Today, the 93rd Shrine Game took place in St.Pete, Florida and the West team pulled a comeback win out of their back pockets against the East team in front of a packed crowd.
Now, today was more of a defensive game, as it has been for a while, and it is due to defenses learning their playbooks quicker than the offensive players, but overall it was a well played game between these teams that were made up in a week.
Also, there were many great plays in this game and honestly, some players stood out over others. I will also give you some notes to takeaway from this all-star game.
First off, I really like D’Ernest Johnson’s versatility at returning both kicks and punts, but he was pulling tricks out of his helmet by being one shifty fellow in the open field. He showed today that he can be a nice player for a team and be vital. He ran for over five yards per carry.
In addition, a late addition to the East roster was Old Dominion’s running back Ray Lawry, who replaced Fordham’s running back Chase Edmonds (injured) on the roster. Ray Lawry came into the game and produced for the East team to give them a punch, as he averaged over five yards per carry too. He ran hard and for glory!
Now, the quarterback position was a big spotlight all week and it all started with Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, who struggled early in the game, but later he found the end zone for a score (pass to Slippery Rock’s Marcus Martin) to make the game a 10-7 lead for the East team. He found a small groove in the later portion’s of the game. He finished the game 5-of-13 for 69 yards and one score.
Furthermore, I would like to put Jamar Summers name out there, as he is a talented kid that can play in the NFL. He has great tackling form and reads the quarterbacks eyes well in coverage. Versatile player, which helps.
However, the other quarterbacks today that I liked included Nic Shimonek (Texas Tech) and Riley Ferguson (Memphis). Shimonek had a big touchdown pass that gave the team the win, plus he was poised in the pocket and went through his reads. Also, Riley Ferguson showed that he can evade the pass rush to extend a play whether it is to pick up yards with his legs or find an open target.
Back to the defensive side, SMU’s Justin Lawler will be a dominant run stopper in the NFL and it does not matter what scheme. He reminded me of Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive lineman William Gholston.
Lastly, Northern Iowa wide receiver Daurice Fountain started the week hot and ended it hotter. His speed was on displayed, as he blew by three defenders, which he could of went for more yardage, if he did not trip over his two feet. He also showed that he can contribute to the team that picks him up in the return game. He recorded three catches for 61 yards, which was a team-high.
- South Dakota State’s wide receiver Jake Wieneke showing that he can handle punts for teams.
- Pittsburgh’s cornerback Avonte Maddox displayed his closing and make up speed to stop Oklahoma’s wide receiver Jeff Badet from turning up the field for a big gain.
- Quinton Flowers would have been the game-changer in this game and he would of gave that West team’s defense a fight.
- Colorado’s running back Phillip Lindsay reminds me of a bigger and physical Danny Woodhead. Had 12 carries for 51 yards.
- Sam Houston State’s P.J. Hall has a nice motor and showed excellent penetration in splitting the interior line.
- Colorado State’s quarterback Nick Stevens showed some mobility to pick up yardage when no options are open.
J.T. Barrett throws a backwards pass and recovered by the West team for a score (Natrell Jamerson). 7-0 West lead.
Drew Brown’s field goal goes right through the uprights (7-3). East scores.
Marcus Martin catches a pass for a score from J.T. Barrett to give them a 10-7 lead. East leading.
Nic Shimonek tosses a deep ball to Steven Dunbar for a score to give the West team a 14-10 score, which would end up being the final score. West wins.
- Offensive MVP – East team #10 Daurice Fountain (Northern Iowa)
- Defensive MVP – West team #12 Natrell Jamerson (Wisconsin)