Turnovers sink South
The South suffered 4 interceptions and 1 fumble Thursday night,helping the North post a 16-7 victory in the 59th Annual BernardBlackwell All-Star Football Classic. An estimated crowd of 5,000watched the North take a 7-0 halftime lead on a 52-yardinterception return by South Panola defensive back BudBarksdale.
Barksdale was named the game’s Most Valuable Defensive Player.Wide receiver Bobby Felder of McComb produced an impressive night,catching 6 passes for 120 yards. That earned the Nicholls State(La.) signee the MVP Offensive Award. Felder also was awarded thegame ball for selling the most advertisements in the gameprogram.,
The annual Bill Stewart Award, recognizing courage andleadership on and off the field, went to the North’s JavariusConner of Noxubee County.
“We had some big, bad plays,” said Brookhaven coach TuckerPeavey who served as the South’s offensive line coach. “Theinterceptions and penalties on big plays really hurt us.”
Felder took a fourth-quarter pass from quarterback Emil Jones ofNorth Forrest 85 yards for an apparent touchdown but it was wipedout by a clipping penalty. South head coach Todd Mangum of OceanSprings vehemently protested the call and drew another penalty.
Ten plays later, at the North 21, Jones threw his thirdinterception of the game. Dominique Davenport of Baldwyn made thetheft with 1:29 left in the game and secured the victory.
The North limited the South to just 2 yards rushing on 16carries. Peavey only had 7 offensive lineman to work with due tosome late withdrawals from the game.
Brookhaven lineman Darion Smith, a 2-year starter at center forthe Panthers, was moved to left tackle for the game. His blockinghelped the South amass 291 yards passing.
“It was fun,” answered Smith, when asked about the game. “I wishI could do it all over again. I met a lot of good guys on bothteams.”
Wesson coach Tommy Clopton coached the South receivers andwatched the game from the press box, communicating with Mangum.
“The turnovers got us,” said Clopton. “We couldn’t get it in theend zone. “We had penalties in crucial times.”
Running back Roy Williams of Wesson carried twice for 5 yardsand caught 2 passes for 30 yards.
“It was a tough game,” said Williams. “Everybody out here wasgood. This helped me get ready for the next level.”
Williams plans to play for Copiah-Lincoln Community College.Another Co-Lin signee, Lawrence County linebacker Julius Magee, wasused mainly at defensive end last night.
Jefferson County quarterback Percy Turner started under centerbefore Jones replaced him on the second series. Turner completed 6of 12 passes for 79 yards and threw one interception.
“This was my first game since November,” said Turner, an AlcornState signee who led the Tigers to the state playoffs. “We justdidn’t make good decisions out there.”
Jones filled the air with footballs. He completed 16 of 32passes for 212 yards. Cedric Blanks of Meridian caught 2 passes for42 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown catch on a crossing patternwith 9:59 left in the game.
The North, under the direction of Itawamba AHS coach JamieMitchell, claimed a 13-0 lead at the 8:08 mark of the thirdquarter. Ignited by Marquise Green’s 43-yard kickoff return, theNorth marched 46 yards in 9 plays. Running back Alvin Ellis ofColumbus went the final 5 yards over left tackle.
In the fourth quarter, following a blocked punt, the North tookover at the South’s 29-yard line. The Yanks settled for a 38-yardfield goal by Tyler Turner of Horn Lake, putting them up 16-7.
The North’s victory left the South with a 26-25-4 lead in theseries. The North totaled 104 yards rushing and 34 yards passingwith 1 interception and losing 1 fumble.