St. Petersberg, FL – In a game where it’s about more than just football, Saturday’s matchup provided some exciting moments on the field. With seniors from universities all around the country gathering for a good cause, the 93rd annual East vs. West Shrine Game was won by the West with a score of 14-10. Names like Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett and USF RB D’Ernest Johnson were present for today’s game, with many other popular ones.
Natrell Jamerson, a safety out of Wisconsin, had a vital 68-yard fumble return for a touchdown that helped him win defensive MVP honors. As J.T Barrett rolled to the left for a scramble, the ball came loose, and Jamerson scooped it up and dashed off with lightning speed. His touchdown proved to be crucial for the West team as they were having trouble moving up the field on offense. The West team scored their only offensive touchdown with 1:23 remaining, and it won them the game.
When asked about his last game being played with four other of his Wisconsin teammates in their final collegiate game, Jamerson stated “It’s bittersweet. All of practice, we joked around just like how we did all season. Come out in our last game together and just gave it all we had.”
However, there was more than just his teammates that helped the experience be such a memorable moment for the 2018 Shrive Game Defensive Player of the Game.
The Shrine Game was founded in 1925, and all proceeds from the event go to the Shriners Hospitals across the country, helping provide a “unique way of providing hope and healing, regardless of the families’ ability to pay for services.”, as described on their site. One of the unique experiences that players and coaches get to experience during their time at the game include a visit to the local Shriner’s hospital. The Shriners’ Hospital in Tampa was founded in 1985 and has provided orthopedic help for over 50,000 children since it’s inception. Wisconsin’s Natrell Jamerson recalls a great experience in embracing the moment.
“It was a great experience. Going to the hospitals and just seeing the kids’ faces light up. You know, it does something to your heart. It makes you feel good because you know you’re changing lives. Even if it’s just for that one day, it’s still great. If I ever get a chance to do it again, I’ma do it. I think everybody should take their time and do something like that.”
It was a good game all around, but an even better moment for today’s cause. For more information on Shriners Hospitals or how to donate, visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org