By Tony Tsoukalas / email@example.com
The Meridian Star
A Week 5 bye couldn't come fast enough for head coach Larry Weems and the Meridian Wildcats.
Playing with a banged-up roster, Meridian held on to beat Clinton 42-28 Friday night at home. Despite the win, Weems said the game left much to be desired as the Wildcats let a younger Clinton team hang around well into the fourth quarter.
“That was ugly,” Weems said. “That's not talking about Clinton. They outplayed us. We should have dominated. When you don't have your mind on playing ball, you just don't get the results.”
Senior running back Richard McQuarley, who is battling a high-ankle sprain, was held out for most of the game. Choosing not to risk his star back, Weems limited McQuarley to special teams duty and only played him on one offensive play ? a nine yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Instead, the Wildcats turned to senior running backs Austin Holt and Ed Glenn to carry much of the load. Holt led Meridian with 60 yards on 19 carries, while Glenn racked up 39 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.
“We had to step up,” Holt said. “You get kind of tired a little bit, but you got to fight through it. (McQuarley) just told us to run hard. In the first quarter we kind of slacked, but in the second half we were able to pull through.”
Glenn got the Wildcats started in the first quarter, darting into the end zone on a option-pitch from quarterback J'Mar Smith at the four-yard line. The 5-3, 142-pound back scored both of his touchdowns running under defenders and powering his way for a score.
“Ed ain't as big as some of them, but he runs it hard and he's quick,” Weems said. “I haven't ever asked the other team's defense if they can see him or not. But, I just play him because he deserves the chance to play and he contributes.”
Smith finished the day completing 12-of-23 pass for 181 yards and two touchdowns, including a 63-yard bomb to a wide-open Daniel Crowell in the second quarter to put the Wildcats up 21-7. Crowell had three receptions for 86 yards on the night, while fellow receiver Tray Warren tallied three catches for 34 yards and Corey Davis caught two passes for 21 yards and a touchdown.
“They just had a busted coverage, and I just caught it and I got ghost,” Daniel Crowell said of the 63-yard score. “I just saw green, so I went for it.”
Meridian will have the week off before beginning district play against Jim Hill at home Sept. 27.
“It's real important right now, because we got a lot of guys banged up,” Weems said. “We just need a lot of stuff to happen for us to get guys back . We just don't have a lot of depth.”