November 4, 2017 11:34:46 PM
WEST POINT -- Marcus Murphy was busy Friday night after the West Point High School football team's game against Lewisburg at McCallister Field.
Murphy shook hands and gave hugs to a swath of family, friends, and fans long after the final whistle. He even had time to take numerous pictures -- even with the opposing team -- on Senior Night.
Murphy wanted to savor the moment for as long as he could. It didn't matter that Murphy didn't need to play a big role in a 63-3 victory in West Point's regular-season finale. Murphy wanted to breathe in the humid November air. He wanted to capture all of the sights around him at a place where his dream of becoming a football player began.
"(This senior class) has been together since the seventh grade," Murphy said. "Knowing we are going to have to split after this season, it hurts. We're going to continue to play for each other throughout the remainder of this season."
The win helped West Point (11-0, 7-0 Region 1) complete a perfect regular season and set the stage for a home game next week against Callaway in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A playoffs.
"We practice every day to win each week," Murphy said. "We don't worry about the opponent, but we worry about winning. It has shown on the field."
West Point's senior class is accustomed to winning games. It started in the eighth grade when the group won the conference title. Since reaching the varsity level, the Class of 2018 has won 36 games and is riding a 24-game winning streak.
"It would be great to close out at West Point with another title," West Point wide receiver Jason Brownlee said. "These next weeks of the playoffs are going to be the most serious part of the season. We are definitely aiming for another state title."
With title in its sight, West Point's seniors would add another chapter to the program's already illustrious history. It would be the first time the Green Wave defended their title since the 2009 and 2010 season. Another title also would also mean the program's first-15-0 season.
"Like a lot of senior classes, these guys have given everything for each other and the community of West Point," West Point coach Chris Chambless said. "We know there is some historical significance surrounding this season. I think are guys are more focused on finishing the season."
West Point built a 21-point advantage midway through the first quarter. Chris Calvert and Murphy scored on runs of 7 and 15, respectively. Senior Travion Stennis returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown.
The Green Wave extended their lead to 28-3 after Cassius Walker rumbled into the end zone on a 7-yard score.
"We had some seniors score that have gotten the opportunity all season," Chambless said. "(Stennis and Walker) made it very special in the first quarter when they found the end zone."
In the second, Calvert added another rushing score. Nate Montgomery scored on a 4-yard run, and Brownlee caught a 19-yard scoring pass from Jake Chambless to help make it 49-3 at halftime.
Sophomore quarterback Gray Berry had a 6-yard strike to Jerni White. He added a 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
"I am glad we have the opportunity to play all our playoff games at home," Brownlee said. "We have excellent fans, and I know they will fill up the stands for us."
1. New Hope beats Leake Central to win Region 4-4A title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. New Hope's James signs with Itawamba C.C. HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. No. 2 MSU women play for outright SEC championship COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU Notebook: Schaefer back to normal for No. 2 Bulldogs COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Strong start leads MSU to rout of Ole Miss HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS