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Chargers crash Wave again, head to state again

Jared Redding

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OXFORD – The West Point High Green Wave knew before the season started that the road to the state championship game ran through Oxford. They were heading that way until they drove straight into a wall, also known as the Charger defense.

The Chargers knocked off the Green Wave 35-7 in Friday night’s MHSAA Class 5A state semifinals game.  With the win, the Chargers advance to their third straight state championship game.  This time, the Chargers will have hometown advantage, playing at Ole Miss’ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, about four miles away from Bobby Holcomb Field.   

“We’re at home,” said OHS head coach Johnny Hill, who is in his last season at the helm before retiring. 

OHS senior quarterback Jack Abraham had a great performance just like he did earlier in the year against the Green Wave.  Abraham completed 23 of his 32 passes for 308 yards and threw for three touchdowns.   

Ken Presley led all receivers with nine catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns.  

“I knew that I was going to get an opportunity because they were going to double cover D.K. (Metcalf), so I had to make plays and it just worked out well,” Presley said.

D.K. Metcalf had six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.  Jimmy Greaser and recent Louisiana Tech commit Zach Cousar combined for five catches and 45 yards.

Hiram Wadlington had 16 carries, 78 yards, and two touchdowns on the ground.

Since the 50-28 loss that the Green Wave suffered against the Chargers earlier in the season, the Green Wave offense averaged 43 points a game in the eight games that ensued.  The Charger defense held the Green Wave offense in check this time around, only allowing one touchdown scored by the Wave’s Chris Calvert.

“We came in this week just wanting to put the fight on them and show them (West Point) that we weren’t going to back down from a fight,” Chargers senior defensive end Korbin Harmon said.

Three Charger defenders had tackle numbers in double figures: D.Q. Thomas with 15, Dee Fair with 12, and Tias Hilliard with 11.  Jack Turner and Devin Rockette were almost there, both finishing with nine tackles. 

Hilliard had the Chargers’ only turnover, an interception in the first quarter.

Extra Points

Turning Point:

At the half, the Chargers had a slim 14-7 lead.  The Green Wave had a chance to tie the game when they received the football to start the second half.  On a long drive with 8:07 left in the third quarter, the Green Wave were faced with fourth down.  The Green Wave were unable to convert, and the Chargers stole momentum.  The Chargers scored 21 points and allowed no more points after the fourth-down stop.

Playmaker:

Presley couldn’t be contained by the Green Wave’s secondary earlier in the year. Two months later, Presley still was not contained.  Presley received the Chargers’ only two touchdowns in the first two quarters.  Presley was also patient with his blocks, allowing him to get more yards after a catch.

Talking Point:

“The past two years, we haven’t stepped up in the big games; we always folded,” Metcalf said about the previous two trips to the state championship game.  “I believe this is our time.”

Notes:

  • The Chargers have outscored their opponents in the North half championship game the last three years by a combined total of 106-21.
  • With this win, the Chargers have beaten the Green Wave five straight times, including the regular season and postseason
  • The Chargers will take on the Wayne County War Eagles in the MHSAA Class 5A State Championship game Saturday night.
  • The Chargers and War Eagles last played each other in 2003, in the state championship game, when both teams were in Class 4A. The War Eagles won that game, 30-3.

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Chargers crash Wave again, head to state again