SPARTANBURG Two Observer-area players made huge plays in the final minutes of the 77th annual Shrine Bowl on Saturday afternoon.
First, Charlotte Catholic’s Elijah Hood scored his third touchdown of the game to give North Carolina a two-point lead with 1 minute, 54 seconds left. But Rock Hill Northwestern QB Mason Rudolph drove his South Carolina team down the field before throwing the game-winning pass with 16 seconds left to Gaffney’s Shaq Davidson. South Carolina won 28-23.
South Carolina won for the second year in a row and leads the all-time series 44-29-4.
“Thankfully,” Rudolph told The (Rock Hill) Herald, “we’ve had some experience with 2-minute drills. We try to go fast all the time at Northwestern, but the last drive was great. (We) put the ball in the hands of some pretty great receivers. It was a great team win.”
Rudolph completed 15-of-22 passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns. He was named South Carolina’s offensive MVP.
Rudolph threw for two touchdowns on his team’s first two possessions as South Carolina opened up a 14-0 lead. North Carolina managed only 26 yards of offense in the first half. In the second half, Hood got going and got North Carolina back in the game. He finished with 92 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Hood, named offensive MVP for North Carolina, got 18 carries in the second half.
“They just kept giving me the ball,” Hood told The Herald, “and the more I got out there, the more comfortable I got with the pace of the game. I was able to adapt and you saw the results.”
West Mecklenburg quarterback Jalen McClendon completed 16-of-26 passes for 164 yards. Hopewell’s Dominique Heath caught four passes for 42 yards.
(Rock Hill) Herald staff writer Bret McCormick contributed.
Wertz: 704-612-9716; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr
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