OXFORD — It was supposed to have been one of the most anticipated championship games of the weekend.
It ended up being a one-sided yet again for West Point.
With the potent rushing attack and fierce defense the Green Wave ran past Hattiesburg 41-15 to claim the MHSAA Class 5A state championship at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday night to cap an undefeated season.
It is West Point’s second straight Class 5A state title and ninth state title overall.
“This team is highly self motivated, and hardly any distractions this and these guys came to work everyday and had a lot of fun doing it. This was a special group of seniors and I’ll miss them,” said West Point coach Chris Chambless. “West Point has pressure to win every year from the city and when we’re doing well the city is smiling.”
One of those seniors is running back Marcus Murphy.
Murphy, a Mississippi State commit, would finish the night with 226 yards rushing on 23 carries with four touchdowns and also had 81 yards passing to lead West Point (15-0).
“This was my last game with my brothers and we wanted to go out with bang and we did it,” Murphy said. “I been with these guys since the seventh grade and enjoyed every second of it. First time ever a team from West Point went undefeated in a season.”
Murphy’s four touchdown runs came from 15, 53, 37 and 16 yards out.
His counter part, Chris Calvert had 103 yards rushing on 19 carries with two touchdowns.
His runs came from 4 and 13 yards out.
“It was great experience to go back to back and it’s so special,” Calvert said. “When we won it last year that next Monday we were in the weight room working to get back here and it paid off.”
The stingy West Point defense held the potent Hattiesburg offense to just 48 yards rushing. The Tigers came in averaging 233 yards per game on the ground.
“We knew they had athletes and could go on offense,” said West Point linebacker Terence Cherry. “We had to tackle and pursuit to the ball.”
The motto for West Point is games are won and loss in the offseason. So the Green Wave will quickly aim for their tenth state title.
“I’m already getting stressed out about next year just because we are losing a lot of guys,” Chambless said. “We got a process that we run and will continue to do it. We will have a lot of new faces out on the field next year but the mentality will be the same.”
Jarod Conner had 248 yards passing and scored on two rushing touchdowns to lead Hattiesburg. His touchdown runs came from 2 and 6 yards out for the Tigers (14-1).