Boone battles Manziel
Five former all-Union County players contributed in three different bowl games last week on national television (ESPN), highlighted by a New Year's Eve Classic between Texas A&M and Duke.
Aggies superstar QB Johnny Manziel needed a spectacular performance to out-duel Duke's Anthony Boone, who started four years at Weddington High (2006-09).
Texas A&M pulled out a 52-48 win despite trailing by 21 points at halftime (38-17) of the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta.
Boone threw for a career-best 427 yards and three touchdowns, and the dual-threat QB also had a 16-yard run and an 11-yard TD rush.
The 6-foot, 230-pound redshirt junior finished the year with 2,260 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. He completed 64 percent of his passes and also rushed for five TDs.
Boone's favorite target is junior Jamison Crowder, who had one of the best seasons in ACC history for the 10-4 Blue Devils.
A Monroe High graduate, Crowder (5-9, 175) caught 12 passes for 163 yards against the Aggies.
Crowder's 100th catch of the season was a 59-yard touchdown pass from Boone with in the second quarter. The historic reception made Crowder the first player in ACC history to reach 100 catches in a season.
Crowder finished his junior year with an eye-popping 108 catches for 1,360 yards and eight TDs.
If his numbers are similar in 2014, Crowder will leave Duke with most of the ACC's receiving records.
Boone set up a field goal right before the half with a 23-yard completion inside the Aggie 5-yard line to redshirt junior Issac Blakeney, a former three-sport star at Monroe High.
Blakeney (6-6, 235) was a part-time starter on the winningest team in Duke's 103-year football history. He played in all 14 games and caught 19 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns.
Darius Kilgo, a two-time all-county defensive tackle who started all four years at Weddington (2006-09), helped Maryland have a winning season (7-6) and reach a bowl game.
Marshall defeated the Terps 31-20 in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Annapolis, Md.
Kilgo (6-3, 310) finished his redshirt junior season with 37 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a safety. He had 40 tackles and 5 TFLs as a sophomore.
Former Marvin Ridge High safety Vinnie Sunseri would have started for Alabama in Thursday night's Sugar Bowl game against Oklahoma if not for a knee injury suffered against Arkansas in October.
Already a contributor on two national championship teams at Alabama (2011, 2012), Sunseri had two pick-sixes as a junior in 2013 before his season-ending injury (ACL tear).
Sunseri announced on Twitter his knee surgery "went awesome" and he's expected to be back on the field in 2014.
Porter Ridge product Matt Wogan was 3-for-4 on field goals for Oregon in the Ducks' win over Texas in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30 and finished 7-for-9 on the season. Wogan was a first-team USA Today and Parade Magazine all-American as a senior at PR.