MOBILE, Ala. — Washington State quarterback Anthony Gordon is used to waiting his turn.
Gordon, who didn’t start until his senior year, led the North to three touchdowns in the third quarter in a 31-17 victory over the South in the Senior Bowl on Saturday.
The Cougars’ prolific passer entered the all-star game for senior NFL prospects after halftime and twice took the North downfield.
“I came out swinging when it was my time,” said Gordon, who wore the No. 3 jersey in honor of late Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski. “I guess that kind of correlates to my time at Washington State. I spent a lot of time waiting, but when my time came I was ready.”
Gordon, who finished second nationally in passing yards and touchdowns, completed 8 of 12 passes for 69 yards and two short touchdowns. That included a 2-yard touchdown pass to Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool for a second straight big third-down completion.
An off-balance Gordon then hit Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden late in the third for a 5-yard TD. It was set up with an interception by Troy Pride Jr. of Notre Dame.
“My baseball background allows me to throw the ball from some unorthodox angles and AGG making that play for me was big time,” Gordon said. The former high school baseball player backed up Luke Falk and Gardner Minshew before getting his turn.
The game’s most highly touted passer, Justin Herbert of Oregon, shined for the South and was named game MVP. The likely first-round pick was 9 of 12 for 83 yards and a touchdown, all in the first quarter, and added a 19-yard run.
“In this day and age in the NFL, you’ve got to be able to make some plays with your feet and be able to create a little bit,” said South coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Michigan’s Shea Patterson delivered the game’s biggest offensive play and passed for 131 yards. He opened the second quarter with a 75-yard touchdown pass on his first play. TCU running back Darius Anderson was wide open on a wheel route and sprinted down the left sideline.
Anderson had just 128 yards receiving last season, but had 87 in this one to go with 43 rushing yards. The North’s Joshua Kelley of UCLA had a game-high 105 yards on 15 rushes.
The game featured two-minute drives to end each quarter.
One of the game’s top-rated prospects, South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, sat out the game with quad tendinitis, according to Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy.
While Herbert was the game MVP, Florida running back Lamical Perine was named South player of the game and Gordon won North honors. Perine is from Mobile and played for Theodore High School. He said he had more than 40 people at the game.
“A lot of Perine chants and Gator chomps out there,” Perine said. “That made me feel good.”
Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts came into the game to a loud ovation in the state where he once starred for Alabama. The Heisman Trophy runner-up got a less kind greeting from North defenders, getting sacked twice on his first series and having his second end quickly with a wobbly interception when he was hit while throwing. Hurts finished strong with a fourth-quarter TD pass.
Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae had back to back sacks of Hurts in the second quarter.
“He’s got a great gift, great ability to rush the edge,” Detroit Lions and North coach Matt Patricia said. “Glad to see that today.”
The South was led by Taylor and his staff with the Bengals, who have the No. 1 draft pick. Patricia and his assistants coached the North team and pick third.