WEST HOLDS ON TO WIN 21-17!
The 94th East-West Shrine week started with some of college football’s best prospects coming together to show NFL, CFL and XFL evaluators that they have what it takes to play at the next level. All week they have been working in practice to learn the playbook, showcase their skills and athleticism while also talking to teams that are interested in them. You’ve read my thoughts on who shined in practices, but now we get to see them in the environment that shows the most. It was game day at Tropicana field.
The West all-stars came out swinging early jumping out to a 14-0 halftime lead. The East would rally in the 4th scoring 17 unanswered points to make the score 21-17 with 4:19 left. The West offense benefitting from a roughing the passer penalty on 3rd down would drive the ball into the red zone turning the ball over on downs leaving just four seconds left for the East to pull off a miracle. The game would end on the final play as a fumbled lateral was recovered by the West defense.
Brett Rypien got the start for the West all-stars and was very sharp to start the game. Rypien would complete 5-6 passes on the opening drive for 71 yards and a beautiful deep ball for a touchdown to RB Nick Brossette on the wheel route giving the West a 7-0 lead. Both defenses would stand tall after that keeping the offenses off the scoreboard for the rest of the quarter. David Blough would start the game for the East, but was held scoreless on both of his possessions in the first half.
Jordan Ta’amu would come in at quarterback for the East while Marcus McMaryion would come in for the West. Both would punt on their first drives. Ta’amu would throw deep to WR Terry Godwin II who made a great leaping grab only to have CB Montre Hartage rip it out as he tried to run with the football. Michigan safety Tyree Kinnel would recover the fumble and return it to the 2-yard line.
RB Devine Ozigbo would run it in on the next play giving the West a 14-0 lead. The West had one more chance to score on the final drive of the half as Easton Stick was now in at QB. He would get them across midfield, but a penalty would for them to attempt a 61-yard field goal with 3 seconds left. John Baron II’s kick fell just short and CB Jimmy Moreland would catch it in the back of the end zone and return it across midfield effectively ending the first half.
In the 3rd quarter, Taylor Cornelius would try to find TE Matt Sokol over the middle only to have LB B.J. Blunt make a diving interception. Once again, the next play after a turnover the West makes the East pay. Easton Stick would find WR Shawn Poindexter over the middle for a 22-yard touchdown extending the West’s lead to 21-0. Cornelius would be intercepted again on the ensuing drive, but the West could not make them pay. David Blough would come back in and lead the East down the field. Blough would find Godwin for a 6-yard touchdown cutting the lead to 21-7. The West would punt handing the East the ball and a chance to cut the lead to single digits. That is exactly what they would do as Blough and Godwin would connect for the second time for an 18-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good cutting the lead to just 21-14.
In the 4th quarter, Brett Rypien would lead the West offense down the field looking to close out the game. They moved the ball into the red zone, but on first down from the East 17-yard line, Rypien would fumble trying to hand the ball off. DE Jordan Brailford would pounce on it giving the East life. Ta’amu would drive them down the field, but they would have to settle for a Matthew Gay 47-yard field goal.
The East would get the ball with just 4:19 on the clock in the 4th. McMaryion would come back in try to finish the game. After a run by McMaryion on 2nd down left the West in 3rd and 6, Rypien would come back in and try to throw for the first down. His pass intended for RB Darrin Hall Jr. was incomplete, but a roughing the passer penalty on Brailford extended the drive. Darrin Hall would run left, plant his foot and explode though the line of scrimmage for a 39-yard run to the 18-yard line. The West run the clock down to the final 4 seconds before giving it back to the East.
The Offensive MVP was Georgia WR Terry Godwin II, and the Defensive MVP was Oregon DL/LB Justin Hollins. Godwin finished with 4 catches for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hollins recorded 10 total tackles, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery with 2 quarterback hurries.