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Wildcats take down Brandon

By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
October 25, 2003
Cordae Campbell made sure his final regular season home game as a Wildcat would be a memorable one Friday night.
The Meridian High School senior running back notched three touchdowns and ran for 152 yards in the second half, as the Wildcats (5-4) picked up a 24-14 win over the Brandon High School Bulldogs (3-6).
Meridian High needed every last bit of Campbell's heroics to pull off the win on Senior Night at Ray Stadium, as the team closed out its regular season home schedule.
The Wildcats began the second half trailing the Bulldogs 7-3, and Meridian High had only gained 89 yards of offense in the opening half.
Wildcats wide receiver Thomas McCoy halted the team's slide just under two minutes into the second half with a big punt return.
The junior fielded a Bulldogs' punt on his own 40-yard line, and he broke free down the left side line bringing the ball back to Brandon's 15.
Following the 45-yard return, Campbell went to work with an 11-yard and a four-yard run for his first touchdown of the night.
The senior's short scoring run gave Meridian High a 10-7 lead with 9:52 left in the third quarter, after senior Andrew Gambrell connected on the extra-point attempt.
Meridian High forced Brandon to punt the ball after three plays following the score, and the Wildcats put the ball back into Campbell's hands on their ensuing drive.
The 193-pound senior carried the ball six times during the Wildcats second offensive series of the third quarter, capping the drive with a 38-yard touchdown run for a 17-7 advantage, with 3:33 left in the third.
Brandon narrowed Meridian High's lead to 17-14 nine seconds into the fourth quarter.
Bulldogs quarterback Gary Schalhauser connected on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Horton to complete a nine-play, 80-yard drive that began at the end of the third quarter.
The Wildcats responded with an 11-play, 80-yard drive of its own capped off by a 32-yard touchdown run to the right side line by Campbell.
While Campbell punished Brandon on the ground, the Meridian High defense kept the opposition's offense in check in the second half.
The Wildcats limited the Bulldogs to 98 yards in the game's final 24 minutes, after giving up 108 yards in the opening half.
Meridian High recorded three interceptions (two in the first half, one in the second), had nine tackles for a loss and one sack in the win.
The Wildcats took a 3-0 lead midway through the opening quarter on the strength of Gambrell's foot.
The senior kicker, who connected on three point-after attempts, hit a 49-yard field goal with six minutes remaining the first quarter for an early lead.
Brandon took a 7-3 lead with 7:06 left in the opening half, scoring on a one-yard touchdown run by Cortez Scott.
The Wildcats continue their season on the road against Hancock at 7:30 p.m. Friday.