November 8, 2009 12:34:00 AM
WEST POINT -- After routing its fourth opponent in a row, the West Point High School football team is ready for its first challenge of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North Half State playoffs.
"We just want to take care of business each week, regardless what the competition is," West Point coach Chris Chambless said
West Point completed a 7-0 district march Friday night with a 37-7 victory against Hernando.
The Green Wave (10-1) have outscored their last four opponents 135-15, but Chambless said his team is ready for whatever competition the playoffs will bring.
First up will be Canton, the No. 4 team in Region 2, on Nov. 13 in West Point.
"I haven''t seen them on film. I haven''t heard anything about them," Chambless said. "I know they''ve got a good running back."
A strong running game will benefit Canton at Hamblin Stadium in West Point. Rainy conditions have turned the Green Wave''s field into a big, squishy mess, which has wreaked havoc on their past two opponents.
Hernando coach Anthony Jenkins said his team wasn''t able to implement its game plan due to West Point''s bayou.
"We thought we would be a little more competitive than we showed," Jenkins said. "The field conditions weren''t the best. That kind of threw us off a little bit because we''re really not a running football team."
Hernando had several good opportunities to complete passes with West Point''s safeties out of position, but senior quarterback Martin Walsh (5-for-18, 53 yards) sailed multiple throws beyond the reach of his receivers.
"He hasn''t been doing that," Jenkins said. "It looked like he was rushing himself. He just wasn''t throwing the football to where the receivers had a chance to catch it."
The lack of offense -- Hernando managed 159 yards -- gave West Point''s rushing attack multiple opportunities to make plays, which it did.
The Green Wave had four rushing touchdowns despite running for a combined 163 yards. Senior Xavier Hogan (six carries, 29 yards) struck in the first quarter on a 1-yard run. Quarterback Justin Cox, junior tailback Jacoby Lee (four carries, 30 yards), and senior wide receiver Michael Carr each added rushing touchdowns in the second quarter.
Carr found the end zone twice in the second quarter, the second time on a 22-yard strike from Cox.
A 28-yard Kwame Williams field goal capped the Green Wave''s scoring in the fourth quarter.
Hernando''s starting offense finally scored in the fourth quarter when Brandon Dennis banged his way in from 2 yards out against the second-string defense.
"Unfortunately, B-team defense didn''t hold up at the end," Chambless said. "But they got some good experience."
Senior defensive lineman and Mississippi State signee Curtis Virges paced the defense with three sacks.
Cox was 6 of 12 for 126 yards and a touchdown. Junior tailback LaKenderic Thomas added 43 yards on eight carries.
1. Pickens Academy's Colvin will play softball at ICC HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. EMCC wins Mississippi Bowl COLLEGE SPORTS
3. EMCC football team finishes No. 2 in nation COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU will play Miami (Ohio) in St. Petersburg Bowl COLLEGE SPORTS
5. It's all in attitude for West Point HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS