Fourth-quarter rally falls short

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama continued its dominance of Mississippi with Saturday’s 21-16 win in the 26th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
Alabama’s Thomas Hamlin kicked three field goals in the first half at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl and Mississippi had a pair of red zone turnovers. Alabama has won five in a row.
“It hurts,” Mississippi coach Junior Graham said. “I promise I’m not going to leave here smiling.”
Houston defensive end Chris Jones, a Mississippi State commit, had a monster game in the loss, earning team MVP honors with eight tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss.
The games saw plenty of penalty flags, 29 total for 242 yards.
Mississippi trailed 21-0 after three but made it interesting. Oxford’s Parker Adamson threw a 47-yard touchdown to Kameron Myers.
Alabama’s Kamryn Melton picked a ball near the goal line on Mississippi’s next drive but Jones and Dylan Bradley combined on a safety on the next play to pull Mississippi within 21-9.
Wes Windham then found Eupora’s Derrick Jones, an Ole Miss commit, for a 41-yard touchdown in traffic. Mississippi got it back with 2:31 left but three flags set up a failed fourth-down pass.
Melton forced a Tevaris McCormick fumble at the Mississippi 18 in the first quarter and Jonathan Cook picked Adamson in the end zone in the second. Both resulted in field goals. Hamlin added a 51-yarder late in the half.
“We all had the mindframe to win,” Jones said. “You can’t win them all, but as long as you give your all. We really beat ourselves and they beat us on field goals.”
Alabama scored the game’s first touchdown in the third quarter, a 70-yard drive that Cedrix Reed capped with a 30-yard run.
Alabama scored again the the fourth on a 9-yard run from Joshua Walker. It came after one of three highlight catches for Alabama, two of them one-handed grabs.
“I thought we competed so hard,” Graham said. “We got very few breaks and had some penalties that just broke our backs.”
brandon.speck@journalinc.com