S.C. College All-Star Bowl | upstate 23, lowcountry 10

Former Wolves boost Upstate

Special to The StateMarch 24, 2013 

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Lowcountry quarterback Derrick Wiley pitches as Upstate's Leonard Williams closes in Saturday.

JOHN BYRUM — spartanburg herald-journal

  • Greene has busy day

    The Lowcountry did all it could to help former Richland Northeast High standout Gee Gee Greene shine in what could be his final game of organized football.

    Greene, who had a stellar career at the U.S. Naval Academy, scored the Lowcountry team’s only touchdown in Saturday’s 23-10 South Carolina College All-Star Bowl loss to a team representing the Upstate.

    Greene carried the ball nine times, but five of the carries were for negative yardage either because of inaccurate pitches or good defensive plays from Upstate players.

    He also caught a game-high six passes for 25 yards. Other than the quarterbacks, he had more touches than any other player.

    Game rules did not allow for kickoff returns, so he didn’t get the show his skills there. Last season, Greene because the first player in Navy history to return a kickoff for a touchdown in a bowl game.

    Greene’s highlights came in the first quarter. He made a dandy catch of a Seth Strickland pass for an 18-yard gain to the Upstate 4.

    “I make plays like that all the time,” Greene said afterward. “It wasn’t really that big to me, but it was a good play

    After he was thrown for a two-yard loss on the next play, he scored on a six-yard run.

    Rudy Jones

The two principals in the biggest play of Saturday’s South Carolina College All-Star Bowl both went to Newberry College but never played for the Wolves at the same time.

Quarterback Brian Ehrlich and receiver Jameze Massey hooked up on a 60-yard touchdown pass play to open the fourth quarter as the Upstate team beat the Lowcountry 23-10 as a few thousand fans watched at North Greenville’s Younts Stadium.

Ehrlich played as a graduate student at Texas A&M Kingsville in 2012 after completing his career at Newberry a year earlier. Massey started at Newberry, then transferred to Winston-Salem State and helped the Rams reach the NCAA Division II final.

“We called all streaks, I think, and I just outran the corner,” Massey said of his only catch.

The teams consisted primarily of players with South Carolina ties as high school or college players. Game officials want the event to provide pro scouts one more look at players under game conditions.

“I really needed this (game),” Massey said. “Being 5-foot-7 and playing at a D-2 school, I needed to be out here playing against some guys who were Division I.”

“We had it drawn up,” Ehrlich said. “We knew they were going to be in the Cover 2, and all I had to do was out-throw the safety.”

Ehrlich, at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, also hopes to get a chance to play at the next level.

“I’ve got an agent who’s been hitting it hard,” Ehrlich said. “He said keep playing the way I am and, hopefully, I’ll get a chance. I love football; I love every second of it. It’s the funnest sport I’ve ever played in my life and every second I’m on the field is going to be played at full speed.”

He completed 5 of 13 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

Ehrlich’s first scoring pass covered 2 yards to Western Carolina’s Jacoby Mitchell on the game’s first possession.

Former South Carolina quarterback Seth Strickland was named the game’s most outstanding offensive player. He completed 11 of 14 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. His last pass, though, was intercepted by former Furman player Ricky Lang and returned 22 yards for a game-clinching touchdown with 2:39 left.

“It was a play we put in at halftime,” Lang said. “I just dropped and he threw it right to me, so I had to score with it.

“This was great,” Lang said. “My senior year didn’t end too well, but this definitely would be a great way to cap off my football career if this does it.”

“I went over and told coach (Upstate assistant Brian) Dawkins they put an extra wrinkle in on me. They dropped the end out,” Strickland said. “But, it was all in fun. He’s a great guy.”

The game started better for Strickland. He completed 4 of 5 passes for 62 yards on the Lowcountry’s opening drive. Former Richland Northeast star Gee Greene of Navy ran in the final 6 yards with 4:23 left in the first quarter.

Strickland, who saw most of his action as holder on conversion kicks during his USC career, said he enjoyed the opportunity to play one more time even if it doesn’t lead to a professional offer.

“Certainly, my phone would be on if (the pros) were calling, but we’ll see how that goes,” Strickland said. “But it was exciting to get to play and throw in live action again.”

Patrick Morgano from Presbyterian gave the Upstate a 10-7 lead with a 25-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter. The drive was set up by a fumble recovery by Rafael Cuellar of Tiffin.

There was no further scoring until the Ehrlich-Massey hookup.

North Greenville linebacker A.J. Jones was named most outstanding defensive player. He caused a fumble and disrupted several Lowcountry offensive plays.

Proceeds from the game went to Meals on Wheels.

At halftime, the inaugural class of inductees into the South Carolina football Hall of Fame was honored. The class consists of Harry Carson (S.C. State), Danny Ford (Clemson), Frank Howard (Clemson), Willie Jeffries (S.C. State), Banks McFadden (Clemson), George Rogers (South Carolina), Donnie Shell (S.C. State) and Sam Wyche (Furman).

Lowcountry700310
Upstate7301323

First Quarter

UP—Jacoby Mitchell 2 pass from Brian Ehrlich (Patrick Morgano kick), 10:06.

LOW—Gee Gee Greene 6 run (Ryan Fowler kick), 4:23.

Second Quarter

UP—FG Morgano 25, 14:57

Fourth Quarter

UP—Jameze Massey 60 pass from Ehrlich (Morgan kick), 14:52

LOW—FG Fowler 33, 10:16

UP-Ricky Lang 22 interception return (kick failed), 2:39.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Lowcountry – Goforth 7-25, Elmore 1-5, Greene 9-4, Merrill 1-2, Wiley 4-(-3), Derrick 1-(-3), Strickland 3-(-16). Upstate – Byrd 13-48, Webb 1-10, Harris 6-5, Ehrlich 2-(-10).

PASSING: Lowcountry – Strickland 11-14-1 97, Derrick 6-11-1 52, Wiley 4—5-0 14; Upstate – Ehrlich 5-13-0 118, Richt 2-7-1 23.

RECEIVING: Lowcountry – Watts 4-56, Greene 5-25, Wesley 3-19, Elmore 2-47, Brannon 1-3, Presley 1-3, Duncan 1-1, Merrill 1-(-4). Upstate – Stephens 3-53, Massey 1-60, Simmons 1-16, Bodenheimer 1-10, Mitchell 1-2.

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