New Pinstripe Bowl Star Emerges as Iowa Beats BC, 27-20

Credit: Gary Quintal

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

Akrum Wadley, the two-time 1,000 rusher for Iowa will not forget Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. It was the annual New Era Pinstripe Bowl in the Bronx against Boston College on a field that was just as frigid as that frozen tundra in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Credit: Gary Quintal

However, this was the annual college bowl game in the Bronx that had Boston College, the ACC Conference reps against the Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten Conference. Over the past seven years, this game has produced a memorable star performance on the field at Yankee Stadium — with Wadley being the latest who will be remembered.

“You can’t pay for moments like that,” said Wadley the senior running back from Newark, New Jersey. He finished with 283 total yards and had the final touchdown in the Hawkeyes 27-20 win. The touchdown was as good as an Aaron Judge home run in the Bronx and fitting for his final game at Iowa.

With that another Pinstripe Bowl had a significant moment and a player that will be remembered. Penn State did that a few years ago in this Bowl game and Syracuse won the first game against Kansas State in 2010 against Kansas State.

Credit: Gary Quintal

“I’m just happy for him to be home and to do this in front of so many family and friends,” said Iowa coach Kirk Firentz.  “I wish him well and all our seniors nothing but the best.”

But the best in this one was holding the Pinstripe Bowl MVP Trophy at Yankee Stadium that became a night on the frozen tundra. Iowa was outgained in yards in the first half, 281-56 and then they made adjustments.

Credit: Gary Quintal

It was frigid, The Yankee Stadium turf is not made for these conditions. And the 37,667 fans took shelter to stay warm, however those from Iowa saw Wadley run and score. They cheered and Wadley heard them.

He gained 88 yards from scrimmage, caught two passes for 24 yards. Five kicks for 171 yards made for that MVP moment and next year there is sure to be another New Era Pinstripe star that will equal or surpass the night Wadley had. The NY Yankees organization has committed to keep this game in the Bronx despite there being more frigid nights like this one.

Said Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson, “I was hoping he would win MVP coming into this game because he’s in front o his hometown. He really showed out on kickoff return and at running back. He made big plays. He stepped up.”

And it goes once again,  the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium produced another player who had a memorable game. Bowlwatchers will long remember the name of Akrum Wadley and the performance he displayed on a frozen Thursday night in the Bronx.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Rich Mancuso




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