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MHS ready to take on Oak Grove

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Oct. 17, 2003
Meridian High School came within an angled field goal of completing step two of head football coach Ed Stanley's five-step plan of making a winning team beating a highly ranked opponent.
On a rain-drenched field, the Wildcats (3-3) battled the then No. 8-ranked Picayune Crimson Tide (6-1), currently ranked seventh, to a 14-all tie at the end of regulation.
Meridian High fumbled on its first play from scrimmage in overtime, but the defense kept Picayune out of the end zone on three tries forcing the home team to kick a field goal from the left hash mark.
Tide kicker Scott Hillary twisted an 18-yard field goal inside the left upright for a 17-14 overtime win over the Wildcats.
The loss was hard to swallow for the then No. 16-ranked Wildcats, but the defeat has also served as inspiration heading into tonight's contest against No. 3-ranked Oak Grove.
A strong week of practice is just one step Meridian High will need to defeat Oak Grove.
The Warriors will throw one of the most diverse offenses in prep football at the Wildcats. Oak Grove has tallied 237 points this season.
The offense may be different from nearly everything the Wildcats have seen so far, but the defense has found away to make its presence known in the team's last three games.
Meridian High forced six turnovers against Hattiesburg, returned an interception for a touchdown against Natchez and caused four turnovers against Picayune.
On offense, Meridian High will face a standout linebacker in Oak Grove's Garry Pack, who is also the team's running back.
Stanley said his offense is in for another big challenge when it butts heads with the Warriors defense.
Despite facing a multi-look defense, the Wildcats do not plan to vary from the system that rattled off three straight wins, after an 0-2 start.
Fueled by the powerful legs and elusive ability of senior Cordae Campbell and Cordera Eason, Meridian High has scored 76 points and gained 544 yards on the ground in its last three games.
Meridian High is set to kick off against Oak Grove at 7:30 tonight at Oak Grove.