The Mississippi All Stars scored 35 unanswered second half points to defeat the Alabama All Stars 42-7 in the 31st annual Alabama – Mississippi All Star game Saturday. The game was played at M.M. Roberts Stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi. The Mississippi Al Stars are 2-0 now in games played in Hattiesburg.
Photo credit Al.com.
Alabama got off to a good start with a 7 play, 76 yard drive to open the game. Kavosiey Smoke of Wetumpka scored from 1 yard out. Fort Payne’s Evan McPherson kicked the extra point to make the score 7-0 with 7:03 remaining in the first quarter.
But the Alabama team would be doomed in this annual event by turnovers. The visitors would lose three fumbles and two interceptions on the day.
Mississippi tied the game with 3:43 left in the quarter when Kenneth Gainwell ran 24 yards for a touchdown one play after an Alabama fumble. Scott Goodman’s extra point tied the game at 7-7. Defenses dominated the rest of the half, with neither team able to make any explosive plays. Both squads missed long field goals and the score remained tied 7-7 at half.
“Our coaches gave us a speech at halftime,” Gainwell said. “They told us to come out, work hard and put on for our state. That’s what we did in the second half.”
The beginning of the second half was the difference in the game. The Mississippi defense forced a three and out and quarterback Patrick Shegog capped a quick drive with a three yard touchdown to get Mississippi a 14-7 lead. Moments later, Pearl defensive back Tylan Knight intercepted Sidney Lanier’s James Foster’s pass at the Alabama 26 yard line. West Point running back Marcus Murphy scored from two yards out three minutes later to give Mississippi a 21-7 lead. The Alabama All Stars never recovered. Gainwell scored another third quarter touchdown from 12 yards to run the lead to 28-7.
Gainwell scored his third touchdown in the fourth quarter with a three yard run and Murphy finished the scoring with a 25 yard run with 3:53 left in the game. Murphy ended the day with 124 yards on 13 carries, but Gainwell and Knight shared the MVP award for Mississippi. Thompson’s K.J. Robertson led the Alabama squad with 7 tackles, 3 of them for a loss, and was named the Alabama team MVP.
Alabama had 131 yards rushing but was only 10-of-27 passing for 87 yards to finish with 218 yards. Mississippi had 187 rushing, 138 passing and 325 total yards. Alabama quarterbacks Jack West of Saraland was 9-of-17 passing for 71 yards and James Foster of Sidney Lanier finished 1-of-10 for 16 yards.
Jaquez Jones of Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa also had six tackles and Jamias Presley of Opelika had five.
Alabama’s loss dropped their overall record to 22-9 over Mississippi in the series.
Wetumpka’s Kevosiey Smoke breaks a run for the Alabama team. Photo credit Al.com.