A good all-star
It was one last opportunity for a talented group of athletes to play high school football. But that wasn’t the best part.
“It was fun – playing with a good bunch of guys and getting to know new people,” said Brantley Harris of Potts Camp. “We had a great coaching staff. It was a big honor.”
The first annual Northeast Mississippi Football Coaches Association All-Star Game, sponsored by Robertson’s Sportswear, was held Wednesday night, May 22, at Saltillo High School.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” said Tevin Jones of Holly Springs. “It was good competition and I had fun meeting new guys and playing the game together.”
Other Marshall Countians on the West squad were Jamarquis Foster from Potts Camp, Ernest Blackmon of Holly High and Cordell Anderson from Byhalia. The West team also included Tirease Williams of Benton County. Trelorenz Stephens from H.W. Byers played for the East.
The West coaching staff included Shane Stone of Potts Camp and Eric Rice of Benton County.
“It was an all-around successful event,” Coach Stone said. “The kids were perfect – good attitudes and well-behaved.
“I got to be around coaches that I haven’t been around and learn things from them. I began new friendships.
“Hopefully, it is an event that will continue each year.”
The East squad rallied from a 7-0 halftime deficit and won 10-7 in double overtime.
Jones, the workhorse in the backfield for the West, had a big gain to the East 21 to set up his team’s lone score. The touchdown came, with 4:58 to go in the second quarter, on a 15-yard toss from Bruce’s Davis Brown to Oxford’s Toler Presley.
In the fourth, the West had a chance to pretty much ice the game but threw an interception after reaching the East 5.
The East, snatching the momentum, marched for tying points. Corinth’s Brady Allen hooked up with Tishomingo County’s Chandler Dexter for a 15-yard touchdown at the 3:46 mark of the fourth.
The West, after Jones’ 25-yard kickoff return, went three and out.
The East’s Eric Lemus of West Point tried a 49-yard field goal at the end of regulation that just missed the mark.
In the first overtime, both teams threw interceptions on their possessions.
In the second OT, the East had the ball first and Caledonia’s Josh Kugel nailed a 34-yard field goal to give his team the lead 10-7.
The West was then forced to try a field goal of its own to send the game to a third overtime. But the snap was high and the kick was blocked to end the all-star contest.
Jones was named the West’s most valuable offensive player.
“It was honor to receive it,” said the Northwest Community College signee.
Coach Stone said Jones performed well in practices and the game.
“He’s a big, strong kid – very athletic,” Stone said. “The coaches were impressed with him throughout the week. He has a bright future.”
Harris received the Coaches’ Award for his excellent attitude and sportsmanship during the all-star experience.
“He had the best practices of all the players,” said Stone, his high school coach. “He was the first one out of the dressing room for practice and always hustling. That’s what I’ve seen every day at Potts Camp.”
Harris actually dislocated his shoulder on the West’s first offensive series. But he kept playing.
“He played with pain,” Stone said. “That shows you his heart and guts.”
He said junior college coaches talked with Harris, after seeing him in practice, and he has the chance of a scholarship.
On the defensive side for the West, Anderson stood out in the game at linebacker.
“He made some good plays – really hustled and played hard,” Stone said.
The crowd was good for the first-time event.
The only downfall of the night was the large amount of flags. Stone said a portion of the penalties were due to special rules for all-star games.
“It’s something we will have to revisit,” Stone said. “It was so frustrating.”
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