Former Badger Caputo earns defensive MVP honors in Shrine game

West safety Mike Caputo of Wisconsin and quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. pose with their MVP trophies after the West defeated the East 29-9 during the East-West Shrine football game.    

Chris O'Meara/AP

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Former Wisconsin safety Mike Caputo intercepted two passes, helping the West to a 29-9 victory in the 91st East-West Shrine game on Saturday.

Caputo, a three-year starter at Wisconsin, earned defensive MVP honors. Oregon’s Vernon Adams Jr. threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns in less than a half, and earned offensive MVP honors.

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The former Eastern Washington star who transferred to Oregon to finish his college career tossed scoring passes of 93 yards to Purdue’s Danny Anthrop, 11 yards to Colorado State’s Kivon Cartwright’s and 10 yards to Illinois’ Geronimo Allison as the West built a 23-9 halftime lead.

Allison also caught a 6-yard scoring pass from Indiana’s Nate Sudfeld and finished with six receptions for 68 yards.

Florida cornerback Brian Poole returned an interception 98 yards for the East’s only touchdown.

Navy’s Keenan Reynolds, who is trying to transition from quarterback to running back after setting the NCAA record for career rushing touchdowns with 88, did not play for the East because of back spasms.

Adams came to St. Petersburg in hopes of improving his draft prospects, too. He completed nearly 65 percent of his passes for 2,643 yards, 26 touchdowns and six interceptions at Oregon, where he transferred after graduating from Eastern Washington.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound quarterback entered after West starter Brandon Doughty threw a pair of interceptions, one of which Poole returned to give the East an early 9-0 lead. Poole’s Florida teammate, linebacker Anthony Harrell, had the first interception off the Western Kentucky quarterback, setting up a field goal.

Adams completed 6 of 9 passes for 191 yards in the opening half alone. Anthrop had five receptions for 120 yards up to that point, and the West put an exclamation point on a dominating half when Caputo intercepted Wisconsin teammate Joel Stave and returned the ball 66 yards to the East 11, where the Badgers quarterback made the tackle.

The West outgained the East 359 yards to 70 through two quarters, compiling a 13-4 edge in first downs.

Michigan’s Jake Rudock started at quarterback for the East and shared playing time with Stave and Massachusetts-Amherst’s Blake Frohnapfel.

Each of the East quarterbacks was intercepted once, while throwing for a combined 117 yards. Rudock was 8 of 14 for 77 yards, but Caputo intercepted a fourth-quarter pass to stop one promising drive, and another possession inside the West 20 stalled on downs.

Doughty finished 11 of 17 for 87 yards and two interceptions. Sudfeld was 6 of 13 for 46 yards.