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franklin county times

October 24, 2004

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
October 25, 2004
In the past three weeks, the Meridian High School football team overcame hurdles that it struggled with last year.
The No. 4 Wildcats (7-0-1, 5-0 District 3-5A) defeated the only two league opponents they couldn't last year n Picayune and Oak Grove. More importantly, Meridian High players proved they could overcome adversity in last Friday's win over Brandon.
The Wildcats were flagged 11 times for 80 yards in their final road game of the regular season, a 17-7 win over the Bulldogs. Brandon was flagged once for five yards.
Meridian High was penalized eight times in the first half, including two 10-yard holding infractions. One of the holding calls negated a touchdown run.
In the second half, the Wildcats were flagged three times, including another holding call that recalled a touchdown run.
Along with overcoming penalties, Meridian High had to climb out of an early 7-0 hole.
Brandon running back Jeremy Horton scored the first touchdown of the game, breaking loose for a 61-yard scoring run early in the first quarter.
Meridian High running back Derrick Davis appeared to tie the game with 2:36 left in the first quarter, scoring on an 11-yard run.
Davis' touchdown was called back because of a holding penalty, and the Wildcats settled for a 33-yard field goal from Phillip Sullivan with 2:37 left in the quarter. The kick knocked the Bulldogs' lead down to 7-3.
Meridian High took its first lead of the game with 4:32 left in the first half, as Wildcats running back Cordera Eason scored on a 17-yard run. Sullivan hit the point-after attempt.
While Meridian High was flagged less in the second half, two of the three penalties were for big yards.
After taking a 10 point lead on an 81-yard touchdown run by Davis in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats had their second touchdown taken away by a holding call with less than seven minutes left in the game.
Eason had a 16-yard scoring run called back, and Meridian High was forced to punt after Brandon recorded an 11-yard sack.
The Wildcats were also flagged for pass interference, a 15-yard penalty, with less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Branson only gained two more yards after the pass-interference call, in what proved to be the Bulldogs final drive of the game.
Meridian High polished off the road win, getting the ball back with 2:12 left in the game, with Eason rushing for 19 yards on four plays. He finished the game with 69 yards rushing.
Meridian High will close out the regular season at home. The Wildcats host Hancock at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and they finish the season taking on Northwest Rankin at Ray Stadium on Nov. 5.

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