• John Macon Gillespie

Coverage Recap: West Point 42 | Columbus 14

On a personal note, the 2017 high school season could not have started any better. I got to see the reigning 5A champions extend the 14-game winning streak to 15, on their home turn no less.

Before Columbus could find their footing in the contest, West Point senior tailback Chris Calvert carried the rock 67 yards for a score on the third play from scrimmage. From that point on, at least in the first half, it was firework show for the Green Wave.

On the following drive Marcus Murphy, after a few impressive runs early on, would score his first rushing touchdown of his senior campaign. Then after that he tossed a 52-yard score to tight end Sema’j Harris.

The Falcon defense, a physically impressive overall unit, was stunned. Three drives, three touchdowns. It was as if the Greenies had run right out of Davis-Wade stadium last December and ran right into the new season. Whether it was Murphy or Calvert, West Point got it done on the ground in the first quarter.

Throughout the early portion of the game, and really all throughout, West Point was stifling and ferocious defensively. Terence Cherry, Javlon Webb and Ledarius Glover were a few of the standouts on the defensive line. Senior linebacker Xavier Fair was also quick to the ball, and he cleaned up what the big guys missed. It was hard to get a look at the secondary due to the constant pressure the front seven applied to the Columbus offensive backfield.

Calvert scored early in the second quarter, one of three rushing scores in the period, and one of his two. Thats right, West Point scored five times on the ground in the first half alone.

In the second half things calmed down. The home team continued to have success, but took their foot off the pedal.

However, a 34-yard completion from junior quarterback Laterius Stowers to Kenneth Martin midway through the third quarter set up an eventual rushing score by Derrick Jordan on third and goal.

Later on, in the fourth quarterback, Stowers would run another one in from nine yards out. All in all, Stowers showed flashes the few times there weren’t a host of green shirts in his face.

This game came down to physicality, something West Point has often used to win over the course of the last 15 games, and history for that matter.

The Green Wave are nasty up front on defense, and they whipped a Columbus offensive line that, frankly, has impressive size.

Defensively speaking, same story. The Falcons have size, athleticism and skill, but a smaller West Point offensive line took it to them. That allowed the speed of Murphy and the elusiveness of Calvert to shine.

Additionally, junior quarterback Jake Chambless told me when he was warming up for the second half. He said West Point had constructed a gameplan that featured more passing than they showed. He feels that when the time comes that West Point has to use the pass more this season, that it can be a big asset. Pretty scary to think about. Especially when you consider how good Jason Brownlee is as a pass catcher on the outside. Brownless snatched up the few passes thrown his direction in impression fashion last night.

Before I breakdown the Player of the Game, though, I have to give the Falcons credit. Randal Montgomery’s team has talent and size. I can assure you they will figure it out, and it will click for them at some point this season. When that happens, watch out.

Stowers is big, strong and can zip the ball into tight spaces. Patrick Jackson is explosive with the ball in his hands. Kenneth Martin is tall, fast and physical, which allows him to help at receiver and on special teams. Josh Gray and Isaiah Karriem are two guys with excellent size on the Falcon defense.

Player of the Game:

Chris Calvert

When the talented running back is lined up beside Marcus Murphy, things get real for the Green Wave. Last season showed that Murphy is better when Calvert is with him. Following the game Calvert told me thats a bond they’ve been building and working on since they were young.

Last season Calvert missed eight games due to injury. He was healthy in time for the playoffs and helped the Wave win a title. He picked back up where he left off on Friday night, with scoring runs of 67 yards, 7 yards and 28 yards.

#WestPoint #Columbus #JohnLukeMcCord

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