November 4, 2012 1:10:32 AM
Jeff Clark - firstname.lastname@example.org
For the West Point High School football team, Friday's game against New Hope was the last regular-season game on the schedule before the playoffs start next week.
Even though the Green Wave already had secured first place in Class 5A, Region 1, coach Chris Chambless didn't take the game lightly.
Neither did his players.
Aeris Williams and Ladarius Patterson each had two touchdowns to lead West Point to a 38-7 victory against New Hope at Trojan Field. The victory was the seventh in a row for West Point (9-2, 7-0 region). West Point will be the top seed and will play host to Canton at 7 p.m. Friday in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State playoffs.
Williams scored on a 10-yard run midway through the first quarter to give the Green Wave a 6-0 lead. Williams, who rushed for two touchdowns, praised his offensive line.
"It feels good getting two touchdowns," Williams said, "but I have to give the credit to the offensive line. They did the job. I just followed my guard down the field and he blocked for me and I was able to get in the end zone."
West Point controlled the majority of the first half. A Brady Davis interception quickly turned into a touchdown for West Point defensive back Nelson McIntosh. Williams followed with a 57-yard punt return to give the Green Wave a 19-0 advantage entering the second quarter. Patterson finished the work for the Green Wave with two touchdowns, one in the second and the other in the fourth quarter.
"I just want to thank the offensive line," Patterson said. "They got some good blocks and it allowed me to score."
Chambless said the game gave him a chance to pull from his depth chart."We got to play some younger players," Chambless said. "We got to use a couple of different quarterbacks and try some things out. We knew we had the district won, so we played a lot of players. We scored on special teams, the offense, and the defense. That's what you want to do every game.
New Hope showed signs of life in third quarter, keeping West Point out of the end zone until the middle of the fourth quarter. The Trojans also proved to be tenacious, scoring a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
"We did some good things up front, but we have to learn how to finish," Chambless said. "These guys know how to finish but they have go to do a better job of it."
Canton will travel to Clay County with a 5-6 overall record, 3-4 in division play. It defeated Jackson Lanier 45-8 on Friday. Although West Point scored 38 points against New Hope, it also was also penalized for 85 yards, something Chambless said he will address Monday at practice.
"We work on this every week," Chambless said. "Sometimes it's a judgment call and we can't do anything about it. We try to play as clean as possible, and penalties are not acceptable."