MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. - The inaugural FCS Senior Scout Bowl was won by a score of 13-12 with a late drive by the South squad, capped by a six-yard scoring pass from Coastal Carolina quarterback Zach MacDowall to Charleston Southern wide receiver Gerald Stevenson with one minute remaining in the game.
MacDowall completed 17-of-28 passes for 176 yards and one touchdown. MacDowall took the South All-Stars on a 78-yard drive in the final minutes for the only offensive touchdown of the contest. On the defensive side of the ball, Coastal's Dominique Davenport had an outstanding day with seven solo tackles, four for a loss, and an interception.
The North captured a 12-7 margin with 5:17 remaining in the fourth quarter when placekicker Joe Izzo (Central Connecticut State) hit a 36 yard field goal. Izzo accounted for all of the North scoring, making all four field goal attempts from distances of 30, 36,25 and 36 yards.
Sean Jeffcoat (Elon) became the first player in the Senior Scout Bowl history to score a touchdown with his nifty 65-yard kickoff return in the first quarter, staking the South to a 7-3 lead at the time.
The North ball control offense accounted for 15 first downs and 159 yards rushing lead by the trio of Darrius Gates (Indiana State), Miles Russ (Robert Morris) and Ty Batts (Gannon). They controlled the Ball for 39:26 and ran 71 offensive plays, compared to the South with 20:34 and 44 offensive plays.
The South passing attack was anchored by MacDowall, who engineered the final scoring drive with completions to Stevenson, Jeffcoat, and Armond Smith (Union).
Defensively, the North was led by a standout performance by linebacker Mike Schmidlein (Lafayette), who had a game-leading 11 solo tackles, two TFL and a forced fumble. The South defensive team was lead by defensive lineman Jason Gaines (Samford) who had 10 tackles and one TFL and DB Markkus Davis (Mississippi Valley State) added 8 tackles.
Stevenson finished the game the leading receiver for the South wtih a team-high six receptions for 62 yards and the lone offensive touchdown of the game. Charleston Southern tight end Josh Atkinson had one catch for five yards. Additionally, CSU's John Paglia punted seven times, averaging 37.1 yards per punt, and made his lone extra point attempt of the day.
After the practices and workouts leading up to the game, Russ Lande of the Sporting News had this to say about Stevenson: "Charleston Southern WR Gerald Stevenson showed impressive quickness, athleticism and polish. His lack of height (5-10) isn't as big a concern as his weight (166 pounds), which raises questions about whether he can hold up in the NFL. In practice, he showed good quickness off the line and the agility and route-running ability to get separation. He also caught the ball well and seemed natural plucking the ball away from his body. He was also the only player who timed in the 4.4's."
More information about Lande's take on Stevenson and other participants in the game can be found here, while more information on the game can be found at www.fcsseniorbowl.com.