Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Aggressive calls mark East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg as West wins 24-17

ST. PETERSBURG — Brad Childress figures if you're going to coach in something like the East-West Shrine Game, there's no point of being anything but aggressive.

The former Vikings coach, who has interviewed for the Bucs' head-coaching vacancy, went for it on fourth down three times and recovered an onside kick in the second quarter, then got a touchdown from Louisiana Tech's Lennon Creer with 47 seconds left as the West team pulled out a 24-17 win Saturday in the game's first time at Tropicana Field.

"The kids aren't coming here to tie, and you can tie in this game — you can't go to overtime," Childress said. "I just wanted to be aggressive. It sends a good message, and I thought our guys did a good job with that."

The East team jumped out to a 10-0 lead with Chattanooga's B.J. Coleman throwing a 17-yard touchdown to Michigan State's B.J. Cunningham.

But the West rallied back on touchdown runs by Northern Illinois' Chandler Harnish and Colorado's Tyler Hansen. Harnish converted two fourth downs on scrambles in his touchdown drive, though the East scored just before halftime for a 17-14 lead.

The game's defensive MVP went to Penn State's Nick Sukay, who had an interception in the end zone with 5:51 left to keep the score tied. Creer, who went up the middle for a 9-yard touchdown in the final minute, earned the game's offensive MVP.

"They opened up a big hole, and it was there for me," Creer said. "Hopefully I had a chance to get myself out there and show what I can do."

Of the players from state colleges, there weren't many stars — Miami tight end Chase Ford had a 64-yard catch to set up the East's first touchdown, and Hurricanes receiver LaRon Byrd caught a 3-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left in the first half.

Florida's John Brantley was the sixth quarterback in the game and went 1-for-6 for 21 yards in limited action; Florida State punter Shawn Powell followed Brantley's two drives with solid punts.

Rules limiting what defenses could do in terms of blitz packages allowed quarterbacks to complete passes at a high rate — four quarterbacks combined to go 23-for-30 in the first half, led by Chattanooga's B.J. Coleman, who went 6-for-6 for 137 yards and a touchdown.

The West team's two first-half touchdowns came on back-to-back drives, after a successful onside kick by Missouri Western State's Greg Zuerlein, recovered by Oregon State's Brandon Hardin.

The game, in its 87th year, was played in St. Petersburg for the first time after being in Orlando the last two years.

Aggressive calls mark East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg as West wins 24-17 01/21/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 10:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.