The Green Wave offense exploded in the second half starting with a 52-yard run from Lane, who finished the game with two touchdowns. Lane also hit Peair Howard for a 31-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
The celebration surrounding the Green Wave’s victory will, however, be short-lived. Coach Kenny Burton and the Ridgeland Titans roll into West Point Friday night for the second round in the 5A playoffs. The Titans defeated Center Hill 13-6 in the first round of the state playoffs.
“They will be fast and well coached. They’ll be ready and we will have to bring our A-game, but we have to do that from here on out,” Chambless said.
A West Point win over Ridgeland could set up a North State championship matchup with Starkville, providing the Yellow Jackets can get past Oxford in another matchup.