Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rivals Christian Ponder and Leonard Hankerson complement each other

Florida State’s Christian Ponder, looking for a receiver during the first half, finishes 7-of-13 for 132 yards, including a 48-yard completion and 18-yard touchdown to Miami’s Leonard Hankerson.

Associated Press

Florida State’s Christian Ponder, looking for a receiver during the first half, finishes 7-of-13 for 132 yards, including a 48-yard completion and 18-yard touchdown to Miami’s Leonard Hankerson.

MOBILE, Ala. — Christian Ponder heads to the pros on a high note after all. And he got help from an annual opponent.

The Florida State quarterback threw two touchdowns, including a 23-yarder to TCU's Jeremy Kerley with 3:04 left in the South's 24-10 Senior Bowl victory over the North on Saturday.

Ponder was 7-of-13 for 132 yards, including two big passes to Miami's Leonard Hankerson.

Ponder, who missed the ACC title game with an elbow injury and most of the Chick-fil-A bowl with a concussion, led scoring drives on the South's first two possessions to help build a 17-0 lead.

"I thought I definitely ended on a good note," said Ponder, the game's MVP. "And hopefully, my draft status has gone up a little bit."

Hankerson caught five passes for 100 yards.

On the game's first play from scrimmage, Ponder hooked up on a 48-yarder to Hankerson, who bobbled the ball before coming down with it. Ponder also ran for two first downs on the drive, which ended with a field goal by LSU's Josh Jasper.

Ponder hit Hankerson for an 18-yard touchdown on the second drive. Hankerson, who became the third Hurricane with 1,000 yards in a season and broke Michael Irvin's school record with 13 touchdown catches, caught a 14-yard pass during the South's final scoring drive.

"I feel like I helped myself a lot by coming here," Hankerson said; "being focused, getting in the playbook, making plays for the team and just having fun."

Washington quarterback Jake Locker, likely among the first quarterbacks drafted, led a touchdown drive, but he also had offensive linemen save him by falling on two fumbles for the North in an uneven performance.

Locker, who returned for his senior season despite being projected to be drafted high, completed only one of his three passes during the North's first two drives. And that went for 2 yards. But he finished 6-of-10 for 98 yards.

"I thought we got in a little better rhythm, were able to move the ball, got our running game working a little bit better," said Locker, who had completions of 15 and 34 yards. "And it allowed us to put some points on the board."

Alabama: Former Crimson Tide standout and Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom is a candidate to become receivers coach, the Tuscaloosa News reported. Croom, 56, has been the Rams' running backs coach for the past two seasons.

Kentucky: Tee Martin, who quarterbacked Tennessee to a national title in 1998, signed a contract extension and will move from receivers coach to passing game coordinator. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Martin joined Joker Phillips' staff last season after being New Mexico's quarterbacks coach for one season.

Rivals Christian Ponder and Leonard Hankerson complement each other 01/29/11 [Last modified: Sunday, January 30, 2011 12:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)