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MHS comes home after tough stretch

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Oct. 24, 2003
Don't tell the Meridian High School football team that you can't come home again.
The Wildcats (4-4) return to the friendly confines of Ray Stadium tonight, after two straight road games against No. 6-ranked Picayune and No. 3-ranked Oak Grove.
Meridian High pushed both of the top 10 opponents to the limits losing 17-14 in overtime to Picayune on Oct. 10 and falling 28-21 to Oak Grove last week.
The Wildcats had rattled off four consecutive victories before their two-game road trip, but the team may have learned more in defeat than it did during the winning streak.
Meridian High fell to Picayune on the strength of an angled field goal, and the Wildcats pushed the ball to Oak Grove's one-yard line before they ran out of time in last week's loss.
The Wildcats have to regroup and avoid a let down when they line up against the Bulldogs tonight.
Stanley said he is confident his team will be ready to go against Brandon.
Meridian High's defense, which was tested by one of the biggest running backs in the state last week in Oak Grove's' Gary Pack, will be facing one of the biggest offensive lines in the state against Brandon.
On offense, Meridian High will continue to punish its opponents with its fierce running game.
Fueled by senior Cordae Campbell, who gained 141 yards against Oak Grove, and sophomore Cordera Eason, who ran for 138 yards last week, the Wildcats have pounded on opponents all season.
Stanley said because of the team's commitment to the run, Meridian High has faced a number of defenses that have looked different from the ones the coaches have seen in game film leading up to games.
While defenses adjust to the Wildcats running game, Stanley and the coaching staff have found a few passing plays that have worked in the last four weeks to keep the opposition honest.
Sophomore Justin Baylor, who took over the starting quarterback role in the third week of the season, showed his passing prowess against Oak Grove.
Baylor completed 5-of-5 passes for 51 yards last week, and Campbell completed one pass on a flea-flicker for 26 yards against Oak Grove.
Meridian High's contest against Brandon will be its last home game of the regular season. The Wildcats will finish the year on the road against Hancock and Northwest Rankin.