LSU quarterback Marcus Randall hopes the NFL scouts took note that he's a quick study. After being introduced to a new offense five days ago, Randall completed 7 of 11 passes for 88 yards to earn MVP honors at the Gridiron Classic and lead the South to a 24-21 win over the North yesterday in Lady Lake, Fla.
"That just shows my knowledge for the game is real," said Randall, who passed for 2,765 yards and 18 touchdowns with the Tigers. "I know how to play this game."
During the week, more than 200 scouts were on hand to see and talk with the 97 players.
In a second half that saw four lead changes, UNLV running back Dominique Dorsey's 28-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter was the difference. For the North, Hampton receiver Jerome Mathis scored on a 26-yard reception and a 38-yard run on a reverse. Mathis had 108 yards of total offense -- 59 yards receiving on two catches, and 49 yards rushing on two carries.
The South was outrushed, 234-105, and converted only two of 11 third downs, but took advantage of a fumble by Boston College's Grant Adams and three missed field goals by Maryland's Nick Novak. Texas's Chance Mock threw a 23-yard touchdown to Mississippi wide receiver Eric Rice late in the third quarter to put the South up, 17-14. The touchdown was set up by Texas A&M's Byron Jones recovering a muffed punt return by Adams.
With 11 seconds left in the third quarter, Mathis's run put the North back ahead by 4.
East 45, West 27 -- At San Francisco, Stefan LeFors threw two of his three touchdown passes to Louisville teammate J.R. Russell, and Purdue's Taylor Stubblefield also caught two scoring passes for the East in the 80th edition of the Shrine Game. Purdue's Kyle Orton passed for 145 yards in the first quarter -- 103 to Stubblefield on plays called by Boilermakers coach Joe Tiller, who helped to make all of the East stars look awfully good for the dozens of NFL scouts in attendance.
Stubblefield had seven catches for 128 yards as Tiller's squad racked up 553 yards, scoring all of its points in the first three quarters. The teams combined for 1,013 yards in the highest-scoring matchup since 1979.
LeFors was named the offensive MVP, going 10 for 17 for 165 yards and tying the Shrine Game record for touchdown passes in just one quarter of work. He and Russell were just as impressive as Orton and Stubblefield, connecting on TD passes of 37 and 36 yards in the first half.
LeFors also hit Stubblefield for a 7-yard score -- and Stubblefield even completed a 37-yard pass to Florida State's Dominic Robinson, who had five catches for 112 yards.