The Rock at Southern Miss

(Photo by southernmiss.com)

West Point comes into the championship game Saturday riding a wave of back-to-back state titles and 11 straight wins this season. The Green Wave (13-1) dropped a decision to Starkville in Week 3 but haven’t lost since, surviving one-point wins over Olive Branch and Lafayette along the way. They average 35 points per game and allow 12.5.

West Jones (12-2) is putting up 29 points per contest and giving up only 8.8 as it brings a six-game winning streak to The Rock. The Mustangs have a more balanced offense — passing for 147 and running for 133 per outing.

But despite the mascot name, it’s West Point that has the stable of running backs. The Green Wave pounds the ball for 275 rushing yards per game with a trio of solid running backs — Brandon Harris (162 carries, 1,105 yards, 18 TDs), Kameron Martin (112-750-16) and Dantariyus Canon (85-875-5). 

They’ll be lining up against a front four of SEC-quality players from WJ who all have double-digit tackles for losses, led by Alabama-bound Byron Young (29.5), Jon Micah Coleman (18), Damion “Big Country” Cunningham (16.5) and Detorurean Crosby (13). Antonie Kirk leads the team with eight interceptions and Evan Pitts has five.

WP quarterback Jake Chambless passes for only 89 yards per game. The senior is 75-for-149 for 1,072 yards, 11 TDs and eight interceptions on the season. His favorite targets are Shun Crawford (24 catches, 446 yards, 6 TDs) and Treddis Anderson (9 catches, 193 yards, 4 TDs). He is the son of West Point head coach Chris Chambless.

WJ sophomore QB Alan Follis has become an efficient passer and runner, completing 128 of 209 passes for 1,710 yards, 14 TDs to only four picks. He has also run the ball 88 times for 361 yards and six scores. His go-to targets are Kirk (49 catches, 773 yards, 2 TDs), Jalen Graham (20 catches, 324 yards, 7 TDs) and Tajrick Randolph (26 carries, 442 yards, 4 TDs).

The Mustangs’ top two runners are juniors Jasper Jones (112 carries, 504 yards, 7 TDs) and Micheal Neal (123 carries, 608 yards, 4 TDs).

West Jones also has a weapon on the tee, with Ole Miss commit Walker Thompson showing the ability to flip the field with his punts and put points on the board with his kicks. He has made 41 of 48 extra-point attempts and he has split the uprights with 14 of 21 field-goal attempts, including a long of 47 yards.

For West Point, Jose Lemus is 59-of-67 on PATS and 2-of-4 on field goals, with a long of 28 yards.

The Green Wave has won a total of nine state titles, second only to South Panola’s 11.

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