Local football standouts going bowling: Frisco, Prosper well-represented during college bowl slate

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Nolan Matthews

Former Reedy tight end Nolan Matthews saw significant playing time this season as a freshman at Arizona State.

With the holidays comes another round of college football bowl games, and there has been no shortage of local representation on the NCAA gridiron in the bowls that have already taken place.

Several Frisco- and Prosper-area football alumni have been featured during bowl season as schools close out their respective 2019 campaigns. Some even got the chance to play in the state, and many more have games slated for this weekend.

Here’s a look at the various area athletes rostered by teams that went bowling this season.

New Mexico Bowl

San Diego State 48, Central Michigan 11

Nic McTear (San Diego State, Frisco Heritage, TE)

As a freshman, McTear did not suit up for San Diego State in its impressive blowout victory two weeks ago against Central Michigan.

FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl

Liberty 23, Georgia Southern 16

Solomon Ajayi (Liberty, Frisco Liberty, LB)

Younger brother of NFL running back and former Frisco Liberty legend Jay Ajayi, Solomon Ajayi helped lead the Flames to a thrilling bowl win over Georgia Southern. In the win, Ajayi recorded five tackles and had 91 total tackles this season as a senior.

Camellia Bowl

Arkansas State 34, Florida International 26

Bubba Ogbebor (Arkansas State, Frisco Heritage, WR)

Entering his junior year, Ogbebor saw limited action as a sophomore and saw even less in 2019. He caught just two passes this season, one in a 55-0 loss to Georgia back on Sept. 14, and another against UNLV. Ogbebor did not record a catch in the Camellia Bowl.

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl

Washington 38, Boise State 7

Robert Mahone (Boise State, Prosper, RB)

Mahone is fresh off of his best season yet with the Broncos after rushing for 425 yards and six touchdowns as a junior. The Prosper product saw limited playing time in Boise State’s shocking defeat to Washington, as he ran for just 5 yards on a pair of carries in the loss.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Bowl

Texas A&M 24, Oklahoma State 21

Cade Pendergrast (Texas A&M, Prosper, DB), Ben Kopenski (Oklahoma State, Prosper, OL), Kevin Mair (Oklahoma State, Frisco Independence, OL)

In what was one of the more evenly matched bowl games on the gridiron thus far, neither of these three local players saw action in this contest.

Cheez-It Bowl

Air Force 31, Washington State 21

Geraud Sanders (Air Force, Frisco resident, WR), Trey Taylor (Air Force, Frisco Lone Star, DB), Adam White (Air Force, Frisco Wakeland, LB

Sanders, a Frisco resident, had quite the career at Bishop Dunne and had a coming-out party in 2019 with Air Force. As a junior this season, Sanders hauled in 30 catches for 746 yards and seven touchdowns and snagged one catch for 10 yards against Washington State.

Camping World Bowl

Notre Dame 33, Iowa State 9

Kene Nwangwu (Iowa State, Frisco Heritage, RB)

Nwangwu rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his first two seasons with the Cyclones, and he kept that streak intact in 2019 with 115 yards on the ground. However, the junior didn’t find any success in the Camping World Bowl, as the Fighting Irish took care of business in blowout fashion.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

LSU 63, Oklahoma 28

Eric Gallegos (Oklahoma, Frisco Heritage, DB), Cade York (LSU, Prosper, K)

In a lopsided affair in which the Tigers had their way behind a masterful performance from quarterback Joe Burrow, LSU kicker Cade York was plenty busy against the Sooners. As LSU’s starting kicker for his entire freshman campaign, York missed just five field goals on 26 attempts this season and should be called upon quite a bit as the Tigers look to win the national title against Clemson.

Redbox Bowl

California 35, Illinois 30

Justice Williams (Illinois, Frisco Wakeland, TE)

Williams and the Fighting Illini found themselves on the losing of the scoreboard to end their season in a five-point loss to the Golden Bears. In the defeat, Williams corralled a 22-yard catch and finished his senior season with 14 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown.

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

Arizona State 20, Florida State 14

Nolan Matthews (Arizona State, Frisco Reedy, TE)

The true freshman made his presence felt later in the season for the Sun Devils with six catches for 36 yards and a touchdown back on Oct. 26 against UCLA.

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

Wyoming 38, Georgia State 17

Blake Harrington (Wyoming, Prosper, DB)

The freshman appeared in very limited action with the Cowboys this season and recorded just one tackle in an early-season win over UNLV.

Valero Alamo Bowl

Texas 38, Utah 10

Jaylen Dixon (Utah, Frisco Lone Star, WR), Jason Shelley (Utah, Frisco Lone Star, QB), Rafiti Ghirmai (Texas, Frisco Wakeland, OL)

Not many expected this outcome, as Utah nearly qualified for the College Football Playoff but closed out the year with back-to-back losses instead. In the surprising defeat to the Longhorns, Dixon had just one catch for 10 yards but caught 24 passes for 343 yards and a score this season as a sophomore.

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Georgia 26, Baylor 14

Chris Miller (Baylor, Frisco Lone Star, DB), Raleigh Texada (Baylor, Frisco Centennial, DB), Colby Delashaw (Baylor, Frisco Wakeland, DB), Jason Moore (Baylor, Frisco Independence, OL)

Over the years, Baylor has recruited well in the area and its collection of Frisco standouts made their presence in a turnaround season for the Bears. Although Baylor fell to Georgia on New Year’s Day, the future remains bright.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Southern Miss vs. Tulane, 10:30 a.m. Saturday

Amare Jones (Tulane, Frisco Heritage, RB)

After a stellar career at quarterback with Frisco Heritage, Jones has thrived at the running back position in two seasons at Tulane. As a sophomore, Jones ran for 353 yards and four touchdowns and added 29 catches for 310 more yards and five total touchdowns and is expected to play heavy minutes in the Armed Forces Bowl.

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