Louisburg-bound McDowell ends prep career on a good note
DENVER – Bubba McDowell relished the feeling he had during the fourth quarter of the East-West Football All-Star game on July 18 in Greensboro.
The East Lincoln High running back was Lincoln County’s only representative in the game. His West team was losing 28-3 with just over five minutes to play.
He took the offensive plays from the sideline to the huddle. Enka High quarterback Taylor McCurry dissected the upcoming play, a quick pass from the 21-yard line. West Iredell wide receiver C.J. Gibbs told McDowell, “You’d better catch the ball. This is your play.”
It was something McDowell had been told many times at East Lincoln. He caught eight touchdown passes as a senior. McDowell said he knew the pass McCurry planned to throw to him would likely be the last time he would be targeted in a prep game. He was already a bit winded.
But McDowell earned a reputation with East Lincoln as being a reliable option. He proved his reliability to McCurry, Gibbs and the other all-stars.
“I got excited,” McDowell said. “I knew what I had to do.”
McDowell caught the pass. He scored what was the West’s only touchdown in a 34-9 loss.
“I didn’t really think about it being my last touchdown as it happened,” McDowell said. “I thought about being one of the smallest guys on the team and showing my skills to everybody. But it hit me after I scored that that might be it.”
It was – at least as a high school player.
McDowell will play junior college football for Louisburg College in Franklin County, about 45 miles north of Raleigh. He moves in at Louisburg on Aug. 13, the same day as the Hurricanes’ football camp.
“It means I’ve got to be ready for the next step in my career,” McDowell said.
East Lincoln coach Mike Byus congratulated McDowell on another job well done after the East-West game.
“He told me he was proud of me and that meant a lot,” McDowell said. “It felt great hearing my high school coach tell me that.”
McDowell’s abilities made him one of the school’s best running backs in history, Byus said. He rushed for 1,852 yards as a senior and guided the Mustangs to a 7-5 record.
“I don’t really have anything bad to say about Bubba,” Byus said. “He is one of the hardest-working kids I have ever coached.”