It's Week 13 of The Next Level, and that means a lot teams have played their last games of the season. That, in turn, means it's time to bid adieu to some local players, at least on the college stage, as they have concluded their senior seasons. But who knows, perhaps we'll see some of these players with pro potential at — you guessed it — the next level.
Syracuse's Alec Lemon (Arundel) finished his freshman year with a 56-31 road loss to Connecticut, but the wide receiver gave Orange fans plenty to look forward to for next season. Though he didn't start, Lemon had a huge day, catching nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Greg Paulus was connecting with Lemon all day, and their 3-yard hook-up with just more than a minute left in the third quarter pulled Syracuse with four points at 21-17. Lemon's longest reception of the game, a gain of 33 yards, brought the ball down to the Huskies' 10-yard line in the fourth quarter, and the Orange scored a touchdown on the next play to make the score 42-31 in UConn's favor. That was as close as Syracuse would get the rest of the way, however. Lemon also had catches of 30, 20, 17 and 16 yards in the contest. Sophomore Nick Speller (Edmondson) started at left tackle for the Orange, and senior tight end made Andrew Robinson (Calvert Hall) made one solo tackle on punt coverage in his final college game. Redshirt freshman starting safety Jerome Junior (Archbishop Curley) made seven tackles (three solo, four assists) for the Huskies in the victory.Baltimore native Matt Brown continues to tear it up in Temple's backfield. The Owls lost to host Ohio, 35-17 — ending a nine-game winning streak — but Brown had his second straight 100-plus-yard rushing game and scored his fourth touchdown in the past three contests. The freshman enjoyed his most productive game of the season on the ground, running for 172 yards on 25 carries. Brown's 9-yard touchdown run in the third quarter brought Temple within 26-17. His longest rush of the day was a gain of 26 yards on second-and-seven in the third quarter, and he also had runs of 24 and 23 yards in the game. Notably, Brown did not lose yardage on a single carry. He added an 11-yard kickoff return. Sophomore offensive lineman Sean Boyle (Calvert Hall) contributed a solo tackle on punt coverage, and fellow sophomore offensive lineman Pat Boyle (Calvert Hall) played, recording no statistics.
It was a disappointing Senior Day for Maryland's Jamari McCollough (Randallstown) and Hakeem Sule (McDonogh), as the Terps fell to Boston College, 19-17, to end their season and those two players' college careers. The loss was Maryland's 10th of the season, the most in school history. McCollough, Maryland's starting strong safety, made five tackles (two solo, three assists), including teaming with linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield to stop Eagles running back Montel Harris after a gain of just 1 yard on first-and-goal from the Terps' 9 in the first quarter. The Terps held Boston College to a field goal on that drive, despite an offside penalty on Severn native and starting redshirt freshman nose tackle A.J. Francis (who made one solo tackle in the game). Sule, a linebacker, played in the game but recorded no stats. Freshman defensive back Eric Franklin (Archbishop Curley) assisted on one tackle, and junior wide receiver LaQuan Williams (Poly) played but had no stats.
On the flip side, Buffalo seniors Mike Newton and Dane Robinson, both Calvert Hall graduates, closed out their college careers on a positive note, as the visiting Bulls beat Kent State, 9-6, on Friday. Newton, the starting free safety, made four tackles (three solo, one assist), including pairing with defensive lineman Anel Montanez to stop Golden Flashes running back Jacquise Terry after a gain of just 1 yard on third-and-26 in the second quarter. Robinson, a defensive tackle, assisted on three tackles. He and defensive back Sherrod Lott stopped Terry for no gain on second-and-11 in the fourth quarter.
Utah tried to get junior Shaky Smithson (Douglass) involved in a number of ways during its 26-23 road loss to Brigham Young in the Holy War. Smithson returned five punts for 67 yards (with a long of 40 in the fourth quarter), caught one pass for 24 yards on third-and-10 in the third quarter, rushed twice for minus-2 yards, and attempted four passes, completing one for 3 yards. Smithson's 40-yard punt return set the Utes up with good field position in the final period, and the ensuing drive ended with a touchdown and two-point conversion that brought them within three points at 20-17.
Sophomore linebacker Zach Brown (Wilde Lake) recorded three tackles (two solo, one assist) in North Carolina's 28-27 loss to host North Carolina State. Brown was in on a stop of Wolfpack running back Toney Baker for a loss of 4 yards on second-and-seven in the fourth quarter.
Tavon Austin (Dunbar) started at wide receiver in West Virginia's 19-16 home victory over Pittsburgh on Friday. The freshman caught three passes for 12 yards, including a long of 9 on first-and-10 from the Panthers' 24 in the first quarter. Austin also returned two kickoffs for 39 yards (long of 21). Freshman defensive back Terence Garvin (Loyola) assisted on two tackles on kickoff coverage for the Mountaineers.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Joey Ehrmann (Gilman) broke up one pass and recorded a quarterback hurry in Wake Forest's 45-34 win over host Duke, the final game of the season for both teams. Junior wide receiver Sheldon Bell (City) played but recorded no stats for the Blue Devils, who needed a victory to become bowl eligible but instead closed their year with their fourth straight defeat.
Senior Andrew DePaola (Hereford) played his final college game in visiting Rutgers' 34-14 rout of Louisville. The wide receiver didn't record any stats. Neither did Cardinals freshman linebacker Horace Miller (Dunbar). Louisville fired coach Steve Kragthorpe after the loss, which ended their season at 4-8.
Senior Greg Zingler (Severna Park) served as holder in Navy's 24-17 road defeat at the hands of Hawaii late Saturday night.