Rowdy's Recap: Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game
Hattiesburg's Jarod "Snoop" Conner earned MVP honors for Mississippi in the
annual all-star game against Alabama. | Photo courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA
For the third time in four years, the boys from the west proved to be a little too much for the opposition.
Thanks to a punishing ground game and big plays from the secondary, the Mississippi All-Stars prevailed over the Alabama All-Stars 24-20 for the second straight season. It has been quite some time since Mississippi has been able to pull off a W at the Crampton Bowl in Montgomery, AL.
Things did not go Mississippi’s way early on. Their second drive of the game started with promise, but was thwarted with an interception thrown by E10 member and Oak Grove quarterback, John Rhys Plumblee. A few penalties and pass plays within zone gaps resulted in Alabama drawing first blood with a 7-0 lead within the first six minutes of the contest.
A defensive slugfest ensued for the majority of the half with a few three and outs. During that time, a spark was found in their run game. Tupelo’s Jaquerrious “J-Rock” Williams found success on the edge and Hattiesburg’s Jarod “Snoop” Conner was used in a variety of ways to get chunks of yardage.
Midway through the second quarter, a blitz forced a fumble and Starkville’s Jalil Clemons recovered the loose ball. Mississippi’s offensive philosophy coming off the turnover: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
Mississippi capped of an 11 play, all run play drive with a touchdown from Conner with 1:18 left before the half. The game was tied at 7-7. Northwest Rankin product, Jarrian Jones, made sure to quash Alabama’s threats with an interception right before going into the locker room.
It looked as if the dam busted open early in the third quarter when Mississippi took the lead with Conner’s second score followed with a defensive three and out, but Alabama wouldn’t go away.
Mississippi once again moved the ball at will, but could not convert points as Clinton’s Tucker Barefoot missed a field goal that bounced off the upright. His team’s secondary made sure that Alabama couldn’t capitalize with a few big pass breakups to end the third quarter.
Similar to the offensive drive to end the first half, Williams and Conner led Mississippi to the red zone. This time, Williams got the touchdown from 13 yards out to extend the lead to 21-7.
Alabama responded, using near the same offensive formula as the opposition. They responded with a TD of their own and made it a one score game again.
Barefoot would end up hitting the upright once again on the ensuing possession, but his defense again would pick him up. They forced a turnover on downs with 1:38 left, and Alabama had two timeouts.
Again, the Mississippi offense faced 4th down. Again, Barefoot had an opportunity to tack on three points. This time, however, he knocked one through from 43 yards out. That gave Mississippi a 24-14 lead with 35 seconds left.
Alabama wouldn’t go down lightly. They were able to find the end zone with a beautiful touchdown pass as time expired, but it was too little, too late, and Mississippi hoisted the trophy at the end of the night.
MVP honors were given to Conner, who had 18 carries for 112 yards and two scores. Mississippi finished the night with 257 total rushing yards.
Recently-named Mr. Elite, Nakobe Dean, led Mississippi with eight tackles.