Brantley struggles at East-West Shrine game
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 8:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 8:11 p.m.
ST. PETERSBURG — Former Florida quarterback John Brantley had a frustrating day as he went 1-for-6 passing for 21 yards in Saturday's East-West Shrine all-star game.
Worst than that, his team lost.
Louisiana Tech's Lennon Creer scored on a 9-yard run with 47 seconds remaining, giving the West a 24-17 victory at Tropicana Field.
Quarterbacks Chandler Harnish of Northern Illinois and Tyler Hansen of Colorado had short TD runs for the West, which rallied from an early 10-0 deficit.
Missouri Western State's Greg Zuerlein kicked a field goal that made it 17-17 early in the fourth quarter, setting the stage for Harnish to lead the winning drive in the closing minutes.
Michigan State's B.J. Cunningham and Miami's LaRon Byrd caught touchdown passes for the East, which also got an early field goal from Georgia's Blair Walsh.
Tennessee-Chattanooga's B.J. Coleman teamed with Tennessee Tech's Tim Benford on a 28-yard pass play to set up Walsh's field goal on East's opening possession of the game. His 21-yard completion to Cunningham, who broke a tackle and continued into the end zone, made it 10-0.
While most of the players who will be selected early in the NFL draft will be in Mobile, Ala., for next week's Senior Bowl, the prospects in the East-West game were hoping to impress and enhance their chances of being selected in the later rounds and winding up in NFL training camps as undrafted free agents.
Coleman started for the East and was followed by Southern Mississippi's Austin Davis and Brantley. Brantley's only completion was to Emil Igwenagu for 21 yards midway through the third quarter. Harnish started for the West and scored on a 1-yard run that finished a 19-play, 80-yard drive. Less than five minutes later Hansen ran 3 yards for a short-lived 14-10 advantage.
Davis tossed a 3-yard TD pass to Byrd to put the East ahead 17-14 at the half.
Former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington and one-time Kansas State kicker Martin Gramatica were honored at halftime as the latest inductees into the East-West Shrine Hall of Fame. Tennessee running back Tauren Poole, who gained 15 yards on the first play from scrimmage, received the Pat Tillman Award presented to the player demonstrating service, character and sportsmanship.
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