Offensive game MVP Jeff Rowe, a quarterback out of the
, led the West team to a 21-3 victory Saturday night in the 82nd annual Dell East-West Shrine Game at Reliant Stadium.
Rowe completed just four passes, but two went for scores, the second of which was a 79-yard touchdown strike that finished scoring for both teams late in the second quarter.
Defensive end Daniel Brazuin from
was the defensive MVP for an East defense that actually dominated statistically Saturday despite the lopsided result. Brazuin collected 2.5 sacks to lead both teams in that category.
Despite the West's dominance on the scoreboard, the final statistics indicate that the East actually performed better offensively. The East, coached by NFL legend Don Shula, had more first downs, more plays and more yards, out-gaining the West 326-258.
However, trailing 21-3 in the second half, the East failed twice to convert on fourth downs deep in West territory, essentially handing the West, and coach Dan Reeves, a victory in a game they commanded from the start.
The West received the opening kickoff and went right to work thanks to a 30-yard return by
wide receiver Paul Williams. BYU's John Beck started the game for the West and quickly moved his squad down the field leading to the game's first points.
Beck connected with
fullback Brad Lau after a 10-play, 54-yard drive that took 5:26 off the clock, giving the West a 7-0 lead with 9:34 remaining in the first quarter.
Constantly rotating quarterbacks, the East had a hard time finding a rhythm offensively. It took until the second quarter for the East squad to get on the board. With 10:44 remaining in the half, Virginia Tech kicker Brandon Pace converted on a 40-yard field goal to close the West's gap to 7-3.
The drive went 43 yards, but 29 of those yards came via a 29-yard scamper by Steve Baylark out of the
. Baylark found little rushing room the rest of the evening, finishing with 33 yards on seven carries.
The West quickly went back to work scoring on their next two possessions with Rowe putting together his MVP resume. He threw two scoring strikes, the first to Texas Tech wide receiver Joel Filani and the second to Williams on a beautifully thrown 79-yard bomb.
Both scores came within the last five minutes of the first half, and the East had no response, allowing the West to head to the locker room with a 21-3 halftime lead.
The East moved into scoring position on their first drive of the second half, marching to the West 29 before Tulane quarterback Lester Ricard's pass to
receiver Steve Breaston fell incomplete on fourth down.
The failed East drive was as close as either team would come to scoring in the third quarter as the two defenses dug in.
The East passed up points again to begin the fourth. Faced with a fourth-and-four deep in West territory, Shula rolled the dice and was again turned away with no points.
The West was able to kill the clock from there and a last ditch East drive fell short.