Murray, two local stars lead East in U.S. All-American Bowl

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl has showcased the tremendous skills of players such as Tim Tebow, Terrelle Pryor and Adrian Peterson in recent years. This year’s edition was once again an entertaining affair, as the East defeated the West 30-17 Saturday in San Antonio’s Alamodome.
Georgia fans had an opportunity to see one of Matthew Stafford’s successors in the form of early commit Aaron Murray. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound quarterback from Tampa, Fla., started the game for the East and showed some of the arm strength and mobility that Georgia offense coordinator Mike Bobo will have at his disposal. Murray was unlucky in his second series when he saw U.S. Army Player of the Year Bryce Brown open and was able to air out a lovely deep ball, only to see Brown gator-arm the pass.

The East would get on the board shortly after with a 49-yard interception return by the dynamic Willie Downs, who is headed to Florida State, but the West struck next with a Chris Boswell chip shot to shorten the gap to 7-3. The West rarely pressured the East quarterbacks on the day and were burned by Tahj Boyd when he found leaping wideout Corey Brown in the end zone with a 34-yard scoring pass. Local star Chris Burnette of Troup High School, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound Georgia commit, helped anchor a solid offensive line performance during the win.

West starting quarterback Tyrik Rollison got his team on the board with a 28-yard scoring strike to Pat Patterson, who made a great one-handed stab on the play. The East calmed any notions of a comeback behind Bryce Brown.

Brown atoned for his drop of Murray’s pass by reeling in a 60-yard touchdown catch off an absolutely beautiful throw by Boyd in the third quarter. The same duo did it again in the fourth quarter on a similar play, this time for 41 yards, as the Miami commit Brown gave the West fits all day both rushing and receiving.

The West scored a late touchdown on a perfectly executed screen-play to Chris Whaley to make the game a respectable 30-17. The West’s last gasp comeback try was thwarted when their onside-kick attempt failed.
The East’s defensive effort was headed in part by another Georgia native, Carver-Columbus standout Jarvis Jones, who roamed most of the game at the middle linebacker spot. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Jones remains undecided on where he’ll play his college ball, but UGA is one of five schools Jones is considering.

Mitchell can be reached at

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