Purchase photos

Greyson Tempel guides West to Shrine Bowl win

7/27/2014

By Kellis Robinett

By Kellis Robinett

McClatchy-Tribune

PITTSBURG -- It took a while for Greyson Tempel to get going, but once he did the West easily pulled away from the East for a 21-6 victory in the Kansas Shrine Bowl on Saturday at Carnie Smith Stadium.

The former Garden City quarterback threw a pair of touchdown passes to former Salina South receiver Zach Nachbar in the third quarter, giving the West all the points it would need in an all-star game that was otherwise dominated by defense.

"We just had to settle down," Tempel said. "That first half we were a little nervous, getting antsy. That second half we made some adjustments, settled down and executed. It's exciting, but I was really nervous at first. I had to calm down."

After completing 16 of 28 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns on top of running for 64 yards, Tempel was chosen MVP of the West. It was the ideal end to his high school career. He hopes it can also be the ideal springboard to his college career.

This was a unique opportunity for Tempel, who will attend Pittsburg State, to show off his playmaking skills in front of 6,384 fans on the same field where he will suit up for the Gorillas starting this fall.

"I have been down here since June and I am excited to be here," Tempel said. "But I have a lot of stuff to work on. I need to settle down. I feel like we as an offense did a lot better job in the second half. My receivers were making plays and my offensive line was doing a great job."

Playing time may be hard to come by as an underclassman, but he showed promise scrambling across the field and making plays with both his arms and legs. He took every snap for the West.

His best moments came on throws to former Liberal receiver Trenton Hammond and Nachbar. Hammond turned four catches into 58 yards, continually juking his way past defenders after the catch. On one play, he spun past three defenders to pick up a first down. On another, he fell just short of a touchdown trying to dive into the end zone.

Nachbar was the West's main passing target, catching six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. The Butler Community College signee was wide open on his first touchdown grab. He fought off a defender to catch a short fade pass on the second.

"After the first day of practice with Greyson I could tell that we were about to have a pretty special week," Nachbar said. "I knew when we came out at halftime that we were going to do something special. We were really good once we got in a groove."

Wichita Northwest coach Steve Martin, who coached the West this week, also gave credit to his rushing attack, which gained 126 yards, for the improved performance in the second half.

"They didn't come out in a defense that we thought they would so we had to put in a second tight end to get another gap for them to defend," Martin said. "It was pretty simple. I wish we would have seen that earlier in the first half. We might have been able to run the ball a little more. But we said we have to run the ball and stop the run to win. We did in the second half. I am very proud of our kids."

Most of the big plays occurred in the second half, allowing the West to overcome a 6-5 halftime deficit.

But the biggest play of the night belonged to the East.

Midway through the first quarter Dailin Kruger found James Newton for a 93-yard touchdown, the longest catch in Shrine Bowl history. On the play, Newton, a former Coffeyville Field Kindley standout who has committed to Dodge City Community College, beat his man deep and reeled off and then outran everyone to the end zone.

That gave the East a 6-5 lead after giving up a safety and allowing a field goal.

Keith Loneker helped make things difficult for the West's offense. The former Free State defender made a game-high 10 tackles. He was MVP for the East team. He was followed by Trey Ellis, who made seven tackles.

Heath Tucker and Ethan Paul-Davis both made interceptions.

All those playmakers made moving the ball difficult until Tempel got going.

"We had so much talent it's hard in an all-star game to make sure you are getting kids touches," Martin said. "In the second half we didn't worry about that. We just went and won the football game."