ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — 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.