October 2, 2012 4:28:25 PM
West Point players and coaches are aiming for a return to the Class 5A state championship game.
To return to that place, the Green Wave understands the importance of a strong run through Class 5A, Region 1 play.
West Point improved to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in region play with last Friday's 49-14 region win at Hernando. The Green Wave leads the league, allowing 15 points per game to opposing teams.
"We know how important it is to play at home in the playoffs," West Point senior quarterback Tez Lane said. "We have tried to take it to another level in region play. We lost some tough games early and that really prepared us for the rest of our season."
West Point won back-to-back state championships in 2009 and 2010. The Green Wave took a slight step backward with last season's 8-5 finish."
"Our fans expect us to play for the state championship," said West Point junior running back Aeris Williams, who ran for three scores in the win over Hernando. "Anything less is a disappointment. This is why it is so special to play around here.
"We know the region games are important. If you have to get those to get in the playoffs."
West Point will look for a 3-0 region start Friday night when it plays host to Clarksdale. A year ago, the Green Wave won 37-19 at Clarksdale.
Oxford (6-0 overall) and Saltillo (5-1) join West Point atop the region standings, each with 2-0 marks. West Point visits Saltillo Oct. 12 and hosts Oxford Oct. 26.
"There is a lot of football left to be played but we are excited about our 2-0 start," West Point coach Chris Chambless said. "We had one slip-up in region play last year and it cost us the region championship. Being in the top two is critical so that you host in the first round. Obviously, the goal is to be No. 1. That gives you your best chance in the playoffs."