By Blake Long
Special to the Journal
BOONEVILLE – Northeast’s Ra-zean Prather was unsure about suiting up with weather conditions deteriorating and final exams starting on Thursday.
But once the whistle blew, the Tiger defensive lineman made his presence felt in the final junior college game of his career.
The Ripley native was named the North’s Defensive MVP with three sacks in a 6-3 loss to the South in the 40th annual MACJC All-Star Football Classic at Tiger Stadium.
“At first I didn’t want to play, but I just got hyped with my brothers so I played my heart out,” said Prather. “We came out here and the energy was right.”
Prather had 4.5 tackles overall and a quarterback hurry that started a series of plays, including a sack by Northeast’s Daniel Ross, that set up the North’s lone scoring drive of the afternoon.
Itawamba quarterback Griff Loftis directed the possession and had two first-down passes to Christian Staphney (Mississippi Delta) that helped the North get into field goal range.
Matt Spencer (Holmes) sealed the drive with a 30-yard connection that tied the game at 3-3 with 12:36 remaining in the opening half.
East Central’s Austin Franklin won the battle of kickers, however, with two field goals of 30 and 25 yards for what would turned into the winning points.
After playing two regulation quarters, both teams decided to shorten the second half to 25 minutes with a running clock due to incoming inclement weather. Athletes played through a mix of rain and sleet over the last period.
Edward McCadney of Mississippi Delta was named the Hubert Tucker North Offensive MVP and had 57 yards on 15 carries.
Loftis led the North offense on six of its possessions and was 4 of 13 passing for 60 yards.
Jammie Jamison (Holmes) won the James H. “Wooky” Gray overall MVP with an interception and 2.5 tackles.
The South extended its advantage in the all-time series to 20-18-2.