MS defeats AL 24-20 in MS/AL All-Star Game, Conner named MVP

Conner rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries to win Most Valuable Player honors for Mississippi.

MS defeats AL 24-20 in MS/AL All-Star Game, Conner named MVP

MONTGOMERY, AL (WDAM) - For those who have watched Hattiesburg High School football for the past few years, the faithful and the converted are aware of what Jarod Conner is capable of doing.

A larger audience in two states got a good, long look at the quarterback-turned-running back's talent, toughness and determination Monday night, as Conner helped the Mississippi All-Stars run away from the Alabama All-Stars 24-20 in the 32nd annual Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Football Game.

Conner rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 188 carries to win Most Valuable Player honors for Mississippi.

"A lot of people got to see where my game is at," said Connor, who at times lined up and took direct snaps in a three- back formation. "We started (running) in the first half and just kept hitting them in the mouth with it."

By game's end, Mississippi had outrushed Alabama by 200 yards (257 yards to 57 yards) outgained their counterparts 390 yards total offense to 294 yards.

"It was just a lot of fun," Oak Grove quarterback John Rhys Plumlee said. "To get to play with the top guys in the state in one game together, it was just a lot of fun."

It marked Alabama's first loss in the series at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., as Mississippi posted consecutive wins for the first since it took four in a row from Alabama from 1992-95.

Plumlee had his moments, completing 6-of-12 passes for 77 yards with an interception, while rushing for 39 yards on six carries.

But it was Conner who left a larger mark.

He rushed for the game-tying touchdown on a 2-yard run in the second quarter, gave Mississippi the lead for good on a 6-yard run in the third quarter and then gained 54 yards on four carries on a back-breaking 70-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter.

Jaquerrious Williams of Tupelo High School, who ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, capped the game-winning drive off with a 13-yard scoring run.

The ground game was solid in the first half with 81 yards, but after going "jumbo" package by adding defensive linemen Nathan Pickering of Seminary High School and Byron Young of West Jones High School in the blocking scheme, Mississippi ran for 176 yards in the second half.

"I was used to it at my place (Seminary) because I played a lot on (offense), but to do it here, where they have all these guys that were picked (because they were offensive lineman), it was a lot of fun."

Alabama receiver George Perkins of Hoover High School had plenty of fun, tying one record with nine receptions and setting another with 155 yards receiving to earn the Alabama All-Stars' Most Valuable Player honors.

Perkins sandwiched a 13-yard TD catch from Bo Nix to start the scoring and ended the night with a 32-yard scoring toss from Nix as the game clock struck zero in the fourth quarter.

The Perkins' catches bracketed a 3-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter between tight end Michael Vice and 'Bama quarterback Peter Parrish, meaning that Perkins' final score could tie the game.

But after two doinks off the goalposts, Clinton High placekicker Tucker Barefoot nailed a 42-yard field goal after the Vice's touchdown catch that game Mississippi a two-score cushion down the stretch.

Sumrall High School receiver Dannis Jackson had one catch for 9 yards.

USM commitment Avery White, an outside linebacker from East Central High School, finished with seven tackles (four solos). Pickering had five tackles (four solo, with a tackle for loss) and Young had a solo tackle.

Mississippi outrushed Alabama 257 yards to 57 yards.

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