AMES - Linn-Mar graduate Mark Atwater left the 40th Annual Shrine Bowl with two souvenirs Saturday night, one good for his bank account and one painful to his body.
Atwater received a $2,000 scholarship from the Iowa Football Coaches Association based on his desire to become a coach some day, but he also left Jack Trice Stadium with a rib injury. He thinks he may have suffered a broken rib when he was tackled in the first quarter.
"I crunched it and cracked it pretty good," he said. "We're going to see how it feels in a couple of days. It's pretty painful right now."
It was a painful night all around for Atwater and the North squad.
Iowa City West quarterback Charles Rogers put on a show with his legs and arms as the South drubbed the North, 40-7, in the annual all-star game on the Iowa State campus.
Atwater stayed in the game despite the rib injury, but he wasn't able to generate much offense. He completed 2 of 7 passes for five yards and carried the ball seven times for four yards.
"They kind of overpowered us a little bit," he said. "They had a lot of good players."
Atwater was injured on a running play early in the game. He got up gingerly, holding his rib cage. "I lost my breath," he said. "It wasn't a good deal."
Atwater will enroll at Coe College next month as a freshman quarterback. He plans to get a teaching degree and become a coach, following in the footsteps of his father, Larry, who is an assistant football coach with the Kohawks.
Atwater wrote an essay about why he'd like to become a coach and learned several weeks ago that he'd won the $2,000 scholarship from the IFCA. He said he enjoyed spending the week in Ames practicing for the Shrine game and getting to spend time with physically challenged kids who benefit from the Shrine Hospitals and their work.
"This week kind of solidified it," he said about his desire to become a coach. "It's just affecting kids' lives. My coaches have affected my life in such a big way. That's what I want to do."
Rogers, an elusive runner with a strong arm, stole the show on offense. He carried the ball 13 times for 87 yards and completed 5 of 8 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Rogers split the game at quarterback with Gavin Glenn of ADM, who also connected on a pair of touchdown strikes for the South.
The South rolled up 388 yards of total offense and did not commit a single turnover in the 60-minute game. By contrast, the North managed only 219 yards and committed five turnovers.
"We killed ourselves," said Atwater, who was not responsible for any of the turnovers.
Atwater shared quarterback duties with Chase Coakley of Maquoketa, who completed 6 of 18 passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns.
The South led, 10-7, at halftime. The South took a 17-7 lead in the third quarter, then poured it on with 23 more points in the final stanza.
Flynn Heald of Cedar Rapids Washington started the game at wide receiver for the North but did not catch any passes, although he did complete a 5-yard pass on a trick play. Jordan Weber of Xavier was a reserve receiver for the North squad.
Josh Jahlas of Cedar Rapids Kennedy started at defensive back for the North and made several tackles. Jake McDonald of Marion played half the game at linebacker for the North and also made several stops.
McDonald said he enjoyed the entire week of Shrine activities and the young children.
"It was an amazing experience," he said. "The outcome, that happens. It's truly about the kids, and it's a week I'll never forget. Everything they've been dealing with in their lives, and they still put a smile on their face."
McDonald will be joining Atwater at Coe. Jahlas will be joining the Iowa State Cyclones as a walk-on and Heald plans to play at William & Mary in Virginia. Weber does not plan to play college football.
SOUTH 40, NORTH 7
First Downs 16 18
Rushing 38-145 49-214
Passing 9-26-2 9-21-0
Passing yards 74 174
Punts 8-40.8 5-46.0
Fumbles/Lost 3/3 0/0
Penalties 3-12 6-57
North 0 7 0 0 - 7
South 10 0 7 23 - 40
S - Cory Crnkovich 37 pass from Charles Rogers (Nathan Criswell kick)
S - Criswell 41 FG
N - Nathan Alexander 22 pass from Chase Coakley (Gabe Dunn kick)
S - Crnkovich 36 pass from Rogers (Criswell kick)
S - Kippie Ward 5 run (Criswell kick)
S - Cleo Harris 23 pass from Gavin Glenn (Criswell kick)
S - Criswell 27 FG
S - Brad Christensen 19 pass from Glenn (kick failed)
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