GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Tupelo kicker Josh Smith knocked through seven points, North Pontotoc quarterback Clark Mills chipped in six and that was all the North needed, blanking the South 13-0 in the 69th annual Bernard Blackwell All-Star Game. Gulfport hosted the contest at Milner Stadium.
"Their defensive line showed they were a little better than we were up front," George County and South head coach Matt Caldwell said. "I think that was the whole point of the game, our quarterbacks were under pressure every time they went back there. I would say their defensive front was the difference."
Despite several standout defensive plays to keep the North's halftime lead to just 6-0, including a first quarter interception by Ocean Springs defensive back Malcolm Magee, the South offense ultimately failed to crack the scoreboard.
Still, our area athletes considered the event a success.
"It's not that bad," Resurrection defensive lineman Jackson Byrd said of the final score. "I got to come out here and enjoy the Bernard Blackwell (All-Star Game), I got selected, I came out here and balled out with my South people. I had fun. Win or lose, I had a great time."
"I had a roommate from George County," Magee said. "We just like started talking, team bonding, then we had team meetings last night. We just called each other brothers."
Along with Magee and Byrd, the Coast was represented by Poplarville's DJ Travis and Austin Bolton, St. Stanislaus quarterback Jakob Greer, Harrison Central's Keon Moore, George County's Austin Walker, Gulfport's Jeremiah Braziel, St. Martin kicker Sean Gomez, and East Central's Brad Cumbest. Fellow Hornet Tony Brown sat out of the game due to his shoulder injury he suffered in the Class 4A State Championship Game.