Home College Football The West Takes The East In The Shrine Bowl 12-3

The West Takes The East In The Shrine Bowl 12-3

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Photo Credit: Elvin L. Anderson Jr.

Las Vegas, NV—This is a busy time for college football players, some are gearing up for the NFL Combine and some are playing in Senior Bowls to garner some NFL talent scout attention.

It was a defensive game in Las Vegas during the East-West Shrine Bowl, and the West were fortunate to have Jake Moody on their squad.

The Michigan kicker, who’s nickname is Money Moody lived up to his name scoring 12 points for the West in their 12-3 victory over the East in the Shrine Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Shrine Bowl marks the last time Moody will wear Michigan’s winged helmet in a live game setting — what an climatic way to finish her collegiate career. It’s rare for a kicker to win offensive MVP in a bowl game but Money Moody definitely deserve it.

Moody’s first two attempts came from 51 yards, and his final two came from 35 yards out.

Moody won the Lou Groza Award in 2021, is Michigan’s all-time leading scorer, and is coming off a performance in the Fiesta Bowl where he drilled a 59-yarder — a Michigan record.

“It’s a dream come true,” Moody told NFL Network’s Mike Yam after the victory. “I got to give a shout out to my holder and my snapper, (Penn State’s) Chris Stoll and (Oklahoma’s) Michael Turk. They did a great job. Made my job really easy. Shout out to the O-line as well. Blocking for me, that’s not a fun job. I got to give them all the credit in the world. They allowed me to do my job.”

Moody has the ability and attitude to be a permanent fixture in the NFL for a long time. He’s proven to be accurate, reliable, and his leg strength is on an upward trajectory after making 7-of-8 from 40-49 yards and 3-of-7 from 50-59 yards.

Both teams combined for just 427 yards and each had two turnovers, with Defensive MVP Trey Dean III accounting for a key takeaway. The Florida safety intercepted a pass from Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan that bounced off of a receiver hands on first-and-goal for the East team late in the first half, ending a  scoring chance.
Photo Credit: Elvin L. Anderson Jr.

There were some backs that produced some explosive plays of the night, with the East team’s Jordan Mims (Fresno State) breaking off a 30-yard run and the West’s Xazavian Valladay (Arizona State) rushing for a game-high 76 yards on 13 carries (5.8 yards per rush).

The week-long all-star event functions as a job interview for 100-plus of the 2023 NFL Draft’s top prospects, who had a chance to be coached by the staffs of the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. Patriot’s wide receivers/kickoff returners coach Troy Brown served as head coach of the West team, while the Falcons special teams coordinator Marquice Williams was head coach of the East squad.

“These guys came out and they played hard. They prepared well all week long,” Brown told Yam. “The bottom line is we just had to come out on top some kind of way. And these guys did it. Thank God we had a great kicker on our football team, too.”

Last year’s East-West Shrine Bowl included Offensive Rookie of the Year finalist Brock Purdy among its participants.

As for the game’s defensive MVP, Dean was all over the field. The safety showed in the game how he can aggressively attack the line of scrimmage in run support, play in the slot or second level of the defense, and can track the ball well when it is in the air. Dean’s versatility, football acumen, and ability to find the football scream Patriots pick, and it helps that he balled out on their squad.

Lastly, Pittsburgh’s Haba Baldonado has a great story and is a good football player. Baldonado is from Rome, Italy, and only played one year of high school football in the United States. Despite being inexperienced, Baldonado has a great feel for the game and is a very explosive athlete. He had two quarterback pressures and a TFL for the contest, closing the game with a great T/E stunt that forced an incomplete pass on fourth down. Baldonado ‘s name will definitely be called in the early rounds in the 2023 NFL Draft.