By John Blackledge
While it was just a jamboree, the Meridian Wildcats opened up the 2013 campaign Friday night at Charles A. Armstrong Field at Ray Stadium with a convincing 24-0 shutout against the Neshoba Central Rockets.
Richard McQuarley finished the night with two touchdowns on six carries for eighty-eight yards. The Wildcats got things started on a Bo Dearman interception from Rocket quarterback Taylor Irby at the Rocket 34-yard line.
With 8:55 left in the first quarter, McQuarley leaped over the Rocket offensive line from two yards out for his first score of the young season. Aaron Garrett added the PAT to make it 7-0.
McQuarley rumbled in the end-zone with 1:58 left to pick up his second rushing score of the season. Garrett added the extra point to make it 14-0. With time expiring in the first quarter, Ed Glenn scored from two yards out. Garrett's PAT made it 21-0.
With 2:30 left in the early two-quarter game, Garrett booted a thirty-six yard field goal from the right hash mark to make the final 24-0. The Wildcats finished with 124 total rushing yards on sixteen carries. The ‘Cats were six for six passing for 101 yards. Meridian finished with an impressive 225 yards of offense.
The Wildcats converted nine first downs and scored two touchdowns on two Rocket turnovers. Meridian had 50 yards worth of penalties on nine yellow flags. The Rockets finished with forty-two total yards of offense on nineteen carries. Neshoba finished the night with four first downs.
The Wildcats open the season next Friday night on the road at Northwest Rankin while the Rockets hit the road to Newton County. Game times are set for 7 P.M.