Tide’s Moore ready for game

Published 5:56 am Friday, December 18, 2009


Item Sports Editor

GULFPORT — Picayune’s Jonathan Moore hopes to raise the stakes in Saturday’s state All-Star football game.

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And the odds may just be stacked in his favor.

Moore, a two year starter at receiver for the Maroon Tide, hopes to be hauling in quite a few passes in Saturday’s game in order to catch the attention of college scouts that may be in attendance.

And he’ll get a chance to do just that from one of the most prolific passers in Mississippi prep history.

St. Stanislaus quarterback Dylan Favre skipped the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Classic in order to be the signal-caller for the South team, and Moore will be one of his prime targets.

Moore finished the season with 22 catches for almost 300 yards this year for Picayune, helping guide the Maroon Tide into the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs. He averaged over 13 yards per catch.

Moore and Favre will be joined on the South team by three more of Favre’s Rockachaw teammates in Krisjohn Wilkerson, Chandler York and Boomer Scarborough as well as Oak Grove’s Robert Johnson, who just committed to Mississippi State. Wilkerson, Moore and Johnson are expected to make up the bulk of the receiving corps.

The 61st Bernard Blackwell All Star Football Classic, sponsored by Russell Athletic and Rex Team Sports will kick off Saturday here at Milner Stadium at 12:30 with pregame activities set for Noon.

General admission tickets will be available at the gate for only $5.00 per person with all seats general admission. After being played for the last four decades in the Metro Jackson area, the game this year is being played for the first time on the Gulf Coast, and will take place on the coast for the next three years.

The game will also be televised statewide, carried by the flagship station of WLOX in Biloxi and broadcast on the following local stations: WMC, Memphis, TN; WLBT, Jackson; WTOK, Meridian; WDAM, Hattiesburg; WABG, Greenville; and WCBI, Columbus.

Russ Robinson will handle the TV play-by-play of the game with Ricky Mitchell providing color commentary and Kim Tanner as the sidelines reporter.

The game features a North-South format and the South leads the series 27-25-4. The South beat the North by a 30-14 score in 2009 in a game delayed by inclement weather. Picayune head coach Dodd Lee was the winning coach in that game, and the South team also consisted of Tide assistant coach Brian Edwards, and Picayune players Reggie Bailey, Chris Nixon and Jacob Hickman.

This year The North will be coached by Lance Pogue of South Panola while the South will be led by Scott Pierson. Each squad consists of 37 of the top outgoing senior players in the state. The game features the North-South format for the 17th consecutive contest, a format that was previously used from 1950 to 1988. Prior to 1993, the game featured the 4A-5A All Stars versus the 1A-2A-3A All Stars with the larger schools compiling a record of 3-1. The series record currently stands at South 27, North 25 with 4 ties. The South defeated the North in the 60th Bernard Blackwell Classic played on July 16, 2009, by a score of 30-14. The game features high school rules including 12 minute quarters. The South will wear red jerseys with white numerals while the North will don white jerseys with blue numerals. The Bill Stewart Award is presented at each Bernard Blackwell All-Star Football Classic in recognition of the high school all-star player who is outstanding by his actions on and off the field. The award is named in honor of Bill Stewart, an outstanding athlete at Southern Miss and Mississippi State who lost his life in the Korean War while serving his country in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Also, Each year, the All-Star players selected to play in this game sell ads to the program on sale at the stadium. The player that sells the most ads receives the game ball at the end of the contest.