Hoover’s Justin Johnson (1) takes off on a route.
Hoover High’s Justin Johnson helped the Bucs keep their state-title streak alive.
He did the same thing, in an even more dramatic way, for the Alabama All-Stars.
Johnson hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline on the final play of the game to lift the Alabama team over the Mississippi All-Stars 36-30 in the 28th battle between the high school stars from each state.
It was the seventh straight win for the Alabama stars and their 21st in the series. The game was played Dec. 13 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
The game was tied 30-all with nine seconds remaining when Foley quarterback Tyler Cameron hooked up with Johnson, who caught three passes for 49 yards.
“Coach [Jamey Dubose of Phenix City Central] had been talking with us all week about how important it was to bring it back to the state,” Johnson said. “We just kind of stuck with it. It got down to the end [and was a] tie game. We had to make a big play.”
Mississippi looked like it would end the streak, jumping out to a 14-3 lead after one quarter and building a 28-17 halftime lead.
But Alabama took the lead when Mountain Brook’s Jacob Carroll threw a 7-yard TD pass to Jalen Harris with 5:10 to play in the third quarter.
Mississippi tied it up on a safety with 3:22 to go in the period, and the game remained tied until Johnson’s heroics.
Defensive back Michael Jackson of Spain Park led an Alabama defense that didn’t allow a second-half touchdown. Jackson made 11 solo tackles and 12 overall with one for a loss. Hoover’s Darrell Wilson had three tackles and broke up a pass and fellow Buc Christian Bell had one tackle and a half-sack.