USD’s Gassen records three tackles in Cactus Bowl win

USD's Gassen records three tackles in Cactus Bowl win Former South Dakota linebacker Josh Gassen recorded three tackles in the West All-Stars 30-27 overtime win over the East All-Stars in the 11th annual Cactus Bowl Jan. 12 at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville, TX.

Gassen, who completed his eligibility in November at USD, had two solo tackles among his three stops. A note on Gassen, he had 95 tackles, including 48 solo stops with five tackles for loss, three quarterback sacks and two interceptions during the 2003 campaign in which USD went 5-6. In his career, he had 280 tackles, 150 solo stops, 12 quarterback sacks and 30 tackles for loss. He was also a team captain for the Coyotes.

Offensive Game MVP Tyler Paul of Emporai State caught a 35-yard pass from Phillip Boggs on the first play of the first overtime to help the West squad to the win.

Paul totaled 113 total yards and three scores to earn MVP honors. He had two receiving touchdowns, including three pass receptions for 89 yards while rushing for 24 yards and a touchdown. The defensive MVP was Eric McDowell of Missouri Western, who had 10 tackles, including three tackles for a loss and two quarterback sacks. �

Paul's two-yard run provided the West with�a 7-0 lead in a low-scoring opening half.�After the break, Paul and Boggs connected on a 49-yard score to give the West a 14-10 lead. Harlon Hill Trophy winner Will Hall of Northern Alabama nearly led the East back from a 14-point deficit as he threw for 192 yards on 12-of-25 passing with three scores. He also was the East squads' leading rusher with 33 yards on 12 carries. His 21-yard pass to Glenn Martinez with just 3:17 left in regulation sent the game into overtime.

Eric Houle's 37-yard field goal provided the East squad with a 27-24 lead before Boggs and Paul combined on the winning play.

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