By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
West Point football’s “three yards and a cloud of dust” offensive scheme works. Defenses know its coming, but have trouble stopping it.
“We’re about holding onto the ball, getting positive yards and keeping the chains moving,” Green Wave coach Chris Chambless said. “If you’re a running back for West Point, be prepared to get the ball a lot.”
The Green Wave (10-2) will look to its strong ground game tonight when it hosts Ridgeland (9-3) in the MHSAA Class 5A state quarterfinals.
Heading up the offense is senior do-it-all quarterback Tez Lane, who has rushed for 981 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s joined by junior running back Aeris Williams, who has rushed for 780 yards and five scores.
Lane scored TDs on runs of 34 and 52 yards in last week’s 38-0 playoff win against Canton. Williams added a 3-yard scoring rush.
“Tez is an athlete who’s going to play where we need him – running back, receiver, quarterback,” Chambless said.
Defensively, West Point has registered two shutouts and held three opponents to seven points each. One of those was a 55-7 win against Center Hill, a team Ridgeland defeated 13-6 last week.
Titans coach Kenny Burton, whose team lost to Starkville last season in the North half championship game, expects a tough road quarterfinal.
“You can just look at them and tell they are one of the top teams in the state,” he said. “We’re going to have to line up and play the best we can.”
Chambless has watched a lot of film this week on Ridgeland. He’s impressed with quarterback Parker Lohman, who has completed 76 of 146 passes for 848 yards and seven TDs. He has rushed for 960 yards and 13 scores.
“He can run and throw,” Chambless said. “He’s got some receivers who can catch. Their running back, Gary Adams, is a great player.”
Adams has rushed for 1,324 yards and 13 TD.
Ridgeland defensive linemen Gary Plowden and Jermon Johnson have combined for 178 tackles.