EVANSTON — The North team defeated the South, 29-19, in the 46th annual Wyoming Shrine Bowl on Saturday, June 8, at Cheney Alumni Field in Casper. The win was the seventh consecutive for the North, marking the longest winning streak for either team in the series which began in 1974. The South team strung together five victories in a row from 1993-1997.
Thirty-six of the best recently-graduated seniors are selected for each team for the honor of playing in the game, which benefits the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City. Going into this year’s game, almost $750,000.00 has been raised over the years.
Last year’s Shrine Bowl was played in 95-degree weather but in 2019, the temperature was in the low 40s.
The South squad jumped out to an early lead after holding the North to a three-and-out and then marched 55 yards for the game’s first score, as Cokeville quarterback Bentley Johnson found Glenrock’s Ian Arnold in the end zone from three yards out, capping a 10-play drive. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful and the South led 6-0, with 7:17 remaining in the opening quarter.
Although his Red Devil teammate Pablo Escalante handled the kickoffs and extra-point attempts for the Red Devils during the 2018 football season, Evanston’s Tyus Cornia was tabbed as the kicker for the South team.
The North tried to answer on a drive orchestrated by Buffalo quarterback Luke Glassock, who completed a pair of passes, but the drive stalled after covering 30-plus yards on five plays and the North was forced to punt again. Glassock narrowly evaded Evanston linebacker Rylie Griggs during one of his pass completions.
The South team, assisted by a penalty, began their second possession deep in their own territory but a big pass play advanced the ball to midfield. That drive, however, was also thwarted and the South lead became a faded memory as the North reeled off three unanswered scores
Glassock completed a 40-yard pass to Big Horn’s Kade VanDyken to tie the game and a successful two-point conversion gave the North an 8-6 advantage.
Kade Eisele of Big Horn scored from 4 yards out to give the North a 15-6 lead heading into halftime.
In the third quarter, VanDyken was the recipient of another touchdown pass of 43 yards, this time from Clayton Louderback from Upton-Sundance, and the North was up, 22-6.
The South rallied with a 12-yard touchdown completion from Wheatland’s Colton Caves to Dylan Case of Douglas to cut the lead to 10 points, 22-12, heading into the fourth quarter.
Evanston’s Cornia made things interesting with a 1-yard run for pay dirt and also kicked the extra point to make it a three-point separation at 22-19, but the North would answer on a TD toss from Glassock to Tehl Campbell of Natrona County to seal the victory.
VanDyken set a new Wyoming Shrine Bowl record with 156 yards receiving and was named the offensive player of the game. The defensive player of the game award went to Damon Taylor of Rawlins.
Cornia rushed for 80-plus yards in addition to scoring seven points for the South team.
Former Red Devil Kody Smith suffered an injury which forced him to leave the game.
The Herald hopes to sit down with the three players from Evanston and with Colby Rees of the Mountain View Buffalos to hear their thoughts on the week-long experience of the Shrine Bowl, which includes a trip to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City in a follow-up story.