MOBILE, Ala. (AP) – California’s Davis Webb directed scoring drives on all three of his possessions to lead the South to a 16-15 Senior Bowl victory Saturday over the North, which couldn’t hit a final two-point attempt.
The Pac-12 Conference’s leading passer threw for 165 yards on 11-of-16 passing, including a 39-yard touchdown strike on a well-thrown fade to Texas A&M’s Josh Reynolds.
Nate Peterman of Pittsburgh had a similarly strong performance for the North in the showcase game for senior NFL prospects that actually featured late drama. Peterman fired a 6-yard scoring pass to East Carolina’s Zay Jones with 1:51 left but the North went for two points and a potential lead.
Under heavy pressure from Chattanooga’s Keionta Davis, Peterman’s pass was deflected and intercepted by BYU’s Harvey Langi. The South ran out the clock from there.
Webb was the game’s overall MVP after passing for 4,295 yards and 37 touchdowns last season as a graduate transfer from Texas Tech.
He led the South to a touchdown and field goal in the final three minutes of the first half. He and Reynolds proved a prolific combination on a touchdown drive late, moving downfield on connections of 21 – on a third-and-long play – and 13 yards before the touchdown.
Game rules require teams to go for two points in the second quarter, and the South’s attempt failed to keep the halftime lead at 6-3.
Toledo running back Kareem Hunt ran for 118 yards on 15 carries to earn North Outstanding Player Honors. The South’s honoree was Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis, who forced two fumbles and had a pair of sacks.
The South committed five turnovers and turned it over on its first three possessions. That included a pair of interceptions thrown by Antonio Pipkin of Division II Tiffin and another by Tennessee’s Dobbs. Saint Francis linebacker Lorenzo Jerome forced a fumble and made two interceptions for the North.
Hue Jackson and his Cleveland Browns staff led the South team, and have the first, 12th and 33rd overall picks in the April draft. The Chicago Bears’ John Fox, who has the No. 3 pick, coached the North. They’re mostly looking for players beyond their top pick in Mobile, since stars like Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen turned down invitations and Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett is a junior and not eligible.