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Sparkman senior linebacker Malachi Jones was on the North squad’s roster in the annual AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Classic. He played both linebacker and wide receiver and scored the North’s only touchdown in the annual game. Photo- AHSAA

Local Players Part Of North’s All-Star Squad Dominated In Annual North-South All-Star Football Classic

MOBILE- After posting scoreless bookends first and fourth quarters the South exploded for 42 points combined in the second and third quarters to defeat the North 42-7 in the 65th AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Classic played at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile.

The South defense provided most of the explosive plays picking off three North passes and returning two of those picks for touchdowns while holding the North to just 163 yards of total offense with a stifling defensive squad that held the North from the end zone until the last minute of the game when Sparkman’s two-way athlete Malachi Jones caught a 4-yard pass from Buckhorn’s Terrence Robinson.

Malachi (5-10, 210) also posted three total tackles for the North defense.

James Clemens’ All-State quarterback Gio Lopez (6-1, 215), who recently signed to play for South Alabama, the host site for the All-Star Classic, was 2 of 8 and 12 yards at quarterback. He was also corralled by the South defense as he had a net minus 21 yards rushing for the game. Meanwhile. Bob Jones receiver K.J. Fields caught one pass for seven yards while he was targeted with five passes on the evening.

The scoring began midway through the first quarter as the South scored on a 19-yard pass play. Three minutes later, the South scored again, this time on a 73-yard interception return and took a 14-nothing lead into intermission. The South squad continued its dominance in the second half scoring twice in the third quarter on offense, once on defense and one more on special teams. The offensive scores came on a 22-yard run and 19-yard pass play. Then within a three-minute span, the South tallied points twice again. First, a 62-yard pick six, and second, a 34-yard punt return to complete the South’s barrage of scoring and vicious defensive schemes.

The 42 points set a record for the most points by a winning team in the series which dates back to 1948. It is the only time a team has scored more than 40 points in the 65-game history of the North-South Classic. The South now holds a 33-30-2 edge in the series, which is the AHSAA’s oldest All-Star event.

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