Bernard Blackwell Football Classic Battles Mother Nature

Ridgeland linebacker Mike Smith.

Box Score

GULFPORT — The Bernard Blackwell Football Classic battled a steady rain and a soggy field Saturday at Milner Stadium. The end result was the first scoreless tie in over 50 years for the event, dating all the way back to 1963.

The North and South squads struggled to move the ball all afternoon, combining for 129 yards of total offense. The highlight of the game came at the beginning when Water Valley wide receiver Bud Tolbert hauled in a 44-yard reception from Itawamba AHS quarterback Jackson Orr on the first play of the contest.

The real offensive explosion possible happened after the final buzzer as both teams shook hands and then immediately took off sliding across the muddy field.

Ridgeland linebacker Mike Smith was named Most Valuable Defensive Player for the North squad while Tolbert took home North Most Valuable Offensive Player honors.

The South was led by Most Valuable Defensive Player Davandre Bays of Winona, and Most Valuable Offensive Player Micah Kelly of Ocean Springs.