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Snapped: Meridian breaks losing streak

Mission+Accomplished.+On+Friday%2C+September+22%2C+Meridian+beat+SOV+%2852-21%29+to+end+their+24+game+losing+streak.+Immediately+following+this+celebration%2C+the+water+girls%2C+Abby+Herbert+and+Kaitlyn+Parker%2C+dumped+a+cooler+over+coach+Sheppard%27s+head.++%22Breaking+the+losing+streak+meant+a+lot+to+the+team%2C+and+especially+to+the+seniors+who%27ve+been+working+since+freshman+year+to+get+that+dub%2C%22+says+Drew+Snow.+++
Mission Accomplished. On Friday, September 22, Meridian beat SOV (52-21) to end their 24 game losing streak. Immediately following this celebration, the water girls, Abby Herbert and Kaitlyn Parker, dumped a cooler over coach Sheppard's head.

Mission Accomplished. On Friday, September 22, Meridian beat SOV (52-21) to end their 24 game losing streak. Immediately following this celebration, the water girls, Abby Herbert and Kaitlyn Parker, dumped a cooler over coach Sheppard's head. "Breaking the losing streak meant a lot to the team, and especially to the seniors who've been working since freshman year to get that dub," says Drew Snow.

Allison Butler

Allison Butler

Mission Accomplished. On Friday, September 22, Meridian beat SOV (52-21) to end their 24 game losing streak. Immediately following this celebration, the water girls, Abby Herbert and Kaitlyn Parker, dumped a cooler over coach Sheppard's head. "Breaking the losing streak meant a lot to the team, and especially to the seniors who've been working since freshman year to get that dub," says Drew Snow.

Connor Hurelbrink, Executive Producer

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On Friday, September 22, 2017, the Meridian High School football team picked up their first win in 24 games which amassed 2 winless seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The Hawks faced, also winless this season, Sullivan Okaw-Valley High School. The Hawks have battled something most other teams do not have to deal with– starting the first two weeks of the season without a coach.

Former Meridian High School football coach Scott Davis called his players in for a meeting on the Friday before summer workouts started. Instead of giving the players information for the upcoming season, he told them he would be resigning as head coach and would accept an assistant coaching job at Macarthur High School.

This left the Hawks without a coach for the upcoming season. The boys made their opinions known about who they wanted to take the helm and try to right the ship for the program. Micah Sheppard. Coach Sheppard was an assistant coach for the program last year and eventually was hired on as the head coach. With him, he brought Ed Long, Ty Mason, and Dennis Sheppard.

The Hawks meshed well with M. Sheppard’s new offense and made great strides during the summer. However, the streak still loomed over the heads of the players. After going 0-4 to start out the season, narrowly losing to LSA and Central A&M, the losing streak was at 24.

That all changed yesterday.

MHS kicked the ball away and started the game on defense. The Hawks stopped their opponent on the opening drive and took over on offense. However, a costly interception set up SOV with great field position to start their second drive. A questionable pass interference call eventually led to a touchdown for the Redskins. 7-0 SOV. The Hawks had little luck moving the ball on their second drive, leading to a bad snap on 4th down to give the Redskins the ball in the red zone. A glimmer of hope was cast upon the Hawks in the form of a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by senior, Cameron Getz. However, that glimmer quickly faded away when it was called back for a block in the back penalty. The Hawks would fumble the ball the next play. Six plays later, SOV was back on the board. 14-0 SOV.

Meridian came up empty on their first drive of the second quarter. SOV would go three and out on their first drive, which would eventually set up a 6-yd touchdown run by Getz. 14-7 SOV. With time winding down in the first half, a couple costly penalties allowed SOV to score again with around 30 seconds left in the half. 21-7 SOV. Meridian tried but came up short and could not score before the half ended. The score at halftime, 21-7 SOV.

If you were anywhere near the Hawks locker room, then you would have heard the screams and vicious words that players were throwing at each other. Senior, Kaiden Damery, gave the boys some encouragement instead of arguing with the others. Coach Long, D. Sheppard, and M. Sheppard all gave halftime speeches during the extended halftime due to SOV’s homecoming festivities.

The Hawks came out to start the second half looking like a completely different team. They marched down the field to allow senior, Spencer Doss, to score a 3-yd rushing touchdown. 21-14 SOV. Two plays later, Doss would pick up a SOV fumble to score a scoop and score touchdown. The Hawks would miss the PAT making the score 21-20 SOV. Meridian then forced a SOV three and out, the Hawks drive was capped off by a Getz rushing touchdown. With another missed PAT, the score was now 26-21 MHS. The Hawks forced another three and out, then capitalized with a touchdown pass from Getz to sophomore, Jacob Jones. 33-21 MHS.

Both SOV and MHS had trouble moving the ball on their opening drives of the fourth quarter. SOV went three and out and Meridian came up empty on a fourth down shot to the end zone. SOV came up short on fourth down during their second drive of the quarter, which led to a touchdown run by senior, Karl Renfro. After the missed PAT, the score was 39-21 MHS. The play after the kickoff, Getz got his second interception of the game, this time, however, he would take this one back for a touchdown with no flags on the field (PAT was no good). 45-21 MHS. The next play, sophomore, Steven Stoots, attempting to make a tackle, was hurt on the play. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur. Stoots is okay now with no major injuries. SOV’s drive started with a long run and ended with a Meridian interception by Jones. The final touchdown of the game came in Meridian’s drive started by Jones’ interception, scored by Getz to put the Hawks up 52-21.

The losing streak was snapped. Meridian scored 45 unanswered points in the second half. The emotions came out at the end of the game when teary-eyed players rejoiced with one another as the final buzzer sounded signifying the end of the game and their first win.

The huge senior class on the team, accompanied by the underclassmen, achieved something that no Meridian team has done in two years. Win. This should add to the interest generated by the ALL EYES ON US campaign and help the football program find future success.

photo by: Allison Butler

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “Snapped: Meridian breaks losing streak”

  1. Deana Clark on September 24th, 2017 10:37 am

    Awesome pics & awesome article!!! Can you please tell me, how can I get a printed copy of that pic of the boys???

    [Reply]

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