Jan 6, 2014 1:42 AM by Bill Halter

From Hancock to BCS Championship for Artis-Payne

Cameron Artis-Payne has gone from Santa Maria to the National Championship game. The former Hancock player is back in California for the BCS National Championship game. Artis-Payne now plays for Auburn who will square off against Florida State for the title on Monday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Artis-Payne is the Tigers fourth leading rusher, he's gained 609 yards on 90 carries for a 6.8 yards per carry average. He's also scored six touchdowns and gone over a hundred yards in a game twice this season. Artis-Payne scored a touchdown in Auburn's last game, a win over Missouri in the SEC championship game on December 7.

Despite seeing limited duty in recent games the junior said he was always focused on making the most of his opportunities. "I'm always ready," said Artis-Payne during a recent interview with The Montgomery Advertiser. "I'm just waiting for my time. I'm always ready."

Artis-Payne broke numerous program records during his time at Hancock. He earned All-State honors his sophomore season after leading the state with 2,048 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. He owns school records for most career touchdowns (43), most touchdowns in a single season (25), most rushing yards in a single season (2,048) and most career rushing yards (3,412). He averaged seven yards per carry with the Bulldogs.

Auburn is the second ranked team in the country, the Tigers are 12-1. They average 336 yards rushing per game which is the best mark in the nation. Auburn finished last in the SEC last season but is one win away from its second national title in four years.

Top ranked Florida State is 13-0. The Seminoles lead the nation in scoring defense, giving up 10.7 points per game. The ACC champs have won every game this season by at least 14 points. Florida State is going for its first BCS title since 1999.

This is the last year of the BCS, which started in 1998. The BCS will be replaced next season by a four-team playoff.



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