By The Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Daphne running back T.J. Yeldon made quite an impression in Saturday’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
Yeldon ran 16 times for 116 yards and three touchdowns to lead Alabama in a 31-12 victory at Cramton Bowl.
“That guy is explosive,” Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland of Bob Jones said. “He’s like a Cadillac. He runs so smooth.”
Yeldon, who has committed to Auburn, had touchdown runs of 2 and 9 yards in the second quarter and 37 yards in the fourth. He also caught three passes for 37 yards and was Alabama’s most valuable player.
“I played my heart out and the line blocked well. We had a good game overall,” said Yeldon, who ran for 2,200 yards in 12 games this season for Daphne.
His game Saturday, he said, was “probably average.”
“The whole team played their hearts out,” Yeldon said.
Alabama’s defense held Mississippi to just 60 yards offense, including 2 yards rushing, and just three offensive points.
Mississippi, after a blocked punt gave it the ball at the Alabama 5-yard line, settled for a 20-yard field goal in the first quarter to tie the game 3-3.
“We set out to stop them, and we did,” linebacker Ryan Anderson of Daphne said. “That gave us a little swagger.”
By halftime, Alabama led 24-3. After Yeldon’s two TD runs, quarterback Jameis Winston of Hueytown added an 11-yard touchdown. He leaped into the end zone with 34 seconds left in the half.
In the second half, Mississippi scored on a 51-yard punt return by Greg Sims of Brookhaven and a safety. Sims, who also had a 33-yard kickoff return and made two tackles, was Mississippi’s most valuable player.
Yeldon’s third touchdown came with 1:37 left in the game.
“It was a defensive shutout,” Ragland said. “They only scored off miscues on offense and special teams, so it was a shutout for the defense.
“The offense picked it up, and T.J. shut it down at the end.”