Mississippi beats Alabama in prep football All Star game

Published 8:36 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mississippi’s Mobile misery was moot Monday night.

The Magnolia State all-stars scored 20 quick points in the first 13 minutes of play and never trailed in beating the home team 26-7 in the 21st annual Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Football Classic at historic Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Picayune standout tailback Albert Richard was part of the big win, as he carried four times for 20 yards in the victory.

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“Man it’s exciting to be a part of this,” Richard said. “This is a good way to end my high school career. We practiced too hard not to win this game. We really wanted it.”

Mississippi used the quick right arm of quarterback Brett Jefcoat of Itawamba AHS in jumping out to the lead, as he guided the all-stars on a pair of scoring drives the first two times they had the ball.

Mississippi went up 7-0 on its first possession of the game when Jefcoat hit Raleigh’s Chris Lofton on a 10-yard scoring strike. The score capped a 14-play, 7-yard drive that featured three third-down conversions and Jefcoat’s 22-yard run.

On Mississippi’s next possession, Jefcoat found Ocean Springs’ DeAndre Brown cutting across the middle of the field and Brown did the rest, catching the ball in stride and going 55 yards for a score.

Mississippi’s back-up quarterback Charles Rancifer of Brookhaven then got into the action, on the other side of the ball, as he picked off an errant Alabama pass and returned it 2-yards for a score to make it 20-0 on the first play of the second quarter.

“The quick start was a key for us,” Mississippi hed coach Kenny Robinson said. “We kind of set the tone early.”

Richard, part of a deep and talented Mississippi backfield that included South Panola’s Darrius Barksdale and Moss Point’s Meco Brown, was the third back in the game for the team and he provided solid play in a support role. Barksdale was the leading rusher in the game with 78 yrds on 15 carries.

After trailing 20-0 at halftime, Alabama cut the deficit to 20-7 and was in position to make the game even closer but Mississippi defensive back Alonzo Lawrence of George County stepped in front of an Alabama pass and returned it 92 yards for a touchdown to make the score 27-7 with 4:08 left in the third period and Mississippi cruised from there.

The win helped Mississippi gain some measure of revenge in the annual contest, as Alabama had won eight of the last nine games including a 51-18 shellacking in June.

This was the first time the game has been played in December after two decades of the contest taking place in June. The game will continued to be played in December at this stadium which also hosts the annual Senior Bowl and GMAC Bowl.

Alabama leads the series 14-7.