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Glenn Pursley, Published July 14 2012

Wade Rath-Wald catches two touchdowns in the East team's 9-man Shrine Bowl victory

FARGO – The 9-man East team has never lost the Shrine Bowl two years in a row, and it wasn’t about to start now.

Zach Rynning threw for 175 yards and connected with Wade Rath-Wald twice for touchdowns as the East held off the West 28-20 in the 39th annual North Dakota Shrine Bowl on Saturday at Fargo Shanley’s Sid Cichy Stadium.

“It feels like an honor,” Rynning said. “I’m really appreciative I was brought in to play on this team. It’s just a blast to play on.”

The West scored on the opening drive of the game, when starting quarterback Matthew Landenberger found Andreas Holm across the middle for a 12-yard touchdown pass that put the West up 6-0.

Rath-Wald answered back with a 51-yard reception for the East from quarterback Jonah Schwartzenberger for his first touchdown of the night. Rynning squeezed by on a quarterback sneak and later chucked a 53-yard pass to Justin Arp, who caught the pass in the corner of the end zone to put the East up 20-6.

Rath-Wald finished with 71 yards off of five receptions and two touchdowns. Arp – a North Dakota State University walk-on – caught two passes for 69 yards and one touchdown.

“He’s an amazing athlete,” Rynning said of Rath-Wald. “He’s got great hands and seemed to be in the right place at the right time.”

The West wasn’t ready to give up, as Landenberger found Calvin Oberg down field for six points, following Holm’s impressive catch in the corner of the end zone to tie the game up at 20-20.

But the East’s Brett Schurman tackled McCahen Schweitzer in the end zone for a safety.

“The tight end wasn’t really getting off (the line of scrimmage), so I figured I’d go hard and once he rolled back I knew I had him.” Schurman said about the play.

That set up an 11-play,

60-yard drive, capped by Rath-Wald’s second touchdown reception, which put the score at 28-20, a lead the East would not lose.

“When we were jelling, we were jelling,” East’s head coach Kelly McCleary said. “We made too many mistakes to be in that ball game. We were killing ourselves on penalties, but we made some big plays that helped us out a lot. It’s an all-star game so you like to have fun, but at the end you’d like to win.”

East 8 12 2 6–28

West 6 8 6 0–20

W–Holm 12 pass from Landenberger (kick failed),

E–Rath-Wald 51 pass from Schwartzenberger (Arp from Scwartzenberger)

E–Rynning 1 run (kick failed)

E–Arp 53 pass from Rynning (kick failed)

W–Holm 14 pass from Landenberger (Holm pass from Landenberger)

W–Oberg 23 pass from Landenberger (kick failed)

E–Safety

E–Rath-Wald 14 pass from Rynning (kick failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: E, Schwartzenberger 7-22, Bell 7-4, Rynning 3-9, Hartz 3-(-2), Jochim 1-1. W, Sager 5-7, Oberg 3-10, Landenberger 2-11, Bakke 6-2, Holm 3-14.

PASSING: E, Schwartzenberger 11-17-1 119 yards. Rynning 12-17-1 175 yards. W, Landenberger 13-16-0 154 yards, Schweitzer 4-9-0 7 yards.

RECEIVING: E, Hartz 2-14, Wentzel 4-66, Rath-Wald 5-71, Arp 2-69, Laxdal 2-18, Elhard 1-8, Flanagan 1-10. W, Sager 2-21, Holm 6-56, Haugen 3-29, Oberg 5-31, Hulstrand 1-3, Young 1-9.

Forum reporter Glenn Pursley can be reached at (701) 241-5546.