From The AHSAA
HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI – Alabama’s All-Stars combined big plays from its defense and special teams with a dominating performance in the trenches to beat Mississippi 20-0 Saturday in the 35th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic played at MM. Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
Alabama, coached by Minor’s Adrian Abrams, improved its lead in the series to 24 wins and 11 losses with its first win in the 35-year history in Mississippi.
“We knew Mississippi was much bigger, so we knew our only advantage would be to play faster and longer,” said Abrams. “And that’s exactly what we did. I am extremely proud of our players and coaches. This is the way we practiced all week, which is a testament to not only our kids and coaches but to all our coaches across the state who taught these kids.”
Oxford defensive back Miguel Mitchell earned MVP honors for Alabama with an impressive performance at corner. His 52-yard interception return early in the second quarter, which came just 80 seconds after Fort Payne place-kicker Alex McPherson put Alabama ahead with a 31-yard field, gave the visitors a 10-0 lead.
Alabama tacked on a 1-yard TD run by Theodore running back Kierstan Rogers with 3:32 left in the third period to build a 17-0 lead and McPherson closed out the scoring with 1:17 left with a Alabama-Mississippi Classic record 58-yard field goal as Alabama won 20-0.
McPherson finished with two field goals and punted four times for a 50.0 average – with back-to-back 57-yard punts that backed Mississippi up deep it its own territory twice. One kick was downed at the 1-yard line.
Mitchell finished with five tackles and force a fumble. Trevon McAlpine of Saraland, T.J. Dudley of Montgomery Catholic and Jax Van Zandt of Thompson each had six stops. Van Zandt also recovered a fumble. Rodney Johnson of Gadsden City also had an interception, and Justice Finkley of Hewitt-Trussville had three tackles and sack. He was named Alabama’s Special Achievement Award winner.
Alabama out-gained Mississippi, coached by South Jones High School’s Todd Breland, 296 total yards to 117. Alabama also had 15 first downs and limited Mississippi to seven.
Braylon McReynolds of McGill-Toolen Catholic, who’s amazing 31-yard run to the 1-yard line set up Rogers’ third-quarter TD, led all rushers with 98 yards on 13 carries. Pike Road running back Quinshon Judkins added 43 yards on 12 carries and Rogers had 22 on 10 attempts.
Quarterback Zach Pyron of Pinson Valley was 7-of-11 passing for 91 yards and Hoover’s Bennett Meredith was 4-of-8 for 47 yards. Oak Mountain’s Evan Smith threw an interception in the end zone on his only passing attempt. Calera receiver Kobe Prentice had four catches for 64 yards, Hewitt-Trussville’s Omari Kelly had two catches for 28 yards and Jarel Williams of Saraland had one catch for 12 yards.
For Mississippi, no player rushed for more than 16 yards, and quarterbacks Zachary Wilcke of Hernando and Kabe Bennett of Oak Grove combined to complete 15-of-32 passes for 62 total yards and two interceptions. Malcolm Hartzog of Jefferson Davis County earned Mississippi MVP honors with nine tackles and an interception from his defensive back position.