High School Notebook: Meridian Out Proving People Wrong

Meridian linebacker Santrell Lathem.

Just going to leave it right here.

The Meridian Wildcats are better than most people thought they would be.

And they’re out proving it to everyone.

After a season opening lost to Madison Central 13-10 in overtime, Meridian has rolled off four in row including wins over South Panola and have knocked off three consecutive defending MHSAA state champs in Starkville (Class 6A), Wayne County (Class 5A) and Noxubee County (Class 4A).

“We really took that loss personal because we had plenty of opportunities to win. You are Meridian and we you expect to win and the guys have lived up to win. The boys have lived off those expectations,” said first year Meridian coach Calvin Hampton. “People kept riding us off because we lost all these good players. Well we went to the drawing board and corrected some things and it has worked so far.”

The Wildcats (4-1) have been very balanced offensively averaging 249.8 yards per game receiving and 142.3 yards rushing.

Meridian is using a two quarterbacks in sophomore Tevarrious Adams (665 yards passing, six touchdowns; 124 yards rushing, three touchdowns) and senior Eddie Brown (334 yards passing, two touchdowns).

“It is not a two quarterback system it is about which one has the hot hand going into that game,” said. “One of the goals was to be balanced on offense. Especially if you have new starters on the offense side and the coaching staff has done outstanding job for us in preparing what areas to attack.”

Defensively, the Wildcats have been pretty dominant only allowing 14 points per game. Meridian’s defense has recorded 14 sacks. Junior defensive lineman Deuntra Hyman has recorded a team best six sacks and seven tackles for loss. Linebacker and Southern Miss commit Santrell Latham has recorded 17 tackles to help lead the defense.

“The one thing the state forgot about is we are Meridian and we will play defense. We are going to hit people in the mouth and fly to the football,” Hampton said. “Our guys have to be ready for district play. Our goal is to make the playoffs and win championships. It is business every night and that is approach we are taking.”

The Wildcats begin Region 3-6A play this week when they travel to Jackson to face Jim Hill (1-4) at South Jackson Field.

More streaks snapped

2016 has not been only the year of upsets, but also the year of streaks ending.

Two more streaks were snapped this past Friday.

Defending 6A champ Starkville saw its 17-game winning streak snapped in a 20-10 loss to Meridian.

Saltillo had its 16-game losing streak snapped with a 24-21 last second win over Baldwyn. The last time the Tigers won a game was Nov. 7, 2014, against New Hope.

MHSAA vs. MAIS

The MAIS went 2-1 this past Friday night and are now 12-11 against MHSAA schools this season. The two games won by MAIS schools were Heritage Academy over Pisgah and Lamar School over NE Lauderdale. Madison St. Joe was lone MHSAA school to win last week.

There’s one MHSAA-MAIS matchup this week when Oak Forest (La.) will travel to face North Pike.