Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 23, 2005

Defense lifts East to Hula Bowl win

By Jaymes Song
Associated Press

WAILUKU, Maui — With NFL scouts watching closely, Ronald Stanley upstaged the big names at the Hula Bowl.

The East's Ronald Stanley (44) of Michigan State leaps into the end zone after intercepting a pass and running for a touchdown.

Amanda Cowan • Maui News via Associated Press

The Michigan State linebacker scored two defensive touchdowns yesterday to rally the East to a 20-13 victory over the West in the Hula Bowl.

"I've always been an underrated guy," Stanley said. "It was my time to show what I can do."

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 Hawai'i quarterback Tim Chang's hand and most players stood around believing the play was dead. But Stanley picked the ball off the grass and ran for a touchdown to put the East up 7-6.

"I saw it rolling and rolling," Stanley said. "I broke out, picked it up and was able to get into the end zone."

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

"It was a great day. I enjoyed myself," Stanley said.

The Hula Bowl featured 92 of college football's best seniors and was played on a balmy, cloudless day on Maui — a stark contrast to the wet and windy conditions during practices.

East coach Frank Solich, of Ohio, said Stanley's big plays woke up his team.

"After the turnovers, we had confidence and we were able to complete passes and run the ball," he said.

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

"We anticipated a strong passing game, but the running game was working great and we were able to eat up the clock," Solich said.

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

Wimbush ran four times for 74 yards, including a spectacular Hula Bowl record 59-yard touchdown run. The West MVP took a pitch to the left side and quickly ran into traffic. He broke a couple of tackles, reversed his field at the East's 40 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.

The game featured aggressive defense and sloppy offense, despite several well-known quarterbacks and rules favoring the offense such as no blitzing.

"There was supposed to be a lot of offense, but we came out on defense and made big plays," said Penn State linebacker Derek Wake, who forced a fumble and recovered another fumble. "It was our goal to keep the points off the scoreboard."

The teams combined for nine turnovers, including five fumbles.

East 0 0 20 0—20
West 0 6 7 0—13

Second Quarter

West—FG Payne 46, 5:56

West—FG Payne 46, 0:08.

Third Quarter

East—Stanley 38 fumble return (Rayner kick), 8:01.

East—Stanley 50 interception return (kick failed), 5:36.

East—Hedgecock 2 run (Rayner kick), 1:04

West—Winbush 59 run (Payne kick), 0:00.


East West

First downs 15 11

Rushes-yards 39-148 20-93

Passing 129 121

Comp-Att-Int 13-27-2 14-33-2

Punts-Avg. 2-28.5 3-51.3

Penalties-Yards 3-25 3-25

RUSHING—East, Betterson 10-77, Hedgecock 6-15, Cobb 4-17, Davis 6-16, Sutton 5-7, Fitzpatrick 4-9, Randall 4-7. West, Wimbush 4-74, Dorsey 3-20, Johnson 4-6, Bruhn 5-2, Webb 1-1, Owens 1-(minus-1), Chang 2-(minus-9).

PASSING—East, Randall 1-3-0-6, Allen 3-7-2-23, Fitzpatrick 9-17-0-100. West, Chang 3-8-0-38, Cumbie 7-12-1-58, Long 4-13-1-25.

RECEIVING—East, Rector 4-50, Hedgecock 3-26, Shepard 2-25, Jackson 2-18, Brown 1-6, Cobb 1-4. West, Frederick 3-49, Messerall 3-20, Owens 3-16, M. Johnson 2-25, Harrell 1-9, Fleming 1-6, Evans 1-(minus-4).