Green Wave host Commodores in second round of 5A playoffs

West Point running back Jimothy Mays looks for running room during an earlier game this season. (Photo by Jason Cleveland, DTL file)
Hunter Cloud
Daily Times Leader

West Point head football coach Chris Chambless is anxious to see how much his team has improved.

It’s something that he preaches all season.

Tonight will provide just the measuring stick for Chambless in seeing where the Green Wave stand.

In the second round of the Class 5A playoffs, West Point takes on a familiar opponent as Lafayette comes to town.

The last time Green Wave played against the Commodores was a hard fought 28-24 comeback win in the first Region 1 game of the season. West Point rallied in the fourth quarter underneath the lights in Oxford.
Chambless believes his team has improved since the last time it played Lafayette almost two months ago.

“Each week the goal is to get better, even now,” Chambless said. “I expect it to be a hard fought smash-mouth football game. They were very physical up front, both sides of the ball. We are too. Games are won and lost in the trenches.”

Controlling the point of attack is so important for the Green Wave to not only establish their run game, which has averaged 267.8 rushing yards a game, but also to defend against the run. The West Point defense has only given up 14.46 points per game.

Chambless said they preach winning the battle up front.

“If you win the battle up front, you can run the ball,” Chambless said. ”If you can win the battle up front on defense, you can stop people. That is our goal.”

The offensive and defensive lines operate like a military unit battling side by side in the trenches. The playing together mentality is something that is coached and put into practice on the football field as each lineman has to play the best they can to help the team win.

“There is no one up there better than the other,” Chambless said. “It is everyone doing their job. All of them have to be doing their job for us to be successful. Our guys are playing pretty well.”

Physicality is learned in the summer heat as the Green Wave develop a mindset in the offseason.

Chambless said that his players love physicality.

Every season Chambless said that he knows how good of a season West Point will have based on how it does in the offseason. That hard work and physicality make an impact on the game now.

“The most physical team, that is the team who is going to dominate,” Chambless said. “This Friday night you have two very physical teams going up against each other. We have to do a great job of winning the battle up front, controlling the line of scrimmage, not turning the ball over and tackling well.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in West Point and if tonight’s rematch is anything like the last contest, it will be a close game and one where the Green Wave will need their fan’s support.

“I urge the community to come out and support us,” Chambless said.