Two Cedartown football alums showed out in college football bowl games last week.

Tony Mathis performed well in West Virginia’s Guaranteed Rate Bowl loss to Minnesota and Kobe Pace showed flashes in Clemson’s Cheez-It Bowl victory over Iowa State.

Mathis led the Mountaineers in rushing last Tuesday. The redshirt sophomore tailback rumbled for 56 yards on 13 totes and reeled in five passes for 24 yards in Phoenix, Ariz. Unfortunately, West Virginia could muster just one score in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl and fell 18-6 to Minnesota.

WVU ends their season with a 6-7 overall record. Despite finishing below .500, Mathis still produced a strong season for the Mountaineers. Although he served as backup behind senior running back Leddie Brown, Mathis rushed for 312 yards on 72 carries and caught seven passes for 29 yards.

The Cedartown native ran for a career-high 118 yards at Kansas on Nov. 27 and finished as the second-leading rusher for West Virginia this season. Mathis should have a great shot at taking over as the top running back on the depth chart for the Mountaineers in 2022.

Clemson held on late to knock off Iowa State 20-13 in Wednesday’s Cheez-It Bowl. Kobe Pace, a sophomore running back for the Tigers, received limited carries but still had a nice outing. The former Cedartown Bulldog picked up 51 yards on 13 touches and caught four passes for 38 yards against Iowa State.

After only receiving playing time as a reserve in 2020, Pace earned a ton of opportunities to tote the rock this fall. He finished as the second-best rusher for the Tigers on the season. Pace rushed for 641 yards and six scores on 105 carries, leading the team with a 6.1 yard-per-carry mark. He also picked up 131 yards on twelve receptions.

Pace and freshman Will Shipley are expected to lead Clemson’s running game again next year.

Former Cedartown quarterback Taji Hudson was also slated to play in a bowl game.

Hudson and the East Carolina Pirates were invited to play in the Military Bowl, but Boston College cancelled last minute citing a COVID-19 outbreak within their program.

Hudson, a freshman wide receiver for ECU, caught no passes for the Pirates in 2021. He did receive playing time on special teams, however, and tallied two tackles this season.


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