HATTIESBURG – Mississippi broke open a tie game with three touchdowns in the third quarter as they pulled away Alabama in a 42-7 victory in the 31st annual Mississippi-Alabama All-Star football game.

Alabama leads the series 23-8. This was the second time in the series that Mississippi has hosted the game, both times at the University of Southern Mississippi. Mississippi hosted it in 2015 and won 28-21 to break a seven-game  Alabama win streak.

Mississippi had co-Most Valuable Players for the game. Running back Kenny Gainwell of Yazoo County finished with three touchdowns while rushing nine times for 61 yards. He caught one pass for 16 yards, giving him 77 total yards. Pearl linebacker Tyler Knight was the other MVP.

“Our kids were told all week long that Alabama was favored to win, and I think they played with a chip on their shoulder,” said Johnny Mims, executive director of the Mississippi Association of Coaches, which hosted the game. “They practiced hard all week and seem to come together as one. I think our coaches did a good job of putting the right people in the right places.”

Alabama put up its only points on its first possession when Kavosiey Smoke of Westumpka scored on a one-yard run up the middle. Evan McPherson of Fort Payne kicked the extra point and Alabama led 7-0 with 7:03 left in the first quarter.

An Alabama fumble set up Mississippi’s first score later in the first quarter. Jason Brownlee of West Point recovered for Mississippi on the Alabama 24-yard line.

On first down, Gainwell scored his first touchdown of the game on a 24-yard run. Scott Goodman of Brandon kicked the extra point and the game was tied at 7-7 with 3:48 left in the first quarter.

That’s how it stood until the third quarter.

Alabama took the opening kickoff but had to punt the ball away. Mississippi took over on the Alabama 35 after a 29-yard punt return by Knight and 10-yard penalty tacked for a block in the back.

On second down, Mississippi moved down to the Alabama five-yard line on a 30-yard pass catch by Jeremy Tate of New Hope. Two plays later, quarterback Patrick Shegog of South Panola scored on a three-yard run around the left end. The kick was good and Mississippi led 14-7 with 9:04 left in the third quarter.

Alabama’s next possession lasted three plays and a delay of game penalty. Knight intercepted a pass and gave Mississippi a first down on the Alabama 26-yard line.

A 23-yard pass from Shegog to tight end Brad Cumbest of East Central gave Mississippi a first down on the Alabama four-yard line. Two plays later, Marcus Murphy of West Point scored on a two-yard run. The kick was good and Mississippi led 21-7 with 6:33 left in the third quarter.

Alabama was forced to punt after four downs and Mississippi took over on the Alabama 46-yard line. On first down, Murphy rushed for 20-yards to give Mississippi a first down on the Alabama 26. Mississippi pounded the ball to inside the 15-yard line. Then Gainwell scored on a 12-yard run. The kick was good and Mississippi led 28-7 with 1:32 left in the third quarter.

Mississippi put the icing on the cake in the fourth quarter with two more touchdowns. Gainwell scored on a three-yard run with 10:37 left in the game to make it 35-7. Then Murphy scored the final points on a 25-yard run with 3:53 left.

Mississippi finished with 187 rushing yards on 38 rushes, and 138 passing yards on 11-of-14 passes, giving them 325 total yards on offense. Mississippi had 15 first downs to Alabama’s 12. Alabama had 131 yards rushing on 33 carried and completed 10-of-27 passes for 87 yards, giving them 218 total yards.

Both teams were penalized eight times with Alabama losing 55 yards and Mississippi 59. Mississippi did not have a turnover. Alabama was intercepted twice and fumbled five times, losing three.

Murphy was Mississippi’s leading rusher with 131 yards on 13 carries. Smoke was the leading rusher for Alabama with 70 yards on 10 carries.

Mississippi will host the game again in 2019.