Mississippi State Verbals Square Off

Bassfield, winners of two straight state titles, entered into Friday night's game with Collins High as the top team in the state in some polls. The Yellowjackets have been especially tough at home the past few seasons, but football fans in south Mississippi expected a good game when Collins came to town. The Tigers outlasted Bassfield in overtime, 40-34 in a game people will talk about for years.

It took an extra period to settle it and no one will forget it.

On 4th and one from the Collins' one yard line, Bassfield elected to run a quarterback keeper that went absolutely nowhere.

The line judge signaled the play short of the goal line and within moments there were more Collins's fans on the field than there were coaches and players.

In a see saw affair that either team could have won, Collins proved to simply be one play better than two time defending state champion Bassfield.

Mississippi State had a pair of commitments in the game, three star Collins defensive back Mark McLaurin and Bassfield All-American Jamal Peters.

Mark McLaurin scouting report

McLaurin does not leave the field much during the course of the game.

On offense, McLaurin lines up as an X receiver, but in some situations he will slide under center and make a play using his feet.

I have always been impressed with McLaurin's length. With his wingspan, he has a great catch radius as a receiver and he is very difficult to throw over when out in pass coverage as a defensive back.

His size and athleticism makes him easy to notice getting off the bus, coming out of the huddle or lining up before the snap. McLaurin looks like an SEC football prospect in every way possible.

With all of the snaps he plays, he can wear down and was battling cramps in the post game, but with a victory over #1 it seems a small price to pay.

When his team needs a play, he does his best to make it no matter the situation.

Trailing 6-0, McLaurin scooped up a Bassfield fumble and ran eight yards to pay dirt.

With his team camped out at the Bassfield one yard line, McLaurin snuk under center and then drove the pile across the line to gain for the score.

Jamal Peters scouting report

Peters has been one of the most talked about prospects in the Magnolia State for the better part of two years and with good reason.

Peters is back at his more natural position of safety and he really appears comfortable.

He does a very good job of cleaning up when the ball carrier leaks out or a teammate does not wrap up and finish a tackle.

Peters is always around the ball and he gets a little irritated when he is not in on the action.

He drives through the ball carrier often causing separation between the opposing player and the football.

In pass coverage, Peters is a tough draw. He is very physical, but he also has the finesse to play with quickness and technique.

He simply understands how to track the ball in the secondary and will release his man once the ball is airborne to go make a play.

A big hitter, Peters could do a better job of wrapping up rather than looking for the highlight reel quality blow.

Notes:

Once the game went final, McLaurin had every right to go and celebrate with his team. He clearly earned it, but once he shared the moment with his family, he went to find Jamal Peters.

Peters was visibly upset about the outcome of the game. With his mother by his side, Peters was consoled by Mark McLaurin and his entire family.

When asked by some other Bassfield fans who these folks were, Mrs. Peters said, "This is part of our Mississippi State family."

Mark's father, hugged Jamal and told him how well he played and how proud he was of him.

It was a moment, I will not soon forget.

I am not sure if Collins' head coach Brian Ernest even had a chance to get his team together for an organized huddle in the post game.

Collins' parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends all spilled on to the field.

Some cried, some laughed.

It was quite the sight.

Bassfield has had their share of things to cheer about under Coach Lance Mancuso.

The Yellowjackets shook hands with the Tigers and quietly headed to the locker room, with one notable exception.

Jamal Peters remained behind.

After winning the biggest game of his young life, Mark McLaurin knelt next to his future teammate and promised him that Bassfield would bounce back.

I am sure those words were little comfort to Peters at that time, but a bond is being built between these two families and it was a special moment to witness.


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