Jackets shut down by Green Wave

Starkville's Tonorris Brookins II (7)
Staff Writer

It had been a full season that West Point players and their coach Chris Chambless had the 2017 Starkville game circled.

On Friday night, the Green Wave emphatically got their revenge.

They scored three-straight touchdowns in the third quarter and shut down Starkville’s offense for four quarters on the way to a 28-3 win in the rivalry game.

“We didn’t play well enough and we didn’t coach well enough," Starkville coach Chris Jones said. "We’ve got to get better. (West Point) came out here and whipped our butts. We’ll be OK, though. I found out a lot about my team. We’ve been high strung, I guess you can say, and sometimes you need some of that humble pie.”

The Yellowjackets were without star running back Rodrigues Clark recuperating from a knee injury and starting left tackle Kameron Jones, who sat the first three quarters after being ejected in the Oxford game. West Point took advantage.

Mississippi State commit Marcus Murphy led the way for the Wave with his 20 carries, 161 yards and three touchdowns proving too much to handle.

“This was a big game for us and our community," Murphy said. "It doesn’t do anything for our district, but it’s a huge rivalry game. I can’t let my team down, I’ve got to carry them and that’s what I did.”

Following a rain shower that came through West Point before the game, the conditions were ripe for the traditional hard-hitting rivalry.

The defenses ruled the first quarter with Starkville holding the early 3-0 lead, but then Murphy happened.

The Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen selection took the football out of the Wildcat formation and dared the Jackets to tackle him. They didn’t succeed.

Murphy scored on three-straight possessions with runs of 36, 33 and 14 and the Green Wave took advantage in the second quarter. By halftime, the home team was up 21-3 and Starkville was in the locker room back to the drawing board.