Mancuso: Wadley Newest Pinstripe Bowl Star

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 and a Frozen Tundra that was just as frigid as that field in Green Bay Wisconsin.

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. And over the past seven years this game has developed a new star on the field at Yankee Stadium with Wadley being the latest that 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 that were memorable.

“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 Wadley 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.

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 of his hometown. He really showed out on kickoff return and at running back. He made big plays. He stepped up.”

And with that the new Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium had another player that had a memorable game. It was those frigid conditions on the field and a senior by the name of Akrum Wadley.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Rich Mancuso




About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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