FIU quarterback sparks East
The Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida International’s James Morgan led two first-quarter scoring drives and Charlotte’s Benny LeMay rushed for two touchdowns to lead the East to a 31-27 victory in the East-West Shrine Bowl on Saturday.
LeMay’s 9-yard TD run with just under two minutes remaining sealed offensive MVP honors for the 5-foot-8, 216-pound running back in the nation’s longest-running college football all-star game, which was played at Tropicana Field.
Morgan started at quarterback for the East and shared playing time with Princeton’s Kevin Davidson and Mississippi State’s Tommy Stevens, who led his team downfield for the winning TD after the West took a 27-24 lead on James Robinson’s 63-yard scoring run.
Robinson, who rushed for 1,899 yards and 18 touchdowns for Illinois State this season, finished with 80 yards rushing on seven attempts. He gained an additional 56 yards on two pass receptions, one a 46-yarder that led to a field goal.
Utah’s Tyler Huntley threw a 7-yard TD pass to San Diego State tight end Parker Houston and North Texas’ Mason Fine tossed a 36-yard scoring pass to Ohio State’s Binjimon Victor to help the West wipe out an early two-touchdown deficit and make it 17-all heading into the fourth quarter.
Morgan, meanwhile, continued to state his case as a potential pick in the NFL draft by completing 9 of 14 passes for 116 yards, including a 9-yard TD throw to Louisiana’s Ja’Marcus Bradley to finish the East’s game-opening drive.
Navy wide receiver Macolm Perry took a direct snap from center and sprinted 52 yards for a TD on his only carry. Versatile UCF running back Adrian Killins Jr. had only one rushing attempt but led the East with seven catches for 91 yards, including a 37-yard reception on the game-winning drive.
Stevens also had an 18-yard completion to Rhode Island’s Aaron Parker to set up LeMay’s second touchdown.
NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
PASADENA, Calif. — Chattanooga’s Nick Tiano threw for 133 yards and a touchdown and was selected the Most Valuable Player of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl after leading the National squad to a 30-20 victory over the American team Saturday.
Tiano, who was 9 of 11 passing, gave his team a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter with a pinpoint 48-yard TD toss to Kirk Merritt. The Arkansas State receiver was in perfect position to haul it in despite double coverage from cornerbacks Ray Buford Jr. of New Mexico State and Damon Hayes of Rutgers.
Oregon State’s Artavis Pierce, Georgia’s Brian Herrien and New Mexico State’s Jason Huntley rushed for touchdowns for the National team, which was led by former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.
Louisiana-Lafayette running back Raymond Calais provided the American squad’s top play with a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown on the opening play of the second half. Nathan Rourke of Ohio was 8 of 15 for 126 yards.
The American team, led by former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson, scored first when Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke found Arkansas State’s Omar Bayless in single coverage for a 3-yard TD.
The National squad then scored on its next three possessions. Oregon State’s Artavis Pierce tied it with a 3-yard touchdown, and Matt Ammendola of Oklahoma State kicked a 45-yard field goal to make it 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Herrien extended the American team’s lead to 23-7 late in the second quarter on a 9-yard run. The score was set up when Iowa State linebacker Marcel Spears Jr. picked off Rourke’s pass and returned it 35 yards to the American 9.
Following Calais’ return, Huntley put the American squad back up by more than two scores with an 11-yard TD run. UCLA’s JJ Molson kicked a pair of field goals — from 34 and 42 yards — to bring the American team within 10.