Arkansas’ Feleipe Franks threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Mississippi tight end Kenny Yeboah in the fourth quarter to help seal the National team’s 27- 24 victory over the American team.
Franks, a graduate transfer from Florida, set up the all-SEC West scoring connection with a 29-yard completion to Louisville’s Dez Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick had six catches for 90 yards in the showcase game for senior and graduate NFL prospects, earning offensive player of the game honors.
Mond was the MVP with a huge third quarter when he passed for 141 of his 173 yards and a pair of touchdowns after a slow start.
“It was a great feeling whether it was a simple drop back or making an insane play,” the former Aggies standout said. “Everything was kind of rolling my way. Obviously, kind of shaky at the beginning but it definitely shows a lot of poise to be able to bounce back.”
National Team running back Demetric Felton of UCLA (10) runs for a touchdown against American Team defensive back DJ Daniel of Georgia (14). (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
North Carolina running back Michael Carter also had a big game. Carter scored on a pile-driving 12-yard run late in the third quarter to help the National retake the lead after a Mond-led comeback.
Tulane defensive lineman Cam Sample was the defensive player of the game. Sample had seven tackles and a share of a sack in a game blending players from Group of Five, small college and Power Five teams.
“We don't play the Alabama's or Ohio State's every week but we're always hungry,” he said.
The game was played for the first time at South Alabama’s new Hancock Whitney Stadium, with Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores leading the National team and Carolina’s Matt Rhule coaching the American team. It also switched from the traditional North versus South format.
Franks completed 9 of 16 passes for 122 yards. Carter averaged 8.0 yards per carry in his final season with the Tar Heels, and wasn’t far off in the all-star game.
He gained 60 yards on eight carries and had two catches for 15 yards.
Mond, Texas A&M’s career passing leader, delivered a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter to help erase a 13-0 halftime deficit. Mond even converted one two-point play with a run and the other with a pass, following touchdowns of 15 yards to Clemson’s Amari Rodgers and 14 yards to Tennessee’s Josh Palmer.
The American team was without two of national champion Alabama’s biggest offensive weapons. Quarterback Mac Jones dressed out and went through warmups but didn’t play after injuring his left ankle in Thursday’s final practice.
“My ankle was still stinging a little bit,” Jones, who is a potential first-round pick, said on NFL Network. “I didn’t want to take any big risks.”
Tailback Najee Harris withdrew from the game after practicing Tuesday and Wednesday because of a lingering ankle injury from the national title game earlier in January.