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The Gilmer Free Press

►  Week 5 Player Fantasy Rankings - Quarterbacks

The Jaguars have given up 385 and 365 net passing yards over the past two weeks. So if you took Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers, respectively, the past two games your fantasy team took a giant step toward victory.

Why change the strategy? It’s working!

In Week 5 the Jaguars face Ben Roethlisberger coming off a 314-yard, three- touchdown performance against Tampa Bay. He brings with him the top fantasy receiver in the NFL in Antonio Brown, an improving Markus Wheaton, a solid tight end in Heath Miller and a valuable receiving asset out of the backfield in Le’Veon Bell. For these reasons, “Big Ben” sits atop of the Week 5 rankings.

There is no quarterback hotter than Andrew Luck. The Indy QB has posted back- to-back four touchdown games with at least 370 passing yards and is the overall fantasy points leader (standard scoring). He faces a Baltimore pass defense that is ranked 27th in the league (260.25 ypg).

We also like Eli Manning to put together a second consecutive fantasy-worthy performance. The reigning TSN Player of the Week, faces a struggling Falcons team that has yielded more than 300 passing yards in three of four contests.

A trio of top quarterbacks return from their bye weeks, so don’t forget to re- install Peyton Manning, Andrew Dalton and Russell Wilson into your starting lineup.

The two teams that played in London last Sunday, Miami and Oakland (Ryan Tannehill and Derek Carr) sit this weekend, to the detriment of very few fantasy lineups. The hope that Tannehill would take the next step forward has not materialized. The rookie Raiders quarterback, who surprisingly won the job in the preseason, has understandably struggled and only has fantasy value in dynasty leagues.

Top-25 Quarterback Rankings

—————————————-

1) Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

2) Andrew Luck, Indianapolis

3) Peyton Manning, Denver

4) Joe Flacco, Baltimore

5) Drew Brees, New Orleans

6) Philip Rivers, San Diego

7) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

8) Nick Foles, Philadelphia

9) Eli Manning, New York Giants

10) Russell Wilson, Seattle

11) Tony Romo, Dallas

12) Jay Cutler, Chicago

13) Matt Stafford, Detroit

14) Andy Dalton, Cincinnati

15) Matt Ryan, Atlanta

16) Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco

17) Cam Newton, Carolina

18) Tom Brady, New England

19) Geno Smith, New York Jets

20) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston

21) Alex Smith, Kansas City

22) Kyle Orton, Buffalo

23) Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota

24) Blake Bortles, Jacksonville

25) Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay


►  Week 5 Player Fantasy Rankings - Wide Receivers

When the best receiver in the league over the first four games, faces one of the worst passing defenses in the league, it’s an easy choice for the top spot in TSN’s weekly receiver rankings.

In 2014 Pittsburgh wideout Antonio Brown has added the one element which kept him from being a fantasy superstar in the past - scoring touchdowns. Last Sunday he scored twice (to bring his season total to five) along with 131 yards receiving. He also completed a pass and continues to return punts. He’s the complete package and is currently the top fantasy wideout.

This is not a fluke for Brown, who caught 110 balls for 1,499 yards last season. In Week 5 he’ll face the Jaguars’ pass defense that is yielding a league-worst 320.8 ypg.

Green Bay wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are a deadly pair of wideouts and either can erupt on any given day, but with 49 targets and 33 receptions through the first quarter of the season we like Nelson a little bit more. The Vikings have revamped their defense in 2014 after yielding an ugly 287.2 ypg last season, but they aren’t ready for Aaron Rodgers & Co.

After another stellar performance last weekend against his former team, Ravens wideout Steve Smith Sr. grabs a top-five spot for Sunday’s contest with Indianapolis. The Colts defense was beaten up by Denver and Philadelphia over the first two weekends, rebounded against Jacksonville and Tennessee, but faces a hot Joe Flacco-to-Smith combination. Smith has posted 100-yards or more in three of four games, including a 7-139-2 line against Carolina.

You will find a trio of names lower on the list than normal, based on their play over the first four weekends. Demaryius Thomas, Calvin Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson have, for the most part, all disappointed fantasy owners. Although you must continue to start them, at the moment, you can’t expect elite production.

Top-50 Wide Receiver Rankings

——————————————-

1) Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

2) Jordy Nelson, Green Bay

3) Julio Jones, Atlanta

4) Dez Bryant, Dallas

5) Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore

6) Demaryius Thomas, Denver

7) A.J. Green, Cincinnati

8) Calvin Johnson, Detroit

9) Brandon Marshall, Chicago

10) Randall Cobb, Green Bay

11) Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina

12) Michael Floyd, Arizona

13) Keenan Allen, San Diego

14) Pierre Garcon, Washington

15) Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia

16) T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis

17) Alshon Jeffery, Chicago

18) Victor Cruz, New York Giants

19) Emmanuel Sanders, Denver

20) Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

21) Percy Harvin, Seattle

22) Sammy Watkins, Buffalo

23) DeAndre Hopkins, Houston

24) Brandin Cooks, New Orleans

25) Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay

26) Andre Johnson, Houston

27) Golden Tate, Detroit

28) Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis

29) Roddy White, Atlanta

30) Torrey Smith, Baltimore

31) Julian Edelman, New England

32) Michael Crabtree, San Francisco

33) Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota

34) Wes Welker, Denver

35) Brian Quick, St. Louis

36) DeSean Jackson, Washington

37) Marques Colston, New Orleans

38) Terrance Williams, Dallas

39) Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland

40) Anquan Boldin, San Francisco

41) Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia

42) Kendall Wright, Tennessee

43) Malcom Floyd, San Diego

44) Doug Baldwin, Seattle

45) Reuben Randle, New York Giants

46) Stevie Johnson, San Francisco

47) Eric Decker, New York Jets

48) Greg Jennings, Minnesota

49) Miles Austin, Cleveland

50) Devin Hester, Atlanta


►  Week 5 Player Fantasy Rankings - Running Backs

It seems every fantasy football season that the running back projections heading into the year drastically change, early and often.

LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, and Adrian Peterson were the consensus top-three tailbacks heading into the 2014 season. Now, heading into Week 5, none of them make our top-five.

This is a big week for McCoy. He has inexplicably fallen off the face of the earth over the past two weeks (20 carries, 39 yards). Now, heading into a juicy matchup against the St. Louis Rams, who are ranked 21st in fantasy points against running backs (standard leagues), McCoy must come out of his slump, for owners to have renewed confidence. We feel he will snap out of it, as McCoy is our sixth-ranked tailback, entering Week 5.

DeMarco Murray continues to impress, and with an above average matchup against the Houston Texans (ranked 15th against running backs), he remains in our top spot for a third consecutive week. Murray leads all fantasy backs with 80 total points, which is well ahead of the second-ranked Marshawn Lynch (59 points). He has rushed for at least 100 yards and one touchdown in every game this season, and there is no reason to think the streak will come to a halt versus Houston.

Speaking of Lynch, he should have fresh legs coming off his Week 4 bye. Lynch heads into Washington on Monday night, and will have a tremendous opportunity to continue his fine start to the 2014 season. The Redskins seem to be in shambles, and Lynch is still Seattle’s workhorse. Start “Beast Mode” with confidence, as he is our third-ranked running back.

Sandwiched in between Murray and Lynch, is the popular Le’Veon Bell. He actually had a somewhat down week, to his lofty standards, with just 10 fantasy points in Week 4. Look for Bell to get back into the end zone again, in a nice matchup for fantasy owners, with Pittsburgh traveling to Jacksonville this week.

One player to keep in mind, is Cleveland running back Ben Tate. He returns from injury this week, and all signs point to him carrying the majority of the workload. He will be a high-risk, high-reward type of play, but with the Browns giving him a big contract in the offseason, they will want to turn him loose. Tate is our 19th-ranked tailback, but has upside for Week 5.

Top-50 Running Back Rankings

——————————————

1) DeMarco Murray, Dallas

2) Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh

3) Marshawn Lynch, Seattle

4) Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati

5) Jamaal Charles, Kansas City

6) LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia

7) Rashad Jennings, New York Giants

8) Eddie Lacy, Green Bay

9) Matt Forte, Chicago

10) Frank Gore, San Francisco

11) Andre Ellington, Arizona

12) Montee Ball, Denver

13) Matt Asiata, Minnesota

14) Arian Foster, Houston

15) Alfred Morris, Washington

16) Zac Stacy, St. Louis

17) Reggie Bush, Detroit

18) Doug Martin, Tampa Bay

19) Ben Tate, Cleveland

20) C.J. Spiller, Buffalo

21) Trent Richardson, Indianapolis

22) Khiry Robinson, New Orleans

23) Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville

24) Stevan Ridley, New England

25) Fred Jackson, Buffalo

26) Joique Bell, Detroit

27) Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis

28) Donald Brown, San Diego

29) Steven Jackson, Atlanta

30) Darren Sproles, Philadelphia

31) Shane Vereen, New England

32) Knile Davis, Kansas City

33) Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota

34) Justin Forsett, Baltimore

35) Chris Johnson, New York Jets

36) Chris Ivory, New York Jets

37) Lorenzo Taliaferro, Baltimore

38) Bishop Sankey, Tennessee

39) Darrin Reaves, Carolina

40) Shonn Greene, Tennessee

41) Pierre Thomas, New Orleans

42) Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati

43) LeGarrette Blount, Pittsburgh

44) Carlos Hyde, San Francisco

45) Jonathan Stewart, Carolina

46) Bernard Pierce, Baltimore

47) Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland

48) Branden Oliver, San Diego

49) Alfred Blue, Houston

50) Roy Helu, Washington


►  Week 5 Player Fantasy Rankings - Tight Ends

Any fantasy owner who projected that Martellus Bennett and Delanie Walker would be the top-two highest scoring tight ends through Week 5; we officially commend you.

Bennett has been an owner’s dream through the first four weeks of the season. He has complied 52 fantasy points (the most in standard leagues), and has produced at least nine points each week. With opposing defenses keying in on Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, Bennett has developed a nice connection with quarterback Jay Cutler. His numbers do not seem to be going anywhere as a result, which leads us to ranking Bennett as our No. 3 tight end, heading into Week 5.

Walker is probably an even bigger surprise than Bennett. He is tied with Jimmy Graham for second in fantasy points amongst tight ends (48 points), and although he is battling a slight shoulder injury, Walker remains in our top- five this week against Cleveland. He has scored a touchdown in three of the four games thus far, and will continue to be a security blanket for whomever is under center, for Tennessee.

Graham locks down our top spot, with a home game against Tampa Bay. It is worth noting that the Saints will be playing in the Superdome, as they are a notoriously poor road team. With New Orleans beginning the year at 1-3, look for Drew Brees to rely on what has made the Saints successful over the years. Which is getting the ball to Graham in the red zone.

Coming off a bye during Week 4, the Denver Broncos will be looking to shake off their first loss of the season, to the Seattle Seahawks. Peyton Manning clearly has many options, but Julius Thomas has emerged as his favorite red zone target. He has scored a touchdown in all three games, and that trend should continue, making Thomas our second-ranked tight end this week.

The sexy tight end of the past week is Giants playmaker Larry Donnell. Coming off an impressive three-touchdown performance, we have him slotted as the seventh-ranked tight end heading into Week 5. However, owners must be aware that Atlanta’s defense has actually played well against opposing tight ends, as they have allowed the fifth-fewest points on average (5.28 ppg) to them. That being said, with the chemistry Eli Manning has developed with his man, Donnell is still a recommended play.

Top-25 Tight End Rankings

————————————-

1) Jimmy Graham, New Orleans

2) Julius Thomas, Denver

3) Martellus Bennett, Chicago

4) Delanie Walker, Tennessee

5) Rob Gronkowski, New England

6) Zach Ertz, Philadelphia

7) Larry Donnell, New York Giants

8) Greg Olsen, Carolina

9) Vernon Davis, San Francisco

10) Jason Witten, Dallas

11) Travis Kelce, Kansas City

12) Jordan Cameron, Cleveland

13) Heath Miller, Pittsburgh

14) Antonio Gates, San Diego

15) Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis

16) Jared Cook, St. Louis

17) Coby Fleener, Indianapolis

18) Owen Daniels, Baltimore

19) Charles Clay, Miami

20) Clay Harbor, Jacksonville

21) Logan Paulsen, Washington

22) Jace Amaro, New York Jets

23) Andrew Quarless, Green Bay

24) Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati

25) Eric Ebron, Detroit


►  Week 5 Player Fantasy Rankings - Kickers

It’s not all the usual suspects in the Week 5 kicker rankings. With the Saints, Patriots and Eagles offenses struggling, it is hard to know which kicker to count on.

The Philadelphia offense and kicker Cody Parker can be relied upon this Sunday. The Eagles are hosting the Rams and should be able to get back on track even with the injures up front to the offensive line. Parker is the No. 2 kicker for Week 5.

Baltimore is visiting Indianapolis, and even though this game is always more entertaining when it is the Colts having to revisit their old home, this one looks to be an exciting high-scoring affair. Therefore, owners should want the kickers. Colts’ Adam Vinatieri comes in at No. 1 and Justin Tucker is ranked No. 4 this week.

Shaun Suisham finally missed a kick after making 25 straight. It proved costly as the Steelers defense was unable to hold the lead, but the miss was from over 50 yards away in the open end of Heinz Field, one of the toughest, if not the toughest, place to kick in the entire NFL. Suisham is available in 45% of Yahoo leagues and is a great start in sunny Jacksonville.

Brandon McManus, Denver, and Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona, would also be great pickups on the waiver wire. The rookies are a combined 12-for-12 to start their NFL careers. Catanzaro has made nine of those kicks and is available in 98% of Yahoo leagues. McManus is a free agent in 99% of Yahoo leagues. Both should start on Sunday.

Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski and Saints’ Shayne Graham take a hit in the kicker rankings just based on how their team’s offenses are performing. Gostkowski likely hurt fantasy owners on Monday night that needed a solid performance from him to give their team a victory in Week 4. New England did not attempt a field goal, and Gostkowski was held to just two fantasy points.

Graham did not do much better, making 1-of-2 field goals and two extra points against the Cowboys on Sunday night.

Top-25 Kicker Rankings

———————————

1) Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis

2) Cody Parker, Philadelphia

3) Mike Nugent, Cincinnati

4) Justin Tucker, Baltimore

5) Nick Novak, San Diego

6) Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh

7) Brandon McManus, Denver

8) Blair Walsh, Minnesota

9) Dan Bailey, Dallas

10) Alex Henery, Detroit

11) Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona

12) Matt Bryant, Atlanta

13) Steven Hauschka, Seattle

14) Phil Dawson, San Francisco

15) Stephen Gostkowski, New England

16) Robbie Gould, Chicago

17) Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis

18) Graham Gano, Carolina

19) Josh Brown, New York Giants

20) Shayne Graham, New Orleans

21) Mason Crosby, Green Bay

22) Nick Folk, New York Jets

23) Patrick Murray, Tampa Bay

24) Dan Carpenter, Buffalo

25) Randy Bullock, Houston


►  Week 5 Player Fantasy Rankings - Defense

It is certainly nice to have Seattle and Cincinnati back from their bye weeks. Those teams come in as the top two defenses for Week 5.

Fresh off a week of rest, both teams have road games, but against two struggling offenses, in prime time. The Bengals visit the Patriots, who managed just seven points from the first-team offense against the Chiefs. Remember, Cincinnati broke Tom Brady’s consecutive games with a touchdown pass streak last year, so even when Brady was playing well, he struggled against the Bengals.

The Seahawks go to the nation’s capital on the exact same field Kirk Cousins threw four interceptions versus the Giants last Thursday. Expect the “Legion of Boom” to intercept a few of their own.

The San Diego and Detroit defenses have both been playing very well this year, and we like their chances to continue the trend as both teams welcome questionable quarterbacks to town. Jets quarterback Geno Smith is on pace for 24 turnovers this year. Buffalo will start veteran Kyle Orton in Detroit. Yes, the same Kyle Orton that the Broncos benched for Tim Tebow four years ago.

Think about that for a second, Tebow is out of the league.

Pittsburgh is also playing a weak defense and in most leagues, they are likely the best defense available on the waiver wire. But the Steelers scored just two fantasy points against the lowly Buccaneers at home. Even against the Jaguars, they are a risky play in Jacksonville.

Week 4 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

——————————————————-

1) Seattle Seahawks

2) Cincinnati Bengals

3) Detroit Lions

4) San Diego Chargers

5) Houston Texans

6) Philadelphia Eagles

7) San Francisco 49ers

8) Dallas Cowboys

9) Buffalo Bills

10) Green Bay Packers

11) Chicago Bears

13) Carolina Panthers

14) Kansas City Chiefs

14) Pittsburgh Steelers

15) New York Giants

16) Denver Broncos

17) Arizona Cardinals

18) Cleveland Browns

19) New Orleans Saints

20) Atlanta Falcons

21) Minnesota Vikings

22) Jacksonville Jaguars

23) New York Jets

24) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

25) Washington Redskins


►  Ahmad Bradshaw: Start Him or Sit Him?

One of the biggest surprises through the first four weeks of the NFL season, has been the re-emergence of Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw.

Although he is only 28-years-old, Bradshaw is coming off a serious neck injury from a season ago, and many wondered if he would ever play football again. Now, not only is he playing, Bradshaw is thriving.

Heading into Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens, Bradshaw is surprisingly fourth among all fantasy running backs, with 53 total points (standard leagues). However, those numbers may be slightly misleading.

Bradshaw has produced on a consistent basis through four games, topping out with 21 fantasy points in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. His low is still a respectable eight points during Week 1, versus the Denver Broncos. Yet, owners need to be aware that most of Bradshaw’s fantasy numbers are coming as a result of his success in the passing game.

Throughout his career, Bradshaw has never totaled more than 314 passing yards in a season (2010), and the most receiving touchdowns he has ever scored in a year has been two (2011) ... until now. Through four weeks of the 2014 season, Bradshaw has accumulated 14 receptions for 134 yards and four touchdowns.

Will he keep these numbers up?

If you look at his receiving production from Week 1 through Week 4, he has clearly declined. Opening day against Denver, Bradshaw hauled in five passes for a season-high 70 yards. He then went on to catch two touchdown passes during Week 2 against the Eagles, and while Bradshaw caught a touchdown over each of the past two games, he has a combined total of four receptions for 38 yards during that span.

Not only does it seem that fantasy owners are relying on Bradshaw to produce a receiving touchdown for a successful week, but Trent Richardson has began to see a ton of carries, which inevitably takes away from Bradshaw’s opportunities.

After seeing six carries for 20 yards in Week 1, Richardson has 54 carries for 183 yards over the past three games, and in addition, he scored his first touchdown of the year during the Week 4 victory against the Tennessee Titans. Fantasy owners must assume that Indianapolis is going to keep feeding Richardson the ball.

The most carries Bradshaw has seen in a game in 2014 has been 13, during Week 2. His low for a game was three rushing attempts, against Denver, and has had nine carries over each of the past two weeks. It is clear that Richardson will see more rushing attempts than Bradshaw, and as a result makes it a gamble for owners to start a guy, who is not guaranteed as many touches as another running back on his same team.

Final Thought:

The Ravens are the seventh-best team in points against running backs, on average (12.78 points per game), and combined with the fact that Bradshaw is a little banged up with a sore foot (still expected to play), makes him a bit of a risky play. Bradshaw has never been this effective in the passing game before, and while he should still be a productive player for the Colts, his numbers are definitely trending down. With Richardson seeming to finally grasp Indianapolis’ offense, owners need to seriously consider sitting fantasy football’s fourth-ranked running back.

The Gilmer Free Press


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2014


Major League Baseball - Playoffs
Detroit at Baltimore, 12:07 PM - TBS
San Francisco at Washington, 3:07 PM - FS1
St. Louis at Los Angeles, 6:37 PM - FS1
Kansas City at LA Angels, 9:37 PM - TBS


National Hockey League - Preseason
Chicago at NY Rangers, 7:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, MSG, NHL Netweork
Detroit at Toronto, 7:30 PM - FS-Detroit, SN
Montreal at Ottawa, 7:30 PM - RDS, TSN


Canadian Football League
Winnipeg at Ottawa, 7:00 PM - TSN, ESPN3.com
Calgary at Saskatchewan, 10:00 PM - TSN, ESPN 2


College Football
Lafayette at Fordham, 6:30 PM - CBSSN
Louisville at Syracuse, 7:00 PM - ESPN
San Diego State at Fresno State, 10:00 PM - CBSSN
Utah State at BYU, 10:15 PM - ESPN


Major League Soccer
Kansas City at DC United, 8:00 PM - NBCSN


Golf
EUROPEAN - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, 8:00 AM - Golf Channel
LPGA - Reignwood LPGA Classic, 11:00 PM - Golf Channel


Auto Racing
NATIONWIDE - Kansas Lottery 300 practice, 12:00 PM - FS1
SPRINT CUP - Hollywood Casino 400 practice, 1:00 PM - FS1
NATIONWIDE - Kansas Lottery 300 practice, 4:00 PM - ESPN 2
SPRINT CUP - Hollywood Casino 400 qualifying, 5:30 PM - ESPN 2

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Week 6 High School Games in the Area for Thursday

Class A High School

Gilmer County (2-3)  @  Tygarts Valley (0-5)


Class AA High School

#4 Bridgeport (4-1)  @  Elkins (1-3)



The Gilmer Free Press

►  MEC Football Preview - Week 5

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 04, 2014


West Virginia State (1-3, 0-3) at Urbana (1-3, 1-3), Noon

Video  |  Live Stats


Last Year: Urbana won 62-10
Notes: Urbana’s 62 points last season were the most in the MEC last year ... WVSU is looking to get its offense going having yet to score over 20 points in a game this season ... UU has had more total offense than its opponent in 3 of its 4 games.


Glenville State (1-3, 1-3) at West Virginia Wesleyan (1-3, 1-3), Noon

Live Stats
Last Year: Glenville State won 35-32

Notes: GSC is 2nd in the MEC in total offense (466.0 ypg) ... WVWC has converted 11 of its 13 attempts in the red zone ... Jeremy Musselman threw for 392 and 4 TDs last season


#24 Concord (4-0, 3-0) at Fairmont State (2-2, 2-2), 1:00 PM

Audio | Video | Live Stats
Last Year: Concord won 34-17 

Notes: FSU led 14-10 at the half last year before being out-scored 24-3 in the 2nd half ... FSU is looking for its first 3-game winning streak since 2011 ... CU is the only team in the MEC averaging over 500 yards of total offense.


#9/10 Shepherd (4-0, 4-0) at Charleston (4-0, 3-0), 1:00 PM

Video | Live Stats

Last Year: Shepherd won 28-9
Notes: Points will be at a premium when the league’s top two scoring defenses meet up ... SU has the top rushing defense in the MEC, UC has the top rushing offense ... the teams are 1-2 in the MEC in time of possession.


Notre Dame (3-1, 3-1) at UVa-Wise (0-4, 0-3)

Video | Live Stats


Last Year: Notre Dame won 39-35
Notes: NDC will try to rebound after its first loss of the season ... UVa-Wise’s James Cousins had a career-high 136 yards and one TD last week against Wofford ... NDC is 2-0 on the road this year.


West Liberty (2-2) at Duquesne (2-2)

Audio | Video | Live Stats
 

Last Year: Duquesne won 27-14
Notes: The series is tied 1-1 ... DU scored three defensive touchdowns in last year’s meeting ... the MEC is 0-1 this year and 0-7 against DI opponents.

News & Notes



• This will mark the first week in MEC history that two teams from the league are nationally ranked with Shepherd 10th and Concord 24th in the d2football.com poll.

• The MEC has two of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league in Concord’s Brian Novak and Shepherd’s Jeff Ziemba. In fact, the two are 1-2 in the country in that category with Novak earning a rating of 196.3 and Ziemba a 190.5. Ziemba leads the country in completion%age hitting 74% of his passes. Ziemba has yet to throw an interception in 77 attempts.

• Four different MEC quarterbacks have two 300+ yard passing games this season: Cooper Hibbs (FSU), Jeremy Musselman (WVWC), Brian Novak (CU) and Ray Russ (NDC). Additionally, four different QBs have thrown for over 400 yards this season: Hibbs, Novak, Musselman and Matt Kinnick (WVSU).

• Three running backs in the league are averaging over 100 yards per game with Marvin Elam leading the way with 131.0, followed by Rahmann Lee (122.2) and Calvinaugh Jones (115.8).

• Shepherd’s C.J. Davis is one of the most dynamic players with the ball in his hands. He has 133 punt return yards, 142 kick return yards and 87 interception return yards this season. He leads the Rams with 362 all-purpose yards despite not playing any snaps on offense.
• SU’s Jabre Lolley’s nine rushing touchdowns are more than eight teams in the MEC.

• SU has yet to allow a point in the third quarter this season.

• Concord has scored over 50 points in three of its four games this season. Last week against West Liberty, CU scored twice on special teams to help aid its point total of a season-high 61 points.

• CU’s Ryan Stewart has at least one touchdown reception in each of his last three games. He has been on the receiving end of eight of Brian Novak’s 12 TD tosses.

• In addition to leading the league in rushing yards per game, Charleston’s Marvin Elam has earned a league-best 27 first downs rushing this season.

• Charleston’s Torie Wagner’s 116 punt return yards vs. UVa-Wise (9/20) are the most by any player in NCAA Division II so far this season.

• UC is being out-scored in the first quarter this season 21-13, but has a whopping 68-7 advantage over teams in the second quarter.

• UC’s Joey Augustin has 316 yards receiving this year, while the other Golden Eagle receivers have combined for 310 on the year.

• Notre Dame’s Ray Russ went 121 pass attempts without being intercepted before surrendering one last week against Charleston, establishing a new league mark.

• NDC is only out-scoring opponents by an average of 2.8 points per game this season.

• 21 of Mitchel Shegos’ 28 receptions have gone for first downs. He leads the league with 7.0 catches per game.

• Dakota Conwell’s 275 passing yards last week against Concord were the most by a WLU quarterback since Dylan LaGarde threw for 302 yards against West Virginia State on October 06, 2012.

• Fairmont State is searching for its first three-game winning streak since the 2011 season.

• Daniel Monroe rushed for a season-high 96 yards last week against West Virginia State.

• GSC’s Rahmann Lee ranks third among active players in all-purpose yards per game (153.38), sixth in rushing yards per game (125.1) and fifth for rushing yards (3,253).

• Each of Glenville State’s last three games have been decided by four points or less.

• GSC quarterback Sean Steele has already thrown more touchdown passes this season (eight) than he did all of last season (seven).

• West Virginia Wesleyan was held to fewer than 10 points for just the second time in the George Shehl era last week against Shepherd.

• Urbana threw for a season-high 380 yards against Glenville State last week, led by Cody Schroeder’s 298 yards and three-touchdown effort. His previous best this season was 198 yards against Notre Dame.

• David Hill’s rushing touchdown last week against Glenville State was the first rushing score for the team in 2014.

• West Virginia State’s Matt Kinnick became the fourth MEC player this season to throw for over 400 yards in a game with 406 last week against Fairmont State. Teams are 1-3 this year in those games.

• UVa-Wise’s Zack Blair is tied for the league lead in tackles for a loss with 1.75 per game. He had his first career interception last week against Wofford.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Banks Made Best Of Suspension with Scout-Team Performance

For a few tense days during mid-August, Icky Banks feared his college career was finished.

Only two weeks shy of starting his 13th consecutive game at cornerback in West Virginia’s opener against Alabama, Banks’ senior season hung in the balance after an academic eligibility issue forced him to be held out of practice.

West Virginia’s Icky Banks said he was devastated by the academic issue that jeopardized his senior season.

“I felt empty inside,” Banks said Tuesday during his first interview in six weeks. “It was devastating. I felt like I was letting my team down.”

As MetroNews first reported on August 18, there was concern within the program that Banks would be banned for the entire season, before the NCAA ultimately imposed a three-game suspension.

“I did think (the penalty) might have been worse, because you never know,” he said, declining to offer specifics into the academic situation.

While Banks admitted he might forever regret being left at campus while his teammates played in the Georgia Dome, he didn’t spend his suspension moping. Rather he humbled himself by embracing a role with the scout-team defense and challenging Kevin White and Mario Alford in practice.

“I had to tell myself, ‘You got yourself into this, so you’ve got to do the time. Do this time and you’ll be back.’ I had to keep myself motivated,” Banks said. “I got to guard the best wide receivers in the Big 12, so that kept me on point.”

His practice competition brought out the best in White—who enjoyed a monstrous first month of the season—and helped West Virginia’s overall passing attack.

Said quarterback Clint Trickett: “We’d be watching (practice) film and it would be, like, ‘Dang, he keeps making plays. But wait, that’s also our starting cornerback. He’s expected to do that.’ He made us better the three weeks he was out.”

Upon being reinstated in Week 4, Banks played every snap against Oklahoma, starting in the spot vacated by another suspended cornerback, sophomore Daryl Worley. Facing a misdemeanor battery charge after an altercation with a female student, Worley has been indefinitely suspended since September 15.

Banks said he makes sure to offer encouragement when he sees Worley working out in the stadium weight room.

“We make mistakes—that’s life,” said Banks. “He’s down about not being able to play, but he has a positive attitude that things will work out in his favor, and he’ll be back in no time.”



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Marshall Rested and Relaxed after Bye Week; Ready for ODU

Thundering Herd players enjoyed having a weekend off but were chomping at the bit to get back to work and being conference play this week at Old Dominion University. Players have been going non-stop since they reported to preseason camp in early August.

“We treated that bye week like we always do, no different than we did a year ago. We had a couple guys with some nagging injuries that when we started on Sunday were back,” said coach Doc Holliday. “Rock [Devin Johnson] had taken a beating the last several games and was banged up, but was able to come back 100%. A couple of our offensive linemen feel better than they have felt since the season started. I think that’s huge.”

After four weeks of camp and four straight games, the bye week gave players a chance to rest and relax.

“It was nice to get a bye week and get our bodies healed up,” said tackle Clint Van Horn.

Along with getting a chance to physically rest up, players also got a chance to mentally check out for a few days. With no game on Saturday, players were able to mentally relax rather than focus on gameplanning, film study and team meetings that go along with game week preparations.

“Just to be able to lie down and not worry to coming to meetings or anything, it was nice,” smiled defensive tackle Joe Massaquoi. “It was a mental break from watching film and preparation and physically just not having to be on the field as much,” said defensive lineman Joe Massaquoi.

Marshall’s two bye weeks could not have been more perfectly timed with the first coming at the conclusion of the non-conference portion of the schedule and the second four weeks later. The season has been inadvertently divided up into thirds giving the Herd the chance to evaluate its own performance and make adjustments to personnel and techniques.

“It gives us a chance to reflect on us instead of preparing solely on the opponent for the next week,” pointed out Van Horn. “We were able to concentrate on us and work on technique and clean up some things we thought we needed to clean up that we saw over the last four games. So, it was good for everybody.”

Standard practice weeks usually leave little time for individual instruction. Most of the time is consumed with learning the opponents’ tendencies and applying the lessons learned in the meeting rooms. With no opponent to prepare for last week, linemen had the opportunity to practice footwork and hand placement. Receivers could sharpen their routes and defensive backs could work on forcing receivers to the inside or outside.

But while players enjoyed the time to relax and work on the little things that could be the difference between a win and a loss in a close game, they were just as excited to get back to game preparations.

“But it was good to get back into it,” Massaquoi said with a grin.  ~~  Dave Wilson ~~



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Red Raiders and Wildcats Set for Big 12 Shootout

Big 12 Conference rivals square off on Saturday night, as the Texas Tech Red Raiders come calling on the 23rd-ranked Kansas State Wildcats.

Kliff Kingsbury’s Texas Tech squad is an even 2-2 on the season, and one of its losses came in last week’s conference opener against another nationally- ranked foe in Oklahoma State, 45-35. The Red Raiders are playing consecutive road games to open Big 12 play for just the fourth time, the last being back in 2004.

As for Bill Snyder and his Kansas State Wildcats, they come in sporting a 3-1 record, and they are fresh off a 58-28 rout of visiting UTEP last weekend. KSU already has a conference win to its credit, taking a 32-28 decision at Iowa State on September 6, and this game represents the finale of the team’s current three-game homestand.

The all-time series between these two teams leans in favor of Texas Tech, 8-6, but the Wildcats have won the last three meetings. The Red Raiders last won in Manhattan six years ago to the day, claiming a 58-28 verdict on October 4, 2008.

Mistakes proved fatal to Texas Tech’s upset bid of Oklahoma State last week, as the Red Raiders committed three turnovers and were penalized a whopping 16 times for a loss of 158 yards. Still, the offense generated 506 yards, gained 32 first downs and came away with touchdowns on three of its four trips to the red zone.

Davis Webb attempted 54 passes in the game, hitting 35 of them for 374 yards and four TDs. he was picked off twice. Jakeem Grant was his favorite target, as he hauled in 12 balls for 100 yards and a score, while Brad Marquez was right there with eight grabs for 106 yards and a TD. Reginald Davis finished with six receptions for 73 yards and a pair of TDs. The Tech run game was paced by DeAndre Washington and his 85 yards on 13 carries.

Defensively, the Red Raiders surrendered 528 total yards, the bulk of which came through the air (370). Oklahoma State scored four TDs via the pass, but Tech picked off a pair of passes. The Cowboys were held to just 4-of-12 success on third-down conversion attempts. Pete Robertson and Sam Eguavoen each had eight tackles, the former also credited with a pair of sacks. Justis Nelson had three passes defended.

Webb has done a nice job of keeping the offense moving this season, as he is completing 64.8% of his passes for an average of 339 ypg. He has tossed 14 TD passes against six INTs, and the trio of Grant, Marquez and Davis have combined for 76 receptions, 965 yards and 12 scores. Washington has rushed for nearly 300 yards, but he has reached the end zone only once. Justin Stockton is averaging better than eight yards per carry, and he has a pair of rushing scores to his credit.

Texas Tech ranks last in the Big 12 in both run defense (262.8 ypg) and scoring defense (38.8 ppg). And while the effort against the pass has been significantly better (193.8 ypg), the Red Raiders have come up with only two interceptions. As a result of that latter figure, Tech is tied with West Virginia for the worst turnover margin in the conference at -1.25. The team is also last in the league in sacks (five), while also playing the role of cellar dweller in terms of penalties (11.5 per game, 105.5 yards per game). Eguavoen and Robertson rank one-two in total tackles with 29 and 28, respectively, and 14 guys in all have double-digit stops on the year.

Kingsbury spoke this week about the challenge of taking on a Kansas State team that hasn’t shot itself in the foot the way his club has.

“Our number of mistakes versus their lack of mistakes, I’d say he [KSU coach Bill Snyder] does such a good job fundamentally and techniques. They don’t make many errors. They count on you to make those mistakes and so far we have. We’re really going to have to clean it up to compete against a team like that.“

In whipping UTEP last week, Kansas State scored on six straight possessions at one point and tallied 451 yards of total offense compared to only 260 for the Miners. Jake Waters was an efficient game manager in completing 10-of-15 passes for 209 yards and a TD. He did not throw an interception and was not sacked. He also added a rushing score as part of his four-carry, 29-yard effort on the ground. Tyler Lockett and Zach Trujillo combined for seven receptions, 159 yards and a TD, while Charles Jones spearheaded the Wildcats’ ground attack by rumbling his way for 76 yards and three scores. KSU was a perfect 6-of-6 in the red zone after going just 2-of-5 the previous week in a loss to Auburn.

UTEP found the running lanes almost non-existent last week, as the Miners averaged a meager 1.9 ypc in totaling just 59 net yards. In an effort to get back in the game, the visitors aired it out for 201 yards, scoring all four of their TDs via the pass. KSU’s Dante Barnett and Jonathan Truman made 12 tackles each, but the Wildcats came up with only one sack and no turnovers.

Waters is a 61.6% passer who has averages 229 ypg, but he has just three TD tosses and as many INTs. As a result, Curry Sexton is the leading pass catcher, but with only 19 grabs (207 yards), while Lockett is first in receiving yards with 274, doing so on 17 receptions. Jones and Waters have both gained more than 200 yards on the ground, and they’ve combined for 13 TDs. As a collective unit, the ‘Cats rank near the middle of the Big 12 pack in scoring (39.8 ppg) and rushing (175 ypg), while leading the conference in fewest penalties (19).

Kansas State has done an exceptional job stopping the run this season, as it yields just 90.3 ypg to rank second in the Big 12 and 13th nationally. Overall, the defense ranks third in the league in permitting 308 total yards per contest, although with only two interceptions and eight touchdown passes allowed, as well as an opponents completion%age of .618, the unit is last in pass efficiency defense (134.8). Truman paces the team in total tackles with 34.

Coach Snyder was certainly pleased with the effort his team put forth last week following the disappointing showing against Auburn.

“I just know how we played today. I know how we got started. We were great on defense, so from a defensive perspective it was advantages. From the offensive perspective, without realizing it, we started fuller on offense.“


►  Top-25 Showdown in the Big 12 Pits Sooners against Frogs

The fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners hit the road for the second straight time as they challenge the 25th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Both Big 12 Conference teams come in sporting unblemished record, with Oklahoma sitting at 4-0, and TCU 3-0.

The Sooners, who were idle last weekend, have taken care of Louisiana Tech (48-16), Tulsa (52-7), Tennessee (34-10) and West Virginia (45-33). The win over the Mountaineers on September 20 was the team’s conference opener and took place in Morgantown. Oklahoma won’t play in Norman again until hosting Kansas State on October 18, and the team will head to Arlington, Texas next Saturday for its annual clash with the rival Texas Longhorns.

TCU cracked the Top-25 this week for the first time this season after whipping SMU in Dallas last Saturday, 56-0. It was the most lopsided outcome in the 94- game history between the two fierce rivals. The Frogs enjoyed a bye the week prior (their second of the season already), and they’ve now allowed a grand total of 21 points in their first three games after blasting Samford (48-14) and Minnesota (30-7) to kick off the campaign.

Oklahoma slipped past visiting TCU last year, 20-17, to take a 9-4 lead in the all-time series.

Oklahoma’s offense rivals TCU’s in terms of scoring, with both checking in at just under 45 ppg. The Sooners are churning out 222.8 ypg on the ground and they have 15 rushing touchdowns, while the pass results in 272.2 ypg but only five scores. Trevor Knight hasn’t gotten into a consistent rhythm just yet, as he is completing only 58.5% of his passes with four TDs and three INTs. Sterling Shepard is OU’s top pass catcher, as he has 23 receptions for 436 yards and a pair of scores.

When the Sooners decide to control the clock, it’s freshman Samaje Perine who gets the call most often as he has carried the ball 66 times for 419 yards and five TDs. Keith Ford, who is hobbled by a hairline fracture in his right fibula, also has five rushing TDs, while Alex Ross has three. All three players average at least 5.7 ypc.

Outside of the West Virginia game, the Sooners have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success on the defensive side of the ball, the unit yielding just 16.5 points 349.8 yards per contest. They have been especially stingy when it comes to allowing yards on the ground (99.2 ypg), and they’ve permitted only two rushing scores. Opponents have scored only seven points in the first quarter this season, and those same foes have reached the red zone only 10 times, coming away with points seven times.

Dominique Alexander leads the Sooners with 30 tackles, while Quentin Hayes has three of their 12 sacks, and Zack Sanchez four of their eight picks.

West Virginia stood toe-to-toe with the Sooners in their matchup a couple of weeks back, going into the locker room at halftime knotted at 24-24. In fact, the Mountaineers led by seven with a little more than a minute remaining in the second quarter before Ross returned a kick 100 yards for a touchdown. In all, the OU offense produced 510 yards, the majority of which came thanks to the rushing exploits of Perine, who rumbled his way to career-highs with 242 yards and four scores. Knight wound up 16-of-29 for 205 yards, but did not throw a TD pass. He did, however, catch one on a trick play in the second quarter. Shepard finished with six grabs for 101 yards.

The Sooners bent repeatedly against WVU, permitting 513 total yards, 376 of which the Mountaineers amassed via the pass. Oklahoma’s defensive effort was aided by three takeaways and as many sacks, and the unit was led by Jordan Evans and his 11 tackles, nine of which were solo efforts.

Bob Stoops, who with the win at West Virginia became the first coach to record 100 regular season Big 12 victories, spoke about the effort put forth by his young running back.

“Samaje was just outstanding. You know about how powerful and strong he is, but he has great vision. He had a sensational night.“

He continued to praise the rest of his team as they performed admirably in what was a harsh environment.

“I’m really proud of our players. They played through some adversity and persevered through it.“

TCU is putting up 44.7 ppg, doing so behind 211.3 ypg rushing and 320.7 ypg passing. The 532.0 ypg ranks the team third in the Big 12. The primary reason the Frogs are as potent as they are has been the play of quarterback Trevone Boykin. The junior from Dallas has completed 64.2% of his passes for 858 yards, eight TDs and only one INT, while as the same time spearheading the team’s rushing attack by turning 29 carries into 183 yards and three scores. B.J. Catalon is right there with 172 yards and three TDs of his own.

As for the receivers, five of them are all over 100 yards, and Josh Dotson leads the way with three TDs.

Far from a one-trick pony, TCU also possesses a dominant defense as evidenced by the mere 7.0 points the team is allowing—No. 1 in the Big 12, No. 2 nationally. The Frogs yield only 91.7 ypg on the ground, and only once has the opposition crossed the goal line that way. As for their effort against the pass, coach Gary Patterson’s club gives way for only 127.0 ypg (No. 1 in the Big 12, No. 4 nationally), with again, only one TD coming via that form of attack.

Paul Dawson heads the unit with 21.5 tackles, which includes 5.0 TFL, and he also has an INT and three fumble recoveries. Collectively, TCU has been credited with 13 sacks and 10 takeaways.

Boykin turned in a masterful performance in last week’s whitewashing of SMU, throwing for 280 yards and four TD passes while also adding a pair of rushing scores, as the Horned Frogs rolled up 614 yards of total offense, compared to only 245 for the Mustangs. Catalon ran for a career-high 114 yards and a TD, while Deante’ Gray paced the receivers with six grabs for 96 yards and a pair of scores.

TCU was once again on top of its game defensively, limiting the Ponies to a mere 89 rushing yards on 45 attempts (2.0 ypc). SMU managed only 156 passing yards as well, and the home team committed three turnovers while surrendering a whopping nine sacks. Kenny Iloka led the Horned Frogs’ stand with 7.5 tackles, almost all of which were unassisted, and James McFarland dropped the quarterback three times, which happened to be the only three tackles he was credited with in the game. McFarland was also credited with a pair of forced fumbles.


►  No. 7 Baylor Puts Perfect Mark on Line against Texas

Lone Star State rivals square off on Saturday afternoon, as the seventh-ranked Baylor Bears pay a visit to the Texas Longhorns for a Big 12 Conference tussle at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Baylor enters the fray a perfect 4-0, having easily disposed of SMU (45-0), Northwestern State (70-6), Buffalo (63-21) and Iowa State (49-28), the latter of which occurred last weekend and was the Bears’s conference opener. BU, which is playing its third straight road game this week after kicking off the campaign with a pair of tilts at its brand new stadium, is the defending Big 12 champs, and it appears in all likelihood that Art Briles’ club will battle Oklahoma for the league’s top spot this season.

Texas has split its first four games of the Charlie Strong era, sandwiching a pair of relatively easy wins (38-7 over North Texas, 23-0 over Kansas) around a pair of tough losses (41-7 versus BYU, 20-17 to UCLA). The Longhorns are back in Austin for the first time since the September 6 setback to the Cougars, and they’ll play only three more times in front of the hometown faithful after this contest.

Texas owns a commanding 74-25-4 lead in the all-time series with Baylor, but the Bears won last year’s meeting in Waco, 30-10, giving them their first Big 12 title and sending them to the Fiesta Bowl.

Baylor’s offensive exploits are bordering on the absurd, as the team continues to lead the nation in both scoring (56.8 ppg) and total offense (641.0 ypg). Under the direction of quarterback Bryce Petty, the Bears own the No. 4 passing attack, accounting for 401.3 ypg. Petty has hit the mark on 65.3% of his throws, and has seven touchdown passes against only one interception. Backup Seth Russell has the same TD-to-INT ratio.

KD Cannon is the top receiver, as he has hauled in 23 balls for 519 yards and four scores, while Jay Lee has four TD catches as part of his 19-reception, 294-yard effort. As for the Baylor ground assault, Shock Linwood leads the way with 301 yards and seven scores, helping the team as a whole generate 239.8 ypg and amass 18 TDs.

The Baylor defense hasn’t faced much adversity this season, and as a result permits just 13.8 ppg. The Bears have stood tall against both the run (80.0 ypg) and the pass (170.5 ypg), and they’ve logged 18 sacks while not allowing a single one on offense. Bryce Hager leads the way with 21 tackles, while Orion Stewart is next with 20.

Petty was his usual productive self in last week’s rout of Iowa State, passing for 336 yards and a TD, while scoring twice on the ground. Linwood added three rushing scores and the Bears totaled 601 total yards compared to only 339 for the Cyclones. Corey Coleman was a monster in the passing game, bringing in a dozen balls for a career-best 154 yards and TD, while Cannon caught a career- high nine passes (48 yards) and Antwan Goodley tallied six for 114 yards.

Alavion Edwards paced the Bears with 11 tackles, two of which were for a loss, and the defense was credited with three sacks while allowing ISU to reach the red zone only twice.

While it wasn’t the best game they’ve played, Briles was proud of the overall effort put forth by his guys in a tough spot.

“It’s tough to win on the road. Iowa State is a good football team. We did what we had to do. We’re not happy, we’re not patting each other on the back or saying were the best team around. We did a workman-like job tonight and took care of business in an environment that wanted to beat us.“

In stark contrast to the explosiveness Baylor is capable of when it has the ball, the Texas offense produces just 21.2 points and 315.5 yards per game. Neither mode of attack strikes much fear into the hearts of opposing defenders, with the run accounting for just 120.5 ypg and the pass only 195 ypg.

Tyrone Swoopes took over for the injured David Ash and has performed well, completing 63.6% of his passes for 590 yards and five TDs. He has been picked off only once, and his go-to guys are Jaxon Shipley and John Harris, with each having caught more than three times as many passes any other player on the roster. Harris has four TD grabs. The run game features a pair of backs with at least 191 yards. Johnathan Gray paces the unit with 222 yards, while Malcolm Brown has half of the team’s four rushing scores.

Take away the 41 points surrendered to BYU, and the Longhorns have been fairly stout on defense. In all, foes are averaging just 17 points and 319.8 yards per contest. The ‘Horns have been especially tough against the pass, yielding a mere 140.2 ypg and only two aerial scores.

Jordan Hicks leads the way with 55 tackles, while Steve Edmond has 46. Malcolm Brown is credited with 3.5 of the team’s 17 sacks, and Hicks, Quandre Diggs and Duke Thomas each have a pair of INTs, the unit as a whole coming up with nine picks.

Last week’s shutout win at Kansas wasn’t pretty, as the Longhorns tallied just 329 total yards, including a mere 111 on 36 rushing attempts (3.1 ypc). Gray finished with just 44 yards, leaving it up to Swoopes to get the job done. The sophomore quarterback completed 19-of-34 passes for 218 yards and a TD, with both Harris and Shipley turning in solid performances with a combined 12 catches for 170 yards and a score (Harris).

Although it was against a struggling offense, the Longhorns were impressive on defense last week in holding the Jayhawks to just 313 yards, only 140 of which came via the pass. The unit recorded four sacks and came up with as many turnovers (all INTs), including both of Thomas’ picks on the season. Hicks was all over the field for Strong’s club, logging 15 tackles and an INT, while Edmond was hot on his heels with 14 stops, including a sack.

Strong felt the same way as Briles did about winning a conference road game.

“It is tough to go in someone’s place and beat them, especially when they play in your conference. So it’s a big win for us. I tell them anytime you play on the road you’ve got to pack your defense and your special teams. Those two units played well.“



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Cowboys’ Spillman Being Investigated for Sexual Assault

Dallas Cowboys special teams player C.J. Spillman is being investigated for an alleged sexual assault, according to the New York Daily News.

Police in Grapevine, Texas, told the Daily News that Spillman is being investigated for sexually assaulting a woman at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, the Cowboys’ official hotel, on Sept. 20.

Spillman played in the team’s game against the St. Louis Rams the following day.

The alleged attack came just a day after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s news conference during which he promised to improve the league’s personal conduct policy based on recent events.

Several NFL players have been in trouble with the law recently, including Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy.

Spillman, a reserve defensive back, is in his sixth season and first with the Cowboys. He previously played for the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers.


►  Week 4’s Best for NFC Includes Rodgers

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was named the NFC’s offensive player of the week for his efforts in Week 4.

Rodgers was joined by San Francisco 49ers saftey Antoine Bethea and Philadelphia Eagles punt returner-running back Darren Sproles as the best in the NFC for last weekend’s performances.

Rodgers completed 22-of-28 passes for 302 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 151.2 passer rating in the Packers’ 38-17 win at Chicago.

Bethea, the defensive player of the week, had an interception, a forced fumble and seven tackles in the 49ers’ 26-21 win over Philadelphia. He helped lead a squad that held Philadelphia’s high-powered offense to no offfensive points on the afternoon.

Sproles, the special teams player of the week, had a career-long 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Eagles’ loss. He was part of a unit that scored the only two special teams touchdowns in Week 4.


►  Charles, Watt, Novak Named AFC’s Best for Week 4

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak have been selected as the AFC’s top players for Week 4 of the NFL season.

Charles scored three touchdowns in Kansas City’s 41-14 rout of New England on Monday to capture the offensive award for the fourth time in his career, tying Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson for the most among Chiefs’ running backs. He rushed for 92 yards with a score and caught three passes for 16 yards and two touchdowns.

Watt picked up the defensive honor for the third time after making five tackles and returning an interception 80 yards for a touchdown in Houston’s 23-17 win over Buffalo on Sunday. His TD came early in the third quarter and gave the Texans a lead they would not relinquish.

Novak was chosen as the top special teams player for a third time. He converted all four of his field goal attempts and each of his three PATs in San Diego’s 33-14 victory over Jacksonville.

Others considered for the offensive award were Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, last week’s winner who this past Sunday threw for 393 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-17 victory over Tennessee; San Diego’s Philip Rivers, who threw for 377 yards and three scores against the Jaguars; and Baltimore receiver Steve Smith Sr., who had seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-10 win over his old team, the Carolina Panthers.

Defensive nominees included Kansas City safety Husain Abdullah, who had eight tackles and a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Patriots, and Miami cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who had four tackles and returned a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown in a 38-14 win over Oakland.

Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri was also considered for the special teams honor after drilling a pair of field goals and all five PATs against the Titans.


►  All Eyes on Bridgewater as Vikings Get Ready to Invade Green Bay

It’s rare when Packers superstar Aaron Rodgers isn’t the focal point coming into a football game but all eyes leading up to Thursday night’s affair between Green Bay and Minnesota are on Vikings rookie signal caller Teddy Bridgewater.

Or to be more specific, Bridgewater’s left ankle.

The first-round pick out of Louisville had a spectacular starting debut last week during a 41-28 win over Atlanta but injured the ankle in the fourth quarter, putting his availability on a short week into question.

Bridgewater did not practice Tuesday but believes he has a chance to play in Green Bay, saying he was feeling “much better” than he did Sunday when he threw for 317 yards in his inaugural NFL start.

With Matt Cassel already out for the year, third-stringer Christian Ponder took the first-team reps at practice on Tuesday as Bridgewater spent his time on conditioning and flexibility exercises.

“We have a long time until Thursday,“ Bridgewater said. “I just want to continue to rehab, do a little exercising today and see where I am these next couple of days.“

Bridgewater out-gunned another star QB last week, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, just four days after Cassel went on season-ending injured reserve with a broken foot.

“I don’t want to prematurely put the crown on his head already,“ said Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings when talking about his new QB, “but he definitely has everything that it takes. The No. 1 thing that I noticed right out of the gate was his poise, his demeanor within the huddle in crucial situations. That’s Teddy all day, every day.“

Besides piling up over 300 passing yards, the rookie ran for a touchdown before getting hurt in the fourth quarter on a drive that ended with the Vikings taking a gamble on fourth down at the 1-yard line.

It worked, with Matt Asiata’s touchdown giving the Vikings the lead for good with 10:50 remaining.

Asiata, the team’s power back, scored three times and speed threat Jerick McKinnon rushed for 135 yards as the Vikings won for the first time in three games since star running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on child-abuse charges and deactivated.

“Being a defensive coach, when you have two different types of backs come in there it changes your mindset on some of your calls,“ Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said of his two-pronged rushing attack without Peterson. “They have to think a little bit differently. It’s not necessarily different plays all of the time - it’s one guy can get to the perimeter faster, one guy can be a little bit more physical.“

The Packers and Rodgers, meanwhile, are coming off a 38-17 rout of their other main rival, the Chicago Bears.

After telling his fan base to relax during the week, Rodgers threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns—two each to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb—and amassed a gaudy 151.2 passer rating as the Packers ran away from the Bears in the second half en route to the easy victory, the 700th in the storied history of the franchise.

“Big win. It’s always nice to be part of history. I feel very good about what was accomplished today,“ Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said following the win.

The Packers scored on their first six possessions of the game while piling up 358 yards of offense versus the paltry 223, their lowest total in five years, a week earlier in a 19-7 loss at Detroit.

“We produced. We scored points. We were very basic in our approach. The pass protection was very good,“ McCarthy continued. “Aaron (Rodgers) was excellent throwing to the open guy. We wanted to come in here and play fast.“

Cobb finished with seven receptions for 113 yards and Nelson had 10 for 108 as the Packers won by three TDs despite surrendering 496 yards thanks in large part to the errors of Rodgers’ counterpart with the Bears, Jay Cutler.

“It’s different every week,“ Nelson said. “There is nothing guaranteed each week. It’s the difference between executing one week and not the week before. We know what we can do. We have to go out and execute.“

Eddie Lacy finished with 48 yards on the ground with a rushing touchdown for the Packers, who avoided their first 0-3 start on the road since dropping their first four in 2005.

The Packers lead their all-time series with Minnesota by a 55-48-2 margin and they have dominated the Vikings at Lambeau in the Brett Favre/Rodgers years, amassing a 15-4-1 home record over the last 20 campaigns.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Rodgers has generally destroyed the Vikings over the years, feasting on Minnesota’s old cover-2 philosophy and winning seven of his past eight starts against them. In 12 career starts against Minnesota, Rodgers has amassed 27 touchdown passes versus just four interceptions with a gaudy 116.8 passer rating.

This time around, however, he’ll be facing a much different group under first- year Vikings coach Zimmer, who preaches controlled aggression with the keys being getting after the passer but doing it in a disciplined manner, a necessity against Rodgers, who is one of the best ever at extending plays with his mobility.

Zimmer-coached defenses have had more success against Rodgers than most. The All-Pro was 0-2 against Zimmer’s defenses in Cincinnati with a less-than- stellar 57% completion%age.

Zimmer’s defense in Minnesota is still a work in progress, though, and the Vikings third-down defense, long a staple of all his units, has been awful over the past two weeks, letting opponents convert 19-of-28 opportunities. Minnesota is now giving up third-down conversions at a 50% clip, 31st in the NFL.

It’s terrible,“ Zimmer said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m extremely disappointed in that. We’ll put a lot more time and effort into it than what we have.“

Improving against Rodgers in Lambeau is a tall order, however. something Vikings nickel back Josh Robinson spoke to.

“Don’t look at Medusa, because he’s going to turn you to stone,“ the cornerback said when talking about Rodgers’ ability to move around in the pocket.

Of course the only defense worse than Minnesota’s on third down has been Green Bay’s stop unit, which is allowing a 52.6 conversion rate.

That number is likely to improve dramatically, though, if Bridgewater is unable to go. The Vikings showed no confidence in Ponder last week when he was pressed into action and the former first-round pick out of Florida State has shown even less confidence in himself over the years.

“I’m preparing to play, but we’re hoping for the best with Teddy,“ said Ponder, who took first-team reps on both Monday and Tuesday. “I’ve talked with Teddy, he’s doing everything he can to get ready and play.“

With Ponder under center, Minnesota will try to shorten the game and rely heavily on a running game that is still without Peterson. On paper, that sounds like a good formula because the Vikings’ 134.8 rushing yards per game ranks fourth in the NFC and Green Bay allows 176.0 yards on the ground, dead last in the NFL.

“I’m aware what the numbers are. Nobody likes it,“ McCarthy said. “"We’re very critical of ourselves and our players are very accountable. Giving up that much yardage, that’s no excuse for that. We understand that. There are things we can definitely work on and improve on.“

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Bridgewater is talking a good game.

“It’ll be very exciting to be out there on Thursday,“ the rookie said. “You talk about Lambeau Field, the history and the tradition behind that stadium. It’s going to be a great feeling just being able to play in that facility.“

The problem is Bridgewater is the Vikings’ future and rushing him back into action on a short week of preparation doesn’t make a lot of sense long-term. Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner even mentioned how difficult it is to get a QB ready to play on a short week when they are practicing.

That could telegraph Ponder starts and that alone will decide this one.

Predicted outcome: Packers 34, Vikings 13


►  Bears Sign Williams

The Chicago Bears signed Teddy Williams off of Arizona’s practice squad and waived linebacker Terrell Manning on Wednesday.

The 6-1, 207-pound Williams has appeared in 10 games over two seasons with Indianapolis (2012) and Arizona (2013), seeing time on offense as a wide receiver, defense as a cornerback and special teams as a kick returner.

Williams originally entered the NFL with the Cowboys in 2010, spending a majority of the 2010 and 2011 seasons on Dallas’ practice squad.

Manning appeared in two games for the Bears in 2014, seeing time on special teams. He has appeared in eight NFL contests over three seasons with Green Bay (2012), San Diego (2013) and Chicago (2014).


►  Fisher Names Davis Starting QB for Rams

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher named Austin Davis the starting quarterback for not only Week 5’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but also the rest of the season.

The Rams were on a bye last week and with Shaun Hill healthy, Fisher had a decision to make.

In three games this season, Davis has completed 72.3% of his passes for 754 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

In Week 3’s 34-31 loss to Dallas, Davis completed 30-of-42 passes for 327 yards with three scores and two interceptions.

Hill began the season as the starter after Sam Bradford tore a knee ligament in the preseason and was placed on injured reserve. However, Hill injured his quad in the opener after going 8-of-13 for 81 yards with an interception, forcing Davis into action.


►  Cardinals’ Palmer Sees Shoulder Specialist

The Arizona Cardinals’ plans on having Carson Palmer back under center following their bye week have appeared to have hit a snag, as the veteran quarterback was excused from Wednesday’s practice to see a specialist about his ailing right shoulder.

Palmer missed Arizona’s previous two games prior to the team’s Week 4 bye as he dealt with a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder. Head coach Bruce Arians told reporters that the problem has regressed since Palmer took part in a pair of extensive throwing sessions last week.

Arians has yet to rule Palmer out for Sunday’s game at Denver, but did say the 12-year pro will have to prove he can throw at full velocity over the next couple of days in order to be cleared.

Drew Stanton has stepped in for Palmer in Arizona’s last two contests and guided the 3-0 Cardinals to a pair of wins, including a 23-14 decision over NFC West rival San Francisco on September 21 in which he tossed a pair of touchdown passes.

Stanton did not commit a turnover in either of those two starts while amassing 411 yards on a 32-of-62 completion rate.


►  Panthers’ Alexander Suspended 10 Games

Carolina Panthers defensive end Frank Alexander was suspended 10 games without pay Wednesday for violating the NFL’s policy and program for substances of abuse.

Alexander will be eligible to return to Carolina’s roster on Monday, December 15, following the team’s Week 15 game against Tampa Bay.

The 24-year-old was just reinstated from a four-game suspension for a previous substance-abuse violation on Monday.

Alexander had 15 tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and two passes defensed in 12 games (three starts) last season.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Huggins Envisions Better Defense, Rebounding for Upcoming Season

Some 72 hours before West Virginia stages its first preseason basketball practice, coach Bob Huggins projected some improvements over last year’s NIT team.

“I hope we can get back to where we can guard people and where we can rebound the ball,” Huggins said Tuesday. “It makes it hard to stop other people’s runs if you can’t stop anybody and if you can’t get second shots.”

The Mountaineers permitted opponents to shoot 44.7%—the worst field-goal defense in the Big 12—and ranked eighth out of 10 teams in rebounding margin. After residing on the NCAA bubble in mid-February, West Virginia dropped six of its final eight games and finished 17-16.

“We couldn’t stop anybody. When we hit a drought (offensively), we couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Huggins said.

All-Big 12 point guard Juwan Staten returns as the catalyst, and forward Devin Williams produced eight double-doubles during an up-and-down freshman season. The long-awaited debuts of 6-9 freshman Elijah Macon and 6-7 junior Jonathan Holton figure to make West Virginia more paint-oriented, especially after guards Eron Harris (17.2 points) and Terry Henderson (11.7 points) transferred to Michigan State and NC State respectively.

“We probably won’t make as many 3s, and we probably won’t shoot it as well from 3,” Huggins said. “But we’ll pass it better, we’ll guard better and we’ll rebound it better, which makes up for that.”

Watch Huggins’ complete preseason news conference above, where he discusses the injury status of Kevin Noreen (out until January) and the potential lineup combinations involving five newcomers.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  National League Wild Card Game Result

Final Score: San Francisco 8, Pittsburgh 0

Madison Bumgarner pitched a four-hit shutout, Brandon Crawford hit the fourth playoff grand slam in team history and the San Francisco Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 in the National League wild-card game Wednesday night. The Giants have won seven straight playoff elimination games, including five on the road. Bumgarner (1-0) kept them out of trouble in this one, scattering four hits and a walk while striking out 10, and giving the Pirates little hope of scoring a rally against him. So when Crawford homered with no outs in the fourth inning off Edinson Volquez (0-1), it cast a pall over the PNC Park crowd of 40,629 that lasted the rest of the game. Indeed, the game had none of the drama of Tuesday’s instant-classic AL wild-card game between Kansas City and Oakland, which the Royals won in the bottom of the 12th inning. The Giants were OK with that. They will face the NL East-champion Nationals in a division series with Game 1 scheduled for Friday in Washington.


►  Baseball to Experiment with Pace of Play Ideas

Major League Baseball has announced plans to speed up the pace of play and will experiment with those ideas during the 2014 Arizona Fall League.

Some of the concepts developed by a Pace of Game Committee include no-pitch intentional walks, a 20-second limit to throw a pitch, and time limits on inning breaks and pitcher changes. There will also be a limit on the number of timeouts a team can call in the field for conferences.

“Our committee members have many practical ideas about how we can improve our pace of game,“ said Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz, the chairman of the committee. “The Arizona Fall League will be a terrific platform during which we can experiment with these ideas and take away some lessons in the hope of streamlining the pace of play.“

If a team decides to intentionally walk a batter, the manager will signal to the home plate umpire with four fingers and the batter will automatically move to first base.

With the 20-second rule for pitchers to throw a pitch, a clock will be placed in both dugouts, behind home plate and in the outfield. It will be operated by someone other than the umpiring crew.

The batter must be prepared for the pitch during the 20-second period, but can still ask the umpire for time. If the batter is not granted time and steps out of the box, the pitcher can throw the pitch and the umpire can call a strike.

Current rules call for a 12-second allowance for each pitch, but only when the bases are unoccupied. The 20-second clock would start once the pitcher is in possession of the ball. However, it would take effect on the first pitch to a batter once the batter steps into the box. If a pitcher is involved in a play, including backing up bases, the clock would begin once he is in possession of the ball on the dirt portion of the pitcher’s mound.

The clock would stop once the pitcher begins his motion to deliver the ball, not when it is released. Beginning the motion to come to a set position would also stop the clock. If the pitcher does not begin his motion within the 20 seconds, the umpire will call a ball.

Time between innings will be a maximum of 2 minutes and 5 seconds, with hitters to be in the batter’s box at the 1:45 mark. Pitching changes will take a maximum of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The clock will start once the new pitcher enters the playing field, either crossing the warning track or foul line.

The timeout rule will allow teams to have only three conferences per game, extra innings included. Such conferences will include player meetings with the pitcher, including the catcher, manager or coach conferences with the pitcher, as well as coach conferences with a batter.

Pitching changes and injuries would not count toward the limit.

One other idea is for the batter to keep at least one foot in the box throughout his at-bat. Exceptions would include a foul ball, a pitch that forces the batter out of the box, a wild pitch or passed ball and time granted by the umpire

The Arizona Fall League is a developmental platform run by Major League Baseball.


►  Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles

DETROIT TIGERS: AL CENTRAL CHAMPIONS (90-72)

BALTIMORE ORIOLES: AL EAST CHAMPIONS (96-66)

The Baltimore Orioles’ quest toward their first World Series appearance in 31 years starts on Thursday, as they open up the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers.

Baltimore is back in the postseason for the second time in three years thanks to its first American League East crown since 1997 after going 96-66. The win total was the most for an O’s team since they accumulated 98 in the year of their last division title.

The O’s had to overcome a pair of serious injuries along the way, as catcher Matt Wieters was lost for the season in June with an elbow injury, while promising third baseman Manny Machado was again befelled by a serious leg injury that required surgery in August.

Then as if that wasn’t enough last year’s home run champion Chris Davis was suspended for the use of amphetamines in September. His suspension will keep him out of this series and he likely won’t be available to the O’s unless they reach the World Series.

Still it didn’t slow the Orioles down from an offensive standpoint, as they hit a league high 211 dingers, with Nelson Cruz leading the way with an MLB- best 40.

Detroit, meanwhile, needed all 162 games before it finally clinched its fourth straight AL Central title with a win on the final day of the season. The four straight playoff appearances are tied for the longest active streak of postseason appearances in the major leagues.

While as good of a story it would have been had the postseason-starved Kansas City Royals overtaken Detroit, it would have been a disaster for a Tigers team that was an overwhelming favorite at the start of the year and one that went all-in at the non-waiver trade deadline with the acquisition of left-hander David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Regardless, Detroit is trying to get back to the World Series for the second time in three years, as it chases its first title since 1984.

These two teams have never met one another in the postseason, but the Tigers were 5-1 against the O’s in the regular season.

Below we take a look at three keys for each team to move on.

BALTIMORE

1. FIND OTHER WAYS TO SCORE

To say the home run wasn’t a big part of what the Orioles do is a giant understatement. Home runs accounted for 14.7% of the O’s hits this season and they were the only team in the league to hit over 200 of them.

Detroit knows all too well the damage Cruz can do, as he hit six home runs against them in the 2011 ALCS as a member of the Texas Rangers.

Traditionally that hasn’t been the recipe for success in October, especially against a Tigers rotation that features the last three AL Cy Young Award winners.

The Orioles are going to have to find other ways to score if they want to advance. While it is true that teams that tend to rely on the longball seem to be neutralized in October, the Orioles could take advantage of maybe the worst bullpen in the postseason.

Detroit’s bullpen is too unreliable not to blow at least one win in this series.

2. GIVE THE BULLPEN A LEAD

Baltimore opened its season with Tommy Hunter closing games. That seems like a long time ago, though, doesn’t it?

Whatever perceived disadvantage Baltimore may have in the rotation, the O’s more than make up for it with one of the better bullpens in baseball. Closer Zach Britton is as underrated as any pitcher in the game and Orioles relievers combined for a 3.10 ERA, which was the third-lowest mark in the AL, and a 1.16 WHIP, tied for the second lowest.

Left-hander Andrew Miller and righty Darren O’Day will set the bridge to Britton. If the O’s do get by, you can bet it’s on the strength of their pitchers late in games.

Baltimore needs to get the bullpen a lead, as opponents are batting .216 against the O’s from the eighth inning on.

By the way don’t sleep on the Orioles starting staff. They may not have the Cy Young resumes as the Tigers, but they did have three 13-game winners (Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris and Chris Tillman) for the first time since ‘97, when Scott Erickson, Jimmy Key and Mike Mussina helped pitch the O’s to their last division title.

3. ADAM JONES

With all due respect to the great season had by Cruz, Baltimore has one legitimate superstar and that is Adam Jones. But the Orioles are going to need more from him in this series than what he gave them during his first trip to the postseason in 2012.

Jones only managed two hits in 27 at-bats in two series against the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.

If Baltimore wants to move on he’s going to need to resemble the hitter who drove in 96 runs and collected 30 doubles and 29 homers, while hitting .281 in the three-hole for the Orioles this season.

DETROIT

1. STARTING PITCHING

You are not going to find a better starting staff in this year’s playoffs than what Detroit is going to throw out there. At least on paper.

Max Scherzer will get the call in Game One and be followed by fellow Cy Young winners Justin Verlander and Price. Rick Porcello will get the call in a potential fourth game after a breakout season, while Anibal Sanchez will be moved to the bullpen.

Scherzer and Verlander could be asked to start a potential Game 5 matchup in Baltimore on October 8 based on the number of days of rest between Game 2 and Game 5.

There shouldn’t be one matchup in this series that the Tigers won’t have the advantage in the starting pitching department.

2. CAN THE BULLPEN BE AT LEAST SERVICEABLE?

It seems like we have the same discussion every year with the Tigers. Can the bullpen deliver in October? For as good as this team is it’s incredible they always seem to enter the postseason in the same predicament.

Joe Nathan was believed to be the answer, but he more often than not looked like a pitcher who was 39. Things came to a head with him in September when he flipped off the Comerica Park crowd after yet another blown save.

As bad as it has been at times, though, Nathan has two blown saves and a 2.95 ERA since July 23.

In all, the group, which also includes former closers Joakim Soria and Joba Chamberlain, combined for a 4.29 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and .270 batting average against to finish among the bottom three teams in the AL in each statistic.

One player to watch here in the playoffs could be Sanchez, who has been bumped from the rotation. Sanchez missed time in the second half with a pectoral strain, but could be a huge factor for the Tigers bullpen. The reigning AL ERA champion has only made one appearance since August 9 and it’s unknown if he’ll be able to go on back-to-back nights.

3. MIGUEL CABRERA

We can talk about the incredible potential of the starting staff or the bullpen deficiencies all we want, this Tigers team will only go as far as two- time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera will carry them.

Cabrera had a down year by his standards, but at the end of the day he was still the fourth player in Major League history to post 11 consecutive seasons with at least 25 home runs and 100 RBI.

And in case you haven’t noticed, he’s getting hot at the right time, hitting .379 in the final month of the season along with eight homers and 18 RBI. Plus he’s healthy, something he couldn’t have said last October.


PREDICTION: This series comes down to one thing: Can Detroit keep Baltimore in the ballpark? That’s it. It doesn’t matter if it’s the starters or the Tigers beleaguered pen, which isn’t as bad as it has been in the past. If Baltimore gets homer happy they will win. It just won’t happen. Games slow down in October. Baltimore’s starting staff is perhaps the most underrated unit in this matchup and they will steal a game at some point. When it comes down to it, though, I just can’t imagine Baltimore’s staff being able to outduel the Tigers’ rotation over the course of the series.

TIGERS in FOUR


►  Kansas City Royals vs. LA Angels of Anaheim

KANSAS CITY ROYALS: AL WILD CARD (89-73)

LA ANGELS OF ANAHEIM: AL WEST CHAMPIONS (98-64)

It’s been 29 long years since the Kansas City Royals have been in this position. Who can blame them for wanting to stick around a little longer?

After one of the more thrilling games in baseball history the Royals continue their first postseason run since 1985 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the best-of-five American League Division Series.

Kansas City outlasted Oakland in Tuesday’s wild card game, as Salvador Perez’s 12th-inning single scored Christian Colon to give the Royals a wild 9-8 come- from-behind victory in a contest that lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes.

“That’s the most incredible game that I’ve ever been a part of,“ Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Oakland had scored five times in the sixth to take a four-run lead, but the Royals crossed the plate four times in the final two innings to send the game to extra innings.

The A’s then put themselves in front with a run in the top half of the 12th, only to see the Royals score twice in the bottom half to secure their first postseason win since 1985.

“Everyone is screaming at the top of their lungs,“ said Eric Hosmer, who scored the tying run in the 12th after a triple. “I think we feed off their energy. You get a couple guys on base, you hear the crowd, everyone is on their feet like that, you feed off that energy. This team, this city, this crowd, everybody, they’ve showed no quit.“

The victory may have taken Yost off the hook for his dubious use of the bullpen in what could have been a pivotal sixth inning. With starter James Shields at just 88 pitches, Yost opted to lift him after he put two runners on for rookie starter Yordano Ventura, who threw 73 pitches on Sunday, rather than Kelvin Herrera.

Ventura proceeded to give up a three-run homer and before the inning was done, the Royals trailed, 7-3.

“You know, when we have these games, we map out our pitching, and we try to cover all scenarios. If something happens early, we’ve got (veteran starter Jeremy) Guthrie. If we get it past the fifth inning, we’re going with our power arms. ... We wanted to bring the gas for the sixth, and we wanted to bring the gas for the seventh with Herrera, Wade (Davis) and (Greg Holland) with a one-run lead. It just didn’t work out.“

Now they face a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim team that steamrolled their way to an AL West title, going an MLB-best 98-64, to get back into the postseason for the first time in five years.

Things looked bleak, though, for the Angels on August 20 when emerging ace Garrett Richards was lost for the season with a knee injury. However, rookie Matt Shoemaker and veteran Jered Weaver picked up the slack for an Angels team that eventually won the division by 10 games.

Shoemaker has his own injury concerns, but the ribcage strain that caused him to miss the final two weeks of the season appears to he healed and he should be ready to go in this series.

Los Angeles split six games with the Royals during the season with each team taking two of three in their ballpark.

This is the first postseason meeting between the Angels and Royals, former division rivals in the American League West from 1969-93.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

1. RUN, RUN, RUN

The Kansas City Royals don’t hit a lot of home runs. In fact they hit the least of not only all the playoff teams, but their 95 home runs were the fewest of any team in baseball.

In fact they were the only team in baseball this season not to hit over 100 home runs.

So, they have to find other ways to score and that was in full effect on Tuesday, as the Royals stole seven bases in the win over the A’s. Of the seven swipes, five of those players eventually scored.

Overall the Royals had an MLB-best 153 stolen bases on the season, while the Angels ranked 17th in caught-stealing%age at 26.9% and allowed the ninth-most stolen bases with 106.

Kansas City is the definition of small-ball baseball and that’ll have to continue if it wants to move on.

2. GIVE THE BULLPEN A LEAD

What made Yost’s decision to go with Ventura when he did so odd on Tuesday was that he had what has been the best bullpen in baseball at his disposal.

Regardless if you thought he pulled Shields too early, Ventura never should have been the one to get out of it. Later Yost would state that he didn’t want to use Herrera for two innings, but he eventually threw 1 2/3 innings.

Kansas City’s bullpen trio of Holland, Herrera and Davis combined for a 1.28 ERA and 258 strikeouts in 205 1/3 innings in the regular season. The nearly- historic group went 72-1 in the regular season when leading after seven innings and 79-1 when leading after eight.

They more than make up for an average rotation and may have found another star in 21-year-old Brandon Finnegan, who pitched to a 1.29 ERA in seven appearances in September.

Yost showed some faith in the 2014 first-round pick on Tuesday, letting him throw 2 1/3 innings in the win over the A’s. He may have allowed what was the go-ahead run in the 12th, but he also only gave up one hit and struck out three.

Watch him in this series.

3. WHO WILL STEP UP IN THE ROTATION?

The downside of playing in the wild card game is that now Shields is likely unavailable until Game 3 on Sunday in Kansas City.

So, who is going to step up?

Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie may get the first chance in Game 1.

Guthrie, 35, has never pitched in the postseason despite his 11 years in the majors. He’s pitched well down the stretch, with an 8-2 record and 3.42 ERA in his last 12 starts.

Danny Duffy had one of the more underrated seasons in the league this year. Fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, Duffy pitched to a 2.53 ERA in 31 appearances (25 starts) this season.

Duffy might be the Royals’ next ace, but Yost could use him as a long reliever in this series to bolster that corps even more.

So if that’s the case you’d have to think Yost would hand the ball to Ventura for Game 2. Despite his ineffectiveness in the wild card game, the 23-year-old righty had been brilliant lately. In his last seven starts, he’s gone 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA.

LA ANGELS

1. IS SHOEMAKER HEALTHY?

Nobody answered the bell for the Angels in the wake of the Richards injury more than the 28-year-old rookie Shoemaker.

Shoemaker won his final seven decisions and was 9-1 over his final 11 games with a 1.49 ERA. In all, Shoemaker made 20 starts, going 14-3 with a 2.89 ERA in those games. He also won twice in relief, and his 16 total victories set an Angels rookie record.

“Matt Shoemaker saved our season,“ Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s got to be the story of the year for our team, and it might be the biggest surprise in the league. Matt’s been a guy who has always had to prove himself. Even this year he had to prove himself. But he got the opportunity and he’s made the most of it.“

Shoemaker did most of his damage when the Angels needed it the most, right after Richards’ injury. Still, he hasn’t pitched since September 15, but if he can be a serviceable No. 2 to Weaver the Angels may go a long way here in October.

The knock on the Angels is their rotation, but remember Scioscia won it all in 2002 with a rotation that barely averaged five innings and gave him two quality starts in 16 postseason games.

2. JOSH HAMILTON

It’s a new season for Josh Hamilton.

Injuries limited the former AL MVP to just 89 games this season and he missed 21 of the Angels’ last 22 games because of shoulder and other upper-body injuries.

However, like Shoemaker, he’s declared himself ready to go. So after hitting cleanup for most of an injury plagued season in which he batted .263 with 10 homers and 44 runs batted in, he will likely bat seventh and play left field in Game 1 Thursday night.

“We’ll probably bat him down lower to where he’ll have a chance to swing the bat and contribute,“ manager Mike Scioscia said, “but not too much pressure to where if he’s not quite locked in it will make a big difference in our lineup.“

Hamilton missed most of September in his MVP season of 2010 with the Texas Rangers and thrived in the postseason that year, claiming an ALCS MVP Award. However, the rust showed in his first series and he only had two hits in 18 at-bats in the ALDS.

3. THE STAGE IS YOURS MR. TROUT

Mike Trout has been the best player in baseball since he stepped on a big league field in 2012. Now, after two disappointing seasons from the Angels he gets to showcase his talents on the postseason stage.

Trout is likely headed toward his first AL MVP award this season after another tremendous season, as he hit .287 to go along with a 115 runs scored, while setting career-highs with 36 home runs and 111 RBI. However, he did lead the AL with 184 strikeouts.

“Trout is a special player,“ Angels teammate and three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols said. “Players like him don’t come often, maybe once every 30 or 40 years. This city is blessed to see a young player like Trout.“

Trout could not have asked for a better opponent in his maiden voyage into the postseason. In 19 career games against Kansas City, Trout is hitting .361 with seven homers and a 1.154 OPS.

With Derek Jeter gone, MLB needs a new face. It’s going to be Trout, but a big October would absolutely seal it.

PREDICTION: There is no better story in baseball right now than the Kansas City Royals. The Angels might be ripe for the picking, but the Royals aren’t the team that is going to beat them. I have to admit I am banking an awful lot of this prediction on the fact that I think Trout is going to shine. Plus Shields won’t be able to go until Game 3 and by that time the Royals could be fending off elimination. I just don’t see how KC’s starting staff is going to contain the Angels’ lineup. And I do think Shoemaker is healthy. Either way the fact that Weaver could potentially pitch twice tips the scales in the Halos’ favor. Not to mention they are just better.

ANGELS in FIVE



The Gilmer Free Press

►  McIlroy, Hadley Win PGA Tour Honors

Rory McIlroy was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year on Wednesday, while Chesson Hadley captured Rookie of the Year honors.

PGA Tour members who played in at least 15 official money events this past season were eligible to vote.

“My congratulations to Rory and Chesson for their outstanding accomplishments that earned them season-ending honors from their peers,“ said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem in a statement. “Both players earned their awards with their consistent and steady play throughout the season.“

McIlroy, a two-time major champion in 2014, was selected over fellow major winners Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer, as well as FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel and Jimmy Walker.

It’s the second Player of the Year award for McIlroy in the past three seasons. In 2012, he became the youngest player to win the honor since Tiger Woods in 1999.

Now 25, McIlroy won three times on the PGA Tour this year and did so in consecutive events. He captured the British Open and followed it up with a victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before claiming the PGA Championship during the summer.

McIlroy also had two runner-up finishes—first at the Honda Classic and again at the Tour Championship. He had a tour-best 12 top-10 finishes and was not outside the top-25 in any of his 17 events.

The native of Northern Ireland became the third European to win the award, which was first presented in 1990 and is named for Jack Nicklaus, following Ireland’s Padraig Harrington in 2008 and England’s Luke Donald in 2011. He’s also the fourth multiple winner, joining Tiger Woods, who has a record 11, and two-time winners Greg Norman and Nick Price.

Hadley earned top rookie honors thanks to a win at the Puerto Rico Open and a trio of top-10 finishes. He was the only rookie to advance to the BMW Championship, the third of the four events in the FedEx Cup playoffs, and finished 58th on the official money list.

The 27-year-old native of North Carolina joined Stewart Cink in 1997 and Michael Clark II in 2000 as products of Georgia Tech to claim the honor.

Hadley was selected for the award over Victor Dubuisson and Brooks Koepka.

The Gilmer Free Press


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 02, 2014


National Football League
Minnesota at Green Bay, 8:25 PM - CBS, NFL Network


Major League Baseball - Playoffs
Detroit at Baltimore, 5:37 PM - TBS
Kansas City at LA Angels, 9:07 PM - TBS


National Hockey League - Preseason
Philadelphia at Washington, 7:00 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, DC, NHL Network
Vancouver at Edmonton, 9:00 PM - SN360, NHL Network
Winnipeg at Calgary, 9:00 PM - TSN3


College Football
Florida Atlantic at FIU, 7:00 PM - FSN
UCF at Houston, 7:00 PM - ESPN
Alabama State at Alcorn State, 7:30 PM - ESPN U
Arizona at Oregon, 10:30 PM - ESPN


Major League Soccer
Chicago at Philadelphia, 8:00 PM - ESPN 2


International Soccer
FC Krasnodar vs. Everton, 12:00 PM - FS1
Tottenham vs. Besiktas, 3:00 PM - FS1
Celtic vs. GNK Dinamo, 3:00 PM - FS2


Golf
EUROPEAN - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, 8:00 AM - Golf Channel
LPGA - Reignwood LPGA Classic, 11:00 PM - Golf Channel

WVSSAC Football Rankings 2014: Week 6

The Gilmer Free Press


2014 WVSSAC FOOTBALL RANKINGS – WEEK 6 - CLASS AAA
Rank School Rating Won Lost Tied Total
Scored
Total
Allowed
1 CABELL MIDLAND 13.80 5 0 0 240 91
2 CAPITAL 13.75 4 0 0 210 66
3 POINT PLEASANT 12.20 5 0 0 265 25
4 MARTINSBURG 12.00 4 1 0 128 94
5 SOUTH CHARLESTON 11.20 4 1 0 237 103
5 UNIVERSITY 11.20 4 1 0 121 88
7 JEFFERSON 11.00 4 1 0 183 96
8 SPRING VALLEY 10.80 4 1 0 178 142
9 PARKERSBURG SOUTH 10.25 3 1 0 132 80
9 WHEELING PARK 10.25 3 1 0 79 50
11 LEWIS COUNTY 10.00 4 1 0 149 42
12 GEORGE WASHINGTON 9.50 3 1 0 110 96
12 WOODROW WILSON 9.50 3 1 0 140 66
14 HUNTINGTON 8.60 3 2 0 173 93
15 MORGANTOWN 7.80 3 2 0 169 92
16 BUCKHANNON-UPSHUR 7.75 3 1 0 141 72
17 HURRICANE 7.40 3 2 0 180 126
18 JOHN MARSHALL 7.00 3 1 0 135 53
18 PRESTON 7.00 3 2 0 128 105
20 SPRING MILLS 6.80 3 2 0 146 145
21 HAMPSHIRE 6.25 2 2 0 79 124
21 PARKERSBURG 6.25 2 2 0 127 134
23 MUSSELMAN 5.20 2 3 0 151 149
24 LOGAN 4.80 2 3 0 149 170
25 GREENBRIER EAST 4.60 2 3 0 141 192
26 SHADY SPRING 4.20 2 3 0 128 156
27 BROOKE 3.20 1 4 0 72 121
28 ST. ALBANS 3.00 1 3 0 101 139
28 WINFIELD 3.00 1 3 0 41 130
30 RIPLEY 2.60 1 4 0 86 176
31 PRINCETON 2.40 1 4 0 117 171
31 WASHINGTON 2.40 1 4 0 73 181
33 ELKINS 2.25 1 3 0 111 132
33 NITRO 2.25 1 3 0 82 196
35 HEDGESVILLE 0.00 0 4 0 66 203
35 LINCOLN COUNTY 0.00 0 5 0 34 222
35 OAK HILL 0.00 0 4 0 77 146
35 RIVERSIDE 0.00 0 5 0 38 254



2014 WVSSAC FOOTBALL RANKINGS – WEEK 6 - CLASS AA
Rank School Rating Won Lost Tied Total
Scored
Total
Allowed
1 BLUEFIELD 12.00 4 0 0 222 123
2 SCOTT 10.80 5 0 0 173 54
3 RAVENSWOOD 10.25 4 0 0 198 85
4 BRIDGEPORT 10.00 4 1 0 134 35
4 FRANKFORT 10.00 5 0 0 184 88
6 WESTSIDE 8.80 4 1 0 162 137
7 KEYSER 8.40 4 1 0 187 94
7 MINGO CENTRAL 8.40 4 1 0 201 121
9 WAYNE 8.00 3 1 0 116 99
9 WEIR 8.00 4 1 0 165 96
11 NICHOLAS COUNTY 7.75 3 1 0 129 39
12 HERBERT HOOVER 7.50 3 1 0 158 90
13 FAIRMONT SENIOR 7.00 3 2 0 117 83
13 LIBERTY (RALEIGH) 7.00 4 1 0 178 73
13 ROBERT C. BYRD 7.00 3 2 0 145 87
16 RITCHIE COUNTY 6.60 3 2 0 123 113
17 CLAY COUNTY 6.40 3 2 0 35 78
18 LIBERTY (HARRISON) 5.80 3 2 0 129 123
19 GRAFTON 5.40 3 2 0 163 143
20 INDEPENDENCE 5.00 3 2 0 141 95
21 JAMES MONROE 4.75 2 2 0 134 79
22 CHAPMANVILLE 4.60 2 3 0 140 172
23 ROANE COUNTY 4.20 2 3 0 115 88
24 WEBSTER COUNTY 4.00 2 2 0 104 157
24 WYOMING EAST 4.00 2 3 0 128 120
26 BRAXTON COUNTY 3.80 2 3 0 59 125
27 SISSONVILLE 2.75 1 3 0 90 83
28 EAST FAIRMONT 2.00 1 4 0 73 193
29 BERKELEY SPRINGS 1.80 1 4 0 91 209
29 LINCOLN 1.80 1 4 0 82 134
29 OAK GLEN 1.80 1 4 0 67 130
29 PIKEVIEW 1.80 1 4 0 82 221
29 RIVER VIEW 1.80 1 4 0 160 204
34 MOUNT VIEW 0.00 0 4 0 20 190
34 NORTH MARION 0.00 0 4 0 53 165
34 PETERSBURG 0.00 0 4 0 25 167
34 PHILIP BARBOUR 0.00 0 5 0 72 158
34 POCA 0.00 0 5 0 48 193
34 SUMMERS COUNTY 0.00 0 5 0 87 182
34 TOLSIA 0.00 0 4 0 58 153



2014 WVSSAC FOOTBALL RANKINGS – WEEK 6 - CLASS A
Rank School Rating Won Lost Tied Total
Scored
Total
Allowed
1 ST. MARYS 8.75 4 0 0 188 33
2 MAN 8.00 4 1 0 160 95
3 PENDLETON COUNTY 7.80 5 0 0 191 51
3 WILLIAMSTOWN 7.80 4 1 0 150 132
5 CLAY-BATTELLE 7.75 4 0 0 206 64
6 GREENBRIER WEST 7.60 4 1 0 169 85
7 BUFFALO 7.00 4 1 0 196 154
7 DODDRIDGE COUNTY 7.00 3 1 0 104 70
9 VALLEY (WETZEL) 6.75 4 0 0 171 30
10 TUG VALLEY 6.40 4 1 0 122 86
11 MOOREFIELD 6.25 3 1 0 90 61
12 MEADOW BRIDGE 6.00 4 1 0 206 60
12 WAHAMA 6.00 4 1 0 150 96
14 EAST HARDY 5.80 4 1 0 177 89
15 VALLEY (FAYETTE) 5.60 4 1 0 134 65
16 TYLER CONSOLIDATED 4.80 3 2 0 134 159
16 WHEELING CENTRAL CATHOLIC 4.80 3 2 0 129 119
18 NOTRE DAME 4.50 2 2 0 99 131
18 SOUTH HARRISON 4.50 2 2 0 112 67
20 MAGNOLIA 4.25 2 2 0 81 70
21 BISHOP DONAHUE 3.50 2 2 0 133 95
21 MADONNA 3.50 2 2 0 81 84
21 PADEN CITY 3.50 2 2 0 94 95
24 POCAHONTAS COUNTY 3.00 2 3 0 101 80
24 TUCKER COUNTY 3.00 2 3 0 96 91
26 CALHOUN COUNTY 2.80 2 3 0 118 159
26 PARKERSBURG CATHOLIC 2.80 2 3 0 98 99
28 GILMER COUNTY 2.60 2 3 0 187 188
29 FAYETTEVILLE 1.75 1 3 0 20 156
30 SHERMAN 1.60 1 4 0 123 151
31 CAMERON 1.40 1 4 0 82 146
32 RICHWOOD 1.20 1 4 0 103 145
32 VAN 1.20 1 4 0 66 172
34 HANNAN 0.00 0 3 0 32 146
34 MIDLAND TRAIL 0.00 0 5 0 45 231
34 MONTCALM 0.00 0 3 0 66 134
34 TYGARTS VALLEY 0.00 0 5 0 81 238
34 WIRT COUNTY 0.00 0 4 0 44 158

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Wilkins, Cunningham Claim MEC Honors

West Virginia Wesleyan’s Ali Cunningham and UVa-Wise’s Shaquon Wilkins have earned Mountain East Conference Runner of the Week honors.

Cunningham, a sophomore from Ripley, WV, took eighth overall at the Lock Haven Invitational with a time of 22:39. She was the top finisher for the Bobcats who won the 14-team invitational with 78 points.

Wilkins, a sophomore from Fredericksburg, Va., won the individual title at the Golden Eagle Invitational covering the 6-kilometer course in 19:34, nearly 30 seconds faster than second place. The Cavs won the team title 31 points, edging out host Charleston with 37 points.

Other Top Performances

Amanda Richards (Charleston) won the Golden Eagle Invitational with a tim of 25:43 ... Jordan Weitzel (Concord) had a personal best time of 26:47 and took third at the Greensboro XC Invitational ... Nathan Whitacre (West Virginia Wesleyan) was sixth at the Lock Haven Invitational with a time of 25:43 on the 8k course.

2014 Mountain East Conference Runners Of The Week
Week Men’s Women’s
September 16 Jordan Weitzel (Concord) Zoey Vilasuso (WVWC)
September 23 Keith Charette (Charleston) Kourtney Willey (Charleston)
September 30 Shaquon Wilkins (UVa-Wise) Ali Cunningham (WVWC)


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Holgorsen: Kansas Unlikely to Retool Scheme after Weis’ firing

The Week 4 firing of Kansas coach Charlie Weis abruptly shuffled the staff in Lawrence but won’t necessarily create a retooled scheme when the Jayhawks visit West Virginia on Saturday.

Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said “it’s a little trickier actually trying to change things in the middle of the season,” and he doubts the Kansas game plan suddenly will undergo some radical transformation.

“We’ve got the film. We know who their players are. We know their personnel,” Holgorsen said Monday. “Basically the coordinators are intact and will be continuing to do the same things.”

Athletics director Sheahon Zenger dismissed Weis on Sunday morning during the aftermath of the Jayhawks (2-2, 0-1) losing to Texas 23-0.

The season’s final eight games now become the purview of interim coach/defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, a former Kansas player who also held interim duties in December 2009 following Mark Mangino’s forced resignation. When Turner Gill did not retain Bowen, he spent the 2010 season as defensive coordinator at Western Kentucky and served in the same role at North Texas during 2011.

Bowen, who returned to Kansas in 2012 as part of Weis’ new staff, hinted at only subtle changes as the Jayhawks try to salvage something from this tumultuous season.

“Our immediate plan for this week … is to operate this thing day-to-day and hour-to-hour and minute-to-minute and roll through it,” he said.

Bowen coached the linebackers last season when the Jayhawks defeated West Virginia 31-19, giving Kansas its lone win in the past 31 Big 12 games. The Mountaineers scored two touchdowns in the last five minutes to make the final score respectable.

“This West Virginia team has changed—they are an explosive offensive team,” Bowen said. “They have some playmakers and they’re a dangerous bunch.”

West Virginia (2-2, 0-1) was listed as a 25-point favorite Monday and possesses the Big 12′s leading passer and receiver. Clint Trickett averages 400 yards per game with more than 158 of those going to Kevin White.

Though the Mountaineers are tied with Kansas in the current Big 12 standings, the teams’ first four games bear scant resemblance. Jeff Sagarin’s USA Today ratings peg WVU with having played the nation’s toughest schedule to date, while Kansas’ schedule strength ranks only 93rd.

Kansas a ‘destination’ job: Though he is considered a long shot to win the job permanently, the 42-year-old Bowen clearly has dreamed for decades about running the program. He told his future wife about that specific ambition on their first dates 20 years ago at a Lawrence ice cream shop.

Bowen bristles at the notion Kansas is one of the least attractive jobs in the power 5 conferences.

“Anyone that would consider this a stepping stone job is an idiot,” he said. “This is a destination job. I’ve heard people say that before and I always defend it. Anyone that knows anything about Kansas, talking to coaches in this business, people understand that this is a sleeping giant of a program.

“You have an unbelievable community, you have an unbelievable university, you’ve got all the resources available to have a successful football program and all the support from the administration. People that know football, they know that this is an unbelievable job.”

No official Worley update: Holgorsen declined to clarify the status of cornerback Daryl Worley, who was suspended two weeks ago after a nightclub altercation with a woman led to a misdemeanor battery charge.

With university administrators evaluating Worley’s actions and motives, some media outlets reported the sophomore could be reinstated on Monday.

Charlie on Charlie: The latest Big 12 coach hired, Charlie Strong, was asked Monday about Weis, the latest coach fired.

“You develop a relationship with the coaches and they become your friends,” Strong said. “You hate to see that happen to anyone. Kansas had to make a decision that they made, but we’re in this business and we understand that it could be pitfalls.”

Criticism for Kingsbury: The father of former Texas Tech walk-on quarterback Baker Mayfield isn’t happy about his son being denied a transfer waiver to play at Oklahoma this season. Texas Tech’s administration and coach Kliff Kingsbury have fought the transfer from the outset, and barring a last-minute appeal, Baker will lose this season of eligibility and be unable to redshirt.

“The driver and the scoundrel behind all this is Kliff,” James Mayfield told The Oklahoman on Monday. “He is so focused or hellbent on punishing Baker.”

Mayfield earned Big 12 freshman of the year honors last season but said he decided to leave Texas Tech last spring when he wasn’t promised a scholarship.  ~~  Alan Taylor ~~



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Herd Has Nothing but Respect for Monarchs

To listen to Marshall players talk about the upcoming opponent this week you’d think the Herd was preparing to face Ole Miss, not Old Dominion. While the Monarch’s football program is only in its sixth year of existence, Marshall players have nothing but respect for the up and coming team.

“Some teams get ahead of themselves and look down on teams,” said linebacker Evan McKelvey. “If you look down on a team and don’t think much of them, that’s the team that will beat you. It’s always the team you don’t of that will beat you.”

ODU head coach Bobby Wilder’s goal when he was hired to jumpstart the university’s football program, which had been defunct since 1941 when the NCAA implemented a rule no longer allowing freshmen to play. The Monarchs went 9-2 in 2009 and by 2011 reached the FCS playoffs with a 10-3 record.

In 2012, ODU led FCS in scoring offense, total offense, and passing. The Monarchs won the Colonial Athletic Association Championship and earned a four-seed in the FCS playoffs.

ODU went 8-4 last year as it began the transition to FBS and was unbeaten at home. The Monarchs are 49-15 in the six seasons since the football program was restarted.

Wilder has accomplished all of this by mostly finding and developing homegrown talent. The Monarchs feature 40 players from Virginia and Washington, D.C. It’s no surprise to Virginia native Eric Frohnapfel who has seen the talent available in the Commonwealth firsthand.

“That Virginia tidewater area is underrated in some ways. There’s a lot of talent out there,” said Marshall tight end Eric Frohnpfel who grew up in Stafford, Va. “We played some teams in high school that had a lot of speed and athletic kids. They’ve been able to pinpoint that area and get 15 to 20 guys to come play for their team. There are a lot of good guys who can play out there.”

Marshall is once again an overwhelming favorite headed into Saturday’s game but that is of no concern to Herd players. They understand the minute they allow outside influences to distract their focus is when they could see a game slip away.

“We’ve never been in a position to look past teams. We can’t forget what got us here,” reiterated McKelvey. “We want to continue to do the same thing we’ve done every game, so we’re not going to change anything up.”



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Raiders Fire Allen, Name Sparano Interim Coach

The Oakland Raiders made it official on Tuesday and announced the firing of head coach Dennis Allen.

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano has been selected as the interim coach.

Numerous reports of Allen’s dismissal came Monday night, a day after the Raiders fell to 0-4 for the season. General manager Reggie McKenzie released a statement Tuesday to confirm the decision.

“After thorough evaluation, we have determined to move in another direction,“ said McKenzie. “We appreciate Dennis Allen’s dedication to the organization and wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future.“

Allen was in his third season as Raiders’ coach. He led the team to a pair of 4-12 records before this year’s disastrous start.

The Raiders have lost 10 straight games dating back to last year, and this year’s squad has yet to score more than 14 points in any of its four games.

Oakland has a bye this week after its 38-14 loss to Miami on Sunday in London.

Sparano will be an NFL head coach for the second time, previously guiding the Dolphins to a record of 29-32 in nearly four full seasons. He took over in 2008 after the Dolphins were 1-15 in 2007 and led Miami to a mark of 11-5 with a surprising AFC East title.

However, a pair of 7-9 campaigns followed and he was fired in December 2011 after a 4-9 start that included losses in the first seven games.

Sparano served as the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets in 2012 before joining the Raiders as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach last year.

“Tony Sparano has a strong presence in this organization,“ said McKenzie. “His experience and leadership qualities will serve the team well in helping reach the goal of everyone here, which is to win football games.“

Sparano, a head coach for five years at Division II New Haven, was also an assistant with the Cleveland Browns from 1999-2000, the Washington Redskins in 2001 and Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002. He then joined the Dallas Cowboys in 2003 and spent five seasons in various roles before becoming the Dolphins’ head coach.

His first game in charge of the Raiders will come Oct. 12 at home against San Diego.


►  Colts Give Mathis 1-Year Extension

The Indianapolis Colts extended the contract of Robert Mathis for an additional season, the team announced Tuesday.

Mathis, 33, is now under contract through 2016.

The star linebacker was suspended for the first four games after violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy, then suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon while working out on his own.

Mathis led the NFL last season with 19 1/2 sacks.

The Colts also signed cornerback Jalil Brown to the active roster and added wide receiver Chandler Jones and linebacker Rob Ruggiero to the practice squad.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Nothin’ but Net: Coaching Hot Seat Already Burning

With NBA Media Day barely behind us, it’s perfect fair and reasonable to already speculate as to which coaches will be fired soonest.

We live in a world of immediacy. Blame it on the Internet and MTV.

Obviously, no coach is in immediate danger before we reach Halloween. Some skippers are more in need a big start than others. When it comes time to analyze those coaches likeliest to be shown the door, expectations play a large role.

For example, Jason Kidd is probably not worrying about his job security at the moment. The Milwaukee Bucks don’t figure to be too formidable. Same goes for the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers.

Although, some of their lead men should be a little cautious. Bad teams generally changes coaches as frequently as most change underwear. The blame always shifts to the coach instead of the roster, or the man in charge of putting the roster together.

Mike Malone of the Kings should be a tad bit concerned. Sacramento went 28-54 in Malone’s only campaign and at times, Malone threw his players under the bus so frequently I thought he was the U.S. Ryder Cup captain.

Also going against Malone is the fact the Kings did not improve a little bit in the offseason. They regressed. Isaiah Thomas is gone to be the third point guard in Phoenix, while Darren Collison was brought in as a replacement. That’s a massive downgrade. That’s like Shemp joining the Three Stooges.

Sometimes, there’s a limit to ineptitude. The Sixers could be worse than last season, when they planned on being the worst franchise in professional sports since the Cleveland Indians in “Major League.“

Brett Brown knew the deal when he signed. It’s why he got four years on his contract. General manager Sam Hinkie seems happy with Brown, and truthfully, John Wooden couldn’t win more than 15 games with this roster. Brown is probably safe, but when Hinkie sees the futility the Sixers will display, he might think.

Jacque Vaughn in Orlando is an interesting case. He’s 43-121 in two seasons at the helm in the Magic Kingdom and Orlando is not headed toward the postseason in June of 2015.

Vaughn is a great young coach, record notwithstanding. He’s bright, professional and has a plan. He learned from the best in Gregg Popovich. Vaughn is worth the wait, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep a guy who rarely wins. Two-plus seasons isn’t a lot of time in the grand scheme. But in the world of the NBA, it might be long enough.

Of course, expectations, much like beauty, come in all shapes and sizes.

No coach on the hot seat has loftier expectations than Kevin McHale of the Houston Rockets. Some speculated he might have lost his job this past offseason. In two seasons, McHale has never gotten out of the first round of the playoffs and it’s troubling considering his Rockets had home-court advantage against the Portland Trail Blazers.

McHale never got the credit he deserved for being an all-time defensive great who coached a group that owned a collective indifference to stopping the opposition. He looked at the makeup of his roster when James Harden arrived and decided to run and gun.

Things didn’t get better with Dwight Howard, at least defensively.

Then, this past offseason was a disaster for the Rockets. General manager Daryl Morey swung deep this summer, trying to pry Chris Bosh from the Miami Heat. Swing and a miss.

Houston endured perhaps the worst offseason of any team. Not only did Bosh jilt them, the rival Dallas Mavericks swooped in and signed Chandler Parsons to a huge offer sheet. The Rockets passed on matching and now the third weapon is gone.

Also, the Rockets traded anyone they possibly could (Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin) in order to free up cash to sign Bosh. So, to sum up, the Rockets lost a starter, who happened to be their third-leading scorer, their two biggest bench players and failed to improve in any way.

That means McHale is in trouble. The Rockets are a perfect example of sacrificing the coach instead of confronting the real issue, which is the makeup of this roster. Houston is all about stars and has yet to prove this strategy is a prudent one.

When expectation meets timing, we see Monty Williams of the New Orleans Pelicans.

This is his fifth season in the Big Easy and he is a robust 128-184, making the playoffs just once, his first season in charge.

That’s a long time to be the man without any successful results. Most coaches don’t get three straight seasons under .500, but Williams is still guiding the Pelicans.

Over the last two seasons, New Orleans has taken a more aggressive approach to making the playoffs. They mortgaged some future in order to make the postseason in the crowded Western Conference. Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans were brought in with the hopes of advancing.

In one season, everyone in New Orleans except the cast of “True Blood” got hurt. The Pelicans were 14 games under .500 and now Williams will get one more shot with a healthy roster.

Problem is, the Pelicans still may not be good enough to make the playoffs even if Holiday, Evans, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon and, of course, Anthony Davis, avoid the injured list. It’s impossible in my mind to see Williams staying if New Orleans misses the postseason.

The only other potential candidate in jeopardy would be Indiana’s Frank Vogel. He probably will get a pass considering his best player, Paul George, is done for the season because his leg nearly became detached from his body.

Despite team president Larry Bird never wavering in his support of his man, there were whispers that Vogel might have been in trouble this offseason. Never happened and probably won’t. Vogel’s name just deserves a quick mention.

The truth is that all of these gentlemen face intense pressure heading into this season. Any early season slippage and these guys could be shown the door. It’s unfair to bring this to light so early, but life in the NBA is unfair.

Blame goes to the Internet and MTV.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  American League Wild Card Game Result

Final Score: Kansas City 9, Oakland 8 (12 innings)

Fans of the Kansas City Royals, starved from postseason baseball for 29 years, were deservedly rewarded with an epic comeback in a wildly entertaining AL wild card showdown on Tuesday. The Royals scored three runs in the eighth inning, another in the ninth to force extras and added two more in the 12th to steal a 9-8 victory over the stunned Oakland Athletics. Alberto Callaspo had given the A’s an 8-7 lead with an RBI single in the 12th, but run-scoring hits from Christian Colon and Salvador Perez in the bottom half capped an instant classic that lasted 4 hours, 45 minutes. Kansas City advanced to take on the Angels in the ALDS, which begins Thursday in Anaheim. The win-or-go-home matchup was billed as a pitching duel between James Shields and Jon Lester—two aces built for this type of situation—and neither delivered a quality start. Instead, it was the Royals’ small-ball heroics that was the difference, as they swiped seven bases and came through with timely two-out hits. Brandon Moss smacked two homers and drove in five runs for the A’s, whose collapse mirrored their entire second half, as they backed into the playoffs despite a dreadful .433 winning percentage after the All-Star break.


►  Harper, Morneau and Altuve Added to Japan Tour Roster

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and batting champions Justin Morneau of the Colorado Rockies and Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros were announced as additions to the roster for baseball’s tour of Japan this November.

The trio will be part of a squad that already includes Seattle’s Robinson Cano, Baltimore’s Adam Jones, the Angels’ Albert Pujols and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig.

Boston’s John Farrell will be the manager for the team, replacing Ron Washington, who had initially been selected as the skipper in August before resigning as manager of the Texas Rangers in September.

The MLB team will play a five-game series against a squad of Japanese League All-Stars.

It will mark the 11th All-Star series and the 36th time overall that a team of Major League Baseball players will tour Japan for games. The current five-game format was adopted in 2006, the last time a group of MLB stars squared off against a team of Japan All-Stars. The MLB team went 5-0 eight years ago.

The opening game will take place in Osaka on Nov. 12 before heading to Tokyo for three games on the weekend of Nov. 14-16. The final game of the series will be in Sapporo on Nov. 18.

Two exhibition games will bookend the series—the first on Nov. 11 and the last on Nov. 20.


►  Yanks’ Beltran Undergoes Elbow Surgery

The New York Yankees announced on Tuesday that outfielder Carlos Beltran underwent surgery to remove loose pieces and a bone spur from his right elbow.

Beltran is expected to begin throwing and hitting in six weeks and should gain clearance to play in 12 weeks.

The 37-year-old played in just three games after Sept. 09 because of the issue. He concluded his first season with the Yankees batting a disappointing .233 with 15 homers and 49 RBI over 109 games.


►  Astros P McHugh Named AL Rookie of the Month

Houston Astros starter Collin McHugh was tabbed the American League Rookie of the Month for September.

McHugh capped his first full season in the majors by going 4-0 with a 1.59 earned run average over 28 1/3 innings pitched in four starts. He limited batters to a .150 average and ranked sixth in strikeouts-per-nine-innings (7.94).

The 27-year-old Chicagoland native and right-hander ended up 11-9 with a 2.73 ERA over 25 starts for the Astros, who snapped a franchise-worst streak of three consecutive 100-loss seasons in 2014.

McHugh joins Roy Oswalt (August 2001), Kirk Saarloos (July 2002) and Hunter Pence (May 2007) as the only Astros players to snag a monthly honor as a first-year player.

Others considered for the season’s final month were Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts, Twins outfielder Danny Santana and Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura.


►  Tigers 1B Cabrera Named AL Player of the Month

For the second straight month, a Detroit Tigers player has earned Player of the Month honors in the junior circuit. This time, it’s first baseman Miguel Cabrera, named on Tuesday.

Victor Martinez had been rewarded for August.

Cabrera capped his 2014 campaign and helped his team to a fourth straight AL Central crown by exploding for a .379 average along with eight home runs, 10 doubles, 18 RBI and 19 runs scored over 26 contests.

The 31-year-old Venezuelan, nine-time All-Star and two-time reigning AL MVP also finished atop the league in slugging percentage (.709), extra-base hits (12) and total bases (73), ranked second in total hits and ninth with an on- base pct. of .409.

Cabrera was previously honored as the junior circuit’s top player for July of 2008, August 2012 and July ‘13.

Others considered for mention were AL batting champ and Astros infielder Jose Altuve, Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley and Angels infielder Howie Kendrick.


►  Dodgers OF Kemp is NL Player of the Month

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was named the National League Player of the Month for September on Tuesday.

Kemp completed the season’s final month with seven multi-hit performances, and reached the 20-homer plateau for the fifth time in his career. A two-time All- Star, Kemp led the majors with nine home runs and tied teammate Adrian Gonzalez with 25 RBI, while also hitting .322 and posting a .700 slugging percentage.

His finest stretch occurred at Wrigley Field from Sept. 18-21, when he finished 7-for-17 with two homers and eight RBI over the four-game set.

Kemp had previously taken home monthly honors in April of 2012.


►  Wainwright Named Top NL Pitcher for September

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright was named the National League Pitcher of the Month on Tuesday.

Wainwright went 5-0 over five starts in September, pitching 39 innings and posting a 1.38 earned run average during that span.

He also tossed two complete games, including a seven-hit shutout of Milwaukee on Sept. 17. His last start of the season against the Cubs on Sept. 22 saw him win his 20th game of the season to match a career-high.

The 33-year-old went 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA over 32 starts this season.

This was his second monthly award, also winning it in June, 2013.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL Fantasy Player of the Week - Week 4

In what is quickly turning into the “Year of the Pass,“ 13 quarterbacks scored at least 20 fantasy points in Week 4 led by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

And with all the rules changes designed to make the passing game succeed, it shouldn’t be a surprise to fantasy owners that 13 quarterbacks are currently on pace to throw for 4,000 yards this season. Compare that to the average number of 4,000-yards passers since 2000 which is 5.9 per season.

Quarterbacks -

Eli Manning, New York Giants - Manning and the Giants were first out of the gate Thursday night and he posted a number for all to see and try to beat. They couldn’t. Behind three first-half touchdown passes to tight end Larry Donnell (see below) Manning finished the night with five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing), 300 yards and a position-leading 34 fantasy points.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis - Luck threw for four touchdowns for the second consecutive weekend and hit the 370-yard passing mark for the third time in four games as he led the Colts to an easy victory over Tennessee. With 13 touchdown passes and 1,305 yards through the air he leads all fantasy players in points.

Running backs -

DeMarco Murray, Dallas - Murray has taken up permanent residence in this corner of the fantasy piece. He leads the league in rushing after his fourth consecutive game with at least 100 yards rushing and a touchdown. Sunday night he abused a Saints run defense for 149 yards and two scores.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City - Fantasy owners welcomed back Charles after he missed the last game with an ankle injury and the Chiefs running back showed no signs of the injury lingering. Against New England as he totaled 108 yards from scrimmage and scored three times. Of course, it was such a dominating performance by Kansas City that Charles’ backup, Knile Davis, rushed for 107 yards too.

Wide Receivers -

Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore - Smith was already one of the biggest surprises of the fantasy season, but facing his old team for the first time in Week 4 he was obviously ready to show the Panthers the mistake in their strategy to let him go after last season. He caught seven of 10 targets for 139 yards and two scores worth almost 34 fantasy points.

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh - In 2014 Brown has added the one element which kept him from being a fantasy superstar last season - scoring touchdowns. Sunday he scored twice to bring his season total to five along with 131 yards receiving. He also completed a pass and continues to return punts. He’s the complete package and is currently the top fantasy wideout. This is not a fluke.

Tight Ends -

Larry Donnell, New York Giants - If you said “Who?“ after Donnell scored the first of his three touchdowns Thursday night you haven’t been paying attention. He’s been one of Manning’s favorite targets all season, averaging almost eight targets per game. Thursday he caught seven of eight targets for 54 yards and three touchdowns worth 26 fantasy points. Likely a free agent pickup in your fantasy league, he’s currently ranked fourth at his position ahead of names like Greg Olsen, Antonio Gates and Rob Gronkowski. By the way, he’s owned in less than 60 percent of all Yahoo leagues. What are you waiting for?

Kickers -

Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers - Dawson was perfect on the day, going 4- for-4 in field goals attempts, including a 51-yarder, to lead the position with 17 points.

Defense/Special Teams

Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles defense and special teams did everything they could to help the team and fantasy owners who took a chance on them. The Eagles blocked a punt for a touchdown, returned a punt for a touchdown and took an interception 53 yards for a third score. Unfortunately, they were only started in about 10 percent of all leagues. That’s probably a higher number than you would expect considering their past defensive performance ... or lack of it. You can thank the start of the bye weeks.

And the winner of the TSN Fantasy Player of the Week is ... Giants quarterback Eli Manning. It’s been a long time since the younger Manning found his way onto the FPOW pages, primarily due to his propensity to throw interceptions and his coach’s preference for a balanced offense. Thursday night’s production reminded us of his zenith as a fantasy quarterback - in 2011 when he threw for 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns.


►  Week 5 Waiver Wire Gold

After passing the quarter mark of the NFL season, players posting solid fantasy numbers are no longer flukes but trends. Finding those patterns is the key to building a championship team.

Unless owners have Jimmy Graham or Julius Thomas, tight end is typically a position which can always be upgraded. Martellus Bennett and Delanie Walker owners are very pleased through four weeks as well.

For other owners, Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce must be on your waiver wire radar. Most owners have picked up on him already, as Kelce is owned in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues, but it is still worth checking out. He caught eight of his nine targets for 93 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots on Monday, and all signs point toward him continuing this production.

Kelce is 6-foot-5, 260 pounds and is a mismatch for any linebacker. The Patriots defense looked atrocious, so one should be careful not to go too far in praising the Chiefs tight end, but he looked like he has the potential to really dominate at times.

In his other three games against an “actual” defense, Kelce had caught 10 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. With each game, his targets and receiving yards have gone up with the exception of Week 3 against the Dolphins. That game, however, Kelce caught his first touchdown pass of the year.

In standard leagues, his fantasy totals have trended up all four weeks. He started with 4.9 points in Week 1, posted 8.1 in Week 2, 9.6 in Week 3 and finally 15.3 on Monday.

Although those signs are all positive, the biggest reason Kelce has upside the rest of 2014 is the Chiefs offense. Of course, it will always be a rushing attack with Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis, who has emerged to be a great fantasy play the last few weeks.

Charles and Davis will also take away passing opportunities from the receiving corps. Each tailback has eight catches to start the year.

Kelce, however, leads the team with receptions (18), targets (24), receiving yards (259) and is tied for team honors with two touchdown catches. Outside of throwing short to the running backs, Alex Smith is throwing to his big tight end in the flat.

Coach Andy Reid called Kelce’s number on wide receiver bubble screens against the Patriots, indicating he has confidence giving Kelce the ball in open space. Smith also feels comfortable throwing to him down the field as Kelce is fifth among tight ends with a 14.4 yards per catch average. That is higher than both Graham and Thomas.

Kelce will not compete with the numbers Graham and Thomas post on a week-to- week basis, but the Kansas City tight end is a player who, at the very least, can provide depth to any fantasy roster.

The Gilmer Free Press


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 01, 2014T


Major League Baseball - Playoffs
National League Wild Card Game, 8:00 PM - ESPN


National Hockey League - Preseason
Washington at Buffalo, 7:00 PM - MSG-Buffalo
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 7:30 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, FS-Detroit, NHL Network
Montreal at Chicago, 8:30 PM - RDS, CSN-Chicago


International Soccer
UEFA Champions League, 2:30 PM - FS1

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  GSC’s Gary Henderson Named MEC Defensive Player of the Week

Marvin Elam (Charleston), Gary Henderson (Glenville State) and C.J. Davis (Shepherd) have been named Mountain East Conference Players of the Week.

Elam, a sophomore from Lawrenceville, Ga., earns Offensive Player of the Week honors after helping Charleston improve to 4-0 on the year with a win over previously unbeaten Notre Dame. Elam rushed for over 100 yards for the fourth-straight week with 160 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. He leads the MEC with 131.0 yards rushing per game and has found the end zone eight times this year.

Henderson, a senior defensive end from St. Louis, Mo., is the Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in Glenville State’s 31-28 victory over Urbana. Henderson had a game-high 15 total tackles, including 2.5 sacks on the day. He also helped secure the Pioneers’ victory with a sack and forced fumble on Urbana’s final possession.

Davis, a sophomore from Hagerstown, Md., is the league’s Special Team Player of the Week after helping the eleventh-ranked Rams pick up a win over West Virginia Wesleyan. Davis had a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and returned two punts for 19 yards. He also contributed an interception for the Shepherd as a defensive back.

Other Top Performances
Offense: Brian Novak (Concord) went 15-for-21 for 223 yards and two touchdowns in a 61-24 win over West Liberty … Ralph Gordon (Glenville State) had five catches for 122 yards and a pair of scores … Daniel Monroe (Fairmont State) rushed for 96 yards and a score … James Cousins (UVa-Wise) recorded seven receptions for 136 yards and had his first career TD … Matt Kinnick (West Virginia State) led all MEC quarterbacks in week four with 406 passing yards … Michael Shegos (Notre Dame) notched 10 catches for 117 yards and a touchdown … Cody Schroeder (Urbana) went 25-of-31 for 298 yards passing with three touchdowns in the game’s final 15 minutes … Dakota Conwell (West Liberty) was 20-of-41 passing for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
Defense: Octavius Thomas (Shepherd) led the Rams with six tackles and also returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown … Ervin Moore (Concord) had four tackles for a loss and two sacks for the Mountain Lions … Torie Wagner (Charleston) came up with an interception to go with five tackles … Trevor Malnick (Fairmont State) had seven tackles, including a pair of sacks, and forced a fumble … WIlliam Merritt (West Virginia State) had a team-best 14 tackles … Zak Blair (UVa-Wise) had eight total stops (six solo) and an interception against Wofford … Onslow Williams (Notre Dame) had 10 tackles and three pass breakups for the Falcons … Marcus Schumacher (West Liberty) led the ‘Toppers with eight stops … Kevin Chapple (Urbana) tallied 10 stops (nine solo), including two for a loss, with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Special Teams: Bret Benes (Charleston) had two field goals, including a long of 39 yards, in UC’s win over Notre Dame … Jermeil Douse (Concord) had a 65-yard punt return in the first quarter to spark the scoring for the Mountain Lions … Griffin Yocum (West Liberty) averaged 37.6 yards per punt … Anton Vrebac (Notre Dame) averaged 36.7 yards per punt.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  3-Star Defender Becomes WVU’s 19th Commitment For 2015

A week after visiting Morgantown for the Oklahoma game, Cincinnati linebacker David Long became West Virginia’s 19th commitment for the class of 2015.

David Long of Winton Woods High in Cincinnati committed to West Virginia for 2015.

The 5-foot-11, 209-pound senior at Winton Woods High pledged to the Mountaineers over offers from Kentucky, Missouri, Cincinnati, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Illinois and Marshall. A three-star Rivals prospect, Long also held high interest in Oklahoma but had yet to receive an offer from the Sooners.

Rivals rates him the No. 24 inside linebacker prospect in the nation, though Long projects to play Spur at West Virginia.

“Long’s combination of size and speed will fit nicely at the Spur safety position and will allow him the opportunity to see the field early on special teams,” said Keenan Cummings, who reported the commitment for WVSports.com. “He is instinctive, always making his way towards the ball carrier and eluding blockers. He also has the ability to cover a tight end or running back in the slot.”

 



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Big 12 Announces Early Kickoff for WVU-Texas Tech on October 11

West Virginia’s game at Texas Tech on October 11 will kick off at Noon Eastern on Fox Sports 1, according to an announcement from the Big 12.

That means an 11 AM local start time in Lubbock, where the Mountaineers have not-so-fond memories of their 2012 trip.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  HEISMAN POWER RANKINGS: WEEK 5

There’s not much shifting in the Heisman Trophy rankings this week, with most of the favorites continuing to put up standout performances to separate themselves from the pack.

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon—Even with the Ducks on a bye this past weekend, nothing changes at the top. Mariota has been even better than advertised as a junior, completing 74% of passes for 1,135 yards, 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions to go with an extra 214 yards and three rushing scores. Mariota still has a long way to go before sewing up the award - matchups against UCLA and Stanford will be highly scrutinized, as will the potential Pac-12 Championship Game - but for now, he’s the clear-cut favorite.

2. Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M—Hill was in jeopardy of a serious tumble in this week’s rankings after the Aggies found themselves down two touchdowns to Arkansas in the fourth quarter, but the signal caller rose to the occasion late in the game, tossing two 50-plus-yard scoring strikes in the fourth quarter to tie the game before throwing the game-winning 25-yard touchdown to Malcome Kennedy on the first play of overtime. Despite completing just 21- of-41 pass attempts, Hill managed to rack up 386 yards and four scores to just one pick, and while the Razorbacks aren’t considered one of the SEC heavyweights, his ability to step up in crunch time was a huge positive stride in terms of his growth. With the Aggies 5-0 for the first time since 2001 and Hill piling up the gaudy numbers (65.6% completions, 1,745 yards, 17 TDs, two interceptions), there’s no question Kenny Trill is the real deal.

3. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska—The trio of Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon and Abdullah have established themselves as far and away the best running backs in the country, but the difference between the three has been razor thin. Abdullah has been the most consistent of the bunch, collecting at least 110 total yards in all five games, and he added another spectacular outing to his resume in the Cornhuskers’ 45-14 win over Illinois in their Big Ten opener. The senior running back needed just 22 carries to pick up 208 yards - already his third 200-yard outing of the year - and his three touchdowns upped his season total to 10. He’s the FBS leader in rushing yards with 833.

4. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama—The Crimson Tide had a well-deserved bye week after a 4-0 start to the campaign, which was about the only thing that could slow down the red-hot Cooper. The 6-foot-1 receiver has set a blazing pace with 43 receptions, 655 yards and five touchdowns - coming away with at least eight catches and 135 yards in every game. He and his squad will have their most-difficult task to date on Saturday in a road matchup with nationally ranked Ole Miss.

5 Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia—The Bulldogs needed every bit of Gurley’s career-best rushing day to edge out a 35-32 home win over Tennessee. The tailback was a true workhorse, wearing down the Volunteers defense with 28 carries for 208 yards and two touchdowns, including a 51-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. Gurley effortlessly shed blockers all game and even added to his Heisman highlight reel by hurdling a Tennessee defender on a long gain. No one stopped Gurley during the first month of the season, as he’s tallied 610 rushing yards (8.8 yards per carry) and six touchdowns in addition to his 100-yard kickoff return score versus Clemson. While the Heisman Trophy isn’t exactly an MVP award, it can be argued that no player in the country is more valuable to his team’s success than Gurley is to Georgia.

6. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State—The Bulldogs signal caller still has a lot to prove if he wants to continue his residency this high on the list, but his performance for an undefeated Mississippi State squad (964 passing yards, 378 rushing yards, 14 TDs, two interceptions) has been nearly flawless through four games, especially after capturing an upset victory at nationally ranked LSU on September 20. Much like Cooper, it’s a shame Prescott’s momentum had to come to a halt with MSU’s bye week, but he’ll have every opportunity to regenerate buzz on Saturday in a marquee matchup with Texas A&M.

7. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin—In the first half of the Badgers’ contest with South Florida, it appeared as though Gordon would be in for a modest afternoon. He had just 50 yards and a lost fumble on 17 carries in the opening 30 minutes, but after halftime he was a new man, as he finished the game with 181 yards and two touchdowns. There’s no doubt Gordon is in elite company as one of the best rushers in the nation - he ranks slightly ahead of Gurley in both yards (612) and touchdowns (eight) and lags just behind in yards per carry (7.8) - and he’ll be expected to keep up this pace once the team heads into its soft Big Ten schedule, starting Saturday at Northwestern.

8. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame—Despite their 31-15 win over Syracuse, the Fighting Irish played careless football with an uncharacteristic five turnovers, with Golson responsible for four of those (two interceptions and two lost fumbles). While the miscues ultimately cost Golson to fall in the rankings this week, he still did plenty in the victory to show why he’s still one of the favorites. He threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns while completing 32-of-39 pass attempts, and in the process he broke a school record for consecutive completions with 25. Golson has greater than 1,200 total yards and 15 touchdowns already, but Notre Dame will be in trouble if his turnover problems roll over into Saturday’s bout with nationally ranked Stanford.

9 Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA—One of the favorites in the preseason, Hundley fell off the radar early in the campaign for a litany of reasons. First he disappointed in UCLA’s opener at Virginia (20-for-33, 242 yards), then he had to leave the September 13 matchup at Texas after injuring his non-throwing shoulder, but after a bye in Week 4, the Bruins signal caller bounced back in a huge way in a Thursday night Pac-12 showdown at nationally ranked Arizona State. In one of the most well-rounded performances of his illustrious career, Hundley completed 18-of-23 passes for 355 yards, rushed for 72 yards on just nine attempts and accounted for five touchdowns in a 62-27 rout. Hundley’s Heisman campaign is back on track, as he’s completing greater than 72% of his passes and has piled up nearly 1,200 total yards with nine touchdowns to just one pick, and the undefeated Bruins have established themselves as the favorite to win the Pac-12 South Division.

10. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor—Although Petty gets docked a few points for throwing his first interception of the season (and just the fourth of his career), he more than made up for that mistake in Baylor’s 49-28 triumph over Iowa State in its Big 12 opener. The signal caller completed greater than 68% of his passes (30-of-44) for 336 yards and a touchdown and dazzled with his legs as well with 47 yards and two scores. As the leader of the nation’s most potent offense on a team with a great shot at a Big 12 title, Petty has a sturdy built-in formula for remaining on this list for the long haul.

Dropped Out: Taysom Hill, QB, BYU

Honorable Mention: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State; Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn; Shane Carden, QB, East Carolina; Nelson Spruce, WR, Colorado.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL SCORES Week 4

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

Final Score: Kansas City 41, New England 14

Dressed in a sea of red, the raucous crowd at Arrowhead Stadium set another Guinness world record. And then the Kansas City Chiefs used the surge from their fans to decimate Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Jamaal Charles returned from a sprained right ankle and scored three touchdowns as the Chiefs routed the Patriots, 41-14, on Monday night. Charles carried the ball 18 times for 92 yards and added three receptions for 16 yards for Kansas City (2-2), which raced out to a 27-0 third-quarter lead and never looked back in its second straight win after an 0-2 start. The Chiefs’ fans reclaimed the record for loudest outdoor sports venue in the first half. Their noise level of 142.2 decibels broke the 137.6 mark that the Seattle Seahawks faithful set on Dec. 2. Kansas City previously set the record on Oct. 13. Alex Smith completed 20-of-26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns, Travis Kelce had eight receptions for 93 yards and a score and Knile Davis posted 107 yards on 16 totes in the triumph. New England failed to crack the 300-yard barrier for the third time in four games after doing it just four times last season. The Patriots totaled 290 yards. Brady was 14-of-23 for 159 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions and Brandon LaFell caught six passes for 119 yards and a score for the Patriots (2-2), who suffered their worst defeat since losing to San Diego 41-17 in 2005.


►  Redskins Sign Two DBs

The Washington Redskins signed safety Jamarca Sanford and cornerback Richard Crawford on Monday.

The team also signed tackle Terren Jones to the practice squad.

Sanford was a seventh-round draft pick by Minnesota in 2009 and played five seasons with the Vikings. He played in 70 games (44 starts) and totaled 267 tackles, 11 passes defensed, five fumble recoveries, two interceptions and a sack.

He was released by the Vikings on August 08.

Crawford was a seventh-round pick of the Redskins in 2012 and played 10 games that season, recording an interception and a fumble recovery while also returning eight punts for a 19.5 average.

He was on the reserve/injured list last season and was waived prior to the start of this season. He then signed to the practice squad, but was again released.


►  NFL hits Colts’ Landry with 4-Game Ban

Indianapolis Colts safety LaRon Landry is about to take an NFL-mandated vacation.

Landry has been suspended without pay for the next four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league said in a statement Monday.

Landry, 29, is eligible to return to the Colts’ active roster on Monday, October 27, following the team’s Week 8 game against Pittsburgh. The Colts have a bye in Week 9.

The eight-year veteran out of LSU had totaled 23 tackles in four games this season.


►  Manuel Benched, Orton to Start for Bills

EJ Manuel has been benched and Kyle Orton will start at quarterback for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Detroit.

Bills coach Doug Marrone announced the change Monday, a day after the team’s 23-17 loss in Houston dropped them to 2-2.

“Obviously as the head coach you’ve got to evaluate everything and at the end of the day you’ve got to make the right decisions,“ Marrone said, according to the team’s official website.

Manuel, 24, has completed 53% of his passes in the last two games, both losses, with three touchdown passes and two interceptions.

The 2013 first-round draft pick has thrown five touchdown passes and three picks in the first four games. He started 10 games as a rookie last season, passing for 1,972 yards and 11 touchdowns with nine interceptions.

Orton, 31, was signed last month after being released by the Dallas Cowboys in July following speculation he wanted a pay raise and after he was a no-show at minicamp.

He has also played for Chicago, Denver and Kansas City in his 10-year career, passing for 15,019 yards and 83 touchdowns with 59 interceptions and a 35-35 record as a starter.

Orton started in place of Romo in the Cowboys’ winner-take-all NFC East loss to Philadelphia in Week 17 last season after Romo had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back.


►  Jets Cut WR Saunders, Sign Graham

The New York Jets released rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders on Monday and signed former Bills and Titans receiver T.J. Graham.

Saunders, a fourth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma, fumbled a punt in last Monday’s game against Chicago, leading to a Bears touchdown. He didn’t catch a pass in three games.

Graham was released last week by the Titans without playing in a game for them. He appeared in 31 games for Buffalo from 2012-13, including 17 starts, and caught 54 passes for 683 yards and three touchdowns.


►  Cowboys CB Claiborne Needs Surgery

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne has a torn patellar tendon and will need surgery, coach Jason Garrett said Monday.

Claiborne, the No. 6 overall pick in 2012 out of LSU, suffered the injury in Sunday night’s game against New Orleans.

He had seven tackles and an interception in four games this season, with three starts.

News of his injury came six days after Claiborne reportedly stormed out of the team’s training facility after being told he lost his starting job to Orlando Scandrick, according to ESPN.com.


►  Eagles Activate Johnson from Reserve/Suspension List

The Philadelphia Eagles activated right tackle Lane Johnson from the reserve/suspended list on Monday, in anticipation of his return to action from an offseason suspension.

Johnson was sidelined four games without pay by the NFL in late July for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances by taking a medication he says he failed to check out properly.

Johnson started all 16 games as a rookie last season after being drafted No. 4 overall by the Eagles out of Oklahoma.

To make room on the roster, the Birds released offensive lineman Kevin Graf.


►  Raiders Fire Allen

The Oakland Raiders are reportedly looking for a new head coach.

According to several media sources, including FoxSports’ Jay Glazer, Dennis Allen was informed of the Raiders’ decision to let him go on Monday night.

The Raiders are 0-4 on the young season and have scored 14-or-fewer points in all four games. They are currently on a 10-game losing streak dating back to last year.

Allen was hired in 2012 and guided the Raiders to consecutive 4-12 seasons prior to the slow start this year.

Oakland has not had a winning season since losing the Super Bowl following the 2002 campaign—a stretch that has seen seven coaches come and go.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Suns Agree to Extensions with Morris twins

The Phoenix Suns signed twin brothers Markieff and Marcus Morris to multi-year contract extensions on Monday.

“We are particularly pleased to have reached extension agreements with Marcus and Markieff before the start of training camp,“ president of basketball operations Lon Babby said in a statement. “There is an extraordinary bond between these twin brothers; they make each other better players and better men. We take pride in their growth and look forward to their bright futures.“

The 25-year-old forwards were impactful players off the bench last season for Phoenix.

Markieff averaged 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds over 81 games and led the league in points scored off the bench with 1,115.

Marcus played in all 82 games and averaged 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds.

The brothers were selected with consecutive picks in the 2011 draft. Markieff was the 13th overall choice by Phoenix, while Marcus went to Houston at No. 14. The Suns acquired Marcus from the Rockets in a trade on February 21, 2013.


►  Celtics Ink Evan Turner

The Boston Celtics signed forward Evan Turner on Monday.

Turner averaged 13.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 81 combined games with Philadelphia and Indiana last season.

The No. 2 pick by the 76ers in the 2010 draft, Turner has averaged 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 306 career games.

The Celtics also signed guards Tim Frazier and Rodney McGruder and forward Christian Watford and waived guard John Lucas III and forward Malcolm Thomas.


►  Blazers Pick Up Fourth-Year Option on Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers exercised the fourth-year option on guard Damian Lillard

In two seasons, Lillard has averaged 19.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game. Last season, Lillard averaged a career-high 20.7 points to go along with 3.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists.

Lillard’s 403 three-pointers through his first two seasons are the most in league history. He’s tied for eighth on Portland’s all-time list for three- pointers.


►  Spurs’ Splitter Has Strained Calf

San Antonio Spurs big man Tiago Splitter has a strained calf, the team said Monday.

The Spurs said Splitter has a strained right soleus but gave no details on how the injury occurred. He will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days.

Splitter, 29, averaged 8.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 21 1/2 minutes in 59 games for the Spurs this past season.

The 6-foot-11 Brazilian averaged 7.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in 23 playoff games for the NBA champions.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Marlins Extend Redmond through 2017

Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond had his contract extended through the 2017 season, the team announced on Sunday.

Redmond guided the Marlins to a 15-win improvement on the 2013 season and the team’s first winning home record since 2010.

Under Redmond’s leadership, Miami became just one of three National League teams since 1969 to win 77 or more games following a 100-loss season, joining the 1986 San Francisco Giants and the 2005 Arizona Diamondbacks.

The 43-year-old was named manager prior to the 2013 season, taking over for Ozzie Guillen. He has compiled a 139-185 record as the Marlins’ skipper.

Redmond was signed by the Marlins as a free agent in 1992, and spent the first seven years of his major league career (1998-2004) with the club—helping them win their second World Series title in 2003.

A native of Seattle, Redmond played 13 seasons primarily as a reserve, hitting .287 with 13 home runs, 117 doubles and 243 RBI in 764 games with the Marlins, Twins and Indians.

Redmond’s coaching staff will also return for the 2015 season.


►  Nats’ Zimmermann Earns NL Weekly Award

Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann was named National League Player of the Week for the final week of the season after throwing a no-hitter in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Miami Marlins.

The right-hander notched his first career no-hitter, striking out 10 and walking just one.

Zimmermann became just the fifth pitcher in franchise history (since 1969) to throw a no-hitter and first since Dennis Martinez did it on July 28, 1991. It was the franchise’s first no-hitter since moving from Montreal to Washington in 2005.

It was the second career weekly award for the Wisconsin native, who previously won earlier this season for the week of June 02-08.


►  A’s Teammates Win AL Weekly Award

Two teammates who helped the Oakland Athletics clinch a playoff berth on the final day of the regular season were named co-American League Players of the Week on Monday.

Sonny Gray, who threw a six-hit shutout against Texas on Sunday, and right fielder Josh Reddick became the third and fourth Oakland players to capture a weekly award this season.

Reddick batted .480 in six games last week and had an RBI triple in Sunday’s 4-0 win.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Bruins Sign Krug, Smith

The Boston Bruins signed restricted free agents Torey Krug and Reilly Smith on Monday.

Both players received one-year contracts worth $1.4 million.

Krug, 23, played 79 games for the Bruins last season and led all NHL rookie defensemen in goals (14), assists (26) and points (40).

The 23-year-old Smith arrived in Boston as part of the Tyler Seguin trade with the Dallas Stars in July 2013. The forward is coming off a tremendous campaign in which he racked up 20 goals and 31 assists for 51 points over 82 games—all career highs.


►  Avs Give Extensions to Stuart, McLeod

Brad Stuart has yet to play a regular-season game for the Colorado Avalanche, but that didn’t deter the club from signing the veteran defenseman to a two-year contract extension on Monday.

The Avalanche also extended the contract of forward Cody McLeod for three years.

Both players are entering the final seasons of their current deals.

The Avalanche acquired Stuart in a trade with San Jose on July 1 for a pair of draft picks.

Stuart, 34, has totaled 77 goals and 245 assists in 985 career games with the Sharks, Boston, Calgary, Los Angeles and Detroit. He won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008.

McLeod has spent his entire career with the Avalanche, supplying grit and energy and occasional offense as a bottom-six winger. The 30-year-old has totaled 50 goals and 41 assists in 467 career games. His 978 penalty minutes are the most in Avalanche history and sixth-most dating back to the franchise’s days in Quebec.


►  Ducks F Heatley Dealing with Groin Issue

The Anaheim Ducks announced on Monday that veteran winger Dany Heatley will miss at least one week with a groin injury.

Heatley’s setback is the latest in a spate of lower-body issues to strike multiple teams during training camp and the exhibition schedule.

The Ducks inked the former 50-goal scorer and unrestricted free agent to a one-year contract on July 09.

Under diminishing ice time, Heatley totaled 12 goals and 16 assists over 76 regular-season games for the Minnesota Wild last season, adding one goal and five assists in 11 postseason appearances. His minus-18 rating was the lowest of his career since a minus-19 during his rookie season with the Thrashers.


►  Isles Agree to Terms with Dal Colle

The New York Islanders and forward Michael Dal Colle agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract on Monday.

Dal Colle was taken with New York’s fifth-overall pick in this past June’s draft

The 18-year-old winger totaled 95 points (39G, 56A) in 67 regular-season games for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, adding 20 points in 12 postseason appearances.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Pagenaud to Drive Fourth Entry for Team Penske in 2015

Team Penske announced on Monday that Simon Pagenaud will drive a new fourth car for the racing organization in the IndyCar Series, beginning with the 2015 season.

Pagenaud, a 30-year-old Frenchman, finished fifth in the IndyCar point standings this season. He has spent the past three seasons with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports. Pagenaud placed fifth in points in 2012 and third last year.

At Penske, Pagenaud will team with Will Power, the reigning IndyCar champion, Helio Castroneves, who finished second in points, and Juan Pablo Montoya, who placed fourth in the standings in his first year with the team.

“Simon Pagenaud is a very talented, focused and determined driver,“ team owner Roger Penske said in a statement. “We know how tough he has been to compete with over the last few seasons and we are very happy to welcome him to Team Penske starting in 2015. With Simon coming on board to join Will, Helio and Juan, we feel we have four drivers very capable of winning on any given weekend and four guys who are legitimate championship contenders.“

Pagenaud has four career victories in IndyCar, including two this year. He won the May 10 inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the second race in the weekend doubleheader in Houston on June 29.

“Getting a chance to race for Team Penske is almost like a dream to me,“ Pagenaud said. “I have always admired the team and everything that Roger Penske has accomplished in racing. I am so excited to become a part of Team Penske, and I can’t wait for the 2015 season to start.“

During the first half of the 2014 season, Pagenaud and Power were at odds with each other, having run-ins on the street circuits in Long Beach, California and Detroit (race 1 of the weekend doubleheader there).



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Why the U.S. Lost the Ryder Cup

PGA of America president Ted Bishop and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson have had plenty of long conversations since Bishop tabbed Watson to lead the Ryder Cup team again.

Bishop might be best served by leaving Watson’s number in his rolodex for the near future.

The PGA of America selects the Ryder Cup captain, and one of its important criteria is that the person chosen is a former major champion. So long, Steve Stricker. Hasta la vista to your captaincy, Matt Kuchar.

Those two may have been important parts of the six teams they played on, but they’re not welcome as a captain because they have not won a major.

Captains in the Ryder Cup can by like quarterbacks in football, overly praised in victory and unfairly tarnished in defeat.

Where did Watson go wrong this past week? Was it leaving Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson on the bench all day Saturday? Was is playing Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker all five sessions?

Either of the above make for good arguments.

Did Watson make poor choices with his captains picks? Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Simpson combined for a 2-4-2 record.

Of course, three possible picks for Watson - Jason Dufner, Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods - were not at his disposal. Can’t blame him for that.

However, Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel were left home. If the deadline for selecting players had been a week or two later, maybe one or both is picked for the team.

You also can’t blame him for his team being outscored approximately 94-under par to 74-under par. The players need to step up.

In the post tournament press conference, Mickelson openly questioned why the U.S. Ryder Cup team has gone away from the pod system that Paul Azinger used successfully in 2008.

“There were two things that allowed us to play our best that Azinger did, and one was he got everybody invested in the process. He got everybody invested in who they were going to play with, who the picks were going to be, who was going to be in their pod, when they would play, and they had a great leader for each pod,“ Mickelson explained about Azinger’s pod system.

“The other thing that Paul did really well was he had a great game plan for us. How we were going to go about playing together; golf ball, format, what we were going to do if so-and-so is playing well, if so-and-so is not playing well, we had a real game plan. Those two things helped us bring out our best golf.“

Mickelson has a point. But, you know what? When you’re 16-19-4 in your Ryder Cup career, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.

Watson countered, “I had a different philosophy as far as being a captain of this team. You know, it takes 12 players to win. It’s not pods. It’s 12 players.“

The 12 players on Watson’s team left the 40th Ryder Cup with a combined record of 55-73-29. That just further suggests the captain’s point that, “collectively, 12 players have to play better.“

There are many sides to the argument. Is Mickelson right? Sure. But Watson also makes a good point.

Three players who can’t be blamed for much of anything this week? The American rookies - Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker - who combined for a 6-4-3 record on the weekend.

The 12 players who were fielded as this year’s American Ryder Cup team, simply put, didn’t get the job done.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE UNITED STATES?

The selection of Watson to captain the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team brought plenty of questions with it. Why go with someone that old? Will Watson be able to get these players to play for him? Can he communicate with them?

Those answers are for another column. Clearly, the choice of Watson, who is adored by the Scots for his five Open Championship titles, failed to inspire his players.

The possible candidates to lead the next few Americans Ryder Cup teams leave something to be desired as well.

Not that there is a pecking order for the captaincy, but this seemed to be David Toms’ job to lose, and he lost it to Watson. Toms will be 49 when the 2016 Ryder Cup rolls around. Late 40s had been the normal ballpark for past U.S. captains, so he fits the bill.

Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard are a few of those in line with Toms to be a future captain.

When asked if he has a winning strategy, Mickelson cut the question off and joked, “No, no, no. I’ve been on eight losing teams.“

The U.S. Ryder Cup team is 2-8 with Mickelson on the squad and 2-7 with Furyk. Furyk (20) and Mickelson (19) have the most losses in U.S. Ryder Cup history.

Furyk’s poor Ryder Cup record could go against him when it comes to choosing a captain in the coming years. Though Mickelson’s record isn’t great, either, Furyk’s 10-20-4 mark is worse.

Like the previous three, Leonard has an underwhelming 2-4-6 Ryder Cup record. However, he did drain the winning putt at the 2008 miracle at Brookline.

If all else fails, could they go back to Azinger again? Would his pod system work a second time? Mickelson and Dufner, via Twitter, more or less threw their support behind Azinger.

Looked over as a captains pick for this year’s Ryder Cup teams, Horschel asked for Fred Couples, who has captained the last three American Presidents Cup teams to victory. Couples will not return for a fourth tour as captain, which seemed to be a drawback before, that he couldn’t run both teams at the same time.

Really, though, are any of those inspired choices? Maybe they can go back to Billy Casper, Arnold Palmer, Lanny Wadkins, Lee Trevino or Jack Nicklaus?

Choose wisely, Mr. Bishop.

MINI-TIDBITS

- As opposed to the Europeans seven players, the U.S. Ryder Cup team had only three players with winning records for the week at Gleneagles.

- Reed was the star of the American team, going 3-0-1. His antics of shushing the crowd and yelling, “Come on!“ after making big birdie putts may have been a little much for the European crowds. But what Reed did wasn’t any different than what Ian Poulter has done in 2004, 2008 and 2012 in the United States.


►  Why the Europeans Won the Ryder Cup

The Europeans have won three straight Ryder Cups and six of the last seven after they cruised to victory over the weekend.

Do they have a secret formula? The American players and some of the American press would lead you to believe that is that case.

Winning captain Paul McGinley said on Sunday, “There’s no special secret.“ Of course, he was referring to the Europeans’ domination in foursomes play at Gleneagles, which led them to a 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 win at the 40th Ryder Cup.

His team won seven of the eight possible points in the two foursomes sessions, and that was one of the major reasons they won the Cup, again.

If the Americans had been able to split the foursomes matches, 4-4 instead of 7-1 in favor of the Europeans, the Americans would have won their first Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993.

Foursomes, as opposed to fourballs, is the harder of the two formats. Yet, the Europeans combined to post a 19-under par score in the two sessions. The Americans? They were 4-over par.

Game. Set. Match.

If you lose two sessions by a combined 23 strokes, there is no way you’re going to win either session or garner more than a single point, which came via a pair of halves.

The Europeans were roughly 94-under par, including concessions, for the tournament. The Americans were approximately 74-under par.

Just another reason the Europeans won another Ryder Cup.

The Europeans did enough in the first seven matches on Sunday that only one of the last five meant anything. That was the 10th match to tee off, which was the eighth to finish and that was the clinching point for Europe.

In the first seven matches of Sunday, the United States had 19 birdies on the front nine, which helped them grab the early lead in several matches. The Europeans countered with 19 birdies and an eagle on the back nine, which helped them erased those early deficits.

As McGinley intimated, there is no secret formula. The secret is just playing better golf.

“We talked about it in the team room (Saturday) night, it doesn’t matter if you’re 4-up or 4-down, try to win the next hole,“ Graeme McDowell said of what pushed him on Sunday.

That’s an apt description of what several European players did on Sunday.

The teams both had four players ranked in the top 10 in the world. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy was a fairly pedestrian 2-1-2 for the week, yet his three points nearly matched that of the top-four ranked Americans.

McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose are ranked in the top six in the world, and they combined for a 10-3-5 record this week.

The Americans top four? Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler, who are ranked between fourth and 10th in the world, posted a 2-11-3 mark for the week.

The Europeans’ top four had 12 1/2 points, 1 1/2 shy of them retaining the Ryder Cup and two short of then winning the Cup outright. The top-four Americans’ 3 1/2 points were about 30% of their team total.

There are many ways and plenty of statistics to describe the reason Europe won the Ryder Cup for the eighth time in 10 tries.

Good golf, plenty of birdies and not nearly as many bogeys as the Americans are chief among them.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR EUROPE?

Do they really need to change anything? Doesn’t seem that way. The Europeans dominated the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

McGinley, the captain, left Luke Donald and his 10-4-1 career Ryder Cup record at home.

He overlooked Joost Luiten, who would have been playing his first Ryder Cup, as well as Francesco Molinari and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Sure, those two are 2-11-5 combined in their five Ryder Cup appearances, but Jimenez was there as a vice captain for a third time this week.

He might not help the Europeans as a player at the Ryder Cup, but Europe is 3-0 with Jimenez as a vice captain. Jimenez is 50 years old and maybe too old by some people’s standards to be captain when the next Ryder Cup rolls around.

But the beloved Jimenez would be tough to overlook as a future captain.

If they do pass over the Spaniard, there are plenty of options. Thomas Bjorn, who would be 45 in 2016, has been on the tournament committee for the European Tour recently and would be another popular pick.

If those two are on the outside looking in on the selection process, there is little doubt that Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood will lead the European Ryder Cup team in the future.

Clarke is 46 and outside of Jimenez seemingly the odds-on favorite to lead the 2016 European team.

If the Europeans had that pesky rule that the Americans have about their captain being a former major champion, that would remove Jimenez, Bjorn and Westwood from that list, which would make selecting a captain a little harder.

The Europeans have plenty going for them at the Ryder Cup. Several players with great records in the event and plenty of solid potential future captains.

MINI-TIDBITS

- The Europeans had seven players with winning records at Gleneagles. Two of them - Rose and McDowell - were undefeated as they combined for a 6-0-2 mark.

- Paul McGinley’s captains picks - Stephen Gallacher, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood - went 2-5-2 for the week. They earned the same amount as the American captains picks, but did have one more loss.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Biggest Pleasant Surprises Through Week 4

With only one game remaining in Week 4 of the NFL season, fantasy owners are starting to understand how most players are going to perform through the remainder of the year.

It has become clear that Steven Jackson is not the same running back he was in St. Louis, and as a result does not hold much more value than a RB3 or flex option. Receivers like Jeremy Kerley and Terrance Williams will give owners some breakout weeks, but also weeks where they put up close to zero points.

We also know that Peyton Manning will be a top-three fantasy quarterback, until he decides to retire. The argument that guys break down as they get older, is simply irrelevant when it comes to him.

Now, while some of the players mentioned above may surprise some owners, there are guys out there who have drastically outperformed expectations. Here are the three biggest, pleasant surprises thus far:

DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas

How can I put a guy who was projected to go in the second round of fantasy drafts, as a pleasant surprise? Simple ... because he is playing the best football of his career.

Sometimes fantasy point totals can be misleading. For example Rashad Jennings is producing well in standard leagues, with 51 fantasy points. However, while he has scored in double digits during Week’s 1 and 3, Jennings had only eight points in Week 2 and five points in Week 4. His inconsistency is not something owners want to see.

Murray, however is not only the best fantasy running back thus far, with 80 total points, but he has also produced in each game this season. He leads the NFL in rushing with 534 yards, and has had at least 100 yards and one touchdown in all four games this year. Murray is proving to be consistent and reliable, week in and week out. As a result, he is likely to finish 2014 as a top-three running back, something that was not projected to begin the season.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia

Heading into 2014, many fantasy owners were intrigued by Maclin’s upside. Coming off a serious injury, but replacing DeSean Jackson in a potentially dynamic offense, seemed like a good deal. However, owners did not realize how good the deal would become.

Maclin has certainly exceeded expectations through the first four weeks, and there is no reason to believe his numbers will begin to decline. He has 52 total fantasy points, and has scored double-digit points in three of the four weeks. Maclin has shown that not only can he make tough catches in traffic, but he can also stretch the defense down field, as he has been open on seam routes all season long. Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles has missed some deep throws to Maclin thus far, but if Foles is able to get down his timing and accuracy, Maclin’s numbers should continue to rise. Which should be music to fantasy owners’ ears.

Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago

Raise your hand if Martellus Bennett went undrafted in your fantasy draft. Now raise your hand if you thought the Bears’ tight end would continue to produce at a high rate, after a solid Week 1. How about after a good performance in Week 2 and a two-touchdown game in Week 3? Well, through four games Bennett is the top ranked fantasy tight end with 52 total points.

Coming into the 2014 season, Bennett was the 11th ranked tight end (based on ESPN standard leagues), behind players like Dennis Pitta, Greg Olsen, Jordan Reed and Kyle Rudolph. Now some of these guys have been injured this season, but with the production Bennett is putting up, it is hard to believe that any of the previously mentioned players would be outperforming Chicago’s tight end, at this point of the year.

Bennett benefits from playing in Marc Trestman’s offense, but also has developed a rapport with quarterback Jay Cutler. While opposing teams have tried to take away wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, Bennett has been able to find good matchups over the middle. As a result, Cutler has found him often and through four games has four touchdowns and 295 yards. Bennett’s production is not going to fade, and at 27-years-old, he is just entering the prime of his career.

The Gilmer Free Press


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2014


Major League Baseball - Playoffs
American League Wild Card Game, 8:00 PM - TBS


National Hockey League - Preseason
NY Rangers at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - MSG, TCN-Philadelphia
NY Islanders at Boston, 7:00 PM - NESN, NHL Network
Ottawa at Winnipeg, 8:00 PM - TSN3, TSN5


International Soccer
UEFA Champions League, 2:30 PM - FS1

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Jayhawks Fire Weis after Shutout Loss to Texas; owe remaining $7 million

The Dana Holgorsen-Charlie Weis rubber match won’t be happening.

When the Kansas Jayhawks visit West Virginia in six days, they’ll do so without Weis, who was fired Sunday with two years remaining on his five-year contract.

A 23-0 homecoming loss to Texas marked the end of the line for Weis

Kansas athletics director Sheahon Zenger appointed defensive coordinator Clint Bowen as interim head coach.

Weis owned a 6-22 overall mark and was 1-18 in Big 12 games since taking over in 2012.

“I normally do not favor changing coaches midseason,” Zenger said in a statement. “But I believe we have talented coaches and players in this program, and I think this decision gives our players the best chance to begin making progress right away.”

During West Virginia’s first season in the Big 12, the Mountaineers blasted Kansas 59-10 in Morgantown.

Last November, the Jayhawks struck back with a 31-19 victory in Lawrence that snapped a 27-game league losing streak and eliminated WVU from bowl-eligibility.

Since pulling off that upset, Kansas had been outscored 129-13 in four games against power 5 competition.

Weis, who was earning $2.5 million annually, reportedly will be paid the remaining $7 million on his contract.

That’s in addition to his massive Notre Dame buyout, which reports revealed will continue to be meted out through 2015 at a value surpassing $18 million.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Notre Dame’s Weis Buyout May Approach $19 Million

Notre Dame’s current and former football coaches cost it at least $3,142,923 for the 2011 football season, but it’s the tab for the dismissal of ex-coach Charlie Weis that indeed may approach $19 million by the end.

Weis received another buyout payment of $2,054,744 as part of the separation agreement for his firing in 2009, bringing the total amount paid to the ousted Irish coach and current Kansas head coach to nearly $10.8 million, according to federal tax documents the school.

It is the second consecutive payment of $2,054,744 to Weis after the initial payment of $6,638,403 after his firing.

The university is scheduled for “additional annual payments” through Dec. 2015, so four more installments of the same $2 million-plus figure would bring the total to $18,966,867.

Brian Kelly, meanwhile, earned a total of $1,088,179 from the school for a reporting period of July 2011 through June 2012, the documents show.

That likely does not represent the total earnings for the coach that would lead Notre Dame to the national title game in January.

“The current head football coach is permitted to receive compensation from external sources with prior written approval from the University,“ the school noted, income from outlets such as shoe companies that would not have to be reported on the tax forms.

Kelly’s base pay, according to the documents, was $672,608 with “bonus and incentive compensation” of $289,741. Other compensation and benefits brought the total to more than $1 million.

Notre Dame Men’s basketball coach Mike Brey earned a total of $1,407,509 according to the documents.

That includes $687,509 in base salary, bonuses, “other reportable income,“ retirement and deferred money and non-tax benefits, plus $720,000 from Play by Play sports, which is now known as Notre Dame Sports Properties.

Irish women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw earned a total of $1,145,441, according to the form, with $900,441 in compensation from the school and $245,000 from Play by Play sports.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick earned 1,085,260 from the school, according to the latest forms.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL SCORES Week 4

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28


Final Score: Baltimore 38, Carolina 10

Steve Smith Sr. talked a big game leading up to his first bout with his former team and the veteran receiver delivered, hauling in two touchdown passes to help the Baltimore Ravens crush the Carolina Panthers 38-10 on Sunday. Joe Flacco completed 22-of-31 passes for 327 yards and three scores for Baltimore (3-1), winners in three straight following a Week 1 loss to Cincinnati. Smith, who spent his first 13 seasons with Carolina, took jabs at his former quarterback Cam Newton leading up to the game but backed it up by making seven catches for 139 yards while Newton was subpar for a second straight week. Playing through various injuries, Newton threw for 197 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-25 passing, but struggled in the second half as the game got away from the Panthers (2-2). Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro split the carries for Baltimore and combined for 124 yards with one touchdown apiece. Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury. He and Darrin Reaves gained only 60 total yards on 23 carries.


Final Score: Green Bay 38, Chicago 17

Aaron Rodgers threw for 302 yards with four touchdowns to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 38-17 rout of the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Randall Cobb had 113 yards on seven receptions with two touchdowns and Jordy Nelson hauled in 10 passes for 108 yards and two scores. Eddie Lacy finished with 48 yards on the ground with a rushing touchdown for the Packers (2-2), who avoided their first 0-3 start on the road since dropping their first four in 2005. Jay Cutler passed for 256 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Chicago, which has lost eight of its last nine meetings with Green Bay. Marcellus Bennett had a monster game in defeat, catching nine passes for 134 yards. Matt Forte ran for a season-high 122 yards on 23 carries, while Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery each caught touchdown passes.


Final Score: Houston 23, Buffalo 17

J.J. Watt came up with the play of the day, a tide-turning 80-yard interception return touchdown early in the third quarter that spurred the Houston Texans to a 23-17 win over the Buffalo Bills. The Texans trailed 10-7 at halftime and were in danger of falling behind further after Buffalo linebacker Nigel Bradham intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick deep in Houston territory to start the third quarter. The Bills got down to the Texans 12 when Watt snuck into the flat and made a spectacular one-handed grab of E.J. Manuel’s short pass attempt, then raced untouched all the way to the end zone for the momentum-shifting score. Later on, Darryl Morris picked off Manuel with just over a minute left to seal Houston’s fourth 3-1 start in the past five seasons. Randy Bullock helped keep the Bills at bay by booting three second-half field goals, including a career-long 55-yarder. DeAndre Hopkins hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass earlier from Fitzpatrick, who shook off a pair of interceptions to put up 268 yards on a 25-of-37 completion rate. Manuel threw a pair of touchdown passes, including an 80-yarder to Mike Williams in the fourth quarter, but made good on just 21-of-44 attempts for 225 yards. Fred Jackson finished with six catches totaling 52 yards for Buffalo (2-2), dealt a second straight loss after a promising 2-0 beginning.


Final Score: Indianapolis 41, Tennessee 17

Andrew Luck threw four touchdown passes for the second straight week, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 41-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Luck completed 29-of-41 passes for 393 yards and an interception for the Colts (2-2), who have won two straight games. Luck was also sharp in last week’s 44-17 rout of the Jaguars. Trent Richardson carried the ball 20 times for 47 yards and a score for Indianapolis, which has won nine in a row against AFC South opponents. Reggie Wayne caught seven passes for 119 yards and one touchdown, while T.Y. Hilton hauled in six passes for 105 yards. With Jake Locker (wrist) out, Charlie Whitehurst connected on 12-of-23 passes for 177 yards, one touchdown and an interception for the Titans (1-3), who have lost three in a row. Whitehurst made his first start since 2011.


Final Score: Detroit 24, NY Jets 17

Matthew Stafford had two touchdown passes and ran for another score, as the Detroit Lions took a 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. Stafford went 24-for-34 for 293 yards and had touchdown passes to Jeremy Ross and Eric Ebron for the Lions (3-1), who have won their past two games. Star Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson was hobbled by an ankle injury throughout the game and was never a factor, catching just two passes for 12 yards. Geno Smith was 17-for-33 for 209 yards with one touchdown, one interception and one lost fumble for the Jets (1-3), who have lost three straight games—all to NFC North opponents.


Final Score: Miami 38, Oakland 14

If Ryan Tannehill’s status as Miami’s quarterback was questioned this week, he came up with some answers for head coach Joe Philbin as the Dolphins rolled to a 38-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders Sunday at Wembley Stadium. Philbin wouldn’t officially commit to Tannehill as the team’s starter during the week, as the Dolphins (2-2) followed up a stirring season-opening win against New England with subpar efforts in losses to Buffalo and Kansas City. Tannehill’s performance on Sunday should quiet any rumors of backup Matt Moore taking over. Miami’s first-round pick in 2012 completed 14 straight passes at one point Sunday, finishing the contest 23-of-31 for 278 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception on a deflected pass. Lamar Miller ran for 64 yards with two touchdowns and the Miami defense was brilliant after allowing a touchdown on Oakland’s first series. The Dolphins picked off three passes and returned a fumble for a score. Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr completed 16-of-25 passes for 146 yards with a touchdown and an interception before exiting the contest in the third quarter with a knee injury. Matt McGloin took over and threw for 129 yards with a touchdown and two picks as the Raiders (0-4) suffered their 10th straight defeat dating back to last year. Oakland is winless after four games for the first time since an 0-5 start in 2006.


Final Score: Tampa Bay 27, Pittsburgh 24

Embarrassed a week ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied late to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 at Heinz Field. Mike Glennon threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson with seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as Tampa Bay picked up its first win of the season. Glennon, playing in place of Josh McCown (right thumb), was 21- of-42 for 302 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Louis Murphy caught six passes for 99 yards for the Buccaneers (1-3), who were clobbered 56-14 in Atlanta 10 days ago. Ben Roethlisberger completed 29-of-40 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns for Pittsburgh (2-2).


Final Score: San Diego 33, Jacksonville 14

Philip Rivers threw for three touchdowns and 377 yards, leading the San Diego Chargers to a 33-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Rivers completed 29 of his 39 passes, while Eddie Royal caught two touchdown passes and racked up 105 yards on five catches and Keenan Allen had a career- high 135 yards on 10 grabs. Nick Novak made four field goals for the Chargers (3-1), who won their third straight game. Blake Bortles, who was selected third overall in May’s draft, made his first career start, throwing for 253 yards on a 29-of-37 completion rate with a touchdown and two interceptions in the loss. Toby Gerhart rushed for 32 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown and Nic Jacobs added a receiving score for Jacksonville (0-4). The Chargers scored the final 23 points of the game.


Final Score: Minnesota 41, Atlanta 28

Teddy Bridgewater out-gunned Matt Ryan in his first NFL start, passing for 317 yards to lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 41-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Bridgewater, who ran for a touchdown but didn’t pass for any, injured his ankle late in the fourth quarter on a drive that ended with the Vikings taking a gamble on fourth down at the 1-yard line. It worked, with Matt Asiata’s touchdown giving the Vikings the lead for good with 10:50 remaining. Asiata scored three times and Jerick McKinnon rushed for 135 yards as the Vikings (2-2) won for the first time in three games since star running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on child-abuse charges and deactivated. Ryan threw for 298 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions for Atlanta (2-2), which played 10 days after its last game, a 56-14 rout of Tampa Bay on Thursday night. The Vikings, already without Peterson for who knows how long, lost quarterback Matt Cassel to a foot injury he suffered last week against New Orleans and now will wait for MRI results on Bridgewater’s ankle.


Final Score: San Francisco 26, Philadelphia 21

The San Francisco 49ers stymied Philadelphia’s potent offensive attack and had a late goal-line stand, holding off the Eagles 26-21 to hand them their first loss of the season on Sunday. Frank Gore carried the ball 24 times for 119 yards and had a career-long 55- yard touchdown catch for the 49ers (2-2), who avoided a three-game losing streak. Colin Kaepernick was 17-of-30 for 218 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the triumph. Nick Foles completed just 21-of-43 passes for 195 yards with two interceptions and LeSean McCoy struggled to find holes behind Philadelphia’s makeshift offensive line, running for just 17 yards on 10 carries for the Eagles (3-1).


Final Score: Dallas 38, New Orleans 17

Dallas head coach Jason Garrett was determined to run the ball more in 2014. That renewed focus on the rushing attack is starting to churn out results. DeMarco Murray ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns and the Cowboys routed the New Orleans Saints 38-17 on Sunday night. Aided by an offensive line that has added three first-round selections—Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin—in the last four years, Murray leads the NFL with 534 yards on the ground. He has gone over 100 yards rushing in each of his first four games. He averaged a healthy 6.2 yards on 24 carries for the Cowboys (3-1), who raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back in their third straight win. Dallas moved to 14-1 when Murray runs the ball at least 20 times. Tony Romo was 22-of-29 for 262 yards and three touchdowns, Terrance Williams had six receptions for 77 yards and two scores and Dez Bryant added three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown in the triumph. Drew Brees completed 32-of-44 passes for 340 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and Jimmy Graham hauled in eight throws for 86 yards and a score for New Orleans (1-3), which fell to 0-3 on the road this season.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25


Final Score: NY Giants 45, Washington 14

The New York Giants may have finally found their tight end of the future. Eli Manning tossed three of his four touchdown passes to Larry Donnell, who became the first Giants tight end to haul in three scores in 52 years, and New York routed the Washington Redskins, 45-14, on Thursday night. New York has employed five different starting tight ends since Jeremy Shockey’s departure in 2007, with the Giants’ leading one averaging 42 receptions for 539 yards during the six-year span. Shockey, meanwhile, averaged 62 catches and 705 yards a season during his six- year stint with the Giants from 2002-2007. Donnell finished with 54 yards on seven receptions for New York (2-2), which has won its last two games after beginning 0-2. Joe Walton was the last Giants tight end to score three touchdowns in 1962. Manning, who also added a score on the ground, completed 28-of-39 passes for 300 yards. Rueben Randle posted eight catches for 89 yards and Victor Cruz caught six balls for 108 yards in the triumph. After going 30-of-48 for a career-high 427 yards and three touchdowns in his first start of the year for the injured Robert Griffin III Sunday against Philadelphia, Kirk Cousins came back down to earth Thursday. He was 19-of-33 with a touchdown and four interceptions—all in the second half. He also lost a fumble. Alfred Morris carried the ball 12 times for 63 yards and a score for the Redskins (1-3), who have lost their last two games.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Jeter Finishes Career with RBI Single

Derek Jeter’s career came to an end Sunday in Boston and the retiring New York Yankees shortstop left the field for the final time after an RBI single.

Jeter was honored by the Red Sox prior to the game and was in the lineup as the designated hitter in his customary No. 2 slot in the batting order.

He hit a stinging line drive off Boston starter Clay Buchholz in the first inning, but it was right at shortstop Jemile Weeks. In the third inning, with a runner on third, Jeter hit a chopper off the plate toward third base and legged out the infield single to chase home Ichiro Suzuki.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi motioned toward Jeter at first to see if he wanted to exit and the Yankees captain trotted off the field for the last time. He motioned toward the Red Sox bench, then shook hands with Buchholz as he headed toward the dugout and received nothing but cheers from the Fenway Park faithful.

Jeter finished his brilliant 20-year career with 3,465 hits—sixth on the all-time list. A 14-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he will finish his career a .309 lifetime hitter in 2,747 games.

The New Jersey native was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1996 when the Yankees won their first World Series since 1978 and first of four championships in a five-year span. The last title came in 2009.

Prior to Sunday’s season-finale, the Red Sox held a 30-minute ceremony to honor Jeter.

The Red Sox introduced the Yankees captain to the crowd with the theme to “The Natural” and several Red Sox greats, including Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, Luis Tiant, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield, came out to greet Jeter.

Three Boston legends from other sports—Bobby Orr of the Bruins, Paul Pierce of the Celtics and Troy Brown of the Patriots—also were part of the ceremony.

Current Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield, a coach in the Yankee system when Jeter was in the minor leagues, presented Jeter with a pair of boots from LL Bean, before the entire Red Sox team—led by David Ortiz—came out of the dugout to shake hands with their long-time rival.

Dustin Pedroia gave Jeter a base with a pinstriped No. 2 on top, while Jeter also received a metal placard from the Green Monster with the word “RE2PECT” on it. The team also gave Jeter a check for $22,222.22 for his Turn 2 Foundation.

Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball team captain diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) who was largely responsible for the viral impact of this summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge, also joined the ceremony.


►  NATIONAL LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Cincinnati 4, Pittsburgh 1
Kristopher Negron’s two-run homer capped a three-run eighth inning, lifting the Cincinnati Reds over the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-1, on Sunday. The Pirates entered the final day of the regular season a game behind St. Louis in the NL Central. Pittsburgh needed to win and have the Cardinals lose against Arizona to force a one-game tiebreaker at Busch Stadium to determine the division champion. But the Cardinals won the division title with the Pirates’ loss. Pittsburgh will host the Giants in the NL wild card game on Wednesday.


Final Score: Washington 1, Miami 0
Jordan Zimmermann threw his first career no-hitter on the last day of the regular season. Steven Souza punctuated it with one of the year’s best catches. Zimmermann struck out 10 to lead the Nationals to a 1-0 win over Miami on Sunday, getting a lot of help from his defense at the end. After Adeiny Hechavarria grounded out to start the ninth inning, center fielder Michael Taylor caught Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s fly ball in front of the warning track for the second out. Christian Yelich then drove a 2-1 fastball to deep left, where Souza raced to track it down for an over-the-shoulder diving catch to end the game. The NL East champions stormed the field after the final out to congratulate Zimmermann (14-5), who allowed just one walk to win his eighth straight decision. It was the franchise’s first no-hitter since moving from Montreal to Washington in 2005. The last no-no thrown by a Washington team was by Bobby Burke for the Senators in a 5-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 8, 1931.


Final Score: Atlanta 2, Philadelphia 1
Emilio Bonifacio led off the game with a home run as the Atlanta Braves closed out the season with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Bonifacio drove Cole Hamels’ fourth pitch over the wall in left-center field. In his last outing against the Braves on Sept. 1, Hamels pitched the first six innings of a combined no- hitter. The first four Atlanta batters reached against Hamels on Sunday afternoon. After walking Phil Gosselin and giving up consecutive singles to Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson, Hamels retired 20 in a row until hitting Joey Terdoslavich with two outs in the seventh. Hamels (9-9) was a hard-luck loser after tossing eight strong frames. The Braves (79-83) used a bullpen by committee, beginning with James Russell, after scheduled starter Alex Wood was scratched because of a mild left forearm strain. Russell scattered two hits over four scoreless innings in his first start since 2011. Luis Avilan (4-1) tossed two innings to pick up the win.


Final Score: Chicago 5, Milwaukee 2
Arismendy Alcantara’s two-run double in the sixth inning helped send the Chicago Cubs out on a positive note with a 5- 2 decision over the Milwaukee Brewers in the season finale for both teams. Antony Rizzo added a two-run homer, part of a 3-for-4 day for the Chicago first baseman. Alcantara’s tie-breaking hit made a winner out of Jacob Turner (6-11), who yielded a pair of runs on four hits over five innings, and enabled Chicago (73-89) to end its 2014 campaign with victories in four of its last five games despite a fifth straight last-place finish in the NL Central. Milwaukee (82-80), on the other hand, closed out a brutal final six weeks of its season. Owning a 2 1/2-game lead atop the NL Central on August 19, the Brewers fell out of playoff contention entirely following an 11-25 finish. Mike Fiers (6-5) struck out seven over six innings for Milwaukee, but surrendered four Cubs runs—three of which were earned.


Final Score: San Francisco 9, San Diego 3
Buster Posey hit a two-run homer, and the playoff-bound San Francisco Giants finished the regular season with a 9-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday. Joaquin Arias doubled home two runs in a four-run seventh inning for the Giants (88-74), who will travel to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates in the NL wild card game on Wednesday.


Final Score: St. Louis 1, Arizona 0
Nick Greenwood and four relievers combined to toss a two-hit shutout, and the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks, 1-0, on the final day of the regular season. Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright was scheduled to start for St. Louis, but after the Pirates lost earlier in the day and the Cardinals clinched their second straight NL Central division title, Greenwood was given the ball instead. Greenwood allowed one hit in three innings of work and Justin Masterson (3-3) gave up a hit in two innings for the Cards, who are back in the postseason for the fourth straight season. Marco Gonzales struck out two in three no-hit frames and Carlos Martinez nailed down the second save of his career. St. Louis (90-72) will travel to Los Angeles for an NLDS series with the NL West champion Dodgers. Josh Collmenter tossed a gem for Arizona (64-98) despite the loss, yielding just a run on three hits over eight innings. Collmenter (11-9) set a career- high with 28 starts and 179 1/3 innings pitched this season.


Final Score: NY Mets 8, Houston 3
Lucas Duda hit a two-run home run and drove in four as the New York Mets closed out the season with an 8-3 win over the Houston Astros. Ruben Tejada also hit a two-run home run while Daniel Murphy scored twice for the Mets (79-83), who won their final two games of the season. Bartolo Colon (15-13) allowed three runs on eight hits over six innings to get the win. Max Stassi drove in two runs for the Astros (70-92), who lost five of six to end the season. Nick Tropeano (1-3) allowed four runs on six hits over five innings.


Final Score: Los Angeles 10, Colorado 5
Roger Bernadina came off the bench to hit a homer and knock in four runs, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers wrap the regular season up with a 10-5 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp also homered, with Gonzalez driving in three runs in the win. Zack Greinke (17-8) limited the Rockies to one run over five innings for the Dodgers (94-68), who host St. Louis in the NLDS starting on Friday. Christian Bergman (3-5) took the loss after giving up eight runs—seven earned—on 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings for Colorado (66-96), which dropped its final four games of the season. In a down year for a club ravaged by injuries, the Rockies’ bright spot was Justin Morneau, who sealed up the NL batting title on Sunday with a .319 average. Morneau became the first Canadian to win the title since former Rockie Larry Walker did so in 2001.


►  AMERICAN LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: New York 9, Boston 5

Derek Jeter singled in a run during his final at-bat in a big league uniform and the Yankees sent the future Hall of Fame shortstop into retirement with a 9-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday at Fenway Park. Jeter was honored by the Red Sox prior to the game and was in the lineup as the designated hitter in his customary No. 2 slot in the batting order. He hit a stinging line drive off Boston starter Clay Buchholz in the first inning, but it was right at shortstop Jemile Weeks. In the third inning, with a runner on third, Jeter hit a chopper off the plate toward third base and legged out the infield single to chase home Ichiro Suzuki, part of a four- run inning that gave the Yankees a lead they would not relinquish. Yankees manager Joe Girardi motioned toward Jeter at first to see if he wanted to exit and the Yankees captain trotted off the field for the last time. He motioned toward the Red Sox bench, then shook hands with Buchholz as he headed toward the dugout and received nothing but cheers from the Fenway faithful. Jeter finished his brilliant 20-year career with 3,465 hits—sixth on the all-time list. A 14-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he will finish his career a .310 lifetime hitter in 2,747 games. Suzuki, likely in his final game with the Yankees, knocked in two runs and Jose Pirela also drove in two during a five-run seventh for New York (84-78). The Yankees won two of the last three in the weekend set and finished second in the American League East. Mookie Betts and Dan Butler each drove in two runs during a five-run seventh for Boston (71-91), which followed up a 2013 World Series championship by finishing last in the AL East for the second time in three seasons.


Final Score: Detroit 3, Minnesota 0

David Price showed why he was so coveted at the trade deadline, leading the Detroit Tigers to their fourth consecutive AL Central title with a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. Price (15-12) tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings, limiting the Twins to just four hits while striking out eight to register the third 15-win season of his career. Detroit (90-72), which entered the day a game ahead of Kansas City, took the division crown in manager Brad Ausmus’ inaugural season at the helm. Ian Kinsler went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI and Torii Hunter knocked in a run for the Tigers, who will face Baltimore in the ALDS starting Thursday. Kyle Gibson (13-12) took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits over 7 1/3 innings for Minnesota (70-92), which split the four-game, season-ending series with Detroit.


Final Score: Oakland 4, Texas 0

Sonny Gray tossed a shutout to help the Oakland Athletics clinch the American League’s final wild card spot with a 4-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday. Gray (14-10) allowed just six hits with five strikeouts to earn the win and snap a string of three straight losing decisions. Jed Lowrie hit a two-run single and Josh Reddick finished with two hits, an RBI and a run scored for Oakland (88-74), which will travel to Kansas City for a one-game playoff on Tuesday. Elvis Andrus had two hits for the Rangers (67-95), who lost two of its final three games. Nick Martinez (5-12) was tagged with the loss after giving up two runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings in defeat.


Final Score: Seattle 4, LA Angels of Anaheim 1

Michael Saunders drove in two runs as Seattle downed the LA Angels of Anaheim, 4-1, to end the season in a bittersweet victory. The Mariners (87-75) came into the game needing a win and an Oakland loss to force a one-game playoff for the final wild card spot in the American League. Oakland, though, defeated Texas while Seattle was playing to lock up the final playoff spot up for grabs in the majors. Mike Zunino also drove in a pair of runs for the Mariners, who finished the season with four straight wins. Felix Hernandez (15-6) allowed just one hit with sriking out seven over 5 1/3 innings. The Angels (98-64) won the AL West and finished with the best record in the majors. They will play the winner of the Oakland/Kansas City wild card game in the division series starting on Friday. Colby Rasmus (3-2) was limited to just three-plus innings in the start, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk for the Angels, who lost five of their final seven games.


Final Score: Kansas City 6, Chicago 4

Carlos Peguero’s RBI single capped a three- run sixth inning, lifting the Kansas City Royals over Chicago, 6-4, in the final game for retiring White Sox captain Paul Konerko. The Royals, who had already secured their first playoff berth since 1985, entered Sunday’s action a game behind Detroit in the AL Central. The Tigers, however, beat the Twins to win the division. Kansas City (89-73) will host Oakland in the AL wild card game on Tuesday night. The A’s beat the Rangers on Sunday. Konerko went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts on the final day of his 18-year big league career. He started the game by taking his familiar post at first base, then paid tribute to his wife and three children by writing their names in the infield dirt behind the bag. The slugger played five innings on Sunday. The 38-year-old Konerko, who made six trips to the All-Star Game, played his final 16 seasons with the White Sox. He finished his career with a .279 average, 439 homers and 1,412 RBI. Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out six over four innings. Casey Coleman (1-0) tossed a scoreless fifth to pick up the win. Chris Bassitt got the start for Chicago and gave up three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts over five-plus innings. Daniel Webb (6-5) took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in the sixth. The White Sox (73-89) finished fourth in the AL Central.


Final Score: Cleveland 7, Tampa Bay 2

Zach Walters and David Murphy each went 2- for-4 with a home run to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 7-2 season-ending win over the Tampa Bay Rays from Progressive Field. Walters added a run-scoring double and Jose Ramirez finished with three hits and an RBI for Cleveland (85-77), which broke out with 14 hits as a team after mustering just one run over the series’ first two games. T.J. House (5-3) aided the Indians’ cause by holding Tampa Bay to a run on five hits over the first five innings. Alex Cobb (10-9) wrapped up the Rays’ disappointing 2014 campaign with a subpar start, with the right-hander shelled for 10 hits and four runs in six innings of work. Sean Rodriguez paced Tampa Bay (77-85), which closed out its first losing season since 2007, by going 2-for-4 with a solo home run.


Final Score: Baltimore 1, Toronto 0

Jonathan Schoop’s solo home run was all Baltimore needed, as the Orioles will carry momentum into the postseason following a 1-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. The AL East champion Orioles, who already secured the second-best record in the American League, avoided a four-game losing skid to finish the regular season. Schoop’s homer was the 16th of his first full major league season. Miguel Gonzalez (10-9) gave up five hits in five innings in his final tune-up before the postseason. The right-hander is expected to start Game 2 or 3 of the ALDS. Baltimore (96-66) will host AL Central winner Detroit in the ALDS, with Game 1 set for Thursday at Camden Yards. Ubaldo Jimenez struck out the side in an inning of relief as five Baltimore relievers allowed just one hit over the final four innings. Zach Britton nailed down his 37th save of the season, pitching around a leadoff single in the ninth. R.A. Dickey (14-13) took the tough-luck loss after giving up a run on two hits in six innings of work. The knuckleballer had won his last five decisions and failed to reach 15 wins for the second time in his career with the setback. The Blue Jays (83-79) finished the season in third place in the AL East. They haven’t finished in second or higher since 2006.


Final Score: NY Mets 8, Houston 3

Lucas Duda hit a two-run home run and drove in four as the New York Mets closed out the season with an 8-3 win over the Houston Astros. Ruben Tejada also hit a two-run home run while Daniel Murphy scored twice for the Mets (79-83), who won their final two games of the season. Bartolo Colon (15-13) allowed three runs on eight hits over six innings to get the win. Max Stassi drove in two runs for the Astros (70-92), who lost five of six to end the season. Nick Tropeano (1-3) allowed four runs on six hits over five innings.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Kimetto, Tsegaye Win Berlin Marathon Titles

Dennis Kimetto of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Tirfi Tsegaye won the titles at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday.

Kimetto finished in a time of 2 hours, 2 minutes and 57 seconds, setting a world record while becoming the first man to break the 2-hour, 3-minute mark. The old record was 2:03:23 by Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang last year in Berlin.

Fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai finished 16 seconds behind Kimetto, as the two mirrored their finish at the 2013 Chicago Marathon. It was a two-man race, as Ethiopia’s Abera Kuma was 2:59 behind the winner in third.

Tsegaye also beat a countrymate to the wire to win the women’s race, finishing in 2:20:18, nine seconds in front of Feyse Tadese. American Shalane Flanagan was third, 56 seconds off the winning pace.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Gordon Wins Chase Race at Dover

Jeff Gordon clinched a spot in the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship by winning Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

While Gordon moved on to the “Contender Round” in the Chase, A.J. Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Aric Almirola have been eliminated from the playoffs.

Dover was the third and final race in the opening round of the Chase, known as the “Challenger Round.“ Gordon joined Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano as those drivers who automatically advanced based on their wins. Keselowski scored the victory in the Sept. 14 Chase-opener at Chicagoland, and Logano took the checkered flag one week ago at New Hampshire.

Gordon entered this elimination race seventh in the Chase point standings. He finished second at Chicagoland but placed 26th at New Hampshire after he cut a tire and slammed into the wall late in that event.

“This is huge,“ Gordon said in Dover’s Victory Lane. “We came in here with a little bit of extra pressure because we weren’t guaranteed to be in. If we hadn’t finished where we were running at New Hampshire last week, it would have been kind of an easy day for us. But all we did was focus on executing as a team and trying to win this race and nothing else.

“It wasn’t about the points. It wasn’t about just squeezing by to get to the next round. It was about making a statement. I don’t know how you make a bigger statement than what this team just did right there.“

Gordon, the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, claimed his fourth win of the season and the 92nd of his Sprint Cup Series career. It was also his fifth victory at this one-mile, concrete- surfaced racetrack. His last win here came in 2001, the year he won his fourth and most recent series championship.

“I don’t know what I’ve found, but I think a lot of it has to do with (crew chief) Alan Gustafson and all the guys on this No. 24 team,“ Gordon added. “They’ve been giving me such an awesome race car this year. I’m having so much fun.“

Gordon led two times for a total of 94 laps, including the final 71. He crossed the finish line 4.4 seconds ahead of Keselowski, who had led a total of 78 laps.

The last time Gordon had four or more wins in a season was in 2007 when he finished second in the point standings.

Keselowski finished second and Logano was fourth at Dover.

The other nine drivers advancing to the Contender Round and their finishing positions at Dover were: Jimmie Johnson (3rd), Matt Kenseth (5th), Ryan Newman (8th), Kyle Busch (10th), Carl Edwards (11th), Denny Hamlin (12th), Kevin Harvick (13th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (17th) and Kasey Kahne (20th).

Kahne made the cut into the next playoff round by only two points over Allmendinger, who finished 23rd. Kahne had been two laps down after he pitted out of sequence earlier in the race.

“I felt like we went four laps down at one point when we pitted,“ Kahne said. “I had a fast car. Luckily, (crew chief) Kenny (Francis) made great calls. The team prepared a great car, so I was fortunate to have that and drive our way back to barely advance.“

Allmendinger, making his first appearance in the Chase, came to Dover 10th in points.

“It’s disappointing to miss it by two points, but we didn’t deserve to be in it with the run that we had,“ Allmendinger said.

Kurt Busch came up six points short after placing 18th.

“You can’t expect to advance running 18th,“ Busch said. “You’ve got to have better lap times every time you go and hit the track. If you’re off, it’s hard to put the car up on your back and run it. I just chalk it up to me not getting the job done. It’s all my fault that we didn’t advance.“

Biffle’s 21st-place run put him seven points behind Kahne.

“This is the way it’s gone all season,“ Biffle said. “We’re just searching for speed and struggled all day today. We’ve worked hard trying to fix our problems, but it just hasn’t come together yet.“

Almirola, also in his first Chase this year, finished 28th and failed to advance by 18 points. Prior to Dover, he was ranked last in the Chase but was just 10 points behind the 12th spot.

“It just didn’t work out for us,“ Almirola said. “I hate it. We picked a bad day to run the way we did, and we can’t blame anybody but ourselves. My car didn’t have any grip. You can’t go fast without grip.“

Harvick started on the pole and dominated most of this race by leading 223 of 400 laps. But Harvick cut his left-front tire on lap 252, which forced the fifth and final caution. he pitted several times for repairs during the caution and fell as far back as 21st.

“A lug nut got in between the wheel and the brake rotor and knocked the vale stem out,“ Harvick said of his incident. “Crazy. Just handing out early Christmas presents to people for winning races that we should be winning…It’s just unbelievable that it can happen.“

Each of the 12 drivers who made it into the next round had their points reset to 3,000 for the next race in the Chase, Oct. 5 at Kansas.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Europe Wins Third Straight Ryder Cup

Jamie Donaldson finished what Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell started on Sunday as the Europeans won their third straight Ryder Cup by a 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 margin.

Armed with a 4-up lead with four holes to go, Donaldson stuffed his approach shot at 15 to a foot. Keegan Bradley conceded the birdie and the 4 & 3 win to Donaldson. That moved the Europeans to 14 1/2 points, enough for them to win the coveted trophy yet again.

“Yeah, 7-1 was a huge result out of the two foursomes sessions. If you look historically over the past few years, the Americans have been stronger than us in foursomes, so this was a one off,“ said European captain Paul McGinley. “It really did, it worked incredibly well for us. There’s no special secret for it, it was just one of those things that happened.“

World No. 1 McIlroy was 7-under par through 14 holes at Gleneagles as he cruised to a 5 & 4 win over Rickie Fowler.

“We’ve had a lot of great leaders that have led our team the last few Ryder Cups. (Colin) Montgomerie in 2010, Jose Maria (Olazabal) last time at Medinah and obviously Paul here. I can’t say enough about Paul and his captaincy and how good it’s been,“ McIlroy stated. “I’m delighted that everything worked out so well for him.“

McDowell was 3-down after five holes against Jordan Spieth, then won five of six holes from the 10th en route to a 2 & 1 win.

The two Northern Irishmen earned the first two points for the Europeans, then Patrick Reed got the Americans on the board with a 1-up win over Henrik Stenson.

U.S. Open winner Martin Kaymer beat Bubba Watson, 4 & 2, to put Europe on the brink of victory.

Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar won their matches over Scotland’s Steven Gallacher and Thomas Bjorn, respectively, to trim the American deficit to 13-9.

Then last year’s U.S. Open champ Justin Rose battled to a halve with Hunter Mahan to move the Europeans within a half-point of keeping the Cup.

Donaldson and Bradley, who were in the 10th match out, halved No. 14 meaning Europe had at least retained the Cup. Donaldson, who was unaware that his half at 14 guaranteed the Europeans the requisite 14 points to keep the Cup, clinched the Ryder Cup one hole later with his stellar second shot.

After Bradley drained a birdie at the eighth to trim his deficit to 1-down, Donaldson birdied three of four holes from the ninth to push his lead to 4-up.

At 14, Bradley hit a poor chip from left of the green and lagged his birdie try to tap-in range. Donaldson chipped from over the green to nine feet. If that putt fell, the match was over, but he missed.

Donaldson nearly holed his second at 15 and that gave the Cup back to Europe.

“It’s so hard to play your way into the team. I played well for a year, but it took the event before the last one to get in,“ said Donaldson of his win at the Czech Masters that sealed his spot on the team. “Obviously it came down to me to close it out, which is fantastic, but it’s all about the team. The guys have gone so well this week and everybody has played really well. They played their heart out to retain the Ryder Cup, at the end of the day, that’s what its all about.“

Europe ended up winning the singles matches 6 1/2 - 5 1/2, but the foursomes play over the first two days, is where this Ryder Cup was won.

“The real difference was the foursome play. The combined score in foursomes for our team was really, really high compared to theirs. That was the biggest difference in the play this week,“ explained U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson. “We gave them a shot here in the singles. We made them think about us early in the singles, but they turned it on. But the foursome play separated the two teams.“

McIlroy, the Open Champion and PGA Championship winner, played like the No. 1 player in the world. He was 6-under par through six holes with four birdies and an eagle, and was 5-up. Fowler got one back at seven. McIlroy took the 13th and a par at 14 gave the Europeans their first point of the day.

Spieth flew out of the gate with three wins in the first five holes, just one of which was with a birdie. But, he didn’t win another hole.

After four halves in a row, McDowell won five of six holes from the 10th with three pars and two birdies. Spieth left a birdie putt short at 16 and McDowell claimed the match with an up-and-down par at 17.

“We talked about it in the team room last night, it doesn’t matter if your 4- up or 4-down, try to win the next hole. Try to send a signal to your teammates from the crowd that something good is happening up in front,“ said McDowell. “That’s what drove me on, I just tried to win the next hole.“

Reed and Stenson each won two holes on the front nine. Around the turn, Reed looked to grab control as he took 11 and 12, but Stenson won the 14th with a par and was conceded birdie at 15 to square the match. Reed 2-putted for birdie at 18 and Stenson missed from inside six feet to give the Americans their first point.

“I just tried to play golf. Being my first time in the Ryder Cup, I leaned a lot on the Mickelsons and the Furyks, the guys that have been out here for a while and played multiple Ryder Cups,“ Reed stated. “I went by what they said and enjoyed the day.“

In a battle of two of this year’s major champions, it was all Kaymer. He won four in a row from the third to go 4-up. Watson, the Masters winner, birdied seven to earn his first win, but Kaymer was conceded the eighth. After Watson took 15, Kaymer chipped in for eagle at 16 to seal the match.

Kuchar won four of six holes from the 10th. Bjorn got one back at 11, but Kuchar won the 15th to claim the match.

Moments later, Mickelson wrapped up his win. He and Gallacher split three wins each over the first 11 holes. After three halves in a row from 12, Mickelson made three birdies in a row from 15, all from inside seven feet, to win the match and make it 13-9 Europe.

“I thought the European team played some incredible golf and just beat us,“ Mickelson said. “We had a great formula in ‘08 and I don’t know why we strayed from it. I don’t know why we don’t ever try going back to it.“

Mahan led 15 of the 17 holes, and was 4-up after six. Rose birdied four in a row to square the match at 11. They traded wins before Mahan birdied 14 to go 1-up. Mahan was left of the 18th in two, but hit a poor chip. After he failed to save par, he conceded Rose’s birdie try and the match was halved.

“I think today took a lot out of me being 4-down. Hunter played absolutely awesome today and it took pretty much me digging as deep as I could to find a run in the middle of the round, which I did to square things up,“ Rose stated.

Donaldson won the 15th hole and the match.

Sergio Garcia and Furyk were tight throughout their match. Garcia birdied 15 and eagled 16 to go 1-up. They halved the last two holes to give the Spaniard the match.

Ian Poulter lost a 2-up lead against Webb Simpson, but birdied the 18th to claim a 1-up victory over the 2012 U.S. Open winner.

Jimmy Walker finished a solid first Ryder Cup with a 3 & 2 win over Lee Westwood. Walker led throughout and Westwood won just one hole.

Zach Johnson birdied the 18th hole to halve the final match against Victor Dubuisson.

NOTES: The Europeans have won three Ryder Cups in a row, six of the last eight and eight of the last 10 ... For the week, the Europeans had just three players with losing records, while the Americans had seven ... Furyk became the first American to have 20 losses at the Ryder Cup ... The 2016 Ryder Cup will take place at Whistling Straits in Chaska, Minn.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Murray Rallies Past Robredo for First Title of 2014

Andy Murray saved five match points and outlasted Spain’s Tommy Robredo in three sets to capture the inaugural Shenzhen Open on Sunday.

Murray earned a 5-7, 7-6 (11-9), 6-1 victory for his 29th career title and first since his historic run at Wimbledon in July of 2013.

The 27-year-old Scot underwent back surgery late last year and his best results in 2014 prior to this week were semifinal appearances in Acapulco and the French Open. He was stopped in the quarterfinals of his last four events—Wimbledon, Toronto, Cincinnati and the U.S. Open.

“It’s been a long time since I won a tournament,“ said Murray. “It was an emotional week for me. I managed to fight my way through it, win the title, and hopefully I can win another one before the end of the year.“

Murray will play next week in Beijing and it appeared he would head into that tournament as this week’s runner-up, trailing the second-set tiebreaker 6-2.

Robredo, though, squandered four straight match points as Murray evened it at 6-6. The Spaniard had yet another match point at 7-6, but again failed to convert and Murray managed to win the set. He then dominated the third.

“I got lucky, basically, at the end of the second set,“ Murray said. “I fought hard, tried my best and thankfully managed to turn it around. Tommy had a great tournament. He probably deserved to win the match today. He had the opportunities in the second set, but sometimes that happens in sport. I just tried to fight till the end.“

Robredo fell to 12-9 all-time in finals, including 0-2 this year. He lost to Pablo Cuevas in July at Croatia and hasn’t won a title since claiming the Croatia Open crown in 2013.

“When you finish second in a tournament it’s always great,“ said Robredo. “In a match like today that was so close, it’s tough to accept it. But Andy did a great job. He was pushing right until the end, and in the end he deserved it. It was a good experience to learn from. I will keep working and hopefully next time I can win.“

Murray improved to 4-2 against Robredo, winning each of the last four matches. The two last met in the third round at Wimbledon in 2013, an easy straight-set win for the London resident.

Robredo’s last victory over Murray came at the Metz final in 2007, a three-set win that also resulted in the last hardcourt title for the 32-year-old veteran.

Murray, who improved to 29-14 all-time in finals, earned a first prize of $106,970.


►  Sharapova, Halep, Venus Advance in Beijing

Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep and Venus Williams were among the winners Sunday in the first round of the China Open.

The fourth-seeded Sharapova rolled to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Kaia Kanepi, while the second-seeded Halep cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Williams also won easily with a 6-3, 6-1 decision over Heather Watson.

Sharapova hasn’t won a tournament since beating Halep for the French Open title in June. She had fourth-round exits at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and last week was ousted in the third round at the Wuhan Open by Timea Bacsinszky. Next up for the Russian will be Elina Svitolina.

Halep also suffered an early exit last week in Wuhan, falling to Garbine Muguruza in her first match. That came after a surprising third-round loss at the U.S. Open. She’ll face Chinese wild card Zhu Lin in the next round.

Williams, seeded 16th this week, is coming off a first-round loss last week in Wuhan. Caroline Garcia pulled off the three-set win and could face Williams in the second round this week if she can beat China’s Zhang Shuai on Monday in the first round.

Other winners Sunday included seventh-seeded Angelique Kerber, 12th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and 15th-seeded Andrea Petkovic. All three advanced in three sets, while 11th-seeded Sara Errani was a three-set loser to Japan’s Kurumi Nara.

Samantha Stosur won a matchup of former Grand Slam champions against Francesca Schiavone, 6-4, 6-2, and Svetlana Kuznetsova held a 6-2, 1-1 lead over Daniela Hantuchova when the Slovakian retired. Kuznetsova won this title in 2006 and 2009.

The tournament features 16 of the top 18 players in the rankings, including world No. 1 Serena Williams. Williams beat Jelena Jankovic for last year’s title and also won the inaugural event in 2004. She’ll play her first-round match Monday against Spanish qualifier Silvia Soler-Espinosa.


►  Nishikori Keeps Benneteau Winless in Finals

Kei Nishikori of Japan captured his third title of 2014 with a straight-set victory over Julien Benneteau in the final of the Malaysian Open, keeping the Frenchman winless in 10 career title matches.

Nishikori, the U.S. Open runner-up, claimed a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 triumph on Sunday for his sixth career title. He previously won this year in Memphis and Barcelona. In addition to his loss to Marin Cilic at Flushing Meadows earlier this month, he was also beaten by Rafael Nadal in the Madrid final.

Not only did Benneteau drop to 0-10 in finals, he also lost the title match at this event for the third year in a row. Joao Sousa beat him last year and Juan Monaco knocked him off in 2012.

“I tried to play my best and I almost did it,“ lamented Benneteau. “I’m disappointed with the loss, but very happy with the level of my game. It’s hard to keep that level of intensity in every point and every game. I need to improve this to be more consistent.“

Benneteau had a chance to serve for the first set, but Nishikori finally converted a break after missing on his first nine chances. After winning the tiebreaker, Nishikori picked up the only break of the second set, saving two against his own serve.

“It was a really tough start, because he was playing so aggressive,“ said Nishikori. “I was waiting for my opportunity. I had so many break points and I couldn’t take them. In the last game, he got a little bit tight and I took my chance. After that I played much better and I think he was getting a little bit tired in the second set. I tried to raise my level. It wasn’t my best tennis, but it’s good to win like this.“

Nishikori, who picked up a first prize of $165,000, improved to 6-4 all-time in finals and 3-1 lifetime against Benneteau.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Things We Learned on Sunday of Week 4

When you are playing a bad defense and put up big numbers just as you are supposed to do, it makes this game so much easier for fantasy owners.

For that reason, a special thank you goes to quarterback Philip Rivers and the Jacksonville pass defense.

Rivers was one of eight quarterbacks to throw for at least 300 yards on Sunday. That’s before Drew Brees and Tony Romo take to the field Sunday night.

As we’ve said before, and will likely say many times again of the next dozen weeks - it’s the year of the passing offense.

Below are a few more things we observed.

Carolina at Baltimore

The Panthers were ripped apart last week on the ground, and they were torn to shreds through the air in Week 4.

Joe Flacco completed 22 of his 31 pass attempts for 327 yards and three touchdowns. Steve Smith Sr. had another huge day with seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. He might be the biggest sleeper pick so far in 2014.

Finally, Torrey Smith was fantasy relevant with two catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. He likely will remain a boom-or-bust player. Tight end Owen Daniels filled in nicely for the injured Dennis Pitta with four catches for 43 yards.

The backfield confusion will continue in Baltimore as Bernard Pierce was supposed to start in this game, but failed to touch the ball even once. Justin Forsett carried the ball often in the first half, but with the game out-of- reach in the second half, rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro carried the load in the second half and led the team in carries with 15 for 58 yards.

Forsett was right behind him, though, with 14 carries for 66 yards. Forsett also added three receptions for 31 yards. Each runner had a score.

Carolina adjusted their offensive game plan from a week ago, trying to establish the running game in the first quarter, but DeAngelo Williams left with an ankle injury in the second quarter. He had 11 carries for 34 yards before exiting.

With rookie Darrin Reaves as the team’s only healthy running back, the Panthers offense struggled to move the ball. The Raven blitzers pummeled Cam Newton all day. Newton went 14-for-25 with 197 yards and one touchdown.

For the amount they struggled to move the ball, the Carolina receivers posted respectable fantasy numbers. Jerricho Cotchery caught five passes for 80 yards and Kelvin Benjamin also had five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Benjamin led the team with nine targets and is clearly becoming Newton’s favorite target.

His other favorite target, Greg Olsen, was disappointing with two grabs for 30 yards.

Green Bay at Chicago

Aaron Rodgers told everyone to relax. We agreed with him, and we hope fantasy owners did too. Rodgers completed 22-of-28 passes for 302 yards and four touchdown passes.

He spread the ball around evenly between his two star wideouts as Jordy Nelson had 12 targets and Randall Cobb received nine. Cobb caught seven balls for 113 and Nelson had 10 catches for 108 yards as each had two touchdowns.

No other receiver had more than three targets. Tight end Richard Rodgers finished third with 52 receiving yards on two catches. He is on the fantasy radar, especially with all the injuries to tight ends around the league. At this point, however, he is only worth a roster spot in very deep leagues.

Head coach Mike McCarthy called Eddie Lacy out in the media this week, and his running back responded with 59 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. He could have scored again, but the drive stalled inside the 5-yard line due to penalties. On the other hand, Lacy wasn’t very efficient as he averaged just 2.8 yards per carry, but it was nice to see him touch the ball 18 times and get into the end zone.

Chicago moved the ball extremely well in the first half as Jay Cutler threw for 173 yards and Matt Forte rushed for 80 more yards, but it fell apart in the second half. As soon as the Bears fell behind, Cutler started forcing throws and tossed two interceptions in the third quarter. We’ve certainly seen that story line before. Besides the two picks, Cutler finished 22-of-34 for 256 yards and two touchdowns.

Cutler’s two big receivers, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, caught a touchdown a piece. Marshall boxed out another cornerback for a red zone touchdown and Jeffery scored on a play where he went in motion like it was a reverse, but then turned around and was wide open on a wide receiver screen. Other than the scores, however, the two receivers combined for just 58 yards receiving.

Tight end Martellus Bennett had another big day with nine catches and 134 receiving yards. He led the Bears offense in targets with 11 and nearly scored on the last play of the first half but was stopped near the goal line.

Forte had 23 carries for 122 yards and five catches for 49 yards. It was nice to see him awaken from his slumber.

Buffalo at Houston

JJ Watt continues to be an animal, as he is all over the field. However, his aggressive play actually hurt the Texans in the first quarter, by committing two personal fouls, which kept Buffalo drives moving. His first quarter stats went into the history books as three total tackles and two personal foul penalties.

Speaking of Mr. Watt, after his QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception, Watt defused the situation by picking off E.J. Manuel, mainly in self-defense, and returned it 80 yards for his first-ever defensive touchdown (he had a receiving touchdown in Week 2).

Manuel did throw two touchdowns on the day, but did not play a good game overall. He was sacked five times and threw two costly interceptions that played a hand in determining the final score. Manuel must find a way to become a more consistent player.

Buffalo’s rushing attack continues to frustrate fantasy owners as well. C.J. Spiller did have 60 yards on 15 carries, as well as 24 receiving yards, but is still handcuffed by Fred Jackson (seven carries for 33 yards, six catches for 52 yards). Until one of these guys is out of the lineup, it is difficult to rely on either of them, at least from a fantasy perspective.

While fantasy owners were happy to have Arian Foster back in their lineups, he failed to make much of an impact. He did have seven catches for 55 yards, but also had eight carries for a dreadful six yards.

Fitzpatrick led the Texans in rushing on the day ... with 14 yards.

Now from a passing viewpoint, Fitzpatrick was inconsistent, but did just enough. He threw for 268 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. The biggest play was to DeAndre Hopkins in the second quarter, which resulted in a 35-yard touchdown pass and catch.

An unsung hero on the day for Houston, was kicker Randy Bullock. Not only was he 3-for-3, but he also hit two clutch field goals in the fourth quarter, from 55 yards and 50 yards, respectively.

Tennessee at Indianapolis

After grabbing an early 7-0 lead on Trent Richardson’s first rushing touchdown of 2014, the Colts decided to try some trickery. They went for, and succeeded, with an onsides kick. Indy wasted little time scoring, as Andrew Luck got his big fantasy day started with his first touchdown pass to Dwayne Allen.

If the onside kick was the play that really did get Luck going, then Chuck Pagano needs to consider using that play more. Luck posted four touchdowns for the second consecutive game and now has a league-leading 13 on the season.

Luck’s counterpart, Charlie Whitehurst, played as advertised, passing for 177 yards and one touchdown, as well as an interception.

What was not expected, was the fact that Whitehurst led the Titans in rushing with 40 yards. After seeing a stat like that, it’s official ... the Titans have serious rushing issues.

One Titans receiver continues to produce. Delanie Walker hauled in five catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. He is clearly Tennessee’s top receiving threat.

When you want to discuss receiving threats however, look no further than Indianapolis. Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton came to play today. Wayne finished with seven catches for 119 yards and a touchdown, while Hilton produced six receptions for 105 yards.

You would think the passing game would open up the ground game for the Colts, but that was not the case on Sunday. Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw combined for 29 carries and only 79 yards. The rushing situation in Indy is simply not ideal for fantasy owners right now.

Detroit at New York Jets

Recent free agent signee Alex Henery paid dividends right away with a 51-yard field goal in his first attempt with the Lions. Nate Freese had been 0-for-4 from 40 yards or more.

Calvin Johnson isn’t healthy, that’s for sure. He wasn’t on the field for a number of third and long situations, including one that allowed Jeremy Ross to catch a 59-yard touchdown pass.

Eric Ebron sighting. He scored his first career NFL touchdown on a nice pass down the seem for a 16-yard score. It’s just another indicator that Megatron is a decoy because of his bad ankle.

Miami at Oakland

The rift between coach and quarterback didn’t hurt Ryan Tannehill’s performance in the first half as he went 17-for-19 for 204 and two touchdowns. He didn’t do much in the second half, but nothing was needed.

Lamar Miller ran well, including a pair of scores. Isn’t it a shame the Dolphins can’t play the Raiders’ defense every Sunday? I believe that’s a thought that comes up nearly every Sunday night.

Darren McFadden proved once again he has nothing left in the tank. With Jones- Drew in uniform, but not doing much, McFadden managed just 40 yards on the ground.

Oakland used both Derek Carr and Matt McGloin, both neither had anything for the Dolphins defense.

James Jones is a good garbage-time receiver and he gets plenty of that with the Raiders.

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh

Mike Glennon may have just taken the job away from Josh McCown even when he gets healthy after a great comeback win against the Steelers. He threw for 302 yards and two scores, including the game-winner to Vincent Jackson.

Wide receiver Louis Murphy was a clutch second-half asset after rookie Mike Evans (groin) was knocked out of the game, grabbing six balls for 99 yards.

Vincent Jackson has scored in back-to-back games.

The Bucs sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times in the first half. They only had four in the first three games. Big Ben still threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns at the half. He finished with 314 yards and three scores which any fantasy owners will take.

Mike Evans showed why he’s going to be tough to handle in the end zone on the Bucs first touchdown. He was simply to big and strong for the Steelers’ defender.

Another big afternoon for Antonio Brown. He’s proving to be elite as he’s now added touchdowns to his repertoire. He’s already got five this season.

Jacksonville at San Diego

It took 217 rushing attempts, but the Jaguars finally ran one into the end zone. Toby Gerhart got in from a yard out.

Same offense, different quarterback. With Blake Bortles starting 15-of-17 for 149 yards the Jaguars scored 14 early points, but that’s all they could muster.

As expected, Philip Rivers had a big day against a bad defense. He was 16- of-18 for 206 yards and two scores ... in the first half. He finished with 377 yards and three scores.

When did Eddie Royal become a fantasy stud?

Answer: Last week in the first of two consecutive games with a pair of touchdown catches. Sunday he added a yardage bonus for any fantasy owners brave enough to start him.

Wideout Keenan Allen got healthy just in time and caught 10 of 11 targets for 135 yards.

Don’t be mad about the poor outing from Donald Brown (10 carries for 19 yards). It’s just too easy to pass against the Jaguars. Maybe next weekend against the Jets.

Atlanta at Minnesota

Earlier this week I said Matt Asiata was no Adrian Peterson. Perhaps he took my words to heart as he looked very Peterson-like with two first half touchdowns. He added a third one early in the fourth quarter to give the Vikings a 35-28 lead they would never give up.

Asiata capped three drives, but it was Jerick McKinnon who was the explosive back with 135 yards on 18 carries.

Through the first two drives rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater was looking like Joe Montana, going 6-for-6 and leading his team to 14 points. The Vikings’ third touchdown of the first half was a Bridgewater 13-yard run as he led the team to 24 first-half points. he finished with 317 passing yards, but didn’t play in the final two drives with an ankle injury.

Why are we just seeing Jarius Wright in Week 4? Why were the Vikings hiding him? Today he caught eight balls for 132 yards.

Devin Hester isn’t just for special teams anymore. He’s scored on offense in each of the last two games to go along with last weekend’s punt return.

The most explosive back in Atlanta isn’t Steven Jackson or Jacquizz Rodgers it’s Antone Smith. Too bad he doesn’t get enough work.

Philadelphia at San Francisco

The 49ers defense throttled the Eagles offense, but Philadelphia led 21-13 because of their D/ST. They did the same in the second half, holding Philadelphia without a second-half point.

Eagles defense/special teams made an rare appearance Sunday, with three scores. They started with a blocked punt for a touchdowns, then a “pick six” by Malcolm Jenkins and an 82-yard punt return by Darren Sproles. Unfortunately, the Eagles defense doesn’t get many starts by fantasy owners based on past history.

LeSean McCoy continued to struggle and after four games, it’s no longer a fluke, it’s a trend.

Injury-prone Michael Crabtree was sidelined early in this one. We should be getting used to this by now. The 49ers, fortunately picked up Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd in the offseason. (Crabtree did return to the game.)

You knew the 49ers would remember to call Frank Gore’s number again this week and he rebounded in a big way rushing for the 100-yard bonus and catching a 55-yard touchdown pass.

The Gilmer Free Press


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2014


National Football League
New England at Kansas City, 7:30 PM - ESPN


National Hockey League - Preseason
Philadelphia at NY Rangers, 7:00 PM - MSG, NHL Network
Toronto at Detroit, 7:30 PM - FS-Detroit, LEAFS TV
Pittsburgh at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh
Winnipeg at Edmonton, 9:00 PM - TSN3
Arizona at Vancouver, 9:00 PM - NHL Network (JIP), SportsNet


International Soccer
Udinese Calcio vs. Parma FC, 12:55 PM - beIN Sport
Stoke vs. Newcastle, 2:55 PM - NBCSN
US Citta di Palermo vs. SS Lazio, 2:55 PM - beIN Sport

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Pioneers Victorious over Urbana 31-28

The Glenville State Pioneer Football team picked up their first victory of the 2014 season today as they defeated the Urbana University Blue Knights at Morris Stadium by a final score of, 31-28.

Urbana would strike first as running back David Hill scored on a one yard run at the 9:23 minute mark of the first quarter as the Blue Knights went up, 7-0.

At the 1:24 minute mark of the first quarter quarterback Sean Steele hit wideout Dante Absher on a 20 yard touchdown pass as the Pioneers tied the game at 7-7.

Glenville State would then score the next 17 points as the Pioneers took a 24-7 lead into halftime.

In the second half the Pioneers would add another score at the 5:01 minute mark of the third quarter as Steele hit Ralph Gordon for a 77 yard touchdown pass as GSC went up, 31-7.

However Urbana would not be counted out as Quarterback Cody Schroeder hit Karim Jones Jr. on a five touchdown pass as Urbana made it, 31-14, just as the third quarter ended.

The Blue Knights would then add two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull with three points, 31-28.

The Pioneers would then get the ball back with only 4:06 left to play in the game however the drive would stall and Urbana would have one last possession.

Urbana would then drive the ball down to the Pioneers 25 yard line with under 1:30 left to play however on the Blue Knights third play of the drive defensive end Gray Henderson would cause a fumble as Jevon Webster recovered the ball for the Pioneers as GSC held onto the win, 31-28.

The Pioneers defense caused five fumbles on the day and also had an interception despite giving up 524 yards of offense to Urbana. The Pioneers only had four penalties for 36 yards while Urbana finished with six penalties for 43 yards.

Tevin Drake led the rushing attack as he rushed for 84 yards on 17 carries. Rahmann Lee carried the ball 18 times for 41 yards.

Sean Steele had a good game throwing the ball as he went 17 for 29 for 266 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

Wideout Ralph Gordon had a fabulous game as he caught five passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Dante Absher caught three passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.

On defense Gary Henderson finished with 9.5 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Jeff Kidder finished with eight total tackles, a fumble recovery, and three pass breakups.


The Blue Knights were led by quarterback Cody Schroeder as he went 25 for 31 for 298 yards and three touchdowns. However Schroeder was sacked three times on the day. Karim Jones Jr. was Urbana’s leading receiver as he caught 13 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown.

Kevin Chapple led the Blue Knights defense with 9.5 total tackles.

The Pioneers hit the road next Saturday, October 04, 2014 as they travel to Buckhannon, West Virginia to take on the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats. Game-time is set for 12:00 PM.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  MEC Football Roundup - Week 4

Glenville State 31, Urbana 28 | Final Stats

Glenville State held off a late Urbana rally to claim its first victory of the season, 31-28, on Saturday afternoon at Morris Stadium.

The Pioneers (1-3, 1-3) led 31-7 late in the third quarter after Ralph Gordon hauled in a 77-yard touchdown pass from Sean Steele. However, Urbana rattled off 21-straight points to get to within three points with still four minutes off the clock. The Blue Knights had one last chance and worked the ball to the Glenville State 25-yard line before Gary Henderson registered a sack and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Pioneers that allowed them to run out the final 1:14 in the game.

GSC’s Tevin Drake rushed for 84 yards and Rahmann Lee was limited to 41 yards on 18 carries. Steele finished the game 17-of-29 for 266 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Henderson led the defensive effort by finishing the game 15 total stops with 2.5 sacks.

Urbana (1-3, 1-3) finished the game with more first downs (30-19) and more yards of total offense (524-377). Cody Schroeder was 25-of-31 for 298 yards with three touchdowns, and Cale Burdyshaw was 11-of-16 for 82 yards and added 14 carries for 55 yards.


Charleston 28, Notre Dame 14 | Final Stats

Charleston remained unbeaten with a 28-14 win on the road at Notre Dame College on Saturday.

The Golden Eagles (4-0, 3-0) built a 19-0 lead midway through the third quarter and kept the Falcons at bay the rest of the way to earn the win. UC allowed just 25 yards rushing in the game and came up with the only two turnovers. Charleston controlled the ball for 38 minutes of the game and three of its four scoring drives lasted longer than four minutes.

Marvin Elam led the rushing attack with 160 yards and a touchdown.John Knox was 11-of-25 for 135 yards and two touchdowns and added another 33 yards rushing. Torie Wagner and D’Andre Dickerson each came up with interceptions and Trevor Duncan led the way with seven total stops.

Notre Dame (3-1, 3-1) was led offensively by Ray Russ who thre for 240 yards on 23-of-44 attempts with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Mitchel Shegos had 10 receptions for 117 yards with a touchdown. Kenneth Butler was held to just 42 yards on 16 carries.


Concord 61, West Liberty 24 | Final Stats

Concord rushed for over 300 yards and scored a pair of special teams touchdowns on its way to a 61-24 victory over West Liberty.

The Mountain Lions (4-0, 3-0) scored five touchowns of 30 yards or longer in the victory. Jermell Douse had a 65-yard punt return and a 55-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter to help spark CU in the victory. Calvainaugh Jones led the ground game with 108 yards, and Jamal Petty added 92 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns, including 34-yard scamper in the third quarter. Quarterback Brian Novak was 15-of-21 for 223 and two touchdowns.

Nick Ortiz led CU with nine total tackles, including three for a loss, and Ervin Moore added eight stops and four TFLs. Cade Rogers recovered a punt blocked by Tiko Henderson in the end zone to supply a score for the Mountain Lions.

Dakota Conwell led West Liberty (2-2, 2-2) was 20-of-41 for 275 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, and also rushed for another score. Jeremiah Ortiz rushed 16 times for 68 yards.


No. 11 Shepherd 56, West Virginia Wesleyan 7 | Final Stats

After falling behind early 7-0, Shepherd scored 56 consecutive points on its way to a lopsided win over West Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.

Trailing 7-0 after a Jeremy Musselman touchdown run, the Rams (4-0, 4-0) used big plays early to help set the tone for the game as C.J. Davis scored on a 91-yard punt return for a touchodwn, and then Octavius Thomas scooped up a fumble forced by Shaquille Melvin and rumbled 20 yards to move ahead 14-7. Jabre Lolley added another score late in the quarter to make it 21-7, and then the Rams put the game away with 23 points in the second quarter. Shepherd slowed things down in the second half owning the ball for 18 of the 30 minutes in the second half.

The Rams held West Virginia Wesleyan (1-3, 1-3) to just 158 yards of total offense and just 2.5 yards per play. Thomas finished the game with a team-best six total tackles.

Malik Henderson led SU with 93 yards rushing and a touchdown, and Lolley found the end zone twice while rushing for 64 yards. Jeff Ziemba was 9-of-16 for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Musselman was held to just 12-of-25 passing for 112 yards and was picked off three times.


Fairmont State 24, West Virginia State 12 | Final Stats

Fairmont State had over 200 yards both rushing and passing in a 24-12 road victory over West Virginia State on Saturday.

Tyler Pate started and completed 18-of-30 passes for 210 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, and also had 52 yards rushing. Daniel Monroe had 96 yards rushing and one touchdown to lead FSU (2-2, 2-2) on the ground.

Trevor Malnick led the Falcons on defense with seven total tackles, including 1.5 sacks, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble.

Fairmont State held WVSU (1-3, 0-3) to just 51 yards rushing, but WVSU quarterback Matt Kinnick completed 34-of-55 passes for 406 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Quinton Gray had 11 catches for 119 yards for the Yellow Jackets. Will Merritt had a game-high 14 tackles for WVSU.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  TOP-25 COLLEGE SCORES

Final Score: (1) Florida State 56, North Carolina State 41

Top-ranked Florida State survived a scare last week without its reigning Heisman Trophy winner. The Seminoles’ unblemished record, which includes the nation’s longest active winning streak, was in doubt again on Saturday. This time, however, Jameis Winston made sure it stayed intact. Winston threw for 365 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions to lead Florida State to a 56-41 win over upset-minded North Carolina State at Carter-Finley Stadium. The signal caller was suspended for last week’s 23-17 overtime victory against then-No. 22 Clemson due to an inappropriate comment made in the student union. Backup Sean McGuire, making his first collegiate start, took over in Winston’s absense and led the ‘Noles to the tense home victory. Florida State has now won 20 straight dating back to its last setback against then-No. 6 Florida on Nov. 24, 2012. Karlos Williams had 126 yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns and Rashad Greene hauled in 11 passes for 125 yards and a score for the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 ACC), who have won 16 straight games in conference.


Final Score: (5) Auburn 45, Louisiana Tech 17

Nick Marshall threw for three touchdowns to lead the fifth-ranked Auburn Tigers to a 45-17 victory over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Saturday. Marshall finished with 166 yards on 10-of-17 efficiency and rushed for 105 more yards on 13 carries. Quan Bray finished with 189 all- purpose yards and three scores, including a 76-yard punt return touchdown for Auburn (4-0), which won its 300th game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. D’haquille Williams and C.J. Uzomah both caught receiving touchdowns and Cameron Artis- Payne led the ground game with 116 yards on 22 carries and a score. Cody Sokol completed 20 of his 35 passes for 216 yards with an interception and Kenneth Dixon had two rushing touchdowns for Louisiana Tech (2-3), which has dropped its last two games.


Final Score: (6) Texas A&M 35, Arkansas 28 (OT)

Malcome Kennedy’s touchdown catch in overtime helped No. 6 Texas A&M survive a scare with a 35-28 win over Arkansas. The Aggies (5-0, 2-0 SEC) trailed by two touchdowns entering the fourth, but touchdown grabs by Edward Pope and Josh Reynolds rallied Texas A&M. Reynolds’ 59-yard score tied the game with 2:08 left to set up overtime. Texas A&M began the extra session with the ball and the first play saw Kenny Hill rifle a pass over the middle where Kennedy caught the ball and ran it in for a 35-28 lead. Arkansas (3-2, 0-2) quickly faced a 4th-and-1, but Alex Collins was stuffed at the line and the Aggies held on for the win. Hill finished the game 21-for-41 for 386 yards with four touchdown passes and an interception, with Pope catching two of the scores among his four receptions for 151 yards for Texas A&M. Brandon Allen was 15-of-27 for 199 yards and one score for the Razorbacks, who got rushing scores from Collins, Jonathan Williams and Sam Irwin-Hill.


Final Score: (7) Baylor 49, Iowa State 28

Bryce Petty threw for 336 yards and a touchdown and scored twice on the ground, as No. 7 Baylor’s top-ranked offense put up another big number in a 49-28 win over Iowa State on Saturday. With a couple of receivers back from injury, Petty completed 30-of-44 passes—also throwing his first interception of the season—and Shock Linwood rushed for 82 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), who were coming off a bye week after winning their first three games by a combined score of 178-27. Corey Coleman played after sitting out the first three games with a hamstring injury and caught 12 passes for 154 yards and a score. Antwan Goodley, last season’s leading receiver, appeared for the first time since injuring a quad in Week 1 and had six catches for 114 yards.


Final Score: (8) Notre Dame 31, Syracuse 15

Everett Golson had an uneven performance in eighth-ranked Notre Dame’s 31-15 win over the Syracuse Orange at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night. Golson was 32-of-39 for 362 yards with four touchdowns and set a Fighting Irish record with 25 straight completions, but also threw two interceptions—one of which was returned for a score—and fumbled twice. Notre Dame (4-0) committed a total of five turnovers, allowing Syracuse to hang around. Terrel Hunt completed 22-of-38 passes for 294 yards with one interception for the Orange (2-2).


Final Score: (9) Michigan State 56, Wyoming 14

Connor Cook threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a score, as ninth-ranked Michigan State had another easy tune-up for the Big Ten schedule with a 56-14 rout of Wyoming on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. Jeremy Langford ran for 137 yards with a score on 16 carries and Nick Hill chipped in 71 yards on the ground for the Spartans (3-1), who completed their non-conference slate and will open Big Ten play next Saturday at home against Nebraska. After a bye following their 46-27 loss at No. 2 Oregon three weeks ago, the Spartans have dominated the opposition the last two weeks. Last Saturday, Michigan State piled up 336 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns in a 73-14 demolition of Eastern Michigan. Against the overmatched Cowboys, Michigan State bettered that mark with 338 yards on the ground with five scores. Shaun Wick ran for 85 yards on five carries, including a 57-yard score, for Wyoming (3-2), while Colby Kirkegaard threw for 188 yards with a touchdown and an interception in defeat. The Cowboys have won each of their three home games and have been blown out by ranked opposition in their road outings. Wyoming went to Oregon two weeks ago and left with a 48-14 setback against the Ducks.


Final Score: (10) Ole Miss 24, Memphis 3

Perhaps Mississippi was caught looking ahead with an October gauntlet in the SEC looming—at least through the first three quarters. Bo Wallace tossed both of his touchdown passes to Laquon Treadwell, who posted five receptions for 123 yards, and the 10th-ranked Rebels pulled away from Memphis, 24-3, on Saturday night. Turnovers, penalties and missed field goals marred the offensive and special teams side of the ball, despite the Rebels outgaining the Tigers, 426-104. They recorded four turnovers, were penalized 10 times for 117 yards and Andrew Fletcher missed a pair of field goals. Ole Miss outscored Memphis 17-0 in the fourth quarter.


Final Score: (12) Georgia 35, Tennessee 32

Todd Gurley had plenty of rest last week and his fresh legs carried 12th-ranked Georgia to a 35-32 win over Tennessee on Saturday at Sanford Stadium. Gurley sat out the final three quarters of last week’s 66-0 rout of Troy and was the workhorse on Saturday. The Heisman candidate ran for a career-high 208 yards with a pair of touchdowns on 28 carries and caught four passes for 30 yards for the Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1 SEC), who beat Tennessee for the fifth straight time. Hutson Mason threw for 147 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, while adding a score on the ground for Georgia. The Bulldogs, who rallied from an early 10-0 hole on Saturday, had lost their SEC opener two weeks ago at South Carolina. Saturday was the conference opener for Tennessee (2-2, 0-1), which started its SEC slate with an opponent other than Florida for the first time since 2001. Justin Worley completed 23-of-35 passes for 264 yards with three touchdowns in defeat, but sat out a majority of the third quarter with an elbow injury. Jalen Hurd ran for 119 yards with a touchdown, but also had a costly fumble in the end zone that gave Georgia its clinching score in an exciting fourth quarter that featured a combined 29 points.


Final Score: Missouri 21, (13) South Carolina 20

Russell Hansbrough had three touchdown runs, including a 1-yarder on fourth down with 1:36 left in the game that boosted Missouri to a 21-20 win over No. 13 South Carolina on Saturday. Missouri (4-1, 1-0 SEC) rallied from a 13-point deficit to win its conference opener, one week after suffering a 31-27 home loss to Indiana. It was a tough night for Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk, who completed only 12-of-34 passes for 132 yards, but more than half of them came during a big fourth-quarter drive. Marcus Murphy gained 98 yards on 16 carries, while Hansbrough ended with 43 yards on the ground. Dylan Thompson had 219 yards passing on 21-of-37 attempts along with a TD for the Gamecocks (3-2, 2-2).


Final Score: (16) Stanford 20, Washington 13

Quarterback Kevin Hogan overcame two second- half turnovers to rush for the winning 5-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, lifting No. 16 Stanford to a 20-13 win over Washington on Saturday. Hogan had a 17-yard touchdown pass to Ty Montgomery in the first half, but threw an interception in the third quarter and fumbled in the red zone in the fourth before scrambling for the go-ahead score with 4:29 remaining after the Cardinal defense stuffed a fake punt attempt by Washington. Stanford (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) and its top-ranked defense has held all four of its opponents under 14 points this season, but many of the big plays on that side of the ball Saturday came from Washington (4-1, 0-1). Huskies linebacker Shaq Thompson scored on a fumble return to tie the game at 13-13 going into halftime and forced a fumble when he hit Hogan in the fourth quarter with Stanford threatening to take the lead. But Thompson was also the player who was stopped when Washington tried a fake punt on 4th-and-9 near midfield, leading to the Cardinal’s winning score.


Final Score: (17) LSU 63, New Mexico State 7

Freshman quarterback Brandon Harris took over for Anthony Jennings in the second quarter and scored five total touchdowns as the No. 17 LSU Tigers routed the New Mexico State Aggies, 63-7, on Saturday. Harris completed 11 of his 14 passes for 178 yards and three passing touchdowns. He also added 36 yards and two scores on the ground for the Tigers (4-1), who extended their non-conference regular season winning streak to 49 games. Malachi Dupree, Travin Dural and Melvin Jones each caught a touchdown and Leonard Fournette finished with a game-high 122 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries in the best game of his young career. Tyler Rogers threw for 86 yards on 14-of-31 passing with two touchdowns for the Aggies (2-3), who had Andrew Allen run for 113 yards and a touchdown on five carries.


Final Score: (19) Wisconsin 27, South Florida 10

Melvin Gordon ran for two second-half touchdowns to lead the 19th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers past the South Florida Bulls, 27-10, on Saturday. Gordon carried the ball 32 times for 181 yards for the Badgers (3-1), who have won 32 consecutive home games against non- conference opponents. The junior running back was coming off a career-high 253 yards and school record-tying five touchdowns on just 13 carries in a 68-17 win over Bowling Green last Saturday. After blasting Bowling Green with a Big Ten modern-era record 644 rushing yards, Wisconsin was limited to 294 yards on the ground against South Florida. Tanner McEvoy completed 11- of-18 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown for the Badgers. Alex Erickson caught six passes for 91 yards. Mike White connected on 8-of-19 passes for 173 yards and an interception for the Bulls (2-3), who have lost three of four since starting the season with a win over Western Carolina.


Final Score: (21) Nebraska 45, Illinois 14

Ameer Abdullah ran for 208 yards and three touchdowns to carry 21st-ranked Nebraska to a 45-14 rout of Illinois in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Tommy Armstrong Jr. completed 10-of-21 passes for 166 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Cornhuskers (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten), who got rushing TDs from Imani Cross and Terrell Newby. Cross had 109 yards rushing, part of a 458-yard ground effort for the Cornhuskers. It was the second strong showing on the ground for Abdullah. Last week, the senior finished with 229 yards on a career-best 35 carries in a 41-31 win over Miami-Florida. Kenny Bell caught five balls for 105 yards and a score in the win, during which Nebraska piled up 624 yards. Reilly O’Toole started in place of an injured Wes Lunt (leg) and completed 17-of-38 throws for 261 yards with a score and three interceptions for Illinois (3-2, 0-1).


Final Score: (22) Ohio State 50, Cincinnati 28

J.T. Barrett threw four touchdown passes, Ezekiel Elliott had an impressive rushing performance and 22nd-ranked Ohio State pulled away to post a 50-28 victory over Cincinnati at Ohio Stadium. Barrett was 26-of-36 for 330 yards and added 79 yards on the ground, while Elliott ran for 182 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. Ohio State (3-1), which finished with 710 yards of offense and 45 first downs, hasn’t lost to an in-state school since a 7-6 defeat against Oberlin in 1921. The Buckeyes haven’t lost in 45 consecutive games against other Ohio-based teams. Chris Moore caught touchdown passes of 60, 83 and 78 yards from Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel. Those were Moore’s only three receptions in the game. Kiel also threw a touchdown pass to Johnny Holton and ended with 352 yards on 21-of-32 efficiency for the Bearcats (2-1), who were down only five in the third quarter before Ohio State scored the game’s final 17 points.


Final Score: (25) Kansas State 58, UTEP 28

Charles Jones rushed for 76 yards and three touchdowns, as No. 25 Kansas State staked its claim to remain in the rankings with a 58-28 thrashing of UTEP on Saturday afternoon. Jake Waters finished 10-of-15 for 209 yards with one touchdown through the air and one on the ground for the Wildcats (3-1), who face a Big 12 test next Saturday against Texas Tech. Tyler Lockett had 84 yards on four receptions and contributed a punt return for a score, while DeMarcus Robinson and Joe Hubener also added rushing TDs. Jameill Showers was 18-of-28 for 201 yards and four touchdowns for the Miners (2-2), who kick off their Conference USA slate at Louisiana Tech seven days from now. Ian Hamilton led all receivers with 112 yards on five grabs and a pair of scores, while Aaron Jones and Eric Tomlinson each posted a TD catch in defeat.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL Inactives - Sunday, September 28, 2014

The following is a list of inactive players for today’s games.

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT OAKLAND RAIDERS, 1:00 PM (ET)

Miami - LB Chris McCain, LB Koa Misi, RB Knowshon Moreno, C Mike Pouncey,

C Shelley Smith, DT Randy Starks, OT Billy Turner

Oakland - OL Tony Bergstrom, OT Matt McCants, WR Denarius Moore, LB Sio

Moore, LB Nick Roach, QB Matt Schaub, WR Rod Streater

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1:00 PM (ET)

Green Bay - WR Jarrett Boykin, LB Carl Bradford, C Garth Gerhart, CB

Demetri Goodson, LB Brad Jones, QB Scott Tolzien

Chicago - DE Jared Allen, C/G Roberto Garza, OT Charles Leno, LB Shea

McClellin, CB Sherrick McManis, NT Jeremiah Ratliff, G Matt Slauson

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1:00 PM (ET)

Carolina - S Tre Boston, LB Thomas Davis, G Andrew Norwell, RB Jonathan

Stewart, QB Joe Webb, RB Fozzy Whittaker, TE Brandon Williams

Baltimore - LB Arthur Brown, WR Michael Campanaro, DT Lawrence Guy, DT

Timmy Jernigan, OT Eugene Monroe, OG John Urschel, CB/RS Lardarius Webb

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 1:00 PM (ET)

Tampa Bay - G Kadeem Edwards, DE Larry English, LB Mason Foster, WR Robert

Herron, RB Mike James, QB Josh McCown, OT Kevin Pamphile

Pittsburgh - WR Martavis Bryant, G Ramon Foster, OT Wesley Johnson, QB

Landry Jones, DL Daniel McCullers, LB Ryan Shazier, CB Ike Taylor

TENNESSEE TITANS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1:00 PM (ET)

Tennessee - LB Akeem Ayers, WR Kris Durham, CB Brandon Harris, QB Jake

Locker, DE Ropati Pitoitua, OT Byron Stingily, TE Taylor Thompson

Indianapolis - S Colt Anderson, LB Jerrell Freeman, C/G Khaled Holmes, DE

Arthur Jones, WR Da’Rick Rogers, LB Andy Studebaker, G Hugh Thornton

DETROIT LIONS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1:00 PM (ET)

Detroit - S Don Carey, TE Joseph Fauria, LB Travis Lewis, QB Kellen Moore,

DB Cassius Vaughn, OT LaAdrian Waddle, DE Larry Webster

NY Jets - DT T.J. Barnes, G Dakota Dozier, LB A.J. Edds, DE IK Enemkpali,

OT Ben Ijalana, CB Dee Milliner, WR Walter Powell

BUFFALO BILLS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1:00 PM (ET)

Buffalo - RB Bryce Brown, CB Ross Cockrell, WR Marcus Easley, WR Marquise

Goodwin, LB Randell Johnson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, G Chris Williams

Houston - OT Jeff Adams, CB A.J. Bouye, LB Jadeveon Clowney, S Shiloh Keo,

SS Eddie Pleasant, WR DeVier Posey, QB Tom Savage

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (ET)

Jacksonville - LB Jeremiah George, CB Jeremy Harris, WR Tavarres King, WR

Marqise Lee, G Austin Pasztor, OG Tyler Shatley, TE Mickey Shuler

San Diego - LB Jeremiah Attaochu, TE David Johnson, RB Ryan Mathews, G

Rich Ohrnberger, LB Manti Te’o, CB Jason Verrett, LB Reggie Walker

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:25 PM (ET)

Philadelphia - QB Matt Barkley, OT Kevin Graf, DE Taylor Hart, WR Josh

Huff, C Jason Kelce, LB Mychal Kendricks, CB Jaylen Watkins

San Francisco - CB Tramaine Brock, DT Tank Carradine, G/C Dillon Farrell,

QB Josh Johnson, C Marcus Martin, TE Vance McDonald, WR Quinton Patton

ATLANTA FALCONS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 4:25 PM (ET)

Atlanta - CB Javier Arenas, WR Harry Douglas, DE Cliff Matthews, QB Sean

Renfree, OT Ryan Schraeder, LB Tyler Starr, C James Stone

Minnesota - DE Scott Crichton, LB Chad Greenway, OT Charlie Johnson, TE

Kyle Rudolph, WR Rodney Smith, LB Brandon Watts, G David Yankey

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 8:30 PM (ET)

New Orleans - None

Dallas - None


►  Chiefs RB Charles Probable for Monday Night

After missing last week’s game, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is listed as probable to play Monday night against the New England Patriots.

Charles missed last week’s 34-15 win against the Miami Dolphins after suffering a high ankle sprain early in a Week 2 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Charles was limited in practice this week. The Texas product has just 23 yards on nine carries this season.

Knile Davis carried the load with Charles out last week. Fellow running back Joe McKnight, who caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins, ruptured his Achilles during Thursday’s practice.

Running back De’Anthony Thomas (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Monday.

As expected, safety Eric Berry (ankle) was ruled out. He missed practice all week.


►  Patriots Place Siliga on Short-Term IR

The New England Patriots signed defensive lineman Casey Walker off Carolina’s practice squad and placed defensive lineman Sealver Siliga on injured reserve with a designation to return.

Siliga suffered a foot injury against Oakland last Sunday. He played in the first three games with two starts.

Siliga is eligible to return on November 23 against the Detroit Lions.

Walker spent part of the 2013 season on the Carolina practice squad.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  76ers Acquire G Bogans from Cavaliers

The Philadelphia 76ers acquired a 2018 second-round draft pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers along with guard Keith Bogans in exchange for the Sixers’ protected 2015 second-round pick.

As a result of the trade, the Cavs will receive a trade exception of approximately $5.3 million.

Bogans was recently acquired by the Cavaliers via a trade with Boston.

Bogans has played in 671 career games (333 starts) with Orlando, Charlotte, Houston, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Chicago, Brooklyn and Boston, averaging 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Reds Give GM Jocketty Two-Year Extension

The Cincinnati Reds signed president of baseball operations and general manager Walt Jocketty to a two-year contract extension on Saturday.

Jocketty’s original contract was to have expired at the end of this season.

“This franchise has had great success under Walt’s guidance, and we’re delighted he has signed a two-year extension,“ said Reds president/CEO Bob Castellini.

Jocketty joined the organization in January 2008 as a special assistant to Castellini and was named to his current position three months later. The Reds entered Saturday’s action with a 74-86 record.

Jocketty’s best season with the team came in 2010 when the Reds finished with a 91-71 record and took the National League Central crown by five games over the St. Louis Cardinals.

It was the team’s first postseason berth since 1995.

Following the 2010 campaign, Jocketty was named Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year. He also won the award in 2000 and 2004 with St. Louis.

The Reds also won the NL Central in 2012 and earned a wild card berth in 2013.


►  Orioles Bring Up Casilla from Minors

The Baltimore Orioles announced Saturday that the contract of infielder Alexi Casilla was selected from Triple-A Norfolk.

Casilla has spent the entire 2014 campaign in the minors, hitting .264 with one home run, eight doubles and 19 RBI over 56 games at Norfolk after a four- game stint at Single-A Aberdeen.

The 30-year-old native of the Dominican Republic last played in the majors in 2013 with the O’s, appearing in 62 games and hitting just .214. Over 577 games with Minnesota and Baltimore, he has collected 12 homers, 76 doubles, 15 triples, 225 runs scored and 157 batted in with a .248 average.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated pitcher Preston Guilmet for assignment. Guilmet went 0-1 with a 5.23 earned run average in 10 games this season.


►  NATIONAL LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Arizona 5, St. Louis 2

Mark Trumbo homered twice and knocked in four runs to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-2 win over St. Louis to prevent the Cardinals from wrapping up the NL Central title. David Peralta went 3-for-4 with a homer and two runs scored, while Ender Inciarte extended his hitting streak to 15 games. Arizona snapped a three-game losing streak. The Cardinals squandered the opportunity to clinch the division championship with a win because of Pittsburgh’s loss earlier in the day. St. Louis remains a game up on the Pirates for first place with just one game remaining for each team. If the clubs end in a tie after Sunday, there will be a one-game playoff in St. Louis Monday to determine the division winner.


Final Score: Cincinnati 10, Pittsburgh 6 (10 innings)

Ramon Santiago hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th to lift the Cincinnati Reds over the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-6, in the middle installment of a three-game series. The Pirates sent John Axford (0-1) to the mound in the 10th. Todd Frazier walked, Chris Heisey singled and Ryan Ludwick walked to load the bases with one out. Bobby LaFromboise came in from the bullpen and got pinch-hitter Brayan Pena to fly out to shallow right field. Santiago then stepped to the plate and smacked a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left.


Final Score: Los Angeles 6, Colorado 5 (12 innings)

Scott Van Slyke stole third base and then scored on a Franklin Morales wild pitch in the 12th inning to boost the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies. Van Slyke singled to right field with one out and Tim Federowicz was hit by a pitch. Van Slyke then swiped third and Morales’ errant pitch ended the 4-hour, 6-minute contest. Adrian Gonzalez homered for the NL West champions. Van Slyke scored twice for the Dodgers, who notched their fourth straight win.


Final Score: Washington 5, Miami 1

Stephen Strasburg tossed six scoreless innings and drove in a run, as the Washington Nationals downed the Miami Marlins, 5-1, in the third contest of a four-game set. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run double and Adam LaRoche drove in a run for the Nationals, who bounced back from a 15-7 loss in the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader. Strasburg (14-11) surrendered just two hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over six scoreless innings for the win for the NL East champions. Casey McGehee scored and had two hits for Miami, which has dropped two of its last three games. Nathan Eovaldi (6-14) allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks with five strikeouts over seven frames to lose his career-high eighth straight decision.


Final Score: San Francisco 3, San Diego 1

Brandon Crawford’s two-run single in the bottom of the eighth lifted the San Francisco Giants over the San Diego Padres, 3-1, in the third contest of a four-game series. The Padres sent Dale Thayer (4-5) to the mound in the eighth. Matt Duffy reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on Cory Spangenberg’s throwing error. Brandon Belt and Andrew Susac walked to load the bases. After pinch- hitter Pablo Sandoval struck out swinging, Crawford hit a two-run single to right. Hunter Strickland (1-0) retired the side in the top of the eighth for the Giants, who are locked into the second wild card spot in the National League. Santiago Casilla tossed a scoreless ninth for his 19th save of the season. Giants outfielder Hunter Pence wasn’t in Saturday’s starting lineup, ending his major league-leading streak of 331 consecutive starts. A pinch-hitting appearance in the seventh inning kept alive his MLB-best streak of 382 games in a row. Jake Peavy got the start for San Francisco and allowed one run on four hits with three walks over five innings against his former team. San Diego starter Eric Stults gave up one run on six hits over seven innings.


Final Score: Atlanta 4, Philadelphia 2

Justin Upton and B.J. Upton both homered and threw a runner out at home as the Atlanta Braves held on for a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night. Justin Upton broke a tie with a two-run blast in the seventh off Philadelphia starter A.J. Burnett (8-18). The Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but closer Craig Kimbrel earned his 46th save when Andrelton Simmons snagged Ben Revere’s liner. The shortstop had committed a fielding error earlier in the inning. Aaron Harang (12-12) gave up two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win, just the third in the last 15 games for Atlanta. Burnett, who has hinted that this could be his final season, allowed four runs on five hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. Ryan Howard finished 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI for Philadelphia.


Final Score: NY Mets 2, Houston 1

Lucas Duda hit a two-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning to give the New York Mets a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros in the second of a season-ending three-game set. With one out and Tony Sipp (4-3) on the mound, Eric Young tripled to left-center field and remained there after Daniel Murphy flied out. Duda, though, drilled a pitch that hit hard off the netting on the right field foul pole for the win. The home run made a winner out of Jenrry Mejia (6-6), who tossed a scoreless ninth inning. Rafael Montero gave up a run on six hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings for the Mets, who had lost three of four coming in. Jason Castro drove in the lone run for the Astros, who have lost four of their last five. Samuel Deduno gave up a hit and a walk while striking out four over four innings.


Final Score: Milwaukee 2, Chicago 1

Wily Peralta tossed seven solid innings and Carlos Gomez homered to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the middle test of a three-game set on Saturday. Jonathan Lucroy hit an RBI double and had three hits, while Peralta (17-11) surrendered just one run on five hits and a walk with a career-high 13 strikeouts for the Brewers, who snapped a two-game skid. Anthony Rizzo finished with two hits and an RBI for Chicago, which entered the game with three straight wins. Tsuyoshi Wada (4-4) was tagged with the loss after giving up two runs on eight hits across five-plus frames. 


►  AMERICAN LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Seattle 2, LA Angels of Anaheim 1 (11 innings)

Austin Jackson hustled down the first-base line and his final lunge toward the bag kept the Seattle Mariners in the AL wild-card chase heading into the final day of the season. Brad Miller scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning and the Mariners edged the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 2-1, in the middle test of a three-game set on Saturday night. The Mariners, who were unable to take advantage of a bases- loaded, no-out situation in the ninth, struck in the 11th. Miller lined a one- out double down the right-field line off Mike Morin (4-4) and Chris Taylor blooped a base hit into center to put runners on the corners. Vinnie Pestano came on for Morin and Jackson bounced one to a drawn-in Grant Green at second. Green went to second for the force out, but Gordon Beckham’s relay throw to first was a tad too late. Seattle is one game behind Oakland for the AL’s final wild card spot. The A’s lost to Texas earlier Saturday.


Final Score: Texas 5, Oakland 4

Robinson Chirinos hit a two-run home run to lead the Texas Rangers in a 5-4 win over the Oakland Athletics in the second of a season-ending three-game series. Oakland has yet to clinch the final playoff spot in the American League, as the loss has them one game ahead of Seattle going to the final day of the regular season. The Mariners beat the Angels in 11 innings Saturday night. If the teams end in a tie, there will be a one-game playoff at Safeco Field Monday to determine the second wild card team. Jake Smolinski hit a solo home run and score twice while Adrian Beltre and Rougned Odor each drove in a run for the Rangers, who came into the game having won 12 of their previous 14 games. Scott Baker pitched four-plus innings and allowed two runs on four hits with five strikeouts. Spencer Patton (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning to pick up his first career win. Josh Donaldson was 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored while Josh Reddick also had three hits with an RBI and a run scored for the Athletics, who have lost four of their last five games.


Final Score: Minnesota 12, Detroit 3

Eduardo Escobar had four hits and knocked in a career-high six runs, leading the Minnesota Twins to an easy 12-3 win over the playoff-bound Detroit Tigers on Saturday night. Escobar, who didn’t have more than two RBI in any other game this season, had three singles and a three-run homer for the Twins, who have won four of their last five, including two of the first three in this series as they try to play the role of spoiler. The Tigers entered play with a one-game lead over Kansas City for first place in the AL Central and could have clinched their fourth straight division title with a win and a Royals loss to the White Sox. Instead, they lost for the second day in a row to the division’s last-place team. The Royals fell to the White Sox 5-4, remaining one game behind going into the last day of the regular season. Brian Dozier added a solo homer for the Twins, who hit 70 wins (70-91) for the first time since 2010. Ricky Nolasco (6-12) gave up two runs in six innings and snapped a nine-start winless streak, gaining a victory for the first time since July 01. Nick Castellanos hit a solo homer and drove in all three runs for the Tigers while rookie left-hander Kyle Lobstein (1-2) was charged with six runs in 4 2/3 innings.


Final Score: Chicago 5, Kansas City 4

Josh Phegley homered twice to help the Chicago White Sox to a 5-4 win over Kansas City to keep the Royals a game behind the lead in the AL Central. The Royals already locked up a playoff berth, but a win coupled with a Detroit loss on Sunday to Minnesota will force a tie for the division crown. Because of Oakland’s loss to Texas, Kansas City is guaranteed a home game in the wild card round if it does not win the division. If the Royals and Tigers end with identical records, a tiebreaker would be played Monday at Detroit to determine the division winner. Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer and Alexei Ramirez drove in a run for Chicago, which snapped a four-game losing streak. John Danks (11-11) again kept the Royals off-balance, limiting them to two runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings. Danks improved to 7-0 in 16 career starts against KC. Danny Duffy (9-12) was charged with the loss after he allowed four runs on five hits over two-plus innings. Salvador Perez homered, while Nori Aoki, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas each knocked in a run for the Royals.


Final Score: Boston 10, New York 4

Daniel Nava collected three hits and drove in three runs as Boston routed New York, 10-4, in the middle test of a season- ending three-game set from Fenway Park. Yoenis Cespedes added two hits and two RBI, while Rusney Castillo picked up three hits, drove in a run and scored once for the Red Sox. Garin Cecchini doubled twice, scored a run and drove in one for the hosts, who cruised to victory thanks to an eight-run second. Backed by his prolific offense, Joe Kelly (4-2) allowed four runs on nine hits over 7 1/3 innings, but it was enough to snag the win. Stephen Drew hit a two- run double, while Chris Young and Brendan Ryan added an RBI each for the Yankees. Derek Jeter finished with an infield single in two at-bats as the designated hitter in what could have been his final MLB appearance. He did not play in Friday’s opener and could sit out Sunday.


Final Score: Toronto 4, Baltimore 2

Jose Reyes finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, as Toronto topped Baltimore, 4-2, in the second of three between the clubs. Kevin Pillar added two hits and crossed home twice, while Steve Tolleson posted an RBI double for the Blue Jays, who have taken the first two in the series along with six of eight overall. J.A. Happ (11-11) worked 6 1/3 innings for the win, giving up just two runs on four hits. Casey Janssen had a quiet ninth to notch his 25th save. Adam Jones homered and Delmon Young knocked in the other run for the Orioles, who have lost three in a row and five of seven. Wei-Yin Chen (16-6) took the loss, charged with five hits and three runs—two earned—over six full frames.


Final Score: Tampa Bay 2, Cleveland 0

Alex Colome threw scoreless ball into the seventh inning and three relievers combined for a five-hit shutout as Tampa Bay silenced Cleveland, 2-0, in the middle portion of a season-ending three- game series. Colome (2-0) worked the first 6 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out six. Joel Peralta completed the seventh, Grant Balfour retired the side in order in the eighth and Jake McGee struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his 19th save. Wil Myers ended up with two hits and an RBI for the Rays, while James Loney knocked in the other run. Carlos Carrasco (8-7) fanned a career-best 10 batters, but walked three and allowed four hits and two runs—one earned—over 7 2/3 frames for the Indians, who had won two in a row.


Final Score: NY Mets 2, Houston 1

Lucas Duda hit a two-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning to give the New York Mets a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros in the second of a season-ending three-game set. With one out and Tony Sipp (4-3) on the mound, Eric Young tripled to left-center field and remained there after Daniel Murphy flied out. Duda, though, drilled a pitch that hit hard off the netting on the right field foul pole for the win. The home run made a winner out of Jenrry Mejia (6-6), who tossed a scoreless ninth inning. Rafael Montero gave up a run on six hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings for the Mets, who had lost three of four coming in. Jason Castro drove in the lone run for the Astros, who have lost four of their last five. Samuel Deduno gave up a hit and a walk while striking out four over four innings.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Hurricanes Add LaRose to Training Camp Roster

The Carolina Hurricanes have added veteran forward Chad LaRose to their training camp roster on a professional tryout.

LaRose signed an American Hockey League contract with Charlotte this summer after sitting out the entire 2013-14 season.

In 508 NHL games with Carolina from 2005 through 2013, LaRose notched 85 goals and 95 assists for 180 points. He was a member of the franchise’s Stanley Cup championship team in the spring of 2006.


►  Penguins F Bennett Sidelined Six Weeks

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett will likely be sidelined for the first month of the regular season because of a lower body injury.

Bennett was hurt during practice Friday and Penguins coach Mike Johnston updated the 22-year-old’s status Saturday.

“Beau is going to be (out) six weeks, it looks like,“ Johnston said prior to the team’s preseason game against Columbus. “It’s one of those unfortunate things. It’s a lower body injury.“

Bennett was coming off wrist surgery performed in May. He had three goals and four assists for seven points in 21 games last season for the Penguins, then added a goal and four assists in 12 playoff games.


►  Blues Sign F Schwartz

The St. Louis Blues and forward Jaden Schwartz agreed to terms on a two-year contract on Saturday.

Schwartz, 21, played in 80 games last season and had 25 goals and 31 assists.

Since being selected 14th overall by St. Louis in 2010, he has compiled 34 goals and 38 assists in 132 NHL games.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Busch Outruns Logano for Nationwide Race Win at Dover

Kyle Busch won a Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway for a record fifth time after leading the final 101 of 200 laps in Saturday’s Dover 200.

Joey Logano started on the pole and dominated the first half of this race by leading 95 of the first 99 laps, but during a round of pit stops under caution on lap 100, Busch beat Logano out of the pits and took command from there.

Busch beat Logano to the finish line by 2.5 seconds for his fifth Nationwide win of the season and the 68th of his career. Busch, the driver of the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, scored a season-sweep at Dover in the series. He won the spring event here in May.

“It was good for us to be able to get out front like that and get out in clean air and show what this car had for speed,“ Busch said. “Our race setup is really good, but it doesn’t qualify very good. It’s a handful in qualifying, to say the least. But these guys (No. 54 team) did a great job, and I’m very proud of that.“

Busch also had a season-sweep at Dover during the 2010 Nationwide season.

Logano won both races at this one-mile, concrete-surfaced track during the 2012 and ‘13 seasons.

“The first half of the race went perfect, and we had a very fast car that led a lot of laps,“ Logano said. “When we came in (pit road) to put four tires on, we lost the lead. Our car was really tight from there on, and I really don’t understand why yet.“

Busch and Logano are among the 16 drivers presently in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Busch will start second and Logano 16th in Sunday’s 400-mile Sprint Cup Series race at Dover.

Logano won last Sunday’s Chase race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and secured a spot in the next round of the playoffs, the “Contender Round.“ Busch, currently fifth in Sprint Cup points, is guaranteed of moving on in the Chase if he finishes 21st or better at Dover.

Chase Elliott finished third and widened his lead in the Nationwide championship standings to 26 points over second-place and JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith, who crossed the line in eighth.

On lap 40, Elliott sustained slight damage to the front end of his No. 9 Chevrolet when he was caught up in a wreck involving Tanner Berryhill and Kevin Swindell on the frontstretch. Elliott had to pit multiple times for repairs during the caution and fell back to the last car on the lead lap in 24th for the restart. He patiently made his way back into the top-five before the halfway point.

“I was gonna give it my best shot, regardless of however the thing looked like, so I’m really proud and frustrated at the same time,“ Elliott said. “I felt like we had a good car from the get-go. I made a mistake just following too close behind those guys (Berryhill and Swindell) off of (turn) 4. I saw it coming, and I couldn’t stop fast enough.“

Chris Buescher finished fourth, followed by Elliott Sadler, Kyle Larson and Brian Scott. Trevor Bayne and Ty Dillon completed the top-10.

Five races remain this season. The series will be at Kansas Speedway next weekend.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Europe Leads by 4 at the Ryder Cup

Saturday’s play at the Ryder Cup matched Friday’s action.

The Americans won 2 1/2 points both mornings, but the Europeans answered by winning 3 1/2 both afternoons. Through two days, the Europeans lead the United States, 10-6, at Gleneagles.

The 4-point deficit was the hole that the Americans faced at the 1999 Ryder Cup, and the Europeans were behind by the same 10-6 margin in 2012. The trailing teams rallied to win those two Ryder Cups.

“Well, we saw what happened at Medinah (in 2012) obviously. We learned as much from Medinah as America did. There was a big learning curve for us there,“ said European captain Paul McGinley. “We certainly won’t be complacent. It’s a word we’ve used a lot this week. We’re going to have a strong meeting tonight, we’re going to be on it tomorrow, and we’ve got to finish up the job. The guys were magnificent today, and they have been all week, but we’re not finished.“

“First of all, we’ve come back from 10-6. That’s the first thing. They know it, but I’ll reiterate it,“ said U.S. captain Tom Watson on what he’ll tell his team. “Our rookies, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker, have played magnificent golf. Tomorrow, let’s see what happens. We’ve got the players to do it. Credit to the Europeans, they played great today.“

Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood won their second match of foursomes play as they handed Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar a 2 & 1 loss.

Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell also won their second foursomes match. They trounced Rickie Fowler and Walker, who had halved their first three matches, by a resounding 5 & 4 count.

Sergio Garcia and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy took down Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan, 3 & 2. The final match was halved. Martin Kaymer and Justin Rose rallied from a 2-down deficit to halve Reed and Spieth.

Reed and Spieth had won a pair of four-ball matches by big margins in the morning.

Donaldson and Westwood twice trailed early in the first match of the afternoon, but fought back. Johnson chipped in for birdie at the first, but he found water with his second shot at the par-5 second. That led to a bogey and they conceded the Europeans birdie putt.

Johnson narrowly missed a birdie chip at the fourth and was conceded par. Donaldson missed an 8-footer for par and the Americans were 1-up again.

Donaldson stuffed his second at the fifth to a foot. That birdie squared the match and when Kuchar missed a par putt at six, the Europeans had their first lead of the match.

Kuchar birdied the eighth to square the match for the final time. Donaldson won the next two holes with a birdie and a par. Johnson made eagle at 14 to trim the deficit to 1-down, but Westwood made birdie at 16 to move the Europeans 2-up with two to play. After the Americans failed to make birdie at 17, they conceded the hole and the match to the Europeans.

“A huge amount of satisfaction. There’s no easy games out here and it’s tough to win a point at the Ryder Cup. Jamie played great again today,“ Westwood said. “We played good all day, but we were solid and I think we made one bogey, which is pretty good golf in foursomes.“

Garcia and McIlroy looked like they were going to run away with their match early on. The Europeans won the first with a par, then Mahan missed a 6- footer for par at the second. That dropped the Americans 2-down.

Mahan made his par putt at three to trim their deficit to 1-down. The match remained that way until the 14th. Furyk and Garcia made birdie putts at six, then Mahan made par putts to halve four of five holes from the seventh.

Both teams bogeyed the 12th and parred 13. Garcia converted a 5-footer for birdie at 14 to extend their lead back to 2-up. They halved the 15th, then the Americans made a mess of the 16th. McIlroy hit a good bunker shot, and that birdie putt and the match was conceded after Mahan missed a long par attempt.

“Obviously we’re in a good position, but I think we all remember what happened a couple years ago. This is exact same score line that we were down going into the last day at Medinah, so no complacency on our side,“ McIlroy stated. “We need to go out there tomorrow, focus and get the job done.“

Reed missed a par putt at the third, but Kaymer made his par to give the Europeans a 1-up lead. Kaymer missed a par putt at four, and the Americans were conceded par.

The Americans took the sixth with a par, which gave them a 1-up lead. Spieth made birdie at seven to push their lead to 2-up. Rose chipped to tap-in range at No. 9 and when Reed failed to match that birdie, the U.S. lead was 1-up at the turn.

Spieth made a 9-footer for birdie at 10 and Kaymer missed from a few feet closer to push the American lead back to 2-up. Rose made a short par putt at 12 to trim the deficit to 1-down.

Reed missed a 7-footer for par at 15 and Kaymer kicked in his short par effort to square the match. Both teams made a mess of 16. The Europeans 3-putted for bogey, and Reed missed a 3-foot par putt to keep the match all square.

If that putt had dropped, the match would have ended at 17, where the Americans’ 5-foot birdie attempt was conceded after Rose missed a par putt.

Both teams were in the fairway at the par-5 18th, then their second shots found the same greenside bunker right of the putting surface. The Americans’ ball was under the side lip of the bunker, so Reed could do no better than blasting to 20 feet.

Kaymer’s sand shot stopped six feet from the hole. After Spieth missed his birdie try, Rose drained his birdie to halve the match.

“The U.S. team got unlucky with the lie they caught in the bunker. That is the bunker to miss it in to that flag,“ Rose stated. “It was the kind of match no one wanted to win. Martin and I had a hard time getting it up and down, there were a lot of unforced errors from both teams.“

The final match was all Europe. After Walker missed a par putt at the second, the Europeans were conceded birdie. Walker hit a poor second shot from the fairway on three and that led to a bogey and another conceded birdie for the Dubuisson and McDowell.

Walker missed another short putt at five, then McDowell made birdie at six to give the Europeans a 4-up lead. Walker found a hazard at eight, which led to a double-bogey.

McDowell was conceded par and the Europeans were 5-up. Fowler poured in a birdie putt on 11, but they bogeyed the 13th to drop five down with five to go. The match was over one hole later.

NOTES: The Europeans won seven of the eight points available from the two foursomes sessions ... Stephen Gallacher, Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson and Webb Simpson all did not play on Saturday ... For Mickelson, that was the first time in his career, both Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, that he sat for both sessions in the same day ... Rose, McIlroy, Fowler and Walker were the only four players that will have played all five sessions.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Belle Gallantey Sets Pace in Winning Beldame

Belle Gallantey, ridden by Jose Ortiz, set a very slow pace to win Saturday’s $400,000 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park in a duplication of her Delaware Handicap victory from two months ago.

Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, Belle Gallantey took the lead at the start of the 1 1/8-mile Beldame from her outside post in the seven-horse field of fillies and mares.

Sent off as the 9-2 third choice, Belle Gallantey was allowed to cruise on the lead with no pressure in the main track race. The 5-year-old chestnut mare opened her lead down the stretch and registered a convincing 8 1/4-length win over 3-2 favorite Stopchargingmaria, one of the top 3-year-old fillies in the country.

“It’s very, very special,“ Rodriguez said. “We’re working very hard with these kinds of horses, and thank God they did it. I don’t know what to tell you. I’m speechless.“

Finishing third was Endless Chatter followed by Stanwyck, Fiftyshadesofhay, Toasting and Oasis At Midnight.

The time for the Beldame was 1:47.55 on a fast track.

“I just put my hands down and was a passenger,“ Ortiz said. “As soon as I went to the lead, she relaxed really well. Rudy told me she was 100%, and I always trust him. When we went to the quarter pole I had a lot of horse, so I knew I had it.“

Owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and Gary Aisquith, Belle Gallantey notched just her second stakes victory from 43 career starts. Winning the Beldame was worth $240,000 to push the mare past the $1 million mark in career earnings. Belle Gallantey has nine wins, 12 seconds and seven thirds for more than $1.1 million.

Belle Gallantey made her stakes debut on Belmont Stakes Day in the Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park. The 5-year-old finished fifth at 25-1 in the 1 1/16-mile race less than two lengths behind winner Close Hatches. At Saratoga on August 22 she failed to fire and came home sixth of seven, beaten 25 1/4 lengths over a muddy main track.

On July 12, the mare defeated Princess of Sylmar by almost three lengths in the Delaware Handicap at odds of 9-2.

Belle Gallantey returned $11.40, $4.90 and $4.40. Stopchargingmaria paid $3.40 and $3.00, and Endless Chatter paid $5.00 to show.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Two Minute Warning - Week 4

This is the first of the bye weeks and Week 4 has six teams sitting out the weekend. Which means fantasy owners will be scrambling to fill out their lineups.

Remember to remove all players from the following teams from your Week 4 lineups: Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle and St. Louis.

As for weather, it won’t be a factor in most cases. There is a slight chance for showers in Houston, but other than that it appears to be a beautiful fall day throughout the country.

Here is the latest information as we approach game-time. We will continue to update this story as the information changes up to game-time.

Quarterbacks -

Jake Locker, Tennessee - Locker is dealing with pain and swelling in his wrist and is not expected to start. That leaves Charlie Whitehurst as the Titans starter which is not good news for fantasy owners with Tennessee wideouts in their lineup. “Checkdown Charlie” is more likely to throw to his tight end or backs than deep to his wide receivers. Update: Locker is inactive.

E.J. Manuel, Buffalo - He’s listed as probable (abdominal), but practiced every day and there is no doubt he’ll play Sunday. Update: Manuel is active.

Josh McCown, Tampa Bay - McCown is listed as doubtful, but we believe he will sit in favor of Mike Glennon. Even when McCown is healthy again, we’re not sure he gets his job back. The Bucs added Mike Kafka to the roster to back up Glennon. Update: McCown is inactive.

Tony Romo, Dallas - He’s still dealing with back issues, but practiced Thursday and Friday and will be ready to go Sunday. He plays a below average pass defense Sunday, the Saints rank 29th in yards allowed (278.3) and we’d like to see him take advantage of the opportunity.

Running Backs -

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City - Charles has practiced all week and fantasy owners should expect him to play. The important question will be, how much? Given that he’s less than 100 percent and the top quality performance from Knile Davis in his absence we could see a 60-40 split which would limit Charles’ upside. Fantasy owners must play Charles if active, but Davis could still be a viable low-end option.

Arian Foster, Houston - Foster will be a true game-time decision due to his hamstring, meaning you will have to wait until inactives are announced 45 minutes before the whistle blows. Alfred Blue is the backup option. Update: Foster is active.

Bernard Pierce, Baltimore - Pierce missed Sunday’s game due to a thigh injury and it appears he’s recovered and will play. He’ll return to find a three-way committee with Justin Forsett and young Lorenzo Taliaferro which likely means none of the three has any fantasy value. Update: Pierce is active.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Oakland - MJD returns after missing two games due to a hand injury, but what share of the workload he gets is up in the air. Darren McFadden figures to be the primary back with Jones-Drew with the short end of the rushing attempts. Update: Jones-Drew is active.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina - Williams returned to practice every day this week and that’s good news for the Panthers who likely lost Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert last weekend. The backup plan in Darrin Reaves just off the practice squad. Update: Williams is active.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay - Martin has missed the past two games with a knee injury which he suffered in Week 1, but is expected to return. He’ll share carries with Bobby Rainey.

Joique Bell, Detroit - Bell is active and should get his normal allotment of work.

Wide Receivers -

Calvin Johnson, Detroit - Johnson is listed as questionable due to an ankle injury, but he’s fully expected to play. Of course, about once a year he fools us and sits a game, so we’ll watch the inactive lists, but fantasy owners should have him in their lineups. Update: Johnson is active.

Keenan Allen, San Diego - Facing a Jaguars pass defense yielding 306 ypg, will get any wide receiver healthy. We expect Allen will be out there and productive. At least until the game gets out of hand.

Eric Decker, New York Jets - Both the coach and the player expect him to be available, but whether he can post fantasy-worthy numbers against a tough Lions defense (No. 3 against the pass) is another story. Update: Decker is active.

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis - A full participant in Thursday and Friday’s practice, he’ll certainly play Sunday. Update: Hilton is active.

Roddy White, Atlanta - White is expected to return after missing Week 3, but he’s no longer part of a 1/1A package with Julio Jones. White is now No. 2.

Brandon Marshall, Chicago - Again, Marshall didn’t practice, but that hasn’t stopped him from playing in the past and we expect him out there Sunday versus the rival Packers. Update: Marshall is active.

Dez Bryant, Dallas - Bryant fell on his shoulder in Week 2 and missed a series, but he played through it last week and will again Sunday. He should eat up the Saints mediocre secondary and is a must start.

Mike Wallace, Miami - It’s always worrisome when a speed receiver is dealing with leg issues, in this case a hamstring, but Wallace will play. Update: Wallace is active.

Allen Hurns, Jacksonville - Hurns is probable. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he’ll be the No. 3 receiver behind Cecil Shorts and Allen Robinson making it tougher for him to produce big fantasy numbers. Marqise Lee will not play so all three receivers could see fantasy level targets. What they do with them is another story.

Tight Ends -

Antonio Gates, San Diego - Gates has been dealing with a hamstring, but it hasn’t prevented him from playing the last two weeks and won’t stop him Sunday in Week 4. Start him.

Vernon Davis, San Francisco - After missing last weekend, Davis is ready to go and has a favorable matchup against a very yielding Eagles pass defense. He’s a must start.


►  The Tight End Hat Trick

Well, fans are still waiting for a decent Thursday night game on CBS, but fantasy owners did received another three-touchdown performance from a tight end.

Nope, it was not Jordan Reed or his replacement, Niles Paul. Giants tight end Larry Donnell caught seven passes for 54 yards and three touchdowns as he joins Broncos’ Julius Thomas and Chargers’ Antonio Gates with touchdown hat tricks in 2014.

Through three weeks and one game, that is an incredible feat to have three different tight ends each with a three-touchdown game. In all of 2013, only two tight ends went for three scores in a single game: Browns’ Jordan Cameron against the Vikings and Lions’ Joseph Fauria versus, ironically, the Browns.

There are also four instances of tight ends scoring two touchdowns in a game. In Week 1, Vernon Davis did it against the Cowboys. In Week 2, Owen Daniels caught two touchdowns against the Steelers, and Jimmy Graham did it versus the Browns. Last week, Martellus Bennett scored twice against the Jets.

That sounds impressive. In 49 games so far this season, tight ends have 47 touchdown catches. It appears like tight ends are scoring at a record rate.

In actuality, tight end touchdowns are slightly down as a whole from where they were at this point in the season last year. In 2013, tight ends scored 50 touchdowns through the first three weeks and the Thursday night game in Week 4.

Ok, so production is virtually the same across the board, but perhaps the number of games with multiple touchdowns to one tight end is up.

Not so. Last year at this time, eight different tight ends had at least a two- touchdown game. One, Jordan Cameron, had his three-touchdown game in Week 3.

Tight ends have always been sort of a boom-or-bust type position, at least more so than the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. But based on the fact total tight end touchdowns through 49 games is slightly down, tight ends with multiple touchdown games is also slightly down, and tight ends with touchdown hat tricks are up, it seems tight end is even more of a boom-or-bust position this season.

In a perfect world, one tight end would score three touchdowns in a single game every week, which is practically the pace the 2014 NFL season is on, and it would be the perfect fantasy treasure hunt to find the right one each Sunday. But looking closer at the numbers, there is nothing to suggest owners will see another three-touchdown performance again this year. The three tight end hat tricks this season, so far, are mere coincidences.


►  Week 4 Edition: Three Sell-High Options

Just because a seasonal fantasy performer may not be playing up to par, through three weeks of the NFL season, it does not mean that guy will not pick it up eventually. And vice versa, when players are potentially overperforming this early in the season, there is a definite chance that player comes back down to Earth.

Allen Hurns ranks seventh in standard leagues, amongst wide receivers with 36 total fantasy points. Do you really think he will stay in the top-10 all year? Or even half the year? Let’s take a look at three players that owners should consider trading, right now.

Mohamed Sanu, Wide Receiver: He has stolen headlines throughout the first few weeks of the season, most notably on an 18-yard touchdown pass to Andy Dalton in Week 3, but he has also produced somewhat consistently from his receiver position as well.

With the Cincinnati Bengals on a bye this week, A.J. Green should be heading into Week 5 completely healthy. Which in turn, will decrease Sanu’s targets. While Sanu will still be a major part of the Bengals’ offense, the fact that he has the same amount of fantasy points as Green (29 total points), will not last for the remainder of the season, making it a perfect time to shop Sanu around.

Rashad Jennings, Running back: This is a bold one. Jennings has been one of the biggest steals in fantasy football, thus far in 2014. However, I have some reservations about him, moving forward.

Coming into 2014, not only has Jennings never rushed for more than 733 yards in a season, he also has never had more than 163 carries. Along with that, Jennings has never been able to suit up for a full 16 games. Now, I am not saying he is going to fall off a cliff, but owners will enter into La La Land if they think he will continue to produce as the fifth ranked fantasy running back (standard leagues), throughout the entire season.

Owners should feel around and see if any other workhorse running backs are available and look to potentially package Jennings for an upgrade. Coming off a 176-yard rushing game, Jennings will be an attractive option.

Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back: Is it 2010 again? With all the hype around Bradshaw, it would seem he is on pace for 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns. Yes, he has three receiving scores in 2014, yet the rest of Bradshaw’s numbers are nothing to cry home about.

Bradshaw ranks sixth amongst running backs, in standard leagues, with 42 total points. However, through three games he has only 150 rushing yards and 114 receiving yards. With Trent Richardson continuing to fall out of favor in Indianapolis, Bradshaw will definitely be seeing a ton of playing time, as the season moves on. But will he continue to produce at a top-10 value?

Seeing the low yardage totals, combined with the fact Bradshaw has played 16 games only once during his career, makes for another great opportunity to trade this guy at the appropriate time. That time may be now, as Bradshaw only had three career touchdown receptions coming into 2014. Now, that he has three already this year, it should make owners skeptical that he will be able to keep up that pace.

The Gilmer Free Press


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2014


National Football League
Green Bay at Chicago, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (705)
Detroit at NY Jets, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (706)
Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (707)
Carolina at Baltimore, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (708)
Buffalo at Houston, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (709)
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (710)
Miami at Oakland, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (711)
Jacksonville at San Diego, 4:05 PM - CBS, DSS (712)
Atlanta at Minnesota, 4:25 PM - FOX, DSS (713)
Philadelphia at San Francisco, 4:25 PM - FOX, DSS (714)
New Orleans at Dallas, 8:30 PM - NBC


Major League Baseball - National League
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 1:10 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, FS-Ohio, DSS
Miami at Washington, 1:35 PM - FS-Florida, MASN, DSS
Atlanta at Philadelphia, 1:35 PM - FS-South, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 2:10 PM - WGN (America), FS-Wisconsin, DSS
San Diego at San Francisco, 4:05 PM - FS-San Diego, CSN-Bay, DSS
St. Louis at Arizona, 4:10 PM - FS-Midwest, Arizona, DSS
Colorado at Los Angeles, 4:10 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain, SportsNet LA, DSS


American League
Tampa Bay at Cleveland, 1:05 PM - SunSports, SportsTime Ohio, DSS
Baltimore at Toronto, 1:07 PM - MASN2, SNET, DSS
Minnesota at Detroit, 1:08 PM - FS-North, Detroit, DSS
NY Yankees at Boston, 1:35 PM - YES, NESN, DSS, TBS
Kansas City at Chicago WSox, 2:10 PM - FS-Kansas City, CSN-Chicago, DSS
Oakland at Texas, 3:05 PM - CSN-Bay, FS-Southwest, DSS
LA Angels at Seattle, 4:10 PM - FS-West, ROOT-Northwest, DSS


Interleague
Houston at NY Mets, 1:10 PM - CSN-Houston, SNY, DSS


National Hockey League - Preseason
Washington at Montreal, 6:00 PM - RDS
Buffalo at Toronto, 7:00 PM - MSG-Buffalo, NHL Network


Major League Soccer
Chicago at Houston, 3:00 PM - CSN-Houston+, UniMas
New York at Los Angeles, 8:30 PM - ESPN 2


International Soccer
AC Cesena vs. AC Milan, 8:55 AM - beIN Sport
West Brom vs. Burnley, 10:55 AM - NBCSN
Olympique de Marseille vs. AS Saint-Etienne, 2:55 PM - beIN Sport


Golf
PGA/EUROPEAN - Ryder Cup Matches, 7:00 AM - NBC, Golf Channel
CHAMPIONS - Nature Valley First Tee Open, 4:00 PM - Golf Channel


Auto Racing
SPRINT CUP - AAA 400, 2:00 PM - ESPN

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Charette, Willey Claim MEC Accolades

The University of Charleston’s Keith Charette and Kourtney Willey have earned Mountain East Conference Runner of the Week honors.

Charette, a junior from Toms River, NJ, was the top Division II finisher at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational. Charette completed the 8,000-meter race in 27:56 averaging 5:37 per mile. UC is in its first year of varsity competition in men’s cross country.

Willey, a senior from Las Vegas, Nev., finished 58th overall at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational. Willey posted a time of 25:04 in the race averaging 6:41 per mile on the 6,000-meter course.

2014 Mountain East Conference Runners Of The Week
Week Men’s Women’s
September 16, 2014 Jordan Weitzel (Concord) Zoey Vilasuso (WVWC)
September 23, 2014 Keith Charette (Charleston) Kourtney Willey (Charleston)


The Gilmer Free Press

►  MEC Football Preview - Week 4


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2014





West Virginia Wesleyan (1-2, 1-2) at #11 Shepherd, Noon

Video | Live Stats

Last Year
: Shepherd won 45-10

Notes: WVWC’s Jeremy Musselman will test the NCAA leader in total defense at Shepherd ... Musselman thew for 442 yards and 6 TDs last week ... SU has won each of their first three games by an average of 38.6 ppg.



West Liberty (2-1, 2-1) at Concord (3-0, 2-0), Noon

Video | Live Stats

Last Year
: Concord won 20-3

Notes: CU and WLU are giving up nearly the same amount of yards per game ... WLU’s defense has just one interception on the year, while CU has a league-best six.



Fairmont State (1-2, 1-2) at West Virginia State (1-2, 0-2), 1:00 PM

Live Stats

Last Year
: Fairmont State won 56-3

Notes: FSU’s last road win came in 2011 against WVSU ... Yellow Jackets are looking for their first MEC victory ... both QBs average over 200 yards of total offense.



Urbana (1-2, 1-2) at Glenville State (0-3, 0-3), 1:00 PM

Audio | Video | Live Stats

Last Year: Urbana won 12-9

Notes: GSC held UU to its lowest offensive output of the season last year but failed to score an offensive touchdown in the loss ... two of GSC’s three losses have been by four points or less ... GSC leads MEC in rushing ... UU is giving up just 3.6 yards per rush.



Charleston (3-0, 2-0) at Notre Dame (3-0, 3-0), 2:00 PM 

AudioLive Stats

Last Year
: Charleston won 34-32

Notes: Matchup of two unbeaten MEC teams ... UC won last year on a last-second field goal ... UC’s pass defense (155.3) is ranked second in the league, NDC’s pass offense (301.7) is third in the conference, and NDC’s rush defense is second (96.3) and UC’s rushing offense is third (218.3) ... ... NDC has allowed just one rushing TD ... both teams averaging over 35 ppg.



UVa-Wise (0-3) at Wofford (1-2), 7:00 PM 

Audio | Video | Live Stats

Last Year
: Did not meet

Notes: MEC is 3-0 in non-conference games (all against DII opponents) ... Wofford (Division I FCS) has losses against Georgia Tech and Gardner-Webb ... UVa-Wise has the fewest penalty yards of any team in the MEC.

News & Notes



• The only two 200-yard rushing performances in the MEC both came last week in NDC’s Kenneth Butler’s 230 yards and GSC’s Rahmann Lee’s 220 yards.

• There have been seven total 200-yard rushing performances in the MEC with three of those coming from Notre Dame running backs (two from Pedro Powell in 2013 and one from Butler).

• In addition to 220 yards rushing, Rahmann Lee also had 80 yards receiving to finish with 300 all-purpose yards. That total currently ranks as the fourth-most in a single game in the NCAA this season.

• Lee ranks second among active players in all-purpose yards per game (157.12), third in rushing yards per game (128.5) and fourth for rushing yards (3,212).

• Four different MEC quarterbacks have two 300+ yard passing games this season: Cooper Hibbs (FSU), Jeremy Musselman (WVWC), Brian Novak (CU) and Ray Russ (NDC).

• The MEC’s four unbeaten teams are also the only four teams in the league that average 30 or more minutes of possession this season.

• SU quarterback Jeff Ziemba’s 16-of-16 passing against Fairmont State in week two established a new conference record for completion%age. In a span of two games, he completed 18-straight passes, which is also a new league mark.

• Ziemba has yet to throw an interception this season (61 attempts).

• The Shepherd defense has posted four shutouts since the start of the 2013 season.

• Urbana became just the second MEC to rush for over 100 yards against Shepherd since 2013 with 104 yards on the ground in week three. Shepherd has held its opponents to under 100 yards rushing in 11 of its last 13 regular season games dating back to last season.

• Shepherd leads the country in total defense allowing just 155.3 yards per game.

• SU has yet to allow a point in the first and third quarters of games this season.

• After giving up just 34 points in two games, Concord allowed 34 last week to Bowie State.

• Seven of Brian Novak’s 10 touchdown passes this season have gone to Ryan Stewart. Stewart’s seven TD receptions are the most in the country.

• Novak already has more touchdown passes this season than he did all of 2013, and needs just 500 more yards to surpass last season’s total in that category. He ranks ninth in the country in passing yards with 1,020.

• UC’s Marvin Elam has lost just seven yards on 66 rushing attempts this season. He is second in the MEC with 121.3 rushing yards per game to go with a league-best seven rushing touchdowns.

• Charleston’s Torie Wagner’s 116 punt return yards last week are the most by any player in NCAA Division II so far this season.

• Notre Dame’s Ray Russ has not thrown an interception in his last 102 pass attempts.

• NDC is one of only two teams in the MEC (Shepherd is the other) to hold teams to under 100 yards rushing per game this season (96.3).

• West Liberty’s 38 points last week against West Virginia State were its most in a game since October 27, 2012 against Seton Hill (41).

• WLU’s Alec Wood is the league’s top tackler with 11.0 stops per game.

• Fairmont State is second the MEC in red zone offense converting six of its seven chances so far this season.

• WVWC quarterback Jeremy Musselman tied an MEC record last week with six touchdown passes in week three against Notre Dame. His 442 passing yards were the second-most in league history.

• Urbana’s Cale Burdyshaw is averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 14.7 yards per completion.

• West Virginia State’s Wenley Beliard leads the league in tackles for a loss with six, all of which were solo stops.

• UVa-Wise has the fewest penalty yards per game in the league.

• Terrence Younger’s 6.7 receptions per game are second-most in the MEC.

• Glenville State has converted three two-point conversions this far. No other conference team has converted more than one.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Week 5 High School Games Results in the Area

Class A

Gilmer County (2-3)  52   @  #7 Buffalo (4-1)  69

Tyler Consolidated (2-2)  34  @  Calhoun County (2-2)  23

Philip Barbour (0-4)  14   @  Tucker County (1-3)  21


Class AA

#1 Williamstown - A (4-1)  20   @  #4 Ravenswood (4-0)  60

East Fairmont (1-4)  0   @  #6 Bridgeport (4-1)  41

#7 Ritchie County (3-2)  14   @  #15 Doddridge County - A (3-1)  20 (OT)

#9 Clay County (3-2)  0   @  #16 Nicholas County (3-1)  43

Robert C. Byrd (3-2)  43  @  #15 Grafton (3-2)  7

Roane County (2-2)  35  @  Braxton County (2-2)  7

South Harrison - A (1-2)  44  @  Lincoln (1-3)  19

Notre Dame - A (1-2)  34  @  River View (1-3)  14


Class AAA

#11 Lewis County (4-1)  49  @  Lincoln County (0-5)  0

Parkersburg (1-2)  45  @  Marietta, Ohio (2-2)  14

Buckhannon-Upshur (2-1)  41  @  Oak Hill (0-3)  27



The Gilmer Free Press

►  TOP-25 COLLEGE SCORES

Final Score: (11) UCLA 62, (15) Arizona State 27

Brett Hundley returned to the field on Thursday and showed why he was a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, throwing four touchdown passes and running for another in No. 11 UCLA’s 62-27 rout of 15th-ranked Arizona State. Hundley played with a heavily wrapped left arm after leaving last week’s win over Texas with an elbow injury. He played through the pain and delivered the best game of his collegiate career, completing 18-of-23 passes for 355 yards. He also gained 72 yards on eight carries. UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) benefited from the big play, scoring four touchdowns of 80-plus yards. Ishmael Adams was responsible for two of those, returning an interception and kickoff for long scores. Jordan Payton made five catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, and Eldridge Massington’s lone reception went 80 yards for a tally. Paul Perkins gained 137 yards on the ground, with 81 of those coming on a run late in the contest that included a highlight reel juke at the end of it. Mike Bervocivi made his first career start in place of the injured Taylor Kelly for the Sun Devils (3-1, 1-1) and threw early and often, completing 42- of-68 passes for 488 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Jaelen Strong made a game-high 12 catches for 146 yards.


Final Score: (24) Oklahoma State 45, Texas Tech 35

Daxx Garman threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as 24th-ranked Oklahoma State outgunned Texas Tech, 45-35, in the Big 12 opener for both programs. Garman hooked up with James Washington for two scores and finished with 370 yards and two interceptions for the Cowboys (3-1, 1-0 Big 12), who have won three straight since a season-opening loss to No. 1 Florida State. Davis Webb also tossed four touchdown passes and had Texas Tech (2-2, 0-1) within striking distance before going down with a left shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter. The teams combined for 1,034 yards of offense and 287 penalty yards.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Steelers G Foster Questionable vs. Buccaneers

Pittsburgh Steelers starting left guard Ramon Foster is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Foster, who is dealing with an ankle injury, was a limited participant on Friday after fully practicing the previous two days. Foster was absent from the lineup in Pittsburgh’s was over Carolina.

Cornerback Ike Taylor (forearm) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee) were both ruled out.


►  Titans QB Locker Questionable for Sunday

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Locker was listed as a limited participant in Friday’s practice. He missed the previous two practice days with a sprained right wrist.

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said Locker’s progress on Friday was encouraging.

If Locker, who sustained the injury during last week’s 33-7 loss at Cincinnati but played the entire game, cannot go, veteran Charlie Whitehurst will draw his first start since 2011.

Locker struggled for a second straight week during Tennessee’s rout at the hands of the Bengals, completing just 17-of-34 passes for 185 yards and two interceptions. The embattled former first-round selection also was picked off twice in a home loss to Dallas the previous Sunday.

The 26-year-old Locker has missed a total of 14 games over the previous two seasons due to an assortment of injuries, most notably a dislocated left shoulder and a foot problem that required surgery.

Tight end Delanie Walker (shoulder) was also listed as questionable. Tight end Taylor Thompson (knee) and defensive end Ropati Pitoitua (knee) both are listed as doubtful.


►  Falcons WR Douglas Questionable vs. Vikings

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Douglas suffered a foot injury in last week’s game against the Buccaneers. The Louisville product has 12 catches for 121 yards and one touchdown in three games this season.

Wide receiver Roddy White (hamstring), returner/receiver Devin Hester (ankle), running back Antone Smith (hamstring) and linebacker Prince Shembo (calf) were all listed as probable.

White will likely return to the lineup after missing last week’s game.


►  Colts’ Thornton Doubtful vs. Titans

Indianapolis Colts right guard Hugh Thornton is unlikely to play against the Titans on Sunday because of an ankle injury.

Thornton, who was held out of practice this week, was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report.

Linebackers Jerrell Freeman (hamstring) and Mario Harvey (hamstring) and defensive tackle Arthur Jones (ankle) have been ruled out. Safety Colt Anderson (groin) and linebacker Andy Studebaker (hamstring) are both questionable.


►  Vikings LB Greenway Out vs. Falcons

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway will not play in Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Greenway has been held out of practice all week due to a broken hand and a broken rib. The 31-year-old will miss his first game since 2007, ending a streak of 115 straight games played.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph was also ruled out and will miss about six weeks due to a sports hernia.

Cornerback Josh Robinson (hamstring) is listed as questionable.


►  Chiefs RB McKnight Suffers Torn Achilles

Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe McKnight ruptured his Achilles during Thursday’s practice, the team announced Friday.

With Jamaal Charles out last Sunday, McKnight caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins.

The Chiefs are left with Knile Davis, Cyrus Gray and De’Anthony Thomas in reserve behind Charles.

In a season-opening loss to Tennessee, the Chiefs lost Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito to the same injury.


►  Eagles LB Kendricks Out vs. 49ers

Linebacker Mychal Kendricks will miss his second straight game Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles play the San Francisco 49ers.

Kendricks (calf) also sat out last week’s game against the Washington Redskins. The California product has 13 tackles and one sack in two games this season.

Marcus Smith, Emmanuel Acho and Casey Matthews formed a three-man rotation at inside linebacker in place of the injured Kendricks last week.

Center Jason Kelce (hernia) will miss the first of several weeks for the Eagles’ injury-riddled offensive line. David Molk will start at center.

Rookie wide receiver Josh Huff (shoulder) is questionable following a full week of practice. The Oregon product has missed the first three games this season.

Offensive lineman Matt Tobin (ankle) will likely make his season debut Sunday. He is listed as probable.


►  Jets’ Decker Questionable

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions with his nagging hamstring injury.

Decker suffered the injury two weeks ago and tried to give it a go on Monday night against the Bears, but left the game after having one catch for 19 yards.

He did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday and was limited on Friday.

Cornerback Dee Milliner is listed as doubtful with a quad injury. The 2013 first-round draft pick sat out the season opener with an ankle injury but returned Week 2 to play against Green Bay before missing Monday’s game against Chicago.

Every other player on the Jets’ injury report is listed as probable to play.


►  Panthers RB Stewart, LB Davis Questionable vs. Ravens

Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis and running back Jonathan Stewart are both questionable for Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Davis (hip) and Stewart (knee) saw limited reps in Friday’s practice.

Running back DeAngelo Williams (thigh) will likely return Sunday after missing the past two games. He is listed as probable.

Tackle Garry Williams (back) and running back Fozzy Whittaker (thigh) are both doubtful.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Celtics Send Bogans to Cavaliers

The Boston Celtics shipped veteran shooting guard Keith Bogans and two future conditional draft picks to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

In exchange, the Celtics acquired guard John Lucas III, forwards Malcolm Thomas, Erik Murphy and Dwight Powell and 2016 and 2017 second round picks from Cleveland.

Bogans, an 11-year vet out of Kentucky, appeared in just six games for Boston last season, averaging 2.0 points in 9.2 minutes per contest. His career included stops in Orlando, Charlotte, Houston, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Chicago and Brooklyn.

Powell highlights the package Boston received. Cleveland selected the skilled 6-foot-11 power forward with the 45th pick in June’s draft. Powell averaged 14.0 points and 6.9 rebounds for Stanford last season, leading them to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Thomas, Murphy and Lucas will all be competing for a roster spot during Boston’s crowded training camp.

In corresponding moves, Boston waived guard Chris Babb and wing Chris Johnson.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NATIONAL LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Washington 4, Miami 0 (Game One) Miami 15, Washington 7 (Game Two)

After getting shut out in the opener of Friday’s doubleheader, the Miami Marlins exploded for 15 runs in the nightcap. J.T. Realmuto finished with three hits and four RBI and Enrique Hernandez hit a grand slam as Miami powered its way to a 15-7 victory over the Washington Nationals. Justin Bour had three hits, two RBI and four runs scored and Adeiny Hechavarria collected four hits and drove in two for the Marlins, who had a season-high 22 hits. A.J. Ramos (7-0) earned the win after tossing a scoreless inning. Miami starter Andrew Heaney gave up four runs on six hits and a walk over four innings. Tyler Moore and Steven Souza both homered Washington, which clinched the top seed in the National League with a 4-0 win over the Marlins earlier in the day. Jayson Werth scored twice, brought in a run and finished a homer shy of the cycle. Taylor Hill (0-1) was tagged with the loss in his first career start after giving up seven runs on 10 hits and two walks across 4 2/3 frames.


Final Score: Philadelphia 5, Atlanta 4

The Philadelphia Phillies opened their final series of the season with a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Braves. Marlon Byrd drove in the go-ahead run with a groundout in the seventh after the Phillies erased a 4-0 deficit. After rookie Ken Giles pitched a scoreless eighth, the focus turned to how the Philadelphia fans would greet closer Jonathan Papelbon in his first appearance back at Citizens Bank Park. Papelbon earned a seven-game suspension for his action after blowing a save against Miami on Sept. 14. He appeared to direct a crotch-grab at jeering fans behind the Phillies’ dugout as he left the field. To the surprise of no one, Papelbon entered to a chorus of boos from the home crowd on Friday night. He gave up a one-out double to B.J. Upton, but was able to record his 39th save of the season.


Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Cincinnati 1

Josh Harrison set a new career-best hit streak and scored the game-winning run in the eighth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to a 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Harrison singled to center to extend his hit streak to 14 games. Travis Snider then sliced a liner to right that spun away from a sliding Jay Bruce and rolled to the wall. The speedy Harrison scored easily from first. The win pulled Pittsburgh within a half-game of St. Louis for first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals are in action against Arizona tonight. Both teams have already clinched a playoff berth. The Pirates have won 17 of 21. Vance Worley gave up a run on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings, departing in the seventh after giving up a one-out single to Tucker Barnhart. Jared Hughes (7-5) came on and secured the last two outs of the inning to pick up the win.


Final Score: Houston 3, NY Mets 1

Jose Altuve hit an RBI single as part of a three-run sixth inning to give the Houston Astros a 3-1 win over the New York Mets to open a season-ending three-game series. Matt Dominguez also drove in a run while Kevin Chapman (2-0) got the win for getting two outs for the Astros, who had lost their previous three. Brad Peacock gave up a run on four hits with seven strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings in the start. Curtis Granderson hit a solo home run for the Mets, who have lost three of their last four. Jon Niese gave up just three hits over 5 1/3 innings, while Carlos Torres (8-6) allowed three runs—two earned—in relief to take the loss.


►  AMERICAN LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Cleveland 1, Tampa Bay 0

Corey Kluber closed out a brilliant 2014 season in grand fashion, striking out 11 over eight scoreless innings to allow the Cleveland Indians to edge the Tampa Bay Rays in a 1-0 duel. Kluber (18-9) scattered five hits and two walks to win his fifth consecutive start and state a final case for the American League’s Cy Young Award. His latest gem was just enough to best counterpart Chris Archer, who gave up next to nothing except for a solo homer to Jose Ramirez in the first inning that wound up as the game’s only run. The effort still wasn’t enough to keep the Indians alive in the playoff race, however, as Oakland’s win at Texas on Friday eliminated Cleveland from contention for a wild-card berth. Archer (10-9) deserved a better fate in Tampa Bay’s sixth loss in eight games. The right- hander yielded just two other hits and a pair of walks after Ramirez’s blast, while striking out six over 7 2/3 outstanding innings.


Final Score: Toronto 4, Baltimore 2

Dalton Pompey and Munenori Kawasaki each drove in a pair of runs as Toronto doubled up Baltimore, 4-2, in the first edition of a season-ending series. Pompey finished 3-for-4 with two triples and two runs scored for the Blue Jays, who received two hits and a run scored each from Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind. Drew Hutchison (11-13) gave up five hits and two runs while fanning eight over five innings. Marcus Stroman earned his first career save by tossing the remaining four scoreless frames during which he allowed one hit and struck out four. Delmon Young and David Lough knocked in a run apiece for the Orioles, who cannot finish with the best record in the American League having suffered their 65th loss. The Angels, who already wrapped up the AL West, have 98 wins. Chris Tillman (13-6) was tagged for 11 hits and four runs over his six-inning stint.


Final Score: Minnesota 11, Detroit 4

Brian Dozier went 3-for-5 with a homer, three RBI and three runs scored to help the Minnesota Twins defeat the Detroit Tigers, 11-4, in the second of four at Comerica Park. Danny Santana also collected three hits and scored twice, Oswaldo Arcia homered and Kurt Suzuki drove in two runs for the Twins. A.J. Achter (1-0) earned the win for two innings in relief of starter Anthony Swarzak, who yielded three runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. Rick Porcello (15-13) was charged with six runs—four earned—on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings. Porcello is winless in his last six outings, going 0-5 over that span, and has not won since Aug. 26. The Tigers could have clinched its fourth consecutive AL Central title with a win and Kansas City loss in Chicago. Because of the Royals’ 3-1 win over the White Sox, Detroit now leads KC by one game in the division standings.


Final Score: New York 3, Boston 2

With Chris Capuano’s 6 1/3 strong innings leading the way, a New York Yankees team playing without Derek Jeter opened a season-ending three-game series with the Boston Red Sox with a 3-2 victory at Fenway Park. Jeter was given the night off following an emotional Yankee Stadium farewell on Thursday, in which the retiring shortstop delivered a walk-off single in the ninth inning to lift New York to a 6-5 win over Baltimore. Capuano (3-4), released by the Red Sox on July 1 after a 28- game stint in relief, held his former club to four hits and an unearned run while striking out five. David Robertson, who set up Jeter’s memorable heroics last night by allowing three runs in the top of the ninth inning, bounced back to record the final three outs and earn his 39th save.


Final Score: Oakland 6, Texas 2

Josh Reddick hit a solo home run and drove in three as the Oakland Athletics took a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers in the second of a season-ending four-game set. Oakland stayed a game behind Kansas City for the top wild card spot in the American League. Oakland’s still hasn’t clinched a spot yet, though, as the Mariners defeated the Angels on Friday. The A’s will capture a playoff spot with a win in either of their final two games, or a Mariners loss in their final two games. Adam Dunn drove in a pair of runs and Jed Lowrie finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Athletics, who had lost three straight coming in. Scott Kazmir (15-9) gave up two runs—one earned—on four hits over seven innings to snap a four-decision losing streak. Leonys Martin and Ryan Rua each drove in a run for the Rangers, who had won 12 of 13 coming into the game. Nick Tepesch (5-11) allowed six runs—five earned—on six hits in 4 1/3 innings.


Final Score: Kansas City 3, Chicago 1

The last time the Kansas City Royals made the playoffs, they won the World Series. That was nearly three decades ago. Nori Aoki, Lorenzo Cain and Billy Butler each drove in a run during a three- run first inning, and that’s all the Royals would need as they clinched a postseason berth for the first time since 1985 with a 3-1 win over Chicago on Friday. Jeremy Guthrie (13-11) was sharp in seven scoreless innings, limiting the White Sox to four hits and walk with six strikeouts. Guthrie improved to 3-1 over five starts against Chicago this season. Kansas City clinched at least a spot in the AL wild card, but trails Detroit by just one game in the AL Central with both teams having two games left.


Final Score: Seattle 4, LA Angels of Anaheim 3

Playing with their season on the line, the Seattle Mariners pounded out three home runs en route to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Michael Saunders knocked what proved to be the game- winning two-run homer, while Kendrys Morales and Dustin Ackley each provided solo shots for the Mariners, who would have been eliminated from playoff contention with a loss after Oakland took a win from Texas earlier in the night. Seattle trails the A’s by two games in the AL Wild Card standings with each team having two games remaining. Hisashi Iwakuma (15-9) ended a three-start losing streak by going 6 1/3 innings and yielding two runs on four hits. Even with the loss, Los Angeles clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs because of Baltimore’s loss to Toronto on Friday. The American League won the All-Star Game, which also gives the Angels home field in the World Series if they were to make it that far. Jered Weaver (18-9) allowed four runs on nine hits over six innings or work for Los Angeles. Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout hit back-to-back homers in the setback.


Final Score: Houston 3, NY Mets 1

Jose Altuve hit an RBI single as part of a three-run sixth inning to give the Houston Astros a 3-1 win over the New York Mets to open a season-ending three-game series. Matt Dominguez also drove in a run while Kevin Chapman (2-0) got the win for getting two outs for the Astros, who had lost their previous three. Brad Peacock gave up a run on four hits with seven strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings in the start. Curtis Granderson hit a solo home run for the Mets, who have lost three of their last four. Carlos Torres (8-6) allowed three runs—two earned—in relief to take the loss. Jon Niese gave up just three hits over 5 1/3 innings, but was pulled from the game due to an elevated heart rate.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Jordan Staal Out 3-4 Months with Broken Leg

The Carolina Hurricanes revealed Thursday that center Jordan Staal will miss the next 3-to-4 months following surgery to repair a fractured right fibula.

The procedure will take place on Friday at Raleigh Orthopedic by Dr. Marty Isbell and Dr. Kevin Logel.

Staal, 26, younger brother to team captain Eric Staal, was injured during Tuesday’s exhibition contest when he was entangled with Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges.

The left-handed shooter had not missed a regular-season game since being acquired from Pittsburgh in the summer of 2012, accumulating 25 goals and 71 points over 130 contests since then.

►  Predators Agree To Terms with Ellis

The Nashville Predators agreed to terms with defenseman Ryan Ellis on Thursday.

The team announced that full details of the contract with the restricted free agent will be released on Friday. However, TSN.ca reported the deal to be worth $12.5 million over five years.

Ellis appeared in 80 games last season and posted six goals and 21 assists.

Over three seasons in the NHL, the 23-year-old 2009 first-round pick (11th overall) has totaled 11 goals and 33 assists along with a plus-12 rating in 144 games.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Dover: Last Race in the Chase ‘Challenger Round’

Even though its the third race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, its crunch time for several drivers who are trying to remain in the playoffs in NASCAR’s premier series.

Sunday’s 400-mile race at Dover International Speedway is the final event in the first round of the Chase, known as the “Challenger Round.“ After Dover, the Chase field will be trimmed from 16 drivers to 12 for the next round, referred to as the “Contender Round.“

Team Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have already clinched a spot in the Contender Round, which includes the races at Kansas (October 05), Charlotte (October 11) and Talladega (October 19). Keselowski won the September 14 Chase-opener at Chicagoland, and his teammate, Logano, scored the victory last Sunday at New Hampshire.

If a driver in the Chase field other than Keselowski and Logano wins at Dover, that person will also automatically advance to the next round. The remaining available positions 1-12 that have not been filled based upon wins will be determined by points. Each driver will then have his points reset to 3,000.

Keselowski and Logano are 1-2, respectively, in the Chase point standings right now.

The other drivers in the Chase and their points ranking include: Kevin Harvick (3rd), Jimmie Johnson (4th), Kyle Busch (5th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (6th), Jeff Gordon (7th), Matt Kenseth (8th), Carl Edwards (9th), A.J. Allmendinger (10th), Kasey Kahne (11th), Ryan Newman (12th), Denny Hamlin (13th), Greg Biffle (14th), Kurt Busch (15th) and Aric Almirola (16th).

Here are the finishes each Chase driver other than Keselowski and Logano needs at Dover to guarantee himself a position in the Contender Round:

Harvick - 34th or better; or 35th and at least one lap led; or 36th and most laps led.

Johnson - 24th or better; or 25th and at least one lap led; or 26th and most laps led.

Kyle Busch and Earnhardt - 21st or better; or 22nd and at least one lap led; or 23rd and most laps led.

Gordon - 14th or better; or 15th and at least one lap led; or 16th and most laps led.

Kenseth and Edwards - 2nd or better; or 3rd and most laps led.

Allmendinger: 2nd or better.

Kahne: 2nd and at least one lap led.

Newman, Hamlin, Biffle, Kurt Busch and Almirola only control their own destiny by winning the race at Dover.

Johnson, the six-time and defending Sprint Cup Series champion, is the all- time winningest driver at this one-mile, concrete-surfaced track. He has won nine races, including the past two there. If he takes the checkered flag on Sunday, Johnson would join David Pearson, Rusty Wallace and Gordon as those drivers who have won three races in a row at Dover.

“I know we’ve had a lot of wins here and would love to get another win,“ Johnson said. “It’s that time of the year when wins are very important. At the same time, the way this Chase format works, we don’t have to win leaving here to advance to the next round, so that’s kind of a nice position to be in. And it takes a little bit of pressure off and allows us to go out and just kind of have some fun.“

Heading into Dover, just 12 points separate eighth-place Kenseth from 16th- place Almirola.

Presently sitting 10th in points, Allmendinger is hoping to advance to the next round and therefore become the Cinderella driver in the Chase. He finished 22nd at Chicagoland and then 13th at New Hampshire.

“No one really expected us to be here anyway and to have a shot at making it to the next round, so I’m just going to go out there and give it everything I have,“ Allmendinger said. “For us, we just have to run better. Last week (at New Hampshire) was a decent run, but more than anything, we just have to go out there this weekend and try to make sure we maximize every lap we are on the racetrack and get our car good for Sunday. Whatever happens in the race happens.“

Hamlin had a great start in the playoffs with a sixth-place run at Chicagoland, but he had the worst finish among the Chase drivers at New Hampshire, placing 37th due to an early-race fueling problem and then later being caught up in a multi-car wreck. Hamlin dropped to 13th in the standings. He is six points behind 12th-place Newman.

“Our FedEx (sponsored) team can certainly advance to the next segment, but now we need a little help on Sunday,“ Hamlin said. “It’s obviously disappointing to have a mechanical issue take us out of a good finish at New Hampshire, but it’s important to put that in the past and focus on what we can control this weekend at Dover. We have had some speed at the track the last few trips there, and we’ll need that again this weekend.“

Kurt Busch also tumbled in points following his 36th-place run at New Hampshire. He crashed into the wall late in the race. He is eight points in back of Newman.

Almirola had the worst result among the Chase competitors at Chicagoland, finishing 41st due to engine failure. But he bounced back nicely at New Hampshire with a six-place run.

“Our goal is to transfer into that next round, but we can’t really worry about what everybody else is doing. All we can do is worry about ourselves,“ Almirola said. “We’re 10 points out of 12th right now, so basically I just have to finish 10 spots ahead of everybody that is in front of me from 15th to 12th in points, which sounds easier than it really is, but I’m glad for our sake that we’re still in it.“

Forty-three teams are on the entry list for the AAA 400.

Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup. Date: Sunday, September 28. Race: AAA 400. Site: Dover International Speedway. Track: 1-mile oval. Start time: 2 PM ET. Laps: 400. Miles: 400. 2013 Winner: Jimmie Johnson. Television: ESPN. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.


►  Harvick Grabs Seventh Pole of the Season at Dover

Kevin Harvick continued his success in knockout-style qualifying in the Sprint Cup Series this season by winning the pole for Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway—the third race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Harvick, in his first season as driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, turned a lap around this one-mile, concrete-surfaced racetrack at 162.933 mph during the second and final round in Friday’s qualifying. He is one of the 16 drivers in the Chase field.

It was the seventh pole of the season for Harvick in Sprint Cup. He had six pole victories combined in his career in the series from 2001-13 when he drove for Richard Childress Racing.

Harvick claimed his first pole in his 28th start at Dover. His previous best starting position here was third in 2003. He has yet to win a Sprint Cup race at this track.

Dover is the third and final race in the opening round of the Chase, known as the “Challenger Round.“ Harvick is currently third in the point standings. A 34th-place finish or better for Harvick here will guarantee him one of the 12 spots in the Chase for the next round, referred to as the “Contender Round.“

Kyle Busch, currently fifth in Chase points, will start alongside Harvick on the front row after posting a lap at 162.404 mph.

Denny Hamlin, who is Busch’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, qualified third. Last week at New Hampshire, Hamlin finished 37th and fell to 13th in the standings. He is six points behind 12th-place Ryan Newman, who qualified 20th.

Qualifying fourth through 12th were: Brad Keselowski, who won the Chase-opener at Chicagoland, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, rookie Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, also a rookie this season, Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne.

Keselowski, Gordon, Johnson, and Kahne are in the Chase.

The remaining drivers currently in the playoffs and their starting positions include: Matt Kenseth (14th), Joey Logano (16th), Carl Edwards (18th), Aric Almirola (21st), Kurt Busch (22nd), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (25th), Greg Biffle (27th) and A.J. Allmendinger (28th). Logano scored the victory at New Hampshire.

Tony Stewart, who is not in the Chase this year, qualified 15th two days after a grand jury in Ontario County, New York cleared him of any criminal charges for his role in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. during an accident in the August 9 sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

All 43 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field.


►  This Week in Auto Racing September 27 - 28

The third and last race in the opening round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship takes place this weekend at Dover International Speedway. The Nationwide Series is also at Dover, while the Camping World Truck Series is racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

NASCAR

Sprint Cup Series

AAA 400 - Dover International Speedway - Dover, Delaware

Even though its the third race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, its crunch time for several drivers who are trying to remain in the playoffs in NASCAR’s premier series.

Sunday’s 400-mile race at Dover International Speedway is the final event in the first round of the Chase, known as the “Challenger Round.“ After Dover, the Chase field will be trimmed from 16 drivers to 12 for the next round, referred to as the “Contender Round.“

Team Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have already clinched a spot in the Contender Round, which includes the races at Kansas (October 5), Charlotte (October 11) and Talladega (October 19). Keselowski won the September 14 Chase-opener at Chicagoland, and his teammate, Logano, scored the victory last Sunday at New Hampshire.

If a driver in the Chase field other than Keselowski and Logano wins at Dover, that person will also automatically advance to the next round. The remaining available positions 1-12 that have not been filled based upon wins will be determined by points. Each driver will then have his points reset to 3,000.

Keselowski and Logano are 1-2, respectively, in the Chase point standings right now.

The other drivers in the Chase and their points ranking include: Kevin Harvick (3rd), Jimmie Johnson (4th), Kyle Busch (5th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (6th), Jeff Gordon (7th), Matt Kenseth (8th), Carl Edwards (9th), A.J. Allmendinger (10th), Kasey Kahne (11th), Ryan Newman (12th), Denny Hamlin (13th), Greg Biffle (14th), Kurt Busch (15th) and Aric Almirola (16th).

Here are the finishes each Chase driver other than Keselowski and Logano needs at Dover to guarantee himself a position in the Contender Round:

Harvick - 34th or better; or 35th and at least one lap led; or 36th and most laps led.

Johnson - 24th or better; or 25th and at least one lap led; or 26th and most laps led.

Kyle Busch and Earnhardt - 21st or better; or 22nd and at least one lap led; or 23rd and most laps led.

Gordon - 14th or better; or 15th and at least one lap led; or 16th and most laps led.

Kenseth and Edwards - 2nd or better; or 3rd and most laps led.

Allmendinger: 2nd or better.

Kahne: 2nd and at least one lap led.

Newman, Hamlin, Biffle, Kurt Busch and Almirola only control their own destiny by winning the race at Dover.

Johnson, the six-time and defending Sprint Cup Series champion, is the all- time winningest driver at this one-mile, concrete-surfaced track. He has won nine races, including the past two there. If he takes the checkered flag on Sunday, Johnson would join David Pearson, Rusty Wallace and Gordon as those drivers who have won three races in a row at Dover.

“I know we’ve had a lot of wins here and would love to get another win,“ Johnson said. “It’s that time of the year when wins are very important. At the same time, the way this Chase format works, we don’t have to win leaving here to advance to the next round, so that’s kind of a nice position to be in. And it takes a little bit of pressure off and allows us to go out and just kind of have some fun.“

Heading into Dover, just 12 points separate eighth-place Kenseth from 16th- place Almirola.

Presently sitting 10th in points, Allmendinger is hoping to advance to the next round and therefore become the Cinderella driver in the Chase. He finished 22nd at Chicagoland and then 13th at New Hampshire.

“No one really expected us to be here anyway and to have a shot at making it to the next round, so I’m just going to go out there and give it everything I have,“ Allmendinger said. “For us, we just have to run better. Last week (at New Hampshire) was a decent run, but more than anything, we just have to go out there this weekend and try to make sure we maximize every lap we are on the racetrack and get our car good for Sunday. Whatever happens in the race happens.“

Hamlin had a great start in the playoffs with a sixth-place run at Chicagoland, but he had the worst finish among the Chase drivers at New Hampshire, placing 37th due to an early-race fueling problem and then later being caught up in a multi-car wreck. Hamlin dropped to 13th in the standings. He is six points behind 12th-place Newman.

“Our FedEx (sponsored) team can certainly advance to the next segment, but now we need a little help on Sunday,“ Hamlin said. “It’s obviously disappointing to have a mechanical issue take us out of a good finish at New Hampshire, but it’s important to put that in the past and focus on what we can control this weekend at Dover. We have had some speed at the track the last few trips there, and we’ll need that again this weekend.“

Kurt Busch also tumbled in points following his 36th-place run at New Hampshire. He crashed into the wall late in the race. He is eight points in back of Newman.

Almirola had the worst result among the Chase competitors at Chicagoland, finishing 41st due to engine failure. But he bounced back nicely at New Hampshire with a six-place run.

“Our goal is to transfer into that next round, but we can’t really worry about what everybody else is doing. All we can do is worry about ourselves,“ Almirola said. “We’re 10 points out of 12th right now, so basically I just have to finish 10 spots ahead of everybody that is in front of me from 15th to 12th in points, which sounds easier than it really is, but I’m glad for our sake that we’re still in it.“

Forty-three teams are on the entry list for the AAA 400.

Nationwide Series

Dover 200 - Dover International Speedway - Dover, Delaware

Sprint Cup Series regulars Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are scheduled to compete in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway, and it’s a good bet that either Busch or Logano will be in victory lane.

Both drivers share the record for most Nationwide wins at this one-mile, concrete-surfaced track with four each. Logano had four victories in a row here from 2012-13, but Busch ended his winning streak in the spring race in May.

Busch is driving the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, and Logano is behind the wheel of Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford. Right now, Penske’s No. 22 team holds a 37-point lead over Gibbs’ No. 54 team in the Nationwide owners’ championship standings. Six races remain.

The 22 car has been to victory lane four times this season with drivers Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney, who is a regular in the Camping World Truck Series, but Logano has yet to win a Nationwide race this season.

“I really want to get a win, and I think we will,“ Logano said. “(Dover) has always been one of my favorite racetracks and the one I’ve run the best at. I just want to get this No. 22 team in victory lane again and help extend the point lead in the owners’ championship. That’s pretty important to all of us right now.“

The No. 54 team has won five Nationwide races this season—four with Busch and one with Sam Hornish Jr.

When Nationwide most recently competed at Dover earlier this year, Busch led 124 of 200 laps. Logano started on the pole and ran in front for a total of 58 laps but ended up finishing third.

“I love that place, and it’s fun to race there,“ Busch said. “I went there when I was 18 to race in the Nationwide Series for my first time. It will scare you the first time you race there. You carry so much speed at that racetrack…It’s definitely a roller-coaster ride, and you need to treat it like it’s fun and not to be scared of the place, I think, because you can get so much out of that place.“

Rookie Chase Elliott enters this 200-mile race with a 20-point lead over second place and JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith in the drivers’ standings. Ty Dillon, also a rookie this season, is 38 points behind.

Forty-two teams are on the entry list for the Dover 200.

Camping World Truck Series

Rhino Linings 350 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway - Las Vegas, Nevada

While the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway, the Camping World Truck Series will run its last “stand-alone” event of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

There are six races left in the season. After Saturday night’s event at Las Vegas, the Truck Series will be off for the next two weeks before resuming its schedule on the third weekend in October at Talladega. Following Talladega are Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.

Matt Crafton currently holds a seven-point lead over second-place and ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter. Crafton finished third and Sauter fourth in last weekend’s race at New Hampshire.

Darrell Wallace Jr. from Kyle Busch Motorsports placed second at New Hampshire and moved to within 35 points of Crafton. Ryan Blaney from Brad Keselowski Racing is 24 points out of the lead after finishing 10th there.

Three drivers on the entry list for this race have won at Las Vegas in the past—Sauter (2009), Ron Hornaday Jr. (2011) and Timothy Peters (2013). Sauter scored his first career victory in the series here.

“It’s a cool place for me just because it’s where I got my first Truck Series win,“ Sauter said. “I know it’s been a few years ago, but it’s just something you’ll never forget.“

Crafton has competed in 13 truck races at Las Vegas. His best finish here is second, which has occurred three times, most recently in 2012. Last year, he had finished in the top-10 in each of the first 16 races before his streak ended with an 11th-place run at Las Vegas.

“The track is rough, but that’s one of the best things about racing at Las Vegas,“ Crafton said. “It’s got multiple grooves. Not everybody is riding around on the bottom. The asphalt’s not real new, but it’s fairly new, and I think because it’s so rough, you move around quite a bit. I really like racing out there and going out there.“

Wallace and Blaney competed in a truck race at Las Vegas for the first time last year, with Wallace finishing fifth and Blaney 20th.

Thirty teams are on the entry list for the Rhino Linings 350.


►  Busch, Logano Seeking another Nationwide Win at Dover

Sprint Cup Series regulars Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are scheduled to compete in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway, and it’s a good bet that either Busch or Logano will be in victory lane.

Both drivers share the record for most Nationwide wins at this one-mile, concrete-surfaced track with four each. Logano had four victories in a row here from 2012-13, but Busch ended his winning streak in the spring race in May.

Busch is driving the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, and Logano is behind the wheel of Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford. Right now, Penske’s No. 22 team holds a 37-point lead over Gibbs’ No. 54 team in the Nationwide owners’ championship standings. Six races remain.

The 22 car has been to victory lane four times this season with drivers Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney, who is a regular in the Camping World Truck Series, but Logano has yet to win a Nationwide race this season.

“I really want to get a win, and I think we will,“ Logano said. “(Dover) has always been one of my favorite racetracks and the one I’ve run the best at. I just want to get this No. 22 team in victory lane again and help extend the point lead in the owners’ championship. That’s pretty important to all of us right now.“

The No. 54 team has won five Nationwide races this season—four with Busch and one with Sam Hornish Jr.

When Nationwide most recently competed at Dover earlier this year, Busch led 124 of 200 laps. Logano started on the pole and ran in front for a total of 58 laps but ended up finishing third.

“I love that place, and it’s fun to race there,“ Busch said. “I went there when I was 18 to race in the Nationwide Series for my first time. It will scare you the first time you race there. You carry so much speed at that racetrack…It’s definitely a roller-coaster ride, and you need to treat it like it’s fun and not to be scared of the place, I think, because you can get so much out of that place.“

Rookie Chase Elliott enters this 200-mile race with a 20-point lead over second place and JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith in the drivers’ standings. Ty Dillon, also a rookie this season, is 38 points behind.

Forty-two teams are on the entry list for the Dover 200.

Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, September 27. Race: Dover 200. Site: Dover International Speedway. Track: 1-mile oval. Start time: 3:30 PM ET. Laps: 200. Miles: 200. 2013 Winner: Joey Logano. Television: ESPN2. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.


►  Trucks Series Racing in Las Vegas

While the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway, the Camping World Truck Series will run its last “stand-alone” event of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

There are six races left in the season. After Saturday night’s event at Las Vegas, the Truck Series will be off for the next two weeks before resuming its schedule on the third weekend in October at Talladega. Following Talladega are Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.

Matt Crafton currently holds a seven-point lead over second-place and ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter. Crafton finished third and Sauter fourth in last weekend’s race at New Hampshire.

Darrell Wallace Jr. from Kyle Busch Motorsports placed second at New Hampshire and moved to within 35 points of Crafton. Ryan Blaney from Brad Keselowski Racing is 24 points out of the lead after finishing 10th there.

Three drivers on the entry list for this race have won at Las Vegas in the past—Sauter (2009), Ron Hornaday Jr. (2011) and Timothy Peters (2013). Sauter scored his first career victory in the series here.

“It’s a cool place for me just because it’s where I got my first Truck Series win,“ Sauter said. “I know it’s been a few years ago, but it’s just something you’ll never forget.“

Crafton has competed in 13 truck races at Las Vegas. His best finish here is second, which has occurred three times, most recently in 2012. Last year, he had finished in the top-10 in each of the first 16 races before his streak ended with an 11th-place run at Las Vegas.

“The track is rough, but that’s one of the best things about racing at Las Vegas,“ Crafton said. “It’s got multiple grooves. Not everybody is riding around on the bottom. The asphalt’s not real new, but it’s fairly new, and I think because it’s so rough, you move around quite a bit. I really like racing out there and going out there.“

Wallace and Blaney competed in a truck race at Las Vegas for the first time last year, with Wallace finishing fifth and Blaney 20th.

Thirty teams are on the entry list for the Rhino Linings 350.

Series: NASCAR Camping World. Date: Saturday, September 27. Race: Rhino Lining 350. Site: Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 10 PM ET. Laps: 146. Miles: 219 (350 kilometers). 2013 Winner: Timothy Peters. Television: FOX Sports 1. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  United States Grabs Early Lead at Ryder Cup

Phil Mickelson got up and down for birdie on the 18th hole to give the United States a 2 1/2 - 1 1/2 lead after Friday morning’s four-ball play at the Ryder Cup.

Mickelson and Keegan Bradley earned a hard-fought 1-up win in the final match of the morning at Gleneagles over Sergio Garcia and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker rallied from an early 3-down deficit to halve their match with Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer.

“It is not devastating. It’s a point lost, no big drama. These are great players, they’ll bounce back,“ said European captain Paul McGinley. “They do it week in and week out. It’s a point lost in the Ryder Cup, it’s not that big of a deal.“

After the Europeans dominated the last few holes in 2012 at Medinah, Walker and Mickelson won the 18th with birdies to halve and win their respective matches.

“I really liked the way they finished, that’s the most important thing,“ U.S. captain Tom Watson said of his team. “That’s what I’m looking for in Ryder Cup play and it’s what I’ve been trying to stress - how you finish. It’s not how you start, it’s not how you drive, it’s how you arrive.“

The other two matches were 5 & 4 blowouts. In the mornings first match, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson rolled over Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson. Simpson and Watson failed to make a single birdie on the four-ball session.

The other big win went to the American rookie duo of Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth as they trounced Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter. Reed and Spieth combined for six birdies in the first 11 holes.

Garcia holed out for birdie on the par-3 fourth. After a pair of halves, Bradley squared the match with a par at the seventh.

Mickelson got up and down for birdie on No. 9, then Bradley rolled in a birdie try from the fringe on No. 10 as the Americans grabbed a 2-up lead.

Garcia made par at 11 and that was enough to trim the Europeans deficit to 1- down. The Americans made a mess of the 13th and McIlroy won the hole with a par to square the match.

Mickelson made another bogey on No. 15, the third bogey in five holes for the Americans, to give the Europeans their first lead since the sixth. However, Bradley answered with an eagle on No. 16 to square the match.

McIlroy got up and down for par at 17, while Bradley 2-putted for his par. There were several poor shots in the final match on the 18th. Mickelson hit a solid flop shot to four feet. After McIlroy missed his par putt and Bradley his birdie effort, Garcia rolled in his par try.

It was all up to Mickelson. The 10-time Ryder Cup performer knocked in his 4- footer for birdie to win the match and give the Americans the early lead.

“That eagle he made on 16 was so tight. Three incredible shots, and I was telling him that I got such an adrenaline rush from his putting. It was just awesome. What a big eagle that was,“ Mickelson said of Bradley.

Bjorn and Kaymer, who won the U.S. Open in a rout earlier this year, grabbed a big early lead on Fowler and Walker. Kaymer birdied the first and fourth, while Bjorn birdied the second to give the Europeans a 3-up lead after four holes.

Fowler cut into that lead with a birdie on the fifth. After the teams matched pars on the next three holes, Walker holed out from a bunker on No. 9 for birdie and the win

The Americans were within 1-down at the turn. Bjorn chipped in for birdie at 13 as the Europeans moved 2-up with five to play. The short game magic continued as Walker again chipped in for birdie, this time at the 16th.

Kaymer and Walker parred the 17th as the Europeans went to the last 1-up. Walker converted a 5-footer for birdie at the 18th to halve the match.

“We knew we were hitting it good, so we just said let’s just keep giving ourselves looks and we did all day, but we didn’t get a lot of them to go in,“ Walker stated. “Rickie got one to get us back to 2-down and we just said let’s just keep chipping away until the end. When they missed on 17, we said this was our 1/2 point and let’s go get it.“

Rose and Stenson took control of their match early on. Stenson made birdie at the second, and Rose birdied the par-3 fourth to give the Europeans a 2-up lead.

After four halves in a row, Stenson drained a birdie on the par-5 ninth. Rose pushed their lead to 4-up with a birdie on the 10th. The team halved three more before Rose poured in a birdie effort at No. 14 to close out Simpson and Watson, who didn’t win a hole in the match.

“We definitely ham-and-egged it well, especially to start with. I played the first hole really cleanly and Henrik bailed me out on two and three, then I took care of four,“ Rose explained. “We really worked well as a team.“

Spieth took the first with a par to put the Americans 1-up in the third match. The teams matched three pars and a birdie over the next four holes before the Americans caught fire.

Reed birdied the sixth and Spieth followed with a birdie at the seventh. Reed’s third at the par-5 ninth stopped four feet from the hole and he knocked that in for birdie.

Spieth followed with 12-foot birdie putt on the 10th. Reed made a birdie on the 11th from a similar distance to push the Americans 6-up with seven to play.

Gallacher won the 12th with a par after Spieth missed his par attempt. Gallacher and Reed parred No. 13. After Spieth and Reed missed their birdie chances at 14, Gallacher missed his birdie from about 13 feet.

That left it to Poulter. The Englishman entered the match with a 12-3 Ryder Cup record, but he failed to convert his 11-footer to give the Reed and Spieth the 5 & 4 victory.

“The first tee shot, Patrick and I both agreed it was the most nervous we’d ever been, even the first tee shot at Augusta. We piped a couple 3-woods out there and got off to a 1-up start and I think that kind of calmed us down,“ said Spieth.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Kvitova, Bouchard Reach Final in Wuhan

Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard will square off in a rematch of the Wimbledon final in Saturday’s inaugural championship match at the $2.4 million Wuhan Tennis Open.

Friday’s semifinals in China saw the third-seeded Czech left-hander Kvitova eliminate upstart Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-3, 7-5 and, in their first-ever meeting, the sixth-seeded Bouchard blitz eighth-seeded former world No. 1 star Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-3 on the hardcourts at Optics Valley International Tennis Center.

Wozniacki was this month’s U.S. Open runner-up to Serena Williams and last week’s Tokyo runner-up to fellow former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.

The tall 24-year-old Kvitova will appear in her 18th career final, seeking a 14th title. The world No. 3 star is 2-0 in her 2014 finals, including a 6-3, 6-0 spanking of Bouchard at the All England Club in July.

The 20-year-old ninth-ranked Bouchard is 1-2 in her career finals, with her lone victory coming in Nuremberg, Germany, this year.

Kvitova and Bouchard will meet for a third time, with the young Canadian still seeking a victory. In addition to the Wimbledon win, Kvitova also topped Bouchard in Toronto last year.

Saturday’s winner will claim $441,000.


►  Murray Reaches Shenzhen Semis

Two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray was a straight-set quarterfinal winner Friday at the inaugural Shenzhen Open tennis event.

The second-seeded British star, still seeking his first title since winning the championship at Wimbledon last year, handled Slovak Lukas Lacko 6-3, 7-5 on the hardcourts at Shenzhen Longgang Tennis Center.

Murray’s semifinal opponent on Saturday will be former top-10 Argentine Juan Monaco, who posted an upset by ousting third-seeded French star Richard Gasquet 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 on Day 5.

Two other quarterfinal results saw fourth-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo outlast eighth-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 and sixth- seeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo subdue Serbian qualifier Viktor Troicki 7-6 (8-6), 6-3. Troicki recently returned to the ATP Tour following a doping suspension.

“It was tough, the conditions were difficult, very humid and very hot,“ Robredo said after beating Seppi. “I think I played a good match. I’m happy I’m in the semifinals and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.“

Saturday’s other semi will pit Robredo against Giraldo.

The first-ever Shenzhen titlist will earn $106,970.


►  Nishikori, Gulbis Land in Kuala Lumpur Semis

U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori and second seed Ernests Gulbis led the charge into the semifinals at the Malaysian Open tennis event.

The top-seeded Japanese star Nishikori whipped Aussie Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-0, while the talented Latvian Gulbis grounded 33-year-old German Benjamin Becker 6-3, 7-5 on the hardcourts at Putra Indoor Stadium.

Friday’s other quarterfinals saw fourth-seeded two-time Kuala Lumpur runner-up Julien Benneteau of France defeat fifth-seeded Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 and 33-year-old Finnish left-hander Jarkko Nieminen drive out seventh-seeded Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-3, 6-4.

Benneteau lost to Portuguese Joao Sousa in last year’s final to finish as the runner-up here for a second straight year.

“I hope I can make the final again. We’ll see what happens tomorrow,“ said Benneteau. “It will be difficult. But I will try to be back in the final again and play better.“

Saturday’s semis will pit Nishikori against Nieminen and Gulbis versus Benneteau.

The 2014 Kuala Lumpur champ will claim $165,000.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Ski Jump Champ Morgenstern Retires

Three-time Olympic ski jump champion Thomas Morgenstern announced his retirement Friday.

Morgenstern helped Austria win silver in the team event at the Sochi Games.

The 27-year-old Morgenstern struggled after suffering a cranial injury and lung contusion in a training accident at the start of the year.

“I have reached my athletic goals and realized my dreams,“ said Morgenstern on his official website. “With my last jump I got a silver medal with the team in Sochi. For me the time has come to complete this chapter.“

Morgenstern was the individual large hill champion at the 2006 Torino Games and also captured gold that year as part of the team event. He was also a member of Austria’s gold-medal team effort at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

The Gilmer Free Press


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2014


Major League Baseball - National League
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 1:05 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, FS1, DSS
San Diego at San Francisco, 4:05 PM - FS-San Diego, CSN-Bay, DSS
Miami at Washington, 4:05 PM - FS-Florida, MASN, DSS
Atlanta at Philadelphia, 7:05 PM - FS-South, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 7:10 PM - WGN (America), FS-Wisconsin, DSS
St. Louis at Arizona, 8:10 PM - FS-Midwest, Arizona, DSS
Colorado at Los Angeles, 9:10 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain, SportsNet LA, DSS


American League
NY Yankees at Boston, 1:05 PM - FOX
Baltimore at Toronto, 4:07 PM - MASN2, SNET, DSS
Tampa Bay at Cleveland, 6:05 PM - SunSports, SportsTime Ohio, DSS
Minnesota at Detroit, 7:08 PM - FS-North, Detroit, DSS
Kansas City at Chicago WSox, 8:10 PM - FS-Kansas City, CSN-Chicago, DSS
Oakland at Texas, 8:05 PM - CSN-California, FS-Southwest, DSS
LA Angels at Seattle, 9:10 PM - FS-West, ROOT-Northwest, DSS


Interleague
Houston at NY Mets, 7:10 PM - CSN-Houston, SNY, DSS


National Hockey League - Preseason
Columbus at Pittsburgh, 4:00 PM - WPCW, NHL Network
Winnipeg at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - TSN3, NHL Network


Canadian Football League
Hamilton at Winnipeg, 6:30 PM - TSN, ESPN3.com
British Columbia at Calgary, 9:30 PM - TSN, ESPN3.com


College Football
So Florida at Wisconsin, 12:00 PM - ESPN U
Northwestern at Penn State, 12:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Wyoming at Michigan State, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
Tulane at Rutgers, 12:00 PM - ESPNews
Vanderbilt at Kentucky, 12:00 PM - SEC Network
Texas-El Paso at Kansas State, 12:00 PM - FSN, MSG+, MASN2, SportSouth
TCU at SMU, 12:00 PM - CBSSN
Tennessee at Georgia, 12:00 PM - ESPN
Iowa at Purdue, 12:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Charleston Southern at Charlotte, 12:00 PM - WMMP-MyTV
Georgetown at Colgate, 12:00 PM - American Sports Network, CSN-Chicago
Western Mich at Virginia Tech, 12:30 PM - ACC Network
Colorado State at Boston College, 12:30 PM - RSN, MSG, NESN, ROOT-Pittsburgh
Army at Yale, 1:00 PM - FCS-Atlantic
Fordham at Holy Cross, 1:00 PM - Charter TV3
Akron at Pittsburgh, 1:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Maryland at Indiana, 1:30 PM - Big Ten Network
Eastern Ill at Ohio U, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Bowling Green at Massachusetts, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Liberty at Indiana State, 3:00 PM - LFSN, ESPN3.com
Arkansas at Texas A&M, 3:30 PM - CBS
Florida State at NC State, 3:30 PM - ABC (ESPN 2 mirror)
Miami-Ohio at Buffalo, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
FIU at UAB, 3:30 PM - American Sports Net, CSN-Bay, California
Minnesota at Michigan, 3:30 PM - ABC
Western Ky at Navy, 3:30 PM - CBSSN
Wake Forest at Louisville, 3:30 PM - ESPN U
Kent State at Virginia, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Western Carolina at Furman, 3:30 PM - American Sports Network
Northern Colorado at Montana, 3:30 PM - ROOT-Northwest
Temple at Connecticut, 4:00 PM - ESPNews
Texas at Kansas, 4:00 PM - FS1
Louisiana Tech at Auburn, 4:00 PM - SEC Network
Colorado at California, 4:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Nicholls at Central Arkansas, 4:00 PM - Southland TV, Altitude, ESPN3.com
Delaware at James Madison, 4:00 PM - CSN-Baltimore, DC
Stanford at Washington, 4:15 PM - FOX
South Alabama at Idaho, 5:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Southern at Alcorn State, 5:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Cincinnati at Ohio State, 6:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Central Mich at Toledo, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Boise State at Air Force, 7:00 PM - CBSSN
Rice at Southern Miss, 7:00 PM - FCS
Missouri at So Carolina, 7:00 PM - ESPN
North Carolina at Clemson, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Troy at ULM, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Samford at Chattanooga, 7:00 PM - American Sports Network
Elon at Coastal Carolina, 7:00 PM - American Sports Network
Cal Poly at Northern Arizona, 7:00 PM - FS-Arizona+
Maine at Towson, 7:00 PM - CSN-Baltimore, DC, New England
New Mexico St at LSU, 7:30 PM - SEC Network
Memphis at Ole Miss, 7:30 PM - FS-Florida, Ohio, Detroit, Midwest, San Diego
Duke at Miami-Florida, 7:30 PM - ESPN 2
Baylor at Iowa State, 8:00 PM - FOX
UNLV at San Diego St, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Notre Dame at Syracuse, 8:00 PM - ABC
Washington St at Utah, 8:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Texas State at Tulsa, 8:00 PM - ESPNews
Illinois at Nebraska, 9:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Oregon State at USC, 10:30 PM - ESPN
Nevada at San Jose St, 10:30 PM - CBSSN


Major League Soccer
Portland at Toronto FC, 1:00 PM - ROOT-Northwest, TSN2, DSS
Philadelphia at D.C., 3:00 PM - NBCSN
Chivas USA at Seattle, 4:00 PM - Time Warner-Deportes, JOEtv, DSS
Real Salt Lake at Vancouver FC, 7:00 PM - CW30, TSN2, DSS
Montreal at Columbus, 7:30 PM - TVA Sports, Time Warner-Ohio, DSS
San Jose at Colorado, 9:00 PM - CSN-Bay, Altitude


International Soccer
Liverpool vs. Everton, 7:40 AM - NBCSN
Villarreal CF vs. Real Madrid CF, 9:55 AM - beIN Sport
Manchester United vs. West Ham, 9:55 AM - NBCSN
FC Barcelona vs. Granada CF, 11:55 AM - beIN Sport
Arsenal vs. Tottenham, 12:25 PM - NBCSN
Atalanta BC vs. Juventus FC, 2:40 PM - beIN Sport


Golf
PGA/EUROPEAN - Ryder Cup Matches, 3:00 AM - NBC, Golf Channel
CHAMPIONS - Nature Valley First Tee Open, 4:00 PM - Golf Channel


Auto Racing
SPRINT CUP - AAA 400 practice, 11:00 AM - FS1
NATIONWIDE - 5-Hour Energy 200 qualifying, 12:00 PM - FS2
SPRINT CUP - AAA 400 practice, 2:00 PM - FS2
NATIONWIDE - 5-Hour Energy 200, 3:30 PM - ESPN
CAMPING WORLD - Rhino Linings 350, 10:00 PM - FS1


Horse Racing
Jockey Club Gold Cup, Awesome Again Stakes, 5:30 PM - NBCSN, TVG

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  MEC Football Players of the Week - Week 4

Kenneth Butler (Notre Dame), Justin Avery (Charleston) and Kyle Kaplan (Notre Dame) have been named Mountain East Conference Players of the Week.

Butler, a sophomore from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is the league’s Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for an MEC record 230 yards as the Falcons picked up a 47-44 road victory over West Virginia Wesleyan. Butler, who was making his first career start, carried the ball 42 times and averaged 5.5 yards per carry and added a touchdown for NDC.

Avery, a senior linebacker from Charlotte, NC, is the MEC’s Defensive Player of the Week after helping UC to a 30-14 home victory over UVa-Wise. Avery finished the game with 10 tackles, including two for a loss and one sack as the Golden Eagles improved to 3-0 on the year.

Kaplan, a sophomore from Hilliard, Ohio, collects MEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his efforts in Notre Dame’s win over West Virginia Wesleyan. Kaplan was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including a 40-yard attempt in the fourth quarter. He was also 5-for-5 on extra point attempts to finish with 17 points on the day.


Other Top Performances



Offense: Jeremy Musselman (West Virginia Wesleyan) tied an MEC record with six touchdown passes in a loss vs. Notre Dame ... Rahmann Lee  (Glenville State) had 300 all-purpose yards (220 rushing, 80 receiving) in a narrow loss against Fairmont State ... Cooper Hibbs (Fairmont State) was 25-of-36 for 374 yards and three touchdowns to get the Falcons past the Pioneers ... Ryan Stewart (Concord) pulled in three touchdown passes vs. Bowie State and has seven TD receptions in the last two weeks ... Jeff Ziemba (Shepherd) was 17-of-22 for 239 yards and two touchdowns ... Joey Augustin (Charleston) had seven grabs for 136 yards and a touchdown ... Dakota Conwell (West Liberty) threw for 135 yards and three touchdowns and also racked up 103 yards on the ground for the ‘Toppers.

 

Defense: Octavius Thomas (Shepherd) had nine tackles, including 1.5 for a loss ... Demonnne Cox (Fairmont State) had seven tackles, forced a crucial fumble in the third quarter, and also batted down a pass in FSU’s win over Glenville State ... Marcus Schumacher (West Liberty) had 10 total stops and a sack ... Claudy Matieu (Notre Dame) recorded three sacks ... Terrell Hudson (Urbana) had 13 total tackles, including 1.5 for a loss.

 

Special Teams: Torie Wagner (Charleston) had 116 punt return yards and a touchdown ... Ben Rogers (West Liberty) had a 51-yard punt return to spark the ‘Toppers against West Virginia State ... Johnny Dearstine (Fairmont State) had a field goal and five extra points ... Will Greathouse (Concord) blocked a field goal in CU’s three-point win against Bowie State ... Ross Snodgrass (Urbana) averaged 47.8 yards per punt, including a 70-yard boot.


2014 MEC Players of the Week
Week Offense Defense Special Teams
September 08 Brian Novak (CU) Marlon Oden (NDC) Anton McCallum (WLU)
September 15 Ray Russ (NDC) Shaneil Jenkins (SU) Josh Wilson (WLU)
September 22 Kenneth Butler (NDC) Justin Avery (UC) Kyle Kaplan (NDC)


►  MEC Football Preview - Week 4


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2014





West Virginia Wesleyan (1-2, 1-2) at #11 Shepherd, Noon

Video | Live Stats

Last Year
: Shepherd won 45-10

Notes: WVWC’s Jeremy Musselman will test the NCAA leader in total defense at Shepherd ... Musselman thew for 442 yards and 6 TDs last week ... SU has won each of their first three games by an average of 38.6 ppg.



West Liberty (2-1, 2-1) at Concord (3-0, 2-0), Noon

Video | Live Stats

Last Year
: Concord won 20-3

Notes: CU and WLU are giving up nearly the same amount of yards per game ... WLU’s defense has just one interception on the year, while CU has a league-best six.



Fairmont State (1-2, 1-2) at West Virginia State (1-2, 0-2), 1:00 PM

Live Stats

Last Year
: Fairmont State won 56-3

Notes: FSU’s last road win came in 2011 against WVSU ... Yellow Jackets are looking for their first MEC victory ... both QBs average over 200 yards of total offense.



Urbana (1-2, 1-2) at Glenville State (0-3, 0-3), 1:00 PM

Audio | Video | Live Stats

Last Year: Urbana won 12-9

Notes: GSC held UU to its lowest offensive output of the season last year but failed to score an offensive touchdown in the loss ... two of GSC’s three losses have been by four points or less ... GSC leads MEC in rushing ... UU is giving up just 3.6 yards per rush.



Charleston (3-0, 2-0) at Notre Dame (3-0, 3-0), 2:00 PM 

AudioLive Stats

Last Year
: Charleston won 34-32

Notes: Matchup of two unbeaten MEC teams ... UC won last year on a last-second field goal ... UC’s pass defense (155.3) is ranked second in the league, NDC’s pass offense (301.7) is third in the conference, and NDC’s rush defense is second (96.3) and UC’s rushing offense is third (218.3) ... ... NDC has allowed just one rushing TD ... both teams averaging over 35 ppg.



UVa-Wise (0-3) at Wofford (1-2), 7:00 PM 

Audio | Video | Live Stats

Last Year
: Did not meet

Notes: MEC is 3-0 in non-conference games (all against DII opponents) ... Wofford (Division I FCS) has losses against Georgia Tech and Gardner-Webb ... UVa-Wise has the fewest penalty yards of any team in the MEC.

News & Notes



• The only two 200-yard rushing performances in the MEC both came last week in NDC’s Kenneth Butler’s 230 yards and GSC’s Rahmann Lee’s 220 yards.

• There have been seven total 200-yard rushing performances in the MEC with three of those coming from Notre Dame running backs (two from Pedro Powell in 2013 and one from Butler).

• In addition to 220 yards rushing, Rahmann Lee also had 80 yards receiving to finish with 300 all-purpose yards. That total currently ranks as the fourth-most in a single game in the NCAA this season.

• Lee ranks second among active players in all-purpose yards per game (157.12), third in rushing yards per game (128.5) and fourth for rushing yards (3,212).

• Four different MEC quarterbacks have two 300+ yard passing games this season: Cooper Hibbs (FSU), Jeremy Musselman (WVWC), Brian Novak (CU) and Ray Russ (NDC).

• The MEC’s four unbeaten teams are also the only four teams in the league that average 30 or more minutes of possession this season.

• SU quarterback Jeff Ziemba’s 16-of-16 passing against Fairmont State in week two established a new conference record for completion%age. In a span of two games, he completed 18-straight passes, which is also a new league mark.

• Ziemba has yet to throw an interception this season (61 attempts).

• The Shepherd defense has posted four shutouts since the start of the 2013 season.

• Urbana became just the second MEC to rush for over 100 yards against Shepherd since 2013 with 104 yards on the ground in week three. Shepherd has held its opponents to under 100 yards rushing in 11 of its last 13 regular season games dating back to last season.

• Shepherd leads the country in total defense allowing just 155.3 yards per game.

• SU has yet to allow a point in the first and third quarters of games this season.

• After giving up just 34 points in two games, Concord allowed 34 last week to Bowie State.

• Seven of Brian Novak’s 10 touchdown passes this season have gone to Ryan Stewart. Stewart’s seven TD receptions are the most in the country.

• Novak already has more touchdown passes this season than he did all of 2013, and needs just 500 more yards to surpass last season’s total in that category. He ranks ninth in the country in passing yards with 1,020.

• UC’s Marvin Elam has lost just seven yards on 66 rushing attempts this season. He is second in the MEC with 121.3 rushing yards per game to go with a league-best seven rushing touchdowns.

• Charleston’s Torie Wagner’s 116 punt return yards last week are the most by any player in NCAA Division II so far this season.

• Notre Dame’s Ray Russ has not thrown an interception in his last 102 pass attempts.

• NDC is one of only two teams in the MEC (Shepherd is the other) to hold teams to under 100 yards rushing per game this season (96.3).

• West Liberty’s 38 points last week against West Virginia State were its most in a game since October 27, 2012 against Seton Hill (41).

• WLU’s Alec Wood is the league’s top tackler with 11.0 stops per game.

• Fairmont State is second the MEC in red zone offense converting six of its seven chances so far this season.

• WVWC quarterback Jeremy Musselman tied an MEC record last week with six touchdown passes in week three against Notre Dame. His 442 passing yards were the second-most in league history.

• Urbana’s Cale Burdyshaw is averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 14.7 yards per completion.

• West Virginia State’s Wenley Beliard leads the league in tackles for a loss with six, all of which were solo stops.

• UVa-Wise has the fewest penalty yards per game in the league.

• Terrence Younger’s 6.7 receptions per game are second-most in the MEC.

• Glenville State has converted three two-point conversions this far. No other conference team has converted more than one.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Week 5 Games in the Area

Class A

Gilmer County (2-2)  @  #7 Buffalo (3-1)

Tyler Consolidated (2-2)  @  Calhoun County (2-2)

#2 St. Marys (4-0)      BYE WEEK

#15 Valley Fayette (3-1)  @  Parkersburg Catholic (2-2)

Wirt County (0-4)      BYE WEEK

Philip Barbour (0-4)  @  Tucker County (1-3)


Class AA

Roane County (2-2)  @  Braxton County (2-2)

#1 Williamstown - A (4-0)  @  #4 Ravenswood (3-0)

East Fairmont (1-3)  @  #6 Bridgeport (3-1)

#7 Ritchie County (3-1)  @  #15 Doddridge Co. - A (2-1)

#9 Clay County (3-1)  @  #16 Nicholas County (2-1)

#11 Liberty - Harrison (3-1)  @  #14 Weir (3-1)

Robert C. Byrd (2-2)  @  #15 Grafton (3-1)

Webster County (2-2)      BYE WEEK

South Harrison - A (1-2)  @  Lincoln (1-3)

Notre Dame - A (1-2)  @  River View (1-3)


Class AAA

#11 Lewis County (3-1)  @  Lincoln County (0-4)

#7 Parkersburg South (3-1)      BYE WEEK

Parkersburg (1-2)  @  Marietta, OH (2-2)

Buckhannon-Upshur (2-1)  @  Oak Hill (0-3)



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Recruits Think Highly Of Marshall and Where Program Is Going

Doc Holliday has said over and over that players buy with their eyes. As Marshall assistant coaches left on recruiting trips during the bye week, the prospects they are trying to persuade to sign with Marshall, must like what they are seeing.

While Holliday and coordinators Bill Legg and Chuck Heater reviewed footage from the Akron game, seven other assistants hit the recruiting trail this week in Florida, California, Georgia and other areas looking for the next crop of Herd players. Each year Holliday has led the Marshall program, the quality of the recruits signing with the Herd has improved. He believes prospects are holding a higher opinion of Marshall than when he first arrived.

“Number one, we have great facilities,” explained Holliday. “They are going to walk on campus and see one of the nicer indoor football complexes, new training center, and the hall of fame. We are going to have as nice facilities as anyone in the country when they come here.”

But they also like winning.

“They like the style that we play here on offense, whether it be wide-out, quarterback, or skill guy, I think you will want to play in our offense. Because what we do offensively and defensively is the same deal. Those corners out there like to play man-press and like to get involved in the very aggressive-type defense, which we are. They like our style of play and like winning.”

That style of play has led to Marshall averaging 45.5 points a game while only allowing 16.2.  That style of play has elevated the Thundering Herd from an afterthought in Conference USA to the favorite to win the league and a possibly be the team that represents the G-5 schools in an access bowl at the end of the season.

Of course it doesn’t hurt that Marshall has received national exposure this year for the first time in more than a decade. Quarterback Rakeem Cato has been featured in various national publications and on ESPN’s College Gameday. Even Coach Doc Holliday has made appearances on both Jim Rome’s radio and television shows.

All of that helps the program’s reach.

“All these kids throughout the country, whether California, Florida, Georgia, they can turn on the T.V. and can watch Marshall, Cato and all those guys play. You add playing pretty well, which we are right now, to that and people talking about us then it definitely going to help us recruit.”

Sustaining a high level of play might be more difficult that rebuilding a program. That is the next step for Holliday and his staff. At least now, Marshall looks good, from facilities to performance, to the next crop of recruits.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Oklahoma State Gets Past Texas Tech in Big 12 Shootout

Daxx Garman threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as 24th-ranked Oklahoma State outgunned Texas Tech, 45-35, in the Big 12 opener for both programs.

Garman hooked up with James Washington for two scores and finished with 370 yards and two interceptions for the Cowboys (3-1, 1-0 Big 12), who have won three straight since a season-opening loss to No. 1 Florida State.

Davis Webb also tossed four touchdown passes and had Texas Tech (2-2, 0-1) within striking distance before going down with a left shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter.

The teams combined for 1,034 yards of offense and 287 penalty yards.

“I’ve never seen a team shoot itself in the foot as many times as we did tonight. It was embarrassing football,“ Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “It’s just bad football, and it’s on me. I have to get it fixed.“

Ben Grogan connected on a 42-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to extend Oklahoma State’s lead to 38-28, and any chance of a Red Raiders comeback took a hit when Webb was shaken up on the ensuing drive.

Patrick Mahomes took over under center, and an interception on his first pass turned into seven more Cowboys points. After a roughing the passer penalty on third down extended the drive, Garman ran eight yards on a bootleg to all but secure the victory.

Mahomes threw a 4-yard TD pass to Jakeem Grant with 5:52 remaining to account for the final margin.

The Red Raiders took the opening kickoff and went 83 yards in 10 plays, with Reginald Davis hauling in a pass over the middle for the final 21 yards to give the visitors an early 7-0 lead.

Garman threw an interception in Texas Tech territory on Oklahoma State’s first possession but connected with Washington on a go route for a 33-yard touchdown later in the opening quarter.

Webb also shook off an interception with an 18-yard TD pass to Bradley Marquez in the right corner of the end zone early in the second quarter.

Jeremy Seaton’s 28-yard catch set up Desmond Roland’s 1-yard touchdown run, and one play after another Webb interception, Garman found Washington again, this time for a 39-yard score.

Garman threw an interception in the end zone in the final minute of the first half to keep it a 21-14 game in the Cowboys’ favor, but the junior quarterback rebounded with a pair of long TD passes in the third quarter.

“I thought he handled himself really well. It was his first Big 12 game and only his third game at this level,“ Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said of Garman. “He’s learning, and he’s getting better.“

Blake Jarwin hauled in a 47-yard strike, and Tyreek Hill got behind the secondary for a 50-yard score on the next Oklahoma State possession.

Justin Stockton took a screen pass and scored from 17 yards out between those scores, and a second Webb-to-Davis hookup of 22 yards pulled Texas Tech within 35-28 heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

Webb completed 35-of-54 passes for 374 yards ... Oklahoma State earned its 25th straight home victory over an unranked opponent ... The Red Raiders have dropped six straight meetings and have not won in Stillwater since 2001 ... Cowboys cornerback Ashton Lampkin appeared to suffer a serious ankle injury in the first quarter and did not return ... Oklahoma State’s Marcell Ateman had a game-high 130 receiving yards on six catches ... Grant caught a dozen passes for 100 yards ... Texas Tech gained 33 first downs to 23 for the Cowboys.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  TOP-25 COLLEGE SCORES

Final Score: (11) UCLA 62, (15) Arizona State 27

Brett Hundley returned to the field on Thursday and showed why he was a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, throwing four touchdown passes and running for another in No. 11 UCLA’s 62-27 rout of 15th-ranked Arizona State. Hundley played with a heavily wrapped left arm after leaving last week’s win over Texas with an elbow injury. He played through the pain and delivered the best game of his collegiate career, completing 18-of-23 passes for 355 yards. He also gained 72 yards on eight carries. UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) benefited from the big play, scoring four touchdowns of 80-plus yards. Ishmael Adams was responsible for two of those, returning an interception and kickoff for long scores. Jordan Payton made five catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, and Eldridge Massington’s lone reception went 80 yards for a tally. Paul Perkins gained 137 yards on the ground, with 81 of those coming on a run late in the contest that included a highlight reel juke at the end of it. Mike Bervocivi made his first career start in place of the injured Taylor Kelly for the Sun Devils (3-1, 1-1) and threw early and often, completing 42- of-68 passes for 488 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Jaelen Strong made a game-high 12 catches for 146 yards.


Final Score: (24) Oklahoma State 45, Texas Tech 35

Daxx Garman threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as 24th-ranked Oklahoma State outgunned Texas Tech, 45-35, in the Big 12 opener for both programs. Garman hooked up with James Washington for two scores and finished with 370 yards and two interceptions for the Cowboys (3-1, 1-0 Big 12), who have won three straight since a season-opening loss to No. 1 Florida State. Davis Webb also tossed four touchdown passes and had Texas Tech (2-2, 0-1) within striking distance before going down with a left shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter. The teams combined for 1,034 yards of offense and 287 penalty yards.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL SCORES Week 4

Final Score: NY Giants 45, Washington 14

The New York Giants may have finally found their tight end of the future. Eli Manning tossed three of his four touchdown passes to Larry Donnell, who became the first Giants tight end to haul in three scores in 52 years, and New York routed the Washington Redskins, 45-14, on Thursday night. New York has employed five different starting tight ends since Jeremy Shockey’s departure in 2007, with the Giants’ leading one averaging 42 receptions for 539 yards during the six-year span. Shockey, meanwhile, averaged 62 catches and 705 yards a season during his six- year stint with the Giants from 2002-2007. Donnell finished with 54 yards on seven receptions for New York (2-2), which has won its last two games after beginning 0-2. Joe Walton was the last Giants tight end to score three touchdowns in 1962. Manning, who also added a score on the ground, completed 28-of-39 passes for 300 yards. Rueben Randle posted eight catches for 89 yards and Victor Cruz caught six balls for 108 yards in the triumph. After going 30-of-48 for a career-high 427 yards and three touchdowns in his first start of the year for the injured Robert Griffin III Sunday against Philadelphia, Kirk Cousins came back down to earth Thursday. He was 19-of-33 with a touchdown and four interceptions—all in the second half. He also lost a fumble. Alfred Morris carried the ball 12 times for 63 yards and a score for the Redskins (1-3), who have lost their last two games.


►  Bears Sign LB Sharpton

The Chicago Bears on Thursday signed linebacker Darryl Sharpton to a one-year contract.

Sharpton participated in 42 games (19 starts) over four seasons with the Houston Texans from 2010-13, totaling 144 tackles, one sack and an interception.

To make room on the roster, the Bears terminated the contract of vested veteran and fullback Tony Fiammetta with an injury settlement.


►  Titans’ Locker Misses Second Straight Practice

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker sat out a second consecutive practice Thursday due to an ailing right wrist, putting his availability for this weekend’s game at Indianapolis squarely in question.

Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt hinted that Locker could miss Friday’s practice as well, telling reporters after Thursday’s session that the oft- injured signal-caller’s status for Sunday’s matchup against the Colts likely won’t be determined until Saturday.

“I guess he’s got a shot until he doesn’t have a shot, that’s the best way to look at it,“ said Whisenhunt. “I know he’s studied the plan, we talk about it on the practice field all the time. It’s a question of where he progresses physically. I think we’ll know more (Friday).“

If Locker, who sustained the injury during last week’s 33-7 loss at Cincinnati but played the entire game, cannot go, veteran Charlie Whitehurst will draw his first start since 2011.

Locker struggled for a second straight week during Tennessee’s rout at the hands of the Bengals, completing just 17-of-34 passes for 185 yards and two interceptions. The embattled former first-round selection also was picked off twice in a home loss to Dallas the previous Sunday.

The 26-year-old Locker has missed a total of 14 games over the previous two seasons due to an assortment of injuries, most notably a dislocated left shoulder and a foot problem that required surgery.


►  Lions WR Johnson Misses 2nd Practice

Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson missed his second straight practice Thursday with an ankle injury he suffered Sunday against the Packers.

The star receiver is one of four Detroit players who haven’t practiced this week as the Lions gear up to play the New York Jets.

Safety Don Carey (hamstring), linebacker Travis Lewis (quad) and cornerback Cassius Vaughn (ankle) have also sat out the last two days.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell said tight end Joseph Fauria missed practice Thursday with a twisted his ankle he suffered at home.


►  Bucs Promote QB Kafka with McCown Ailing

In a strong indicator that Josh McCown is likely to miss some time with his right thumb injury, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed quarterback Mike Kafka to the active roster from the practice squad on Thursday.

Kafka, who attempted 16 passes over four games with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, is expected to serve as the backup to Mike Glennon when the Buccaneers visit the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday.

McCown was forced to exit Tampa Bay’s forgettable 56-14 loss at Atlanta on September 18 after spraining his throwing thumb while attempting a pass. The journeyman signal-caller hit his right hand on a helmet to cause the injury, which kept him out of Wednesday’s practice.

Glennon, a 13-game starter as a rookie for Tampa Bay last season, played the entire second half against the Falcons and completed 17-of-24 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.

McCown, signed to a two-year contract by the Bucs during the offseason, has struggled through Tampa Bay’s first three games, throwing four interceptions and losing two fumbles while managing just 420 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Guard Rishaw Johnson, inactive for each of Tampa Bay’s three games this season, was waived to make room for Kafka.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Suns, Bledsoe Agree to $70M Deal

The Phoenix Suns and restricted free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe have settled their differences and agreed to a five-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.

The reported $70-million deal is a substantial increase over the reported four-year, $48 million that the Suns had offered Bledsoe at the start of free agency in July. Phoenix and Bledsoe renewed negotiations this week.

“I learned long ago that it doesn’t matter how stormy the sea is as long as the ship comes in and today we are thrilled that the ship has come in and Eric will remain a Sun for a long time,“ said president of basketball operations Lon Babby. “He will be an integral part not only of our basketball team, but our Phoenix community.“

The 24-year-old Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds in 43 games last season. He missed a majority of the season with a torn meniscus in his knee that required surgery.

“Lon, Ryan (McDonough) and the Suns have shown confidence in me, and I am looking to take that responsibility and help our team get better from last year and position ourselves to win an NBA championship,“ said Bledsoe. “It’s why I came back to Phoenix. All summer, I knew that I really would be most comfortable coming back to Phoenix because of the great fans, my Suns teammates and our coaches. I am very happy it was able to work out this way.“

Bledsoe had planned to sign a one-year qualifying offer of $3.7 million with the Suns at the end of this week had a deal not been reached so he could be an unrestricted free agent next year.

Prior to joining the Suns, Bledsoe played the first three seasons of his professional career with the Clippers.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Stewart Named Diamondbacks GM

The Arizona Diamondbacks have made former major league pitcher Dave Stewart their new general manager, with the team to formally introduce the four-time 20-game winner during a press conference scheduled for Friday.

In addition to Stewart, who will take over for the recently fired Kevin Towers, the Diamondbacks have hired Los Angeles Dodgers executive De Jon Watson as the organization’s senior vice president of baseball operations.

Both men will report directly to Diamondbacks CEO Tony La Russa, who managed Stewart for seven seasons with the Oakland Athletics from 1986-92. Stewart put together four consecutive campaigns of 20 or more victories (1987-90) during that period, finishing in the top five in voting for the American League’s Cy Young Award in each of those years.

After retiring as a player after the 1995 season, Stewart worked in the front offices of the A’s, San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays and also served as a pitching coach for the Padres, Blue Jays and Milwaukee. The 57-year-old has been operating his own sports agency, Sports Management Partners, since 2002.

“I’ve known Stew for nearly three decades and his diverse background includes championships on the field as both a player and coach, in the front office and in contract negotiation as a player representative,“ said La Russa in a statement.

Stewart, a member of three World Series champion teams during his 16-year playing career, will become the fourth GM in Diamondbacks’ history and inherits a team that currently owns the worst record in baseball at 63-96. That lack of success led to Towers’ dismissal on September 05.

Ironically, Stewart was a special assistant to Towers with the Padres in 1997.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy success as a player and coach and really enjoyed my time representing players, but this is the perfect challenge for me,“ said Stewart. “To try and put together the pieces of a championship team is something I can’t wait to begin and I could not be more excited about doing it with De Jon and alongside a Hall of Famer who I respect greatly in Tony.“

Watson has spent the past eight years in the Dodgers organization, most recently as the club’s vice president of player development. The 48-year-old has overseen several homegrown products emerge as All-Stars during his tenure, including reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and sluggers Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig.


►  NATIONAL LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: San Francisco 9, San Diego 8

Pablo Sandoval went 3-for-3 with four RBI as the San Francisco Giants snuck past the San Diego Padres, 9-8, in a wild opener of a four-game series. Yasmani Grandal hit a go-ahead gram slam in the seventh inning, but the Giants responded with three runs in the bottom half to retake the lead. Brandon Belt, who along with Brandon Crawford hit solo home runs, knocked in the tying run with a base hit before Hunter Pence scored on a suicide squeeze. The playoff-bound Giants won for just the second time in seven games and still trail the Pirates by one game for the top wild card spot in the NL. The club clinched a playoff berth thanks to the Brewers’ loss earlier Thursday.


Final Score: Cincinnati 5, Milwaukee 3

Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer and scored twice as Cincinnati claimed a 5-3 victory over Milwaukee in the rubber match of a three-game series, eliminating the Brewers from playoff contention. Jay Bruce finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored for the Reds, who also received two hits and on RBI from Yorman Rodriguez. David Holmberg (2-2) allowed two runs and three hits over six efficient innings. Aroldis Chapman earned his 35th save with a perfect ninth. Rickie Weeks ended up 2-for-3 with a solo shot for the Brewers, whose loss clinched the last NL playoff spot for the San Francisco Giants Yovani Gallardo (8-11) was tagged for 10 hits and five runs—three earned—over five-plus frames.


Final Score: New York 7, Washington 4 (Game One) Final Score: Washington 3, New York 0 (Game Two)

Gio Gonzalez pitched seven strong innings to help the Washington Nationals to a 3-0 win over the New York Mets and a split of a day-night doubleheader on Thursday. Gonzalez (10-10), allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out 12 for the Nationals, who have won six of seven. The Nationals stretched their lead over the idle Dodgers to 2 1/2 games for the top overall spot in the NL. Zack Wheeler (11-11) gave up three runs on four hits over five innings for the Mets, who lost two of three in the set. In the opener, Curtis Granderson went 3-for-4 to help the Mets to a 7-4 victory.


Final Score: Miami 6, Philadelphia 4

Casey McGehee doubled home two runs in the seventh inning and the Miami Marlins notched a 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies to wrap up a three-game series. McGehee drove in three runs, Garrett Jones went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Donovan Solano had two hits, two runs and an RBI for the Marlins, who had lost five of six coming in. Tom Koehler (10-10) gave up four runs on eight hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings to pick up the win. Chase Utley and Domonic Brown each drove in two runs for the Phillies, who have dropped five of seven. David Buchanan gave up two runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings, while Jake Diekman (5-5) was handed the loss for giving up the lead in the seventh.


Final Score: Pittsburgh 10, Atlanta 1

Edinson Volquez’s latest sensational start, combined with an offensive barrage, enabled the Pittsburgh Pirates to further close the gap in the National League Central race by virtue of a 10-1 rout of the Atlanta Braves. Behind Volquez’s seven scoreless innings and a 16-hit onslaught, the Pirates pulled within one game of St. Louis for the NL Central lead entering the season’s final weekend. Andrew McCutchen knocked in three runs, Josh Harrison went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and Travis Snider finished a triple shy of the cycle to back a season-best 10-strikeout effort out of Volquez (13-7), who yielded just four singles and a walk to extend his unbeaten streak to 12 consecutive outings. David Hale (4-5), called upon for a spot start with Mike Minor shut down for the season, allowed two runs over 4 2/3 innings for Atlanta.


►  AMERICAN LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Seattle 7, Toronto 5

Logan Morrison cracked two homers and drove in four runs, helping the Seattle Mariners snap a five-game losing streak with a 7-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. Mike Zunino also homered for the Mariners, who salvaged a win in the four-game series as they try desperately to stay alive in the hunt for an AL wild-card berth. The Mariners entered play three games behind Kansas City and Oakland in the wild-card race and gained one game on Oakland. They have a three-game series ahead against the AL-West champion Angels in Seattle this weekend. Seattle went 4-7 on an 11-game road trip that started in Anaheim. Toronto’s Kevin Pillar hit a leadoff homer off Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning, but the Mariners closer shut the door for his MLB-leading 47th save. The Blue Jays won the first three games of the series by a combined score of 25-6.


Final Score: New York 6, Baltimore 5

Derek Jeter, naturally, knocked in the winning run in storybook walk-off fashion Thursday in the future Hall-of-Famer’s final game at Yankee Stadium. The ever-dramatic Jeter stepped to the plate with a runner on second in the ninth inning and laced a patented opposite-field single through the hole between first and second base. Antoan Richardson slid in safely in front of Nick Markakis’ throw, and the Yankees swarmed Jeter to celebrate the poetic 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Jeter knocked in a pair prior to the ninth, including the go-ahead run in a three- run seventh inning that gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead. David Robertson, however, blew the lead in the ninth by surrendering a two-run homer to Adam Jones and a two-out solo blast to Steve Pearce. That set up the fitting home half, which began with Jose Pirela greeting Evan Meek (0-4) with a base hit. Richardson pinch-ran for Pirela and had enough speed to beat Markakis’ throw from shallow right.


Final Score: Detroit 4, Minnesota 2

Victor Martinez had three hits, including a two-run homer, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-2, on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series. The Tigers, who have already clinched at least a wild-card berth, remained two games up on Kansas City for first place in the AL Central. Miguel Cabrera added a solo homer for the Tigers, who have won three in a row and are 12-5 in their last 17 games. Max Scherzer (18-5) struck out nine in six innings to remain unbeaten in five September starts. Twins rookie Trevor May (3-6) had seven strikeouts in six innings but suffered his second straight loss. Scherzer gave up two runs on five hits and four walks, while May yielded three on five hits and one walk. Joe Nathan pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 34th save.


Final Score: Boston 11, Tampa Bay 1

Christian Vazquez smacked a two-run homer among his four hits, three RBI and two runs scored as the Boston Red Sox routed the Tampa Bay Rays, 11-1, in the rubber match of a three-game set. Rusney Castillo belted a three-run shot for his first career homer for Boston, which has won four of its last six games. Allen Webster (5-3) allowed a run on seven hits and a walk over seven innings to notch the win. Jeremy Hellickson (1-5) surrendered six runs—five earned—on eight hits over 2 1/3 frames for the Rays, who have dropped five of their last seven contests.


Final Score: Texas 2, Oakland 1

Adrian Beltre’s home run in the ninth inning gave the Texas Rangers a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a four-game series. Beltre stepped up to the plate with one out against Luke Gregerson (5-5) and drove the second pitch he saw over the right field wall for his 19th home run of the season and the win. Elvis Andrus drove in the other run for the Rangers, who have won 12 of their last 13 games. Colby Lewis pitched seven innings and gave up a run on six hits with five walks and seven strikeouts. Neftali Feliz (2-1) picked up the win for tossing a scoreless ninth. Jason Hammel went six-plus innings and let up a run on six hits while Geovany Soto drove in the lone run for the Athletics, who have lost three straight. Oakland fell a game back of Kansas City for the top wild card spot in the American League.


Final Score: Kansas City 6, Chicago 3

Eric Hosmer went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI and the Kansas City Royals picked up another crucial win with a 6-3 takedown of the Chicago White Sox from U.S. Cellular Field. Hosmer has been one of the hottest bats in the league over the last week for the Royals, who moved a game ahead of the Athletics for the top spot in the American League wild card race. Hosmer is 13-for-29 over his last seven games. Lorenzo Cain went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a pair of runs scored to back a quality start by James Shields. Shields gave up three runs on five hits in six innings and Kansas City’s bullpen did its job the rest of the way, with Kelvin Herrera (4-3), Wade Davis and Greg Holland each tossing a scoreless inning to secure the win. Josh Phegley homered for the White Sox, who have lost three in a row. Jose Quintana (9-11) absorbed the loss, falling to 0-6 lifetime against the Royals after giving up five runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Former Tour Champion Cadel Evans Announces Retirement

Former Tour de France champion Cadel Evans has announced his retirement.

Evans won cycling’s most prestigious event in 2011 and was the runner-up in 2007 and 2008.

The 37-year-old Australian made the announcement Thursday with a statement on his personal website. Evans said he will finish his career in an event in his native country next February.

“After a long period of contemplation within, and with those closest to me, I feel it is the right time to end my journey in competitive professional cycling,“ Evans said.

Evans also won the UCI Road World Championship in 2009.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Logano Rewarded with Contract Extension from Penske

Joey Logano has already advanced to the next round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs and on Thursday signed a contract extension to remain with Team Penske.

Terms of the multi-year agreement for the Chase for the Sprint Cup contender were not disclosed.

“Joey Logano has been everything we hoped he would be, both as a driver and as a representative of our organization and for our partners,“ said owner Roger Penske in a statement Thursday. “He continues to put points on the board for us and the continuity and chemistry he has developed within the team has been terrific. We believe he can be a leader and championship-level driver for Team Penske for years to come.“

Logano has seven career NASCAR Sprint Cup race victories, including five since joining Team Penske for the start of the 2013 season. He has four wins this year and sits second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings after last week’s win at the Sylvania 300 in New Hampshire.

“I am fortunate and excited to be a part of Team Penske for the foreseeable future,“ said Logano. “Mr. Penske gives us everything we need to keep our eye on the prize and compete for wins and championships. I think that is clear by the number of wins we have across the board this year. I think our best years are in front of us for sure.“

The 24-year-old Logano was the 2009 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year and finished a career-best eighth in last year’s Chase standings.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Opening Ryder Cup pairings released

The Ryder Cup opening ceremony is in the books and with that the pairings for Friday’s four-ball matches have been announced.

United States captain Tom Watson has Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson as his lead pairing. European captain Paul McGinley countered with Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. Of the four, Stenson is the only non-major winner, but he did win the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai on the European Tour to end the 2013 season.

The second four-ball match will pit Americans Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker against Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer. Fowler finished in the top five at all four majors this season, while Walker won three PGA Tour events this season. Kaymer won the U.S. Open in a rout.

Ryder Cup rookies Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth will be the third American group. They will face fellow Ryder Cup rookie Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter, who owns a 12-3 record at the Ryder Cup.

The final match is the marquee grouping. Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson will battle the European duo of Sergio Garcia and World No. 1 Rory McIlroy. Bradley and Mickelson are 5-1-1 combined at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. McIlroy, who won the final two majors this season, and Garcia will be paired for the first time at this event.



<The Gilmer Free Press
2014 FIBA World Cup - Basketball
Group AWL
Spain50
Brazil41
France32
Serbia23
Iran14
Egypt05
Group BWL
Greece50
Croatia32
Argentina32
Senegal23
Puerto Rico14
Philippines14
Group CWL
United States50
Turkey23
Dominican Republic23
New Zealand23
Ukraine23
Finland14
Group DWL
Lithuania41
Slovenia41
Australia32
Mexico23
Angola23
South Korea05
 
Saturday, August 30
Group B: Croatia 81, Philippines 78
Group C: Ukraine 72, Dominican Republic 62
Group D: Angola 80, South Korea 69
Group A: Serbia 85, Egypt 64
Group C: Turkey 76, New Zealand 73
Group B: Argentina 98, Puerto Rico 75
Group D: Slovenia 90, Australia 80
Group A: Brazil 65, France 63
Group B: Greece 87, Senegal 64
Group D: Lithuania 87, Mexico 74
Group C: United States 114, Finland 55
Group A: Spain 90, Iran 60
 
Sunday, August 31
Group C: Dominican Republic 76, New Zealand 63
Group B: Croatia 90, Argentina 85
Group D: Australia 89, Korea 55
Group A: France 74, Serbia 73
Group C: Finland 81, Ukraine 76
Group B: Senegal 82, Puerto Rico 75
Group D: Slovenia 89, Mexico 68
Group A: Brazil 70, Iran 50
Group B: Greece 82, Philippines 70
Group D: Lithuania 75, Angola 62
Group C: United States 98, Turkey 77
Group A: Spain 91, Egypt 54
 
Monday, September 01
Group B: Senegal 77, Croatia 75
Group A: Serbia 83, Iran 70
Group B: Argentina 85, Philippines 81
Group A: France 94, Egypt 55
Group B: Greece 90, Puerto Rico 79
Group A: Spain 82, Brazil 63
 
Tuesday, September 02
Group D: Mexico 79, Angola 55
Group C: Ukraine 64, Turkey 58
Group C: United States 98, New Zealand 71
Group D: Australia 82. Lithuania 75
Group D: Slovenia 89, South Korea 72
Group C: Dominican Republic 74, Finland 68
 
Wednesday, September 03
Group B: Puerto Rico 77, Philippines 73
Group D: Australia 70, Mexico 62
Group C: New Zealand 73, Ukraine 61
Group A: Iran 88, Egypt 73
Group B: Argentina 81, Senegal 46
Group C: Turkey 77, Finland 73 (OT)
Group D: Slovenia, 93, Angola 87
Group A: Brazil 81, Serbia 73
Group B: Greece 76, Croatia 65
Group D: Lithuania 79, South Korea 49
Group C: United States 106, Dominican Republic 71
Group A: Spain 88, France 64
 
Thursday, September 04
Group D: Angola 91, Australia 83
Group B: Phillippines 81, Senegal 79 (OT)
Group C: New Zealand 67, Finland 65
Group A: Brazil 128, Egypt 66
Group C: United States 95, Ukraine 71
Group D: Mexico 87, South Korea 71
Group A: France 81, Iran 76
Group B: Croatia 103, Puerto Rico 82
Group C: Turkey 77, Dominican Republic 64
Group D: Lithuania 67, Slovenia 64
Group A: Spain 89, Serbia 73
Group B: Greece 79, Argentina 71
 
Saturday, September 06
Round of 16: United States 86, Mexico 63
Round of 16: France 69, Croatia 64
Round of 16: Slovenia 71, Dominican Republic 61
Round of 16: Spain 89, Senegal 56
 
Sunday, September 07
Round of 16: Lithuania 76, New Zealand 71
Round of 16: Serbia 90, Greece 72
Round of 16: Turkey 65, Australia 64
Round of 16: Brazil 85, Argentina 65
 
Tuesday, September 09
Quarterfinal: Lithuania 73, Turkey 61
Quarterfinal: United States 119, Slovenia 76
 
Wednesday, September 10
Quarterfinal: Final - Serbia 84, Brazil 56
Quarterfinal: Final - France 65, Spain 52
 
Thursday, September 11
Semifinal: United States 96. Lithuania 68
 
Friday, September 12
Semifinal: Serbia 90, France 85
 
Saturday, September 13
Third Place Game: France 95, Lithuania 93
 
Sunday, September 14
Final: United States 129, Serbia 92


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Week 4 Player Fantasy Rankings - Quarterbacks

Although the top fantasy quarterback, Peyton Manning is on a bye week, quarterback is probably the position least effected by the six teams on bye in Week 4.

The likes of Drew Brees, Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan will all be back at it with favorable matchups this Sunday. Brees is taking on a Cowboys team that he made history against last season as the Saints offense earned 40 first downs. Even on the road, it could be a breakout game for Brees and his receivers.

Luck and Ryan are fresh off huge games from last week and are ranked in the top five.

It is time that we finally give Philip Rivers some respect. To our credit, he has been up against some of the best defenses in the league during the first three games, so it was tough to rank him very high. That is not the case this week as Rivers and the “Super Chargers” play Jacksonville at home. The Jaguars allow 306 passing yards per game, the most in the NFL.

Those owners on Aaron Rodgers’ case need to slow down a little bit. The Jets and Lions have top-10 pass defenses and the Seahawks are, well, the Seahawks. Rodgers should get it going against Chicago.

Kirk Cousins and Eli Manning will likely slug it out through the air just as the Redskins and Eagles did last week. Both quarterbacks are still available in over 50% of Yahoo Leagues and are quality replacements while Peyton sits.

Nick Foles and Colin Kaepernick could also be in a high-scoring affair. The San Francisco defense ranks just 15th in the league against the pass and Philadelphia has continued to struggle to stop anyone’s air attack.

All eyes will be on Brees, and for good reason, to see what he does for an encore to last year’s, 49-17, victory. But don’t be surprised if Tony Romo plays well too. His fantasy totals have increased every week, and the Saints allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles each get their first career start this week, but we would like to see more before even ranking them a QB2 in a 10- team league.

Top-25 Quarterback Rankings

—————————————-

1) Drew Brees, New Orleans

2) Philip Rivers, San Diego

3) Andrew Luck, Indianapolis

4) Matt Ryan, Atlanta

5) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

6) Kirk Cousins, Washington

7) Nick Foles, Philadelphia

8) Tony Romo, Dallas

9) Matt Stafford, Detroit

10) Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco

11) Jay Cutler, Chicago

12) Tom Brady, New England

13) Cam Newton, Carolina

14) Eli Manning, New York Giants

15) Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

16) Joe Flacco, Baltimore

17) Alex Smith, Kansas City

18) Geno Smith, New York Jets

19) E.J. Manuel, Buffalo

20) Derek Carr, Oakland

21) Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota

22) Ryan Tannehill, Miami

23) Blake Bortles, Jacksonville

24) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston

25) Josh McCown, Tampa Bay


►  Week 4 Player Fantasy Rankings - Wide Receivers

From an outsider’s perspective, Calvin Johnson has a difficult matchup in Week 4 against the Jets, who are ranked ninth in passing yards allowed through three games.

A well-researched owner, however, will know that the Jets allow the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Not that you really needed any reassurance to start “Megatron,“ but if you did, he is again ranked the top wide receiver for this week.

Jordy Nelson and Julio Jones could also score some big numbers and round out the top-three wideouts. Nelson will go up against a battered Chicago secondary that saw both safeties injured on Monday night. The Bears are already missing top cornerback Charles Tillman. Jones visits Minnesota after nine catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns last Thursday night.

Week 4 could also be a week of redemption for some quieter fantasy wide receivers so far.

The Green Bay offense hasn’t been itself yet, but again, against an injury- plagued Bears secondary, expect Aaron Rodgers to throw a lot. That means Randall Cobb has his first real chance to hit the century mark this week.

Cordarrelle Patterson flashed his fantasy potential in Week 1, but that was mostly on the ground, racking up 102 yards rushing. One would hope that rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, in his first start, will look Patterson’s way a lot. Through three games, Patterson has more rushing fantasy points than receiving.

Thirdly, Keenan Allen was arguably a top-10 fantasy wide receiver in preseason, but he has been a huge disappointment so far. Philip Rivers should have a day though, up against Jacksonville, who has permitted the most passing yards in the league. It would be a crime to sit Allen now.

Youngsters, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin and DeAndre Hopkins provide interesting WR2 or FLEX potential this week. Jordan Matthews and Stevie Johnson also have high ceilings in what could be a high-scoring affair between the Eagles and 49ers.

Top-50 Wide Receiver Rankings

——————————————-

1) Calvin Johnson, Detroit

2) Jordy Nelson, Green Bay

3) Julio Jones, Atlanta

4) Dez Bryant, Dallas

5) Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

6) Brandon Marshall, Chicago

7) Michael Crabtree, San Francisco

8) Randall Cobb, Green Bay

9) Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota

10) Andre Johnson, Houston

11) Julian Edelman, New England

12) Keenan Allen, San Diego

13) Sammy Watkins, Buffalo

14) Pierre Garcon, Washington

15) Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia

16) T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis

17) Alshon Jeffery, Chicago

18) Mike Wallace, Miami

19) Victor Cruz, New York Giants

20) DeSean Jackson, Washington

21) Brandin Cooks, New Orleans

22) Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina

23) DeAndre Hopkins, Houston

24) Golden Tate, Detroit

25) Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay

26) Marques Colston, New Orleans

27) Terrance Williams, Dallas

28) Anquan Boldin, San Francisco

29) Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville

30) Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore

31) Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis

32) Roddy White, Atlanta

33) Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia

34) Kendall Wright, Tennessee

35) James Jones, Oakland

36) Malcom Floyd, San Diego

37) Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City

38) Reuben Randle, New York Giants

39) Stevie Johnson, San Francisco

40) Torrey Smith, Baltimore

41) Harry Douglas, Atlanta

42) Eric Decker, New York Jets

43) Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis

44) Riley Cooper, Philadelphia

45) Kenny Stills, New Orleans

46) Greg Jennings, Minnesota

47) Allen Hurns, Jacksonville

48) Kenbrell Thompkins, New England

49) Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets

50) Andre Roberts, Washington


►  Week 4 Player Fantasy Rankings - Running Backs

In preseason, the Sports Network identified the top-three fantasy running backs as Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

We all know about the off-field problems for Peterson while Charles and Foster sat out last weekend with injuries. You will find Charles on this week’s list, due to the fact that he practiced last week and has continued to practice, but we don’t believe Foster will be ready when the whistle blows.

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We’re riding the hot hand in Dallas running back DeMarco Murray. He’s averaging a league-leading 128.3 rushing yards per game on 25 carries. Dallas will want to keep the ball out of Drew Brees’ hand for as long as possible, so Murray figures to see 25-plus touches for another weekend. While I don’t believe he can handle this workload level for a full 16-game schedule, while he’s healthy, I’m happy to put him on top of the list.

I love the way the Steelers are using running back Le’Veon Bell, in both the running and passing games. It’s that versatility that should allow him to be a consistent scorer for fantasy owners whether the Steelers are playing with a lead or trying to come from behind. Against Tampa Bay, his running talents should be most useful and I’m expecting a 100-yard effort.

You know the saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.“ Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy has been talking this week, as did Coach Mike McCarthy who called out Lacy on Monday at his press conference saying he “needs to play better.“ Figure McCarthy to call Lacy’s number a lot this Sunday and Lacy to be extra motivated. They face a Bears’ defense missing multiple pieces due to injury and I think Lacy finally makes fantasy owners smile.

I also have Miami’s Lamar Miller (vs. Oakland) and San Diego’s Donald Brown (vs. Jacksonville) putting up top-10 performances against weak opponents.

Top-50 Running Back Rankings

——————————————

1) DeMarco Murray, Dallas

2) Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh

3) Eddie Lacy, Green Bay

4) Rashad Jennings, New York Giants

5) Alfred Morris, Washington

6) Matt Forte, Chicago

7) LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia

8) Lamar Miller, Miami

9) Donald Brown, San Diego

10) C.J. Spiller, Buffalo

11) Jamaal Charles, Kansas City

12) Stevan Ridley, New England

13) Khiry Robinson, New Orleans

14) Reggie Bush, Detroit

15) Frank Gore, San Francisco

16) Joique Bell, Detroit

17) Trent Richardson, Indianapolis

18) Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville

19) Steven Jackson, Atlanta

20) Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis

21) Matt Asiata, Minnesota

22) Alfred Blue, Houston

23) Knile Davis, Kansas City

24) DeAngelo Williams, Carolina

25) Pierre Thomas, New Orleans

26) Darren Sproles, Philadelphia

27) Shane Vereen, New England

28) Chris Ivory, New York Jets

29) Fred Jackson, Buffalo

30) Darren McFadden, Oakland

31) Carlos Hyde, San Francisco

32) Chris Johnson, New York Jets

33) Shonn Greene, Tennessee

34) Bernard Pierce, Baltimore

35) Doug Martin, Tampa Bay

36) LeGarrette Blount, Pittsburgh

37) Daniel Thomas, Miami

38) James Starks, Green Bay

39) Maurice Jones-Drew, Oakland

40) Bishop Sankey, Tennessee

41) Darren Reaves, Carolina

42) Lorenzo Taliaferro, Baltimore

43) Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay

46) Maurice Jones-Drew, Oakland

47) Darrel Young, Washington

48) Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta

49) Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota

50) Branden Oliver, San Diego


►  Week 4 Player Fantasy Rankings - Tight Ends

As a whole, the tight end position is solid this season, from the spectacular assault on defenses by Jimmy Graham through the understated efforts from former backups-turned-starters Niles Paul and Larry Donnell.

Every owner in a 12-team league should have a viable fantasy tight end who can post a respectable number.

Of course, Graham tops almost every list. In Week 4 he should be particularly effective playing against a Dallas Cowboys defense that has yielded the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Graham has been good this season, but not great ... yet. He leads the league in tight end receiving yards, but has scored just twice. That shortcoming should be remedied this weekend.

The worst team in the league for defending the tight end through three games is the Indianapolis Colts (18.9 fantasy ppg). Which explains while Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker is listed at No. 2.

I’m expecting big things from the San Diego passing offense in Week 4 and that means the Philip Rivers-to-Antonio Gates hookup should be a big part of it. The Jaguars are No. 32 (out of 32 teams) in passing yards allowed yielding 306 ypg and Gates is going to get a good chunk of it.

One of the big surprises so far this season has been the play of Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett. He’s second at the position in fantasy scoring, primarily due to four touchdowns, over the first three games. He’s been a big weapon for quarterback Jay Cutler in the red zone. That could change as his two talented wideouts, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, get healthier but for now, he’s still a top-10 fantasy option.

Top-25 Tight End Rankings

————————————-

1) Jimmy Graham, New Orleans

2) Delanie Walker, Tennessee

3) Antonio Gates, San Diego

4) Greg Olson, Carolina

5) Vernon Davis, San Francisco

6) Rob Gronkowski, New England

7) Zach Ertz, Philadelphia

8) Martellus Bennett, Chicago

9) Jason Witten, Dallas

10) Niles Paul, Washington

11) Owen Daniels, Baltimore

12) Travis Kelce, Kansas City

13) Larry Donnell, New York Giants

14) Charles Clay, Miami

15) Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis

16) Coby Fleener, Indianapolis

17) Heath Miller, Pittsburgh

18) Jace Amaro, New York Jets

19) Anthony Fasano, Kansas City

20) Clay Harbor, Jacksonville

21) Eric Ebron, Detroit

22) Andrew Quarless, Green Bay

23) LaDarius Green, San Diego

24) Jeff Cumberland, New York Jets

25) Derek Carrier, San Francisco


►  Week 4 Player Fantasy Rankings - Kickers

Well that was quick. After three weeks of the NFL season, we already have our first kicking change.

Nate Freese is out for the Detroit Lions, after going 3-for-7 on field goal attempts, and 0-for-4 on kicks longer than 40 yards. Former Philadelphia Eagle Alex Henery takes Freese’s spot in Detroit, but is not a recommended fantasy play, as his field goal%age has dropped each year he has been in the league (2011 - 88.9%, 2012 - 87.1%, 2013 - 82.1%).

Speaking of the Eagles, Philadelphia’s place kicker Cody Parkey takes down our top spot, heading into Week 4. Parkey has been a pleasant surprise for the Eagles, going 8-for-9 in field goal attempts, including two 51-yarders. He leads all standard leagues with 38 total points.

One of our biggest risers of the week hails from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Shaun Suisham has yet to miss this season (8-for-8), and with Pittsburgh’s Week 4 opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers letting up an average of 11.00 points per game (standard leagues) to kickers, Suisham makes for a solid fantasy play.

A guy owners may want to start thinking about staying away from was a preseason favorite - Mason Crosby, Crosby has failed to impress this year, especially on the road. He has five combined fantasy points in two road contests, and with Green Bay heading to Chicago to take on the Bears, owners should be aware that we have dropped Crosby to No. 12 in our weekly rankings.

The consistent Stephen Gostkowski remains in our top-two, which should not surprise anyone.

One surprise, however, could be the emergence of Dan Bailey. Not only is he tied for second in standard fantasy leagues with 35 points, Bailey also has a juicy matchup against the New Orleans Saints, who on average are giving up the second most amount of points to kickers, at 13 points per game. Bailey’s jump from the No. 20 spot in Week 3 to a top-three spot in Week 4, is certainly warranted.

Top-25 Kicker Rankings

———————————

1) Cody Parker, Philadelphia Eagles

2) Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots

3) Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys

4) Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts

5) Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons

6) Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh Steelers

7) Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers

8) Nick Folk, New York Jets

9) Dan Carpenter, Buffalo Bills

10) Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers

11) Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

12) Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers

13) Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins

14) Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears

15) Kai Forbath, Washington Redskins

16) Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings

17) Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders

18) Josh Brown, New York Giants

19) Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers

20) Josh Scobee, Jacksonville Jaguars

21) Shayne Graham, New Orleans Saints

22) Randy Bullock, Houston Texans

23) Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans

24) Alex Henery, Detroit Lions

25) Cairo Santos, Kansas City Chiefs


►  Week 4 Player Fantasy Rankings - Defense

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Bill Belichick. You hear those names, and fantasy owners would not expect to hear that New England’s defense is arguably their biggest asset.

After topping our defensive rankings in Week 3, the Patriots remain in that same spot, as they head into Week 4’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. New England’s 39 total fantasy points (standard scoring leagues) leads all defenses by at least eight fantasy points. To go along with that impressive stat, the Patriots have only given up a combined total of 16 points, over the past two weeks.

Since, we mentioned New England’s opponent already, we can’t help but, to break down the Chiefs a little more. After finishing the 2013 season as the third ranked fantasy defense in standard leagues, the Chiefs have struggled mightily in 2014. Week 3 was the team’s best statistical week thus far, with only five fantasy points. With the Patriots coming into town, it is time to start thinking about better options.

Another team that owners tend to think about from an offensive standpoint, is the Detroit Lions. After not being ranked in our top-25 a week ago, Detroit soars into the top-five, as they are now second overall in standard leagues, with 31 total fantasy points. With potential to force some turnovers against Geno Smith and the New York Jets, in Week 4, the Lions are a recommended fantasy play.

Carolina had an off week, to say the least, as the Panthers put up an abysmal minus seven fantasy points during Week 3. With all the talent on this team, combined with the fact they had a combined total of 25 fantasy points through the first two weeks, we feel Carolina will rebound nicely during Week 4, in Baltimore.

The Chiefs and the Houston Texans have essentially switched places. Houston was the 29th ranked fantasy defense in 2013, and are now tied for third in 2014. J.J. Watt is back creating havoc, and with Buffalo coming off a rough loss to the San Diego Chargers, the Texans will look to take full advantage of the Bills, and force as many turnovers as possible.

Week 4 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

——————————————————-

1) New England Patriots

2) Carolina Panthers

3) Houston Texans

4) Detroit Lions

5) Pittsburgh Steelers

6) Atlanta Falcons

7) San Diego Chargers

8) San Francisco 49ers

9) Miami Dolphins

10) Indianapolis Colts

11) Baltimore Ravens

12) Chicago Bears

13) New York Jets

14) Philadelphia Eagles

15) Buffalo Bills

16) New Orleans Saints

17) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

18) New York Giants

19) Washington Redskins

20) Kansas City Chiefs

21) Dallas Cowboys

22) Oakland Raiders

23) Tennessee Titans

24) Green Bay Packers

25) Minnesota Vikings

The Gilmer Free Press

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2014


Major League Baseball - National League
Miami at Washington, 1:05 PM - FS-Florida, MASN, DSS
Miami at Washington, 7:05 PM - FS-Florida, MASN, DSS
Atlanta at Philadelphia, 7:05 PM - FS-South, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 7:10 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, FS-Ohio, DSS
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 8:10 PM - CSN-Chicago, FS-Wisconsin, DSS
St. Louis at Arizona, 9:40 PM - FS-Midwest, Arizona, DSS
Colorado at Los Angeles, 10:10 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain, SportsNet LA, DSS
San Diego at San Francisco, 10:15 PM - FS-San Diego, CSN-Bay, DSS


American League
Tampa Bay at Cleveland, 7:05 PM - SunSports, SportsTime Ohio, DSS
Baltimore at Toronto, 7:07 PM - MASN2, SNET, DSS
Minnesota at Detroit, 7:08 PM - FS-North, Detroit, DSS
NY Yankees at Boston, 7:10 PM - My9, NESN, DSS
Oakland at Texas, 8:05 PM - CSN-California, TXA21, DSS
Kansas City at Chicago WSox, 8:10 PM - FS-Kansas City, WCIU, DSS
LA Angels at Seattle, 10:10 PM - FS-West, ROOT-Northwest, DSS


Interleague
Houston at NY Mets, 7:10 PM - CSN-Houston, SNY, DSS


National Hockey League - Preseason
Boston at Washington, 7:00 PM - CSN-DC, NHL Network
Toronto at Buffalo, 7:00 PM - SN1
Montreal at Colorado, 7:00 PM - RDS
New Jersey at NY Islanders, 7:30 PM - MSG+
NY Rangers at Chicago, 8:30 PM - MSG, CSN-Chicago+
Calgary at Vancouver, 10:00 PM - NHL Network


Canadian Football League
Montreal at Ottawa, 7:00 PM - TSN, RDS, ESPN3.com
Saskatchewan at Edmonton, 10:00 PM - TSN, ESPN3.com


College Football
Fresno State at New Mexico, 8:00 PM - ESPN 2
Middle Tennessee at Old Dominion, 8:00 PM - FS1


Major League Soccer
New England at Kansas City, 8:00 PM - NBCSN


Golf
PGA/EUROPEAN - Ryder Cup Matches, 2:30 AM - Golf Channel
CHAMPIONS - Nature Valley First Tee Open, 4:00 PM - Golf Channel


Auto Racing
NATIONWIDE - 5-Hour Energy 200 practice, 10:00 AM - FS1
SPRINT CUP - AAA 400 practice, 11:00 AM - FS1
NATIONWIDE - 5-Hour Energy 200 practice, 2:00 PM - ESPN 2
SPRINT CUP - AAA 400 qualifying, 3:30 PM - ESPN 2

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►    Glenville State vs. Urbana – Game 4

The Glenville State Pioneers return home this weekend Saturday, September 27, 2014 to I.L. & Sue Morris Stadium to take on Mountain East Conference foe Urbana University.

Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM.

Last week the Pioneers fell on the road to Fairmont State University, 36-40.

FSU scored the first 24 points in the game, but a Lee 52-yard touchdown run and a Drake 14-yard TD reception cut the Pioneer deficit to 24-14 at the break.

The Falcons then got a touchdown and a safety to start the third quarter to make it 33-14 before GSC mounted a rally.

The Pioneers would eventually cut the lead to 40-36 with 3:29 to go after Dante Roberts scored from four yards out, and would get the ball back at their own 45.

However, a false start penalty and a sack by FSU’s Trevor Malnick derailed the Pioneers comeback and Fairmont State held on for the win. 

The Pioneers racked up 544 total yards of offense on 71 plays while the GSC defense allowed Fairmont State a total of 435 yards.

Penalties killed the Pioneers as they racked up 15 penalties for 145 yards.

Rahmann Lee had another fabulous day as he rushed for 220 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.

With Lee’s great day he now has over 3,000 rushing yards in his Pioneer career and is third All-Time in Career Rushing Yards.

Lee is fourth in Rushing Yards with 3,212, third in Rushing Yards per Game with 128.5, and second in All Purpose Yards per Game with 157.12 in NCAA Division II.

Urbana comes into the matchup after falling to 11th ranked Shepherd, 42-7.

Urbana only had 212 yards of total offense in the game.

The Blue Knights also committed 10 penalties for a whopping 115 yards.

Last year the Pioneers fell to Urbana on the road, 9-12.

The Pioneers defense held quarterback D.J. Mendenhall, who was the MEC Offensive Player of the Year, to his lowest passing total of the year (176 yards).

However the Urbana defense held Rahmann Lee to just 70 yards rushing.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Lewis County (3-1) at Lincoln County (0-4)

Lewis County bounced back a loss to Bridgeport by smothering Fairmont Senior’s offense in a 23-7 victory last week.

The Minutemen even scored on defense as corner Ryan Watson had an interception return for a touchdown.

The Lewis County offense produced some long scoring drives including one of 65 yards. Another 12 play drive led to an early field goal.

Winless Lincoln County has been outscored 173-34 so far. These teams met in Weston last year with Lewis County winning 59-0.


►  Philip Barbour (0-4) at Tucker County (1-3)

The Colts have to shore things up defensively as they’ve allowed an average of 35 points per game.  Opponents have scored 40 or more twice, including last week as Liberty won 42-12 at Philippi.

Tucker County has lost two in a row but is in the midst of a stretch of four consecutive home games.


►  Notre Dame (1-2) at River View (1-3)

Notre Dame earned its first win in come from behind fashion on the road at Bishop Donahue last week.

The Irish rallied from a 23-14 late third quarter deficit to win 30-29 in overtime.

The Irish defense stopped the Bishops on a two point conversion attempt in overtime to seal the victory.

Notre Dame running back Santino Cava put the final touches on breaking the Harrison County rushing record, finishing with 236 yards and four touchdowns — that brings his career rushing total to 4,283 yards with the Irish.

Riverview has lost three in a row.

Two of the losses have come against solid Class A opponents Buffalo and Man.


►  Robert C. Byrd (2-2) at Grafton (3-1)

he Eagles will try and snap a two game losing streak as they play on the road for the third consecutive week.

RCB has dropped back to back road games to Frankfort and Bridgeport teams that are a combined 7-1.

Grafton suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of Weir despite 355 yards rushing and 375 yards of total offense.

Three turnovers hurt the Bearcats in that loss.


►  Buckhannon-Upshur (2-1) at Oak Hill (0-3)

The Buccaneers take some momentum on the road as they’ve won back to back home games by a combined score of 83-7.

Last week in a 40-7 win over North Marion, Buckhannon rushed for 262 yards and over eight yards per carry.

The Bucs are over the .500 mark three games into the season for the first time in nearly ten seasons.

These teams are meeting for the second consecutive season.

Oak Hill won 23-10 at Buckhannon last season.


►  East Fairmont (1-3) at Bridgeport (3-1)

East Fairmont got its first win of the season beating Lincoln 31-21 last week.

Myles Johnson had a pair of long receptions to set up the go-ahead touchdown for the Bees.

Johnson then sealed the game with an interception return for a score.

Bridgeport won for the fifth straight time over rival RCB last week.

The Indians scored 31 unanswered after the Eagles jumped out to a 7-0 lead.

The Bridgeport defense has allowed just 35 points in four games.

That defense allowed just 26 yards in the second half against RCB.

Bridgeport has won the last five meetings in the series by an average score of 48-10.


►  Liberty (3-1) at Weir (3-1)

Liberty is on the road for the fourth time in five weeks.

The Mountaineers won at Philip Barbour 42-12 last week. Liberty put that game away early as Logan Robey had three first half scores.

Liberty will try and continue that success on the ground against a Weir team that allowed Grafton to rush for 355 yards last week.

Weir will be playing a representative from the North-Central region for the second week in a row.

Weir gained 548 yards in a 47-32 shootout win at Grafton last week.

William Larch is the name to know when facing Weir.

Larch had 360 total yards and five touchdowns in the win at Grafton.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Holgorsen: Last Year’s Kansas Loss ‘Makes Me Want to Puke

Given two weeks to prepare for West Virginia’s next game against Kansas on October 4, coach Dana Holgorsen will have extra time to re-absorb last season’s 31-19 upset loss to the Jayhawks.

“Miserable performance,” he said. “I’ve been watching it for two straight days and it makes me want to puke.”

Considering the game ended a 27-game Big 12 losing streak for Kansas and severed West Virginia’s bowl hopes, Holgorsen predicts the rematch will motivate his players through the bye week?

“Oh boy, I’d hope so.”

After losing 45-33 to Oklahoma on Saturday night, West Virginia (2-2, 0-1) has dropped four straight Big 12 games. Kansas (2-1) opens league play this week against Texas.

Trickett hurried throws against Sooners: While passing for 376 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-33 loss to Oklahoma, Clint Trickett also tossed two interceptions and made several errant throws. Holgorsen called it Trickett’s worse game of the season, and said the quarterback was harder on himself than coaches were.

“When he’s looking at two of the best pass rushers in college football, it’s probably going to affect him,” Holgorsen said. “The first time he dropped back he got sacked. That affects you a little bit.

“He didn’t play bad by no means. He rushed everything because he knew that clock was ticking.”

Bell leaves team: Fifth-year senior cornerback Travis Bell, after missing practice last week and sitting out Saturday’s game against Oklahoma, has given up football.

“Travis is retired, simply put,” Holgorsen said. “We wish him well.”

Bell appeared in 39 games and made 10 starts, nine of those last year. He also was arrested for domestic battery and DUI during his junior year, leading to a suspension last spring.

Special teams under scrutiny: Holgorsen cited Oklahoma’s 100-yard return as a rare lapse for West Virginia’s kick-coverage unit.

“On that one specific play … we had guys stuck on blocks, we had guys out of their lanes, and we had the safety guys out of position,” he said. “Why did they do it? I don’t know.

“One play doesn’t make the difference in a game. It did however suck the momentum out of everybody.”

The preceding week, of course, it was the punt-coverage unit victimized at Maryland on a 69-yard touchdown.

Holgorsen has effusively praised special teams coach Joe DeForest, a friend he hired away from Oklahoma State before the 2012 season. The head coach on Tuesday emphasized some of the specialists who are performing well, such as Josh Lambert’s making 7-of-10 field goals and Nick O’Toole repeatedly pinning teams inside the 20.

“Unfortunately the two glaring (coverage) mistakes affected the game,” Holgorsen said. “Those other teams have good players and they coach special teams as hard as we do. It’s called competition.”

Daryl Worley update: The cornerback remains suspended “while we continue to gather facts that are out there,” Holgorsen said.

Worley was arrested last week on a misdemeanor battery charge that stemmed from a September 14 nightclub incident in which video showed him grabbing a female patron by the throat. Attorneys claim Worley was defending his girlfriend in the altercation.

Structured bye week: Along with devoting developmental reps to backups, Holgorsen said the starters need to maintain momentum through the bye week.

“You can never relax,” he said. “There are some guys on the injury report who want to relax for a few days, but if you do that you’re not going to improve.”  ~~  Alan Taylor ~~



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Big 12 Showdown Pits Red Raiders against Cowboys

A pair of 2-1 teams kick off Big 12 Conference play on Thursday night, as the Texas Tech Red Raiders pay a visit to the 24th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Kliff Kingsbury’s Red Raiders began the season with a pair of narrow victories over Central Arkansas (42-35) and UTEP (30-26), but then dropped a double- digit decision at home to Arkansas (49-28). Texas Tech had a bye last weekend to regroup and game plan for the start of conference play, but late last week defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt resigned due to personal reasons.

“I have submitted my resignation to Coach Kingsbury effective immediately because I want the best for the Red Raider program, and this will allow them to go in a different direction on defense,“ Wallerstedt said. “I love our players and this school and have only their best interest in my heart and mind. I wish Coach Kingsbury every success this season.“

Outside linebackers coach Mike Smith takes over as defensive coordinator on an interim basis.

Oklahoma State had the unenviable task of taking on defending national champion Florida State in the season opener, and while the Cowboys put forth a valiant effort, they came up short in a 37-31 final. Since then however, coach Mike Gundy’s group has posted a pair of double-digit wins over Missouri State (40-23) and Texas-San Antonio (43-13). The Pokes also enjoyed a bye last week.

This is the third of four straight home games for OSU, which won’t play its next road tilt until visiting Kansas on October 11.

The all-time series between these two teams leans in favor of the Red Raiders, 21-17-3, but the Cowboys have won five straight and six of the last seven meetings overall. Texas Tech hasn’t won in Stillwater since 2001.

Plenty of offensive fireworks are to be expected when these two teams meet. In fact, at least 72 points have been scored in five of the last seven matchups. Both teams possess potent passing attacks, with the Cowboys averaging 264 ypg and the Red Raiders 327.3 ypg through the air.

Davis Webb is set to be the next great Texas Tech gunslinger, as he has completed 64.8% of his passes for 982 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions this season. Jakeem Grant is the team’s top receiver with 20 catches for 283 yards and a score, while Brad Marquez has brought in five TD receptions as part of his 18-grab, 251-yard effort. As for the Red Raiders’ rushing attack, DeAndre Washington and Justin Stockton combine to average more than 130 ypg, with three TDs between them.

Webb threw for 252 yards and three TDs, adding a rushing score, in the loss to Arkansas two weeks ago, while Grant finished with six catches for 85 yards and a TD. Three turnovers (two INTs by Webb) and the fact that the Red Raiders held the ball for only 19:21 played a significant role in the disappointing outcome.

Defense is the Red Raiders’ Achilles’ heel, as the team is being battered to the tune of 36.7 points and 432.7 yards per contest. They have been particularly inept trying to stop the run, as foes average just shy of 300 rushing yards per game while scoring 13 TDs. Their effort against the pass however, has been rock solid (135.0 ypg, one TD).

Arkansas rolled up 438 yards on the ground, averaging better than six yards per carry, and scoring seven TDs on the day. Sure the Razorbacks tallied only 61 passing yards, but they didn’t need to air the ball out when they were as successful as they were hammering the line of scrimmage.

A dozen guys have made at least 11 tackles this season, but a glaring lack of impact plays (three sacks, two forced turnovers) has hurt the unit. Couple that with the fact the opponents have had very little trouble reaching the next level on just about every run play and it’s not all that surprising that Wallerstedt resigned.

Pete Robertson led Tech with 10 tackles against the Hogs, and while the team pounced on a pair of fumbles, it did not record a sack and made only two stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Daxx Garman threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns, and Desmond Roland ran for 95 yards and two scores to power Oklahoma State to a 30-point win over UTSA the last time out.

Garman, who was making his first start since his junior year of high school some five years earlier, saw his second stint of extended action after throwing for 242 yards and two TDs against Missouri State in relief of injured starter J.W. Walsh.

Roland was solid in his return to the lineup after missing the previous game, as he averaged 4.5 ypc. Receivers Marcell Ateman and Jhajuan Seales combined for six catches and 145 yards.

Defensively, the Cowboys allowed only 11 first downs and 206 total yards to the Roadrunners. UTSA averaged a mere 3.2 yards per offensive play and was successful on only 3-of-17 third-down conversion attempts.

Jordan Sterns paced the Pokes with eight tackles, while Josh Furman was credited with two of the team’s three sacks. Ashton Lampkin finished off the scoring by returning an interception 50 yards for a TD as time ran out in the fourth quarter.

With regard to season averages, OSU is scoring 38 ppg while allowing 24.3 ppg, and it is outgaining the opposition by nearly 90 ypg. The Cowboys have come away with points on all 14 of their visits to the red zone, but only half of them have been touchdowns.

Neither quarterback has been all that efficient running Gundy’s offense, hitting less than 60% of their passes, but they haven’t made many mistakes (one INT). Garman has thrown for 559 yards, four TDs and no picks in his two games, and while no receiver has really stepped up to become the go-to guy, 12 players have caught at least one pass. The same can be said for the ground attack, as no one on the roster has more than 135 yards (Tyreek Hill). The trio of Rennie Childs, Roland and Walsh have combined for all seven of the team’s rushing scores.

Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich spoke after the UTSA game about the state of his unit as it gets set to embark on Big 12 play.

“I think we’re making plays. We need to be more consistent, but overall, there were a lot of positives,“ Yurcich said. “It’s really important to get the planning done so you can practice it a bunch of times and get extra reps at it. We’ll take a look at it. We like our productivity, but there’s a lot of room to improve as well.“

Oklahoma State’s strength on defense this season has been its play against the run (111.3 ypg, four TDs allowed). The Cowboys are yielding only 3.1 yards per rush, and they’ve permitting the opposition to move the chains on just 24% of their third-down tries (11-of-45). A lack of big plays has been an issue for the Pokes, as they’ve come up with only three takeaways, two on interceptions by Lampkin.

Ryan Simmons paces the unit with 21 tackles, 18 of which have been solo efforts, and Sterns is hot on his heels with 19 (16 unassisted).



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Vikings Place Cassel on IR

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel will miss the remainder of the season after being placed on injured reserve Wednesday because of a foot injury.

Cassel suffered fractured bones in his left foot during Sunday’s game against New Orleans. He was hurt while trying to scramble for a first down early in the second quarter of the 20-9 loss.

Rookie Teddy Bridgewater took over under center and was 12-of-20 passing for 150 yards in his first action. He is slated to make his first NFL start on Sunday against Atlanta.

Cassel, in his second season with the Vikings, completed 41-of-71 passes for 425 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions in three games.

The Vikings also placed guard Brandon Fusco on IR with a pectoral injury. He had started the first three games this season and all 34 games he has played for Minnesota since the 2012 campaign.

Minnesota also promoted tight end Chase Ford and offensive lineman Austin Wentworth from the practice squad to the active roster, and signed quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and tight end Ryan Otten to the practice squad.


►  Giants, Redskins Tangle to Avoid NFC East Cellar

The Washington Redskins and their interim starter at quarterback piled up 511 yards of offense last Sunday but they couldn’t muster one when it mattered most, losing a shootout to NFC East rival Philadelphia.

They’ll get another chance after a short week of preparation as the NFC East takes center stage on “Thursday Night Football” when the New York Giants renew their storied rivalry with the ‘Skins.

Each club is off to a somewhat disappointing 1-2 start in 2014 but New York comes in on a winning note, having secured its first win of the campaign with a 30-17 triumph over previously unbeaten Houston last Sunday.

Rashad Jennings piled up a career-best 176 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Giants in the win, while tight end Daniel Fells and wide receiver Victor Cruz each hauled in a TD pass from Eli Manning.

The Texans had entered the Week 3 clash with a plus-five turnover ratio en route to a mildly surprising 2-0 start, while the Giants were a league-worst minus-six in that category while dropping their first two tests.

However, New York came up with three interceptions of Ryan Fitzpatrick and got a mistake-free performance out of Manning to aid Jennings’ huge 34-carry effort.

Manning finished a sharp 21-of-28 for 234 yards with the two touchdowns in by far his best outing of the young season. Cruz also stepped up for New York, generating 107 yards on five catches.

“Nice to win, nice to do a lot of good things in the process,“ Giants head coach Tom Coughlin remarked. “A lot of guys played well.“

Washington, meanwhile, is fresh off a heartbreaking 37-34 setback to the Eagles in which Cousins, playing for the injured Robert Griffin III (dislocated ankle), passed for a career-high 427 yards and three touchdowns, including an 81-yard touchdown pass to ex-Philadelphia star DeSean Jackson.

Pierre Garcon had 138 receiving yards and a score on 11 catches, and Jackson also crossed the century barrier on five receptions.

“I think these guys are just competitors. No matter who’s at quarterback, they’re gonna battle,“ Cousins said.

The Redskins had a chance to win or at least tie the game in the waning moments after an uncharacteristically poor punt from the Eagles’ Donnie Jones, Cousins misfired badly on three consecutive throws, however, letting a wounded Eagles’ team, missing four of its five offensive line starters by the end of the game, escape.

Despite that first-year Redskins coach Jay Gruden was more than satisfied with his signal caller.

“(Cousins) was excellent,“ the mentor said. “I’m very proud of the way he played.“

This will be the 165th time Washington and Big Blue have locked up when you include the postseason with the Giants winning three of the past four in the series and holding a 95-65-4 all-time advantage.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

The biggest issue in this game may be Washington’s health or lack thereof.

The Redskins left Philadelphia with a full MASH unit, most notably losing cornerback DeAngelo Hall (ruptured left Achilles) and safety Duke Ihenacho (broken left foot) for the season. Pass rusher Brian Orakpo (left middle finger), defensive lineman Jason Hatcher (hamstring) and guard Shawn Lauvao (right knee) are also ailing as Washington listed 17 players on its injury report at the beginning of the week.

“We’re losing guys left and right,“ Orakpo, who is expected to play Thursday, said. “Football’s a tough game.“

“Obviously this is a week that I would rather not have a Thursday night game,“ Gruden added.

One guy who will not be missing is defensive tackle Chris Baker, who destroyed Philadelphia QB Nick Foles with a devastating blindside block in Week 3 which set of a bench-clearing brawl in which Baker and Eagles left tackle Jason Peters were ejected. The NFL decided not to suspend Baker after determining that his hit was legal.

“Baker didn’t do anything wrong with that hit,“ Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, told the Washington Post. “When you look at the rule, he didn’t do anything illegal. People can say it’s a cheap shot and you can talk about whether it might fall under unsportsmanlike conduct. But when you know the rule and you look at the play, he didn’t hit him in the head. He didn’t hit him in the neck. We looked at it. I looked at it very closely.“

Offensively, the Redskins are second in the NFL, averaging 444.0 yards per game and Cousins’ numbers were gaudy against the Eagles with the third-year player completing 30-of-48 passes, including the big play to Jackson which saw the speedster high-step into the end zone in an effort to antagonize his old mates.

Heck, Cousins was 12-of-13 for 124 yards and two TDs before the Eagles offense and his old friend from East Lansing, Foles, had even taken a snap.

Cousins and Foles had once battled for the starting job in college at Michigan State, a gig Cousins won before Foles transferred to Arizona. That ledger is now even although Cousins tore apart the Eagles with quick timing routes and anticipatory throws, the kind of passing attack the injured RG3 is not all that adept at.

Philadelphia certainly helped by not jamming the receivers in an effort to disrupt rhythm, likely a testament to Jackson’s ability to pop the top on any defense at any time, something the Giants are intimately familiar with.

Jackson now has 16 career touchdowns (11 receiving, three punt-return and two rushing) against NFC East opponents, tied with Ahmad Bradshaw for the most by any player since he entered the league in 2008. Of those 16, seven (four receiving, two punt-return and one rushing) have come against the Giants, also the most by any player since 2008.

Cousins, a fourth-round draft pick in 2012, the same year RG3 arrived in D.C., has excelled at times as a fill-in in the past, especially when replacing Griffin in-game. Being the guy when teams are actually game planning for your skill set from week to week is a different animal, though.

“It’s different every week,“ Gruden admitted. “That’s the thing about being quarterback in this league is every defense poses different issues for you and it’s every week it’s something different—you’re going to see a different blitz, a different coverage and it is something you’ve got to continue to be flexible in your train of thought and your thinking and your approach to the game.“

Despite the loss last week and it’s implications in the NFC East, however, Cousins’ more traditional approach to the position seems to suit Gruden’s coaching style far better than Griffin. After all, Gruden rose to a head- coaching position in this league by developing Andy Dalton, a QB with similar skills as Cousins, while he was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati.

“We don’t expect him to go out and win the MVP or win a Super Bowl to prove he’s an upper-echelon quarterback right away, Gruden said. “We do expect him to produce and play within the offense and not make mistakes and do what he’s supposed to do—handle the protections and play the position.“

Conversely, the Giants are just happy their longtime starter at QB finally put together a decent performance and the obviously correlation is the running game led by Jennings.

You can’t expect the Jennings to pile up 176 every week but when he’s moving the chains that opens up play-action for Manning, who is most comfortable when pushing the football down the field, something he has been able to do in the past when playing at FedEx field.

“Keep running and keep pounding,“ Manning said when talking about his running game last week. “One point we ran the same play three times in a row.“

Heading into Thursday’s contest at Washington, Manning has won six of 10 regular-season starts against the Redskins at FedEx Field. In those 10 starts, Manning has 185 completions for 2,289 passing yards, the most of any active visiting player at FedEx Field since he entered the league in 2004. Meanwhile, Manning’s 10 touchdown passes on the road against Washington rank second among active players, trailing only Dallas quarterback Tony Romo with 12.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Ordinarily this is a spot in which you would take Washington but the Redskins are so banged up that New York should be in a prime position to steal one on a short week.

“I’m excited, it’s a benefit for our offense to play on Thursday night, because we’re going to go out there and we’re going to play up-tempo,“ Giants offensive tackle Justin Pugh said. “We’ve got to go out there and go down to a hostile environment and win a divisional game.“

Sports Network predicted outcome: Giants 24, Redskins 21


►  Texans Sign NT Pickett; Nix to IR

The Houston Texans have signed nose tackle Ryan Pickett after placing rookie defensive lineman Louis Nix on injured reserve.

Nix, a third-round pick out of Notre Dame, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee before training camp and hasn’t fully recovered. Texans coach Bill O’Brien said earlier this week that Nix still had “a ways to go.“

Pickett is entering his 14th NFL season. He spent his first five years with St. Louis, which made him a first-round pick in 2001, and played the past eight seasons in Green Bay.

The 34-year-old Ohio State product started all 16 games for the Packers last season and notched 19 tackles.

Houston also signed kicker Chris Boswell to the practice squad and released cornerback Marcus Williams from the practice squad.


►  Luck Leads AFC’s Top Players for Week 3

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget and Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker have been named the AFC Players of the Week for their efforts in Week 3.

Luck, the offensive player of the week, completed 31-of-39 passes for 370 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 140.4 passer rating in the Colts’ 44-17 win against Jacksonville. His four touchdown passes tied a career high and were the most among NFL players in Week 3.

The defensive player of the week, Liuget, had six tackles, one sack and a forced fumble in San Diego’s 22-10 win at Buffalo. In the fourth quarter, Liuget had a pair of game-deciding plays. With Buffalo lined up for a third- down play facing a 10-point deficit, Liuget sacked Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel, forcing a fumble that resulted in a 17-yard loss. He later pressured Manuel deep in Buffalo territory, which led to an intentional grounding in the end zone resulting in a safety.

Tucker, the special teams player of the week, connected on all three field goals, including the game-winner from 32 yards as time expired in the Ravens’ 23-21 win at Cleveland.


►  Falcons’ Ryan, Hester highlight NFC’s Best for Week 3

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and kick returner Devin Hester and Seattle Seahawks defensive back Kam Chancellor were named the NFC’s Players of the Week for Week 3.

The offensive player of the week, Ryan completed 21-of-24 passes for 286 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 155.9 passer rating in the Falcons’ 56-14 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

Ryan set franchise single-game records for highest completion%age (87.5) and passer rating (155.9).

Hester also had a record-setting night against the Bucs on his way to special team player of the week. Hester set an NFL record and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (19) with his 20th career return touchdown when he returned a punt 62 yards for a score.

Hester added a 20-yard touchdown run, a 25-yard catch and finished with 68 punt return yards and 29 kickoff return yards.

Chancellor, the defensive player of the week, had an interception, one forced fumble, two passes defensed and nine tackles in the Seahawks’ 26-20 overtime win over Denver.

Both of the turnovers that Chancellor caused led to Seahawks points in the Super Bowl rematch.


►  Jackson among Nine Redskins Listed as Questionable

The Washington Redskins have listed nine players as questionable for Thursday night’s game against the New York Giants.

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is among the most notable names on the list as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury. Jackson caught five passes for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles last Sunday.

Jackson was limited in practice this week. He played last week despite being listed as questionable.

Nose tackle Chris Baker (ankle/hip), defensive ends Jason Hatcher (hamstring), Frank Kearse (ankle) and Kedric Golston (groin), left guard Shawn Lauvao (knee), center Kory Lichtensteiger (groin/hip/ribs), cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) and safety Trenton Robinson (abdomen) are also questionable.

Tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) and linebacker Akeem Jordan have been ruled out.


►  Raiders WR Streater, S Branch Set for Surgery

Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch and wide receiver Rod Streater both need foot surgery, coach Dennis Allen announced Wednesday.

Both players suffered a fractured foot in last weekend’s game against the Patriots.

“There’s no timeline for either one of those guys,“ said Allen. “Both of them are going to need surgery. We’ll just monitor their situations individually and see what the recovery time is.“

Streater has nine catches for 84 yards and one touchdown in three games this season.

Branch has 29 tackles and one sack in three games this season. The veteran missed 14 games last year with a fractured fibula.

The Raiders are in London for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.


►  Ravens LT Monroe to Have Knee Procedure

Baltimore Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe will have a minor surgical procedure on his knee.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced Wednesday that Monroe will take “some number of weeks” to heal from the surgery.

James Hurst is the next man up on the depth chart. It appears he’ll step in and be the starting left tackle this Sunday against the Panthers.


►  Cardinals sign DT Gaston

The Arizona Cardinals signed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston on Wednesday.

Gaston was on Miami’s practice squad. He spent the preseason with the Cardinals after signing with the team as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Purdue.

The Cardinals released Gaston in their final roster cut on August 30 and he was claimed off waivers by the Patriots. Gaston was then released by New England on September 3 and claimed by Miami, where he was inactive for the first two games of the season. He was released by Miami on September 20 and re-signed to their practice squad.

While at Purdue, Gaston set career highs with 48 tackles (31 solo), seven tackles for loss, and three sacks while playing in all 12 games as a senior in 2013.

To make room for Gaston, the Cardinals released running back Jalen Parmele.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Lakers Sign G Price

The Los Angeles Lakers signed veteran guard Ronnie Price on Wednesday.

Price averaged 2.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and a career-high 2.1 assists over 31 games with Orlando last season.

The 31-year-old owns career averages of 3.4 points, 1.5 assists and 1.1 rebounds across 425 games, spanning nine season with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix, Portland and Orlando.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NATIONAL LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Atlanta 6, Pittsburgh 2

Justin Upton smacked a two-run homer, Emilio Bonifacio singled in two runs and the Atlanta Braves showed some life with a 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. Andrew McCutchen’s home run provided the only offense for playoff-bound Pittsburgh, which remained 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central race with four to play. St. Louis lost to the Cubs on Wednesday. Atlanta broke out of its recent slump by knocking around Jeff Locke (7-6) for six runs on eight hits and five walks over the first four innings. The outburst provided Julio Teheran with some well deserved run support, and the right-hander even helped himself with a two-run single. Teheran (14-13) only lasted five innings but picked up the win after giving up two runs on six hits and three walks.


Final Score: Philadelphia 2, Miami 1

Kyle Kendrick tossed seven innings and had an RBI double among his three hits, as the Philadelphia Phillies edged the Miami Marlins 2-1 Wednesday night. Kendrick (10-13) allowed a run on six hits and walked one. Ken Giles pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon stranded a runner at second base in the ninth to earn his 38th save. Chris Hatcher (0-3) relieved Brad Hand and surrendered the go-ahead run in the eighth.


Final Score: Milwaukee 5, Cincinnati 0

Jean Segura posted two hits, two runs scored and two RBI, while Kyle Lohse recorded his second shutout of the season in Milwaukee’s 5-0 victory over Cincinnati in the middle test of a three-game series. Carlos Gomez hit a run-scoring double and Rickie Weeks drove in a run for the Brewers, who won for just the second time in their last seven to keep their slim postseason hopes alive. Lohse (13-9) struck out six and gave up just two hits over his 106-pitch performance, and also drove in a run. Jack Hannahan produced both hits for the Reds, who have lost seven of their last nine. Daniel Corcino (0-2) allowed two runs on four hits with four walks over 4 1/3 innings.


Final Score: Chicago 3, St. Louis 1

Jake Arrieta used his arm and his bat to carry the Cubs to a series win over the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday as Chicago pulled out a 3-1 victory. The Cubs took the final two meetings of this three-game set and finished the 100th year of baseball at Wrigley Field on a winning note. They also prevented St. Louis from extending its lead over the second-place Pirates, though the Cardinals’ magic number for a second-straight division title dipped to three following the Pirates’ loss to Atlanta. Arrieta (10-5) followed up a shutout of the Reds with a 10-strikeout effort in his final start of the year. He allowed just two hits and one unearned run and provided the only runs he needed with a two-run triple. John Lackey (3-3) surrendered five hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings and was done in by Arrieta’s gapper in the fourth.


Final Score: San Diego 4, Colorado 3

Tommy Medica hit a three-run homer and the San Diego Padres defeated the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game set. Joe Wieland (1-0) earned his first career win after allowing three runs on three hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings. Alexi Amarista knocked in a run for San Diego, which wrapped up its final homestand of the season by going 8-2. Yohan Flande (0-6) was given the loss, surrendering four runs on four hits over four innings. Michael Cuddyer and Corey Dickerson each went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Rockies, who have lost nine of its last 10 on the road.


Final Score: Los Angeles 9, San Francisco 1

Clayton Kershaw did it all in helping the Los Angeles Dodgers clinch the NL West crown on Wednesday night. The probable Cy Young Award winner and MVP candidate tossed eight innings, drove in a run with his first career triple and showed off his defensive skills as the Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 9-1. Kershaw gave up a run on eight hits and struck out 11 with no walks. He earned an MLB-best 21st win, tying his career high set in 2011. Yasiel Puig sparked a four-run sixth inning with a solo homer as Los Angeles captured its second straight division title. San Francisco’s Tim Hudson (9-13) was charged with three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. The Giants could have secured a playoff berth with a win,


Final Score: Minnesota 2, Arizona 1

Phil Hughes’ first season in Minnesota is going down in the record books. The veteran right-hander allowed just one run on five hits over eight innings, as the Twins defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-1, at Target Field. Hughes (16-10), who struck out five and didn’t walk a batter, finished the season with a 11.6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio to become the all-time single- season leader in that category. Danny Santana went 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Twins, who won two of three from the Diamondbacks to end a nine-game homestand with a 5-4 mark. David Peralta drove in the lone run for Arizona, which has dropped two straight and eight of nine.


New York at Washington, postponed

Wednesday’s game between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up Thursday as part of a split doubleheader, with the first game starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. The second game will start at 7:05. The Nationals will play consecutive doubleheaders as they seek to secure the best record in the National League and home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. Washington already had a doubleheader against the Marlins scheduled for Friday. 


►  AMERICAN LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Baltimore 9, New York 5

Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty each knocked in two runs during a six-run fourth inning, sending the Baltimore Orioles to a 9-5 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday. Adam Jones and David Lough ended with two RBI apiece for the Orioles, who pounded out 15 hits. Nelson Cruz went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Baltimore starter Bud Norris (15-8) allowed three runs on five hits while striking out nine over six innings. The right-hander won his fourth straight decision and improved to 4-0 lifetime against the Yankees. Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew homered for the Yankees, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention. Shane Greene (5-4) gave up six runs on seven hits with three walks over 3 2/3 innings. Derek Jeter went 0-for-4 in the third game of the four- game series. There is a decent chance of rain for Thursday night when Jeter is scheduled to play at Yankee Stadium for the final time.


Final Score: Detroit 6, Chicago 1

Ian Kinsler collected two hits and drove in a pair of runs, while Justin Verlander tossed eight strong innings, as Detroit claimed a 6-1 decision over Chicago in the rubber match of a three-game series. Miguel Cabrera, Nick Castellanos, Andrew Romine and Rajai Davis finished with an RBI each for the Tigers, and gained a postseason berth with a Mariners loss and whose magic number to clinch the AL Central was reduced to three with four games left. They lead Kansas City by two games after the Royals lost in Cleveland. J.D. Martinez added three hits and a run scored. Verlander (15-12) gave up a run on seven hits with six strikeouts, then Joakim Soria tossed a perfect ninth to lock up the matinee and series victory. Conor Gillaspie posted two hits and Dayan Viciedo knocked in the lone run for the White Sox.


Final Score: Minnesota 2, Arizona 1

Phil Hughes’ first season in Minnesota is going down in the record books. The veteran right-hander allowed just one run on five hits over eight innings, as the Twins defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-1, at Target Field. Hughes (16-10), who struck out five and didn’t walk a batter, finished the season with a 11.6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio to become the all-time single- season leader in that category. He beat out Bret Saberhagen’s 20-year-old mark of 11-to-1. Hughes also became the first Twins pitcher to reach 16 victories since 2010, when Carl Pavano went 17-11. The former Yankee, Hughes, finished the year with 186 strikeouts and only 16 walks in a career-high 209 2/3 innings over 32 starts. Thanks to Mother Nature, he ended just one out shy of reaching a contract bonus that would have paid him an extra half million dollars. Needing one out in the ninth to reach the 210-inning mark, rain forced the game into a one- hour, six-minute delay in the middle of the eighth inning. When play resumed, Hughes was on the bench after tossing just 96 pitches. Jared Burton worked the final inning to record his third save of the season.


Final Score: LA Angels of Anaheim 5, Oakland 4

Howie Kendrick drove in three runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to a 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the rubber match of a three-game set on Wednesday. Kendrick finished with two hits and Albert Pujols drove in a run and scored for the Angels, who have won 10 of their last 11 road games. Hector Santiago (6-9) was solid over 5 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in his scoreless outing. Josh Reddick finished 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored for Oakland, which entered the game tied with Kansas City for the American League’s top wild card spot. Jon Lester (16-11) was tagged for five runs—three earned—on eight hits with seven strikeouts over seven frames in the loss.


Final Score: Toronto 1, Seattle 0

Ryan Goins hit an RBI bloop single in the eighth inning, Mark Buehrle worked into the ninth and reached 200 innings for the 14th straight season, and the Toronto Blue Jays held on for a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night. Baserunners were rare against Buehrle and Seattle starter Taijuan Walker, who combined to give up just seven hits and two walks. Buehrle stayed in for the ninth, but was lifted after giving up a leadoff hit to Chris Taylor. Pinch-runner James Jones was then picked off on a quick move to first base by Aaron Sanchez, who got two more quick outs to seal the win. Buehrle (13-10) struck out 10 batters, walked one and gave up three hits while reaching 202 innings for the season. The 35-year-old lefty has hit the mark in each of his 15 MLB seasons except the first, in 2000, when he pitched mostly out of the bullpen for the White Sox. It was only Buehrle’s second victory in his last 10 trips to the mound at the end of a season he started 10-1. The Blue Jays, who won the first two games of the series by a combined score of 24-6, will go for the sweep on Thursday.


Final Score: Boston 11, Tampa Bay 3

Xander Bogaerts drove in three runs to lead the Boston Red Sox to an 11-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. Daniel Nava hit a two-run double and Garin Cecchini homered for Boston, which bounced back from a 6-2 loss in Tuesday’s series opener. Anthony Ranaudo (4-3) allowed just two runs on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts over seven innings to earn the win. Wil Myers and Ben Zobrist each hit RBI doubles and Nick Franklin brought in a run for Tampa Bay, which had starter Jake Odorizzi (11-13) give up five runs on seven hits and three walks over three-plus frames.


Final Score: Cleveland 6, Kansas City 4

Gomes hit a three-run homer to help the Cleveland Indians keep their slim playoff hopes alive with a 6-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. Michael Brantley went 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana and David Murphy all had an RBI for the Indians, who would have been eliminated from playoff contention with a loss. Zach McAllister (4-7) earned the win for tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Trevor Bauer, who allowed four runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 frames. Brandon Finnegan (0-1) was charged with the loss in his first- career decision for Kansas City, which had its three-game winning streak snapped and now trails Detroit by two games in the AL Central.


Final Score: Texas 5, Houston 1

Lisalverto Bonilla became the first Texas Rangers pitcher to win his first three major-league starts in a 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday. Bonilla (3-0) threw six shutout innings and was part of a starting lineup featuring seven rookies that finished off a three-game sweep of the Astros. Rookies Ryan Rua and Rougned Odor homered for the Rangers, who improved to 11-1 in their last 12 games and to 12-6 since Tim Bogar took over as manager when Ron Washington resigned Sept. 5. Jonathan Villar homered for the Astros and former Ranger Scott Feldman (8-12) remained winless in his last four starts since throwing a shutout against his former team on Aug. 30. Bonilla had seven strikeouts and gave up four hits and two walks. Feldman, who is 0-2 in his last four outings, surrendered one run on Elvis Andrus’ double in the fifth inning. He also went six frames, striking out six, walking four and giving up four hits.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Jordan Staal Breaks Leg in Hurricanes’ Preseason Loss

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal broke a bone in his right leg during Tuesday’s 2-0 preseason loss to Buffalo.

Staal, 28, suffered the injury during the third period after getting hit into the boards by Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges. He was unable to put weight on his leg and had to be escorted off the ice by a trainer.

He will be further evaluated by team doctors in Raleigh on Thursday. A timetable for his return to the ice has yet to be determined.

Staal, who is entering his third season with the Hurricanes, tallied 15 goals and 25 assists in 82 games last season.

Since being selected second overall by Pittsburgh in 2006, the Ontario native has compiled 145 goals and 319 points in 561 regular-season games, adding 23 goals and 36 points in 73 postseason games. He helped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup title in the spring of 2009.
Carolina opens the regular season on October 10 against the New York Islanders.


►  Rangers’ Stepan Sidelined With Fractured Leg

New York Rangers center Derek Stepan suffered a fractured fibula during a workout on Wednesday.

The Rangers said via Twitter that he is being further examined and there is not yet a timetable for his recovery.

According to Northjersey.com, Stepan was hurt during an on-ice conditioning test. He had been off the ice because of a foot contusion, which he apparently sustained when blocking a shot in a workout earlier this month.

Stepan scored 17 goals and set career highs with 40 assists and 57 points in 82 games last season. He has never missed a regular-season game in four years with the Rangers, and has compiled 73 goals with 124 assists for 197 points in 294 games.

The 24-year-old Minnesota native notched five goals and 15 points in 24 playoff games last spring, helping the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals. He missed just one game—Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Canadiens—after he suffered a broken jaw on a hit by Montreal’s Brandon Prust.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Stewart Cleared by Grand Jury in Ward Jr.‘s Death

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will not face charges for his role in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. during an accident in the August 09 sprint car race at a dirt track in Upstate New York.

A grand jury in Ontario County, New York began its deliberation on Tuesday and then revealed its findings on the following day. The Ontario County District Attorney’s Office announced on September 16 that a grand jury would determine if charges should be filed against Stewart for his involvement in the fatal accident.

Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said during a press conference on Wednesday that approximately two dozen people testified before the grand jury. These included a number of race car drivers, racetrack employees and volunteers, two accident reconstructionists, medical personnel and a number of police officers.

Tantillo noted the grand jury reviewed a number of photographs and video recordings as well as other documentary evidence.

“After listening to and questioning all of the witnesses and reviewing all of the evidence, the grand jury has determined that there is no basis to charge Tony Stewart with any crimes. His case was therefore ‘No-Billed’ by the grand jury,“ Tantillo said in his opening statement.

Tantillo also said a toxicology report indicated that Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time he was competing in the race. There was no toxicology work performed on Stewart.

“A certified drug recognition expert had interviewed (Stewart) on the night of the collision and determined that he found no basis to observe any alcohol consumption or impairment by drugs,“ Tantillo said.

Stewart, a three-time champion in NASCAR’s premier series, struck and killed 20-year-old Ward at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The incident occurred during a caution when Ward climbed out of his car and then walked down the dirt track, pointing his finger in the direction of Stewart and apparently yelling at him to express his displeasure. The right rear of Stewart’s car hit Ward and dragged him briefly across the track.

The caution came when Stewart and Ward made contact while battling for position, with Ward spinning out and hitting the wall.

Ward died from massive blunt trauma.

Following the announcement of the grand jury’s decision, Stewart released a statement, saying, “This has been the toughest and most emotional experience of my life, and it will stay with me forever. I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received and continue to receive.

“I respect everything the District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office did to thoroughly investigate this tragic accident. While the process was long and emotionally difficult, it allowed for all the facts of the accident to be identified and known.

“While much of the attention has been on me, it’s important to remember a young man lost his life. Kevin Ward Jr.‘s family and friends will always be in my thoughts and prayers.“

NASCAR also issued a statement on the decision.

“There are no winners in tragedy,“ NASCAR chief communications officer Brett Jewkes said in the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Kevin Ward Jr. family and Tony Stewart as they all cope with this tragic incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. This has been a difficult time for everyone involved, and we have respected the local authorities responsible for reviewing this case.“

The Ontario County Sheriff’s Department conducted a month-long investigation of the incident before handing its findings over to the district attorney on Sept 11. Among the evidence handed over to the district attorney were two videos of the accident—one which was seen by the public and the other being the racetrack’s own video.

“The videos actually did not demonstrate any aberrational driving by Tony Stewart until the point of impact with Kevin Ward, at which point his vehicle veered to the right up the track, as a result of the collision,“ Tantillo said. “Prior to that, his course was pretty straight.“

Stewart missed three Sprint Cup Series races—Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol—while he was in seclusion following the incident at Canandaigua. He returned to competition the last weekend in August at Atlanta. Stewart did not qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The series will be at Dover this weekend for the third race in the Chase.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Jockey Club Gold Cup Attracts Field of Young and Old

A top notch field of 12, including the top two 3-year-olds from the Travers, has been entered for Saturday’s $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

Part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” program, winning the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup guarantees a place for the winner in this November’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

With the recent retirements of Palace Malice and Will Take Charge, the leading older horse in the Gold Cup is Whitney Handicap winner Moreno. Trained by Eric Guillot, the 4-year-old gelding will start from post 11 with Junior Alvarado again riding.

Owned by Southern Equine Stable, Moreno notched just his second career stakes victory in the Whitney on August 2 at Saratoga and followed four weeks later with a second in the Woodward, a half-length behind Itsmyluckyday.

Moreno began this year with a third in the Charles Town Classic followed by a fourth in the Pimlico Special. At Belmont Park, he was 12th to Palace Malice in the Met Mile on June 7 and second behind Zivo in the Suburban Handicap on July 5.

“The (1 1/4-mile) Suburban was his best race, and he got beat by inches in the (2013) Travers,“ said Guillot. “Inner fractions make the race, and at 1 1/4 miles he’s allowed to set a slower pace. In the Suburban, if you look at the configuration of the starting gate, he had to be used up to get to the lead from post 11, and they still had to come get him in the last sixteenth.“

The gelding has three wins, seven seconds and three thirds in 21 lifetime starts for $1,829,940.

Travers champ V. E. Day faces older horses for the first time in the Gold Cup as will Belmont Stakes winner and Travers runner-up Tonalist.

V. E. Day, trained by Jimmy Jerkens for Magalen Bryant, will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post 10. The chestnut colt has won four straight races and his bankroll stands at $829,010.

Tonalist, owned by Robert S. Evans and trained by Christophe Clement, has drawn post 8 with Joel Rosario again in the saddle.

The colt has won three of six career starts, two at Belmont Park, for $1,202,000. Tonalist came into the Belmont Stakes off a four-length win in the Peter Pan Stakes on May 10 before his nose loss to V. E. Day in the Travers.

Here is the field for the Gold Cup in post position order: Micromanage, Luis Saez; Last Gunfighter, Joe Bravo; Wicked Strong, Rajiv Maragh; Zivo, Jose Lezcano; Prayer for Relief, John Velazquez; Long River; Cornelio Velasquez; Speak Logistics, Paco Lopez; Tonalist, Joel Rosario; Stephanoatsee, Jose Ortiz; V. E. Day, Javier Castellano; Moreno, Junior Alvarado and Big Cazanova, Irad Ortiz Jr.


►  Shared Belief Seeks Key Win in Awesome Again Stakes

Undefeated champion Shared Belief makes a final start before the Breeders’ Cup Classic in Saturday’s $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

The 1 1/8-mile stakes is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $5 million Classic at Santa Anita on November 1.

Unbeaten in six career starts, Shared Belief will face seven rivals on Saturday with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith again in the saddle. The 3-year-old gelding, co-owned and trained by Hall of Fame member Jerry Hollendorfer, will break from post 4.

This year, Shared Belief won the Los Alamitos Derby on July 5 and defeated older horses in Del Mar’s Pacific Classic on August 24, winning over dirt and synthetic surfaces.

“I think he’d run just as well on the grass,“ Smith said. “He’s a very athletic horse. Secretariat could run over the dirt and the grass. I’m certainly not going to compare Shared Belief to him, but he has the kind of ability that shows me he could run over anything, dirt or different synthetics.

“In fact, I bet you could put him on the grass and he’d just smoke around there. He’s just an extremely talented horse.“

As a 2-year-old in 2013, Shared Belief was perfect in four starts, including the Hollywood Prevue and CashCall Futurity, both at Hollywood Park. He comes into Saturday with earnings of $1,372,200.

Here is the field for the Awesome Again from the rail out: Fed Biz, Martin Garcia; Sky Kingdom, Victor Espinoza; Bird E House, Joe Talamo; Shared Belief, Mike Smith; Footbridge, Rafael Bejarano; Majestic Harbor, Tyler Baze; Mystery Train, Brice Blanc; and Imperative, Kent Desormeaux.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Week 4 Edition: Three Buy-Low Options

It is truly amazing how quickly the NFL season moves.

We are already heading into Week 4, and as a result, players and teams are beginning to take shape. Saying that however, there are still a few anomalies up and down the fantasy football scoring leaders.

Allen Hurns ranks seventh amongst wide receivers in standard leagues with 36 total points, while Demaryius Thomas (21 total points) has three more points than Ricardo Lockette of the Seattle Seahawks. Thomas still holds extreme value, and may prove to be a tough buy-low candidate at this point of the season. However, there are some high quality trade targets out there, that fantasy owners need to pursue, before their value begins to soar.

Marques Colston, Wide Receiver:

This guy is a notoriously slow starter, and he has stayed true to form this season, with 17 total fantasy points (7 receptions, 135 yards, 1 touchdown). A season ago, through his first seven games, Colston produced 27 catches for 342 yards and only one score. Yet, during Colston’s next eight games to finish out the 2013 season (he played only 15 games), he produced at a much higher level (48 receptions, 601 yards, 4 touchdowns).

Right now, Colston holds no more than WR4 value, but the fact that he has Drew Brees throwing him the ball, combined with, that the Saints’ play their home games in a dome, makes for an attractive target to potentially trade bench players for. Colston has been one of Brees’ security blankets for many years, and as the season progresses and NFL teams want to figure out ways to win at all costs, clutch players trusts guys they are comfortable with. And that is how Brees feels about Colston.

Frank Gore, Running Back:

Last week I told fantasy owners to sit Frank Gore against the Arizona Cardinals. I hope everybody listened, as he had six carries for a dreadful 10 yards. Now, it is time to attempt to “buy low” on Gore.

This is Gore’s 10th NFL season, and he has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in seven of the previous nine seasons. The two years he failed to reach the 1,000-yard mark were his rookie year in 2005, when he played only 14 games, as well as 2010, when he played 11 games and still rushed for 853 yards. Yes, Gore is 31-years-old. However, he has showed no signs of decline, and should be able to continue to produce around his career numbers.

Not only has Gore been a consistent 1,000-yard runner, he has also scored at least eight total touchdowns (rushing and receiving) in six separate seasons. These numbers continue to show that Gore will improve upon his 139 rushing yards and one score, thus far in 2014.

Torrey Smith, Wide Receiver:

Smith is off to an abysmal start to his 2014 season. He has eight total fantasy points in standard leagues (8 receptions, 85 yards, 0 touchdowns), and has been drastically out performed by the “other” Smith on the Ravens, Steve Smith Sr. (34 total fantasy points). At 25-years-old, Torrey Smith owners should still expect big things, and owners who need to improve at the wide receiver position, should look to this guy for help.

With Dennis Pitta heading to the season-ending injured reserve, not only is Smith destined for more production, he is also in line for many more targets. Pitta had 21 targets through the first three games of the season, and while Owen Daniels is a suitable replacement for Pitta, he lacks the separation ability, at 31-years-old. Smith, who only has 19 targets through three games, will see that number rise.

Coming off a 2013 season in which he produced his first 1,000-yard campaign (1,128 total receiving yards), Smith will still have a great opportunity to exceed those numbers. He is a big-play threat that has failed to make a big play yet this season. Once he does, Smith should take off and turn into Baltimore’s number-one receiving threat.

The Gilmer Free Press


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2014


National Football League
NY Giants at Washington, 8:25 PM - CBS, NFL Network


Major League Baseball - National League
Milwaukee at Cincinnati, 12:35 PM - FS-Wisconsin, DSS, MLB Network
Philadelphia at Miami, 4:10 PM - CSN-Philadelphila, DSS
NY Mets at Washington, 7:05 PM - SNY, MASN2, DSS
Pittsburgh at Atlanta, 7:10 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, SportSouth, DSS
San Diego at San Francisco, 10:15 PM - FS-San Diego, CSN-Bay, DSS


American League
Seattle at Toronto, 4:07 PM - ROOT-Northwest, SNET1, DSS
Baltimore at NY Yankees, 7:05 PM - MASN, YES, DSS, MLB Network
Minnesota at Detroit, 7:08 PM - FS-North, Detroit, DSS, MLB Network
Tampa Bay at Boston, 7:10 PM - SunSports, NESN, DSS
Oakland at Texas, 8:05 PM - CSN-California, FS-Southwest, DSS
Kansas City at Chicago WSox, 8:10 PM - FS-Kansas City, CSN-Chicago, DSS


National Hockey League - Preseason
New Jersey at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - TCN-Philadelphia
Colorado at Montreal, 7:30 PM - RDS
Vancouver at Calgary, 9:00 PM - SN360
Anaheim at Los Angeles, 10:30 PM - FS-West, NHL Network


College Football
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern, 7:30 PM - ESPN U
Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 7:30 PM - ESPN
UCLA at Arizona State, 10:00 PM - FS1


International Soccer
SS Lazio vs. Udinese Calcio, 2:40 PM - beIN Sport

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