Starkville dominates Meridian High, 24-0
By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Sept. 8, 2001
STARKVILLE Second-ranked Starkville had to go without starting quarterback DeAngelo Dantzler for all but two series of their game with visiting Meridian here Friday night at Yellow Jacket Stadium.
Starkville, however, found an able replacement in wide receiver Willie Lee. Lee tossed three touchdown passes to lead the Yellow Jackets past Meridian 24-0. The loss drops Meridian to 0-2 on the season while Starkville moves to 2-0 following two dominating wins.
Meridian could generate very little offense against an active Starkville front seven. The Wildcats tried four different quarterbacks but could manage only 73 yards in total offensive. Starkville's defense has yet to give up a point this season.
Meridian's defense did its best in trying to keep the Wildcats in the game. The unit forced three second half fumbles giving the Wildcat offense field position inside the Starkville 30.
But with each break, the Wildcats were turned away either by Starkville's solid defense or inopportune mistakes.
Trailing 10-0, Meridian's Jeremy Campbell recovered a Starkville fumble at the Yellow Jacket 37. The Wildcats picked up six yards behind their second quarterback of the game in Richmond Alexander.
On fourth down from the 31, Alexander was stopped for a yard loss by Starkville's Shawn Johnson and Web Waters.
Following an exchange of punts, Starkville drove 55 yards in five plays to take better command of the game. A 15-yard late hit penalty on Meridian helped set up Lee's 24-yard TD toss to Tee Milons with 5:29 left in the third quarter. Zack Bost's kick made it 17-0.
The game's final score came early in the fourth quarter when Lee hit Mauriel Triplett on 26-yard touchdown pass. Post's kick made it 24-0 with 10:17 left.
Meridian's Ryan Kimborough would recover the Wildcats' second Starkville fumble, this one at the Yellow Jacket 23. The Wildcats picked up a first down but then a 15-yard offensive pass interference penalty stopped
the drive. Leslie Rush's 48-yard field goal fell short.
Meridian's best chance to score came with under two minutes to go. The Wildcats got a third fumble recovery at the Starkville 20. Two runs by Ken Mitts pushed the ball to the one. But an illegal shift call backed the
Wildcats up five and they could not overcome the mistake.
Starkville broke out to a 7-0 lead following a shanked punt following the game's opening series by Meridian. Lee hit Milons on a post-corner on the Jackets' first play of the game, a 25-yard touchdown pass. Post's kick made it 7-0 with 9:40 left in the quarter.
Post hit a 39-yard field goal with one second left in the half to make it 10-0.
Meridian was held to just 64 yards rushing and nine passing. Fred Patton had 28 yards on seven carries while Cardae Campbell had 22 off nine.
Lee was four of 12 passing for 87 yards and three TDs. Milons caught two passes for 49 yards and two TDs. Dantzler was two of five for 31 yards and had 39 yards rushing before leaving with a sore shoulder and ribs.