DEEP FRIED DRAFT

FIRST QUARTER

  • Rashaad Penny and James Washington (WR/Oklahoma State) were back to return the opening kickoff. Mike White (Western Kentucky) got the start at QB for the South. He overshot Marcel Ateman (WR/Oklahoma State) on a 3rd down pass. Braxton Berrios (WR/Miami-FL) was back to return the punt for the North. A quick note about Braxton Berrios. He had a minor injury earlier in the week. Normally that would be enough to take him out of the game. He called his agent and had his agent convince the Senior Bowl to let him continue playing this week. That kind of grit goes a long way. 
  • Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) got the start at QB for the North. Jaleel Scott (WR/New Mexico State) dropped a wide-open slant that hit him right in the hands. Marcus Davenport (EDGE/UTSA) crashed down on Brian O'Neill (OT/Pittsburgh) for a sack. M.J. Stewart (CB/North Carolina) was back to return the punt for the South.
  • Michigan LB Mike McCray made a nice play in coverage. Mike White made a tight throw to J'Mon Moore (WR/Missouri) in front of CB Taron Johnson of Weber State. Rashaad Penny with a beautiful jump cut then the explosion to rip off a 34-yard run. Taron Johnson got beat again on this drive, this time by Tre'Quan Smith (WR/UCF) for a TD, giving the South a 7-0 lead.
  • Kalen Ballage (RB/Arizona State) with tremendous acceleration for a 16-yard run that was set up by a pull and smash block by Will Hernandez (OG/UTEP). Ballage had another nice run on 4th down to keep the drive alive that was sprung by Mason Cole (OC/Michigan). Antonio Brown (DL/Virginia) got loose from the grip of Hernandez to deflect a pass. A nice PBU by Jeremy Reaves (DS/South Alabama) on a pass intended for Mike Gesicki (TE/Penn State). Michael Badgely (PK/Miami-FL) nailed a 50-yard field goal to cut the South lead to 7-3. This would be the end of Baker Mayfield's day. He finished the game 3-7 for 9 yards.
  • D.J. Chark (WR/LSU) blew by Jamarcus King (CB/South Carolina) for a 63-yard gain. King struggles when in space. It was a really nice throw from Mike White as well. Ohio State EDGE TyQuan Lewis with a sack that stalled the drive. Daniel Carlson (PK/Auburn) missed a 33-yard FG.
  • Josh Allen entered the game at QB for the North. Allen escaped pressure from Andrew Brown and scrambled for 12 yards. Jaylen Samuels (RB/NC State) with a nice run for 8 yards. Darius Leonard (LB/South Carolina State) did a nice job of diagnosing a screen. Jamil Demby (OT/Maine) got called for a hold. Marcus Davenport with a nice inside rush to get a hit on Josh Allen. Michael Badgely doinked a 55-yard field goal off the left upright to keep the score 7-3. 
  • Kemoko Turay (EDGE/Rutgers) hammered Mike White right after his release. Daniel Carlson nailed a 53-yard FG with plenty of leg to spare to give the South a 10-3 lead.


END OF FIRST QUARTER: SOUTH 10, NORTH 3

SECOND QUARTER

  • Allen overshot Daesean Hamilton by about 5 yards. Marcus Davenport beat Jamil Demby for a pressure. 
  • Kurt Benkert (Virginia) entered the game for the South. Tyquan Lewis came knifing in for a tackle-for-loss. Lewis played much better in the game today than he did in practice this week. Benkert with an alert play on a scramble hitting Penny (who improvised a route downfield) for a 73-yard TD. Penny outran everyone in the open field. Ito Smith carried it in for the two-point conversion giving the South an 18-3 lead.
  • M.J. Stewart provided good coverage on DaeSean Hamilton. 
  • Ito Smith got enveloped on a screen pass that wasn't well executed. B.J. Hill (DL/NC State) swallowed up Smith on back-to-back plays. 
  • Tanner Lee (Nebraska) entered the game at quarterback for the North. Dimitri Flowers (Oklahoma) picked up six on the ole fullback dive. Quin Blanding (DS/Virginia) did a fabulous job of separating the ball from Mike Gesicki. Darius Leonard keeps playing well. Kalen Ballage kept the run inside when he should have gone outside and he failed to convert on 4th down.
  • D.J. Chark picked up 9 on a reverse. Darrell Williams (RB/LSU) broke tackles and carried defenders on his way to a 16-yard gain. Jamarcus King made a tremendous play in the end zone to knock a pass up in the air and Secdrick Cooper (DS/Louisiana Tech) picked it off. Cooper only played in the game this week after a couple of safeties went down with injuries. Cooper played in the Shrine last week.
  • Tanner Lee's accuracy was not great. A booming punt by Florida's Johnny Townsend was downed inside the 5 by Tanner Carew (LS/Oregon).
  • Ogbannia Okoronkwo (EDGE/Oklahoma) beat Alex Cappa (OT/Humboldt State) for a sack. Kurt Benkert should have slid and got sandwiched between Fred Warner (LB/BYU) and Secdrick Cooper. He had to sit out a few plays. He overthrew J'Mon Moore on his first play who beat Jamarcus King. A nice punt return by Braxton Berrios.
  • Tanner Lee with another overthrow. Michael Gallup (WR/Colorado State) beat D'Montre Wade (CB/Murray State) but dropped the ball. Wade was not good this week.
  • Jalyn Holmes (DL/Ohio State) with a spin and a sack. He got inside of Austin Corbett (OG/Nevada). Garret Dooley (EDGE/Wisconsin) got around Alex Cappa. Cappa really struggled against speed rushers today.
  • The hook and ladder play didn't work and led to a Poona Ford (DL/Texas) fumble recovery. 


HALFTIME: SOUTH 18, NORTH 3

FOURTH QUARTER

  • Chark now has five catches for 160 yards and a TD. It was nice to see Ito Smith finally getting some touches. Lauletta threw a rocket to Marcel Ateman for a TD to give the South 45-16.
  • Darius Leonard is now up to 12 tackles (he finished with 14). Tanner Lee was really bad in this game. He finished 8/19 86 yards and a pick. 
  • Brandon Silvers (Troy) finally got into the game.
  • Jaleel Scott finally showed up in the box score with an 18-yard catch. A nice PBU for M.J. Stewart. Stewart had a really good week.
  • ​That wraps it up!


FINAL: SOUTH 45, NORTH 16

The 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl is in the books with the South team beating the North team 45-16. It was overcast for most of the game and then the rain rolled through in the second half. Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after throwing for 198 yards and 3 TDs. LSU WR D.J. Chark and San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny were named Co-Most Outstanding Player for the South team and Wyoming QB Josh Allen was named Most Outstanding Player for the North team. The game concludes a week of grueling practices, fun events, and one of the biggest job interviews for more than 110 of the top senior football players in the nation. Below I will go quarter-by-quarter with a stream of consciousness style breakdown of the game.

I will have a column up tomorrow highlighting the 5 Risers and 5 Fallers for each team. I will also be uploading thirty 2 to 3-minute interviews I was able to conduct during the week. I would like to thank Senior Bowl director Phil Savage, Media Director Rob Lehocky, and Ops Director Patrick Woo for the first class event they put on this week. It is an honor to have covered the event again this year, and I look forward to being back there for the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

 2018 Senior Bowl: Game Recap (1-27-18)

Both teams combined for 940 yards of total offense.

PASSING LEADERS
Kyle Lauletta, Richmond         8/12 198 3 TD
Josh Allen, Wyoming                 9/13 158 2 TD
RUSHING LEADERS
Kalen Ballage, Arizona State            10-57
Rashaad Penny, San Diego State    9-64
RECEIVING LEADERS
D.J. Chark, LSU                                        5-160-1 TD
Michael Gallup, Colorado State       3-60
TACKLE LEADERS
Darius Leonard, South Carolina State        14 tackles
Trayvon Henderson, Hawaii                          10 tackles
SACK LEADERS

Ogba Okoronkwo, Oklahoma         2 sacks

Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State                2 sacks

THIRD QUARTER

  • Josh Allen returned to Qb the North team. Oren Burks (LB/Vanderbilt) did a good job sifting through the trash to make a TFL on Ballage. Truth be told, Burks probably should have been in the game the whole time instead of a mid-week add. Marcus Davenport beat Brett Toth (OT/Army) around the edge but Allen escaped for a first down run. Ballage took a toss quickly around the edge. Oren Burks again knifed through for a TFL. Allen dropped a perfect pass into the bucket to Tyler Conklin (TE/Central Michigan) for  TD. Darius Leonard could not have had better coverage but Allen delivered to cut the lead to 18-10. 
  • Okoronkwo beat Brandon Parker (OT/North Carolina A&T) for a strip sack of Kyle Lauletta. Parker recovered the fumble. 
  • Allen completed a catch-and-run to Gallup for 31. He then hit Durham Smythe (TE/Notre Dame) on a wheel route for a TD. Shaquem Griffin (LB/UCF) was late on coverage. Jeremy Reaves with nice coverage on Gesicki on the 2PC attempt to make the score 18-16 South.
  • Lauletta immediately hit D.J. Chark on a 75-yard TD to give the South a 25-16 lead. Michael Joseph (CB/Dubuque) got completely turned around. It is always a nice story when the D2 & D3 guys get a chance. Sometimes it works out like Ali Marpet a couple of years ago but Joseph was out of his league this week.
  • The skill set that NFL teams love was on full display in the second half. He dropped another dime to Justin Watson (WR/Penn). Poona Ford laid the smackdown on Allen. Johnny Townsend dropped another punt inside the five.
  • Lauletta with a nice roll out to hit Ian Thomas (TE/Indiana) on the run. He then escaped three would-be sacks before finally succumbing to Jalyn Holmes. Lauletta then made another perfect throw, this time to Tre'Quan Smith, beating Michael Joseph. He then completed a one-yard TD to Deon Yelder (TE/Western Kentucky).
  • Tanner Lee came back in. Marquis Haynes (EDGE/Mississippi) beat Brett Toth, stripped Lee of the ball, and Marcus Davenport scooped it up for the score. Daniel Carlson missed the extra point leaving the South with a 38-16 lead.
  • Lee hung Gallup out to dry but he still made the catch for 22 yards. Lee then overthrew his receiver and it was picked off by Jeremy Reaves.


END OF THIRD QUARTER: SOUTH 38, NORTH 16