No. 2 – West Point vs. South Panola

Sports Reporter

Daily Times Leader continues its countdown of West Point's Top 5 Games of the 2014 football season today. The Green Wave made its 14th consecutive playoff berth last season, finishing with a 9-5 overall record. West Point was the No. 3 seed in Region 1-5A behind No. 2 New Hope and back-to-back champions Oxford. Head Coach Chris Chambless and his team defeated Germantown High School in the opening round of the postseason before falling to Class 5-A runner-up Oxford. The Wave opens this season against Louisville High School at 7 p.m. on Aug. 28 in Louisville.

NO. 2: Friday's game recap highlights West Point's 14-10 loss to South Panola in second week of the 2014 season.

THE FACTS: South Panola used a blocked punt and a Tyler Pogue 57-yard pass, which both led to Darrell Henderson rushing touchdowns, including the go-ahead 14-yard run with 3:55 remaining, to overcome two West Point leads for a 14-10 win Thursday, Aug. 28 at McCallister Field in West Point. Green Wave senior Quincy Starks started the game with a touchdown, returning the opening kickoff 78 yards. Omar Lemus, the senior place-kicker, nailed a 24-yard field goal, giving West Point a 10-7 lead with six minutes left. 

THE STATS: West Point's defense was outstanding against the prolific Tigers. A game between two Mississippi juggernauts, the Wave's defense went blow for blow against the eventual MHSAA Class-6A State Champions. The Tigers crossed the 50-yard line three times in four quarters and were held to 214 total offensive yards after posting 447 yards in the opening week of the season.
Though West Point's defense was a brick wall, the offense found a brick wall that wore red and blue. Unable to do much against the Tiger defense, West Point was forced to go to the air, throwing three interceptions. The third interception ended the green and white's final offensive drive of the game.

WHAT THEY SAID: West Point Head Coach Chris Chambless – “We said before the game it was going to come to the wire. We need to grow in character and learn how to stay up when things are not going our way. Our kids played their hearts out, and it is going to hurt.”
South Panola Head Coach Lance Pogue – “Both teams played their guts out tonight. It came down to who was going to make the last play or have that last defensive stand. West Point is a hard-fighting team and has a lot of guts. I am really proud of my guys, too.”

WHY THIS GAME: It was the final game of a tremendous series between arguably the best football programs in Mississippi. The four-game stretch, which started in 2011, produced the top games of the early high school football season each year. I was fortunate enough to attend three of the four meetings (one prior to my tenure at Daily Times Leader) and listen to Bud Bowen's play-by-play call of the 2012 12-10 thriller between the pair in Batesville. With it being the last game, it was everything we wanted in 48 minutes. West Point and South Panola represent smash-mouth football, where hard knocks are plentiful and the ball remains on the ground with running attacks. It was consistently a bruising 12-round fight. Though West Point lost all four, it earned the respect of South Panola and vice versa. This match-up will be missed thoroughly.

THE NEXT MEETING: There does not look to be any future meetings between the Wave and Tigers. West Point continues to play in Class-5A, while South Panola is the dominant force in Class-6A. Would I like to see another meeting between the two at some point? HECK YES!

Check back tomorrow for No. 1 on the list. In case you missed No. 3 on this countdown follow this link ---> Follow Will Nations on Twitter @NationsSports.