Sammy Batten Staff writer @FO_SammyBatten

A year that began with depressing news for Dwayne Allen could end in ecstasy today in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Terry Sanford High School alum is expected to become the ninth player from the Cape Fear region to play in a National Football League championship game when his New England Patriots face Philadelphia in Super Bowl LII.

Allen has appeared in all 16 regular-season games and both playoff contests as a reserve tight end for the Patriots this season. The sixth-year pro played a major role in getting New England to the Super Bowl when he replaced injured starter Rob Gronkowski during the second half of the AFC Championship game against Jacksonville. Allen produced two key blocks to pave the way for an 18-yard run by Dion Lewis with 90 seconds left that sealed the 24-20 win for the Patriots.

“Blocking is always something I’ve taken pride in,” Allen said in a telephone interview. “It comes down to every man doing his job and doing what is best for the team so it can win. It was pretty cool to be able to showcase that ability in a situation that helped get us to the Super Bowl.

Read more…