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History of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic

On June 18, 1988, high school football history was made when a contest featuring the best high school players from Alabama battled a squad representing the best from Mississippi in Mobile’s Ladd Memorial Stadium.  Eighteen years later, the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic has established an amazing legacy--having featured dozens of players who have gone on to enjoy stellar careers at both the collegiate and professional levels, while also playing host to some of the most exciting and memorable high school football contests ever held in the two states.

And, while the All-Star Classic has now grown to become one of the top high school sporting events in the nation, it is those great players and spectacular moments of the previous contests which have made the contests so memorable.  The following is a complete game-by-game recap of the past All-Star Classic-games which are simply filled with one All-Star Classic success story after another.

1988-Alabama 24, Mississippi 21 (3OT)

Organizers of the All-Star Classic could not have picked a better game to start off the series than the inaugural Classic in 1988, which turned out to be one of the most exciting high school games ever played at Ladd Stadium.

Alabama eventually won the contest, 24-21, but only after three hear-stopping overtime periods.

After three scoreless quarters, Alabama jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Tarrant’s Darrin Reeves intercepted a Shane Matthews pass and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.  With 4:26 remaining in the game, Mississippi’s Chris Firle of South Leake hauled in a 57-yard touchdown pass from Gulfport’s Tom Luke to knot the score at 7-7.  A last second, 33-yard field goal attempt by Mississippi went wide right with just eight seconds to play, to send the game into overtime.

In the first overtime, Mississippi scored on the first play-a 10-yard TD run by Greenville’s Tyrone Montgomery. Alabama, however, countered with a score of its own when Cherokee County’s Marvin Houston dove into the end zone on fourth down from the one.

In the second overtime, Alabama scored first, once again converting on fourth down when Auburn High School’s David Crum scored from one yard out. Alabama looked to have the game won at the start of the Mississippi’s series of downs, as the Mississippians were penalized 15 yards on Alabama’s extra point try for roughing the kicker and were forced to 25 yards in only four plays.  On secod down, Luke gained 19 yards on a keeper to the Alabama six, and then Montgomery scored his second touchdown of the evening on a TD pass from Luke to once again tie the score.

Mississippi has the first possession of the third overtime.  On third and nine, Luke was hit in the backfield by Brian Moore, fumbled, and Alabama’s Walter Tipton came up with the recovery. 

Following a Mississippi penalty, Hamp Greene then kicked a 22-yard field goal to give Alabama the thrilling 24-21 victory.

Fairhope’s Darrel Crawford, who later starred at Auburn, was named MVP for Alabama, while John Sullins, who enjoyed a fine career as a linebacker at Alabama, was chosen MVP for the Mississippi squad.

1989-Alabama 24, Mississippi 21 (4OT)

Fans thought they had seen it all when it comes to thrilling overtime periods at the inaugural All-Star Classic in 1988. However, the 1989 All-Star Classic was destined to create even greater drama along with an additional overtime period.

The game is also noted for its outstanding roster of talent, which included three future first-round NFL draft picks- Terrell Buckley, John Copeland, and George Teague.

Alabama won the ‘89 contest by the same 24-21 score, but only after Citronelle’s Brian Lee ended the four-overtime marathon with a 27-yard field goal.

Mississippi struck first in the third quarter on five-yard touchdown run by Greg Plump. With just under six minutes remaining in the game, Alabama took over on its own 49-yard line and marched to the Mississippi goal line on 11 plays.  On third and goal from the Mississippi three and only 38 seconds left to play, Alabama quarterback Richard Moncrief found Pike County’s Fred Baxter in the end zone for the score to send the game into overtime.

Mississippi held Alabama on its first three plays in overtime and Lee missed a 30-yard field goal. On first down, Mississippi went for the win with a 27-yard field goal attempt, but the game was saved thanks to Jeff Davis’ Teague, who blocked the kick.

Both teams matched touchdowns in overtime number two, with Mississippi’s Marc Johnson scoring from 10-yards out and Alabama scoring on another pass from Moncrief to Baxter, also 10 yards away.

Overtime number three started off with a 10-yard run by Alabama’s Jimm Goodwin on first down to give them a 21-14 lead. However, on fourth down, Mississippi amazingly came back again on a one-yard run by Ocean Spring’s Irving Spikes to knot the score at 21-21.

Misssissippi had first crack in the the fourth OT.  On second down from the two, Johnson fumbled and Alabama’s Victor Lockett of Shaw came up with the recovery to set the stage for Lee’s game winning kick.

Named MVP for the Alabama squad was Valley’s Copeland, who later earned first-team All-American honors at Alabama, while Mississippi MVP was Tupelo quarterback Todd Jordan.

1990-Alabama 21, Mississippi 14, 1 OT

Fans were treated to the game’s best-ever passing show during the 1990 All-Star Classic, but the result was nearly identical to the previous two years with the contest once again going into overtime and Alabama once again coming out with the victory, 21-14.

The passing duo of Anniston quarterback Steve Christopher and teammate receiver Orlando Watters dazzled fans throughout the contest, as the pair was involved in all three Alabama scores.  Christopher rewrote the All-Star Classic record book with passing marks that still stand, including passing yards (231), attempts (27), and completions (18), while Watters also established new game best with seven recpetions for 99 yards.

Alabama jumped out to a 7-0 first quarter lead when Christopher heit Watter with a pass over the middle, who then broke free for a 61-yard touchdown thanks to a great block by Hazlewood’s Antonio Langham. The lead grew to 14-0 by half when Watters, who was named Alabama’s MVP, took a pitch from Christopher and threw a perfect strike to Murphy’s Miguel Callier for a 55-yard score.

But Mississippi wasn’t finished. A strong defense in the second half shut down the Alabama attack and two Alabama turnovers set up scores. A fumbled Alabama punt and recovery gave Mississippi a first down deep in Alabama territory, and on third down, Morton’s Michael Davis scored from the one to make it 14-7.

Mississippi then tied the score with 3:53 left when Moss Point’s Kelly Steele, who earned MVP honors for Mississippi, intercepted an Alabama pass and returned it 54 yards for a 14-14 tie.

Alabama had first crack in overtime and scored what proved to be the winning points when Christopher hit Huntsville’s Chris Anderson in the corner of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown.  Alabama’s defense then rose to the occasion. On third down, Decatur’s Mario Morris batted away a pass in the end zone and Springville’s Roderick Woody sealed the victory when he intercepted Honore Britton’s pass in the end zone on the game’s last play.

Alabama also set an All-Star Classic team record with 325 passing yards and won the contest despite finishing the game with minus 28 yard rushing.

1991-Alabama 15, Mississippi 13

For the fourth time in as many games, the Alabama All-Stars squeaked out a win over their Mississippi counterparts in the 1991 All-Star Classic.  However, for the first time ever, the contest was decided in regulation time, with Alabama coming out with a 15-13 win.

In keeping with the closeness of the three previous games, the contest wasn’t decided until the final 30 seconds of regulation when a potential game-winning touchdown pass for Mississippi was intercepted in the end zone by Theodore’s LaBarion Rankins.

Mississippi drew first blookd when, on its first possesion of the game, it drove 63 yards on ten plays with quarterback Derrick Taite of Moss Point scoring on a keeper from six yards out.  A 26-yard field goal by Alabama’s Dane Prewitt in the second quarter cut the deficit to 7-3, and it stayed that way until halftime.

Mississippi stretched its lead to 13-3 on its first possesion of the second half when Taite once again scored on a keeper, this time from the one.  A two-point conversion attempt failed.

Alabama came right back on the ensuing possesion to drive 80 yards on eight plays capped off by a 14-yard run by Blount running back Sherman Williams. Prewitt’s extra popint failed and the score stood 13-9 in favor of Mississippi after three quarters.

Two Prewitt field goals in the fourth quarter gave Alabama its margin of victory.  The first, a 33-yards, cane with nine minutes remaining to bring Alabama to within a point at 13-12.  The second, a 29-yarder, came with 1:30 remaining after a nine-play drive brought Alabama to the Mississippi 12.

Mississippi’s last second rally started on its own 31 and with Taite engineering the two-minute offense to perfection, drove to the Alabama 14 with 31 seconds left.  On third down, he lofted the ball into the end zone and Rankins made a spectacular interception to save the game for Alabama.

MVP’s of the 1991 game were Munford’s Eric Lewis for the Alabama squad, who set an All-Star Classic record with 118 rushing yards, and Taite for the Mississippi team.

1992-Mississippi 17, Alabama 14

Mississippi broke its four-game losing streak in the series to score its first All-Star Classic win in the 1992 game, as Amory’s Clint Allen booted a 23-yard field goal with only six seconds remaining in regulation for a 17-14 victory.

Mississippi scored first on a one-yard run by Aberdeen running back Dwayne Chandler with 9:30 remaining in the second quarter.  But Alabama struck back with a fury, scoring on its next two possesions to take a 14-7 halftime lead.

Following a 35-yard pass from Brandon Kinard to Toderick Malone, Bama’s Tim Watts scored from two yards out to tie the score at 7-7. Alabama quarterback Chris Windsor then capped off an eight-play, 55-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Citronelle running back Marvin Stafford with only 18 seconds in the half to give Alabama its 14-7 lead.

Mississippi tied the contest at 14-14 with 3:53 remaining in the third quarter when defensive back Michael Lowery intercepted an Alabama pass and returned it 21 yards for the touchdown.

The fourth quarter saw Alabama engineer a 14-play drive beginning at its own four-yard line and ending with a missed 46-yard field goal attempt by Michael Proctor with 2:29 left.

Mississippi then took over at its own 20 and, in just six plays, moved to the Alabama seven-yard line with six seconds remaining to set the stage for Allen’s game winning kick.

Alabama’s MVP was quarterback style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"> Chris Windsor, while Chandler won the award for Mississippi.

1993-Mississippi 17, Alabama 6

Fans attending the sixth annual All-Star Classic in 1993 expected to see an aerial show courtesy of highly-decorated Alabama quarterbacks > Freddie Kitchens of Etowah and Blount’s Dameyune Craig.

Instead, Mississippi turned in a stellar defensive effort and used a steady ground attack to carve out a 17-6 win, its second straight in the series.

Mississippi drew first blood on a 23-yard field goal by North Forrest’s Stephen Lindsey in the second quarter, and then jumped out to a 10-0 lead with 7:54 remaining in the half thanks to a little razzle-dazzle which was carried out to perfection. On first-and-ten from its own 35, quarterback Eli Anding of W.P. Daniel lateralled to Bassfield receiver Eric Booth, who then threw a strike to a wide open Michael Brown of Lanier who caught the ball in stride for a 65-yard touchdown pass.

With time running out in the first half, Kitchens drove Alabama down to a first down at the Mississippi ten. Three plays netted eight yards, and on fourth and goal from the two, Craig was stopped on a keeper at one-yard-line to end the threat and the half.

On Alabama’s first possesion of the second half, a Kitchen’s pass was intercepted by Mississippi’s Kobie Jenkins, who returned it to the Alabama eight-yard line.  Three plays later, Anding scored on ten-yard keeper and Mississippi had a commanding 17-0 lead.

Alabama got on the board with 5:04 remaining in the game on a seven-yard pass from Kitchens to Walker’s Demetrea Shelton, but Mississippi was able to then run out the clock for a 17-6.

Booth took MVP honors for Mississippi, while Anniston linebacker Kivuusama Mays earned the MVP award for Alabama.

1994-Mississippi 24, Alabama 10

Mississippi scored its third consecutive win in the series in the 1994 All-Star Classic, largely on the strength of a stingy defense and Hattiesburg quarterback Richard Lucas’ record-setting three touchdown passes.

Mississippi jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Lucas connected with Warren Central’s Corey Wilson on a nine-yard touchdown pass with 5:43 remaining in the first quarter.

Both teams traded field goals in the second quarter, with Alabama’s Kevin Gentle of Gunertsville setting a new All-Star Classic record witha 41-yarder with 11 minutes remaining in the half to make the score 7-3.  Mississippi then drove to a first down at the Alabama four-ayrd line, but a tough goal line stand by Alabama forced Gulfport’s Brad Palazzo to kick a 19-yard field goal to make the score 10-3 in favor of Mississippi, whch remained until halftime.

Alabama came out for the second half on fire, scoring on its first possesion when Dora’s Adam Russell connected with Gadsden’s Toby Walker on a nine-yard touchdown pass. Gentle’s extra point knotted the score at 10-10.

Following a missed 52-yard field goal attempt by Gentle, Mississippi took over at its own 20 with 2:53 remaining in the quarter.  On second and ten, Lucas connected with Louisville’s Moine Nicholson on a pass over the middle and Nicholson outraced all Alabama defenders for an 80-yard score and the longest touchdown pass in All-Star Classic history.

Lucas then closed out the scoring when he hit Smithville’s Toby Collums for a 32-yard touchdown with 10:50 remaining, and the Mississippi defense stopped the two remaining Alabama drives to seal the 24-10 win.

Lucas earned MVP honors for the Mississippi squad, while Eotwah running back Kenneth Scissum won the MVP award for Alabama.

1995-Mississippi 38, Alabama 9

The 1995 All-Star Classic was simply all Mississippi, as the Mississippians stretched their winning streak to four straight games with a record-setting 38-9 victory, which also knotted the All-Star Classic series at four wins apiece.

Warren Central’s Brian Darden paced the Mississippian’s ground attack with a game-leading 59-yards rushing and two touchdowns, as Mississippi used a stifling defense, a strong running game and six Alabama turnovers to jump out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back.

Mississippi took the opening kickoff and drove 68 yards on 16 consecutive running plays, capped off by an eight-yard run by Darden and the first of Clinton placekicker Brain Hazlewood’s record five extra point to go ahead 7-0.

Following a blocked Alabama punt, Mississippi took over on the Alabama 19 and Clarksdale’s Marcus Taylor hit Pontotoc’s Jason Clingan, whose leaping catch in the end zone accounted for Mississippi’s only completed pass of the evening, for a 14-0 lead.  The lead then swelled to 21-0 following a muffed Alabama punt which was recovered by Mississippi at Alabama’s ten-yard line, as Weir’s Dennis McKinley scored from three yards out.

On the first play of the second half, Mississippi recovered an Alabama fumble at the 28-yard line. Three plays later, Hazlewood set another All-Star Classic record with a 44-yard field goal to make the score 24-0.

Two more third-quarter touchdowns- a six-yard run by Darden and another six-yarder by Mendenhall’s Larry Showers-increased the margin to 38-0 before Alabama quarterback Montressa Kirby of Anniston scored on a two-yard keeper in the fourth stanza.  An Alabama safety on the ensuing kickoff closed out the scoring at 38-9, which established new All-Star Classic bests for points scored by one team and total points by both teams with 47.

Darden earned MVP honors for Mississippi, while R.E. Lee lineman Eugene Smith took MVP honors for the Alabama squad.

1996-Alabama 17, Mississippi 14

The 199 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic will forever be remembered as the year of "The Drive" and the year "The Streak" was finally laid to rest.

For when Blount High School quarterback Kelvin Robinson engineered an eight-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in the game’s final moments to give team Alabama a 17-14 win in on of the most thrilling finishes in the game’s nine-year history, it also marked the end to the four-game winning streak recorded by Mississippi form 1992-95.

The storybook ending also capped off a wild four quarter which saw both teams score two touchdowns apiece and Mississippi take a 14-10 lead with only 3:40 remaining.

Entering the final stanza with a 3-0 lead thanks to a second-quarter Jonah Dismukes field goal, Alabama increased its margin to 10-0 when Williamson quarterback Tamaurice "Tee" Martin hit Sidney Lanier running back Chris Chukwuma, who won the MVP award for Alabama, with a 29-yard touchdown pass.

Mississippi then took over at its own 20 and churned out 80 yards on just seven plays.  A 25-yard pass from Mississippi MVP Daryl Carter of Northest Jones to Amory’s Rufus Tyler then scored on the next play to make 10-7 with 7:02 remaining.

Following an Alabama punt, Mississippi dorve to the Alabama 32 and then scored the go-ahead touchdown when French snared a deflected pass and made two spectaclar open field moves to run it in for the score.  Scott Westerfield’s extra-point gave the Mississippians a stunning 14-10 lead with only 3:40 left in the game, to set the stage for Robinson’s game-winning drive.

On first-down from their own 35, Robinson hit Murphy’s Dennison Robinson for 18 and a first down at the Mississippi 47.  He then followed two incompletions with a bullet to Jeff Davis’ Gorman Thornton for a gain of 21 and first down at the 26.  One play later, Robinson scrambled for 18 and another first down at the 14. With most of the 19,600 fnas in Ladd Memorial Stadium now ontheir feet and creating a deafening roar of approval on every play, Robinson then hit Etowah’s Reggie Worthy for ten more to give the Alabamians first nad goal on the four.  On first down, B.B. Comer’s Tellie Embery took a handoff around the right side, broke a tackle and dove into the corner of the end zone for the winning score with just 1:27 left.

The victory, however, wasn’t sealed until Shaw’s Leonardo Carson stripped Carter of the ball during Mississippi’s final possession and also recovered the fumble to set off a wild celebration as Alabama then ran out the clock for the 17-14 win.

1997-Alabama 10, Mississippi 6

The old adage that offense sells tickets and defense wins football games was never more evident than in the 1997 Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star Classic.

            Auburn-bound Larry Casher intercepter a Romaro Miller pass with less than five minutes gone off the first-quarter clock and returned it 84 yards down the Ladd Memorial Stadium turf for an Alabama touchdown. It was a message heard louc-and-clear as the ‘Bama boys held Mississippi to only 213 yards of total offense and went on to win, 10-6, in the tenth annual All-Star Classic.

Ironically, that was the only touchdown scored between the two teams all night- and it came on the defensive side of the ball.  But don’t think for one minute that Alabama’s “D” was the enitre star of the show. The Mississippians know a little bit baout playing defense, as well.  In fact, the Alabama offense could must just 181 yards of total offense themselves.

It looked like a rout was in order after Casher’s brillant interception return and a 19-yard field goal by Hoover High School product Jerrod Cook with 5:38 to play in the opening stanza gave Alabama a 10-0 lead.

But the Mississippi defense took over, limiting Alabama to only 11 plays, minus-two yards of total offense and one first down the entire second quarter.

They were rewarded when Morton’s Dulymus McAllister recovered a fumbled Alabama punt at the ‘Bama 10-yard line with less than two minutes remaining before halftime, giving his team a great oppurtunity to put six on the scoreboard.

No way, said the Alabama defense. After a Miller-to-Shalondo Jones pass fell incomplete, the ‘Bama defense stuffed tailback Kevin Jones for a two yard loss. Another imcompletion from Miller-to-Jones brought on Prentiss High School’s Wesley Flake, who calmly nailed a 28-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-3 at the half.

            After a scoreless third quarter which saw Mississippi drive to the Alabama 12-yard line only to be denied once again when Erwin’s Rob Pate recovered a fumble at the seven, the Mississippians were bound and determined to put some points on the board.  Miller led his team from the Alabama 45-yard line to the 23, but Alabama’s defense rose to the occasion, forcing Mississippi to settle for a 41-yard field goal by Flake with 9:35 left showing on the fourth-quarter clock.

Mississippi threatened one last time, taking over at midfield with 7:23 to play and getting as close as the Alabama 28, but a fourt-and-ten pass fell to the turf and Alabama took over on downs.  ‘Bama pieced together its best drive of the evening, grinding out four first downs, to run out the clock and perserve the win.

Muskingum Barnes, who recored eight tackles and deflected a pair of passes, was named MVP for Mississippi, while Kecalf Bailey, who broke up four passes, was Alabama’s MVP.

1998-Mississippi 9, Alabama 0

Talk about unlikely heroes.

Alabama boasted players like the much heralded quarterback tandem of Tyler Watts (Alabama) and Gabe Gross (Auburn).  Mississippi countered with like of super-quick quarterback Freddie Milons (Alabama) and all-everything tailback Robert Gillespie (Florida).

But when it came down to it, a little known kicker from McComb, Mississippi turned out to be the brighest star of them all.

Mac Hart, a 5-10, 205-punder who was heading for Southwest Mississippi Community College, booted three field goal-including one from 53 yards-to lead his Mississippi squar to a 9-0 defensive win over Alabama in the 11th annual Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star Classic.

Hart’s successful 53-yard attempt-which was a new Alabama Mississippi High School All-Star Classic record, breaking the old mark of 44 set by Clinton High School’s Brian Hazlewood in 1995-was sandwiched between a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 41-yarder as the horn sounded to end the first half.  All three of Hart’s field goals came in the second quarter.

And to no one’s surprise, Hart was named Most Valuable Player for the Mississippi squad.  Alabama punter Lane Bearden, who averaged 41.7 yards per attempt, was selected MVP of the ‘Bama team.

But Hart wasn’t the only hero for the boys from Mississippi.  A bone-crushing, stingy defense never would let Alabama get anything going, offensively. On the night, Alabama managed just 40 yards rushing and 32 yards passing-72 yards of total offense to be exact. In fact, Alabama managed to cross into Mississippi territory only one time-getting as far as the 32-yard line early in the fourth quarter, but a fumble stopped the drive.

After a scoreless first quarter, Mississippi began a methodical 12-play drive covering 57 yards and ended in Hart’s 21-yard field goal with 10:19 to play.  Alabama had an opportunity to thwart the drive whn Milons fumbled after a ferocious hit by ‘Bama’s Josh Jones at the 10-yard line, but Gary Davis pounced on the loose football to keep possesion. Two plays later, Hart was called upon and delivered.

On its next possesion, Mississippi took over from its own 31 and took nine plays to drive the ball to the Alabama 36-yard line.  A sack by Alabama’s Davern Williams had apparently stalled the drive and taken Mississippi out of field goal range, but Hart proved them wrong.  With 2:55 showing on the Ladd-Peebles Memorial Stadium clock, he calmly connected on the record-shattering 53-yard field goal and a 6-0 Mississippi lead.

But the boys from Mississippi weren’t through putting the finishing touches on an outstanding second quarter just yet.  After holding Alabama once again on downs, Milons took his team 12 yards in five plays, setting up another Hart field goal- this one from 41 yards out- as the horn sounded to end the first half.

The third and fourth quarters were played in a driving rain storm, with neither offense able to muster much of an attack.  Alabama did have its one opportunity, beginning an 11-play, 50-yard drive that got them to the Mississippi 32.  But University of Alabama signee Shontua Ray, who had rushed for 31 yards in the drive, coughed up the football on a first-and-10 play from the Mississippi 32-yard line, and Mississippi’s Edward Prather punced on the loose football to end the threat.

Mississippi tailback Justin Griffith led all rushers in the game with 95 yards on 15 carries.  Ray placed Alabama with 45 yards on 14 carries.

Defensively, linebacker Mario Haggan had a stellar game for Mississippi, recording five tackles, including a pair for losses of 10 yards and a sack for five yards, while Alabama linebacker Roderick Jones register 10 tackles (9 solos).  Williams added six tackles, two for losses of 8 yards, and a quarterback sack for four yards.

1999–Alabama 28, Mississippi 24

Too much of a good thing and a Heart of Dixie team that just wouldn’t quit determined the outcome of the 12th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.

The two much of a good thing was the brilliant performance of Mississippi tailback Dontae Walker, who almost single-handedly ran Alabama out of Ladd-Peeples Memorial Stadium in the first half. Walker, a native of Clinton, Miss., and a Mississippi State signee, rushed for a Classic record 158 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns to lead his team to the brink of victory. But it was the time a tired and exhausted Walker was not in the game that proved to be the turning point in the contest. Trailing 10-0 in the opening quarter, Walker’s replacement, Tanarka Counslor, fumbled on a hit by ‘Bama’s Eddie Hoskin and linebacker William Orr picked up the loose football and rambled 20 yards to the Mississippi 21-yard line. Two plays later, Alabama’s Michael Owens rambled in from six yards away and ‘Bama was back in the game.

Mississippi had taken the lead on a 25-yard field goal b David Mooneyham with 7:27 to play in the opening quarter, and made it 10-0 on Rod Davis’ 27-yard fumble return at the 3:32 mark before Owens cashed in on the Mississippi miscue.

‘Bama went up 14-10 moments later on a Brandon Johnson one-yard run, again capitalizing on a Counslor fumble at the Mississippi 30-yard line. A pass from wide receiver DeAndre Green to Leonard Fulgham netted 26 yards and a first down at the Mississippi seven, and two plays later Auburn signee  Johnson took it in from the two for a 14-10 ‘Bama lead.

Mississippi methodically answered that score with one of its own, covering 70 yards in 11 plays with Walker gaining 49 of those years, including the final two for a touchdown with 5:04 remaining before halftime and a 17-14 Mississippi lead.

By halftime, Walker had gained 117 of his 158 yards.

Mississippi opened the third quarter the same way it finished the second, going 70 yards in 10 plays, taking almost five minutes off the clock. Walker scored his second touchdown of the evening to give his team a “comfortable” 24-14 advantage.

But that’s when the Alabama squad went to work. Behind the trio of quarterback Derek Bynum, fullback Johnson and wide out Green, Alabama took nine plays and a little more than four minutes to cover 71 yards and close the gap to 24-21 at the 2:44 mark of the third. Johnson gained 24 yards rushing in the drive, including a one-yard touchdown rumble, while Bynum hooked up with Green for two completions for 27 yards.

Alabama began its game-winning drive with 8:13 showing on the fourth-quarter clock. A 15-yard pass interference call gave ‘Bama a first down at its own 46. Quarterback Brent Speigner then hit tight end Robert Johnson for 12 yards to the Mississippi 38. Another pass interference call after a Mississippi interception put Alabama at the Mississippi 18 with 5:41 to play. One play later, Speigner found Green all alone in the end zone for a 28-24 lead and the win.

Green was named MVP for the Alabama squad, while Walker earned the honors for Mississippi.

2000–Alabama 16, Mississippi 9

 Alabama got the new millennium off to a winning start with a hard-fought 16-9 win in a game filled with unlikely heroes.

With the score knotted a 9 midway through the third quarter, unheralded and unsigned quarterback J.P. Holley, who was named Alabama's Most Valuable Player, drove his squad 70 yards in nine plays for the 16-9 margin, then turned it over to a staunch 'Bama defense to preserve the victory. Holley, who played at Stanhope-Elmore, completed five consecutive passes during the drive, including a 35-yard strike to wide receive Triandos Luke for the touchdown with only 24 seconds remaining in quarter number three.

On the night, Holley completed 9-11 passes for 85 yards and the touchdown.

Mississippi wasn't without its unlikely heroes, either. Kicker John-Michael Martin kept his squad in the game with field goals of 47, 23 and 20 yards, all the whole averaging 43.5 per punt. His only missed field goal came from 60 yards out. Martin's effort earned him MVP honors for the Mississippi squad.

Mississippi got on the scoreboard first with 2:51 showing on the first quarter clock on Martin's 47-yard field goal. The kick was set up by the steady running of halfback Marvin Vaughan , who carried 10 consecutive times on the drive.

A bad snap from center set up Alabama's first score. With 51 seconds left in the opening quarter, Martin saw the football flying over his head into the end zone. In his attempt to rush the football out of the end zone, he fumbled the ball and Bama's Mayo Sowell pounced on it for six points. Phillip Yost's extra-point attempt was no good, leaving Alabama with a 6-3 advantage.  

Jason Campbell's 36-yard aerial to Antonio Hargro set up Martin's second field goal of the night, this one from 23 yards, to make the score 6-6 with 5:12 remaining before halftime. The Campbell-to-Hargro connection gave Mississippi a first-and-goal just inside the 10-yard line, but 'Bama's defense stiffened.

On the ensuing kickoff, Luke returned the ball 48 yards to the Mississippi 46-yard line and Alabama was back in business. Using 5:05 on the clock, Holley methodically drove his team down field, covering 58 yards in nine plays. But to their credit, Mississippi's defense, led by linebackers Antoine Cash and Jason Clark , made Alabama settle for a 32-yard field goal from Yost as the horn sounded.

Mississippi took the second half kickoff and pounded its way from Bama's 42 to the Alabama 4-yard line before two penalties stalled the drove. The drive was set up by a 48-yard kickoff return from Vaughan. Martin's third field goal came with 6:37 to play in the third quarter and made it 9-9. That's when Holley displayed his heroics. Starting on the Alabama 30-yard line, Holley directed his team to paydirt, hitting Pelham's Bill Flowers for three passes and tight end Bo Hartsfield for another until hooking up with Luke in the right corner of the end zone with 4:46 to play in the third. The PAT by Yost was good for a 16-9 lead and the eventual winning margin.

Vaughan led all rushers in the game with 64 yards, while Alabama was paced by Archie Niles 45 yards.

Hargo was the top receiver with 102 yards on six catches. Hartsfield had four catches for 36 yards.

In addition to recovering the fumble for a touchdown, Alabama's Sowell was all over the Ladd-Peebles Stadium turf. He recorded a game-best nine tackles, including two for losses and a sack for five yards, and intercepted one pass.

Clark was Mississippi's top hitter with six tackles, one for a loss, while defensive lineman J.J. Grant recorded his team's only sack of 12 yards. Defensive back Michael Cooley added an interception.

2001– Alabama 33, Mississippi 14
Mississippi entered the 14th Annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic with the reputation of having two gunslingers at the quarterback position.

But the showdown at the Ladd-Peebles corral never materialized.

Instead, Alabama used a surprisingly strong passing attack and the legs of its "Mr. Football"  - tailback Carnell Williams - to gun down the Magnolia State squad, 33-14.

It wasn't supposed to be that easy.

Mississippi quarterbacks Darius Bilbo and  Michael Spurlock had the pre-game hype, but it was the heroics of hometown boy Ramon Nelson that led the Alabama team to its fourth consecutive win. Nelson, of nearby Theodore, was known more for his quick feet than his arm, but he and teammate Josh Crouch completed 16-of-26 passes for 226 yards and one touchdown.

In the meantime, Alabama's staunch and opportunistic defense was limiting Bilbo, Spurlock and Company to only 8 completions in 28 attempts for 106 yards.

The Auburn-bound Williams did yeoman's work, as well. On Alabama's first play of the game, he took a Nelson swing pass on his own 22-yard line and rambled 30 yards for a first down at the Mississippi 48 yard line. Seven plays later, Williams put the first points on the board with a 3-yard run before the large crowd had time to settle into their seats.  Edward Stallworth's PAT was good for a 7-0 'Bama lead.

It didn't take long for the Alabama gang to put light up the Ladd-Peebles scoreboard once again. On Mississippi's second play following the Williams touchdown, defensive end  Michael Gibson pounced on a Bilbo fumble at the Mississippi 21-yard line, and Alabama was in business once again. Four plays later, Williams scored his second touchdown in less than 90 seconds on a 1-yard run, and Stallworth's PAT gave 'Bama a 14-0 advantage.

Mississippi's defense settled down the next two series before Alabama dented the scoreboard again. Starting from his own 26, Nelson directed his team 74 yards in 9 plays with fullback Kelsey Sheppard doing the honors on an 8-yard run with 8:54 remaining before halftime. Nelson completed 3-of-4 passes, including a 29-yarder to Anthony Mix, during the drive. Stallworth's extra point was again true and Alabama was coasting, 21-0.

 A bad night got increasingly worse for Mississippi on the ensuing kickoff. Mike Espy returned Stallworth's kickoff 4 yards before fumbling, which was recovered by 'Bama's Timmy Autry at the Mississippi 16. To its credit, the Mississippi defense rose to the occasion and held 'Bama to only three points, a 25-yard boot from Stallworth that made it 24-0.

Mississippi finally dented the scoreboard with Bilbo at the controls. With only 5 seconds showing on the second quarter clock, an 11-yard pass from Bilbo to Espy capped a 9-play, 70-yard drive. Mike McLaughlin's PAT made it 24-7 at intermission.

The third quarter was a defensive struggle until Mississippi's Keith Houston recovered a Williams fumble at the Alabama 23-yard line. Sylvester Brown second rush of a three-play drive, from 16 yards away, combined with McLaughlin's PAT, cut the Alabama lead to 24-14.

An eight-play, 44-yard drive topped off by a Stallworth 42-yard field goal with 11:47 to play increased Alabama's lead to 27-14. Nelson's 35-yard completion to Mix was the highlight of the drive.

Alabama put the game out of reach with just over eight minutes remaining in the game, and it only took one play. Nelson found wide out Ratavious Biddle from 53 yards out for six points and 'Bama a 33-14 edge.  Mississippi made one last attempt to light up the scoreboard, driving from its own 20 to the Alabama 25, but the drive stalled and 'Bama ran out the clock.

Autry led an Alabama defensive unit that limited its opponents to only 181 total yards with 9 tackles, including three for losses, a fumble recovery and a sack. Jeremy Ruffin and Fred Perkins each recorded eight tackles for Mississippi. Three of Ruffin's tackles went for losses.

Williams led all rushers in the game with 87 yards on 13 carries and the two touchdowns. Nelson completed 12-of-21 passes for 206 yards, with Biddle hauling in five of those for 87 yards and a score. Mix added four receptions for 74 yards.

Brown led the Mississippi rushing attack with 57 yards on 7 totes, while Bilbo completed 6-of-20 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. Espy had five catches for 67 yards and a score.

Defensively, Alabama's Autry was the top tackler in the game with 9, including three for losses, while Jeremy Ruffin and Fred Perkins added eight tackles apiece. Ruffin also had three for losses.

Williams was named the MVP for the Alabama squad while Espy earned that distinction for Mississippi.

2002 - Alabama 29, Mississippi 17

Although the two teams combined for 46 points in the 15th Annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, it was actually the defense – in particular Alabama’s – that proved to be the difference.

Holding the Mississippi team to a Classic record 50 yards of total offense, the ‘Bama boys posted their fourth consecutive win in the series, claiming a  29-17 victory in Ladd Peebles Stadium.

Mississippi’s two scoring drives started at the Alabama 3 and 13-yard lines, respectively, and with the exception of Aries Nelson’s brilliant 39-yard run to set up a field goal right before halftime, no Mississippi ball carrier had a run from scrimmage longer than eight yards.

Alabama was so dominating that it ran 62 plays to only 37 for Mississippi. The Alabama squad also had a considerable edge in time of possession, holding onto the ball 30 of the 48 minutes in the game. And Mississippi didn’t help its own cause much, setting a new Classic record with 13 penalties.

Despite all the negative statistics, the Mississippi gang had a superb first half. Things looked bright when defensive back Quentin Sullivan recovered a Lee Baker fumble on the opening kickoff at the ‘Bama  33-yard line and returned it 30 yards to the 3-yard line. One play later, halfback Kevin Dockery scooted into the endzone with only 20 seconds gone off the first quarter clock. Scott Shurden’s PAT made it 7-0.

Unrattled,  Alabama quarterback Graeme McFarland, completing all five of his pass attempts in the drive, calmly guided his team 67 yards in 10 plays to tie the game, tossing a 4-yard scoring strike to tight end Lawrence Lilly for the touchdown with 4:52 to play in the quarter. Patrick Byrne’s PAT was successful.

A fresh Alabama defense that had only been on the field one play held Mississippi on its next possession, and Alabama’s Mr. Football, quarterback Brandon Cox, emulated McFarland’s earlier performance. Cox drove the Alabama team 67 yards in eight plays for the go-ahead touchdown. Halfback Kenneth Darby did most of the legwork, gaining 29 yards on the drive, but it was Jeremie Whittaker who got the touchdown on a 1-yard plunge as the first quarter ended. Bryne’s PAT was again true for a 14-7 Alabama advantage.

The two teams swapped possessions to open the second quarter before Mississippi’s Darren Williams intercepted a McFarland pass and returned it 33 yards to the Alabama 13-yard line. But the drive stalled and Shurden came on to boot a 29-yard field goal with 5:58 before halftime to cut the ‘Bama lead to 14-10.

But Cox didn’t take long to get those points back – and more. Back-to-back completions of 25 yards to Brigham and 39 yards to wide receiver Montavous Pitts gave Alabama a first down at the Mississippi 17-yard line. Three plays later, Darby darted in from five yards out with 3:46 left before halftime. Byrne’s third extra point of the night was true and Alabama had a 21-10 advantage.

What happened next was simply mind-boggling. Nelson had taken his Mississippi team from the Alabama 43 to the ‘Bama 16 as seconds ticked off the second quarter clock. After a time out with 48 seconds to play, Dockery fumbled on a rush attempt that was recovered by teammate Eddie White at the Alabama 39, a 23-yard loss. Faced with a third-and-30 from the Alabama 39, Nelson weaved and darted and dodged his way the entire 39 yards for the touchdown as the horn sounded. Shurden’s PAT made the halftime score, Alabama 21, Mississippi 17.

Just like the game started with an Alabama fumble on the kickoff, the third quarter began the same way, with Mississippi handing out the favors. Demeco Ryans pounced on a Chris Browder-caused fumble on the opening kickoff and Alabama was back in business, but Mississippi’s Parys Haralson ended the threat by recovering a ‘Bama fumble at his own 16-yard line.

All that did was signal the beginning of the end for the Mississippi squad. A 20-yard Dockery run was called back because of clipping. A false start and a sack pushed the ball back to the Mississippi 6. Another false start came before Alabama defensive lineman Tommy Jackson sacked Morgan in the endzone for a safety, giving ‘Bama a 23-17 advantage with 9:33 to play in the third quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Cox took 11 plays to drive his Alabama team 41 yards for a field goal, with Byrne doing the honors from 43 yards out. He booted another one, this one from 27-yards out, with 7:24 in the game to round out the scoring.

Darby led all rushers in the game with 60 yards on 13 carries, while Nelson topped Mississippi with 42 yards. McFarland and Cox were both sharp for ‘Bama, McFarland hitting 8-of-12 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown and Cox 8-of-11 for 111 yards and a score to earn MVP honors for the Alabama squad.

Jeremaine Winters led Mississippi in tackles with eight, while Jayme Mitchell added six, including a pair for losses. Tyrone Martin was Alabama’s top tackler with 8, including a pair for losses.

2003 - Alabama 24, Mississippi 16

Coming into the 16th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, the Alabama squad had won four consecutive games, as the bunch from Mississippi had done earlier in the series.

But you can toss those streaks out the window--Alabama became the first team in Classic history to win five consecutive games. The boys from ‘Bama set three new records and tied another as they defeated the Magnolia State, 24-16.

Alabama used a huge dose of gifted wide out Chad Jackson and the arms of quarterbacks Jemarcus Russell and Kelcey Luke to run the all-time series to 11-5 in Alabama’s favor.  Jackson, who prepped at Hoover, was, in a word, unstoppable. The Florida signee established a new classic record for most touchdown passes caught in one game (3), most touchdowns scored (3), and most points scored (18). He also tied the mark for most passes caught in the game (7).

While Jackson & Company were lighting up the Ladd-Peebles Stadium scoreboard, the defensive effort by the Alabama squad should not be overlooked. The Alabama Gang held Mississippi to only six first downs, 65 yards rushing and 149 yards in total offense. They made it a game on a one-yard scoring run by Keem Lofton and a Lofton-to-Chris Johnson pass that covered 56 yards for another score.

After a scoreless first quarter, Mississippi dented the scoreboard first when Lofton dove over from one-yard out.  The touchdown was set up by a 37-yard punt return from Grimace McSwain that gave Mississippi a first down at the Alabama 21-yard line, and a 17-yard dash by Larry Taylor that got the ball to the one.  After Lofton’s score, the PAT attempt by Darren McCaleb was blocked.

Alabama fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Mississippi had a golden opportunity to put even more points on the board.  But three plays lost three yards and McCaleb was wide on a 46-yard field goal attempt.

That’s when Alabama went to work. Russell calmly directed his team on a 14-play, 70-yard drive, capping it off with a 10-yard pass to Jackson for the score with 3:52 remaining before halftime. Will Crum’s extra point gave ‘Bama a 7-6 lead.

Alabama got a huge break of its own on Mississippi’s next series. Two plays after the kickoff, Chaz Richards knocked the ball loose from Bobby Weakley and Alabama’s Shun Harris pounced on it at the Mississippi 22-yard line. But the Mississippi defense stiffened and Crum came on to boot a 33-yard field goal for a 10-6 lead with just over two minutes remaining before the half.

hat, however, was plenty of time for the Mississippi squad. Starting at his own 25-yard line, Lofton struck quickly, completing the 56-yard bomb to Johnson to cap a three-play, 75-yard drive with 1:21 on the second quarter clock.  McCaleb’s PAT was true and Mississippi took a 13-10 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Each team had thee-play, three-year drives to open the second half before the Alabama team drove 63 yard in eight plays to regain the lead at 17-13. Russell completed passes to three different receivers, the last going 18 yards to Jackson for the score. Crum’s PAT was good.

Mississippi wouldn’t quit, cutting the Alabama lead to 17-16 on a McCaleb 39-yard field goal with 10:15 to play in the fourth quarter.

Like good teams do, Alabama wasted little time answering the three-pointer, as Jackson caught his record-setting third touchdown—this one a 32-yard pass from Luke—with 7:26 to play. Crum’s extra point extended the advantage to eight, 24-16.

Any hopes of a Mississippi comeback were dashed when ‘Bama’s Eric Brock intercepted an Omarr Conner pass in the end zone with 59 seconds remaining I the game.

Obviously, Jackson was the “Most Valuable Player” for Alabama while Jason Hockady earned that same honor for Mississippi.  Hockady, from D’iberville, recorded seven tackles, a tackle for a loss and forced a fumble. Quinton McCrary and McSwain each had an interception for the Mississippi squad.

Cedric Brooke paced Alabama with six tackles, Deriontae Taylor had five tackles, including two for losses of 10 yards, a sack for six yards and a quarterback hurry.

Offensively Luke led all rushers in the game with 35 yards on five carries. He completed 4-of-11 passes for 70 yards and the one touchdown. Russell completed 11-of-21 passes for 111 and two scores.

Anthony Perine led Mississippi with 20 yards on only one carry. Conner completed 3-of-15 for 14 yards and Lofton 2-for-3 for 70 yards and a score. Perine had three receptions for 32 yards.

2004 - Alabama 24, Mississippi 22

It wasn’t enough that Tribble Reece’s unusual first name stood out among the 71 other participants in the 17th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.

TheMountain Brook product made sure his ability stood out, as well.

All Reece did in leading his Alabama squad to its record sixth consecutive victory in the 17-year history of the game – a 24-22 nail-biter over a gallant Mississippi squad – was complete a Classic-record 12-of-15 passes for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns. As a result, he was named Alabama’s “Most Valuable Player.” The record he established came in the form of misfiring on only three of his 15 attempts, completing 80 percent of his passes.

If you like big plays, this was a game for the ages. Of the eight combined scores, six came from further than 15 yards out, and even Mississippi’s first score – a 6-yard jaunt by Brandon Jackson with 7:34 to play in the first quarter – came after Xavier Mitchell recovered a blocked punt at the ‘Bama 6-yard line. One play later, Jackson danced into the end zone for six, but Alabama reciprocated by blocking the extra point.

The ‘Bama squad finally got on the scoreboard with 8:39 showing on the second quarter clock. Starting at his own 30, Reese drove his team 70 yards in seven plays, capping it off with a 25-yard touchdown strike to Murphy’s Jason English. Jason Grammer’s PAT gave Alabama the lead.

A 47-yard field goal by Mississippi’s Britt Barefoot put his team on top 9-7, with 4:17 to play in the second stanza, but Grammer answered that with a three-pointer of his own – from 30-yards out – a time ticked off the second quarter clock. The kick was set up by a Jock McKissic interception that he returned to the Mississippi 13 with 30 seconds to play before halftime.

received the second half kick and it didn’t take Reece long to find paydirt. After three consecutive running plays, the Mt. Brook product dropped backed to pass and found Brantley’s Marcel Stamps all alone for a 56-yard scoring strike. Grammer’s PAT gave ‘Bama a 17-9 lead with only 98 seconds into the second half.

Mississippi’s defense had seen enough. After tackling Brandon Thornton for a seven-yard loss at the Alabama 11, Torrey Stewart intercepted a Michael Henig pass and the Magnolia state boys were back in business. Quarterback Jerimy Watson took his team from its own 42 to the Alabama 16-yard line without ever throwing a pass, then tossed a 16-yard completion to Harrison Central’s Antoine Banks for six points, cutting the ‘Bama lead to 17-15 with 51 seconds remaining to be played in the third quarter. The try for two failed.

Giving Mississippi a taste of its own medicine, Alabama took the ensuing kickoff and did a little running of its own. Starting at their own 18-yard line, Reese rushed for seven yards, followed by a 21-yard scamper by Hillcrest’s Markus Manson. Seven more rushes got the ball to the Mississippi 15-yard line, and Thornton took it in from there. Grammer’s all-important PAT gave the Alabama squad a 24-15 advantage with 8:26 to play.

Mississippi was not to be denied, however. They began the drive at their own 25, and took 13 plays to cover the yardage. The score came from Oak Grove’s Kyle Sellers to Banks from eight yards out with 3:01 to play. Barefoot’s PAT made it 24-22, Alabama.

Alabama proceeded to run valuable time off the clock before Mississippi got one last chance, taking over at its own 34 yard line with 24 ticks remaining on the clock. But a sack of Sellers by Alabama’s Maurice Coleman of Eufaula signaled the end.

Mississippi’s Michael Eubanks of Cleveland was a defensive stalwart for his team, recoding seven tackles, including three and one-half in tackles for losses of 23 yards. Steve Gandy of Wayne County also had seven tackles, while Mississippi MVP Garry Pack of Oak Grove had five tackles.

Defensively, Alabama was paced by Dusty Lindsey of Davidson, who had a team-high nine tackles.

Jackson led all rushers in the game with 62 yards and a touchdown, while Manson was tops for Alabama with 55 yards.   


2005 - Mississippi 21, Alabama 18


Entering the 2005 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, the Alabama squad had won a record six consecutive games—dating back to a 28-24 victory the 1999 contest—and, quite frankly, the boys from Mississippi were awfully tired hearing about it.


All but one of the games had been decided by two touchdowns or less, but when the Ladd-Peebles Memorial Stadium clock had ticked off its final seconds,  Mississippi was always on the short end of the stick. That is, until Mississippi “Player of the Year” Jimmy Johns and Company put a screeching halt to the streak, defeating the Alabama squad, 21-18.


Johns, an Alabama signee, wasn’t spectacular, but he delivered most when it counted. His 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter erased a 3-0 Alabama lead, and another 1-yard plunge late in the third iced the game for Mississippi. He finished with 37 yards rushing and another 88 through the air on 5-9 passing.


Alabama took an early 3-0 lead on a 40-yard field goal by Alex Burkett with1:14 to play in the first quarter, but Johns quickly answered with his first 1-yard plunge. The go-ahead touchdown came gift-wrapped when Mississippi Most Valuable Player Lee Klein pounced on a Devin Goodwin fumble at the ‘Bama 5-yard line. Two plays later, Johns found the end zone.


The lead was short-lived, however. Michael Ricks pounced on a Johns’ fumble at the Alabama 47 and quarterback Jarod Bryant quickly drove his team to pay dirt. Two consecutive pass completions to Markus Douglas gained 7and 42 yards, respectively, down to the Mississippi 1-yard line, and Harris Johnson did the honors from there. Burkett’s PAT with 10:12 to play in the second was good, giving Alabama a 10-7 lead.


But it only took one play -- one magnificent play -- for Mississippi to answer. Batesville’s Derek Pegues, a Mississippi State signee, took a handoff from Johns with only a buck-thirty to play in the half and raced—untouched—72 yards for the score and a 14-10 halftime lead. Ryan Hoorman’s PAT was true.


Neither team could mount a drive in the third period until Johns took his team 43 yards in 10 plays, the big play coming on a 45-yard completion from Johns to wide out Stuart Davidson that gave Mississippi a first down at the Alabama 8-yard line. Three plays later, Johns had his second touchdown of the night—another 1-yard dive—and Hoorman’s PAT made it 21-10, Mississippi, with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter.


Alabama rode the arm of Hoover’s Bryant to get back into the game. He connected on three passes, the final 41yards to Tyler Grishman for the score, and then found Gabe McKenzie for the two-point conversion with 7:56 to go in the game. Alabama had a golden opportunity to take the lead late in the game when Ray Williams recovered a fumble at the Mississippi 29-yard line, but one play later Mississippi’s Cornelius McGee intercepted a Goodwin pass at the goal line to thwart the drive. Alabama never threatened after that.


Pegues led all rushers in the game with 106 yards and a touchdown while Harris Johnson topped Alabama’s efforts with 44 yards and a score. Johns and teammate Wesley Beardain combined to go 9-for-15 for 100 yards while Bryant completed 7-of-12 for 131and a touchdown for Alabama. CoEric Riley had three catches for Mississippi as did Aubrey Bell and Douglas for ‘Bama.


Defensively, Anthony Johnson recorded seven tackles—six unassisted—and an interception to lead Mississippi while Archie Sims, Marcus Johnson and Klein added six stops. Alabama’s C.J. Brown led all tacklers in the game with eight while Cory Reamer added seven. Klein was the MVP for Mississippi, Bryant for Alabama.

2006 - Alabama 24, Mississippi 3

            The old saying stats are for losers was never truer in the 19th Annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic at Ladd-Peebles Stadium

            Alabama came out victorious with a 24-3 win, but the scoreboard was the only thing the 'Bama squad led all night.

            Consider the following:

  • Mississippi had 12 first downs, Alabama 8.
  • Mississippi rushed for 101 yards to only 41 for their next-door neighbor.
  • Mississippi threw for 113 yards, while Alabama had 52.
  • Mississippi rolled up 214 yards of total offense, to only 93 for ‘Bama.

            Funny thing, those statistics. They don’t account for a 'Bama interception returned for a touchdown, an Alabama fumble recovery at the Mississippi 11 that led to an easy score, and another fumble returned 30 yards for a touchdown.

Mississippi’s Brandon Sellers did his part in getting his team off to a good start – um, foot – by booting a 47-yard field goal with 8:37 showing on the first quarter clock for a 3-0 lead. Little did anyone know that would be Mississippi’s one shining moment.

            After a change of possession, Alabama began its most impressive drive of the night to take a 7-3 lead. Beginning on the Mississippi 41, quarterback Chris Smelley connected with tight end Preston Dial for 9 yards. A pass interference call two plays later moved the ball to the Mississippi 18, and three plays later Smelley found a wide open Terrell Zachary from 12 yards out for the score. Patrick Dolan’s PAT was true for a 7-3 lead.

            Alabama wasted little time increasing its lead to 10-3. Defensive back Max Lerner, on the third play of the second quarter, intercepted a Matt Malouf pass and returned it 54 yards to the Mississippi 16 yard line. The drive stalled, and Dolan came on to kick a 31-yard field goal with 8:43 showing on the second quarter clock. Neither team scored the remainder of the quarter.

            Mississippi mounted an impressive drive to open the third stanza, driving from its own 35 to the Bama 9-yard line, but Sellers’ 26-yard field goal went wide left.

            On its next possession, Mississippi dug its grave a little deeper as running back Cordera Eason fumbled at the Alabama 15, which was recovered by Bama’s Andy Davis. Four plays later, halfback Arnil Stallworth crossed the goalline for Alabama from one-yard out with 51 seconds to play in the third quarter. Dolan’s PAT made it 17-7.

Mississippi’s final nail in the coffin came on its first play after the ensuing kickoff. Anthony Dixon fumbled at his own 30 and an alert Captain Munnerlyn scooped it up and ran it in for a touchdown with 38 seconds to play in the third quarter. Dolan’ PAT put the finishing touch on the scoring for the night and a 24-7 Alabama victory.

Defensive end Jerrell Nobles was named Most Outstanding Player for Alabama, while Tim Buckley was the Mississippi Most Outstanding Player.

Buckley led all rushers in the game with 42 yards on seven carries while Dixon added 36 on 10. Quarterback Donald Williams was Bama’s top rusher with 27 of his team’s 41 yards.

Buckley completed 7-of-15 passes for 79 yards while both Wilson and Smelley completed 3-of-8 passes for Bama, Williams for 29 yards and Smelley for 23. Smelley threw the lone touchdown pass in the game.

Maurice Langton of Mississippi led all receivers with 43 yards on four catches while Anthony Gray had a pair of catches for 45 yards. Alabama’s leading receiver was Rashaud Slaughter, who had two receptions for 16 yards.

One bright spot for Mississippi was the punting of Brandon Sellers, who established a new All-Star Classic record with a 48.5 yards per punt average.


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