EAST-WEST SHRINE GAME
By Leo Haggerty
NO MATTER WHAT THE SCORE ON THE FIELD THE WINNERS ARE THE KIDS AT THE SHRINER’S HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN
In a game that lived up to its billing as a defensive struggle, the West managed to eek out a 10-3 win over the East in the 2017 Shrine Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. Louisiana-Lafayette RB Eli McGuire found paydirt early in the fourth quarter for the only touchdown of the game and that was all the West needed to secure the victory.
Most All-Star games are usually low scoring because it is more difficult to assemble and coordinate an offensive scheme than it is a defensive one in less than a week. The Shrine Bowl was no different as the defensive side dominated the contest from start to finish.
The West opening the scoring at 6:09 of the initial period. Idaho K Austin Rehkow split the uprights from 27 yards out to culminate a 8 play drive that traversed 38 yards that took 3:48 of clock time.
The East tied the score at 3 each with a field goal of their own at 11:44 of the second period. North Carolina K Nick Weiler, after an 11 play drive that went 49 yards taking 6:10, was true from 21 yards out.
McGuire was named the offensive MVP of the game.
#1 had seven rushes for 42 yards and the only touchdown of the contest.
Defensive MVP was DE Trey Hendrickson from Florida Atlantic.
#99 had 2 tackles and one sack along with a forced fumble.
From a team standpoint, it was a game where the defense was, for the most part, able to keep the offense in check. The announced crowd of 22,198 was treated to individual flashes of brilliance, particularly by Utah RB Joe Williams and Florida State WR Kermit Whitfield, along with Illinois QB Wes Lunt plus Samford WR Karel Hamillton as well as Arkansas DE Deatrich Wise, Jr., and the outcome, though low scoring, was exciting until the final play.
That’s always a plus and it raises money for a most worthy cause that helps kids. Can’t ask for much more than that.
The image included in the logo was inspired by a players visit in 1974 to a San Francisco hospital. A picture taken of Boston College Mike Esposito walking hand-in-hand with patient Nicole Worley-Urteaga has become the image above the “More than just a game” verbiage that makes up the East-West Shrine game logo
The East-West Shrine Game, beginning in 1925, is the longest running college All-Star game in the nation.
With the proceeds from the Shrine game as well as other donors, the Shriners Hospitals for Children is able to do innovative state-of-the-art research in the areas of pediatric orthopedics and spinal cord injuries plus burn care along with cleft lip and palate.
Seventy-two former East-West Shrine Game players are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Since its inception, players have visited local Shriners Hospitals for Children to actually spend quality time with the young patients.
The Pat Tillman Award is the game’s top honor and is given to the player who best demonstrates service and sportsmanship as well as character both on and off the field.
Nearly all the college players that participate in the East-West Shrine Game are signed by a National Football League team.
Now for a photo recap of the day: