Sunday, February 16, 2020






Alabama Beats Mississippi 25-14 In 30th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game

   MONTGOMERY – Alabama’s All-Stars started and strong and finished even stronger to post a 25-14 come-from-behind victory over Mississippi in the 30th playing of the AHSAA Alabama-Mississippi All-Star High School Football All-Star Game Saturday at Cramton Bowl.
    Alabama improved to 22-8 in the game hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) in conjunction with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC). The first 28 games were played in Alabama with last year’s game played at Hattiesburg (MS).
    Seniors comprised both teams’ 40-man rosters.
   UMS-Wright Coach Terry Curtis, who served as the Alabama head coach for the second time, improved to 2-0 as Alabama brought the Game Trophy back to Alabama. Mississippi snapped a seven-game Alabama winning streak in 2015 to win the game at Southern Miss.
     Alabama struck first when Lee-Montgomery’s Henry Ruggs III returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown – the longest kickoff return in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game’s 30-year history.
    Jake Lane of Park Crossing booted the extra point and Alabama led 7-0 just 15 seconds into the game.
    Lane added field goals of 38 and 32 yards in the seconds quarter as Alabama went into halftime leading 13-7.
    Mississippi’s only score of the first half came on a 9-yard run at 4:11 of the second quarter by Kylin Hill of Columbus to cap a 70-yard, 12 play drive.  Mississippi kept the ball for 14:29 of the 24 minutes, out-gaining Alabama 137 yards to 86.
    Kam White of Clinton picked off   a pass from McGill-Toolen quarterback Bubba Thompson early in the third period and raced untouched 49 yards for a touchdown and Mississippi place-kicker Connor McKay of Germantown booted the extra point to give Mississippi the lead 14-13.
   An intentional grounding penalty late in the third quarter moved Wayne County Coach Todd Mangum’s Mississippi All-Stars back to their own 8-yard line – and following a 31-yard punt, Alabama had great field position at the Mississippi 39 as the quarter came to an end.
Seven plays netted 17 yards and with 11:06 remaining in the fourth quarter, Lane kicked a 38-yard field goal, his third kick of the game, to give Alabama the lead for good 14-13.
   Mississippi took possession on its own 10 following the ensuing Lane kickoff and was pushed back to the 5 after Murphy defensive end Neil Farrell and Oxford linebacker Kenney Britt stopped Clinton running back Cam Akers for a five-yard loss on a short pass play on third down. On fourth down, the punt snap sailed over the punter’s head out of the end zone for a safety.
  Lane boomed a 60-yard punt when Alabama stalled on its next possession, and Jackson-Olin linebacker T.J. Moultry, who had nine tackles in the game, made perhaps his biggest play when he hustled to down the punt at the 1-yard line. The Alabama defense, led by Moultry and Spanish Fort linebacker Thomas Johnston, stopped Mississippi near mid-field on fourth down with 5:58 left and the offense responded with a six-play, 41-yard drive culminated with Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa running back Brian Robinson scoring on a 13-yard run with 3:07 to play. Robinson, who had been held in check most of the game, had 28 yards on four carries in the drive to give Alabama its final 25-14 lead.
    Johnston, who finished his prep career as the AHSAA career tackles leader, was named Alabama’s game MVP. He had 16 tackles, including two clutch stops of Clinton’s talented Akers that stopped Mississippi drives.  Britt added 10 tackles and Moultry had one sack for an 11-yard loss among his nine stops. Jeff Davis defensive end Alec Jackson also had a fumble recovery and McAdory defensive back Malcolm Askew had an interception.
     Alabama had 179 yards total offense with Thompson completing 7-of-16 passes for 71 yards and Etowah’s Daulton Hyatt, 4-of-6 for 28 Yards.  Noah Igbinoghene of Hewitt-Trussville had four catches for 44 yards, and Ruggs added two catches for 21 yards to go with his 90-yard kickoff return. Lane, who was 3-of-4 on field goals and kicked all but one of his kickoffs into the end zone, also punted five times for a 44.8-yard average. Blount’s Kadarius Toney had two carries for 27 yards – a 38-yard scamper and an 11-yard loss on a reverse. Robinson finished with a net of 16 yards on eight carries and Terence Dunlap of Maplesville rushed for 17 yards on seven attempts.
    Mississippi had 229 total yards with game MVP Kylin Hill of Columbus leading all rushers with 91 yards and a TD on 18 carries. Akers had 65 yards on 19 carries. Myles Brennan of St. Stanislaus was 11-of-15 passing for 59 yards and Braden Smith of Northwest Rankin was 7-of-9 for 23 yards. Akers completed two passes, one for 38 yards to Jordan Murphy of Hattiesburg. Murphy had seven catches for 78 yards.
    Willie Gay of Starkville and J.J. Russell of Grenada had seven tackles each to lead Mississippi.


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