The final day of the 2008 NFL regular season on Sunday had some very good performances from former Clemson and South Carolina players.
Rookie defensive end Phillip Merling (Clemson) and veteran defensive back Andre Goodman (South Carolina) were instrumental in Miami's 24-17 victory over the New York Jets, propelling the Dolphins into the playoffs after a 1-15 season a year ago.
Merling intercepted a Brett Favre pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.
Goodman picked off two Favre passes in helping the Dolphins capture the must-win game.
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Jets wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (Clemson) caught four passes for 50 yards.
Philadelphia defensive backs Brian Dawkins (Clemson) and Sheldon Brown (South Carolina) did their share of work in the Eagles' 44-6 dismantling of Dallas, knocking the Cowboys out of the playoffs while putting Philly into the postseason.
Dawkins forced two fumbles which were returned for touchdowns and Brown intercepted a Tony Romo pass.
• CONVERSE: Valkyries center Kendra Bothof (Fort Mill) is having a very good sophomore season for the Spartanburg-based school.
The 6-1 Bothof is fourth in the Conference Carolinas' scoring race, averaging 15.1 points after eight games. She is 10th in rebounding (5.2).
Bothof's best game came in a 98-85 loss to Brevard when she scored 32 points, hitting 9-of-13 from the floor and 11-of-12 free throws.
Bothof was a three-sport standout at Fort Mill and was honorable mention all-state in basketball in 2005-06.
Former York Comprehensive High School standout Jessica McMahan is a junior guard for the Valkyries, but has seen limited playing time.
• KENTUCKY: Wildcats freshman wide receiver Gene McCaskill (Chester) could see some bowl action Friday when the 'Cats face East Carolina in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. The game will be televised at 5 p.m. on ESPN (cable channel 25 in Rock Hill).
The Wildcats are 6-6, while East Carolina is 9-4 and won the Conference USA championship.
The 6-0, 175-pound McCaskill, who wears No. 85, has played in 11 of 12 games and earned his first start in the Mississippi State game.
McCaskill has caught 12 passes for 117 yards. His best outing was against Arkansas when he had three receptions for 30 yards, with a long catch of 18 yards.
McCaskill was an all-purpose athlete at Chester, playing quarterback and wide receiver. As a senior for the Cyclones, he accounted for more than 2,500 yards passing, rushing and receiving.