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East rallies past West in 11-man Shrine game

Zach Gutterud didn't expect to touch the football. Jackson Hankey figured to be more of a factor on defense.

But the two scored the tying and winning touchdowns as the 11-man East team rallied to defeat the West 20-14 in the annual North Dakota Shrine Bowl on Sunday at the Alerus Center.

Hankey scored on a 6-yard run with 5:06 remaining to break a 14-14 tie. The Park River/Fordville-Lankin graduate ran left and cut upfield for the score.

"I was told to be ready for some (carries) in our short-yardage game,'' Hankey said. "I like doing whatever gets me on the field. I had really good blocking up front. I got a seam, went for it and it worked out.''

That capped an 84-yard drive. The big play was a 21-yard reception by Luke Wertz on a tipped pass on a fourth-and-14 play, putting the ball on the West 6. "He made a circus catch,'' West coach Mark Gibson said. "That was the play of the game.''

Gutterud, used primarily as a blocking back, had only one touch. That was on a recovered fumble. The Grand Forks Red River graduate took in into the end zone for a 1-yard TD, tying the score at 14-14 with 2:12 left in the third.

"It was a fumble that bounced off one of our linemen,'' Gutterud said. "It landed right in my hand. I saw the ball there and went for (the end zone).

"I didn't think I'd touch the ball. In practices I mostly just blocked. I was supposed to play defense (when selected), but we had too many guys there so they put me on offense.''

A Tate Camus interception and 36-yard return to the West 4-yard line set up Gutterud's fourth-down score.

The East had taken a 7-0 lead on a Matt Burd touchdown in the first quarter. But Carson Yaggie hit Luke Little for a 20-yard touchdown pass and Lucas Butts ran in from 3 yards out to give the West a 14-7 halftime lead.

Butts had a game-high 64 yards rushing, while Yaggie was 6-of-8 passing for 123 yards passing to lead the West.

But, Gibson said, the East "took over the line of scrimmage in the second half and had some plays go their way.''

Ethan Lingen's 7-of-12 passing for 116 yards led the balanced East offense. Derek Houska rushed for 27 yards and Hankey 26 as the East had five backs with 12 or more yards rushing.

"We had a lot of kids do different things to help us,'' East coach Scott Grochow said. "We had a couple of plays that went our way.''