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franklin county times

Michael Jackson impersonator set to perform

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Oct. 29, 2004
Don't look ahead.
A conjunction and two words that are easier said than done when you're a week away from playing for a district title.
But that is what Meridian High School's third-ranked football team must do tonight when it lines up against the Hancock High School Hawks at Ray Stadium.
With a showdown against co-district leader Northwest Rankin around the corner, the Wildcats (7-0-1, 5-0 District 3-5A) have to dispatch of the unranked Hawks (1-8, 1-4) before they can start thinking of winning the league crown.
Hancock has struggled this year. The Hawks have given up more than 40 points in five of their eight losses, and they have been shutout twice.
Hancock's lone win came against another 3-5A team in a down year, Natchez. The Hawks defeated the Bulldogs in a 32-28 shootout two weeks ago.
Though the game appears to be a tremendous mismatch, Wildcats head coach Ed Stanley said his team cannot take anything for granted.
The third-year Meridian High coach pointed to Hancock's history of being a tough minded program. Green Bay and former Southern Miss quarterback Brett Favre is a former Hawk, and Stanley said the team has the same mentality as the future Hall of Famer.
Hancock will need that tough state of mind against Meridian High.
The Wildcats are averaging 32 points a game, and they are gaining 357.8 yards on offense.
Meridian High's blitz-happy defense has limited opponents to 13.3 points and 156 yards per game. The Wildcats have held two opponents to less than 100 offensive yards this season.
Tonight's game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30, and it can be heard locally on WJXM (105.7 FM) or WZKR (103.3 FM).
Meridian High will also be remembering one of the school's past football greats, as the evening has been designated Smylie Gebhart night. Gebhart played for the Wildcats from 1965-1967, helping Meridian High win two Big 8 titles.
Members of Gebhart's family will present the school the plague awarded to Smylie Gebhart when he was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in a pregame ceremony.

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