American Team Defense Seals Victory In Tropical Bowl

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In what was a beautiful day for football in Daytona Beach’s Municipal Stadium, the American team was able to best the National team, 24-16, in the 2019 Tropical Bowl. 

Usually in college all-star games the score can be lopsided on one side, but this game was a great back-and-forth affair that kept the fans in attendance and the viewers watching on FloFootball captivated until the end. 

We saw a good bit of offense, a good bit of defense and even some excellent play on special teams. But in the end it was the American team who made the winning plays down the stretch.

Early on it looked as if the Americans would have issues stopping the run as Eastern Illinois RB Isaiah Johnson had a lot of success running the football, scoring a touchdown that put the National team up 16-10. 

His success was expected as the offensive line of the National team, led by Kansas Jayhawks guard Dwayne Wallace, were bullies up front in the running game. But, in pass pro, the American team’s pass rush started to disrupt the pocket and as a result, frustrate the passing game of the Nationals. 

On the other side, the American team’s passing game had enough success to get them the lead as QB TJ Linta (Wagner College) was able to stare down the gun barrel and deliver a strike to TCU WR Jaelan Austin, who had a fantastic day catching the bail, for a touchdown that gave them the 17-16 lead.  

Austin was named the game’s MVP. 

Later on a fumble deep on their own end by the National team, set the Americans up inside the 10 yard line, where RB Alonzo Smith (Miami OH) was able to punch it in for the final points of the game.

Despite the score, it looked as if the National team would have a chance to tie the game, thanks to the play of QB Vincent Espinoza (Lincoln U (PA). 

Back in December, Espinoza played in the FCS Bowl and led his team down for the game winning score late in the contest as time expired. He was able to move the sticks in this game with both his arm and his legs, which gave the defense fits. 

It was his last scramble that ended the game, as Arizona State DE Dougladson Subtyl was able to force a fumble and LB Jim Jones IV (Kent State) was able to recover to seal the victory.

All in all it was a great week of work for these prospects in front of NFL and CFL Scouts. And most importantly, there were no major injuries to report.

Game MVP: WR Jaelan Austin, TCU

FloFootball Players of the Game

American Team Offense: WR Jaelan Austin, TCU

American Team Defense: DE Dougladson Subtyl, Arizona State

National Team Offense: RB Isaiah Johnson, Eastern Illinois

National Team Defense: LB Trenton Bridges, Bethune-Cookman

Football Gameplan Impact Players

American Team: P Andrew Zecca, St. Francis

National Team: TE Nic Weishar, Notre Dame

By Emory Hunt

Hunt provided in-game commentary during the Tropical Bowl live streaming on Hunt runs Football Gameplan and can be followed on Twitter @FBallGameplan. The rest of his Tropical Bowl content can be seen there.

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