Nelson impresses at NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

By  | 

CARSON, Calif. (AP) - San Jose State linebacker Isaiah Irving returned a fumble for a touchdown and the Nationals college all-star team beat the Americans 27-7 on Saturday in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

St. Francis' Lorenzo Jerome had two interceptions for the Americans and was named MVP of the game, which is a showcase for players who might be taken in the latter rounds of the NFL draft. The NFLPA said nearly 200 scouts attended.

The game was played at a nearly empty StubHub Center, the 27,000-seat soccer stadium that is scheduled to be the future temporary home of the San Diego Chargers.

The Nationals team, led by former Rams coach Mike Martz, took command on the first play of the second half when Irving scooped up a fumble and returned it 15 yards for a TD.

Miles Bergner's 45-yard field goal made it 20-0 before another American turnover proved costly. Quarterback Ryan Higgins (Louisiana Tech) was picked off by Jamal Agnew (San Diego) to set up a 40-yard drive. Running back Taquan Mizzell (Virginia) scored from 6 yards out.

Mizzel finished with 96 yards and a TD on 10 carries.

The Americans avoided a shutout with 3:06 to play when running back Teriyon Gipson (New Mexico) took a swing pass from Higgins and ran 13 yards up the sideline for the score. Former Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn led the American team.

The Nationals led 10-0 at the half despite Jerome's interceptions.

The Nationals took the opening kickoff and drove 89 yards to open the scoring. Quarterback Philip Nelson (East Carolina) completed 4 of 6 passes on the drive before scoring on a 1-yard run.

The Nationals went up 10-0 in the second quarter when Bergner connected on a 27-yard field goal.