The last two weeks of 2013 featured mixed results on the football field for former area high school players.
The happiest was Tra’Mayne Bondurant (Fairfield), who helped Arizona (8-5) blitz Boston College 42-19 in the AdvoCAre V100 Bowl. Bondurant, who missed the Wildcats’ thrilling 49-48 win over Nevada in the 2012 New Mexico Bowl because of an injury, had six tackles, five of them solo. He finished the season sixth on the team with 72 tackles, fifth with 46 solo tackles. The former Falcon also had two sacks and seven tackles for loss.
This season’s New Mexico Bowl wasn’t kind of Deone Bucannon (Vanden), who finally got into a bowl in his final season with Washington State, only to have the Cougars (6-7) cough up a big lead late in falling 48-45 to Colorado State.
Bucannon returned an interception 8 yards in the second quarter, a turnover that led to a touchdown, and finished with seven tackles as the Cougars gave up 18 points in the final 2 minutes, 52 seconds, 11 points in the last 33 seconds.
The former Viking led WSU with 114 tackles, 78 of them solo, and had six interceptions, 41/2 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. His 384 career tackles rank fourth on the Cougars’ all-time list, his 15 interceptions rank third.
Bucannon, an all-Pac 12 Conference first team pick who’s been invited to play in the Senior Bowl, made the Associated Press, Athlon Sports and Lindy’s All-American first teams, the Walter Camp second team and Phil Steele Sports Publications and CBSSports.com third teams.
LaRyan King (Vacaville) and Johnny Schupp (Vacaville) played for Colorado State (8-6) on defense in the Las Vegas Bowl. King wound up the season with 11 tackles and one sack.
Jason Verrett (Rodriguez) has also accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, to be played at Mobile, Ala., Jan. 25, after finishing his career at TCU. The former Mustang was selected the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year and was named to a Walter Camp first team All-American. He was chosen second team by The AP, the Football Writers Association of America, FOX Sports, SI.com, USA Today, Phil Steele Publications, Athlon Sports and Lindy’s, third team by CBSSports.com.
Marcel Jensen (Rodriguez) finished his career at Fresno State (11-2) in a 45-20 loss to USC in the Las Vegas Bowl. Jensen had two catches for nine yards and ended the season with 26 receptions for 353 yards and three TDs, tying for the team lead at 13.6 yards per catch. The second team all-Mountain West Conference pick has been invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., Jan. 18.
Eastern Washington (12-3) scored 35 straight points, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Eagles from dropping a 35-31 decision to Towson in the FCS semifinals. Quincy Forte (Vacaville) caught six passes for 68 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to get his team on the board, and rushed 14 times for 77 yards, scoring on a 7-yard run in the third quarter that cut EWU’s deficit to 21-14.
The former Bulldog finished his junior season with a team-high 1,208 yards and 11 touchdowns on 179 carries and caught 23 passes for 279 yards and five TDs.
Ronnie Baker (Rodriguez) poured in a game-high 18 points and also had four rebounds, two assists and a steal in Alaska’s 84-66 thumping of Northland International. Rashaad Allen (Rodriguez) added nine points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist for the Nanooks (5-4).
Menlo (3-11) went 1-4 over the last two weeks of 2013 with Jordan Collier (Vanden) scoring 11 points and getting four rebounds in that span.
One of Menlo’s losses was to Hawaii Pacific, which went 3-0 with Koree Cox (Rodriguez) scoring nine points, including seven against St. Katherine.
The struggles continue for Pacific Union (0-15), which went 0-5. Anthony Gonzalez (Vacaville) had a combined 17 points, 18 rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Tyler Idowu (Rodriguez) played for St. Martin’s (4-6) in a 66-61 win over South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
In Maine-Fort Kent’s 84-45 loss to Trinity, James Givens (Fairfield, Solano) came off the bench to score a team-high 13 points to go with four rebounds, two assists and one steal for the Bengals (3-9). He then had four points, two steals, one rebound and one assist in a 76-48 loss to Wentworth.
Dickinson State (5-8) went 1-2 with Juston Goodwin (Buckingham Charter, Solano) amassing a combined 17 points, 19 rebounds, three assists and three steals, while DeSean Atkins (Fairfield) had 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals for the Blue Hawks.
Khristina Hunter (Rodriguez) poured in a career-high 20 points and added a game-high 12 rebounds for her second career double-double in lifting San Diego State (3-7) to a 75-64 win over Miami of Ohio. Erimma Amarikwa (Vanden) added two points and one rebound.
Hunter then had four points, six rebounds and two steals in a 58-57 win over UC Riverside and tied for a team-high 14 points with five rebounds, three assists and one steal in an 84-67 loss to North Carolina State.
UC Riverside (4-9) dropped all five games over the last two weeks with Tahvia Morrison (Vanden) getting nine points, two rebounds and two assists in that span.
Renique Fitzpatrick (Armijo) scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds, two blocks, two steals and one assist as Holy Names (7-2) overcame a 40-29 halftime deficit to pull out a 67-66 win over Simpson. Amnesty Bradley (Fairfield) had two assists, one rebound and one steal for the Hawks.
Melaya Gaines (Armijo) contributed six points, four rebounds, one block and one steal as Cal State San Marcos (7-11) fell to Vanguard 78-54.
Cal Maritime (7-7) split a pair of games as Shante Sands (Fairfield) had a combined seven points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal in the two outings.
Chico State lost its only game, falling 83-82 to Cal State Stanislaus in overtime. Jazmine Miller (Vanden) had 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in a losing cause for the Wildcats (5-3).
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.