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Wildcats face No. 8 Picayune

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Oct. 10, 2003
The Meridian High School football team (4-2) has been preparing for its opponent tonight since the start of the season, the players just didn't know it.
Heck, even head coach Ed Stanley didn't realize it until he began to break down film to prepare for the Wildcats' road contest against the No. 8-ranked Picayune High School Maroon Tide (5-1).
Picayune's offensive attack is led by running back Justin McGee.
The Maroon Tide tailback rushed for over 1,800 yards last season, and he runs behind a powerful offensive line.
Meridian High will counter Picayune's ground attack with a potent running game of its own.
The Wildcats one-two punch of senior Cordae Campbell and sophomore Cordera Eason racked up 223 yards on the ground against Natchez last week.
Eason carried the ball just five times and scored on runs of six, 47, 11 and 44 yards, and Campbell tallied one touchdown, while carrying the ball 11 times for 108 yards.
On defense, the Maroon Tide have a similar scheme to the Wildcats. Picayune allows very few running seams, and it pushes players to the outside of the field.
Linebacker Brandon Walls leads the Maroon Tide's defense, and Eric Griffin and Matt Roberts anchor the team's defensive line.
Picayune has shut out four opponents this season, and the defense hasn't allowed a point in the Maroon Tide's last three games.
With the two teams so similar on offense and defense, Stanley said he thinks the contest will be decided by the kicking game and which squad