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Webb, Reynolds have strong connection for South in Senior Bowl win

North squad fullback Sam Rogers of Virginia Tech (45) is tackled by South squad inside linebacker Alex Anzalone of Florida (34) as he carries the ball during the second half of the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (Butch Dill / Associated Press)
North squad fullback Sam Rogers of Virginia Tech (45) is tackled by South squad inside linebacker Alex Anzalone of Florida (34) as he carries the ball during the second half of the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (Butch Dill / Associated Press)
By John Zenor Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. – Davis Webb looked for Josh Reynolds on his initial third-down play Saturday, found him again on his next pass and a third time for a long touchdown.

It’s just like the California quarterback predicted the night before the Senior Bowl, when that connection with the Texas A&M wide receiver helped the South to a 16-15 victory over the North.

“I told Josh (Friday) night, `You were my favorite outside receiver all week. If we get 1 on 1, I’m going your way so you’d better win,“’ Webb said. “And he did. He won multiple times.”

Webb spread the ball around to other receivers like Mississippi State’s Fred Ross as well. The Pac-12 Conference’s leading passer directed scoring drives on all three of his possessions while completing 11 of 16 passes for 165 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown strike on a well-thrown fade to Reynolds. Reynolds had six catches for 96 yards, most of them on that first drive with Webb.

Nate Peterman of Pittsburgh had a similarly strong passing performance for the North in the showcase game for senior NFL prospects that actually featured late drama. Peterman fired a 6-yard scoring pass to East Carolina’s Zay Jones with 1:51 left but the North went for two points and a potential lead.

Under heavy pressure from Chattanooga’s Keionta Davis, Peterman’s pass was deflected and intercepted by BYU’s Harvey Langi. The South ran out the clock from there.

The week was about auditioning for NFL teams, more than winning, but Peterman said he wanted that last completion “very bad.”

“You’re always competitive,” said Peterman, who was 16-of-23 passing for 153 yards and played most of the game. “To say you can drive down and win the Senior Bowl in the last seconds, that would have been pretty cool. We didn’t get it but it was a great experience still.”

Webb was the game’s overall MVP after passing for 4,295 yards and 37 touchdowns last season as a graduate transfer from Texas Tech.

He led the South to a touchdown and field goal in the final three minutes of the first half. He and Reynolds proved a prolific combination on the touchdown drive, moving downfield on connections of 21 – on a third-and-10 play – and 13 yards before the touchdown.

Game rules require teams to go for two points in the second quarter, and the South’s attempt failed to keep the halftime lead at 9-3.

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