ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JANUARY 23: Vernon Adams Jr. #3 from Oregon playing on the West Team looks to throw during the first half of the East West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on January 23, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
In front of a crowd of 23,006 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, the East and West teams faced off at the 91st annual East-West Shrine Game. The Shrine Game played its first game in 1925 and has produced legendary players including Tom Brady, Greg Jennings, John Elway, Walter Payton, Dick Butkus, Brett Favre, and many more. The West squad was coached by Charlie Weis and the West squad was under the watch of June Jones.
On the first drive of the game, Florida Gators linebacker Anthony Harrell intercepted Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty, who was targeting Illinois receiver Geronimo Allison on stop route on the left hash. Harrell did a stellar job of reading the quarterbacks eyes and made a great break on the ball to make the interception.
The East offense failed to convert on third-down following the turnover and Liberty kicker John Lunsford hit 31-yard field goal to start off the scoring.
Texas A&M punter Drew Kaser pinned the East at their own one-yard line by hitting a beautiful punt with great hang-time in the first quarter.
California running back Daniel Lasco busted a run for a huge 41-yard gain, making multiple defenders miss on his way into opponent territory. Unfortunately, Lasco ran out of gas at the 10-yard line and could punch it in for the touchdown. He was not a player that flashed much during practices, but he had the most rushing yards (62) of any player in the game on Saturday.
On the following play, Doughty visited the swamp again, throwing another interception to a Florida Gators, this time cornerback Brian Poole. Doughty made a bad decision and tried to force the ball off his back foot to Allison on a quick slant. Poole jumped the route and returned it 100 yards for an East touchdown. Poole. At 5-11, 211 pounds, Poole is a physical corner who has certainly helped his draft stock this week in St. Petersburg.
Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. hit Western Kentucky wide receiver Jordan Dangerfield on a bubble screen and the former Hilltopper took it down the left sideline for a huge gain on second down. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Dangerfield certainly looks the part of an NFL wide receiver and he has good feet to match his size.
On the first play of the second quarter, Adams Jr. hit Colorado State tight end Kivon Cartwright for a touchdown on a well-thrown corner route. Cartwright bobbled the ball but managed to haul it in for the score.
On his next drive, Adams Jr. hit Purdue wide receiver Danny Anthrop for a 92-yard touchdown pass. The Oregon quarterback missed a wide open tight end down the seam on his first read, but he scrambled left and contorted his body body to make a great throw to the receiver. From there, Anthrop outran the the East defensive backs about 50 yards for the West touchdown.
The West scored again in the second quarter when Adams Jr. hit Allison on a quick slant for his third touchdown of the day. The former Oregon Duck was accurate with the football on Saturday and put himself on the map with his great performance.
Stony Brook defensive end Victor Ochi sacked Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld late in the second quarter. Ochi exploded off the line showed NFL-ready edge speed on the play. The Stony Brook edge rusher is undersized (6-2, 255) but has long arms and displays violent hands and speed. He impressed scouts after a good week of practice and looks like a potential late-round pick.
Just before halftime, the West got a huge play from Wisconsin safety Mike Caputo, who picked off his former Badgers teammate Joel Stave and returned it 67 yards all the way down to East 11-yard line. The 6-foot-1, 206 pound safety read the quarterback like a book and made a great play to give the West the ball back.
In the third quarter, Illinois safety Clayton Fejedelem made a tremendous leaping interception on a deep pass intended for Notre Dame wide receiver Chris Brown. The Illinois product (6-1,190) went way up to haul in the pass thrown by Stave and managed to hang on to the ball as he crashed to the ground.
Allison caught his second touchdown pass of the game late in the third quarter. Sudfeld threw a bullet to the right side of the endzone and hit the Illinois product on an out route for the six-yard score. At 6-foot-3, 196 pounds, Allison has legitimate NFL size and is a strong route-runner that projects well to the next level. He’s a sleeper to keep an eye on.
Wisconsin safety Mike Caputo got his second interception of the game in the fourth quarter. Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock was hurried and hit, forcing an inaccurate pass that landed right in the arms of Caputo.
The West held on to win the Shrine Game by a final score of 29-9, with Adams Jr. and his three touchdown passes leading the way. The former Oregon quarterback took home the offensive MVP award and Wisconsin safety Mike Caputo won defensive honors with his two interceptions.
~Alex Morales contributed to this report
I love the game.That young QB from Oregon would be welcome at Tampa to b/u Winston. I know Glenn is off the trading block. Maybe he is and maybe he’s not. This young qb could be another offensive problem that the defensive will have headaches. I think this young qb could bring a 1-2 punch with both qb’s on the same page. I hope Tampa bay could think about it. I believe he would also have the speed can you imagine if both qb’s line up in the backfiel.Winston could throw it to him and he could hit a WR or TE down the field, or the oregon Qb could go out fot a pass.Go Bucs
I believe the following players should be alson mention for the Tampa bay team for draft considerations in CB Brian Poole-Fla,Qb Vernon Adams-Oregon,Victor Ochi DE from Stoney Brook,Safety-Mike Caputo-Wisc and Safety Clayton Fejedelem from Illinois. I enjoy observed the talent at the all-stars games.Tampa took a chance on some of the all stars in 2015. But I think some of the players are better then last year. Guys did anyone knew that Mike Alstock was coaching the backs on one of the teams.Go Bucs
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