WEST POINT – Due to COVID and an early season open date, West Point's region opener against Lafayette on Friday night was just the second on-the-field game of the season for the Green Wave.
But the West Point defense proved to be in midseason form and led the Green Wave to a 17-0 blanking of Lafayette.
West Point held Lafayette without a first down for nearly three quarters and held the Commodores to just 95 total yards of offense, including just 15 in the first half.
"We got some good defensive coaches that do a good job for us," said head coach Chris Chambless. "Bottom line is, this group loves each other, they work hard and they're coachable. That's the main thing and these guys love to play.
"We have a very unselfish group and a lot of togetherness. They all respect each other and go to work together."
In the first half, it was typical West Point football, featuring a solid run game and a stingy defense. Sophomore Kahnen Daniels opened the scoring for the Green Wave with a seven yard touchdown run midway through the opening quarter.
West Point extended the lead to 14-0 thanks to a 69-yard touchdown scamper by Keshawn Henley late in the first half. The Green Wave held that same advantage at halftime and limited Lafayette to 15 total yards and zero first downs.
Alex Harper's 23-yard field goal was the lone scoring of the second half. But that was way more than West Point needed on this night.
"We just failed to execute early," said Lafayette head coach Michael Fair. "We came out flat and you can't do that against a team like that. West Point will expose you and they just whipped us. They just whipped us and that's the way it was.
"They nickel and dimed us and that is what West Point does. That is who they are and it didn't surprise us."
Turning Point: West Point junior running back Keshawn Henley reeled off a 69-yard touchdown with under three minutes left in the first half, giving the Green Wave a 14-0 lead.
Point Man: West Point's entire defense. The Green Wave did not allow a first down until the 1:24 mark of the third quarter and held Lafayette to just 15 yards in the first half.
Talking Point: "They just whipped us and that's the way it was." - Lafayette head coach Michael Fair.
• West Point leads the series 8-1 now with six straight wins over Lafayette.
• West Point running back Cameron Young had 81 yards rushing on Friday and has rushed for over 260 yards in the first two games.
• Lafayette failed to get a first down in the first half. The Commodores' initial first down of the game came with 1:24 left in the third quarter.