Yeldon Sparks Alabama All-Stars to Victory

Auburn commitments T.J. Yeldon and Tyler Nero shined as they led their all-star team to a victory on Saturday in Montgomery.

Montgomery, Ala.--The next football stop for T.J. Yeldon is Jordan-Hare Stadium after the Auburn commitment finished his high school career in style in leading the Alabama All-Stars to a 31-12 victory on Saturday at Cramton Bowl.

Yeldon personally out-scored and out-gained the entire Mississippi All-Star team, which finished with just 60 yards. He rushed the football 16 times for 116 yards and three touchdowns. He added three receptions for 37 more yards.

Yeldon said it was special to win the Most Valuable Player Award and bring it back home to Daphne High School, where he will return next week, take final exams and then graduate prior to enrolling at Auburn for spring semester classes in January.

"Everybody blocked well, we played well and the defense played tremendous--they didn't give up a touchdown," Yeldon said. "They (Mississippi) got a touchdown on special teams. It was a good game."

Another Auburn commitment, Escambia County High star Tyler Nero, was a key part of the defensive effort for the winning team.

"I knew going into the game we were going to have a good defense and we had a good day," the lineman said. "We had a good time out there. We all came together as a team and played well on the defensive line."

Tyler Nero, who was credited with two tackles but certainly had more, is shown making a stop on Saturday.

Nero said he enjoyed the all-star experience, an opinion shared by Yeldon. "We had a good time and I got to know everybody on the team and made a lot of new friends," Yeldon said. "It was a blast."

The offense wasn't as dominant as the defense, but it was more than good enough as it racked up 334 yards of total offense.

"The first half we played well, but the third quarter kind of fell off, but we came back stronger in the fourth quarter," Yeldon said.

Yeldon said he is looking forward to heading off to Auburn. "War Eagle," he said, when asked about getting ready for college football.

Asked if he feels like he is ready to play collegiately, he said, "Once I get back in the weight room, and get bigger and stronger, I will be ready."

The Alabama All-Stars drove 59 yards on the opening possession of the game before settling on a 28-yard field goal by Matt Pensa from Austin High School.

Mississippi's only first half points came as the result of a botched punt. The visitors got the football at the five-yard line, but couldn't move and had to settle for a 20-yard field goal to tie the game.

Yeldon put the home team ahead for good on a two-yard run with 8:26 left in the second quarter to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive.

Yeldon scored again from nine yards out on an inside, cutback run with 5:06 left in the half, three plays after a 17-yard punt by Mississippi.

At halftime the lead grew to 24-3 when quarterback Jameis Winston went airborne at the three-yard line on a scramble to complete an 11-yard TD run.

The punting on both sides left a lot to be desired. The Alabama team averaged 24 yards on four punts, the Mississippi team averaged 33 yards on seven punts. A short, off the side of the foot punt by the Alabama all-stars allowed Jabril Cox to pick up the football in front of his team's sideline and run unopposed 51 yards into the end zone to cut the lead to 24-10 midway through the third quarter.

The Mississippi team's other points came on a safety on a bad snap with 7:27 left in the final quarter. That cut the lead to 24-12.

Yeldon put the icing on the cake on a fourth down run with 1:37 remaining. He got a block on the corner and raced down the sidelines for a 37-yard score. That tied the all-star game record with three rushing touchdowns by a single player.

T.J. Yeldon averaged 7.2 yards per carry in the all-star game.

Mobile to Montgomery: The city of Montgomery along with the Montgomery Lions Club managed to convince the Alabama High School Association to relocate the game from its traditional home, Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, to remodeled Cramton Bowl in downtown, a short walk to the Capitol building.

Part of the Project: Behind the south end zone at Cramton Bowl the finishing touches are being put on an indoor arena that will hold approximately 4,000 fans for basketball, volleyball and other sports.

Familiar Name:The Alabama roster included Ben Tamburello from Spain Park High, whose father Ben was an All-American for Coach Pat Dye in the 1980s, who also played for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

Fathers, Sons, Part 2: Tommie Agee, a standout running back for the Tigers in the 1980s who played for the Dallas Cowboys, had a son in the game, too. Torey Agee from Opelika High is a defensive end who is committed to Vanderbilt. As was the case with Tamburello, he does not have a scholarship offer from Auburn.

(not) Our Man Flint: Auburn fans at Cramton Bowl got to watch Michael Flint from Oxford High, a very early verbal commitment to the Tigers. The two parties had a mutual split last summer. Flint is uncommitted and does not have an offer from Auburn.

Winston Watch: Although he is verbally committed to Florida State, five-star quarterback prospect Jameis Winston is still looking around at other colleges. The Hueytown High senior got the start at quarterback with Jonathan Wallace of Central Phenix City also playing. Both QBs performed well. Winston hit 17-24-2 passes for 121 yards with two interceptions. He also rushed for 36 yards on four carries with one touchdown. Wallace hit 3-3 passes for 65 yards.

New Venue, Same Result: The Alabama All-Stars team won for a fourth consecutive year and sixth time in the last seven games.

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