Green Wave take short trip to Columbus to open season

The West Point Green Wave take the field at Davis Wade Stadium (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)
Staff Writer

It’s a Golden Triangle special to kick off the 2018 football season tonight.

The West Point Green Wave will venture out of Clay County into Lowndes County to take on the Columbus Falcons at Columbus High School stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

West Point is coming off a 27-13 victory over the defending Class 3A north champions of North Panola in a two-quarter jamboree scrimmage at Mississippi State’s Davis Wade Stadium.

Although the execution and organization wasn’t always what he wanted to see from his Green Wave, head coach Chris Chambless was happy to see the usual effort.

The opportunity to play in the jamboree gave Chambless and company a better idea of where the Green Wave stand.

“I knew we would get great effort from our guys,” Chambless said. “You can only get game ready by playing games and hopefully (the jamboree got) some jitters out of the guys.”

Just as it was with Marcus Murphy last season, it appears West Point is going to be capable of getting big plays out of the running game this season.

Jimothy Mays had a 44-yard burst for a score in the jamboree, while Brandon Harris and Kameron Martin had touchdowns on shorter runs. Mays finished with 96 yards on the ground.

The Green Wave also got points from the passing game when quarterback Jake Chambless tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jaylun Eggerson. Chambless completed all four of his pass attempts for 55 yards.

Columbus, which defeated New Hope in jamboree action last Friday, has a new head coach in Starkville native Eric Rice. Rice is the nephew of National Football League Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice.

The Falcons have eight on offense and nine on defense returning from last year’s squad that went 2-9.

Rice likes the potential in Columbus.

“The guys work hard,” Rice said. “They're pretty disciplined in the things they do.  I'm really excited about where this program can go.”

The Green Wave beat the Falcons 42-14 at home last season on their way to their second-straight Class 5A State championship.

Coach Chambless said West Point has a proud tradition, but there is only one way to make sure that continues.

“We do things the right way, do things hard, do things consistently good and get better every day,” Chambless said. “Every team has a different personality and this team’s personality has great work ethic.”