MONTGOMERY, Ala. – For the second year in a row Mississippi had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter. But for the sixth consecutive year, Alabama emerged victorious.
Alabama defeated Mississippi 21-17 in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic on Saturday afternoon at the Cramton Bowl. Mississippi had two opportunities late in the fourth quarter to win, but it couldn’t capitalize.
“That’s a great ball team that we played,” West Point running back Aeris Williams said. “I think we got cheated, if you ask me.”
Mississippi had the ball inside Alabama’s 5-yard line, but it couldn’t punch it in on four different tries. After the defense stopped Alabama, Mississippi got the ball back at Alabama’s 32-yard line with another chance to win. Quarterback Wyatt Roberts and wide receiver Korey Robertson missed on what would have been the game-winning touchdown.
“If you had told me coming over here on Monday that it’s going to be two minutes to go, have the ball on their 30, down 4 points, I would have took that all day long,” Mississippi coach Lance Pogue said. “We had a guy open. It was going to be a walk-in touchdown on a little wheel route, we just didn’t make the play.”
Mississippi entered the game as the underdog — Alabama was stacked with SEC talent — but gave Alabama all it could handle for the majority of the game. Its defensive line, featuring Callaway’s Breeland Speaks and Grenada’s Genard Avery, came up big time often. South Panola’s Matthew Davis had two tackles for loss, including one of which appeared to be a safety, but was ruled down at the 3-yard line.
Roberts, who is committed to Jacksonville State, was effective throughout the game and finished with 190 passing yards and a touchdown. Greenwood wide receiver Sammie Epps was named the Mississippi MVP after a terrific performance of seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.
“I thought we went toe-to-toe with them,” Pogue said. “Physically we did and in years past we hadn’t been able to do that. We gave ourselves a chance to win in the end, and I’ll take that all day long. It’s just unfortunate it didn’t go our way.”
To contact John Talty, call (601) 961-7284 or follow @JTalty on Twitter.