MOBILE, ALA., FEB. 23 -- Washington's Chris Chandler and Syracuse's Don McPherson each threw a touchdown pass that helped the North to a 21-7 victory over the South in the 39th Senior Bowl football game today.

Chandler led a 99-yard scoring drive in the first period, ending with a 36-yard pass to Willie Anderson of UCLA.

McPherson threw to Anthony Miller of Tennessee for a 53-yard touchdown 50 seconds before halftime.

The North, cutting the South's series lead to 19-17-3, built its lead to 21-0 early in the last period on a one-yard run by Icky Woods of Nevada-Las Vegas one play after Mississippi Valley's Vincent Brown returned an interception 26 yards.

The South avoided the first shutout in the game's 39-year history when Florida's Kerwin Bell connected with South Carolina's Sterling Sharpe for a 60-yard touchdown with 11:41 left in the game.

Sharpe got behind defenders and caught the ball at the 25. Nobody touched him.

The North stopped the South most of the day, recording six sacks -- three by Ken Harvey of California, two by Paul Frase of Syracuse and one by Tim Moore of Michigan State.

Chandler completed all four of his passes for 77 yards in the 99-yard scoring drive that started after Auburn's Scott Bolton tipped a punt back from the goal line and the ball was downed on the 1.

Thurman Thomas of Oklahoma State rushed for 97 yards on 16 attempts, and was named the game's most valuable player.

Chandler was voted the North's top offensive player and Harvey the outstanding defensive player. South honors went to Bell on offense and Auburn's Aundray Bruce on defense.

"All I had to do was pull the trigger a couple of times," Chandler said.

"The defense played hard and the offense made the big plays," North Coach Chuck Knox of the Seattle Seahawks said.

"They had the two big plays and the interception," South Coach Jim Mora of the New Orleans Saints said. North 7 7 0 7 21 South 0 0 0 7 7

N -- Anderson 36 pass from Chandler (Bronwlee kick)

N -- Miller 53 pass from McPherson (Brownlee kick)

N -- Woods 1 run (Brownlee kick)

S -- Sharpe 60 pass from Bell (Belli kick)

A -- 40,524

North South First downs 18 13 Rushes-yards 48-231 27-35 Passing yards 168 232 Return yards 30 18 Passing 9-23-1 19-40-1 Punts-average 7-41 9-42 Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-0 Penalties-yards 6-42 3-15 Time

RUSHING -- North: Thomas (Oklahoma St.) 16-97, McPherson (Syracuse) 5-52, Delpino (Missouri) 10-42. South:

PASSING -- North: Chandler (Washington) 8-15-0, 115 yards, McPherson 1-8-1, 53. South: Bell (Florida) 14-26

RECEIVING -- North: Miller (Tennessee) 2-73, Anderson (UCLA) 2-45, Thomas 2-28. South: Stephens, 3-40, Wrig