BLUE-GRAY GAME : Troy State’s Quarterback Sparks 17-10 Win
For a player who wasn’t even supposed to be in the Blue-Gray all-star game, Kelvin Simmons sure did have an impact.
He turned out to be the difference, completing 16 of 25 passes for 171 yards in the Gray’s 17-10 victory Saturday. He almost was the goat, having one pass picked off in the end zone and throwing a late interception that gave the Blue a chance to win.
Ultimately, it may not matter that he was named the Gray’s MVP or even how he performs in the Jan. 22 Senior Bowl at Mobile. At 6 feet tall, the Troy State quarterback likely does not have the height to play in the NFL.
“I know I’m short, but I’m used to overcoming tall odds,” Simmons said.
Simmons, who originally was signed by Alabama, but failed to qualify academically, wound up at Troy State, about 40 miles south of Montgomery. He led the Trojans to the Division I-AA semifinals this year in their first season of playoff eligibility.
Simmons replaced injured Auburn quarterback Stan White on the Gray roster and led the Gray to two fourth-quarter touchdowns less than a minute apart.
The first touchdown was all Simmons. He tied a Blue-Gray record, completing seven consecutive passes and accounting for all but four yards in the Gray’s 79-yard drive. His three-yarder to Dorsey Levins of Georgia Tech made it 10-10.
The next touchdown came after Washington’s Beno Bryant fumbled for the second time in the game, Georgia’s Greg Tremble scooped it up and ran 52 yards down the left sideline to the Blue 4.
Simmons’ next pass was incomplete and then Maryland’s Mark Mason scored the winner, a four-yard run with 9:25 to play.
The Blue scored in the first quarter. Marcus Lee of Syracuse ran in from the seven to end a seven-play, 79-yard drive.