Missouri Western's Hill shines in All-Star Classic
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Michael Hill received a surprise invitation to the first Raycom College Football All-Star Classic, but looked like he belonged.
Hill rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries to lead the Stripes to a 31-3 victory over the Stars six days after getting the phone call that a spot had come available.
"You never know what to expect coming from Division II," said Hill said. "You hear about the SEC and all that speed.
"I thought I could come compete and play with speed, too. I didn't know what to expect. I guess I fit in."
He did indeed, flashing speed, moves and big-play ability in a game that featured 22 players from the Southeastern Conference.
Hill was chosen offensive MVP by NFL scouts and had runs of 44 and 49 yards for two of the game's biggest plays, both setting up his touchdowns.
The defensive MVP was Charles James of FCS Charleston Southern, who had two tackles and a pass breakup that resulted in a third-quarter interception.
James said he was "surprised and shocked" to be named MVP and didn't mind not getting the pick himself.
"As long as my teammates can get it and make a play on the ball, I'm happy," James said. "That's what I'm here for."
The game was played at Cramton Bowl, long home to the now-defunct Blue-Gray game traditionally played on Christmas Day.
Purdue's Robert Marve also had a strong performance in the showcase game for pro football prospects. He completed 10 of 13 passes for 142 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Stripes.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Hill bounced outside for the 44-yarder to make his first big impression.
"It was supposed to be a short-yardage play," Hill said. "I went up inside and the whole line was low so I could see, and I spun right. I should have scored."
He did the next play, anyway, on a 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Hill added a 6-yard score midway through the fourth quarter after not logging a carry in the third.
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