MOBILE, Ala. — Arkansas’ Feleipe Franks threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Mississippi tight end Kenny Yeboah in the fourth quarter of the Senior Bowl to help seal the National team’s 27-24 victory over the American team Saturday.
Franks, a graduate transfer from Florida, set up the all-Southeastern Conference Western Division scoring connection with a 29-yard completion to Louisville’s Dez Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick had six catches for 90 yards in the showcase game for senior and graduate NFL prospects.
North Carolina running back Michael Carter also had a big game. Carter scored on a pile-driving 12-yard run late in the third quarter to help the National team retake the lead after a Kellen Mond-led comeback.
Jamie Newman then completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Trevon Grimes with 49 seconds left for the American team. The former Wake Forest quarterback, who transferred to Georgia but opted out before the season, set it up with a 35-yard completion to Bowling Green tight end Quintin Morris.
Mond was the game’s Most Valuable Player. Fitzpatrick was the offensive player of the game and Tulane defensive lineman Cam Sample was the defensive player of the game.
The game was played for the first time at South Alabama’s new Hancock Whitney Stadium, with Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores leading the National team and Carolina’s Matt Rhule coaching the American team. It also switched from the traditional North versus South format.
Franks completed 9 of 16 passes for 122 yards. Carter averaged 8.0 yards per carry in his final season with the Tar Heels, and wasn’t far off in the all-star game.
He gained 60 yards on eight carries and had two catches for 15 yards.
Mond, the Texas A&M quarterback, delivered a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter to help erase a 13-0 halftime deficit. Mond even converted one two-point play with a run and another with a pass, following touchdowns of 15 yards to Clemson’s Amari Rodgers and 14 yards to Tennessee’s Josh Palmer.
Mond passed for 141 of his 173 yards in the third. But his SEC West counterpart, Franks, came through in the final quarter.
Newman competed 10 of 14 passes for 118 yards with a touchdown and interception.
The American team was without two of national champion Alabama’s biggest offensive weapons. Quarterback Mac Jones dressed and went through warm-ups but didn’t play after injuring his left ankle in Thursday’s final practice.
“My ankle was still stinging a little bit,” Jones, who is a potential first-round pick, said on NFL Network. “I didn’t want to take any big risks.”
Tailback Najee Harris withdrew from the game after practicing Tuesday and Wednesday because of a lingering ankle injury from the national title game earlier in January.
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