October 7, 2018 2:00:37 AM
By Will Nations
Special to the Dispatch
WEST POINT - West Point High's Kameron Martin dashed untouched as he eased through a wide-open hole created by his offensive line. He soon made a Lake Cormorant Gator miss and kept on going down the field. It was a 19-yard carry, the very first of the game.
Brandon Harris got behind his pads and bruised his ways in short bursts. Jaylun Eggerson and Jimothy Mays also got plenty of yards after contact. Danteriyus Cannon added the explosive carries on jet sweeps.
The West Point running backs had statement runs where they left defenders stranded in their wake and kept the chains moving down the field. It was the status quo on West Point's Homecoming night.
Brandon Harris led the ground attack with three rushing scores, and the Green Wave defense played another outstanding performance in a 47-7 win in Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Region 1, Class 5A action Friday night at Hamblin Stadium.
"We did a great job of blocking and using those blocks to open up our running backs," West Point coach Chris Chambless said. "The offensive line and running backs have been waiting for a game like tonight. It was important to get that group on track."
West Point had waited since the season opener for its stable of running backs to finally catch a rhythm as the green and white ground attack looked unstoppable. The Green Wave rushed for 324 yards on 40 carries. It was the first since the season's first game against Columbus High that West Point gained more than 300 rushing yards.
The Green Wave scored six times on 11 offensive series. All six drives were completed on runs.
"Everything is based on the offensive line," Harris said. "We were able to find the way through the holes. It was a blessing to score three touchdowns tonight."
Seven backs touched the football at least once against the Gators and helped compose an 8-yard rushing average. Between the four main running backs, Cannon led the attack with 84 yards, Martin had 53, Mays tallied 41 and Harris notched 40. Reco Bailey, in the fourth quarter, had two carries for 67 yards and touchdown.
"It was a big night, and we ran hard," Martin said. "The offensive line did a great job of blocking. We got the job done.
"We are dangerous because we have a lot of guys that can run," Martin added. "We are so versatile. Everyone has a different running styles which helps spread the ball around."
West Point's first offense series was strictly run, resulting in 6 plays and a touchdown. Kameron Martin opened the series with a 19-yard carry. Dantariyus Cannon added a 15-yard sprint, and Harris did the rest with three runs of 6, 10, and 3 yards.
Martin added a touchdown run in the first half, which assisted the Green Wave to a 33-0 halftime advantage. Cannon scored a 16-yard touchdown on a jet sweep during the third.
The defense continued its dominating stretch of play. West Point contained the Gators to negative-3 rushing yards. Jaylen Cungious and Donte Smith collected three combined sacks - two and one, respectively.
The defensive unit also collected four turnovers - three interceptions and one fumble. Ryan Melton and Kentavious McMillian ended Lake Cormorant scoring threats, and Brandon Lairy turned an interception into a 50-yard touchdown return. West Point's fumble recovery set up Harris' second touchdown.
"Everyone on defense knows they play important role," Chambless said. "We did a good job of forcing turnovers and taking advantage of the mistakes."
Lake Cormorant added its score late in the game. The Gators marched 78 yards in eight plays, which included seven passes. JJ Daniel, who had the only positive rushing yards for the Gators, scored the lone touchdown on a 4-yard run.
West Point (6-1, 3-0) has won 23 consecutive Region 1-5A games. The stretch in the coming two weeks is difficult as the Green Wave travel two straight weeks against an undefeated Olive Branch and Grenada, which has challenged West Point in recent seaons.
"Win," Harris said. "We know everyone considers us a 'power house', we just know we have to win when we step on the field."
1. Heritage Academy turns tables on Starkville Academy in 21-7 victory HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Redshirt sophomore guard Allen leaves MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
4. No. 22 Bulldogs know what to expect from No. 5 Tigers COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Full-time load pushes MSU's Price closer to return COLLEGE SPORTS