WEST POINT — The West Point High School football team scored 35 second-quarter points, and Aeris Williams and Dequinten Spraggins each scored a pair of touchdowns to lead the Green Wave to a 56-20 win against New Hope on Friday night.
West Point (7-4, 6-1 Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1) finishes the regular season as region runner-up and will face Neshoba Central in the first round of the North State playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday.
Six players scored for the Green Wave, who got a game-opening 85-yard kick return for a touchdown from Williams and a 36-yard interception return from R.J. Tallie in the first half.
Tez Pulliam led the Green Wave with 89 yards on six carries. West Point ran for more than 300 yards.
“We want to control the line of scrimmage and both sides of the ball,” West Point coach Chris Chambless said. “That’s the goal every week.”
New Hope, which was held under 50 rushing yards, answered West Point’s opening score with an 80-yard touchdown pass from Brady Davis and DeAngelo Hamilton.
But the Trojans (4-7, 2-5) punted on their next three drives and lost a fumble on the fourth, falling behind 28-6. Derek Pierce returned a fumble for an 18-yard touchdown to cut West Point’s lead to 28-12.
From there, the rout was on.
Two more punts and a handful miscues gave West Point three possessions inside New Hope territory. The Green Wave parlayed the position into three scores on eight plays to take a 49-12 halftime lead.
“We get the onside kick then had a couple of costly penalties that hurt us,” New Hope coach Michael Bradley said. “Instead of having a first down on a nice throw-and-catch, we had a couple penalties that put us in second-and-30. We punt, they go down and score, and that was it.
“We had a real young team this year, had a lot of guys starting for the first time. What we got to do now is re-group and get ready for next year.”
Once they fell behind, the Trojans stuck with the passing game and freshman Davis, who was 13 of 35 for 205 yards. He had one touchdown and one interception.
Playing one-dimensional, however, only made it more difficult for the Trojans, who had just 10 rushing yards at halftime.
“Not being able to run the football in several games this year hurt us, not just this one,” Bradley said. “If you’re gonna be successful in high school football, you’re gonna have to be able to run it consistently. That’s something we’ve got to work at in the offseason.”
Despite the landslide Senior Night win, Chambless rued his team’s two turnovers and failure to turn a pair of poor throws from Davis into interceptions, possibly touchdown returns.
“We still need to get a lot better,” Chambless said. “Blocking, tackling, the little things. Could we go to Jackson and win right now? Absolutely not. We’re gonna have to get a lot better in practice, get a lot more focused and make plays.
“We’re looking at a bunch of guys crying next week if we don’t take care of business. That starts now. We can’t celebrate. We start a new season, and we don’t celebrate until we make it to Jackson and try to win.”