With a perfect kicking night and stingy play on defense, the West team prevailed over the East squad, 12-3, Thursday night in the 98th annual East-West Shrine Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
There were no touchdowns scored in the game, but Michigan kicker Jake Moody went 4 for 4, connecting on two field goals of 51 yards and two tries from 35 yards out on his way to earning Offensive MVP honors.
"It's a dream come true," Moody told NFL Network's Mike Yam after the victory. "I got to give a shout out to my holder and my snapper, (Penn State's) Chris Stoll and (Oklahoma's) Michael Turk. They did a great job. Made my job really easy. Shout out to the O-line as well. Blocking for me, that's not a fun job. I got to give them all the credit in the world. They allowed me to do my job."
The two teams combined for just 427 yards and each had two turnovers, with Defensive MVP Trey Dean III accounting for a pivotal takeaway. The Florida safety picked off a pass from Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan that bounced off his intended target's hands on first-and-goal for the East team late in the first half, ending a precious scoring chance.
Running backs produced some of the most explosive plays of the night, with the East team's Jordan Mims (Fresno State) breaking off a 30-yard run and the West's Xazavian Valladay (Arizona State) rushing for a game-high 76 yards on 13 carries (5.8 yards per rush).
The week-long all-star event functions as a job interview for 100-plus of the 2023 NFL Draft's top prospects, who had a chance to be coached by the staffs of the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. Patriots wide receivers/kickoff returners coach Troy Brown served as head coach of the West team, while the Falcons special teams coordinator Marquice Williams was head coach of the East squad.
"These guys came out and they played hard. They prepared well all week long," Brown told Yam. "The bottom line is we just had to come out on top some kind of way. And these guys did it. Thank God we had a great kicker on our football team, too."
Last year's East-West Shrine Bowl included Offensive Rookie of the Year finalist Brock Purdy among its participants, along with 13 of the 2022 NFL Draft’s top 150 picks.