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East wins Hula Bowl with defense

East safety James Griffin, right, of Virginia Tech can't get a handle on a pass.
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
East safety James Griffin, right, of Virginia Tech can't get a handle on a pass. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

Michigan State linebacker Ronald Stanley scored two defensive touchdowns Saturday to rally the East to a 20-13 victory over West in the Hula Bowl in Wailuku, Hawaii.

Down 6-0, the East scored 20 straight points in the third quarter including Stanley’s 38-yard fumble return and a 50-yard interception return.

Stanley’s TDs gave the East a 13-6 lead and the momentum. It also earned him the East’s MVP award.

His first TD was a heads-up play.

The ball was knocked out of Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang’s hand and most players stood around believing the play was dead. But Stanley picked the ball off the grass and ran into the end zone to put the East up 7-6.

Four plays later, Stanley intercepted an errant pass from Texas Tech’s Sonny Cumbie at midfield, streaked down the right sideline and dove into the end zone.

The Hula Bowl featured 92 of college football’s best seniors and was played on a balmy, cloudless day on the island of Maui.

The East expanded its lead to 20-6 on a 2-yard dive by North Carolina’s Madison Hedgecock. The TD was setup by a 31-yard run by Troy’s DeWhitt Betterson who finished with 77 yards rushing on 10 carries.

The West’s biggest star was Derrick Wimbush from tiny Fort Valley State.

Wimbush ran four times for 74 yards, including a spectacular 59-yard touchdown run. The West most valuable player took a pitch to the left side and ran into traffic. He broke a couple of tackles, reversed his field and sprinted for the end zone.

The West had a chance to tie the game in the fourth, but Sam Houston State quarterback Dustin Long’s pass was intercepted by North Carolina State’s Dovonte Edwards in the end zone to end the threat.

Washington State running back Chris Bruhn had two yards on five carries for the West.

Las Vegas Classic

Brendon Heaney of BYU returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown to lead the West over the East 21-16 in the Las Vegas All-American Classic College All-Star Game.

Heaney, the game’s MVP, finished with two interceptions. His runback put the West ahead 21-9 with 8:09 remaining.

Darnell Stephens of Air Force had two touchdown runs for the West. His second score, a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter, gave his team the lead for good, 14-9.

The East took a 9-7 lead when Georgia Southern’s Chaz Williams had a 17-yard TD run down the left side in the third quarter.

West kicker Paul Ernster of Northern Arizona missed five field goals (29, 34, 35, 37 and 43). Arkansas’ Decori Birmingham of the East had a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:03 left in the game.

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