Sunday, February 16, 2020






Alabama Win Streak Ends at 7 As Mississippi Wins 28-21 in 29th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic

     HATTIESBURG, MS --  The passing tandem of quarterback Keon Howard and receivers Arthur Brown and D.K. Metcalf sparked the Mississippi All-Stars to a 28-21 win over Alabama Saturday two streaks came to an end.
   The victory snapped a seven-game Alabama winning streak (2008-2014) and also was the first game in the 29-year history of the all-star game to be hosted outside the state of Alabama. The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) have produced the game from the onset in cooperation with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) and the Mississippi High School Activities Association.  The MAC hosted this year’s game.
     The contest was played at the University of Southern Mississippi’s M.M. Roberts Stadium. The first 29 games were played at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium (1988-2010) and Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl (2011-14). The 2016 game will return to Montgomery.
    Howard, from Laurel High School, was 17-of-27 passing for 304 yards and four touchdowns for Mississippi.  Starkville’s Brown caught nine passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns and Oxford’s Metcalf had five catches for 151 yards and two scores. Brown and Metcalf earned co-MVP honors for Mississippi.
    Alabama MVP was linebacker Ben Davis of Gordo. Davis was in on 11 tackles and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 76-yard interception return.
   Alabama Head coach Mark Freeman of Thompson depended on a defense that made three interceptions and recovered one fumble to keep the Alabama close.
   The first big play was Davis’ pick just 1:34 into the game when he grabbed a Howard pass at his own 24-yard line and then raced down the left sideline for a touchdown. Auburn place-kicker Sage Ledbetter’s extra point gave the visitors a 7-0 lead.
     Howard redeemed himself 45 seconds later with a quick pass to the speedy Metcalf that he turned into a 69-yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 7-7.
    Alabama responded with a 12-play, 71-yard march that culminated with a 10-yard TD pass from Spanish Fort quarterback Tyler Johnston to Clay-Chalkville receiver T.J. Simmons at  the mid-point of the first quarter to take a 14-7 lead.  The fireworks of the first period were far from over, however.
   Howard connected with Arthur Brown of Starkville for a 35-yard TD pass to tie the game again at 14 all with four minutes later at 1:48 left in the opening period.
     The game settled into a defensive struggle for the next two quarters as mistakes plagued both offenses.   Mississippi, coached by Jeff Breland of Lake, took the lead 21-14 on the last play of third quarter when Brown hauled in his second TD reception from Howard – scoring with ease on the 17-yard hookup. Five minutes later, Metcalf caught his second TD pass, a 32-yard strike from Howard in the corner of the end zone, and Mississippi led 28-14.
     Quarterback Ty Pigrome of Clay-Chalkville directed a late scoring drive for Alabama – running 36 yards to set up his 21-yard TD pass to Clay teammate T.J. Simmons with 39 seconds left to play to cut the lead to 28-21.  An onside kick was recovered by Mississippi to seal its first win of this decade.
     Alabama rushed for 155 yards and passed for 154 for 309 yards on 64 offensive snaps. Theodore running back La’Mical Perine of Theodore 48 yards on seven carries with 47 coming on one play.   Johnston, who completed 8-of-18 passes for 87 yards, added 38 yards rushing on six carries and Pigrome, 6-of-13 passing for 67 yards, had 36 rushing yards on six tries.
    Carver-Montgomery’s Xavier Lanier had six catches for 59 yards and Simmons added four for 68 yards.
    Mississippi totaled 395 yards with 326 passing and only 69 rushing.
       P.J. Hall of Hoover made two interceptions on defense, and Bucs teammate Jeremiah Moon had   six tackles and two fumble recoveries for Alabama. Wenonah’s Quinnen Williams added six stops.
    Quin’Chaughn Jones of LaFayette and Jeffery Simmons of Noxubee County had seven tackles each for Mississippi.
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