Oak Grove downs Wildcats
By By Ryan Satcher/staff writer
November 2, 2002
Halloween may have been on Thursday, but the Wildcats of Meridian High School gave Oak Grove a scare on Friday night at Ray Stadium.
The Wildcats, which led 13-7 at the half, scored two touchdowns within 14 seconds of each other in the fourth quarter to cut into a late Oak Grove lead, but came up short 34-27.
Senior tailback Cody Hull was the workhorse for the Warriors of Oak Grove. He carried the ball a total of 35 times for 226 yards, most of which came in the second half as the Warrior offense wore down the Wildcat defense.
Chris Wright was also very important for the Warriors in the victory. He intercepted two passes on the night and returned a fumble for a touchdown. Jared Waldrop also returned an interception for a touchdown for the Warrior defense.
The Warriors jumped out to an early lead on the first possession of the game. Oak Grove drove down the field and scored in eight plays. Kyle Sellers' pass was thrown into two Wildcat defenders, but was tipped and brought down by Sam Thomas for the touchdown. Chris St. John added the PAT to make the score 7-0.
Meridian High answered with a nice drive. The Wildcats went 80 yards on 14 plays to reach the end zone. Ken Mitts hit D.J. Lloyd on a 20-yard pass and Andrew Gambrell hit the PAT to tie the game.
In the second quarter the Wildcats took advantage of an Oak Grove turnover to take the lead. Ryan Kimbrough recovered a fumble at the Warrior 42-yard line and when the MHS offense stalled Gambrell connected on a 31-yard field goal to make the score 10-7.
The Wildcats also scored on their next possession. A pass from Mitts was tipped and fell into the hands of Keith Ivy for a 26-yard gain to move into Warrior territory. Gambrell finished off the possession with a 44-yard field goal to give Meridian High a 13-7 lead.
Wright picked off a pass and returned it to the MHS 17 with 51 seconds left in the half, but Kevin Moore came up with an interception in the end zone to help the Wildcats hold onto the 13-7 lead at the half.
Oak Grove came out in the second half and kept the ball on the ground with Hull to move the ball. Wright ran for the final 50 yards of the Warriors' second possession of the half. He broke free for 18 yards and ran over a defender at the two to score a touchdown on his sixth carry of the possession. The PAT was blocked by Lamarace Tucker to make the score 13-13.
Wright intercepted another pass on the next Wildcat possession to give Oak Grove good field position. The Warriors took advantage this time as Hull carried the ball seven consecutive times and scored on a six-yard run to make the score 20-13 with 11:55 left in the fourth.
Wright picked up a fumble and returned it 30 yards for the touchdown to extend the lead for Oak Grove to 27-13. Minutes later Waldrop returned an interception 60 yards for another Warrior touchdown to make the score 34-13.
The Wildcats scratched back in the final minutes. Mitts hit Jonathan Boyd on a 40-yard pass play to cut the lead to 34-20. Tucker came away with the onside kick for Meridian at the Oak Grove 33-yard line to give the Wildcats the ball back.
On the second play of the possession, Mitts hit Lloyd with a 33-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 34-27 with 4:20 to play.
The Warriors came away with the onside kick and were able to run the clock out. The win moves Oak Grove to 9-1 on the season and clinches a playoff berth. It will play Hancock next week.
The Wildcats' drop to 3-7 on the year and will finish the season on the road at Hattiesburg next week.