It was a tough day for quarterbacks not named Robert Marve.
The Stripes team outclassed their Stars opponents and came away with a 31-3 victory in the first-annual Raycom All-Star Game from Montgomery, Ala.
It may not be the biggest or best of the 2013 college football showcase games. Still, there was plenty of excitement and buzz surrounding the inaugural game for potential NFL-bound college players.
One thing is certain: This game is great for the process. It helps coaches, personnel men and scouts get a good look at some of the more under-the-radar type players that they will explore in the later rounds of the 2013 NFL draft.
The Stripes struck early on a 21-yard field goal by LSU kicker Drew Alleman. That opening score was set up by a 17-yard toss from Purdue QB Robert Marve to Alabama TE Kelly Johnson.
The Stripes added a touchdown after a series of impressive runs by Western Missouri State RB Michael Hill put them into the end zone.
They looked like they would hold that 10-0 advantage going into halftime before a 54-yard bomb from Pittsburgh QB Tino Sunseri to Notre Dame WR Robby Toma put the Stars in scoring position in the waning moments of the half.
North Carolina kicker Casey Barth drilled the ensuing 30-yard field goal attempt to bring the Stars within one score heading into the locker room.
The second half was more of the same for the Stripes.
Virginia RB Perry Jones capped off a nice drive, scoring from nine yards out to give the team an early 17-3 second-half lead.
Following the score, things got a little ugly offensively. Back-to-back deflections resulted in interceptions by both teams.
Marve hit Michigan WR Roy Roundtree on a beautiful 39-yard fade pass down the far sideline to put the Stripes back in the red zone.
He encored that nice completion on the next play with a perfectly thrown 14-yard pass in the corner of the end zone to St. Augustine's WR Tyron Laughinghouse.
That increased the Stripes lead to 24-3.
Sunseri's first pass on their ensuing drive, and first play of the fourth quarter, was intercepted.
Another fourth-quarter interception for the Stars ended another drive and put the nail in the coffin on the team's hopes of a comeback.
Hill came back to add the exclamation point on his impressive performance. He broke consecutive runs of 49, five and six to get the Stripes into the end zone and go up by a score of 31-3.
Michael Hill, RB, Missouri Western State
The 2,168-yard rusher from Division II's Missouri Western State finished with 16 TDs in the 2012 season. He added another one in this All-Star game, and 88 yards in the first half alone of Saturday’s matchup.
He showed great burst and toughness while bouncing a huge run for 44 yards after getting hit at the line of scrimmage.
The talented back repeated the impressiveness of that big run on the very next play. He took the ensuing handoff for two yards, finishing the Stripes drive after absorbing initial contact and spinning away and into the end zone.
He wasn't happy settling with his big first-half performance though. Hill burst through the line after a big block sprung him and then capped off the drive with a six-yard touchdown run to put the Stripes up 31-3.
Hill finished with 12 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Dan Shonka of Ourlads' Scouting highlighted the day of NFL draft prospect games for us all:
Three All-Star games today #shrinegame, Raycom and NFLPA a scouts dream day. Have fun. We want to hear from you!— Dan Shonka (@Ourlads_Shonka) January 19, 2013
Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Holmes put his support out there for Seth Thomas, his brother, a cornerback from Texas who played in the game:
Proud of my lil brother @karlito_2k9 who's a starting corner in today's Raycom Classic. Always a hard worker and making a name for himself!— Earl Thomas (@Earl_Thomas) January 19, 2013
The first big play of the game came on the defensive side of the ball. Bleacher Report's NFL draft analyst Dan Hope highlighted a good play by a defender from ECU:
#ECU DT Michael Brooks off to a great start on first series of Raycom Classic. Getting quick push off snap, just blew up play for 5-yd TFL.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 19, 2013
The Montgomery Advertiser captured a perfect snapshot of Michael Hill as he came short of crossing the goal line on his monster 44-yard run. He scored during the next play on two-yard TD run:
Optimum Scouting's Alex Brown pointed out Stripes QB Robert Marve is playing on a torn ACL:
Robert Marve w/ a couple impressive throws on that last drive. Now being dubbed "The Bionic Man" from @draftnastycom for playing on torn acl— Alex Brown (@ABXXV25) January 19, 2013
The NFL Draft Bible handle stated the obvious after Hill's second touchdown of the game: