Led by eight Coast standouts, Team Mississippi will attempt to do something on Saturday that hasn’t been achieved since the mid-90s.
When Mississippi and Alabama collide at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama, the Magnolia Staters will be eying the state’s first winning streak since reeling off four straight from 1992-1995.
Since then, the series, in its 30th edition this season, has more or less been all Alabama.
The neighbors to the east have won 17 of the last 21 games. Prior to last year’s 28-21 victory in Hattiesburg, Alabama had reeled off seven straight victories.
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“They say it’s a big deal,” St. Stanislaus quarterback Myles Brennan said before leaving South Mississippi for a week’s worth of practice. “They won last year, the first time in a long time. We’re going over there and obviously it’d be good to keep the trophy at home.”
Is there much of a rivalry when both teams are comprised of all-stars, many of which will become teammates on the next level?
“For sure,” Brennan said. “This is the longest all-star game between two states in the country. It means a lot to the state and everybody.”
Brennan will be joined on Saturday by SSC tight end Chase Rogers, receivers Austin Williams (Ocean Springs) and Tyrese Fryfogle (George County), and linemen Paul Gainer (Gautier), James Jackson (Pascagoula), Jacob Shoemaker (Harrison Central) and Conner Estes (East Central). GCHS coach Matt Caldwell is also directing the offensive linemen.
The Coast collectively has shown out during the week of practice. 247Sports’ Barton Simmons called Brennan, a LSU commit who recently “re-opened” his recruitment, “the best quarterback in Montgomery.” He also ranked Gainer, a Mississippi State pledge, as the top offensive lineman.
Rivals.com said Fryfogle had “some of the most consistent hands” during Tuesday’s practice. The site also added that Gainer was “by far and away” the best lineman on Mississippi’s squad.
“(Gainer) showed good aggression during one-on-ones while also showing promise as a run blocker during team drills,” the report said.
Jackson also “showed flashes” and proved to be a powerful pass rusher.
Estes, who is firmly committed to Louisiana Tech, told the Sun Herald before he left the Coast that both Mississippi State and Ole Miss have been showing interest lately. With a strong showing Saturday, the Hornet lineman could land another couple of offers.
While Estes said he’s not exactly looking for more offers, Fryfogle, Shoemaker and Rogers are all uncommitted. The trio’s hoping a big performance Saturday may catapult them up the recruiting boards of several new schools.
Kickoff Saturday is set for noon. The game will be televised on WLOX-ABC.
Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game
When: Noon, Saturday
Where: Cramton Bowl; Montgomery, Alabama