September 5, 2009 11:13:00 PM
WEST POINT -- The West Point High School football team had two weeks to think about letting its opening-week game against Shannon slip away in the final minute.
The Green Wave had a bye in week two, used the time to correct their mistakes, and went out Friday and got back on track with a 24-6 victory against Columbus.
"The last two weeks were great practices," West Point coach Chris Chambless said. "Nobody was complaining and everybody was humble and working hard. I am glad to get this win behind us so now we can focus on the rest of the season."
The Green Wave (1-1) totaled 242 yards on offense, including 177 yards rushing.
West Point standout and Mississippi State commitment Michael Carr only touched the ball nine times but accounted for 161 all-purpose yards, including a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown following the Falcons'' only score of the game.
Green Wave quarterback Justin Cox had 102 yards of offense and completed 5 of 8 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. He rushed eight times for 37 yards and a score.
Fullback Xavier Hogan paced the Green Wave with 71 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.
Carr caught three passes for 26 yards, while tight end Michael Bush turned his only grab into a 35-yard touchdown.
West Point came out of the gate hungry, driving 64 yards on 10 plays. A 5-yard run by Cox on a quarterback draw up the middle capped the drive. Kwame Williams'' extra point was no good.
The Green Wave added another score on their first drive of the second quarter. Facing third-and-10 from the Columbus 35, Cox found Bush on a drag route across the middle for the first down, but Bush turned it up the left sideline for the score.
The two point conversion was no good to give West Point a 12-0 halftime lead.
A re-energized Columbus offense took the opening kickoff of the second half and cut the lead in half. The Falcons marched 69 yards on a 13-play drive and reached the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Cedric Jackson to Randy Brown.
Jaquille White blocked the extra point attempt to make it 12-6.
Carr shifted the momentum right back to the Green Wave on the ensuing kickoff.
He caught the kick on the run at the West Point 8 and blew past the kick coverage en route to a 92-yard touchdown.
"I''ve never been so confident to take a run back," Carr said. "I was really confident and just said I was about to take this back. The next thing I know I hit the hole hard and kept going and didn''t stop running."
Hogan added the final Green Wave touchdown, plowing in from 1 yard out on the first play of the fourth quarter.
West Point appeared to have added another score when Jeremy Cannon picked off a Jackson pass and returned it 64 yards, but the play was waved off by a penalty.
Defensive tackle Curtis Virges paced the Green Wave defense with 12 tackles, including 3 1/2 for loss.
Columbus (1-2) managed just 109 yards on offense (93 yards rushing).
"Physically we are as good as West Point," Columbus coach Bubba Davis said. "Mentally we just aren''t where we need to be. Our kids have no idea how good they can really be. The last two weeks we''ve gotten beat by two good football teams, and if your take four or five plays out of the last two ballgames we could be sitting here at 3-0.
"As hard as we''ve tried to impress that on them they really just don''t understand that. They''ve lost so long that it''s tough for them to deal with. If we can overcome that we can play with anybody on the field."
Damian Baker led the Falcons with 58 yards on 13 carries, while Jackson was 2 of 11 for 16 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Brown hauled in both passes for 16 yards and a score.
The Falcons will have a week off to prepare for 2008 Class 3A state champion Louisville on Sept. 18, while West Point will travel to Starkville on Friday.