Green Wave put clamps on ‘Cats

Hunter Cloud
For Daily Times Leader

The showdown between the West Point Green Wave and Louisville Wildcats on Friday night came down to one area.

Very early in the game, it was evident that the West Point defense had come to play.

The Green Wave forced 21 lost yards and also stopped a fake punt to take over the football at the 13-yard-line.

West Point head coach Chris Chambless said any time you can do that it is huge.

“It is great anytime your defense can do that, and we played well, but we made mistakes on both sides of the ball,” Chambless said.

Those mistakes didn’t cost the Green Wave as they went on to record a 26-10 home victory over the tough Wildcats.

After West Point opened the scoring with a field goal at the 7:14 mark of the first quarter, it got the offense going in the second quarter for the first touchdown of the game. Treddis Anderson, a junior tight end, caught a scoring pass on a 23-yard post route.

Anderson made an acrobatic catch to put the Wave up 10-0, and described the catch as one he had to grab and pin to his shoulder pads as he landed.

“I was running and all of a sudden, it went past my head, and I thought I wasn’t catching that,” Anderson said. “So I just dove and caught it right there (pointing to the left shoulder pad). It felt amazing. I thought I didn’t catch it at first.”

Anderson was at it again in the second half as he made another nifty grab at the 5-yard-line of Louisville that kept the drive alive for West Point and led to a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Kam Martin to make it a 17-3 game with 6:17 left to play in the third quarter.

Chambless said Anderson makes plays all the time in practice.

“He has been making plays for us in practice, and I knew it wasn’t going to be long before he started making plays like that,” Chambless said. “I knew it was coming. If you can just put the ball around him, and if I’m a betting man, I can bet he is going to get it. I would like to see what he can do after.”

The first play of the fourth quarter was a fake punt by the Wildcats stopped by the Green Wave, then West Point’s Dantariyus Cannon ran the ball up the middle and scored on a 56-yard rush to make it 24-3 lead for West Point.

Following a turnover on downs for Louisville and a fumble by West Point back to back, the Wave forced a safety to go up 26-3. Two more turnovers followed by both teams.

By that point, about 6 minutes of game clock had melted off in a turnover roller coaster.

“It’s tough,” Chambless said of the mistakes. “We are not known for turning it over, and getting cramps. We have got to do a better job of taking care of bodies. We may preach it all the time to take care of their bodies, stay hydrated, this and that, but they’re inexperienced and don’t know how important it is.”

Louisville scored on a 66- yard punt return with 3 seconds left in the game for the final points.

Chambless said the Wildcats were a tough football team so it was a well-deserved win for his team.

“They want to play hard teams, and (the Wildcats) are a good football team,” Chambless said. “We knew that all week. (We’ve just got) to execute on all phases of the game. It’s a good thing we know how far we can go now. We’ve got a lot of good potential and we can get a lot better. We don’t want to peak out.”