PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — LSU defensive tackle Frank Herron returned a fumble for a late touchdown and Penn State linebacker Troy Apke earned MVP honors, helping the National team stifle the American team 23-0 on Saturday in the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl.
Herron scooped up a fumble by Texas A&M-Commerce quarterback Luis Perez and returned it all the way with 3:07 left. That came shortly after Apke intercepted Michigan’s John O’Korn and took it 56 yards to the American 31.
The National team did all of its scoring in the second half, also getting touchdowns from Stanford fullback Daniel Marx and Howard running back Anthony Philyaw.
The National team has won all seven Collegiate Bowls, held for the first time this year at the Rose Bowl after six years at the StubHub Center. The game is meant to highlight players on the bubble of the NFL draft for scouts and teams.
The touchdown from Marx came after National quarterback and TCU senior Kenny Hill stumbled and fumbled on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. Marx went up the middle, off a defender and into the end zone from 1-yard.
After Washington State kicker Erik Powell made a 22-yard field goal, Philyaw scored with a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The National defense held the American team to 215 total yards.
American kicker Jordan Dascalo and his holder struggled on the windy afternoon. Dascalo, from Eastern Washington, missed on field goals of 43, 27 and 24 yards.
The first half included eight punts, three turnovers and three missed field goals.
Last year, 12 players from the Collegiate Bowl ended up being drafted. The American team this year was led by former Rams coach Mike Martz, and the National team by former All-Pro cornerback Darrell Green. Martz is 4-0 in the Collegiate Bowl.
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