Thompson’s Hicks, Green help Alabama All-Stars defeat Mississippi

Published 6:16 pm Monday, December 18, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HATTIESBURG, MS – Thompson linebacker Tyler Hicks and running back AJ Green got to don their Warriors helmets one last time, but this time, they represented the entire state of Alabama.

The Alabama All-Stars took another win over Mississippi in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Saturday, Dec. 16, and Thompson’s two selections helped their state walk away with the victory.

Hicks earned the third-most tackles of any Alabama defenders. He took seven total tackles, including one solo tackle, as he helped contain the best offensive players from the state of Mississippi.

Over on the offensive end, Green was one of the top choices by the Alabama coaching staff to get yards on the ground. He took seven carries for 17 yards, both of which were the second-highest totals on the team.

The defense led the way early for Alabama, as both its first and third touchdowns of the first half were set up by big plays from Gadsden City’s Dre Kirkpatrick.

He tackled the Mississippi punter at the six-yard line to give Andalusia’s Jamarian Burnett a short field for a touchdown run. Late in the half, Kirkpatrick recovered a fumble and ran to the 16-yard line, which let Jared Hollins connect with Saraland’s Ryan Williams for two catches, including one for a touchdown.

That scoring reception was Williams’ second of the half, as in between those first two touchdowns, he caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Opelika’s Roman Gagliano.

He was named the MVP of the game after securing eight catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns, which came less than a week after the Alabama commit reclassified for the Class of 2024 and became eligible for the game.

Gagliano was also responsible for the final touchdown from Alabama. With four minutes left in the third quarter, he found Benjamin Russell receiver and Auburn commit Malcolm Simmons for an 88-yard touchdown to cap off the scoring in the 26-17 victory.

With the win, Alabama has now won four straight Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classics and leads the series 26-11.