Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta goes from FCS to Senior Bowl star
MOBILE, Ala. — Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta threw three second-half touchdown passes and Texas-San Antonio’s Marcus Davenport scored on a 19-yard fumble recovery to lead the South team to a 45-16 victory over the North in the Senior Bowl on Saturday.
FCS standout Lauletta more than held his own in elite quarterback company to cap the weeklong audition for NFL teams. That group included Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and Wyoming’s Josh Allen, a potential No. 1 overall draft pick who also had a huge third quarter.
Lauletta completed 8 of 12 passes for 198 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown strike to LSU’s DJ Chark and some other nice downfield throws. Davenport, projected as a likely first-rounder and potential Top 10 pick, scooped up a fumble forced by Mississippi’s Marquis Haynes to punctuate a big third quarter.
Allen finished 9-of-13 passing for 158 yards, all but 14 coming in the third quarter, along with a pair of touchdowns.
Mayfield played only the North’s first two drives, going 3 of 7 for 9 yards. He was named the game’s top quarterback after the practice sessions led by the Denver Broncos staff. Team officials requested him for the North squad.
Allen and Lauletta forged a nice third-quarter duel with each launching a couple of touchdown passes.
Allen led an 81-yard touchdown drive to start the second half with the North trailing 18-3. He ran for a first down and passed for a fourth-down conversion before faking an end around handoff and hitting Central Michigan tight end Tyler Conklin in the right corner of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown.
He followed that up with two big throws right on target: A 31-yarder to Colorado State’s Michael Gallup and a 27-yard touchdown to Notre Dame tight end Durham Smythe. The potential tying two-point attempt failed.
Lauletta answered on the next play with a 75-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Chark. He also had a long pass from his own end zone and broke two tackles in the backfield on another play. Chark had five catches for 160 yards.
The Denver Broncos (North) and Houston Texans (South) coaching staffs led the teams. The Broncos, who got to work with quarterbacks Allen and Mayfield, have the fifth overall pick and are in need of an elite quarterback. The Texans traded their first- and second-round picks last year to get Deshaun Watson and don’t pick until the third.