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Rain doesn't stop Wildcats

By Staff
ON THE RUN – Meridian's Anthony Brown (13) sets his sights up field with Fred Patton (22) in tow during Friday night's game. PHOTO BY CARISA MCCAIN / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
May 18, 2002
Not even rain, thunder or even a little tornado could stop Meridian High's spring game Friday night against Jackson Callaway.
A strong thunderstorm dumped a lot of rain and may have produced a small tornado within the Meridian city limits, but football went on after the storm cell passed following a 20-minute delay.
Once things got started, the new Meridian High coaching staff under Ed Stanley got an eyeful in the nearly two-hour, 20-minute workout. The first three quarters were straight football. The last quarter and subsequent plays thereafter were devoted to B-team and special goal-line scrimmage work.
As for the game-part, Meridian came away with a 12-0 win. The outing debuted the Wildcats' new spread offensive attack.
Quarterback Ken Mitts led the Wildcats on a 75-yard touchdown drive on the game's initial series. The touchdown came on a 31-yard TD pass to J.B. Byrd who took a ball away from a Callaway defender and rumbled into the endzone.
That was the lone offensive score on the night. Callaway drove down to the Wildcat five on their first series but were stopped on downs.
A second Charger possession reached the Meridian 13 in the second quarter but an interception by Kevin Moore ended the threat.
The game's only other score came with 6.9 seconds left in the second period. Callaway was backed to its own five-yard line. They attempted a pass out of their own endzone.
The Wildcats swarmed the receiver assuring at least a safety. But on the hit, the ball popped loose and Thomas Smith pounced on the fumble for the touchdown.
Stanley was pretty pleased with the evening, except for the storm.
The former South Panola head coach who won a state 5A title there, saw some good things from his new team.
As for the Wildcat defense, they held Callaway without a score. The Chargers also had only 114 yards in total offense including just 34 rushing.
The 37-yard pass play on the Chargers first play of scrimmage was their longest gain of the night.
Another player cited who made the biggest improvement during the spring was Joshua Clark.
Callaway head coach Gary Anderson was pleased with his team's work.
Meridian's offense produced 224 yards with 128 coming through the air. Mitts was 5 of 9 passing for 94 yards. Byrd caught two passes for 53 yards. Fred Patton had 68 yards rushing off nine carries. Back-up quarterback A.J. Brown had 25 yards rushing including a 38-yard scramble in the second quarter

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