Missouri Western's Hill shines in All-Star Classic
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Missouri Western running back Michael Hill outplayed many of his big-school counterparts at the first Raycom College Football All-Star Classic on Saturday.
Hill rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries to lead the Stripes to a 31-3 victory over the Stars at Cramton Bowl, long home to the now-defunct Blue-Gray game traditionally played on Christmas Day. The Division II product had runs of 44 and 49 yards for two of the game's biggest plays, both setting up his touchdowns.
Hill was chosen offensive MVP by NFL scouts. The defensive MVP was Charles James of Charleston Southern, who had two tackles and a pass breakup that resulted in a third-quarter interception.
Purdue's Robert Marve also had a strong performance in the showcase game for pro football prospects. He completed 10 of 13 passes for 142 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Stripes.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Hill bounced outside on back-to-back carries for a 44-yarder and then a 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He added a 6-yard score midway through the fourth quarter after not logging a carry in the third.
Hill wasn't added to the roster until six days before the game after rushing for 2,168 yards and 16 touchdowns. He finished second in the voting for the Harlon Hill Trophy given to Division II's top player and fared well against defenders from bigger schools, too.
Marve connected on a pair of long passes to set up scores for the Stripes.
He fired a 54-yarder to Notre Dame's Robby Toma in the third quarter but his third-down pass into the end zone was broken up by Air Force's Alex Means to force a field goal.
Later in the quarter Marve found Roy Roundtree of Michigan with a 39-yard, over-the-shoulder pass down the right sideline. Marve then threw for a 13-yard touchdown to Tyron Laughinghouse of Division II Saint Augustine.
Marve, who ranked third in the Big Ten in passing efficiency last season, also had a ball poked out from behind for a fumble on another promising drive, and the pick came off a deflection. He started 11 games for the Miami Hurricanes in 2008 before transferring.
Virginia's Perry Jones added 42 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Pittsburgh's Tino Sunseri was the Stars' most productive quarterback. He was 8-of-18 passing for 105 yards but was intercepted twice.
Derrick Washington of Division II Tuskegee - about a half-hour from the stadium - gained 57 yards on 10 rushes for the Stars. Jacksonville State's Washaun Ealey, a Georgia transfer, had seven carries for 42 yards. Jaron Brown of Clemson was the game's leading receiver with six catches for 63 yards for the Stars.
Defensively, Prentiss Waggner (Tennessee) and Brandon Hepburn (Florida A&M) had interceptions on back-to-back plays in the third quarter, both off deflections.
Mississippi State's Cameron Lawrence had a game-high seven tackles for the Stripes.