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franklin county times

College officials ready for conference

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Oct. 15, 2004
Today's game is a familiar story for the Meridian High School football team.
The No. 5 Wildcats (5-0-1, 3-0 District 3-5A) welcome an opponent to Ray Stadium that they have not beaten in the last three years the Oak Grove Warriors (5-1, 2-1 3-5A)
The Wildcats knocked off one thorn in their side from the last three seasons early this year when Meridian High defeated then-No. 7 Starkville 24-6 on Sept. 3 at Ray Stadium.
As sweet as the win over the Yellow Jackets was for the Wildcats, even more is riding on tonight's game against the Warriors.
Oak Grove defeated Meridian High twice last season. The Warriors won the regular-season match up in Hattiesburg 28-21, and Oak Grove eliminated Meridian High from the playoffs with a 31-16 victory at Ray Stadium.
Oak Grove is not the same team that defeated Meridian High last year.
The Warriors have replaced many top players from a year ago, such as quarterback Kyle Sellers and linebacker/running back Gary Pack.
Even though their opponent has lost a lot of talent from last year, Meridian High's players know Oak Grove is still a dangerous team.
Warriors quarterback Zack Harrington has filled Sellers' shoes behind center nicely in the first six games of the season. The senior has thrown for 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
Ricky Smith, Jeff Ryals and Torris Magee have all caught three touchdown passes for Oak Grove this year, and linebacker/running back Hendrick Leverette has rushed for five touchdowns.
Meridian High will challenge Oak Grove's new quarterback with a ferocious pass rush.
The Wildcats have disrupted most team's passing games, allowing just 106 passing yards per game.
The Warriors will also have to find a way to deal with two of the state's top high school running backs.
Meridian High's Derrick Davis and Cordera Eason have combined for 1,490 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Both are expected to play despite injuries.
Kick off for tonight's game is scheduled for 7:30, and the contest can be heard locally on WJXM (105.7 FM) and WZKR (103.3 FM).

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