GilmerFreePress.net

Sports News   141202

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Heisman Rankings: Week 14

While plenty of Heisman hopefuls played their way out of consideration on an eventful last full Saturday of the college football season, the favorites managed to separate themselves even more.


1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (last week: No. 1)—With the No. 2 player on this list breathing down his neck, Mariota came through in Oregon’s 47-19 Civil War victory over rival Oregon State with one of the best performances of his illustrious career. The signal caller scored a season-high six touchdowns (four passing, two rushing) in the turnover-free performance, while completing 19-of-25 passes and amassing just shy of 400 total yards. Mariota, who has been the Heisman frontrunner for most of the season, has been consistently outstanding with multiple touchdowns and at least 277 yards in every game this season, leaving him with simply astounding numbers on the season with 3,470 passing yards, 636 rushing yards, 48 total touchdowns and just two interceptions. A win in the Pac-12 Championship Game will all but sew up the award for Mariota, but that’s not a forgone conclusion just yet. The Pac-12 South champs Arizona may have the formula to slowing down Mariota, as it delivered Oregon its only loss back on October 2 (31-24), while holding the quarterback to his lowest yardage total of the season (277).


2. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin (last week: No. 2)—There’s some other notable performers named below, but this might as well be a two-name list in regard to players who have a legitimate chance at winning the award. With another stellar showing (29 carries, 151 yards, TD) in a win over Minnesota to determine which team gets to play for the Big Ten title, Gordon became the league’s all-time single-season rushing leader with 2,260 yards, and with two games left, Barry Sanders’ FBS record of 2,628 is well within reach for the explosive tailback. The Badgers have ridden Gordon’s talents to seven straight victories to set up a showdown with Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday, and if he can lead his team to the title, the potential to unseat Mariota as the Heisman favorite becomes much greater.


3. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama (last week: No 8)—It was impossible for this year’s version of the Iron Bowl to live up to 2013’s epic finish, but it certainly tried its best, as Alabama overcame a 12-point, second-half deficit to capture a 55-44 victory in the highest-scoring game in series history. Cooper, with the help of quarterback Blake Sims, lifted his team with three touchdowns, two of which came in the third quarter as the Crimson Tide mounted their comeback. Cooper caught 13 balls and had more than 70% of the team’s receiving yards, tying his own single-game school record with 224 yards. Cooper ranks in the top-three nationally in receptions (103), yards (1,573) and touchdowns (14), and if he puts up another strong performance against Missouri in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game, he can bank on being a finalist.


4. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU (last week: No 4)—The Horned Frogs’ big win over Texas on Thanksgiving night (48-10) is especially important now that Mississippi State is out of the mix for the fourth spot in the College Football Playoffs, as they are now the likely favorite to scoop up that coveted place. Boykin was his typical, multi-faceted self in the victory, throwing for 223 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 50 yards and another score, leaving him with 3,254 passing yards, 598 rushing yards and 36 total touchdowns against only six interceptions for the season. A lot is still left to be to be determined on Saturday with TCU, Baylor and Kansas State all in action, and each sitting at 7-1 in the league, but if the Horned Frogs can take care of business against Iowa State, Boykin’s status as a finalist should be a lock.


5. Cody Kessler, QB, USC (last week: unranked)—Every time Kessler was about to make his mark in the Heisman race, USC would suffer an untimely loss to put both he and the team on the back burner, at least nationally, but with his regular season done it’s time to finally give him the recognition he deserves. For all of the TroJanuarys’ issues in an underachieving season, Kessler’s play under center was not one of them. Five times this year he threw for at least four touchdowns an no interceptions, including in a statement win over Notre Dame over the weekend, when he completed 32-of-40 passes for 372 yards and six touchdowns. With the second-best completion percentage in the nation (.707), the sixth-most yards (3,505) and tied for the second-most passing touchdowns (36), paired with only four picks, Kessler’s season sizes up with the best of the elite USC quarterbacks of the recent past.


6. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor (last week: unranked)—Petty was on his way to a big game against Texas Tech with 210 yards and two touchdowns before he was forced to leave with a concussion in the third quarter, and in his absence the Bears just barely held on for a 48-46 win. With a matchup next week against Kansas State that could very well decide the Big 12 as well as Baylor’s fate in the College Football Playoff rankings, Petty vowed to be ready to play, confident he will pass the concussion protocol tests. It’ll give Petty one more opportunity to impress Heisman voters and improve upon strong numbers (2,893 yards, 25 TDs, five interceptions).


7. Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana (last week: unranked)—Of the 18 2,000-yard rushing seasons in FBS history, none have come more quietly than Coleman’s, who crossed the threshold on Saturday with a 130-yard performance as Indiana snapped a six-game losing streak with a 23-16 win over Purdue. Playing for the 4-8 Hoosiers has kept Coleman out of the national spotlight, but the fact that he is his team’s only viable playmaker on offense has made his accomplishments all the more impressive.


8. Anu Solomon, QB, Arizona (last week: unranked)—To say that Solomon found his way on this list by default would be overstating things, but with Dak Prescott and Brett Hundley coming up small in big games and J.T. Barrett going down with an injury, Solomon’s stock is way up as he keeps leading his team to victories. The Wildcats’ won their fourth straight game against rival Arizona State last Friday and clinched the Pac-12 South title behind a stellar performance from Solomon, who completed 15-of-21 passes for 208 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was hardly a fluky performance for the signal caller, who sits with 3,424 yards, 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions on the season, to go with solid rushing numbers (282 yards, TD). Arizona now gets another shot at Oregon in the Pac-12 title tilt this Saturday after handing the Ducks their only loss of the season back in October.


9. Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma (last week: No. 7)—Although the Sooners had off this past weekend, Perine is still basking in the glory of his FBS-record- setting 427 rushing yards against Kansas on November 22. The freshman tailback has exceeded even the loftiest of projections this season by picking up 1,428 yards and 19 touchdowns on 214 attempts, with 640 yards and eight scores coming in the last two games. He’ll have one more opportunity to build upon his dark-horse resume’ in the Battle of Bedlam with Oklahoma State on Saturday.


10. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State (last week: No. 5)—Prescott’s stock really took a nose-dive late in the season with losses to Alabama and Ole Miss to not only squash Mississippi State’s SEC title hopes, but its chances at a College Football Playoff berth. But while he failed to step up his play when it mattered most, the Bulldogs’ signal caller still needs to be recognized for an outstanding season in leading his underdog squad to the No. 1 ranking for a large chunk of the year. Prescott heads into MSU’s bowl game with just shy of 4,000 total yards (2,996 passing, 939 rushing, 35 receiving) and 38 touchdowns.


Dropped Out: J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State (injury); Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA; Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia; Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State


Honorable Mention: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska; Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn; Bo Wallace, QB, Ole Miss; Gerod Holliman, DB, Louisville



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Bengals place LB DiManche on IR

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Jayson DiManche was placed on season-ending injured reserve Monday.

The second-year linebacker broke his forearm in Sunday’s 14-13 win over Tampa Bay.

DiManche played in all 12 Bengals games this season, making one start on defense. Between defense and special teams, he totaled 10 tackles and a forced fumble.

A Southern Illinois product, the undrafted DiManche appeared in all 16 games for Cincinnati as a rookie in 2013.


►  Steelers place Keisel on IR

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed defensive end Brett Keisel on injured reserve Monday.

Keisel tore his left triceps in Sunday’s loss against New Orleans, and an MRI confirmed the injury on Monday.

The 13-year veteran played in all 12 games with the Steelers this season, starting four of them. He totaled 17 tackles and a sack.

To take his spot on the roster, the team signed defensive end Clifton Geathers, who has played 37 games since entering the NFL in 2010.


►  Cardinals’ Mathieu has fractured thumb, may miss 3 weeks

The Arizona Cardinals are dealing with many key injuries following Sunday’s 29-18 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

The Cardinals watched safety Tyrann Mathieu (thumb), right guard Paul Fanaika (ankle) and running back Andre Ellington (hip pointer) exit the game early. In addition, left tackle Jared Veldheer suffered an ankle injury late in the contest.

Mathieu has a broken left thumb and his status for Sunday’s game against Kansas City is unknown. He was at the doctor as Arizona coach Bruce Arians met with the media Monday.

Arians said Mathieu could have a pin inserted in the thumb to help it heal, a procedure that would cost him three weeks. There is also a chance Mathieu will be able to cast it up and play.

Fanaika, Ellington and Veldheer will be monitored as the week progresses.

Arians also said that wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has missed the past two games with a sprained MCL in his left knee, should be able to practice on Wednesday.

Linebacker Matt Shaughnessy (knee) is expected to play Sunday. He has been practicing but wasn’t allowed to be activated until this week after being placed on the injured reserve-designated to return list earlier this season.


►  NFL Game Results

(MONDAY, DECEMBER 01)


Final Score: Miami 16, NY Jets 13

The Miami Dolphins finally won a close one. A much needed one at that. Caleb Sturgis nailed a go-ahead 26- yard field goal with 1:57 left and the Dolphins rallied for a 16-13 win over the run-heavy New York Jets on Monday night. Geno Smith, who had recorded just eight pass attempts heading into his final drive, was intercepted by Miami safety Reshad Jones with 39 seconds remaining to seal the outcome. The Dolphins (7-5) are one of six 7-5 teams in the AFC, but are currently the second wild card in the conference due to the tiebreaker. Miami had been 0-3 in games this season decided by four points or fewer, including a 39-36 defeat last Sunday when it blew an 11-point fourth quarter lead. The Dolphins also gave up late leads to Green Bay in Week 6 and Detroit in Week 10. Miami, however, was down by seven heading into the final frame in this one and posted just its second win in its last 50 games on the road when it trailed at any point in the fourth. Lamar Miller carried the ball 13 times for 56 yards and a touchdown, while Ryan Tannehill was 25- of-35 for 235 yards with an interception for the Dolphins, who have won five of their last seven games. Miami allowed 67 rushing yards in the second half on 20 carries after giving up 210 on 29 totes over the opening 30 minutes. Dolphins’ linebacker Jelani Jenkins was busy in rush defense, totaling 16 tackles, and his pass deflection led to the game-clinching interception. The Jets (2-10) called 49 run plays for 277 yards and their 13 pass attempts were an NFL season low.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Things we learned on Week 13

Even in the “Year of the Pass” Week 13 was special.

How many times in NFL history have we seen three quarterbacks throw five or more touchdown passes on the same weekend?

The answer, until Sunday, was never.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (6), Drew Brees (5) and Andrew Luck (5) accomplished the feat against Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Washington, respectively

Below are a few more things we observed:


San Diego at Baltimore

Early on, it looked like it might be another disastrous game for Philip Rivers owners. Baltimore put pressure on him on the first series and forced an interception on a tipped pass. Rivers, however, responded with a touchdown on the next drive as he found Keenan Allen.

The duo connected again for a second score in the fourth quarter as Rivers threw two late touchdown passes and led the Chargers back to defeat the Ravens. Rivers finished 34-of-45 with 383 yards, three touchdowns and just the one early interception.

Allen is coming on strong to end the season and into the fantasy playoffs. In addition to the two touchdown catches, Allen finished with 11 receptions for 121 yards. Eddie Royal caught nine passes for 83 yards, including the game- winning touchdown, Antonio Gates had seven receptions for 83 yards, and Malcolm Floyd had just three catches, but also went over 80-plus receiving yards, with 85.

Baltimore moved the ball well, but could not put away the pesky Chargers. Joe Flacco completed 19-of-31 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns.

Justin Forsett hit the century-mark again with 106 yards on 24 carries.

Torrey Smith has clearly taken over the reigns as the top receiver in Baltimore. He had six catches for 65 yards and both of Flacco’s touchdowns. Steve Smith Sr. had just four targets and caught one pass for two yards. He had a drop on what could have been a huge play in the third quarter.


Washington at Indianapolis

Speaking of bad starts, Andrew Luck turned the ball over, a fumble and then interception, on the Colts’ first two drives of Week 13. Like Rivers, Luck responded to throw three touchdowns in the first half and lead the Colts to 49 total points.

Luck added two more scores in the second half to finish with five touchdowns versus one pick, which is extremely impressive considering he threw just 27 times.

Trent Richardson owners might want to finally give up on the former Brown as another running back has moved in front of him on the depth chart. Dan Herron had just eight carries but gained 88 yards. Richardson had the same number of rushes for 12 yards.

Donte Moncrief and Coby Fleener each went for over 100 receiving yards and caught two touchdowns.

T.Y. Hilton hit double-digit fantasy points. He had five catches, 62 yards and scored the other Luck TD pass.

Statistically, Colt McCoy was impressive, throwing 47 times for 392 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was Jordan Reed, who had nine receptions for 123 yards. Reed’s two biggest games this season are with McCoy under center. DeSean Jackson, Roy Helu and Logan Paulsen scored the touchdowns.

Reed may love playing with McCoy, but Alfred Morris misses Robert Griffin III. In games with RGIII at quarterback this season, Morris averages 101 yards on the ground. In games where McCoy or Kirk Cousins started, Morris barely averages 60 rushing yards. He should probably ride fantasy benches as long as Griffin is on the real bench.


Cleveland at Buffalo

Two words: Johnny Football.

As great a story as the 7-5 Buffalo Bills are, everyone talking about this game at the water cooler on Monday will be discussing Johnny Manziel. He replaced the ineffective Brian Hoyer and went 5-of-8 and rushed for a touchdown. Hoyer completed 60% of his passes, higher than his season average, but threw two more picks.

Hoyer has five interceptions and no touchdowns the last two weeks. It will be fascinating to see who coach Mike Pettine goes with under center next week as the Browns are in the thick of things in the AFC. Either way, it is not recommended to count on either quarterback for fantasy.

Isaiah Crowell was a huge disappointment with 29 yards on 16 carries. Terrance West gained 32 yards with seven rushes but lost a fumble.

Now, to the team that actually won the game, it was puzzling to see Buffalo throw so often early in the game against a Browns defense that came into Week 13 allowing over 134 rushing yards per game. The Bills, however, did end up pretty balanced with 32 pass attempts versus 30 rushing plays.

Fred Jackson had 21 carries for 70 yards and is clearly the No. 1 back again.

Kyle Orton threw a touchdown and two picks. Robert Woods led the team with four catches for 71 yards, and Chris Hogan caught the touchdown.

Buffalo added a 18-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown and four second-half field goals from the very hot Dan Carpenter to beat Cleveland.


Tennessee at Houston

Is it not a big deal to throw six touchdowns anymore? Ryan Fitzpatrick became the third quarterback to hit that mark in 2014.

DeAndre Hopkins was his favorite target ... as usual. He got off to a great start, but Hopkins owners might have been a bit apprehensive after Fitzpatrick’s first two touchdowns went to Ryan Griffin and Arian Foster. Who can blame those owners for not expecting more touchdowns from Fitzpatrick as he hadn’t thrown three touchdowns in a game since 2009.

Fitzpatrick doubled that with six scores, going 24-of-33 for 358 yards and no interceptions. Hopkins caught two of those touchdowns and set a career-high with 238 yards on nine catches. Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 53 yards and a score.

By the way, J.J. Watt continued to pad his resume with three tackles, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and another touchdown catch, Fitzpatrick’s final of the day. Watt is the first defensive lineman with five touchdowns in a season since 1944.

Zach Mettenberger continued to look good, at least for a sixth-round selection. He completed 13-of-19 passes for 184 yards, a touchdown and interception before he left with a shoulder injury.

Jake Locker replaced him and promptly threw an interception. Locker was just 6-of-12 with 91 yards, a touchdown and two picks. He’s not the answer.

Kendall Wright led the Titans in receiving with seven catches and 132 yards. He caught Mettenberger’s touchdown strike while Nate Washington had five receptions for 61 yards and caught the score from Locker.

Bishop Sankey had just 10 carries and rushed for 42 yards.


New York Giants at Jacksonville

Just mentioning the phrase “defensive touchdowns” makes Giants’ fans shiver after the loss in Jacksonville. The Jaguars recovered a fumble in the end zone and returned another fumble for a score as they beat New York, 25-24. Those owners who streamed a defense from this game likely chose the wrong one.

Besides the Jacksonville defense, no other Jaguars player was fantasy relevant. Denard Robinson had 11 carries for 44 yards and Blake Bortles went 21-of-35 for 194 yards and a score.

There was a Marquise Lee sighting as he caught his first NFL touchdown and led the Jaguars with six receptions and 75 yards.

Eli Manning avoided throwing anymore picks, but he could not avoid the Jacksonville pressure. The Jaguars sacked him four times, which led to a pair of lost fumbles.

For the most part, however, fantasy owners of Giants players were still pleased despite the New York loss. Rashad Jennings had 26 carries for 91 yards and scored twice. He scored the first Giants touchdown, then offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo surprisingly turned to Andre Williams on the second drive in the end zone.

The Giants did manage to score on that drive as Manning found Preston Parker in the end zone on third-and-goal, but Jennings quickly returned on the next red zone trip to rush for another score.

Even though Odell Beckham did not score, he had a decent fantasy day with seven receptions and 90 yards. Larry Donnell had five catches for 55 yards, but coughed up the fumble the Jaguars returned for a touchdown.

Giants kicker John Brown has not been much of a fantasy kicker this season, and he disappointed any owner who may have streamed him on Sunday. He missed a 43-yard field goal that proved costly in the one-point defeat.


Carolina at Minnesota

Another bad day from Cam Newton. Remember when Newton and Robert Griffin III were the “toast” of the NFL? Now, not so much. The Vikings’ top-10 pass defense held Newton to 194 yards on 35 pass attempts.

Minnesota’s best scoring play was the blocked punt. Their blocked punt TD in the first quarter was the team’s in 28 years!. About 12 minutes later they did it again.

Cordarrelle Patterson didn’t have a touch. Wasn’t he a third- or fourth-round selection on Draft Day?

For fantasy owners wondering about the distribution of the running workload without Jerick McKinnon, it was primarily a Matt Asiata day, but he didn’t do much with it.


New Orleans at Pittsburgh

Drew Brees and the Saints offense were held scoreless in the first quarter. But they adjusted and he hit backup TE Ben Watson, fullback Erik Lorig and wideouts Nick Toon, Kenny Stills and Marques Colston for touchdowns. That didn’t make Jimmy Graham owners very happy.

Graham had no targets or catches.

When Shaun Suisham missed a long field goal attempt just before halftime, it was the first miss by a Saints opposing kicker all season.

Mark Ingram returned to form as the Saints ran the ball 26 times and threw it 27 times. That’s all Ingram’s fantasy owners ask for ... balance. Ingram rushed for 122 yards earning the 100-yard bonus for the fourth time in the last six games.

Ben Roethlisberger smacked his hand against a helmet and it seemed to effect his throwing. But he more than made up for it in “garbage time” posting 435 yards and two scores (two INTs) in 58 passing attempts.

Another monster Le’Veon Bell game. He totaled 254 yards and a score from scrimmage, most of that receiving (159 yards).

Antonio Brown continued to shine, but only because of the productive garbage time by the Steelers. He scored twice in the final two minutes to go along with 97 yards.


Oakland at St. Louis

If this was the English Premier League, the Raiders would be relegated to the second division immediately after this embarrassing 52-0 demolition.

There were no Oakland players worth discussing.

It’s called versatility. Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin ran one in from 18- yards out and running back Tre Mason caught one from a 35-yard score.

Mason also shredded the Oakland defense for an 89-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and finished the day with 117 yards on the ground. We have liked what Mason has shown us since he finally got his chance beginning in Week 7.

Austin, however, needs to be a better pass receiver if he wants to be a fantasy asset.

When did Stedman Bailey become a viable fantasy option? Answer: Week 12 when he caught seven balls for 89 yards and a score. He continued the hot streak in Week 13 cracking the 100-yard mark for the first time in his two-year NFL career.


Cincinnati at Tampa Bay

Andy Dalton threw three first-quarter interceptions against the Bucs! Tampa Bay only had eight picks all season.

The Bengals quarterback tried to make amends with his fantasy owners by running one in just before halftime. Perhaps Mohamed Sanu should take over as quarterback, He’s never thrown an incomplete pass in his four-year career, going 5-of-5 with a pair of touchdown passes.

A.J. Green posted a third consecutive double-digit day for fantasy owners. He’s finally healthy.

Jeremy Hill (13 rushing attempts) and Giovani Bernard (10) split the carries fairly evenly ruining the fantasy value for both running backs.

Who was the running back in the Doug Martin uniform in the first half? He didn’t run anything like the guy who we have watched all season. Instead, he looked like the rookie who rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns. He returned to mediocrity after halftime.

The Bucs passing offense, with Josh McCown at the controls, was no where to be found.


Arizona at Atlanta

The 17 first-quarter points by Atlanta forced Arizona to open up their offense more than normal. In the first half, while trying to get back into the game, they threw twice as many times as they ran the ball. Stanton ended up throwing 39 times for 294 yards.

Michael Floyd was the recipient of most of the targets (10), but produced just 53 yards.

Andre Ellington still can’t run the ball efficiently and eventually left the game due to a hip injury. If this prevents him from playing next weekend, this isn’t good news for Cardinals fans or fantasy owners as the options are Marion Grice or newly-signed Michael Bush.

Matt Ryan threw 29 times for 223 yards and two touchdowns ... in the first half. Unfortunately, he also tossed an 88-yard “pick-six” to the Cardinals’ Rashad Johnson. But he came back to finish with 361 yards and the two scores in a dominating victory.

With Roddy White sidelined, you just knew Julio Jones was going to post a big number and he did just that. He had eight receptions for a career-best first- half total of 132 yards and finished with 10 catches for 189 and one score.


New England at Green Bay

If you thought Jonas Gray was going to have a rebound game, sorry to disappoint you. The Patriots used Brandon Bolden, LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen while Gray sat on the sidelines. He didn’t touch the ball until the last play of the third quarter. Blount was the dominant back with 10 of the team’s 18 carries for 58 yards.

Ton Brady was just average, throwing for 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Brandon LaFell.

Early on the Patriots doubled both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, but Aaron Rodgers adapted well and at halftime had thrown for 282 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Rodgers easily earned his 300-yard passing bonus.

No. 3 receiver Davante Adams tied for the team high 11 targets and led them with 121 yards.

Meanwhile, to try and foil the double team, the Packers lined Cobb up in the backfield. Cobb totaled 93 yards from scrimmage.

The Packers used Eddie Lacy for 51 of 53 yards on the first drive, then he disappeared and finished the first 30 minutes with just 12 more yards. He just missed earning the 100-yard rushing bonus finishing with 98 yards on 21 carries.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Pioneers Fall on the Road to Non-Conference Opponent

Glenville State Pioneers had three players score in double figures but it wouldn’t be enough as the men’s basketball team fell to Winston Salem State on the road in a non-conference game by nine points, 84-75.

In the first half of action both teams would go up and down the court trying to get an early feel for each other, however Winston Salem State would take a seven point lead over the Pioneers at the 14:32 minute mark as they Rams led, 13-6.

But the Pioneers would then go on a, 7-0, run over the next couple of minutes as Glenville State took a one point lead over the Rams, 14-13, as Brett Morris drained one of two free-throws. However the Rams would take 12 point halftime, 44-32.

In the second half, Winston Salem State would hold their lead over GSC early but the Pioneers would go on a 9-0 run and at the 11:48 minute mark and cut the lead to just two points, 59-57.

Despite the Pioneers run the Rams would build an 11 point lead, 75-64, with under 3:30 left to play in the game. Glenville State would try and cut into the lead but wouldn’t not be able to as they would fall by nine points, 84-75.

The Pioneers had way too many turnovers in the ball game as they turned it over 18 times while Winston Salem State would convert those turnovers into 21 points. The Rams also had 18 second-chance points while the Pioneers only had eight in the game.

Glenville State was also out-scored in the paint as Winston Salem State scored 42 points in the paint to the Pioneers 18 points. Glenville State’s largest lead of the game was three points while Winston Salem State’s largest lead was 12 points.

Brett Morris led the Pioneers in scoring as he scored 18 points. He also pulled down a team high eight rebounds. Reggie Williams scored 17 points and handed out three assists while Luke Campbell scored 15 points all coming off three-pointers.

Winston Salem State was led by Marquez Jones as he scored a game high 22 points while Wykevin Bazemore finished with a double-double as he scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

The Pioneers (4-2, 2-0) return to action Thursday, December 04, 2014 when Concord travels to Glenville with tip-off set for 7:30 PM.


Official Basketball Box Score
Glenville State vs. Winston-Salem State University
12.01.14 7:00 PM at Winston-Salem, NC. (C.E. Gaines Center)
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
VISITORS: Glenville State 4-2

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Sedric Nady…...... g  1-6    0-2    1-2    2  3  5   4   3  4  0  0  0  35
03 Donte Morales….... g  3-11   2-5    0-0    2  4  6   4   8  1  4  0  0  28
11 Reggie Williams….. g  4-8    3-7    6-7    1  2  3   3  17  3  0  0  1  29
12 Luke Campbell….... g  5-11   5-11   0-0    1  0  1   3  15  0  4  0  0  23
23 Brett Morris…..... g  6-13   2-5    4-5    0  8  8   2  18  3  7  1  2  40
00 Brien Winston…....    2-3    1-1    2-4    1  0  1   3   7  0  0  0  0  10
05 Kade Kager….......    1-2    1-1    1-2    1  2  3   0   4  0  3  0  1  23
32 Juwan Wells…......    1-3    0-1    1-2    0  1  1   3   3  0  1  1  0  12
   TEAM….............                         3  2  5
   Totals…...........   23-57  14-33  15-22  11 22 33  22  75 11 19  2  4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  9-29 31.0%   2nd Half: 14-28 50.0%   Game: 40.4%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  6-18 33.3%   2nd Half:  8-15 53.3%   Game: 42.4%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  8-10 80.0%   2nd Half:  7-12 58.3%   Game: 68.2%    6

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
HOME TEAM: Winston-Salem State University 5-1

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 HARPER,Donta…..... f  3-5    0-1    1-2    1  3  4   4   7  1  6  0  0  17
22 BAZEMORE,WyKevin…. f  7-11   0-0    5-6    7  8 15   2  19  3  2  1  2  34
23 FORD,C.J…......... f  2-9    0-3    4-4    0  4  4   1   8  2  1  0  1  36
00 JONES,Marquez….... g  5-13   2-6   10-12   2  2  4   2  22  3  2  0  2  37
01 WELLS,Javan…...... g  0-2    0-2    2-2    1  3  4   4   2  0  0  1  0  13
02 LEACH,Terrell…....    8-14   3-8    0-0    0  1  1   3  19  0  1  0  3  32
15 LONG,Nate…........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
21 CAROWAY,Stacy…....    2-3    0-0    1-1    1  0  1   1   5  0  1  0  0  10
32 TIJANI,Muhammad…..    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   2
33 BYRD,Dedric…......    1-4    0-1    0-0    0  2  2   2   2  0  0  0  1  17
   TEAM….............                            1  1
   Totals…...........   28-61   5-21  23-27  12 24 36  19  84  9 13  2  9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-34 44.1%   2nd Half: 13-27 48.1%   Game: 45.9%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-12 25.0%   2nd Half:  2-9  22.2%   Game: 23.8%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 11-12 91.7%   2nd Half: 12-15 80.0%   Game: 85.2%    3

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Technical fouls: Glenville State-Sedric Nady; Luke Campbell. Winston-Salem

State University-None.

Attendance: 1822

Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Glenville State…............   32   43  -   75
Winston-Salem State University   44   40  -   84



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  College Men’s Basketball Rankings

Associated Press Top 25
1. Kentucky
2. Wisconsin
3. Arizona
4. Duke
5. Louisville
6. Texas
7. Virginia
8. Wichita State
9. Gonzaga
10. Villanova
11. Kansas
12. North Carolina
13. San Diego State
14. Ohio State
15. Miami (Florida)
16. West Virginia
17. Michigan
18. Arkansas
19. Michigan State
20. Iowa State
21. Maryland
22. Oklahoma
23. Butler
24. Illinois
25. Utah



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NBA Game Results

(Monday, December 01)


Final Score: San Antonio 109, Philadelphia 103

Growing pains were expected and the Philadelphia 76ers are a loss away from a dubious distinction. The hope is that the drastic rebuild will eventually lead to what the San Antonio Spurs did last season. But that possibility is in the far distant future. Kawhi Leonard had 26 points, 10 rebounds and four assists as the Tim Duncan and Tony Parker-less Spurs defeated the Sixers 109-103 on Monday night. Philly can tie the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets (0-18) for the worst start to an NBA season when it travels to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves on Wednesday night. The Sixers, of course, endured an NBA-record 26-game losing streak last season en route to a 19-63 campaign. San Antonio, which played Sunday, sat Duncan and Parker for rest purposes. Tiago Splitter didn’t suit up due to calf tightness. Aron Baynes posted 15 points and nine boards, Manu Ginobili netted 14 points and Cory Joseph added 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Spurs, who have won eight in a row and 11 of their last 12 games. Michael Carter-Williams tallied 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven helpers to lead Philadelphia, which set its franchise record for most losses to start a season Saturday.


Final Score: Washington 107, Miami 86

Rasual Butler had 23 points off the bench and the Washington Wizards cruised past the Miami Heat, 107-86, on Monday. John Wall added 18 points, 13 assists and two steals for the Wizards, who avenged a 107-95 loss to these Heat in Miami on October 29. Marcin Gortat tallied 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Chris Bosh ended with 21 points, eight boards and two blocks for the Heat, who went 2-of-22 from beyond the arc. Dwyane Wade donated 20 points.


Final Score: Denver 103, Utah 101

Ty Lawson made a go-ahead jumper with 29.6 seconds left to lead the Denver Nuggets past the Utah Jazz, 103-101, on Monday. Lawson ended with 15 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who almost let a 22-point lead slip away. Wilson Chandler also scored 15 points. Denver guard Arron Afflalo had 14 points before being ejected with 5:55 to play. Darrell Arthur and Kenneth Faried tallied 12 and 11 points, respectively. Gordon Hayward ended with 25 points for the Jazz, who have lost six in a row. Alec Burks and Enes Kanter had 22 and 17 points, respectively, with Kanter also pulling down 15 rebounds.


Final Score: LA Clippers 127, Minnesota 101

Blake Griffin had 23 points and eight rebounds as the Los Angeles Clippers routed the Minnesota Timberwolves 127-101 on Monday night. The Clippers went on an elongated 66-27 run after the Timberwolves took a 37-31 lead early in the second quarter. J.J. Redick supplied 23 points, Chris Paul provided 12 points and eight assists and DeAndre Jordan added 11 points and 13 boards for Los Angeles, which has won five in a row and seven of its last eight games. Shabazz Muhammad posted 18 points, 10 boards and four assists for the Wolves, who have dropped 10 of their last 12 contests.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Pirates pick up Rodriguez from Rays

The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired infielder Sean Rodriguez from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named and cash considerations.

Rodriguez was designated for assignment by the Rays last week after the club signed pitcher Ernesto Frieri, who spent the last part of 2014 in Pittsburgh.

The 29-year-old Rodriguez batted .228 with 40 homers and 172 RBI over the past five seasons with the Rays. In 2014, he hit only .211, his lowest average during his Tampa Bay tenure, but set career highs with 12 homers and 41 RBI in 96 games.

A versatile player, Rodriguez started 14 games at both first and second base last season, while also starting 12 games in left field and seven at third base. He can also play shortstop.

Rodriguez made his big league debut with the Angels in 2008 and owns a career average of .225 with 84 doubles, 45 home runs and 186 RBI in 624 games for the Angels (2008-09) and Tampa Bay (2010-14).


►  Nelson Cruz headed to Seattle

The Seattle Mariners are apparently set to make yet another splash in the free agent market, as reports indicate that slugger Nelson Cruz has agreed to a multi-year contract.

The Mariners signed the top free agent position player available last December when Robinson Cano left the New York Yankees for a reported 10-year, $240 million contract.

ESPN and the Dominican Republic publication El Caribe each reported that Cruz has agreed to a four-year deal worth $57 million with the Mariners. The ESPN report added that the veteran outfielder also will receive a $1 million signing bonus.

Cruz spent the 2014 season in Baltimore, signing a one-year deal last February in the wake of his 50-game suspension that stemmed from the Biogenesis scandal in August 2013.

The 34-year-old Dominican native helped the Orioles to the American League East title in 2014. He led the majors with 40 home runs and finished third in the American League with a career-high 108 runs batted in while batting .271 in 159 games.

Cruz spent eight seasons with Texas from 2006-13 and also played eight games for Milwaukee in 2005. He has 197 career home runs with 597 RBI, a .268 average and a .501 slugging percentage in 963 games.

A three-time All-Star, including last year, Cruz was also the 2011 ALCS MVP for the Rangers when he slugged six homers and drove in 13 runs in a six-game victory over Detroit.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Monday, December 01)


Final Score: Tampa Bay 6, NY Rangers 3

Tyler Johnson had two goals and an assist to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-3 win over the New York Rangers on Monday. Brett Connolly scored twice, Ondrej Palat posted a goal and an assist while Matthew Carle also had a goal for the Lightning, who have won four straight. Ben Bishop posted 32 stops. Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast and Martin St. Louis all lit the lamp for the Rangers, who had a two-game winning streak broken. Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals on 20 shots in the loss.


Final Score: Columbus 2, Florida 1

Boone Jenner scored the game-winning goal in the third period as the Columbus Blue Jackets ended a six-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Monday. Matt Calvert also scored and Kerby Rychel registered his first NHL point for the Blue Jackets, whose last win was a 2-1 decision against San Jose on November 15. Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 24 shots in the win. Aaron Ekblad supplied the lone marker for the Panthers, who had their two-game win streak came to an end. Al Montoya stopped 21-of-23 shots. The two teams close out their home-and-home set in Florida on Thursday.


Final Score: Montreal 4, Colorado 3

Max Pacioretty scored the winning goal late in the third period to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban each had a goal and an assist and Jiri Sekac also scored for the Canadiens, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Carey Price turned away 26 shots in the win. Tyson Barrie, Daniel Briere and Ryan O’Reilly all scored for the Avalanche, who have lost two of their last three. Calvin Pickard allowed all four goals on 30 shots.


Final Score: Arizona 5, Edmonton 2

Tobias Rieder scored two straight short- handed goals to ignite an unrelenting Arizona Coyotes attack en route to a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. Martin Erat and Oliver Ekman- Larsson both scored, Mikkel Boedker had a goal and an assist and Mike Smith made 25 saves for the Coyotes, who ended a three-game skid. Jordan Eberle and Jeff Petry each scored for the Oilers, who lost their 10th straight game. Viktor Fasth allowed all five goals on 24 shots. Edmonton has now lost 10 consecutive games for the first time since March 8-31, 2011.


Final Score: Anaheim 3, Boston 2

Matt Beleskey’s goal proved to be the difference as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Boston Bruins, 3-2, on Monday. Sami Vatanen and Devante Smith-Pelly both scored for the Ducks, who ended a two-game skid. Frederik Andersen stopped 32 shots in the win. Brad Marchand and Simon Gagne lit the lamp for the Bruins, who have lost three of their last four games. Tuukka Rask gave up all three goals on 28 shots.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Golf Tidbits: Spieth finally grabs second win

For over a year now, Jordan Spieth had to wonder when he would win again. He came close a few times, but his second professional victory had eluded him.

Sixteen months ago, Spieth became the first teenager to win on the PGA Tour since 1931. He finally grabbed his second victory on Sunday when he pulled away from the field to win the Australian Open.

Spieth had to endure some heartache between victories. He posted four runner- up finishes, including a playoff loss at the 2013 Wyndham Championship. He also shared second place at the Masters earlier this year.

After a solid season in which he finished 11th on the PGA Tour money list, Spieth took some time off before heading overseas.

The 21-year-old shared 35th place at the WGC-HSBC Champions, where he failed to break 70 in any of the four rounds. Last week, he finished one stroke out of a playoff at the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour.

Spieth then headed to Australia for his first Australian Open start. He entered the final round tied for the lead with a pair of Australians, Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers.

As the wind continued to howl, as it did all week, the Texas native beared down and torched the field. Spieth pulled away with four birdies in a 5-hole span from the third.

That burst moved him to 9-under par, where he was three clear of the field. He ran off six pars in a row before catching fire down the stretch.

Spieth converted birdie chances on four of the last five holes en route to winning by six strokes.

It wasn’t either of his birdie runs that impressed Spieth though.

“Really, I would say the reason I won (Sunday) was eight through 11, digging in and playing those even-par,“ admitted Spieth.

His late birdies gave Spieth the course record at the Australian Golf Club. And if he didn’t put together that late burst, things could have gotten interesting as Rod Pampling birdied five of the last six to take second place.

As solid as Spieth has been in his short time on tour, not many of his numbers jump off the page at you. He posted eight top-10 finishes in 27 starts in 2014, was 13th in scrambling and 14th in scoring average, but just 146th in total driving (distance and accuracy combined).

Spieth is a younger version of Steve Stricker, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Spieth rarely misses the cut—he’s played the weekend in 42 of 50 starts over the last two years—and contends frequently as he has 17 top-10 finishes in those 50 events.

What Spieth is doing is referred to as learning to win. Unless you’re Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson or Rory McIlroy, victories are hard to come by.

McIlroy was impressed with Spieth’s closing 63 as he tweeted, “You could give me another 100 rounds today at The Australian and I wouldn’t sniff 63 ... Well done @JordanSpieth very impressive!“

Even at 21, Spieth has the respect of this fellow competitors. That may not help him win tournaments, but it shows he plays the game the right way.


WOODS BACK IN ACTION

Tiger Woods returns to the course this week as he hosts his own Hero World Challenge, and it will be interesting to see how he plays.

The first question is, what will his swing look like? Will it be similar to any of his old swings like these?

Will he be able to make it through four rounds without re-injuring his back is another lingering question.

While those are pertinent questions, and there are plenty of others, he’ll have a strong field at Isleworth. The 18 players competing this week are all ranked in the top 40 in the world, including seven of the top 11 and 15 of the top 25.

There are world ranking points available, but only the semi-retired Steve Stricker needs to concern himself with that. Stricker could slide outside the top 50 in the world by seasons end, which could cost him a spot in the Masters and other majors next year.

As for Woods, this will be his first tournament action since missing the cut at the PGA Championship. There have been reports of him hitting shots and playing practice rounds, but none of that compares to tournament action.

There were similar reports in July before he returned at the Quicken Loans National, which he also hosts, but he missed the cut by four strokes. Woods won’t have to worry about the cut this week as there isn’t one with just 18 players competing.

As interesting as Woods’ performance will be this week, it will be equally as interesting to see when he plays again. The Farmers Insurance Open is likely to be his next PGA Tour start, and that is two months from now.

If that is his next event, Woods will have played one event in nearly six months. That is plenty of time to get healthy and work out the kinks in his swing.


MINI-TIDBITS

- The European Tour also has a small field event this week with 30 players competing at the Nedbank Challenge. U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer headlines a field in which 25 of the 30 players are ranked between 12th and 86th in the world rankings.

- Australians Rod Pampling, Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers may have fallen short at the Australian Open, but they did earn invites to the Open Championship as the top three finishers who were not otherwise exempt for the year’s third major at St. Andrews.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 02, 2014


National Basketball Association
Milwaukee at Cleveland, 7:00 PM - FS-Wisconsin, Ohio, DSS
LA Lakers at Detroit, 7:30 PM - Time Warner, FS-Detroit, DSS
Boston at Atlanta, 7:30 PM - CSN-New England, SportSouth, DSS
Brooklyn at New York, 7:30 PM - YES, MSG, DSS
Dallas at Chicago, 8:00 PM - FS-Southwest, CSN-Chicago, DSS
Oklahoma City at New Orleans, 8:00 PM - FS-Oklahoma, New Orleans, DSS
Portland at Denver, 9:00 PM - KGW, Altitude, DSS
Indiana at Phoenix, 9:00 PM - FS-Indiana, Arizona, DSS
Toronto at Sacramento, 10:00 PM - SNET-360, CSN-California, DSS
Orlando at Golden State, 10:30 PM - FS-Florida, CSN-Bay, DSS


National Hockey League
Vancouver at Washington, 7:00 PM - SNET-Pacific, CSN-DC, DSS
New Jersey at Pittsburgh, 7:00 PM - TVA, MSG+, ROOT-Pittsburgh, DSS
Ottawa at NY Islanders, 7:00 PM - RDS, TSN5, MSG+2, DSS
Nashville at Carolina, 7:00 PM - FS-Tennessee, Carolina, DSS
Florida at Detroit, 7:30 PM - FS-Florida, Detroit+, DSS
Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7:30 PM - NBCSN
Dallas at Toronto, 7:30 PM - FS-Southwest+, TSN4, DSS
Arizona at Calgary, 9:00 PM - FS-Arizona+, SNET-West, DSS
Philadelphia at San Jose, 10:00 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, NBCSN
Boston at Los Angeles, 10:30 PM - NESN, FS-West, DSS


College Basketball
Georgia at Chattanooga, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Stony Brook at Cincinnati, 7:00 PM - FS-Ohio, ESPN3.com
Pittsburgh at Indiana, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
Massachusetts at LSU, 7:00 PM - SEC Network
Stephen F. Austin at Memphis, 7:00 PM - ESPNews
Mount St Mary’s at Seton Hall, 7:00 PM - FS2
Niagara at St. John’s, 7:00 PM - FS1
Minnesota at Wake Forest, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Syracuse at Michigan, 7:30 PM - ESPN
Georgia Southern at UCF, 7:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Middle Tennessee at Belmont, 8:00 PM - American Sports Network, MASN
VCU at Illinois State, 8:00 PM - CSN-DC+, Chicago+, SNY
Nebraska Omaha at Kansas State, 8:00 PM - FS-Kansas City
SE Missouri State at Missouri, 8:00 PM - SEC Network+
Texas-Arlington at Texas, 8:00 PM - Longhorn Network
South Florida at Alabama, 9:00 PM - SEC Network
Gardner-Webb at Arizona, 9:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Northern Ill at DePaul, 9:00 PM - FS1
SE Louisiana at Gonzaga, 9:00 PM - ROOT-Northwest
Illinois at Miami-Florida, 9:00 PM - ESPN 2
NC State at Purdue, 9:00 PM - ESPN U
BYU at Utah State, 9:00 PM - CBSSN
Denver at Wyoming, 9:00 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain
Ohio State at Louisville, 9:30 PM - ESPN


Women’s College Basketball
Marquette at Auburn, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
USC Upstate at Alabama, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
Coppin State at Georgia, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
North Dakota State at Mississippi State, 8:00 PM - SEC Network+


International Soccer
Real Madrid CF vs. UE Cornella, 1:55 PM - beIN Sport
Manchester United vs. Stoke City, 2:40 PM - NBCSN

Sports News   141201

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Shell finally goes the distance, running behind a backup

Waiting all season for a breakaway run, West Virginia’s Rushel Shell finally found a crack and ran 54 yards.

And he did it running through a hole created by a backup guard.

With Tony Matteo pressed into his first meaningful action by an ankle injury to Quinton Spain, the Mountaineers turned their sixth play of Saturday’s game into a touchdown. Shell took a stretch play and cut through Matteo’s gap.

“I was really impressed,” said Shell. “I told him he made the perfect block, all I had to do was cut off of him.”

Shell ran for 146 yards on 22 carries, feeling healthy for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain against Baylor on October 18. Even before the injury, when Shell was drawing raves for piling up tough yards, he wasn’t making second-level defenders miss.

“You just want it so bad,” he said. “It gets annoying sometimes and you just want to be able to break a 30- or 40-yarder. But you have to be patient. It will happen.”

It finally happened against Iowa State.

“I cut off of Tony’s butt and I saw the safety right there,” Shell said. “All week in practice Coach Holgorsen and Coach (JaJuan) Seider talked about getting north and south, not east and west. I decided I was just going to run straight and outrun him. And it worked out.”

Spain had started 36 consecutive games, but wasn’t able to practice this week.

“When guys go down, other people have to be ready to step up and Tony was ready today,” Shell said. “He played excellent.”



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Herd to host Louisiana Tech in C-USA Championship Game

Good news for Marshall University football fans.

Conference USA just announced the Thundering Herd will play host to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the championship game on Saturday, December 6th. Game time is set for Noon.

Conference USA Associate Commissioner Alfred White made the announcement via email to Marshall Football on Sunday.

Ticket prices are $37.00 for sideline and $27.00 for the end zone.

Tickets ordered through Herdzone.com will be mailed until noon on December 2nd. Student tickets are $5.00. Members of the Marshall Maniacs are free.

For more information on purchasing tickets, follow THIS LINK

This is the first time the conference football championship has been played in Huntington since 2002.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL Game Results – Week 13

(SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30)


Final Score: San Diego 34, Baltimore 33

Eddie Royal’s 1-yard touchdown catch with 38 seconds remaining lifted the San Diego Chargers over the Baltimore Ravens, 34-33, on Sunday. Philip Rivers completed 34-of-45 passes for 383 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for the Chargers (8-4), who outscored Baltimore by a 21-10 margin in the fourth quarter. Allen caught 11 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns for San Diego, which has won three in a row. Royal hauled in nine passes for 81 yards. Joe Flacco connected on 19-of-31 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns for the Ravens (7-5), who are tied with Pittsburgh and Cleveland for second place in the AFC North. Flacco also ran for a score. Justin Forsett carried the ball 24 times for 106 yards and reached the 1,000-yard rushing milestone for the first time in his career. It was his third consecutive game of more than 100 rushing yards.


Final Score: Buffalo 26, Cleveland 10

Kyle Orton threw a touchdown pass, Dan Carpenter kicked four field goals in the fourth quarter and the Buffalo Bills beat the Cleveland Browns 26-10 on Sunday. Orton finished 17-of-31 for 190 yards with two interceptions. Fred Jackson had 70 yards on 21 carries for the Bills (7-5), who returned to Ralph Wilson Stadium after last Sunday’s scheduled home game was played a day later in Detroit after more than six feet of snow fell on the southern reaches of the Buffalo area. Cleveland rookie Johnny Manziel scored his first NFL rushing touchdown after replacing starter Brian Hoyer, who was benched in the fourth quarter following his second interception and fifth in the last two weeks. The Browns (7-5) remained tied for second in the crowded AFC North. Baltimore and Pittsburgh also lost Sunday, leaving all three teams 1 1/2 games behind Cincinnati. The Bengals won to improve to 8-3-1.


Final Score: Houston 45, Tennessee 21

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two of his career- high six touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins as the Houston Texans cruised past the Tennessee Titans, 45-21, in an AFC South blowout on Sunday. Fitzpatrick, back as Houston’s starter because of the injury to Ryan Mallett, and Hopkins hooked up nine times and accounted for 238 of the quarterback’s 358 passing yards. J.J. Watt punctuated the rout with his third touchdown catch of the season and threw in two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for good measure. Arian Foster, who missed the previous two games with a groin injury, totaled 105 yards from scrimmage and caught a touchdown pass for the Texans (6-6), who still trail the division-leading Colts by two games with four to play. The Titans (2-10) dropped their sixth straight and saw starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger exit with a shoulder injury in the third quarter.


Final Score: Indianapolis 49, Washington 27

Andrew Luck threw for 370 yards with five touchdowns, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 49-27 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. It was supposed to be a matchup of the top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, but only Luck, the No. 1 selection, played. And he played very well. Luck completed 19-of-27 throws, two of which went for scores of more than 70 yards. Coby Fleener hauled in TD passes of 30 and 73 yards, while Donte Moncrief had scoring receptions of 48 and 79 yards. Robert Griffin III, the second overall choice in 2012, was benched earlier this week by Redskins coach Jay Gruden after three straight losing efforts. Colt McCoy, the winning quarterback in Washington’s last two victories, threw for 392 yards with three touchdowns, but the Redskins defense could not stop Luck. The Colts (8-4) racked up 487 yards on just 49 plays, an average of 9.9 yards per play. Dan Herron added to the outburst with 88 yards on just eight carries, including a 49-yard touchdown run, as Indianapolis notched its second straight win. Washington (3-9) has lost four in a row since McCoy guided the team to an overtime win at Dallas on October 27. The Redskins were productive with 425 yards of offense after mustering just 213 last week in a loss to San Francisco.


Final Score: Jacksonville 25, NY Giants 24

Josh Scobee kicked a 43-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining to give the Jacksonville Jaguars a stunning 25-24 come-from-behind victory over the reeling New York Giants on Sunday at EverBank Field. The Jaguars (2-10) scored a pair of defensive touchdowns in the second half to rally from a 21-0 deficit, ending a four-game slide while sending the Giants (3-9) to their seventh straight loss. Blake Bortles helped the comeback, throwing for 194 yards with a touchdown. He also rushed for a team-high 68 yards on five carries, including a 20-yard run that set up Scobee’s go-ahead kick. Josh Brown kicked a 33-yard field goal to give the Giants a 24-22 lead with 3:26 remaining, ending a string of 22 straight Jacksonville points, but the Jaguars would not be denied.


Final Score: Minnesota 31, Carolina 13

Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen scooped up blocked punts and returned them for scores as the Vikings defeated the Carolina Panthers 31-13 on Sunday afternoon. Thielen’s 30- yard return in the first quarter was the longest blocked punt return touchdown in Vikings history, but that mark was short-lived. Griffen’s 43- yard return in the second established the new record. Teddy Bridgewater was 15-of-21 for 138 yards with two touchdowns, while Greg Jennings caught five passes for 45 yards and a score for the Vikings (5-7), who have won three of their last five games. Cam Newton completed 18-of-35 passes for 194 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Carolina, which is 1-8-1 since beginning the season 2-0. The Panthers, though, are still just 1 1/2 games behind New Orleans in the up-for-grabs NFC South.


Final Score: New Orleans 35, Pittsburgh 32

Drew Brees threw five touchdown passes to five different receivers to stoke the New Orleans Saints’ 35-32 decision over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13 action. Brees finished with 257 yards on 19-of-27 attempts for the Saints (5-7), who put a three-game losing streak to rest. Mark Ingram racked up 122 yards on 23 carries, while Kenny Stills posted 162 yards and a score on five receptions. Marques Colston, Benjamin Watson, Nick Toon and Erik Lorig added a TD catch apiece. Ben Roethlisberger threw two late TD passes to Antonio Brown, ending up 32-of-58 for 435 yards with two interceptions for the Steelers (7-5), who had won four of their last five coming in. Le’Veon Bell led his club with 159 yards on eight receptions and had 95 yards with a score on 21 attempts, while Brown ended up posting 97 yards on eight grabs. Pittsburgh remains in a three-way tie with Baltimore and Cleveland for second place in the AFC North.


Final Score: St. Louis 52, Oakland 0

Tre Mason ran for two touchdowns and caught one more as the St. Louis Rams trounced the visiting Oakland Raiders 52-0 on Sunday. Shaun Hill completed 13-of-22 passes for 183 yards and threw two touchdowns during a dominant first half that saw the Rams (5-7) pile up 38 points. St. Louis scored touchdowns on its first five possessions and added a field goal on its sixth. Rookie Derek Carr finished 24-of-39 for 173 yards and threw interceptions on consecutive drives in the second quarter for Oakland (1-11), which snapped a 16-game losing streak with last Thursday’s 24-20 home victory over Kansas City.


Final Score: Cincinnati 14, Tampa Bay 13

Andy Dalton had one touchdown through the air and one on the ground and the Cincinnati Bengals held on for a 14-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Dalton also had three interceptions and went 19-for-27 for just 176 yards as the Bengals (8-3-1) went 3-0 during a three-game road swing to stay atop the AFC North. Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Baltimore all lost on Sunday to sit in a three-way tie in the division with marks of 7-5. Josh McCown went 15-for-29 for 190 yards with an interception, and Doug Martin had a rushing touchdown for the Buccaneers (2-10), who have dropped their past two games and fell to 0-6 at home this season.


Final Score: Atlanta 29, Arizona 18

Matt Bryant connected on all five of his field-goal attempts and Matt Ryan finished with 361 passing yards as the Atlanta Falcons claimed a 29-18 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13 action. Ryan was 30-of-41 with scoring throws to Julio Jones and Levine Toilolo for the Falcons (5-7), who are still tied atop the NFC South with New Orleans. Jones led all receivers thanks to 189 yards on 10 recepions, Harry Douglas added 116 yards on nine grabs, and Steven Jackson contributed 101 yards on 18 carries. Drew Stanton was picked off twice, completing 24-of-39 attempts with a touchdown for the Cardinals (9-3), who have dropped back-to- back games. In the absence of inactive wideout Larry Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown totaled 75 yards on seven catches.


Final Score: Green Bay 26, New England 21

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers remained perfect at home with a win over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Rodgers threw for 368 yards and two touchdowns and kept two NFL- record streaks alive in a 26-21 win on Sunday at Lambeau Field. The Packers (9-3) improved to 6-0 at home this season, tying the NFL’s best mark shared by New England and three other teams. The Patriots (9-3) had a seven-game winning streak snapped, losing for the first time in more than two months. Rodgers was 24-of-38 and has thrown 360 consecutive passes with 31 touchdowns since his last interception at home, extending both NFL records. Eddie Lacy rushed 21 times for 98 yards and caught two passes for another 17, stretching his Packers running back record to four consecutive games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage. Davante Adams had six receptions for 121 yards and Cobb made seven catches for 85 as the Packers ran their winning streak to four games since their bye week. Brady was 22-of-35 for 245 yards and the two touchdown passes to LaFell. Rob Gronkowski had seven catches for 98 yards and Brandon Bolden added a 6-yard touchdown run in the loss, New England’s first since falling 41-14 in Kansas City on September 29.


Final Score: Denver 29, Kansas City 16

Peyton Manning threw two touchdown passes and C.J. Anderson shined once again running the ball as the Denver Broncos led wire-to-wire in a 29-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Manning passed for a season-low 179 yards on 17-of-34 efficiency, but Anderson was the story in Denver’s 11th straight road win against an AFC West foe. The second-year running back out of California rushed for a career-high 168 yards on 32 carries, a week after gashing up Miami’s defense for 167 in a win over the Dolphins. Anderson’s last two games were the two best rushing performances this season. Montee Ball, who started the season as Denver’s lead back, had a season-high 67 yards in Week 1 and Ronnie Hillman went for 109 yards on October 23. Demaryius Thomas and Anderson caught TD passes and Connor Barth, who Denver signed on Tuesday to replace rookie kicker Brandon McManus, went 5-for-5 on field goals in his debut with the team. McManus was waived after hitting just 3-for-6 over his last five games. Alex Smith threw two touchdowns and an interception for Kansas City, which lost its second straight game on the heels of a five-game win streak. The Chiefs finished with just 11 first downs and only converted 1-of-9 on third down.


(THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27)


Final Score: Detroit 34, Chicago 17

Joique Bell and Calvin Johnson each scored twice as the Detroit Lions grabbed a 34-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving. Matthew Stafford was 34-for-45 for 390 yards with two touchdown passes for the Lions (8-4), who bounced back from a pair of road losses to Arizona and New England. Bell totaled 91 yards on 23 carries while Johnson had 11 catches for 146 yards for Detroit, which had lost nine straight in its traditional Thanksgiving Day game, but has now won its past two thanks to this win and a victory over Green Bay last year. Jay Cutler was 31-for-48 for 280 yards with a pair of touchdown passes to Alshon Jeffery along with two interceptions for the Bears (5-7), who had won their previous two coming into the contest. Jeffery had nine catches for 71 yards.


Final Score: Philadelphia 33, Dallas 10

Mark Sanchez threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Philadelphia Eagles seized sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a 33-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Sanchez had 217 yards on 20-of-29 passing, and LeSean McCoy posted 159 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries for the Eagles (9-3), who raced out to a 14-0 first- quarter lead and never looked back on their way to improving to 6-0 on Thanksgiving. The only thing preventing the score from being even more lopsided was Philadelphia’s inefficiency in the red zone. The Eagles scored a touchdown only once and settled for four Cody Parkey field goals in five trips, but it didn’t come back to haunt them because of a strong defensive effort. The Eagles ended Tony Romo’s consecutive games streak with a touchdown pass at 38 and held league rushing leader DeMarco Murray to under 100 yards. Romo completed 18-of-29 passes for 199 yards and threw two interceptions as Dallas (8-4) dropped its third straight home game. Murray failed to reach the century mark for only the second time in 2014. He finished with a season-low 73 yards on 20 carries against the Eagles. The teams will meet again in Philadelphia on December 14.


Final Score: Seattle 19, San Francisco 3

Richard Sherman’s two interceptions highlighted a dominant defensive effort, as the Seattle Seahawks routed the San Francisco 49ers, 19-3, in a highly anticipated NFC West Thanksgiving clash. The outspoken cornerback, whose key defensive stop against San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree in January’s NFC Championship Game helped vault the Seahawks into the Super Bowl, picked off Colin Kaepernick twice as Seattle (8-4) limited the 49ers offense to just 164 total yards. Russell Wilson completed 15-of-22 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown pass to Robert Turbin, Marshawn Lynch ran for 104 yards on 20 carries and Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals for the Seahawks, who have won five of their last six games. The Seahawks now sit all alone for second place in the NFC West behind Arizona. Kaepernick threw for 121 yards on 16-of-29 passing as the 49ers (7-5) had their three-game win streak come to an end.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  No. 22 West Virginia Women held Fairfield to 11 first-half points and extended its home winning streak to 12 games

No. 22 West Virginia held Fairfield to 11 first-half points and extended its home winning streak to 12 games by cruising to a 67-53 victory Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.

Averee Fields produced 18 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Mountaineers (4-1), who led wire to wire and essentially put the game away with suffocating defense early. Fairfield (1-5) managed just four baskets, shot 16% and committed 16 turnovers during the first half, leading to a 32-11 cushion for WVU.

“West Virginia was everything we thought they would be,” said Stags coach Joe Frager. “Coach (Mike) Carey does as good of a job defensively as any coach. Because of their length and the fact that they were able to switch and deny our screens, it made it hard for us to run our offense.”

Bria Holmes added 15 points and seven rebounds, while freshman Teana Muldrow knocked down three 3s for 10 points and pulled in four boards.

West Virginia led by as much as 26 in the second half before Fairfield’s Kristin Schatzlein got hot to finish with 17 points.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” said WVU associate head coach Chester Nichols. “We have some work to do. It was a tale of two halves. At one stretch during the first half, we got a lot of defensive stops. And we had a lot of runs off those defensive stops. In the second half, we didn’t duplicate that.”

Bre McDonald in her second game as a Mountaineer added eight points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists in just 18 minutes of play. Meanwhile, senior Linda Stepney matched a career-high with 10 assists.

The Mountaineers hit the road for a 7 PM contest at Fairleigh Dickinson (1-3) on Wednesday.



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Basketball Game Results

(Sunday, November 30)


Final Score: (1) Kentucky 58, Providence 38

Kentucky and Providence were both undefeated coming into Sunday’s meeting at Rupp Arena, and it was virtually even for 20 minutes before the top-ranked Wildcats pulled away. Willie Cauley- Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns each recorded 11 points and six rebounds, and Kentucky held the Friars to 16 points after the break en route to a 58-38 win. The Wildcats (7-0) saw five other players finish with six points, including Andrew Harrison, who added four assists and four steals. Tyler Harris and Carson Desrosiers each netted 10 points for the Friars (6-1), who made just 4- of-24 (16.7 percent) in the deciding second half.


Final Score: (4) Duke 93, Army 73

Jahlil Okafor had 21 points, Tyus Jones scored 16 with 10 assists and No. 4 Duke posted a 93-73 win over Army at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon supplied 13 points apiece for the Blue Devils (7-0), who won an NCAA-best 113th straight home game against a non-conference opponent and extended the nation’s longest active home winning streak to 37 games. Kyle Wilson scored 17 points in the first half for Army (5-1), but was held to two in the second half.


Final Score: (7) Texas 55, (24) Connecticut 54

Jonathan Holmes drained a 3-pointer from the left corner with 2.2 seconds remaining to lift seventh-ranked Texas to a 55-54 victory over No. 24 Connecticut on Sunday. Ryan Boatright missed the second of two free throws with 15 seconds to play, leaving Connecticut with a 54-52 lead. After a timeout by each team with 4.4 seconds left, Boatright couldn’t fight through a screen on the inbounds pass and fell to the floor, leaving Holmes wide open in the corner for his winning shot. Holmes scored 13 points for the Longhorns (6-0), who played their first true road game of the season. Boatright, who had to be helped off the floor after the game, scored 24 to lead Connecticut (3-2), which hadn’t played since a loss to West Virginia last Sunday in the title game of the Puerto Rico Tip-off.


Final Score: (11) Kansas 61, (20) Michigan State 56

Perry Ellis had 17 points and nine rebounds as No. 11 Kansas defeated 20th-ranked Michigan State 61-56 in the championship game of the Orlando Classic. The Spartans had missed eight straight tries from beyond the arc before Travis Trice pulled up from the left wing in transition and nailed a 3-pointer to pull them within 59-56 with 1:36 remaining. Frank Mason turned the ball over at the other end, but Branden Dawson was off the mark on a jumper and then failed to convert a left-handed layup after corralling his own miss. Jamari Traylor sunk two free throws with 30 seconds left and Trice was unable to connect from deep down the other end of the floor to seal the outcome.


Final Score: (12) Villanova 78, Delaware 47

Kris Jenkins scored 15 points to help No. 12 Villanova to a 78-47 rout of Delaware on Sunday. Daniel Ochefu had 12 points and six rebounds while Darrun Hilliard II gave 12 points for the Wildcats (6-0), who were coming off a slim five-point win against Michigan on Tuesday. Cazmon Hayes scored 17 points and Devonne Pinkard gave 11 for the Blue Hens (0-5), who have lost their past four games by double-digits.


Final Score: (25) Arkansas 94, Iona 77

Michael Qualls had 20 points and nine rebounds and No. 25 Arkansas beat Iona 94-77 on Sunday. Anthlon Bell also scored 20 points for the Razorbacks (6-0), who have won their first six games for the first time since 1997-98. Rashad Madden tallied 16 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals. David Laury ended with 25 points and 14 boards for the Gaels (4-2), who had a three-game winning streak snapped. A.J. English also had 25 points.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NBA Game Results

(Sunday, November 30)


Final Score: San Antonio 111, Boston 89

Danny Green had 18 points and the San Antonio Spurs used a strong second half to beat the Boston Celtics, 111-89, on Sunday. Boris Diaw added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs, who have won seven in a row. Tim Duncan tallied 14 points, eight boards and two blocks. Aron Baynes and Kawhi Leonard finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively, for San Antonio, which outscored Boston by a 66-40 margin in the second half. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich returned from a two-game absence following a minor medical procedure. Jeff Green ended with 16 points for the Celtics, who have dropped four straight. Evan Turner and Avery Bradley donated 12 and 11 points, respectively.


Final Score: Chicago 102, Brooklyn 84

Jimmy Butler had 26 points, Pau Gasol scored 25 with 13 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls led for the final 39 1/2 minutes on the way to a 102-84 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. The Bulls went 4-3 on the annual road trip they take while the circus moves into United Center. Derrick Rose added 14 points in 26 minutes for Chicago and Nikola Mirotic had 12 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 13 points to lead the Nets, who shot under 38% from the field coming home off a 2-1 road trip. Jarrett Jack chipped in 12 points off the bench in the loss.


Final Score: Golden State 104, Detroit 93

Stephen Curry had 16 points and 10 assists as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Detroit Pistons 104-93 on Sunday afternoon. Draymond Green posted 20 points and six rebounds, while Klay Thompson added 15 points for the Warriors, who have won their last nine games. Brandon Jennings tallied 22 points and six helpers, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope netted 23 points and Greg Monroe supplied 13 points and 10 boards for Detroit, which has dropped eight in a row.


Final Score: Memphis 97, Sacramento 85

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol benefited from DeMarcus Cousins being sidelined as the frontcourt duo combined for 40 points in leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a 97-85 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Randolph totaled 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Gasol scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for the NBA-best Grizzlies, who have won five straight and nine of their last 10 overall. Tony Allen chipped in 13 points, while Courtney Lee and Mike Conley added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the victors. Reggie Evans produced a solid 17- point, 20-rebound showing off the bench, but the Kings could not overcome 23 turnovers and the absence of Cousins, who missed a second straight game due to a virus.


Final Score: Miami 86, New York 79

Dwyane Wade scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to help the Miami Heat pull out an 86-79 road win over the New York Knicks on Sunday. Wade also had five assists and five rebounds and Chris Bosh had 20 points and nine boards for Miami, which has won three of its last four games. Luol Deng posted 10 points and 10 boards. Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 31 points while the other four starters combined for 20 points on 9-for-29 from the field in yet another New York loss. The struggling Knicks have dropped four straight and fell 4-14 on the season. Amar’e Stoudemire had 19 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.


Final Score: Orlando 93, Phoenix 90

Tobias Harris scored 21 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Orlando Magic to a 93-90 win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Nikola Vucevic tallied 18 points with eight boards and Evan Fournier chipped in 15 points for the Magic, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Goran Dragic led the Suns with 22 points and Markieff Morris supplied 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the loss. Phoenix has lost two straight and three of its last four.


Final Score: Portland 107, Minnesota 93

LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 15 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers led for the final 28 minutes of the game in a 107-93 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. Wesley Matthews scored 23 and Damian Lillard had 17 points and eight assists for the Blazers, who bounced back from Friday’s streak-stopping loss to Memphis to win for the 10th time in their last 11 games. Shabazz Muhammad scored a career-high 28 points off the bench to lead the Timberwolves, who fell to 2-9 in their last 11. Mo Williams added 21 points and 11 assists and Thad Young scored 14 in the loss.


Final Score: LA Lakers 129, Toronto 122

Kobe Bryant registered his 20th career triple-double as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 129-122 win over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Bryant finished with 31 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, while also becoming the first NBA player in history to record 30,000 points and 6,000 assists. Nick Young deposited a season-high 20 points and Carlos Boozer added 18 points and nine rebounds in the win. Kyle Lowry led the way for Toronto, which was playing its first game without DeMar DeRozan, with 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds. DeRozan is out indefinitely with a torn tendon in his left groin. Terrence Ross had 20 points, while Greivis Vasquez and Lou Williams each added 19 points for the Raptors, who have lost two straight.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Sunday, November 30)


Final Score: Detroit 5, Vancouver 3

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. Gustav Nyquist, Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser all lit the lamp for the Red Wings, who have won their last four. Jimmy Howard stopped 30 shots in the win. Linden Vey had two goals and an assist and Yannick Weber also scored for the Canucks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Ryan Miller allowed four goals on 29 shots in defeat, ending a personal shutout streak.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


MONDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2014


National Football League
Miami at NY Jets, 8:30 PM - ESPN


National Basketball Association
San Antonio at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - FS-Southwest, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Miami at Washington, 7:00 PM - SunSports, CSN-DC, DSS
Denver at Utah, 9:00 PM - Altitude2, ROOT-Northwest, DSS
Minnesota at LA Clippers, 10:30 PM - FS-North, Prime Ticket, DSS


National Hockey League
Florida at Columbus, 7:00 PM - FS-Florida, Ohio, DSS
Tampa Bay at NY Rangers, 7:00 PM - SunSports, MSG, NHL Network, DSS
Montreal at Colorado, 9:00 PM - RDS, Altitude, DSS
Arizona at Edmonton, 9:30 PM - FS-Arizona, SNET-West, DSS
Boston at Anaheim, 10:00 PM - NESN, FS-West, DSS


College Basketball
Marist at Boston College, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Rutgers at Clemson, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Nebraska at Florida State, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
Siena at Fordham, 7:00 PM - SNY
Furman at Liberty, 7:00 PM - MASN
Barber-Scotia at USC Upstate, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
South Carolina at Marshall, 7:30 PM - CBSSN
Texas Southern at Baylor, 9:00 PM - ESPN U


Women’s College Basketball
NC Central at South Carolina, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
Vermont at Syracuse, 7:00 PM - Time Warner Cable
Virginia Tech at Florida, 9:00 PM - SEC Network

Sports News   141130

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  WV Football Semifinal Playoff Results


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2014,  7:30 PM


CLASS A:

#6 Williamstown (10-2)  42  at   #2 Tug Valley (11-1)  28


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2014, 1:30 PM


CLASS AAA:

#4 Martinsburg (11-1)  7   at   #1 Capital (11-0)  35

#7 Huntington (9-3)  21   at   #6 South Charleston (10-2)  35


CLASS AA:

#5 Wayne (10-2)  7   at   #1 Bridgeport (11-1)  48

#6 Westside (10-2)  16   at   #2 Frankfort (12-0)  49


CLASS A:

#4 Clay-Battelle (11-1)  14   at   #1 St. Marys (12-0)  20



The Gilmer Free Press

►  The sophomore with five TD passes in less than six quarters contends he’ll help the team

Remember the Skyler Howard from spring practice? The quarterback who tended to throw the football to defenders with the same regularity he threw it to his own guys?

The kid looked like a wasted scholarship back then, but Howard’s November is overshadowing his April.

With three more touchdowns against Iowa State on Saturday, the sophomore has thrown for five scores without an interception during the six quarters since Clint Trickett sustained a concussion. After West Virginia’s 37-24 victory, his teammates were

“It’s crazy,” said receiver Jordan Thompson. “He probably didn’t think he was gong to play this year, but you’ve got to expect the unexpected. He’s doing a fantastic job. He was throwing the ball on the money today”

Howard threw for 285 yards, despite an injury that limited primary receiver Kevin White, and he ran for 69 more as the Mountaineers (7-5, 5-4) earned their first win of the month and secured their first winning league record in three Big 12 seasons.

What Howard didn’t do in his first start was steal the job from Trickett, who should be clear-headed in time for bowl practices. Coach Dana Holgorsen said WVU’s plan will be to return Trickett to the lineup once he receives the medical OK.

That’s OK with Howard, who has progressed lightyears since the summer when Holgorsen said he would be redshirting.

“I’m on this team to play my role, whatever that is, whatever (the coaches) decide,” Howard said. “I’ll be the best backup we have or I’ll be the best starter we have.”

Despite some effective relief work last week, Howard couldn’t rescue a win over Kansas State. Lo and behold, he found himself down 21-7 to Iowa State before throwing two second-quarter touchdowns to Mario Alford.

In the final 69 seconds of the half, Howard completed four straight passes—highlighted by a 16-yarder to Daikiel Shorts—to set up Josh Lambert’s 32-yard field goal for a 27-21 lead.

“I think our guys rallied around him,” said West Virginia offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who worried how Howard would play this time, given a week to contemplate it. “That’s what I’m proudest of, the way he prepared. There is a big difference in being the guy and coming off the bench.”

Just like there’s a big difference in the Howard who won his first start Saturday vs. the guy who looked lost seven months ago.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Football Game Results

(Saturday, November 29)


Final Score: (1) Florida State 24, Florida 19

Style points continue to elude Florida State, but the Seminoles nevertheless keep winning. The No. 1 team in the country was put the test yet again Saturday but held off rival Florida, 24-19, to complete a second straight undefeated regular season. Florida State (12-0) won its 28th straight game in spite of reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who threw four interceptions—three in the first quarter alone—and completed just 12-of-24 passes for 125 yards. Winston did toss a pair of touchdown passes to Nick O’Leary, while Dalvin Cook gained 144 yards on 24 carries for the defending champion Seminoles, whose last three wins have come by a combined 12 points. A matchup against Georgia Tech in the ACC title game next week is the final hurdle in FSU’s quest for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Florida (6-5) missed two potential go-ahead field goals in the second half and had the ball at midfield in the waning minutes. Treon Harris went 0-for-6 through the air on the final drive and finished 13-of-32 for 169 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was returned 94 yards for a TD by Terrance Smith.


Final Score: (2) Alabama 55, (15) Auburn 44

Blake Sims and Amari Cooper led Alabama to a win in the highest-scoring Iron Bowl ever, giving the Crimson Tide a fresh memory in their fierce rivalry with Auburn. The “Kick Six” was so last year. Cooper had 13 catches for an Iron Bowl-record 224 yards and scored on three of Sims’ four touchdown passes as second-ranked Alabama rallied for a 55-44 win over No. 15 Auburn on Saturday night. Sims overcame three interceptions to pass for 312 yards in the thrill-a-minute game, which came almost a year to the day after Chris Davis’ 109-yard touchdown return off a missed field goal gave Auburn an instant-classic win over then-No. 1 Alabama to ruin the Crimson Tide’s national title hopes. This year, Alabama (11-1, 7-1 SEC) clinched the Western Division title and a spot in the conference championship game before it even took the field after Mississippi State lost to Ole Miss earlier Saturday. The Crimson Tide, who are likely to retain their No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings, will face Eastern Division winner Missouri next Saturday in Atlanta. Sammie Coates had four catches for a career-high 153 yards in the first half and the Tigers (8-4, 4-4) scored 17 points off three Sims interceptions to hold a 33-21 lead four minutes into the second half. But Alabama outscored them 34-11 the rest of the way with Cooper catching touchdown passes of 39 and 75 yards in the third quarter and Sims scrambling for the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth. Alabama snapped a six-game losing streak to ranked Auburn teams, winning such a matchup for the first time since 2001.


Final Score: (3) Oregon 47, Oregon State 19

The 118th installment of the Civil War wasn’t even close as Marcus Mariota led No. 3 Oregon to a 47-19 rout of Oregon State on Saturday. Mariota polished off the regular season and his potential Heisman Trophy campaign with six total touchdowns in helping the Ducks (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) down their in-state rival for the seventh consecutive time. He threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing for 39 yards and two scores. Oregon now sets its sights on a meeting with Arizona in the Pac-12 championship on Friday night. The Wildcats handed the Ducks their lone loss of the season, a 31-24 setback in Eugene on Oct. 2. Oregon has won seven consecutive games since. Royce Freeman rushed for 135 yards and caught a touchdown pass, Charles Nelson hauled in two touchdowns from Mariota, and Byron Marshall led the team with 131 yards receiving in the win. Sean Mannion threw for 162 yards with a touchdown and Storm Woods rushed for 128 yards with a touchdown for Oregon State (5-7, 2-7), which has lost two straight and six of its last seven overall.


Final Score: (18) Ole Miss 31, (4) Mississippi State 17

Mississippi State’s hopes for a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff have likely been cracked like an egg. Jaylen Walton rushed for a career-high 148 yards and a highlight-reel touchdown, and 18th-ranked Ole Miss kept the No. 4 Bulldogs’ high-powered offense mostly in check to hand their bitter rivals a damaging 31-17 loss in the latest edition of the Egg Bowl. Walton’s spectacular 91-yard touchdown run and Evan Engram’s career-best 176 yards on five catches each played huge roles in the Rebels denying Mississippi State a possible appearance in the SEC title game—and probably a spot in the four-team playoff as well. The Bulldogs (10-2, 6-2 SEC), who stood fourth in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings, were eliminated in the SEC West race with the costly defeat, which vaulted Alabama into the conference championship game opposite Missouri. Bo Wallace hit on just 13-of-30 throws for Ole Miss (9-3, 5-3), but still put up 296 yards through the air while adding a rushing score.


Final Score: (5) Baylor 48, Texas Tech 46

Shock Linwood totaled 158 yards and scored twice on 24 carries as No. 5 Baylor escaped with a 48-46 victory over Texas Tech in a shootout in North Texas on Saturday. Bryce Petty threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-25 efficiency before being taken out in the third quarter for the Bears (10-1, 7-1 Big 12), who have won four in a row and complete their regular season by hosting Kansas State next week. Seth Russell finished the contest 8-of-17 for 82 yards and a TD to Levi Norwood. Norwood ended up with 63 yards on five catches, Corey Coleman added 57 yards on six grabs, while Antwan Goodley also notched a score through the air. Patrick Mahomes exploded for 593 yards and six touchdowns on 30-of-56 passing for the Red Raiders (4-8, 2-7), who nearly rallied from a 42-17 deficit but have dropped four of their last five. Three of those scores went to Bradley Marquez, who ended up totaling 130 yards on six receptions. Jakeem Grant topped the list with 150 yards and a TD on five catches, with DeAndre Washington and Devin Lauderdale posting a receiving touchdown each.


Final Score: (7) Ohio State 42, Michigan 28

The season is over for the Michigan Wolverines and, unfortunately, for Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett. Barrett left the field on a cart after breaking his right ankle early in fourth quarter in a 42-28 victory for the seventh-ranked Buckeyes over their rivals. Ohio State (11-1, 8-0 Big Ten) scored two touchdowns in a minute late in the fourth to put the game away and become the first Big Ten team to win all its regular-season conference games in three consecutive seasons. Barrett completed 13-of-21 passes for 176 yards with one touchdown and rushed for 89 yards and two scores before exiting. Ezekiel Elliott had 121 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries for the Buckeyes, who will play Wisconsin in next week’s Big Ten title game. Devin Gardner was 22-of-32 for 233 yards with two touchdown passes for Michigan (5-7, 3-5), but he also committed two turnovers - one of which was returned for a score.


Final Score: (16) Georgia Tech 30, (8) Georgia 24 (OT)

Yet another Georgia Tech-Georgia clash came down to the wire, and this time the Yellow Jackets survived in a Peach State thriller. Zach Laskey’s third touchdown run of the day accounted for the only score in overtime, and the 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets escaped Sanford Stadium with a memorable 30-24 victory over the No. 8 Bulldogs. The roller- coaster finish saw Georgia Tech give up a go-ahead touchdown with 18 seconds left in regulation, only to have Harrison Butker force OT with a clutch 53- yard field goal. Butker’s extra point in overtime was blocked, but D.J. White picked off Hutson Mason on the ensuing possession to give Georgia Tech (10-2) its first win over its in-state rival since 2008. Mason finished with 194 passing yards for Georgia (9-3), which committed three turnovers after totaling 11 in its first eight games.


Final Score: (10) Michigan State 34, Penn State 10

Jeremy Langford totaled 118 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries as No. 10 Michigan State wrapped up its regular season with a 34-10 rout of Penn State. Connor Cook went 13-for-25 for 180 yards with one touchdown and one interception for the Spartans (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten), who won their final three games after a loss to Ohio State kept them from battling for the Big Ten championship. Akeel Lynch had a rushing touchdown while Christian Hackenberg was 21-for-45 for 195 yards along with an interception and a lost fumble for the Nittany Lions (6-6, 2-6), who lost their last two games of the regular season.


Final Score: (11) Kansas State 51, Kansas 13

Jake Waters threw for 294 yards with four touchdowns and also ran for a score to lead No. 11 Kansas State to a 51-13 win over Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown. Tyler Lockett had 119 yards on nine receptions with two touchdowns, while Curry Sexton also caught nine passes for 141 yards and a score for the Wildcats (9-2, 7-1 Big 12). Lockett entered the game four receptions (217) and two touchdowns (26) shy of tying his father, Kevin, for the school record in each category. Charles Jones caught a touchdown pass from Waters and ran for another in the win. Michael Cummings went 16-for-27 for 139 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Jayhawks (3-9, 1-8), who have lost six straight meetings to their in-state rival.


Final Score: (14) Wisconsin 34, (22) Minnesota 24

The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe had a lot more riding on it this season. The result, however, remained the same. Melvin Gordon carried the ball 29 times for 151 yards with two total touchdowns as No. 14 Wisconsin defeated 20th-ranked Minnesota 34-24 on Saturday afternoon to clinch the Big Ten West. The Badgers (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten), who erased a 14- point second quarter deficit by ripping off 24 straight points to win their 11th straight meeting against the Golden Gophers, will face Ohio State in the Big Ten title game next Saturday night. The Buckeyes will be without their standout quarterback J.T. Barrett, who left Saturday’s game against Michigan on a cart after suffering a broken ankle on the first play of the fourth quarter. Wisconsin received a scare late in the fourth when Gordon grabbed his right ankle and limped off the field following a 6-yard run with about three minutes left. Gordon posted a receiving score and his other on the ground for Wisconsin, which has won seven consecutive games. Alex Erickson caught five passes for 160 yards, while Joel Stave completed 11- of-18 passes for 215 yards with two touchdowns in the triumph. Corey Clement, who came in with just 44 yards in his last three games, put up 89 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. David Cobb tallied 118 yards and a score on 25 totes for Minnesota (8-4, 5-3), which dropped three of its last five games to close the regular season.


Final Score: (23) Clemson 35, South Carolina 17

Clemson is back on top in the Palmetto State as the 23rd-ranked Tigers ended South Carolina’s winning streak in the longtime series with a 35-17 victory at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The Gamecocks had won five straight meetings against their in-state rivals but were limited to 339 yards and scored 18 points below their season average. Deshaun Watson played through a knee injury and completed 14-of-19 passes for 269 yards and added two scores on the ground for the Tigers (9-3), whose senior class has totaled a school-record 41 wins over the last four years. Watson was credited with a pair of scores through the air, but Artavis Scott did most of the work on two shovel passes that went for TDs and totaled 123 yards. Scott finished with 185 yards on seven catches, while Wayne Gallman gained 191 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. Dylan Thompson passed for 249 yards and a touchdown for South Carolina (6-6), which finished its disappointing regular season at .500 after coming into the year ranked No. 9 in the AP poll.


Final Score: (24) Louisville 44, Kentucky 40

Brandon Radcliff ran for a 4-yard touchdown with 2:47 remaining in the fourth quarter to lift 24th-ranked Louisville to a 44-40 win over Kentucky on Saturday. Kyle Bolin threw three touchdown passes to DeVante Parker in relief of injured Cardinals quarterback Reggie Bonnafon. Bolin finished with 381 yards and one interception on 21- of-31 passing for Louisville (9-3), which posted its fourth straight win over Kentucky. Stanley Williams rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries for the Wildcats (5-7), who ended the season on a six-game skid. Patrick Towles completed 14-of-29 passes for 176 yards and threw two interceptions, the second pick sealing Kentucky’s fate.


Final Score: (25) Boise State 50, Utah State 19

Jay Ajayi tied a school record with five rushing touchdowns as No. 25 Boise State punched its ticket to the Mountain West Conference Championship game with a 50-19 victory over Utah State. Ajayi finished with 229 yards on 27 carries, and Grant Hedrick threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-24 passing for the Broncos (10-2, 7-1 MWC), who won their final seven games to claim the Mountain Division. Alec Dhaenens and Thomas Sperbeck each caught a Hedrick touchdown pass in the win. Kent Myers completed 16-of-28 passes for 159 yards with an interception and ran for a score, and Daniel Gray returned a fumble for a 50-yard touchdown for the Aggies (9-4, 6-2), who ended their season on a sour note after winning their previous five games. The Broncos, who have defeated the Aggies in 12 straight games, will take on Fresno State in the title game on Saturday.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Cardinals try to bounce back against Falcons

Despite having the best record in the NFC, the Arizona Cardinals don’t have much room for error in their quest to make the playoffs.

The Atlanta Falcons, meanwhile, still have the inside edge at winning the NFC South despite checking in at three games under .500.

The playoff hopefuls shoot for a much-needed victory this Sunday when the Cardinals visit the Falcons and the Georgia Dome.

Arizona had a six-game winning streak halted with a 19-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. The dropped the Cardinals to 9-2 on the year, but they are in danger of losing more ground this weekend as the Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving night.

That improved Seattle to 8-4 on the year and it could move within a game of first place if Arizona losses to Atlanta.

Despite holding an opponent under 20 points for a seventh straight game, the Cardinals were bested by the Seahawks after getting held to just 204 yards of offense and a 23-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro in the second quarter.

Drew Stanton connected on 14-of-26 passes for 149 yards and an interception for the Cardinals, who lost for the first time since October 5 at Denver.

“Everybody took turns today. It wasn’t one position group or anything like that. Offensively, we didn’t play well enough to win,“ said Stanton. “Any time you score three points and come in here and only put up that number, you’re not going to be successful.“

Defensive end Calais Campbell accounted for three of Arizona’s season-high seven sacks, but the offense failed to get much done without wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald had his consecutive games played streak halted at 110 due to a knee injury as he sat out a contest for the first time since December 2, 2007 versus Cleveland.

The setback denied Arizona in its first bid to record double-digit wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1975-76.

Atlanta, meanwhile, had a two-game winning streak snapped with Sunday’s 26-24 setback to Cleveland. The loss dropped the Falcons to 4-7, but they remain tied for first place in the division with the New Orleans Saints.

Matt Bryant hit a go-ahead 53-yard field goal for the Falcons with under a minute left to play, but the Browns took over with 44 seconds on the clock and moved close enough to allow Billy Cundiff to convert on a 37-yard field goal try as time expired.

Matt Ryan was 27-of-43 passing for 273 yards with one interception and touchdown passes to Julio Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers.

“This was a tough loss for our team because it felt like it was our game to win,“ said Atlanta cornerback Desmond Trufant, who had an interception. “You have to give the Browns a lot of credit because they found a way to come out on top. I felt like we made a lot of plays in the game but I guess it was not enough. We just couldn’t stop them from scoring the last-second field goal.“

Arizona picked up a 27-13 victory at home over Atlanta on October 27, 2013 and lead the all-time series 15-12.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Ryan and Atlanta’s seventh-ranked passing offense will try to move the ball against a Cardinals defense that held Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to just 39 yards last weekend and also has racked up 17 sacks in the past three games.

Arizona had just eight sacks through its first eight games and now ranks 11th in total defense and third against the run at 84.5 yards allowed per game. The Cardinals have now allowed a 100-yard rusher in 21 straight games and has held teams under 100 yards rushing total in 10 of 12 games this season.

That leaves a lot of pressure on Ryan, who has been picked off nine times in his past two meetings with the Cardinals. He was intercepted five times in a 2012 meeting and another four times last year, marking the only two times in 105 career games he has thrown four or more picks in a game.

Ryan also has posted a passer rating below 50.0 just six times, with two of those coming against Arizona.

“They’re playing with a lot of confidence, playing at a high level. Defensively, they’re really good at all three levels,“ Ryan said of Arizona’s defense.

“They’ve done a great job of playing to their system regardless of who’s been in there. They’re missing some of the guys that have been really productive for them in the past, but the guys that have filled in have played well within the scheme. They put pressure on you with the scheme.“

Ryan has thrown a touchdown pass in 16 straight games and Jones figures to be one of his main targets as he tries to solve the Arizona defense. Jones has racked up 50 catches for 802 yards and four touchdowns in his past seven games at Georgia Dome.

Also, fellow wideout Roddy White has been slowed this week by an ankle injury, but he should play.

Atlanta safety William Moore could also return from a shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve/designated to return after Week 4. Moore has 14 career picks and has 16 tackles in four games this season.

The Falcons’ defense ranks last in total yards (409.9) and passing yards (284.1) allowed per game, but did pick up three interceptions versus the Browns. Trufant and safeties Kemal Ishmael and Dezmen Southward all had picks.

Ishmael has intercepted a pass in each of the last three games and leads the team with a career-high four picks, while Trufant has an interception in two consecutive games while leading the team with 12 passes defensed.

Their job would be easier this weekend if Fitzgerald didn’t play, but the wideout said this week he is much improved.

“I feel good and everyday it’s getting stronger and stronger. I’m highly likely (to play), but it’s not my call,“ said Fitzgerald, who has 46 catches for a team-high 658 yards with two touchdowns.

Arizona showed its weakness without Fitzgerald against Seattle as it gained only 64 yards on the ground and ranks 31st in the NFL with 78.4 rushing yards per game.

Without running back Jonathan Dwyer since mid-September following his arrest on domestic violence charges, the Cardinals have seen running back Andre Ellington rush for just 648 yards on 196 carries this season while matching Fitzgerald’s 46 receptions.

Ellington did have 154 yards rushing, including an 80-yard TD, last season versus the Falcons and should finally get some help down the road after Arizona signed veteran Michael Bush for the rest of the season.

The 245-pound Bush has not played since last season with Chicago, so there is a pretty solid chance he won’t be active against the Falcons.

“We didn’t sign him for this week. We signed him for the long haul, so we’ll have him ready when we need him and we’ll go from there,“ said Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. “It would be hard to have a guy who didn’t play in OTAs and didn’t have a training camp, for me to give him the ball on Sunday would be pretty hard.“

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Arizona has had success in winning the games it should win, with its lone losses coming against last season’s Super Bowl participants. The Cards responded with a nice winning streak after the loss to Denver and may need the same kind of effort to hold off Seattle.

“When we lost to Denver, we lost pretty bad, but we bounced back, won six straight,“ special teamer Justin Bethel told Arizona’s website. “We knew going into Seattle it would be a tough game. It’s one of the hardest places to play in the NFL.“

This late in the season, Arizona can’t afford to look past Atlanta despite upcoming games against Kansas City, San Francisco and Seattle. The Falcons know they are lucky to be in the position they are in as far as playoff chances and could be a motivated team down the stretch.

“You can’t help but understand where you’re at. Moving forward we’ve got everything we want right in front of us,“ said Ryan. “Obviously, we can’t change the previous 11 games, and what we’ve done up until this point; I just hope that we can control what we do moving forward.“

The Falcons have a chance to pull off the upset if the Cardinals’ offense struggles for another week in a hostile environment. That will depend on Ryan having a good game, but he has won two of three in his career versus the Cardinals and Atlanta should be able to put up just enough points at home.

Predicted outcome: Falcons 17, Cardinals 10


►  Bengals head to Tampa with something to prove

Perhaps it’s time for Cincinnati Bengals 2.0.

The Bengals were the NFL’s last unbeaten team of the season before a humbling primetime loss to the New England Patriots began a 0-2-1 stretch that had them sitting barely above .500 by mid-October.

Things have changed for the better since, however, and Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis is now leading a team that’s won four of its last five games and holds a lead - albeit a slim one - over a cast of three-games-above-.500 characters in a hyper-competitive AFC North Division.

“We control everything, and that’s all we have to worry about,“ Lewis said. “This is what you play for. This is the way it’s supposed to be every year. That’s the only thing we can control. Our guys have earned an opportunity to be in this position, and now to take advantage of this position.“

The return to prosperity has coincided in some manner to the return of top- flight wide receiver A.J. Green, who was hurt in Week 1, missed the bulk of Week 2 and then was out entirely for three games in October. His first two games back in uniform yielded just six catches, but he crossed the 100-yard barrier in a defeat of New Orleans in Week 11, then had 12 catches for 121 yards last week against Houston.

“It’s been big,“ quarterback Andy Dalton said. “For him to have a performance like he did - at least that’s what we expect from him. He’s so talented we feel like he matches up with almost anybody.“

Mohamed Sanu began making his own name during Green’s down time and he’s now leading the team with both 719 receiving yards and five touchdowns. In the backfield, second-round draft pick Jeremy Hill is the new focal point of a run game that’s seven-best in the league at 125.6 yards per week.

Hill had 87 yards and scored once against Houston, and veteran Giovani Bernard, who’d missed three games, came back with 67 yards against the Texans as well.

“We’re starting to find a groove and I think that’s very important,“ Hill said. “We’re finding our spots at the right time in the season. We’re finally getting our groove back.“

For the Bengals’ Week 13 opponent, Tampa Bay, running hasn’t been nearly so productive.

Doug Martin was a 1,926-yard (from scrimmage) revelation as a rookie in 2012, but he’s been an oft-injured afterthought for the most part since, appearing in just six games in all of last season and in just six of the 11 that the Buccaneers have played so far in 2014.

He’s averaging just 2.8 yards per carry, and Tampa Bay as a team has racked up just 2.7 yards per attempt in its last two games against Washington and Chicago.

Cincinnati allowed 4.5 yards per attempt in its first nine games, but 3.1 in its last two games.

“Since I’ve been here, the injuries have stopped Doug’s progress,“ Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said. “But I haven’t seen anything to say that he can’t get back to form. Injuries would stop anyone. He’s back healthy now, so we’re looking for him to finish up strong these last five-plus games.“

His team enters those final five games in a unique contending position - they’re just two games out of first place in the NFC South - in spite of a dreadful 2-9 record.

All four teams in the South are at least three games under .500, while all four teams in the Bengals’ AFC North are at least three games above .500. The North is 10-1-1 against the South this season, though the South’s lone with came from Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh in Week 4.

The Bucs lost five in a row between that game and a 27-7 defeat of Washington in Week 11, but fell backward last week via a 21-13 loss at Chicago in which they committed four turnovers and misfired after amassing a 10-0 halftime lead. Quarterback Josh McCown was picked off twice and lost a fumble against the team for which he’d played from 2011 to 2013.

He threw a career-high 48 times and competed 25, for 341 yards.

“(No one) in our division expected to be where we’re all sitting right now and it’s unfortunate,“ he said. “But the reality of our division right now is that it is still up for grabs, and we’re not in the favorable position but we’re not out. You don’t want it to come like this, with this kind of record. Hopefully we can continue to put ourselves in position to do that and it starts by beating Cincinnati.“

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Putting McCown Down

Because the Tampa Bay passer does have some respectable weapons in the forms of wide receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, it’s more incumbent on the Cincinnati defense - particularly the front seven - to put pressure on him and not leave the job entirely to the secondary. Evans and Jackson have size and athletic ability and could cause some big trouble if McCown’s uniform stays clean.

Dueling Dalton

Similar to the Cincinnati defense’s task against McCown, it’s an absolute necessity for the Buccaneers’ front seven to get to Dalton or risk being eaten alive by a prodigious offense. Tampa Bay is just 22nd in passing yards allowed (252.1 per week) and 20th in interceptions (eight in 11 games), but there is some pressure talent in the form of tackle Gerald McCoy, who has 7.5 sacks in 10 games played.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Cincinnati is in the midst of a second opportunity to prove itself as an elite NFL team, a task it failed badly at performing in its first go-round earlier this season.

If the lessons painfully learned at New England in October have truly been absorbed, then the Bengals won’t fall victim to a lesser foe here, even though it’s a post-holiday road game. Get to 8-3-1, or risk revoking of your “contender” card.

Predicted outcome: Bengals 27, Buccaneers 14


►  No ‘Luck’ for RG3 in Indy

Sunday’s game between the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium was supposed to feature the top two quarterbacks taken in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, the top overall pick that year, will be starting under center, but Robert Griffin III, who was selected No. 2 by the Washington Redskins, won’t.

Griffin was recently informed by Redskins first-year head coach Jay Gruden that Colt McCoy will take the reigns in Indy. Gruden did not hold back on criticizing Griffin for his footwork and ability to read defenses among other fundamental flaws. Griffin was anointed the franchise quarterback after a stellar rookie season, but injuries have taken a toll.

Gruden recently apologized his publicly undressing RG3, who completed 11 of his 19 pass attempts for 106 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in Sunday’s 17-13 loss in San Francisco. The once slippery Griffin had 11 yards on four rushes.

“I think it was a mistake on my part,“ Gruden said Wednesday. “After a loss like that, we’re very disappointed in the way we played, and the question came up about how we played, and all that stuff from that. I just answered with the first thing that came to my mind, and sometimes the first thing that comes to your mind isn’t the smartest thing. It wasn’t the right thing to do on my part.“

Griffin has been sacked 17 times in three games since returning from an ankle injury and now it’s McCoy’s turn again. The Redskins won two consecutive games earlier this season with McCoy under center.

McCoy replaced an ineffective Kirk Cousins in the second half of the Redskins’ Week 7 matchup against Tennessee and rallied the team to a 19-17 decision. He then led the way in an overtime road upset of Dallas a week later.

“The reports are accurate, Colt is going to start this week at quarterback,“ Gruden said. “We’re going to play Colt, he’s done some good things in his time as a starter. I felt like he deserved a bit of a promotion.“

The Redskins (3-8) have lost three in a row and are just 1-5 on the road this season. They have lost 11 of the last 12 road games dating back to a September 29 win at Oakland.

Indianapolis is 7-4 and sits atop the AFC South standings. It will close out a stretch of three straight games at home and is coming off Sunday’s 23-3 drubbing of the division-rival Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, as Luck passed for 253 yards with a TD and no interceptions.

Fresh off the birth of his daughter, Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had four catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. Hilton pretended the ball was a newborn when he scored and leads the team with 1,083 yards and four TDs.

Colts tight end Dwayne Allen has a team-best seven touchdown receptions.

The Colts rebounded from a 42-20 loss versus New England and have won two of three games. They are first in passing yards (323.1) and total yards (433.8), and fourth with 30.2 ppg. Luck is first among QBs in passing yards (3,641) and 331.0 passing yards a game. He is third with 29 TD passes.

Luck needs one touchdown pass to join Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning as the only QBs in club history with 30 or more touchdown passes in a season. Luck has nine 300-yard passing games this season, matching Manning’s mark established in 2009.

Indianapolis is 19-10 all-time against Washington with a 13-3 record at home. In the last meeting between the teams on October 17, 2010 at FedEx Field, Manning threw for 307 yards with two TDs and no INTs. Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon played for the Colts then and had 103 yards and a touchdown on four catches.

Sunday’s game marks the first trip to Lucas Oil Stadium for the Redskins, who haven’t defeated the Colts since a 26-21 verdict on October 27, 2002. The last Washington victory in Indy occurred on October 23, 1994.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Redskins running back Alfred Morris is playing like the days of old and is approaching 1,000 yards for a third straight season. He has amassed 826 yards and seven touchdowns on 193 carries, and recorded a season-high 125 yards and a score on 21 touches in San Francisco. It was his first 100-yard rushing performance since Week 10 of the 2013 season at Minnesota.

Morris has carried the ball 20 or more times in the last two games, and said he hasn’t been trying to force the issue the last few weeks. Patience and understanding the basics of the game have helped Morris in the previous games. With his next 100-yard rushing game, Morris will tie Earnest Byner, George Rogers and Terry Allen for the fifth-most 100-yard rushing games in team history (12).

Morris, who has four TD runs in his last four games, is one of only 17 running backs in NFL history to exceed 3,700 rushing yards (3,714) in his first three seasons, joining the likes of Eric Dickerson, Earl Campbell, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Jim Brown.

With McCoy under center again, it’s important for Washington to feed Morris the ball. Morris had 73 yards and a score on 18 touches in McCoy’s first start against Dallas.

“That’s very important and we’re going to rely on that,“ Gruden said of keeping Morris loose and active. “We have to rely on that for us to be any kind of successful team in the future. Moving forward, I think we have to get our running game going and Alfred has been running really hard the last few weeks.“

Indianapolis is allowing 109.9 rushing yards per game. Look for Colts linebacker and leading tackler D’Qwell Jackson to be all over the field. He has 94 stops and four sacks this season.

Some experts believe the run game opens the pass. If true, expect McCoy to hook up often with Garcon and speedster DeSean Jackson. Jackson had 136 yards on six receptions in Dallas with McCoy under center.

“He led us on some drives. He was very efficient,“ Gruden said of McCoy in that Dallas game. “Everybody got the ball, which really made this offense click. “

Gruden went back to Griffin the next week, a 29-26 loss at Minnesota.

The Colts should have no trouble moving the football on the Redskins unless Luck gets sacked seven times and throws a few interceptions. Washington did pull off the impossible in stopping the Cowboys on Monday night, but the Colts are geared up for a division title.

Luck, though, was sacked five times against Jacksonville. The Jaguars are brutal and couldn’t convert the defensive effort into a win against Luck, who has gone down 14 times in the last six games.

“It was hard to get stuff going,“ said Luck. “That’s a good defense, a good front four. We had our share of self-inflicted penalties and didn’t do a good job taking care of the football, but a lot of those are because of what they did. A lot of credit goes to what they did on defense in stifling us early.“

It was the first time since October 5 versus Baltimore Luck threw for just one touchdown pass. Luck has thrown two or more TD passes in a game nine times and three or more on six separate occasions.

The Colts have six players with two or more receiving touchdowns, but one of those is running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who is out for the season with a fractured leg and posted six TDs. Bradshaw also had two rushing scores.

Hilton is Indy’s top receiving threat and, of course, veteran Reggie Wayne is still around. Wayne, though, isn’t the same player he used to be and occasionally has bursts of energy.

Trent Richardson and Daniel Herron will carry the workload on the ground. Richardson leads the Colts with 433 yards on 127 carries and has three TDs, and will go against a Washington defense allowing 100.7 yards per game.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

The Redskins can surpass their win total from last season (4) with an improbable win over the playoff-bound Colts. They won’t because Luck will pick apart the Washington defense and receive protection in the pocket.

Indianapolis has been plagued by injuries across the offensive line, as right tackle Gosder Cherilus and right guard Hugh Thornton are banged up. Cherilus (shoulder) could return Sunday, but Thornton (knee) is expected to miss the game. Allen (ankle) is questionable.

The Colts will play three of four games on the road to close out the regular season, so it’s important for them to not overlook Washington with a trip to Cleveland slated for December 7. Luck should consider this game a tune-up for the stretch run and the postseason.

Predicted outcome: Colts 31, Redskins 20


►  Chiefs aim to tighten AFC West race, host Broncos

The Denver Broncos have a chance to extend their lead atop the AFC West standings on Sunday when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs in an important divisional matchup at Arrowhead Stadium.

Denver nearly lost for the third time in four weeks on Sunday to Miami, but it rallied late, as Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes, three to Demaryius Thomas and two during a fourth-quarter rally that lifted the Broncos to a hard-earned 39-36 win.

The Broncos trailed a gritty Dolphins team for most of the game and were down 28-17 after three quarters, then erupted for 22 unanswered points in the fourth to regain sole possession of first place in the AFC West and bounce back from Week 11’s startling 22-7 loss at St. Louis.

Manning hit Thomas and Wes Welker for touchdowns during the stretch, while C.J. Anderson had a go-ahead touchdown run with 5:01 left to highlight a career-high 167-yard, 27-carry performance.

“You have to earn them all. We definitely earned a victory against a good football team today,“ said Manning.

Thomas amassed 10 catches totaling 87 yards and Emmanuel Sanders snared nine Manning passes for 125 yards in the Broncos’ eighth straight home victory. Manning finished a sharp 28-of-35 for 257 yards for Denver, which holds a one- game edge on both the San Diego Chargers and Chiefs.

Manning may once again be without one of his favorite targets this week, as tight end Julius Thomas is questionable with an ankle injury that caused him to miss the Miami game. Thomas leads the NFL with 12 receiving TDs.

Now the Broncos hit the road where they are just 2-3 this season. Making that mark even less impressive is the fact that their two road wins have come against the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders, teams that have combined to go 3-19 this season.

Kansas City has won four of its five home games this season and is traditionally one of the harder places in the league to play.

“It’s one of the loudest places to play, in my opinion, in the NFL,“ Manning said of Arrowhead. “They are playing really well at home. It’s a night game and the place is going to be rocking so it is a challenge. The communications is the challenge, all 11 guys hearing the call, hearing the possible audible, knowing exactly what to do, not nine guys doing one thing two guys doing another.“

Just 16 of the Broncos’ 50 first-quarter points this season have come on the road. During their five road games, the Broncos have been the first team to score just once (Week 6 against the Jets).

“We just didn’t come out to play, plain and simple,“ Chris Harris Jr. said. “In all our road games, we kind of woke up when it was too late. That accounted for our losses.“

Kansas City certainly didn’t help its cause any in Week 12, as it became the first victim this season of the Oakland Raiders, as it had a five-game winning streak stopped in a 24-20 setback.

Alex Smith completed 20-of-36 passes for 234 yards with two touchdowns and Jamaal Charles ran 19 times for 80 yards while also adding a receiving score in the loss.

“We gotta handle this the right way. We gotta build from it,“ said Smith. “We can regroup and get it together. We still have a lot of time in front of us.“

Kansas City might have a little something extra to play for this week after placing safety Eric Berry on the non-football injury list Monday with what may be lymphoma.

“I understand that right now I have to concentrate on a new opponent,“ the All-Pro safety said. “I have great confidence in the doctors and the plan they are going to put in place for me to win this fight. I believe that I am in God’s hands and I have great peace in that.“

The Chiefs are 56-52 all-time versus the Broncos but haven’t been able to do much with Denver since Manning arrived.

The Broncos edged the Chiefs, 24-17, in Week 2 and are 5-0 against Kansas City with Manning at the controls. The All-Pro threw three touchdowns in the early season matchup and has thrown 14 touchdown passes in those five games against the Chiefs.

The five-game winning streak versus the Chiefs is Denver’s longest since winning eight straight from October 24, 1976-October 28, 1979.

Since John Fox arrived in Denver in 2011, the Broncos haven’t lost to the Chiefs on the road. In fact, Fox’s Broncos are 6-1 against the Chiefs with their only loss being a 7-3 defeat at Sports Authority Field where Tim Tebow went 6-of-22 for 60 yards.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Manning has thrown for over 300 yards in six of his last nine games, but has struggled on the road, where he has thrown seven of his nine interceptions on the year.

To make matters worse for Manning, Kansas City has limited opponents to a league-low 198.9 yards per game. And the Chiefs haven’t allowed a 300-yard passer in 13 straight regular-season contests.

The Broncos, though, may have unearthed a gem in the win over Miami, as Anderson spearheaded the 201 yard rushing attack and is averaging a team-best 5.6 yards per carry and 157.7 scrimmage yards over his last three games.

“Obviously, we would rather be running it than passing it, but we have a guy that can pass it pretty good,“ center Will Montgomery said. “So, to be effective in the long run we need to do both, and we can do both.“

That might be bad news for a Chiefs team that has looked vulnerable on the ground the past few weeks. They gave up 179 yards rushing and their first two rushing touchdowns of the season against the Raiders and surrendered 383 yards on the ground over their past two games.

“We weren’t playing our gaps and it’s like a high school football game,“ linebacker Tamba Hali said.

Denver will also have a new kicker this week, as it signed kicker Connor Barth on Tuesday after waiving Brandon McManus, who missed a 33-yard field goal against the Dolphins to fall to 9-for-13 on the season.

Barth beat out Jay Feely in a competition this past week, but hasn’t played since 2012 after tearing his right Achilles tendon.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

We can analyze this game from all angles to the cows come home. It simply comes down to this. Denver has not looked good on the road this season and Kansas City is traditionally a tough place to play. Plus you add in the fact that Chiefs might be an inspired group following the Berry news earlier in the week and you may have all the makings of an upset.

Sometimes it’s just that easy.

Predicted outcome: Chiefs 28, Broncos 17


►  Coughlin returns to Jacksonville with reeling Giants

The New York Giants were feeling good after three straight wins for a 3-2 start in early October.

Then the wheels began to fall off one at a time.

New York hopes to earn some respect and stop a six-game losing streak Sunday on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants lost their first six games of the 2013 season and haven’t suffered seven straight losses since an eight-game slide from November 7 - December 26, 2004. It was head coach Tom Coughlin’s first season in the Big Apple and the Giants went 6-10 that year.

It looks as if the G-men are headed to another disappointing finish and can point fingers in all directions as to why 2014 has been a dud. Quarterback Eli Manning and his interception issue (12), a poor running game (99.3 ypg) and even more porous defense under coordinator Perry Fewell.

Fewell could be looking for a new job at season’s end. His unit is 24th in passing yards allowed (253.9), 27th in points allowed (26.7), and 31st in both rushing yards permitted (142.6) and total yards given up (396.5). However, the Giants are tied for fifth in the NFL in interceptions (13) this season.

The defense did show up in last Sunday night’s 31-28 loss to the visiting Dallas Cowboys until the final minute, when Tony Romo found Dez Bryant for the go-ahead score. Defensive end Damontre Moore and linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka each had a sack, but it wasn’t enough to phase Romo, who had four touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Manning played better with three TD passes to just one interception, a far cry from what he did the previous week in a 16-10 loss to San Francisco in which he was picked off five times and had one touchdown pass. Manning and the Giants are frustrated, and hope to end the slide Sunday.

“I think everybody wants to win,“ Manning said. “Everybody wants to get that feeling back. I have seen that these last few weeks, we haven’t got discouraged, it is frustrating.“

The Giants can’t take the Jaguars for granted this week.

“We are going to Jacksonville; they have one win, and we have three wins,“ Manning said. “I don’t think we are in a position to label anybody or to think we are better than anybody. We have to play well. We’ve got to find a way to get a win, we’ve got to put 60 minutes together and play great football for that whole time.“

Manning became the 16th quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 250 touchdowns and is nearing his 10th straight year with at least 3,000 yards.

New York will play its next two games on the road against Jacksonville and Tennessee, two teams from the AFC South. Coughlin was Jacksonville’s first- ever head coach from 1995-2002 and won a franchise-best 72 games. Manning, who has made 162 consecutive starts, has four TDs and no interceptions in his last two games against AFC opponents.

The Giants are 1-4 on the road and have lost three straight as the guest.

Jacksonville is mired in a four-game losing streak and fell to a lowly 1-10 on the season after Sunday’s 23-3 loss at Indianapolis last Sunday.

The Jaguars amassed only 194 yards of offense and that has been a major issue all season. Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles was intercepted once and threw for 146 yards on 15-of-27 passing with no touchdowns. Bortles has thrown an interception in every game this season (15 total) and hasn’t recorded a touchdown pass in the last two games.

“It was hard. The defense played really well,“ Bortles said of not converting on Andrew Luck’s miscues. “They stood up when we put them in some bad situations and they got us some turnovers, so that was good. I thought they did a really good job and obviously we weren’t able to capitalize on it.“

Bortles knows he has to improve on his end, too.

“There are passes I could get off quicker, and make a quicker decision, so that’s all part of it,“ Bortles said. “That’s all part of it. It’s a part of getting reps and continuing to learn from it.“

Jacksonville hopes to find some success in its first game at EverBank Field since October 26 against Miami. It 1-4 at home and will also welcome the division-rival Houston Texans to the Sunshine State.

The Jaguars have been abysmal on offense this season. They are 24th in rushing yards (96.5), 27th in passing yards (207.6), 31st in total yards (304.1) and dead last in scoring with just 14.6 points.

It gets no better on defense. Jacksonville is 27th against the pass (257.5), 28th against the rush (130.6), 30th in total yards allowed (388.3) and last in points against (27.7). On a positive note for the defense, the Jaguars have recorded 33 sacks in 11 games and have been led by Chris Clemons, who has registered seven sacks. Defensive end Ryan Davis is second with 5 1/2 sacks and DT Sen’Derrick Marks has five.

Clemons had three of the five sacks on Luck last week and has six in his past seven games. Marks has posted a sack in three of the past four.

Jacksonville, which is the best in red-zone defense, will try to get to Manning, who was sacked twice versus Dallas and has gone down at least two times (9 total) in his past four games. Manning has been sacked 22 times this season.

New York is 302 all-time against Jacksonville and the home team has won each time. The Giants won the last encounter between the team by a 24-20 score on November 28, 2010, when Manning put the Giants ahead to stay with a 32-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kevin Boss. Current Giants running back Rashad Jennings was a Jaguar then and had 53 yards and a score on seven carries.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Rumor has it that Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr had a terrific grab for a touchdown against the Cowboys last week. Beckham, who missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury, grabbed a Manning pass with one hand for a score and set social media into a frenzy.

Beckham has a bright future for the Giants and will give them a solid 1-2 punch when Victor Cruz returns from a torn knee ligament. Beckham will try to continue his success against a weak Jacksonville defense and leads the team with 69 yards receiving. He had 10 catches for 146 yards and two scores versus Dallas and owns three 100-yard receiving games in the past four.

He is currently dealing with a back contusion and said he just had to loosen it up. Beckham has 31 receptions for 503 yards in November, and said he’s trying to put his one-handed catch in the rearview mirror.

“It’s definitely still there. There’s no way of denying that,“ he said. “For the most part I’m just trying to get ready for this week. We do have another game coming up Sunday. You’ve got to put it behind you at some point.“

Beckham will get behind coverage once or twice Sunday.

Jacksonville hopes to get to Manning before he settles in to make that happen for Beckham and the New York offense. Coughlin knows the Jaguars can cause problem up front.

“Their front is really good. Deep, they’ve got all kinds of guys that ran rush,“ Coughlin said. “The kid that comes off the edge with the second group, Ryan Davis, is a pass rusher whether he plays over the guard or outside. They’re very fast at the linebacker plateau, very fast. They have good speed at the corners.“

Demetrius McCray and Dwayne Gratz are the starting corners and safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Josh Evans provide help on top and against the run.

“At safety, (Johnathan) Cyprien is the leader of the secondary. He’s physical, he plays down in the box,“ Coughlin said. “They want him in the box, they want Josh Evans in the middle of the field.“

On offense, Jags wide receiver Allen Hurns leads the team with five touchdown receptions and Denard Robinson is the leading rusher with 508 yards and four TDs. Robinson, who was a passing and running threat at Michigan, is averaging 98.2 yards from scrimmage this season and plays a role in the aerial attack.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Are the Giants counting down the days for a new coach and quarterback? Does Manning still have enough talent and confidence to lead another New York resurgence? It’s too early to tell, but patience is running thin for the G-men and all they can do from here is play hard and earn respect.

In order to avoid a seventh consecutive loss, the Giants must not overlook the Jaguars and come out firing from the jump. Jacksonville also needs to bounce back and has the home crowd in its corner. Some of the fans can do a better job than some of the players, but let’s be realistic.

New York finally gets off the schneid this week for its first win since October 5 and Manning is the reason why.

“They are pretty talented defensively. Their front four, they get a lot of sacks. They are big up front. Their linebackers can really run. They have a good scheme. They get after some teams. They get after the quarterback,“ Manning said. “We have to be safe with the ball, protect the ball, and try to get into a good rhythm and down and distance and see if we can hit a couple big plays.“

Manning said playing a clean game and not turning the ball over will help in capturing a win.

“Finish strong. We have to get this first win,“ he said. “It has been a while. We have been doing some good things and have been close in the last two. We played it right down to the wire. We had great opportunities, but we have to find a way to get over that hump and get a win.“

Predicted outcome: Giants 24, Jaguars 13


►  Jets go back to Geno as Dolphins arrive for ‘MNF’

The margin for error is getting smaller and smaller when it comes to the AFC playoff hunt for the Miami Dolphins.

And the Dolphins can’t afford another slip up when they put a period on Week 13 of the NFL season by visiting a hapless New York Jets team turning back to Geno Smith on “Monday Night Football.“

Smith, who started the first eight games this season before being benched, replaced Michael Vick under center during last Monday’s 38-3 drubbing at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, a setback that dropped the Jets to 2-9.

Embattled New York coach Rex Ryan claims to have made the decision and informed both quarterbacks Wednesday morning.

“Everybody’s on board with this decision,“ Ryan said. “I have said it all along that I feel we have two good quarterbacks, I definitely feel that. And we have another guy that is a decent quarterback as well, in (Matt) Simms. But I feel that way.“

Smith had been the Jets’ starter for the first 24 games of his career after the team selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was benched in the Week 8 loss to Buffalo after throwing three interceptions in the first 10 minutes of the contest and Vick was named the starter the following week.

“We purposely put Geno back, let him observe,“ Ryan said. “Now is the opportunity for him to step back in and let’s see how it goes. I, for one, am excited to watch him. He has my support on this, and that’s what I’ll say about it.“

Vick started the past three games for the Jets, leading the team to a victory in Week 10 against Pittsburgh to end an eight-game losing streak. He struggled in Monday’s game against the Bills at Detroit’s Ford Field, completing just 7- of-19 passes for 76 yards with an interception while being sacked five times.

The game was moved from Ralph Wilson Stadium after the venue was deemed unplayable due to several feet of snow that fell last week, crippling Buffalo and neighboring areas.

Smith entered in the third quarter and connected on 10-of-12 throws for 89 yards while being sacked twice.

“Horrible performance. We couldn’t do anything. Couldn’t block. Couldn’t tackle. Couldn’t cover. It was just an awful performance,“ Ryan admitted.

The Dolphins suffered their own disappointing, almost debilitating loss at Denver in Week 12, albeit a far more competitive one when Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes, three to Demaryius Thomas and two during a fourth- quarter rally, that lifted the Broncos to a hard-earned 39-36 win.

The Broncos trailed a gritty Miami team for most of the game and were down 28-17 after three quarters, then erupted for 22 consecutive points in the fourth to regain sole possession of first place in the AFC West.

Ryan Tannehill threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to put Miami in position for the upset before Manning engineered his 41st career fourth- quarter comeback. The young quarterback completed 26-of-36 throws for 228 yards with a costly late interception that helped seal the outcome.

“As a competitor, you don’t like to see it,“ Tannehill said. “We didn’t score enough points in the second half.“

Jarvis Landry hauled in two of Tannehill’s scoring strikes and recorded seven catches for 50 yards.

The Jets lead their all-time series with Miami by a 50-45-1 margin. On Monday night, the Dolphins play .500 football at 40-40 while New York is underwater at 20-29.

The two teams will rematch in South Florida during Week 17.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Miami has struggled mightily in close games this season, going 0-3 in contests decided by four or fewer points. In addition to the loss in Denver, the Dolphins suffered setbacks to Green Bay in Week 6 and Detroit in Week 10 due to late-game collapses.

“We have to find a way to win some of those games,“ Miami coach Joe Philbin admitted. “We’re going to be in some more of those games. That’s just the way the NFL is.“

Entering Week 13, 11 of the AFC’s 16 teams had six-or-more wins and most them were above the Dolphins, making this a virtual must win for a team which hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2008.

“I don’t think the records really matter right now,“ Philbin said. “We have to go win a game against the New York Jets. That’s really the only thing that is on my mind and should be on our players’ minds at this point.“

Getting to play the Jets twice in the final five weeks will only help, especially now that they have turned back toward Smith, who looked terribly overmatched in his first eight opportunities this season. The West Virginia product has thrown for 1,459 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.

Turnovers have been a major issue for the Jets, who are minus-12 on the season, a number that helps explain how the team can be ranked No. 7 in total defense (328.8 yards per game) but be tied for 30th in points allowed (27.5 points per game).

Tannehill, meanwhile, has been hot recently and is third in the NFL with a 70.9 completion percentage over his last six games while throwing 12 TD passes against just three interceptions over that span.

With Smith back under center the Jets will try to rely on a running game that stumbled against the Bills, gaining just 92 yards on the ground. Miami, however, allowed a season-high 201 against the Broncos with the lightly- regarded C.J. Anderson gashing them for 167.

“They have an outstanding defensive line,“ Ryan said of the Dolphins. “Absolutely it starts up front. If we can’t block them it doesn’t matter who you have at quarterback.“

New York is also expected to be without star defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson due to an injured toe suffered in Detroit.

“It doesn’t look good for Big Mo,“ Ryan said. “If you’re in a boot, that doesn’t look good for this week. But, hopefully, we’ll get him back as soon as we can.“

OVERALL ANALYSIS

By going back to Smith, Ryan has essentially waived the white flag on the season and his career as the Jets’ head coach. It also plainly indicates the power in the organization is with unpopular general manager John Idzik.

The Jets aren’t a good team with either signal caller but Vick can at least get hot every now and again and make New York competitive, albeit inconsistently.

“I think the best thing for this team right now is to play Geno Smith,“ Ryan said unconvincingly. “Right now, for all the reasons we talked about. Is one of those reasons, does he give you a great chance to win, or a chance to win? I believe he does give us a chance to win.“

Not much of one moving forward.

Predicted outcome: Dolphins 23, Jets 16



The Gilmer Free Press

►  West Virginia routs College of Charleston

Jonathan Holton had 21 points and 10 rebounds to guide No. 21 West Virginia to an 86-57 win over the College of Charleston.

Jaysean Paige had 15 points and Juwan Staten added 10 for the Mountaineers (7-0), who have won all but one of their games by double digits.

“I think he’s just scratching the surface of what he can be,“ West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said of Holton.

Evan Bailey and Donovan Gilmore each scored 13 points for the Cougars (2-4), who were coming off a one-point win at George Mason.

A jumper from Devin Williams three minutes in gave the Mountaineers a 5-4 lead, a lead which the team never gave up.

That bucket started a 7-0 run and the team had an 8-0 run a few minutes later with a 3-pointer from Nathan Adrian giving the team a 20-10 lead.

West Virginia built its lead as high as 13 in the first half before eventually taking a 38-29 advantage into the break.

The Mountaineers went on a 14-0 run in the second half, as the Cougars went eight minutes without a point.

Adrian’s 3-pointer capped the burst to give the team a 52-31 lead 7 1/2 minutes in, and the Mountaineers cruised to the finish line.

Game Notes

Adrian finished the game with nine points and four rebounds ... This was the first matchup between these two schools.



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Basketball Game Results

(Saturday, November 29)


Final Score: Old Dominion 73, (14) VCU 67

Aaron Bacote scored a career-high 31 points on a perfect shooting effort from the floor, leading Old Dominion to a 73-67 upset of No. 14 VCU at the Constant Center. Bacote hit all eight of his field goal attempts and went 4-for-4 from 3-point range, while the Monarchs knocked down 9-of-17 attempts from beyond the arc to earn their first win over a ranked opponent since 2009. Trey Freeman added 15 points in a game the Monarchs (5-1) led virtually the entire way due to their marksmanship from the perimeter and ability to handle VCU’s trademark pressure defense. Treveon Graham tallied 29 points for VCU (4-2), with Melvin Johnson recording 14 in the loss.


Final Score: (9) Wichita State 75, Tulsa 55

Fred VanVleet had 21 points and nine assists as No. 9 Wichita State routed Tulsa 75-55 on Saturday afternoon. Ron Baker netted 19 points and Darius Carter added 14 for the Shockers (4-0), who led by as many as 23. James Woodard posted 19 points to lead Tulsa (3-3).


Final Score: (19) Michigan 91, Nicholls State 62

Caris LeVert totaled a game-high 24 points thanks to 5-of-6 shooting beyond the arc, and dished out six assists as No. 19 Michigan had its way with Nicholls State, producing a 91-62 rout on Saturday at Crisler Arena. Ricky Doyle poured in 15 points with six rebounds and Zak Irvin totaled 14 for the Wolverines (5-1), who rebounded from a loss to Villanova on Tuesday. Ja’Dante Frye recorded 15 points and six boards for the Colonels (0-4), who next face Loyola-New Orleans one week from today. T.J. Carpenter had 12 points in the resounding defeat.


Final Score: (23) Creighton 57, Middle Tennessee 47

Austin Chatman and Isaiah Zierden both scored 10 points and No. 23 Creighton defeated Middle Tennessee State, 57-47, in the third-place game of the Emerald Coast Classic. Chatman and Zierden were the lone double-digit scorers for the Bluejays (5-1), who lost to Mississippi in the semifinals Friday night. Jaqawn Raymond led the Blue Raiders (3-3) with nine points off the bench.


Final Score: (21) West Virginia 86, College of Charleston 57

Jonathan Holton had 21 points and 10 rebounds to guide No. 21 West Virginia to a 86-57 win over the College of Charleston. Jaysean Paige had 15 points and Juwan Staten added 10 for the Mountaineers (7-0), who have won all but one of their games by double digits. Evan Bailey and Donovan Gilmore each scored 13 points for the Cougars (2-4), who were coming off a one-point win at George Mason.


Final Score: (8) Virginia 45, Rutgers 26

Justin Anderson and Anthony Gill each scored 13 points to lead No. 8 Virginia in a 45-26 win over Rutgers in the Barclays Center Classic. Trailing 18-17 at the half, the Cavaliers (7-0) opened things up in the second half while maintaining their strong defense to limit the Scarlet Knights to just eight points after the break. Kadeem Jack paced Rutgers (3-3) with eight points on 4-of-11 shooting. Greg Lewis scored four points and blocked five shots. Rutgers was limited to 12-of-48 shooting from the floor, and the two teams combined to go just 2-of-29 from beyond the arc with Rutgers missing all 13 of its attempts.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NBA Game Results

(Saturday, November 29)


Final Score: Dallas 110, Philadelphia 103

The discrepancy wasn’t as big, but the Dallas Mavericks still inched the Philadelphia 76ers closer to a dubious distinction. Tyson Chandler had 20 points, 13 rebounds and four steals as the Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavs defeated the Sixers 110-103 on Saturday night. Dallas beat the Sixers by 53 points earlier this month. Of the 10 teams in the last 20 years that have lost by 50-plus points, eight of them won the rematch. Philly is now two losses away from tying the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets (0-18) for the worst start to an NBA season. Monta Ellis posted 18 points, five assists and three swipes and Chandler Parsons tallied 17 points, six rebounds and six assists for Dallas, which has won three in a row and nine of its last 11 games.


Final Score: Washington 83, New Orleans 80

Marcin Gortat posted 24 points and 13 rebounds to help the Washington Wizards hold off the New Orleans Pelicans 83-80 on Saturday. Bradley Beal had 12 points, John Wall totaled 11 points with seven assists and Paul Pierce scored 10 for the Wizards, who snapped a two-game losing streak. New Orleans’ Anthony Davis led all scorers with 30 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Jrue Holiday chipped in 17 points on 7-of-18 shooting in the Pelicans’ third straight loss.


Final Score: Atlanta 105, Charlotte 75

Paul Millsap scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half and the Atlanta Hawks led by as many as 44 in a 105-75 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night. Mike Scott had 14 points, Dennis Schroder scored 12 and the two bench players led a 20-0 run that helped give the Hawks a 64-28 lead at halftime. Atlanta improved to 2-1 on a four-game homestand with its 12th win in the last 14 games against Charlotte.


Final Score: Cleveland 109, Indiana 97

Kevin Love had 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers 109-97 on Saturday night. Kyrie Irving posted 24 points, 10 boards and five assists, while LeBron James added 19 points and seven helpers for the Cavaliers, who have won three in a row on the heels of a four-game losing streak.


Final Score: Houston 117, Milwaukee 103

James Harden scored 34 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds as the Houston Rockets defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 117-103, on Saturday. Donatas Motiejunas netted 20 points, Jason Terry had 18 and Trevor Ariza chipped in with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who have won four of their last five. Jabari Parker led the Bucks with 19 points, Ersan Ilyasova dropped in 18 and Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied 17 with seven rebounds. Milwaukee had its three-game winning streak snapped.


Final Score: LA Clippers 112, Utah 96

Blake Griffin had 28 points, Chris Paul scored 17 with 10 assists and the Los Angeles Clippers rolled to a 112-96 win over the slumping Utah Jazz on Saturday night to finish off a successful road trip. Jamal Crawford added 22 points off the bench and J.J. Redick scored 13 for the Clippers, who finished 6-1 on their seven-game trek. They have won 11 in a row against the Jazz since Utah’s last victory in the series on Jan. 17, 2012. Gordon Hayward poured in 30 points to lead the Jazz, who have lost five in a row overall. Derrick Favors chipped in 19 points and Trevor Booker scored 15 off the bench.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Saturday, November 29)


Final Score: NY Rangers 5, Philadelphia 2

Derick Brassard scored two goals, Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves and the New York Rangers posted a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers to sweep a home-and-home series. Brassard’s second goal broke a 2-2 tie and was one of three scored by the Rangers in the third period. Jesper Fast netted his first NHL goal and added an assist for the Rangers, who have won 10 straight regular-season games against the Flyers played at Madison Square Garden. After being shut out by Cam Talbot in each of the teams’ first two meetings this season, the Flyers were able to finally light the lamp, but they suffered their fourth consecutive loss and eighth in the last nine games. Ray Emery allowed four goals on 34 shots in defeat.


Final Score: Toronto 6, Washington 2

Jonathan Bernier stopped 35 shots and Tyler Bozak tallied twice as Toronto took down Washington by a 6-2 count at Air Canada Centre. Joffrey Lupul and Morgan Rielly added a goal and assist each for the Maple Leafs, who have recorded points in each of their last four outings (3-0-1) since a 9-2 loss to Nashville on Nov. 18. Toronto, which went 3-for-4 on the power play, also received tallies from Cody Franson and David Clarkson, while James van Riemsdyk, Jake Gardiner and Phil Kessel contributed two helpers each. Troy Brouwer and Tom Wilson supplied offense for the Capitals, who were coming off a home win against the Islanders but lost for the fifth time in eight contests. Justin Peters played the first and third periods, allowing three goals on 11 shots. Braden Holtby took over in the second and gave up three scores on 12 shots.


Final Score: Buffalo 4, Montreal 3 (SO)

Brian Flynn tied the game late in the third period to force overtime and produced the lone goal of the shootout as the Buffalo Sabres finished off a home-and-home sweep of the Montreal Canadiens with a 4-3 victory on Saturday. After each team’s first four shootout participants were unsuccessful, Tomas Plekanec followed suit for Montreal as Jhonas Enroth calmly turned aside his offering with a stick save. Flynn put an end to the skills competition with a shot into an open net off a slick backhand-forehand deke past a sliding Dustin Tokarski. Zemgus Girgensons and Chris Stewart also scored in regulation for the Sabres, who defeated Montreal 2-1 on Friday. Enroth turned aside 41 shots and stopped five more in the shootout. Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller all lit the lamp for Montreal, which has lost its last three games. Tokarski made 23 saves in defeat.


Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, Ottawa 1

Ben Bishop made 26 saves and Tampa Bay scored four unanswered goals to top Ottawa, 4-1, on Saturday. Alex Killorn scored the eventual game-winner 1:16 into the third period, and Brenden Morrow and Nikita Kucherov added insurance goals for the Lightning, who won all three games on their homestand. Killorn and Ryan Callahan each tallied a goal and an assist for the Lightning. David Legwand scored Ottawa’s lone goal and Robin Lehner made 28 saves on 32 shots against. The Senators have lost four of their last five.


Final Score: NY Islanders 3, New Jersey 1

Jaroslav Halak posted 34 saves, and the New York Islanders grabbed a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Casey Cizikas had a goal and an assist while Cal Clutterbuck and Nikolay Kulemin each scored a goal for the Islanders, who have won six of their last seven. Damien Brunner had the only goal of the game for the Devils, who have lost four straight and six of seven. Cory Schneider allowed two goals on 27 shots in the loss.


Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Carolina 2

Thomas Greiss came up with 32 saves to help the Pittsburgh Penguins exact some revenge on the Carolina Hurricanes with a 3-2 victory. The Penguins supported Greiss’ solid effort with first-period goals by Chris Kunitz and Robert Bortuzzo, with Christian Ehrhoff netting the eventual game-winner in the third as Pittsburgh bounced back from a 4-2 home loss to the Hurricanes on Friday. Justin Faulk scored just over 3 1/2 minutes in to give Carolina an early edge, but the Hurricanes didn’t get another past Greiss until Eric Staal’s power-play tally with 11.7 seconds remaining. Anton Khudobin stopped 30 shots in the loss, Carolina’s fourth in five games.


Final Score: Nashville 2, Columbus 1

Colin Wilson’s goal with 2:12 remaining lifted the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in a matchup of teams going in opposite directions. Mike Ribeiro also scored for Nashville, and Pekka Rinne recorded 21 saves to help the Preds run their winning streak to a season-high four games. Columbus fell to 0-5-1 in its last six contests despite an outstanding effort from goaltender Curtis McElhinney, who kept his team in it with a 40-save performance.


Final Score: St. Louis 3, Minnesota 2 (SO)

Vladimir Tarasenko scored in the final round of the shootout to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. After Jake Allen stopped a Jason Pominville wrister, Tarasenko skated in and snapped a wrister into the left corner of the net for the win. Tarasenko also scored in regulation as did David Backes for the Blues, who have won four of their last five. Jake Allen posted 36 stops in the win. Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise scored goals for the Wild, who have lost three of their last five. Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots in the defeat.


Final Score: Colorado 5, Dallas 2

Alex Tanguay recorded a goal and two assists, as Colorado claimed a 5-2 victory over Dallas at Pepsi Center. Matt Duchene, Jarome Iginla, Danny Briere and Gabriel Landeskog added tallies for the Avalanche, winners in five of their last seven. Tyson Barrie picked up three assists as Calvin Pickard stopped 22 shots for the victory. Cody Eakin and Patrick Eaves lit the lamp in the first period for the Stars, losers of two in a row and five of eight. Anders Lindback stopped 42 pucks in defeat.


Final Score: Calgary 3, Arizona 0

Karri Ramo made 26 saves to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-0 shutout win of the Arizona Coyotes. Ramo was busiest in the second period when he had to make 15 stops, including having to shut down the Coyotes’ only attempt on the power play. T.J. Brodie scored the eventual game-winner 4:34 into the second period, and Johnny Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler added insurance tallies for the Flames in the third period. Hudler had a hand in all three Flames goals to help them win their sixth game out of their last eight. Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves on 29 shots in Arizona’s third straight loss. In his second straight start for Calgary, Ramo shut out his opponent. Going back to Nov. 22 against New Jersey, he has a personal 1:34:34 shutout streak ongoing.


Final Score: Chicago 4, Los Angeles 1

Brad Richards scored twice to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals. Daniel Carcillo and Brandon Saad also lit the lamp and Kris Versteeg supplied two assists for the Blackhawks, who have won three straight and six of their last seven games. Corey Crawford turned aside 19 shots in his 14th consecutive start. Jordan Nolan had the lone goal for the Kings, who eliminated the Blackhawks in a spirited seven-game series en route to their second Stanley Cup in three seasons. Jonathan Quick made 21 stops in defeat.


Final Score: San Jose 6, Anaheim 4

Tommy Wingels finished with four points to lead the San Jose Sharks in a thrilling 6-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. Wingels had a goal and three assists and Logan Couture scored twice for the Sharks, who halted a four-game skid Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto also lit the lamp and Antti Niemi stopped 30-of-34 shots in the win. Corey Perry posted two goals and an assist, Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists and Matt Beleskey also scored for the Ducks, who have dropped their last two games on the heels of a three-game win streak. Frederik Andersen allowed five goals on 19 shots and Jason LaBarbera turned aside 15 pucks in defeat.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2014


National Football League
San Diego at Baltimore, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (705)
Cleveland at Buffalo, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (706)
Tennessee at Houston, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (707)
Oakland at St. Louis, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (708)
Cincinnati at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (709)
Washington at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (710)
NY Giants at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (711)
Carolina at Minnesota, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (712)
New Orleans at Pittsburgh, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (713)
Arizona at Atlanta, 4:05 PM - FOX, DSS (714)
New England at Green Bay, 4:25 PM - CBS, DSS (715)
Denver at Kansas City, 8:30 PM - NBC


National Basketball Association
San Antonio at Boston, 1:00 PM - FS-Southwest, CSN-New England, DSS
Chicago at Brooklyn, 3:00 PM - WGN, YES, DSS
Golden State at Detroit, 3:30 PM - CSN-Bay, FS-Detroit+, DSS
Memphis at Sacramento, 6:00 PM - SportSouth, CSN-California, DSS
Miami at New York, 7:30 PM - SunSports, MSG, DSS
Orlando at Phoenix, 8:00 PM - FS-Florida, Arizona, DSS
Minnesota at Portland, 9:00 PM - FS-North, CSN-Northwest, DSS
Toronto at LA Lakers, 9:30 PM - SNET, Time Warner, DSS


National Hockey League
Vancouver at Detroit, 2:00 PM - City TV, TVA, FS-Detroit, DSS


Canadian Football League - Grey Cup
Hamilton vs. Calgary, 6:30 PM - ESPN 2, TSN


College Basketball
Orlando Classic, 10:30 AM - ESPN3.com
Texas at Connecticut, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
Army at Duke, 12:00 PM - ESPN U
Orlando Classic, 1:00 PM - ESPN
Lipscomb at Colorado, 2:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Providence at Kentucky, 2:00 PM - ESPN 2
Maine at Northern Ill, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Wooden Legacy, 2:00 PM - ESPN U
Air Force at Texas Tech, 2:00 PM - FS-Southwest, MASN2
Tennessee Tech at Tulane, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Stanford at DePaul, 2:30 PM - FS1
Bowling Green at Detroit, 3:00 PM - WADL, ESPN3.com
Charlotte at UNC Asheville, 3:00 PM - American Sports Network, MASN
Morgan State at Virginia Tech, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Iona at Arkansas, 3:30 PM - SEC Network
USC at New Mexico, 4:00 PM - CBSSN
Orlando Classic, 4:00 PM - ESPN 2
Long Island at Temple, 4:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Wooden Legacy, 4:30 PM - ESPN U
Delaware vs. Villanova, 4:30 PM - FS1
Florida Gulf Coast vs. South Daktoa State, 5:00 PM - FS-North
California at Fresno State, 6:00 PM - CBSSN
VMI at Maryland, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Bethune-Cookman at UCF, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Orlando Classic, 6:30 PM - ESPN U
Monmouth at SMU, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Wooden Legacy, 7:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Portland State at Oregon, 8:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Wooden Legacy, 10:00 PM - ESPN 2


Women’s College Basketball
Alabama at Quinnipiac, 11:00 AM - ESPN3.com
Duke at Texas A&M, 1:00 PM - SEC Network
Kansas vs. Notre Dame, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Louisville at Valparaiso, 2:35 PM - ESPN3.com
Marist at Baylor, 3:00 PM - FS-Southwest+
Milwaukee at Missouri, 3:00 PM - SEC Network+
Tennessee at Texas, 6:30 PM - FS1


Major League Soccer - Playoffs
Los Angeles at Seattle, 9:20 PM - ESPN


International Soccer
Southampton vs. Manchester City, 8:25 AM - NBCSN
AC Milan vs. Udinese Calcio, 8:55 AM - beIN Sport
Tottenham vs. Everton, 10:55 AM - NBCSN
Juventus FC vs. Torino FC, 11:55 AM - beIN Sport
Valencia CF vs. FC Barcelona, 2:55 PM - beIN Sport

Sports News   141129

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Mountaineers look to break 3-game losing streak

The WVU football team has a chance to solidify the improvement the team has made over last year’s 4-8 season when it takes on Iowa State Saturday afternoon in Ames, Iowa.

“They get an opportunity for a seventh win and an opportunity (with a bowl victory) to end the season with eight wins which would double their win total from a year ago,” MetroNews Sportsline Host Tony Caridi said Friday morning on MetroNews Talkline.

WVU has lost three straight to drop to 6-5. The Mountaineers were on the verge of challenging for the Big 12 title only to lose on a last second field goal to TCU. They followed that with defeats to Texas and Kansas State. Caridi said Friday an upset loss at Iowa State would take the attention off the improvements.

“In my opinion it would dilute the accomplishments you have made–that’s what it would do,” Caridi said.

The Cyclones (2-8, 0-7) are just 1-5 at home this season.

West Virginia’s starting quarterback Saturday afternoon may not be known until right before kickoff. Senior Clint Trickett suffered a concussion in the Kansas State game, backup Skyler Howard gave the Mountaineers “a chance to win” coach Dana Holgorsen said. Caridi said Holgorsen probably won’t announce his decision until kickoff.

“He had said back during his press conference this week it was going to be a game time or late decision,” Caridi said.

Kickoff in Ames, Iowa is noon Saturday.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Hilltoppers stop Marshall’s bid for perfection

Marshall’s bid for a perfect season went by the wayside Friday when Brandon Doughty’s two-point conversion pass to Willie McNeal in overtime gave Western Kentucky a 67-66 victory over the 19th- ranked Thundering Herd.

Marshall trailed throughout the majority of the defensively challenged contest, falling behind 14-0 early and trailing by 21 in the second quarter.

The Thundering Herd, though, rallied for 10 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes of regulation to force overtime and went ahead for the first time all day on the second play of the extra period when Rakeem Cato hit Hyleck Foster with a 25-yard touchdown pass.

It took just two plays for Western Kentucky to answer, as Doughty found Jared Dangerfield in the back of the end zone from 25 yards away. The Hilltoppers decided to go for the victory and Doughty easily hit McNeal in the right front corner of the end zone.

Doughty threw for 491 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions for Western Kentucky (7-5, 4-4 C-USA), which won its final four games of the regular season. Leon Allen ran for 237 yards with a touchdown on 33 carries for the Hilltoppers.

Cato also lit it up with 417 yards passing and seven touchdowns, but he was intercepted four times in defeat. Steward Butler rushed for 233 yards with two touchdowns for the Thundering Herd (11-1, 7-1), who will still play for the Conference USA championship next weekend.

The 15 combined touchdown passes set an FBS record, while Allen and Butler became the first opponents to reach 230 rushing yards in the same game.

Doughty ignited the scoring with two touchdown passes in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the contest. Following Doughty’s 11-yard strike to Tyler Higbee, Cato was picked off two plays later and Doughty went to the end zone on the next play, connecting with Allen for a 17-yard score.

Cato hit Tommy Shuler with a 26-yard TD pass to get Marshall on the board, but Western Kentucky answered on the next play from scrimmage when Taywan Taylor hauled in a 75-yard scoring pass from Doughty. Cato threw TD passes of 14 yards to Foster and 40 yards to Davonte Allen in between another Doughty touchdown strike to Higbee, making it 28-21 after an eventful opening quarter.

The fireworks continued in the second, as Cato interceptions led to Leon Allen’s 10-yard touchdown and Doughty’s 9-yard TD pass to Joel German for a 42-21 game with 10 1/2 minutes left before halftime.

Cato threw a 2-yard TD pass to Eric Frohnapfel and Butler immediately followed a Doughty interception with a 48-yard touchdown run to pull Marshall within seven, but Doughty and Cato each found the end zone once more before the intermission to make it 49-42 at the break.

Things calmed down in the third quarter, as Garrett Schwettman missed a 35- yard field goal for Western Kentucky and Butler ran 22 yards for the tying touchdown late in the period. Schwettman connected from 21 yards away early in the fourth and Doughty followed another Cato interception with a 35-yard TD pass to Dangerfield to make it 59-49 with 9:11 remaining.

Justin Haig kicked a 17-yard field goal to pull Marshall within a touchdown and the Herd forced a Hilltopper punt with just over three minutes left, more than enough time for Cato to engineer an 82-yard drive for the tying score—a 5-yard TD pass to Frohnapfel with 39 seconds left.

Doughty was picked off near midfield and Marshall had a desperation heave to the end zone fall incomplete as time expired.

Game Notes

Doughty’s eight TD passes broke the old Conference USA record of six, set numerous times ... Marshall had a 13-game home winning streak stopped ... The 91 points in the first half were the most in the opening 30 minutes of an FBS game this season, surpassing the 77 put up by New Mexico and Boise State on November 8 in a contest that ended with a 60-49 Broncos victory ... The teams combined for 1,446 yards of total offense.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Football Game Results

(Friday, November 28)


Final Score: Stanford 31, (9) UCLA 10

Kevin Hogan threw two touchdown passes to lead a balanced offensive attack as Stanford knocked off No. 9 UCLA with a 31-10 victory. Hogan completed 16-of-19 passes for 234 yards, Remound Wright rushed for 64 yards and two scores on 15 carries and Devon Cajuste and Michael Rector each hauled in a TD pass for Stanford (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12), which has won seven straight games against UCLA. Brett Hundley threw for 146 yards and a score on 17-of-32 passing for the Bruins (9-3, 6-3), who had a five-game winning streak come to an end. UCLA would’ve clinched the Pac-12 South title with a victory, but now the winner of the Arizona-Arizona State game will represent the division against Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game on Dec. 5. Thomas Duarte made four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown and Paul Perkins ran for 116 yards on 17 carries for the Bruins.


Final Score: (12) Arizona 42, (13) Arizona State 35

The public address announcer at Arizona Stadium never relayed the results of the game in Pasadena. Arizona’s focus was sorely on its in-state rival, and the Territorial Cup is now back in its hands. The Wildcats are hoping to add another trophy to their collection next week. Nick Wilson ran for three scores and Samajie Grant hauled in both of Anu Solomon’s two touchdown passes as the 12th-ranked Wildcats defeated No. 13 Arizona State 42-35 on Friday afternoon. The victory over the Sun Devils, coupled with No. 8 UCLA’s loss to Stanford, wrapped up the Pac-12 South and punched Arizona’s ticket into the Pac-12 title game in Santa Clara against No. 3 Oregon next Friday. Stanford put the finishing touches of a 31-10 rout of the Bruins at the Rose Bowl just minutes prior to Mike Bercovici’s 4th-and-12 pass with 1:07 remaining into a crowd of Arizona players falling incomplete.


Final Score: (17) Missouri 21, Arkansas 14

Maty Mauk threw for 265 yards and led two long fourth-quarter touchdown drives that rallied No. 17 Missouri to a 21-14 victory over Arkansas and an appearance in the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers (10-2, 7-1 SEC) sewed up their second consecutive SEC East title by scoring 18 unanswered points—15 of which came in the final quarter—to overcome a 14-3 first-half deficit and run their winning streak to six games. Mauk threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt to cap a 98-yard series that tied the game with 12:41 left, with Marcus Murphy putting Missouri ahead on a 12-yard run with 4:38 remaining. Mauk completed 25-of-42 attempts with an interception and the one touchdown, while Bud Sasser caught nine passes for 127 yards and threw for a key 2-point conversion that aided the comeback. Russell Hansbrough added 91 rushing yards on 20 carries, and Missouri’s defense pitched a shutout in the second half to deny Arkansas (6-6, 2-6) a third straight win over a ranked opponent.


Final Score: Western Kentucky 67, (19) Marshall 66 (OT)

Marshall’s bid for a perfect season went by the wayside Friday when Brandon Doughty’s two-point conversion pass to Willie McNeal in overtime gave Western Kentucky a 67-66 victory over the 19th- ranked Thundering Herd. Marshall trailed throughout the majority of the defensively challenged contest, falling behind 14-0 early and trailing by 21 in the second quarter. The Thundering Herd, though, rallied for 10 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes of regulation to force overtime and went ahead for the first time all day on the second play of the extra period when Rakeem Cato hit Hyleck Foster with a 25-yard touchdown pass. It took just two plays for Western Kentucky to answer, as Doughty found Jared Dangerfield in the back of the end zone from 25 yards away. The Hilltoppers decided to go for the victory and Doughty easily hit McNeal in the right front corner of the end zone. Doughty threw for 491 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions for Western Kentucky (7-5, 4-4 C-USA), which won its final four games of the regular season. Leon Allen ran for 237 yards with a touchdown on 33 carries for the Hilltoppers. Cato also lit it up with 417 yards passing and seven touchdowns, but he was intercepted four times in defeat. Steward Butler rushed for 233 yards with two touchdowns for the Thundering Herd (11-1, 7-1), who will still play for the Conference USA championship next weekend.


Final Score: Air Force 27, (21) Colorado State 24

Will Conant booted a 39-yard field goal as time expired and Air Force played spoiler with a 27-24 win over 21st- ranked Colorado State on Friday. Colorado State faced a 3rd-and-2 from the Air Force 42 with under a minute remaining when Jasen Oden Jr. was stopped for no gain. The Rams gambled on fourth down, but Dee Hart was also stood up and the Falcons took over with 38 seconds to play. On 3rd-and-4 of the ensuing possession, Nate Romine fired to Garrett Brown for 26 yards, setting up Conant’s game-winner. Romine, who made his first start of the season, was only asked to throw 15 times for the run-heavy Falcons (9-3, 5-3 MW). He completed just six passes for 135 yards while racking up a team-high 61 yards and a touchdown on the ground. D.J. Johnson and Shayne Davern also scored on the ground for Air Force, which finished the regular season with a 6-0 record at Falcon Stadium.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Ray Rice wins appeal

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been reinstated to the NFL, winning an appeal of his indefinite suspension from the league on Friday.

Rice, who has been suspended since September 8 for punching his now-wife in an Atlantic City Casino back in February, is now free to sign with any NFL team.

“This decision is a victory for a disciplinary process that is fair and transparent. This union will always stand up and fight for the due process rights of our players. While we take no pleasure in seeing a decision that confirms what we have been saying about the Commissioner’s office acting arbitrarily, we hope that this will bring the NFL owners to the collective bargaining table to fix a broken processm,“ the NFLPA said in a statement.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games over the incident, but later banned him indefinitely for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following the release of video footage that showed him striking Janay Palmer inside an elevator of the Revel Casino.

The video rocked the league and also led to Rice’s release by the Ravens on the same day Goodell announced the harsher penalty.

Surveillance footage showed Rice and Palmer entering the elevator at the now- closed casino. The two were standing next to each other before a minor shove. Rice then moved away and Palmer rushed toward him before he reacted with a quick left-handed blow.

Rice appealed the indefinite suspension at a hearing in early November, one in which Goodell testified. Rice and his wife also testified, as did Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome.

The NFL Players Association argued the league violated labor laws by increasing Rice’s punishment after the video surfaced. Goodell spent most of his time under cross-examination by outside players union attorney Jeffrey Kessler.

The 27-year-old Rice is a three-time Pro Bowler, rushing for 6,180 yards and 37 touchdowns in six seasons with Baltimore.


►  Falcons activate S Moore; White questionable

The Atlanta Falcons will have William Moore back in the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals after placing the previously injured safety on the active roster Friday.

Moore was placed on injured reserve/designated to return on September 30 after he separated his shoulder in a Week 4 loss at Minnesota. The 2012 Pro Bowl selection has missed Atlanta’s last seven games.

While Moore is expected to play, the Falcons are uncertain if wide receiver Roddy White will be able to go for Sunday’s key Week 13 tilt after the veteran sat out a third day of practice on Friday.

White, who is dealing with an ankle injury, is listed as questionable to face the Cardinals.

Nose tackle Paul Soliai also is questionable for Sunday’s contest due to a personal matter that has kept him away from the team during the week.

Cornerback Robert Alford will miss a second straight game with a broken wrist he sustained at Carolina on November 16.


►  Broncos TE Thomas considered game-time decision

The Denver Broncos have listed star tight end Julius Thomas as questionable for Sunday’s key AFC West clash at Kansas City due to a sprained left ankle that kept him out of the team’s last game.

Thomas, the NFL’s leader with 12 touchdown catches this season, was a limited practice participant for a second straight day on Friday. The playmaking tight end was also termed questionable heading into this past Sunday’s contest against Miami but was inactive.

Denver, which owns a one-game edge on the Chiefs for first place in the division, is also uncertain about the availability of top cornerback Aqib Talib, who exited the Miami game with a hamstring injury.

Talib practiced some on Friday after sitting out the previous two days and is also termed questionable on the final injury report.

Linebacker Brandon Marshall, the Broncos’ leading tackler, is expected to play after passing the NFL protocol for a concussion he sustained against the Dolphins.

Running backs Ronnie Hillman (foot) and Montee Ball (groin) remain sidelined for Denver. C.J. Anderson served as the lead back last week and put up a career-best 167 rushing yards in the 39-36 win over Miami.


►  Browns’ Cameron questionable to return Sunday

Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron practiced for a third consecutive day Friday, though it still remains to be seen whether he’ll be cleared to play in Sunday’s game at Buffalo.

Cameron has missed four straight games with a concussion he suffered during Cleveland’s 23-13 win over Oakland on October 26. Though the 2013 Pro Bowl honoree has made significant progress this week, he still needs to pass the NFL’s concussion protocol to be active on Sunday.

The Browns will definitely be without safety Tashaun Gipson for Sunday’s tilt, as the NFL’s current interception leader this season is facing a multi-week absence after spraining his knee against Atlanta last Sunday.

Linebacker Karlos Dansby is also out for the Week 13 matchup and will miss a second straight game with a knee injury as well.

Two other Cleveland defenders, lineman Ahtyba Rubin (back) and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (foot), are questionable to face the Bills.


►  Foster probable, Clowney out for Texans

Houston running back Arian Foster is on track to return from a two-game absence when the Texans host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

The Texans listed Foster as probable for the Week 13 tilt after putting in a third straight limited practice on Friday. The 2010 NFL rushing champion has not played since injuring his groin against Philadelphia on November 2.

Rookie outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney will not play this weekend, however, due to a recent setback to his surgically repaired right knee. The 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick missed six games earlier this season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in September.

Both Clowney and cornerback Kareem Jackson were ruled out on Friday. Jackson will sit out a third straight game with a knee injury of his own.


►  Jets go back to Geno as Dolphins arrive for ‘MNF’

The margin for error is getting smaller and smaller when it comes to the AFC playoff hunt for the Miami Dolphins.

And the Dolphins can’t afford another slip up when they put a period on Week 13 of the NFL season by visiting a hapless New York Jets team turning back to Geno Smith on “Monday Night Football.“

Smith, who started the first eight games this season before being benched, replaced Michael Vick under center during last Monday’s 38-3 drubbing at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, a setback that dropped the Jets to 2-9.

Embattled New York coach Rex Ryan claims to have made the decision and informed both quarterbacks Wednesday morning.

“Everybody’s on board with this decision,“ Ryan said. “I have said it all along that I feel we have two good quarterbacks, I definitely feel that. And we have another guy that is a decent quarterback as well, in (Matt) Simms. But I feel that way.“

Smith had been the Jets’ starter for the first 24 games of his career after the team selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was benched in the Week 8 loss to Buffalo after throwing three interceptions in the first 10 minutes of the contest and Vick was named the starter the following week.

“We purposely put Geno back, let him observe,“ Ryan said. “Now is the opportunity for him to step back in and let’s see how it goes. I, for one, am excited to watch him. He has my support on this, and that’s what I’ll say about it.“

Vick started the past three games for the Jets, leading the team to a victory in Week 10 against Pittsburgh to end an eight-game losing streak. He struggled in Monday’s game against the Bills at Detroit’s Ford Field, completing just 7- of-19 passes for 76 yards with an interception while being sacked five times.

The game was moved from Ralph Wilson Stadium after the venue was deemed unplayable due to several feet of snow that fell last week, crippling Buffalo and neighboring areas.

Smith entered in the third quarter and connected on 10-of-12 throws for 89 yards while being sacked twice.

“Horrible performance. We couldn’t do anything. Couldn’t block. Couldn’t tackle. Couldn’t cover. It was just an awful performance,“ Ryan admitted.

The Dolphins suffered their own disappointing, almost debilitating loss at Denver in Week 12, albeit a far more competitive one when Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes, three to Demaryius Thomas and two during a fourth- quarter rally, that lifted the Broncos to a hard-earned 39-36 win.

The Broncos trailed a gritty Miami team for most of the game and were down 28-17 after three quarters, then erupted for 22 consecutive points in the fourth to regain sole possession of first place in the AFC West.

Ryan Tannehill threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to put Miami in position for the upset before Manning engineered his 41st career fourth- quarter comeback. The young quarterback completed 26-of-36 throws for 228 yards with a costly late interception that helped seal the outcome.

“As a competitor, you don’t like to see it,“ Tannehill said. “We didn’t score enough points in the second half.“

Jarvis Landry hauled in two of Tannehill’s scoring strikes and recorded seven catches for 50 yards.

The Jets lead their all-time series with Miami by a 50-45-1 margin. On Monday night, the Dolphins play .500 football at 40-40 while New York is underwater at 20-29.

The two teams will rematch in South Florida during Week 17.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Miami has struggled mightily in close games this season, going 0-3 in contests decided by four or fewer points. In addition to the loss in Denver, the Dolphins suffered setbacks to Green Bay in Week 6 and Detroit in Week 10 due to late-game collapses.

“We have to find a way to win some of those games,“ Miami coach Joe Philbin admitted. “We’re going to be in some more of those games. That’s just the way the NFL is.“

Entering Week 13, 11 of the AFC’s 16 teams had six-or-more wins and most them were above the Dolphins, making this a virtual must win for a team which hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2008.

“I don’t think the records really matter right now,“ Philbin said. “We have to go win a game against the New York Jets. That’s really the only thing that is on my mind and should be on our players’ minds at this point.“

Getting to play the Jets twice in the final five weeks will only help, especially now that they have turned back toward Smith, who looked terribly overmatched in his first eight opportunities this season. The West Virginia product has thrown for 1,459 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.

Turnovers have been a major issue for the Jets, who are minus-12 on the season, a number that helps explain how the team can be ranked No. 7 in total defense (328.8 yards per game) but be tied for 30th in points allowed (27.5 points per game).

Tannehill, meanwhile, has been hot recently and is third in the NFL with a 70.9 completion percentage over his last six games while throwing 12 TD passes against just three interceptions over that span.

With Smith back under center the Jets will try to rely on a running game that stumbled against the Bills, gaining just 92 yards on the ground. Miami, however, allowed a season-high 201 against the Broncos with the lightly- regarded C.J. Anderson gashing them for 167.

“They have an outstanding defensive line,“ Ryan said of the Dolphins. “Absolutely it starts up front. If we can’t block them it doesn’t matter who you have at quarterback.“

New York is also expected to be without star defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson due to an injured toe suffered in Detroit.

“It doesn’t look good for Big Mo,“ Ryan said. “If you’re in a boot, that doesn’t look good for this week. But, hopefully, we’ll get him back as soon as we can.“

OVERALL ANALYSIS

By going back to Smith, Ryan has essentially waived the white flag on the season and his career as the Jets’ head coach. It also plainly indicates the power in the organization is with unpopular general manager John Idzik.

The Jets aren’t a good team with either signal caller but Vick can at least get hot every now and again and make New York competitive, albeit inconsistently.

“I think the best thing for this team right now is to play Geno Smith,“ Ryan said unconvincingly. “Right now, for all the reasons we talked about. Is one of those reasons, does he give you a great chance to win, or a chance to win? I believe he does give us a chance to win.“

Not much of one moving forward.

Predicted outcome: Dolphins 23, Jets 16


►  Well-rested Panthers try to halt 5-game skid

Life isn’t always fair.

At 3-7-1 on the season the Carolina Panthers are just one-half game out of first place in the dreadful NFC South. Conversely the Minnesota Vikings are a tick better at 4-7 and all but dead and buried in the tough NFC North.

The Panthers will arrive in the Twin Cities well rested and coming off an always advantageous late bye week, something made even more sweet when the rest of the NFC South—New Orleans, Atlanta and Tampa Bay—lost in Week 12 while Cam Newton and Co. were watching.

Currently the Saints and Falcons are tied atop the division at 4-7 with the Bucs bringing up the rear behind the Panthers at 2-9.

Carolina is a step behind Atlanta because of a 19-17 Week 11 home loss to the Falcons in which Matt Bryant connected on four field goals, including a 44- yarder late in the fourth quarter to lift Atlanta.

Newton struggled for much of the game, but did have two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and finished the game 23-for-37 for 292 yards with two interceptions for the Panthers, who have lost five straight overall after tying a game against Cincinnati in Week 6.

“We’ve just got to play better, as a team, as a group and take that challenge personally,“ said Newton. “I know I’m better than how I’m playing. We just have to get things going.“

Newton’s second touchdown pass of the fourth quarter had given the Panthers a 17-16 lead with 6:20 to play.

The Falcons’ Matt Ryan, though, was able to get his team into scoring position, thanks in part to three receptions by Harry Douglas for 29 yards. Bryant booted the 44-yarder in with 2:08 to play for a 19-17 lead.

The Panthers were able to get into field goal range on their ensuing touch, thanks in part to catches of 15 yards and 17 yards from Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin, respectively. Graham Gano, though, missed a 46-yarder just to the left with 1:22 to play.

“This was a tough one to swallow,“ said Carolina head coach Ron Rivera. “I talked to the players about this and told them we’re still in the middle of it, believe it or not, but we’ve got to start taking care of our own end first.“

In Minnesota, things haven’t gone as expected this season under first-year coach Mike Zimmer.

The Vikings were planning to lean on MVP candidate Adrian Peterson running behind veteran Matt Cassel at quarterback with second-year stud Cordarrelle Patterson serving as an over the top threat outside the numbers.

Instead Peterson’s personal issues have taken him out of the equation, Cassel broke his foot early in the season and Patterson has not developed, leaving Zimmer relying on rookies Teddy Bridgewater and Jerick McKinnon at quarterback and running back respectively, as well as first-year receiver Charles Johnson.

Despite that Minnesota has remained very competitive and gave Green Bay, perhaps the NFC’s best team, all it could handle in Week 12 before eventually succumbing 24-21.

Bridgewater went 21-for-37 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Packers. McKinnon ran it 15 times for 54 yards and Johnson had three catches for 52 yards and a score, along with a two-point conversion.

“I’m proud of the way the guys fought today,“ said Bridgewater. “We fell short and didn’t make enough plays to win this game, but the effort was there. We just have to continue to get better each week and be a consistent football team.“

The Vikings lead their all-time series with Carolina 6-5 but the Panthers have won two of the past three, including a 35-10 blowout last season when Newton threw for 242 yards and accounted for four TDs (three passing, one rushing).

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Besides the obvious issue of not having Peterson, many of the Vikings’ offensive issues stem from the poor play of the offensive line, particularly the left side where left tackle Matt Kalil is having a disastrous year and left guard Charlie Johnson has only been a bit better.

Kalil, the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft who was a Pro Bowl player as a rookie, refused to comment after he was called for three penalties in the Vikings’ loss to the Packers.

“Honestly, it was hard for me to see,“ Zimmer said. “The times when I watched him, (Kalil) seemed to be doing okay, but my eyes are looking at their coverage and the blitzes that they’re doing and Teddy (Bridgewater).“

After the contest, however, Kalil was videotaped knocking a hat off a fan who had criticized his play.

“I usually shrug off that stuff,“ Kalil said. “Fans like to talk and say some things, but that’s just something that I could have been a bigger man and walked away from. But it really wasn’t that big of a deal. (The fan) just caught me when I had a short fuse that day.“

Meanwhile the strength of the group, the right side, is now entirely gone after right tackle Phil Loadholt tore his pec against Green Bay last weekend. The big Oklahoma product joins right guard Brandon Fusco, who also tore a pec earlier this season, on the sidelines.

“The incident (Sunday) with the media thing and the fan, obviously a lot of frustration, losing a game like that, losing Phil in the game to injury and stuff like that,“ Kalil said. “So obviously I was a little upset, but I hope you guys didn’t take anything personally. It was just one of those days, so I apologize for that.“

All of that means Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner will be scaling back things even further with significant playing time for all three tight ends—Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison and Chase Ford—with the intent on getting extra help for both Kalil and Mike Harris, a waiver pickup before the season who will replace Loadholt.

Making matters worse is that McKinnon, a raw but explosive runner is doubtful with a balky back injured while lifting weights. Matt Asiata is set to return after missing a game with a concussion but he’s nothing more than a short- yardage back. Second-year man Joe Banyard and the recently acquired Ben Tate are the Vikings’ other options in the backfield.

The Carolina defense isn’t what it was in 2013 when the team finished 12-4 and won the NFC South, allowing 374.0 yards per game, good for 25th in football. The group, however, is well set up to handle a Vikings’ attack which rarely stretches the field and, when it does, isn’t all that effective because Bridgewater lacks accuracy down the football field.

Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, who leads the NFL with 436 tackles since entering the league in 2012, should be able to handle Minnesota’s run game and when the Vikings’ offense gets one-dimensional, things can get ugly. Minnesota comes in ranked 30th overall on offense with only the NFL’s two one- win teams, Jacksonville and Oakland worse.

On the offensive side, the Panthers will certainly be helped by the extra rest because Newton clearly wasn’t right physically before the bye.

Carolina has had its own issues with the offensive line, however, with yet another change looming for Sunday with Mike Remmers, a former deep reserve with the Vikings, in line to replace the injured Nate Chandler at right tackle. It will be the sixth different group the Panthers have used up front in six games.

The Vikings are much improved defensively from the group that was torched by Cam in 2013 (12th overall) but the unit still struggles at times with situational football and bigger receivers, something that could signal a big day for 6-foot-5 rookie wideout Benjamin, who has 52 catches for 768 yards and leads all freshman with eight TD catches.

“It’s not about accepting anything. It’s just realizing you have to be better,“ Newton said. “You can’t get down on yourself because you’re not getting the results. If anything you just got to keep going back to the lab and working on your craft and your product, and make that art shinier.“

OVERALL ANALYSIS

The Panthers were likely sitting at home last week amazed that they are still in the NFC South race and the fact that this game actually means something for them, along with the Vikings’ dismal offensive line, should be the difference here.

“We control our own destiny, but this destiny is no easy catch,“ Newton said. “We have to be men about this. We have to be professionals about this and we’ve got to set the standard for ourselves to play at. And anything less than that is unacceptable.“

Predicted outcome: Panthers 21, Vikings 17


►  Texans turn back to Fitzpatrick

As bad a time as the Tennessee Titans’ defense might be in for this weekend during a visit to Houston, the offense might even enjoy the road trip a little bit less.

The Titans sit 28th in a 32-team league when it comes to running the football. Their premier rookie ball-carrier - second-round pick Bishop Sankey - is averaging less than four yards per carry and hasn’t bettered 61 yards in any one game, and newbie quarterback Zach Mettenberger has got issues, too.

The sixth-round pick from LSU is winless in four games as a starter, though he did throw for 345 yards and a pair of scores in a loss last week against Philadelphia. He’s averaged 271.5 aerial yards per game in the four starts and has seven touchdowns, and still has support from his coach, Ken Whisenhunt.

“I remember Peyton Manning being 3-13 his first year,“ Whisenhunt said. “Not that I’m saying that it’s OK not to win games. We need to win a game as a football team, and that would certainly help with Zach, but he’s making progress in areas that you like to see from a young quarterback.“

The youngster’s first start also came against the Texans and resulted in a memorable moment when Houston’s J.J. Watt registered a pair of sacks and mocked Mettenberger with a fake “selfie” after the quarterback had posted pictures of himself on social media prior to the game.

Mettenberger completed 27-of-41 passes for 299 yards and two TDs in a 30-16 loss.

“It’s just kind of a reminder, this is the National Football League, not high school,“ Watt said. “Welcome to the show.“

The October loss to the Texans was the second in a stretch that’s since reached five in a row and is the team’s longest since a six-game slide four years ago. Tennessee, in fact, has dropped nine of 10 games since an impressive 26-10 defeat of Kansas City in Week 1.

“It’s not a lot of fun,“ Whisenhunt said. “I enjoy working with these guys. I enjoy being here. The fans have been good with me, but it’s not fun. I love doing this job, but you still feel sick when you don’t do what you’re supposed to do.“

As for Houston, any playoff run made will be with a QB who was passed over just two weeks back.

Veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick has been penciled in as the starter for the rest of the season after the man who replaced him last week - Ryan Mallett - suffered a torn right pectoral muscle last week against Cincinnati, in his second start since Texans coach Bill O’Brien had made the switch.

Houston trails Indianapolis by two games in the AFC South with five remaining, but one of the final quintet is against the Colts and two are against last- place Jacksonville.

Fitzpatrick was a winner in two starts to begin the season, but then went 2-5 in the next seven while throwing eight interceptions and being sacked 20 times. Mallett defeated Cleveland in his initial outing in Week 11, then was hurt against the Bengals.

Still, the starter-turned-backup-turned-starter doesn’t anticipate issues with a return to No. 1 status.

“I don’t think so,“ Fitzpatrick said. “It’s like riding a bike. That’s what being a quarterback is. That’s what kind of my whole career has been.“

He was indeed a winner in the aforementioned first meeting with Tennessee, completing 19-of-35 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown, while not committing a turnover for the only time in his last seven games. And that game, too, was a return for Harvard University product, who made nine starts while playing for the Titans last season.

Fitzpatrick has a pair of high-end receivers in Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, but the Texans are languishing in 28th place in the league in passing yardage, averaging just 207.5 per game. Instead, running backs Arian Foster and Alfred Blue have been carrying the load, literally, in recent weeks.

Foster is averaging 102.8 yards per game and better than five yards per carry, but he’s missed the last two games with a groin injury and remains questionable for Sunday. Blue has run the ball 52 times for 202 yards in the last two games in Foster’s absence.

Overall, Houston leads the AFC with 137.3 rushing yards per game and is up against a Tennessee defense that’s allowed better than 150 yards on the ground in four straight.

“There is a potential that (Foster) could play,“ O’Brien said. “Hopefully that’s something that he’ll be able to help us on game day.“

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Making a Run at Defense

The Titans, to be kind, were not terribly effective in stopping the run when the teams meet in Nashville in October. Houston crossed the 200-yard barrier and wound up with 212 in that game - including 151 from Foster - and they’ve subsequently allowed at least 150 to Baltimore (151), Pittsburgh (206) and Philadelphia (164). The Eagles game featured 19 missed tackles, which simply cannot occur again.

Fitz of Unpredictability

Just how much influence the inconsistent Fitzpatrick has on the game will be determined by how well the Texans can run the ball. But if Foster and/or Blue are bottled up, it’ll be incumbent on the returning starter to limit the mistakes that have been the signature element of his career. He was error-free in that game, but has been picked off in five of nine games this season. Houston is 3-1 when he’s pick-free.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Fitzpatrick is inconsistent and Foster is dinged-up, but even with those qualifications this is a game Houston should win.

The Texans are home, they have better players on offense and they have perhaps the league’s best player on defense in Watt, who could make an impact if he remains successful in getting to and disrupting Mettenberger. If they want to be contenders, this a no less than a must-win.

Predicted outcome: Texans 27, Titans 17


►  Bills return home, welcome Pettine back to Buffalo

The Buffalo Bills will return to the friendly confines of Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday when they welcome the upstart Cleveland Browns to town.

The Bills, of course, had to move their Week 12 tilt against the New York Jets to Detroit because of heavy snow that hit the Buffalo area last week. When they take the field Sunday it will be just the Bills’ second game on their home turf in a span of 41 days.

“The best thing that I said—and I told this to the players, and I’ve been dying to say it: I just want to go home,“ Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone said. “I just want to go home. It’s been a long week.“

Ford Field, though, was very accommodating to the Bills on Monday, as Kyle Orton passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns to help Buffalo rout the Jets, 38-3.

“We wanted to give the people back in our region a chance to smile a little bit by the way we played,“ said Marrone.

Boobie Dixon rushed for a touchdown and blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone for another score, helping the Bills keep their playoff hopes alive.

Buffalo held the hapless Jets to a season-low 218 total yards and increased its NFL-leading sack total to 46 with seven during its most-lopsided victory since a 38-0 rout of Indianapolis on September 20, 1992.

With six wins through 11 games the Bills have a winning record this late in a season for the first time since 2008 and only the third time since they last reached the postseason back in 1999.

Still, they enter this tilt one game back of the Browns in the AFC playoff chase.

Cleveland, meanwhile, has playoff aspirations of its own following its fourth win in five weeks. The Browns bounced back from a home loss in Houston in Week 11 to narrowly beat Atlanta this past Sunday, as Billy Cundiff kicked a 37- yard field goal as time expired to lift the Browns to a 26-24 win.

Cundiff’s winner came after the Falcons took the lead on Matt Bryant’s 53-yard field goal at the other end of the field.

But Atlanta left 44 seconds on the clock—Matt Ryan threw an incomplete pass on third down to stop it before Bryant’s kick—and Cleveland had all three of its timeouts.

Brian Hoyer, who threw interceptions on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter—including one in the end zone—completed four passes for 61 yards to set up Cundiff’s winning kick.

One of the passes was to Josh Gordon for 24 yards. Gordon returned from a 10- game suspension to make eight catches for a game-high 120 yards.

Nobody was happier to have Gordon back than Hoyer, who leads the NFL with an average of 14.04 yards per completion this season. He is also tied for second in the league with 46 completions of 20-plus yards.

“This is as big a team win as we have had,“ said Browns coach Mike Pettine. “There were times we tried to give this one away and fought back and made plays in the end. I told (our players) afterward I couldn’t be more proud.“

Cleveland has won four of its last six matchups with the Bills, including a 37-24 triumph last season. However, the Browns lost the last time they played in Buffalo, but have taken two of the last three there.

This will be the seventh meeting in the last eight years between these teams.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Pettine is quite familiar with Buffalo’s personnel, having served as the Bills defensive coordinator last season. Pettine had a profound impact on the Buffalo defense in his lone season with the club and that has continued this year under Jim Schwartz.

Buffalo sits fourth in the league in total defense, surrendering 312.2 yards per game. But, teams have been able to run on this Bills defense, especially lately.

After allowing an NFL-low average of 2.79 yards per rush through their first six games, the Bills have surrendered a league-worst 5.25 per carry in their last five.

That trend may continue against a very good rushing attack of the Browns that is spearheaded by a pair of rookies in Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. Crowell leads all NFL rookies and stands third in the league with seven rushing touchdowns. He stands fourth among rookies with 336 rushing yards, while West is third with 470.

Cleveland is coming off one of their better rushing performances of the season after rolling up 162 yards against Atlanta.

Still, with Gordon back in the mix look for Hoyer to try and find him early and often. Hoyer, though, may have his work cut out for him against the league’s best pass rush. In fact, the Bills have averaged six sacks in their past three games and Hoyer has struggled under pressure, completing just 55.9-% of his passes such situations.

Both teams, though, will try to establish the run.

Buffalo rediscovered their ground attack against a very good Jets defense, as it produced 116 yards and averaged four yards a carry against the league�s fourth-ranked run defense.

Cleveland is ranked 29th against the run as their opponents choose to run against them more than any other defense in football (46.7-percent) when it comes to play selection.

Both teams have defenses with a penchant for taking the ball away. Buffalo is tied for third in the league in takeaways (22) and Cleveland has 15 takeaways in their last six games, good for most in the league over that span.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

In all likelihood the loser of this game is probably out of the playoff race.

Cleveland seems to be playing way above its heads and Hoyer has started to trend the other way, despite the team winning games. Having Gordon back in the mix should only help. We all know that the Bills get to the quarterback, but the Browns have done a good job of keeping Hoyer upright.

Still he has struggled under pressure and how he handles the Bills’ front seven will ultimately decide this game.

Buffalo, on the other hand, is not as good as it looked on Monday. The Bills will have a hard time not only containing Gordon, but may not be able to handle the Browns’ neophyte backfield. If they can get to Hoyer they will have a chance, but that may be a tall order against a very good Cleveland offensive line.

Predicted outcome: Browns 24, Bills 10


►  Raiders plan to start winning streak in St. Louis

The St. Louis Rams have as much right to strut as any 4-7 team.

The Rams have 2014 wins over both teams that appeared in February’s Super Bowl - Seattle and Denver—as well as the team that was beaten by the Seahawks in a dramatic NFC title game, San Francisco.

Those three teams came into Week 13 this season with a combined 22-11 record.

Problem is, the Rams have gone just 1-7 against the remainder of their schedule, and missed a chance to take a step toward relevance when they dropped a 27-24 decision at San Diego last week, a game that ended with a Shaun Hill interception at the Chargers’ 4-yard line with 63 seconds remaining.

“We’ve got a great locker room, and a great group of guys who have every right to be disappointed,“ St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said. “They’ll come back.“

The Rams have alternated wins and losses in their last six games and will try to continue that stretch against an Oakland team that had lost 10 straight this season - and 16 in a row across two years - before upsetting Kansas City on Monday night.

Hill will retain his starting role in spite of the late misfire in San Diego, a game which included a touchdown pass and another INT. It was his second start since regaining the starting role from a skidding Austin Davis. In Hill’s first start after that transition, he led the 22-7 upset defeat of the Broncos.

Against the Chargers he hit rookie receiver Stedman Bailey for seven receptions and 89 yards, both career-best numbers, and the aforementioned TD pass, which was the youngster’s first.

“The mark of a true pro is somebody that can take all the pats on the back one week and then take all the ridicule the next week and still be the same guy after both,“ he said. “Hopefully, that’s the example I’m going to set for this team and I think this team is built to do just that. That’s been the way we’ve picked ourselves up in the past and I wouldn’t expect anything different.“

As for the Raiders, they don’t seem content to stop after a single victory.

Oakland had gone 368 days since defeating Houston in Week 11 of 2013, and it hasn’t won two straight games since toppling Jacksonville and Kansas City, respectively, on October 21 and 28, 2012.

“Hopefully there’s many more to come,“ quarterback David Carr said. “Because I like this feeling better than the other one, that’s for sure.“

Carr hit James Jones with a nine-yard pass with just less than 2 minutes remaining against the Chiefs last week, which capped off a dramatic 17-play drive that covered 80 yards.

It was also the first win under interim coach Tony Sparano, who replaced Dennis Allen after he was let go four games into the season. Oakland had gone 0-6 under its new boss, but had been within range of wins in the fourth quarter of all but one of those losses prior to breaking through last week.

The Raiders scored 14, 14, 9 and 14 points in the 2014 games under Allen, but have scored 24 three times and averaged 17.9 with Sparano in charge.

“He’s one of the bright spots out of this season,“ offensive tackle Donald Penn said. “Even though our record doesn’t show it, everybody has to see that since he’s taken over we’ve gotten better and better.“

Oakland gashed the Chiefs for 179 yards on the ground in the victory, including 112 on four carries by rookie Latavius Murray. The Raiders, though, are still last in the league with a 73.5-yard rush average.

“We finally said as a line enough is enough,“ Penn said. “We came out and we did it. We can’t just do it one game. We have to do it more. I want more. This isn’t enough. We need more.“

Murray, who had a 90-yard TD run, sustained a concussion later in the game but is still listed as probable. Also with a chance to return is wide receiver Rod Streater, who broke his left foot in Week 3 against New England and hasn’t played since.

“These things can take time or they can be very fast, just depends on the player and the severity or any of those type of things,“ Sparano said.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Reveal Yourself

The Raiders entered the week at No. 12 in the league when it comes to pass defense, though the number is clouded by the reality that opponents have chosen to run the ball against the instead.

In fact, teams have thrown 364 passes against Oakland - seventh-fewest in the NFL. Either way, it’s a chance to St. Louis to put wide receivers Bailey and Kenny Britt on the first page of the game plan to find the truth.

Where’s Your Head At?

As mentioned earlier Oakland is the league’s worst running team, even with the 179-yard breakout against Kansas City that led to the first win. Making it two straight good games on the ground will depend a lot on the health of Murray. St. Louis has allowed nearly 116 yards per game on the ground and could be less than steadfast in its preparation against a would-be inferior opponent.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Coach Jeff Fisher has done well to get his Rams up for the big matches against the aforementioned trio from last season’s playoff final four, but he’s also just 1-7 against the rest.

There are clearly no playoff implications this week and the Raiders are hardly a team that players get revved to face, so it wouldn’t be a shock if the Raiders made it two straight. But we’ll assume it’s just a close game, not an upset.

Predicted outcome: Rams 20, Raiders 17


►  Chargers and Ravens jockey for playoff position

A pair of 7-4 teams aiming for a third straight victory clash this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens play host to the San Diego Chargers.

Both the Ravens and Chargers have used their back-to-back wins to stay in the hunt in tight division races. Baltimore is tied for second in the AFC North with Pittsburgh and Cleveland as all three clubs trail 7-3-1 Cincinnati, while San Diego is even with Kansas City in the AFC West and a game back of 8-3 Denver.

The Ravens will have one fewer day of rest as they were in action last Monday night and knocked off the New Orleans Saints 34-27 behind running back Justin Forsett’s career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.

Joe Flacco threw for 243 yards and a touchdown, which was caught by wide receiver Steve Smith among his four receptions for 89 yards.

Safety Will Hill had an interception he returned 44 yards for a touchdown, while linebacker Elvis Dumervil had two of the club’s four sacks.

“That was a really special win,“ Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh said. “You are going to have to win a lot of games to make the playoffs in our conference.“

The Ravens were coming off a bye after having bested Tennessee 21-7 on November 9, while the Chargers dropped three in a row heading into their bye in Week 10. They have since come out with wins over Oakland and St. Louis, topping the Rams in thrilling fashion 27-24 this past Sunday.

Quarterback Philip Rivers put the Chargers up by 10 on a 29-yard touchdown pass to wideout Keenan Allen with 8:09 to play, but the Rams came back with a touchdown with 2:04 to go and then moved into position for a game-tying field goal try with a little over a minute to play.

However, while trying for a go-ahead score, St. Louis quarterback Shaun Hill was picked off by San Diego safety Marcus Gilchrist just inside the end zone to secure the win.

The Chargers’ defense held Hill to 198 passing yards and recorded two interceptions, while linebacker Andrew Gachkar picked up a fumble caused by defensive tackle Corey Liuget’s sack and took it 13 yards for a score in the third quarter.

“They came up big the whole game,“ Rivers said about his defense. “We had some turnovers and some things and we put them in some tough spots. They were awesome.“

Rivers was 29-of-35 for 291 yards with one touchdown pass while also having an interception returned 99 yards for a score. Allen ended with six catches for 104 yards and running back Ryan Mathews had 105 yards rushing and a score on 12 carries.

The Ravens lead the all-time series with the Chargers 5-4, with seven of those nine games taking place in San Diego. The Chargers have lost both of their trips to Baltimore.

This game marks the first meeting between the clubs at M&T Stadium since 2006.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

The Ravens have been getting solid production from their ground game all season long, but the Chargers’ big game from their running was a pleasant surprise for a club that ranks 27th on the ground (89.5 yards per game) this season.

The 27-year-old Mathews appeared in his second game after missing seven in a row with a knee injury and has posted 175 yards rushing since his return. He averaged a career-best 8.8 yards per carry last game and his 32-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the longest scoring carry of his career.

“You never really know how much you miss a guy until he gets back and gets rolling like he did today, because some of those runs today are why he was drafted where he was, and why he is such a big impact player for us. You need a home run sometimes,“ said Rivers.

Forsett has been knocking them out of the park all season as his 5.83 rushing average leads all running backs and he sits third in the NFL with 903 yards on the ground.

Forsett is one of only three players in the NFL this season to have at least 65 total yards in every game this season, joining Dallas’ DeMarco Murray and Antonio Brown of Pittsburgh.

The return of Mathews should help Rivers, who failed to throw at least two touchdown passes for only the third time in 10 games this season last weekend.

In his past four games versus the Ravens, Rivers has thrown for 1,183 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions.

Flacco has struggled a bit more in this series, getting picked off three times to five touchdown passes and 771 yards in three games, though he passed for 355 yards in the most recent meeting. That came on November 25, 2012, a 16-13 overtime victory.

Flacco will look to challenge a Chargers defense that is ninth in the NFL with 330.1 yards allowed per game and sixth in scoring defense at 19.6 points per game.

San Diego has yielded 10 points or fewer three times this season and hasn’t done so in four games since 2007. However, the Chargers have yielded at least 23 points in five of their last six.

The Ravens rank fifth against the run and though they are giving up 264.6 yards per game through the air, 24 of their 29 sacks this season have come in the past six games.

Linebackers Dumervil and Terrell Suggs are leading the charge. Dumervil has 12 1/2 sacks this season, tied for the second most in the NFL and just three shy of a new franchise single-season record. Suggs, meanwhile, has six sacks and has 100 1/2 in his career.

Not only will Rivers have to avoid that duo, but he’ll have a rookie starter under center in Chris Watt. The third-round selection is expected to take the role after San Diego placed its third center on injured reserve this season.

Rich Ohrnberger became the latest to have his season end due to a back injury. San Diego lost center Nick Hardwick after Week 1 due to a knee injury and Doug Legursky went down after Week 5 with a knee ailment.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

The Chargers and Ravens right in the thick of the chase for their respective division crowns and come into this meeting red hot.

Baltimore has the luxury of playing at home and with a defense that can get to the quarterback. That will make Mathews a key element as he’ll need to move the ball to keep the Ravens linebackers honest and Baltimore has had trouble defending quarterbacks who have time to throw.

Rivers has had some solid efforts against the Ravens, but working with a rookie center against a talented defense isn’t an ideal situation and it is something Baltimore may be able to exploit.

Predicted outcome: Ravens 17, Chargers 13


►  Explosive Pats visit high-powered Packers for potential SB preview

If you are a fan of foreshadowing, keep an eye on Lambeau Field this Sunday.

The New England Patriots, perhaps the AFC’s best team, will invade the frozen tundra to take on one of the NFC’s top contenders, the Green Bay Packers, in a potential Super Bowl XLIX preview.

The Pats have won seven games in a row, including a 34-9 victory over Detroit in Week 12, a triumph that clinched the organization’s 14th consecutive winning season. New England is the first to accomplish that since San Francisco did so in 16 straight seasons from 1983-1998.

During the Pats’ current seven-game run, quarterback Tom Brady has thrown 22 touchdowns and posted a 111.7 passer rating.

Against the Lions, Brady threw two touchdown passes and carved up the NFL’s then-top-ranked defense, completing 38-of-53 passes for 349 yards.

LeGarrette Blount had two rushing scores in his first game back with the AFC- leading Patriots, who have won 14 straight against NFC North teams and 15 consecutive at home.

“I thought our guys did a good job, being ready to go,“ said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “Any time you keep a team out of the end zone like Detroit, that’s good. We were able to put some points on the board, make plays in all three phases of the game.“

The Packers, however, are 5-0 at Lambeau this season, outscoring opponents 219-85 in those games and scoring at least 50 points in each of its past two homes games.

Quarterback and leading MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers has thrown 322 consecutive passes and 29 touchdowns in a row without an interception in Green Bay; both NFL record streaks.

The Pack wasn’t quite as impressive on the road in Minneapolis last weekend but managed to outlast the upstart Vikings 24-21 behind Rodgers, who had two touchdown passes, and Eddie Lacy, who scored twice.

“This week was a little bit more of a grind-it-out thing,“ said Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson. “But we needed to see a game like this because if you want to win it all, you have to be able to win all sorts of games.“

Rodgers went 19-for-29 for 209 yards while Lacy finished the game with 25 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown, along with two catches for 13 yards and a score for the Packers, who have won three straight and now sit atop the NFC North by one-half game after the Lions’ drubbing of Chicago on Thanksgiving Day.

“He had a great game and made a lot of huge plays for us,“ Nelson said of Lacy. “He got two touchdowns, and the way him and the O-line finished off the game for us was impressive.“

The Patriots own a 5-4 lead over the Packers in the all-time series between the two teams and have won two straight, including a 31-27 win the last time they met back on December 19, 2010.

New England actually whitewashed Green Bay 35-0 in its last trip to Lambeau behind four Brady TD passes but that was way back in 2006 when Rodgers was a backup.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

These are the two top scoring teams in the NFL with the Pats pacing the 32- team league at 32.5 points per game and the Packers a tick behind at 32.2.

This is likely the final leg of a four-game stretch against division-leading opponents for New England and so far Bill Belichick’s bunch has passed the test with flying colors, winning the first three games by an average of over three TDs per game.

The Patriots topped AFC West kingpin Denver 43-21 on November 2 and AFC South stalwart Indianapolis 42-20 on November 16 before disposing of Detroit in Week 12, a development that enabled Green Bay to vault over the Lions.

“It’s not realistic for us to expect to continue to blow teams out like that, or, I don’t want to say blow out, but win by a large margin,“ Belichick said. “I can’t really put my finger on what it is. I think it’s a culmination of things and preparation.“

After Sunday’s game, New England travels to San Diego, which could also be tied for the AFC West lead if things break correctly in Week 13.

Since losing to Kansas City to fall to 2-2 on the season, New England has been scoring nearly 40 points per game (39.5 to be exact) and Brady has taken off, averaging 315.3 passing yards per game with the 22 touchdowns against just four interceptions.

Perhaps the biggest contributor to that has been the health of All-World tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is feeling good after a myriad of injuries in recent seasons and has amassed 27 receptions and five touchdowns in his last four games.

The Pats have also begun to mirror their former success with the two-tight end offense when Gronkowski teamed with Aaron Hernandez, before the latter’s personal life went off the rails. Tim Wright, who was acquired from Tampa Bay before the season, has six TDs on his 23 receptions.

If there is one team that can keep up with the Patriots, though, it’s the Packers, especially at Lambeau.

The key to Green Bay at home has been blitzing people out of the starting blocks. The Packers have outscored their opponents by an amazing 66-0 margin in the first quarter of their last four home contests. That number expands to 128-9 at halftime.

Foes have been looking up and finding the score 14-0 in the first four or five minutes of a game and that has enabled a flawed Packers defense to excel as teams become more one-dimensional.

“We’re playing Green Bay in Green Bay,“ Belichick said. “That’s where they’ve been very dominant, really, in terms of getting ahead and playing from ahead, first quarter. The numbers are staggering.“

Rodgers has thrown for 18 touchdowns without an interception at home this season. Overall, the All-Pro leads the NFL with a 119.3 passer rating and has thrown for 30 scores against just three INTs.

“I think Aaron’s a great quarterback,“ Belichick said. “He does everything well, is very smart, does a great job with his team in situations and seeing things at the line of scrimmage, putting them in good plays and (a) very accurate passer, very good with his feet, hard to sack, hard guy to bring down, has real good awareness. I think pretty much everything with his game is excellent to outstanding.“

Rodgers’ favorite target, Nelson, averages over 120 yards receiving per game at Lambeau and has scored at least one TD in the team’s five home games this year. Randall Cobb isn’t bad either, snaring 20 balls with two TDs in his last three at home.

“Teams are going to take away what we do best, and what we’ve done best is get the ball to Jordy and Randall,“ Rodgers said. “They’ve had big statistical seasons so (opponents) try to take them out of the game.“

Minnesota did that at home and New England is better equipped than most to do it because of star cornerback Darrelle Revis, perhaps the best man-to-man coverage corner in the game. Opponents often assume Belichick will just lock up Revis with their best receiver but the Pats’ coach is usually a step ahead and he could use Revis to lock up Cobb and then double Nelson.

Either way that’s where the powerful Lacy comes in. A bowling bowl of butcher knives, no one wants to tackle Lacy in the open field, especially when things gets cold.

“He’s a workhorse,“ said Rodgers. “We need him in the winter months.“

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Something has to give here because New England has won seven in a row overall and the Packers are a perfect 5-0 at Lambeau. The guess here is home field holds up with the Patriots being far more competitive them most visitors to Lambeau.

Predicted outcome: Packers 34, Patriots 24


►  Steelers hope to pile on struggling Saints

Will the real Ben Roethlisberger please stand up?

Or, at least throw a half-dozen or so touchdown passes so we’ll know it’s you?

The Pittsburgh QB threw for a preposterous 12 TDs over a two-game home stretch - against Indianapolis and Baltimore - in Weeks 8 and 9, then took to the road for games against suspect opponents (the New York Jets and Tennessee) against whom it appeared that double-digits were a likelihood.

Instead, the Steelers hit the offensive skids against the Jets and Titans, splitting the two games in the standings while Roethlisberger was sacked seven times, threw three interceptions and had just two plays that generated 25 or more yards.

Pittsburgh was off last week for its bye and returns home for a Week 13 game with New Orleans, trailing first-place Cincinnati by a half-game in the AFC North.

“All we have to focus on is the stadium that we’re in because we’re in the thick of that,“ Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “If we do what we need to do on a week-in and week-out basis in terms of our business in our stadium, then it’s not going to be required that we look around. We play some significant people moving forward. New Orleans being the most significant because that’s who we play this week.“

In five games at Heinz Field, Roethlisberger has a 130.5 passer rating, 18 touchdowns and just five interceptions, and he’s generated 19 plays of 25 yards or more - best in the NFL. That equals the total that Sunday’s passing opponent, Drew Brees, has managed in all 11 games this season.

“We appreciate it. We don’t take it for granted,“ Tomlin said. “It’s been really good. But it’s not unlike him. He is capable of heating up and going for these stretches and being a significant reason why we are successful, not only offensively but as a football team.“

Inconveniently for the Saints, their defense is suddenly dinged-up.

Nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley tore a quad muscle in last week’s home loss to Baltimore, a game in which the Ravens rushed for 215 yards. The last three New Orleans opponents have averaged 5.45 yards per carry, which could mean good things for Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell, who’ll presumably get the bulk of the ball-carrying after LeGarrette Blount was released following the Tennessee game.

Bell ran for 204 yards against the Titans.

Additionally, quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco have completed better than 70% of their passes and averaged more than 10 yards per attempt against New Orleans in the last two weeks, while throwing for four touchdowns and 453 yards.

The Saints have three safeties on injured reserve and will be facing a Roethlisberger receiving corps that includes Antonio Brown, who leads the NFL with 88 catches, and Lance Moore, who played with New Orleans from 2006 to 2013.

“Every game that we come out, it is something new,“ Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis said. “Sometimes we have problems with the pass. Sometimes we have problems with the run. Sometimes we have a problem with both. We have to fix everything.“

When it comes to offense, New Orleans is third in the league on the road with an average of 418 yards per game, though it’s been hurt by 11 road turnovers and has won just once in five tries.

Brees and the Saints will face a Steelers defense buffeted by the possible returns of cornerback Ike Taylor, safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker Ryan Shazier. Taylor has been out since Week 3 with a broken forearm, Polamalu missed two games with a sprained knee and Shazier last played in Week 9 before suffering an ankle injury.

New Orleans has the opposite record as Pittsburgh’s at 4-7, but shares first place in a dreadful NFC South with Atlanta. The NFC South is the first division to have all three of its teams three or more games below .500, while the Steelers and the rest of the AFC North make up the only division in which all teams are three or more games above .500.

The South is 1-10-1 in 11 games against the North this season, with the lone victory coming from 2-9 Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh in Week 4. The Saints lost three straight at home to fall to 4-7.

“Obviously, our margin for error is not good enough to win close games,“ New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. “We have to be able to play better and coach better. Most importantly, we have to make sure we have thick enough skin and be able to have the mental and physical toughness to bounce back and play (at Pittsburgh), because we are playing, obviously, an important game.“

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Tighten Up

The Steelers have allowed TDs from tight ends in four consecutive games, and those scores came from the less-than-All-Pro likes of Dwayne Allen, Crockett Gilmore, Jace Amaro and Chase Coffman.

They step up the opposition dramatically against the Saints’ Jimmy Graham, who’s got 65 receptions for 670 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games. To only say “Advantage New Orleans” seems insufficient.

Painting Heinz Field Brown

The aforementioned Brown has certainly established himself among the top pass- catching threats in the NFL over the last two seasons, and keeping him in check this week will be a huge way that the Saints can keep Sunday from turning into a video game shootout. Lewis, himself a former Steeler, will attempt to disrupt his athletic counterpart with a decided aim at physicality along the line of scrimmage.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

If you’re of the betting persuasion, the over seems like a formality here. Brees and Roethlisberger combine for a matchup of premier NFL quarterbacks and offensive names like Brown, Graham and Bell certainly indicate that stops will be at a premium. The team that emerges with the fewest mistakes is likely to have the best time of it, and the Saints’ road performance thus far indicates it won’t be them.

Predicted outcome: Steelers 30, Saints 21



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Jerick McKinnon: start him or sit him?

Heading into the 2014 NFL Season, Minnesota Vikings’ rookie running back Jerick McKinnon did not expect to be leading the team’s rushing attack for the majority of the year.

However, with halfback Adrian Peterson suspended, and tailback Matt Asiata not built to be an every-down back, McKinnon was thrust into the starting role, and has been up-and-down overall.

Since Week 4, when McKinnon became Minnesota’s lead back, he has averaged 16.4 touches for 54.6 yards per game. One of his best attributes is the fact that McKinnon can contribute in both the running and passing games, making him a dual-threat.

While he has 113 carries this season, McKinnon also has 27 receptions, which is more than what Kansas City Chiefs’ running back Jamaal Charles has (26), along with Houston Texans’ tailback Arian Foster (26).

Even with a few big games (19 touches for 152 yards in Week 4, 21 touches for 101 yards in Week 7), the biggest issue fantasy owners are having with McKinnon is that he has yet to find the end zone in 2014.

We all know that successful fantasy football players score touchdowns at a decent rate, and with McKinnon having zero scores, it probably would make sense for owners to leave him on the bench.

Yet, before owners make an impulsive decision, Week 14 is the week to start Minnesota’s starting running back.

The Vikings will be taking on the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, who have had issues against opposing halfbacks all season. According to Yahoo, they are giving up the sixth-most points to running backs, at 21.8 points per game.

To go even more in depth, the Panthers are allowing 104.4 yards per game to tailbacks, along with 1.0 touchdowns per game, giving McKinnon a solid opportunity to shine.

The law of averages prove that McKinnon is destined to find the end zone at some point this season, and this week against the Panthers seems like the perfect time. With Carolina’s struggles against opposing running backs, combined with McKinnon’s breakout ability, owners should put him into their lineups for Week 14.



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Basketball Game Results

(Friday, November 28)


Final Score: (2) Wisconsin 69, Oklahoma 56

Frank Kaminsky had 17 points and eight rebounds as No. 2 Wisconsin defeated Oklahoma 69-56 in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament on Friday afternoon. Traevon Jackson posted 13 points, eight assists and three steals, while Duje Dukan added 13 points and six boards for the Badgers (7-0), who began the second half on a 16-2 run to pull away. Dinjiyl Walker was the lone double-digit scorer for the Sooners (4-2), netting 10 points off the bench.


Final Score: (5) North Carolina 75, (18) Florida 64

Kennedy Meeks led five North Carolina scorers with 18 points to go with 13 rebounds as the No. 5 Tar Heels defeated 18th-ranked Florida, 75-64, in the fifth-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis on Friday. Marcus Paige scored 16 points, Brice Johnson had 10 and seven rebounds and Justin Jackson and J.P. Tokoto chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Tar Heels (5-1), who were coming off a 78-56 win over No. 22 UCLA on Thursday. Kasey Hill had a game-high 20 points and Michael Frazier finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Gators, who have dropped two of their last three games.


Final Score: (8) Virginia 64, La Salle 56

Malcolm Brogdon registered 20 points to help No. 8 Virginia to a 64-56 win over La Salle in the Barclays Center Classic. Anthony Gill scored 16 points with 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers (6-0), who will face Rutgers in the final on Saturday. Jordan Price went for 20 points for the Explorers (4-1). La Salle will play Vanderbilt in the consolation game.


Final Score: (10) Gonzaga 73, St. John’s 66

Domantas Sabonis had 14 points and 10 rebounds and 10th-ranked Gonzaga held off St. John’s down the stretch to record a 73-66 victory and capture the NIT Season Tip-Off. Gary Bell Jr. added 13 points and Byron Wesley scored 12 to help the Bulldogs (6-0) remain undefeated with a hard-earned result in front of a pro-St. John’s crowd on the Red Storm’s home court of Madison Square Garden. Phil Greene IV sparked the Red Storm’s near-comeback by netting 13 of his 20 points after halftime. Rysheed Jordan finished with 18 points and Harrison had 15 for St. John’s (4-1).


Final Score: (11) Kansas 82, Tennessee 67

Perry Ellis scored 24 points and pulled down 13 rebounds as the 11th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks held off the Tennessee Volunteers, 82-67, in the semifinals of the Orlando Classic. Cliff Alexander added 16 points for the Jayhawks (4-1), who will take on 20th-ranked Michigan State for the tournament title on Sunday. Wayne Selden Jr. and Frank Mason III tallied 12 and 11 points, respectively. Josh Richardson ended with 16 points and five boards for the Volunteers (2-2), who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Kevin Punter and Detrick Mostella had 14 and 13 points, respectively.


Final Score: (16) Ohio State 73, James Madison 56

D’Angelo Russell scored 14 points with five assists as No. 16 Ohio State downed James Madison, 73-56, on Friday. Sam Thompson scored 13 points with six rebounds while Marc Loving, Trey McDonald and Anthony Lee each gave eight for the Buckeyes (5-0), who have won every game this season by double-digits. Andre Nation had 15 points whiile Yohanny Dalembert donated 14 points and seven rebounds for the Dukes (4-2), who had won their previous four.


Final Score: (17) Miami-Florida 87, South Alabama 75

Sheldon McClellan scored 17 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting, including 4-of-4 from the foul line, to lead No. 17 Miami-Florida to an 87-75 win over South Alabama on Friday. Manu Lecomte netted 14 points, and Tonye Jekiri filled the stat sheet with 13 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five blocks for the Hurricanes (7-0). Ken Williams paced the Jaguars (1-3) with 16 points, while Dionte Ferguson and Barrington Stevens each chipped in with 12 in a third straight loss.


Final Score: (20) Michigan State 79, Marquette 68

Denzel Valentine scored 25 points and Travis Trice tallied 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds, as 20th-ranked Michigan State beat Marquette, 79-68, in the semifinals of the Orlando Classic. Marvin Clark Jr. supplied 10 points for the Spartans (5-1), who will face No. 11 Kansas in the title game Sunday afternoon. The Jayhawks beat Tennessee, 82-67, in the other semifinal. Duane Wilson and Matt Carlino led the way with 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Golden Eagles (3-3), who received 10 points apiece from Steve Taylor Jr. and Deonte Burton.


Final Score: (22) UCLA 88, UAB 76

Isaac Hamilton made 5-of-9 shots from beyond the arc and scored 21 points to lead No. 22 UCLA to an 88-76 win over UAB in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Hamilton made five of the Bruins’ (5-2) seven 3- pointers as the team struggled from the field with a 31.8 percentage from long range. Bryce Alford added 14 points, including 11 from the free throw line, and six assists. Norman Powell contributed 17 points and Kevin Looney had 13 points and eight rebounds.


Final Score: Ole Miss 75, (23) Creighton 68

Jarvis Summers scored 23 points and Ladarius White added 18 off the bench as Ole Miss took down No. 23 Creighton, 75-68, to reach the finals of the Emerald Coast Classic. Creighton led 65-63 with two minutes to play. The Rebels then scored eight unanswered points to pull away. M.J. Rhett and Martavious Newby scored nine points apiece for Ole Miss (4-1), which will meet Cincinnati in Saturday’s final. Isaiah Zierden made five 3s and scored 18 points for Creighton (5-1), which opened 5-0 last season as well before losing its sixth game. Austin Chatman finished with 15 points and seven assists and Brooks netted 14 in the setback.


Final Score: (25) Arkansas 89, North Texas 73

Michael Qualls scored 22 points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds for No. 25 Arkansas as they pulled away in the second half for an 89-73 win over North Texas. Only leading by two at halftime, a balanced attack helped the Razorbacks (5-0) build their lead. Rashad Madden and Anthlon Bell each chipped in 15, and Madden added five rebounds and a game-high seven assists. The Mean Green (4-2) were able to stay in the game by shooting 10-of-20 from beyond the arc. T.J. Taylor paced North Texas with 16 points, and Jordan Williams contributed 15. Muhammed Ahmed scored 12 points and had seven rebounds.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Pacers waive G Price

The Indiana Pacers waived guard A.J. Price on Friday, after their second injury hardship relief exception expired.

The Pacers had signed Price on November 6 to provide much-needed depth in the backcourt. He averaged 10.5 points, 2.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 10 games.

Price spent his first three seasons in the league with the Pacers. The 28- year-old signed with Washington prior to the 2012-13 campaign and played in 28 games with Minnesota last season, averaging 1.6 points.

He was signed by Cleveland in September but was waived by the Cavaliers on November 01.


►  NBA Game Results

(Friday, November 28)


Final Score: Chicago 109, Boston 102

Jimmy Butler made four key free throws down the stretch to lift the Chicago Bulls over the Boston Celtics, 109-102, on Friday. Butler ended with 22 points for the Bulls, who improved to 3-3 on their seven-game road trip. Derrick Rose, who exited Tuesday’s game against Denver with a hamstring injury, had 21 points. Joakim Noah tallied 15 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and six blocks in his return to the lineup. He missed Tuesday’s game due to eye and knee issues. Jared Sullinger ended with 23 points and 10 boards for the Celtics, who have lost three in a row. Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass added 18 and 16 points, respectively, with Bass also pulling down nine rebounds.


Final Score: Golden State 106, Charlotte 101

The Golden State Warriors struggled for three quarters until Marreese Speights woke them up in the fourth. Speights netted Golden State’s first 16 points in the final frame and the Warriors defeated the Charlotte Hornets, 106-101, on Friday night. Speights, who scored 27 points overall on 12-of-20 shooting, hit eight of his first nine shots in the stanza after entering the period 4-of-9 from the field.


Final Score: Atlanta 100, New Orleans 91

Jeff Teague scored 26 points with seven assists and the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 100-91, on Friday. DeMarre Carroll deposited 19 points, Paul Millsap had 13 with nine rebounds and Kyle Korver added 11 points for the Hawks, who have won three of four. Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson each tallied 20 points for New Orleans, while Tyreke Evans totaled 18 points, six rebounds and six assists in the setback. The Pelicans have dropped two straight and three of four overall.


Final Score: Milwaukee 104, Detroit 88

Ersan Ilyasova had 22 points and eight rebounds off the bench as the Milwaukee Bucks pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 104-88 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. Jared Dudley added 16 points off the pine for the Bucks, who didn’t see any of their starters reach double figures in scoring. The Bucks held a 69-13 advantage in bench points. Milwaukee has won three straight and six of its last eight games. Andre Drummond posted 26 points and 20 boards for Detroit, which has lost seven in a row and 10 of its last 11 contests.


Final Score: Dallas 106, Toronto 102

Monta Ellis scored 15 of his 30 points in the final quarter, and the Dallas Mavericks held on for a 106-102 victory over the Raptors to snap Toronto’s six-game winning streak. Chandler Parsons contributed 16 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 15 and Al-Farouq Aminu scored 14 for the Mavericks, who have won two straight and eight of their last 10 games. Kyle Lowry had 25 points and Amir Johnson contributed 20 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who fell to 13-3 on the season.


Final Score: LA Clippers 102, Houston 85

Blake Griffin scored 30 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 102-85 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday. Jamal Crawford registered 21 points off the bench, and J.J. Redick netted 15 points for the Clippers, who have won three straight and improved to 5-1 on their seven-game road trip. James Harden paced the Rockets with 16 points, while Trevor Ariza and Isaiah Canaan each posted 13 points in the setback. Houston, which was playing without Dwight Howard (knee), Patrick Beverley (hamstring) and Terrence Jones (leg), took another hit from the injury bug when Canaan went down late in the second quarter after rolling his left ankle on a drive to the basket and did not return. The Rockets closed out their five-game homestand with a 3-2 record.


Final Score: Indiana 98, Orlando 83

Rodney Stuckey scored 24 points and the Indiana Pacers beat the Orlando Magic 98-83 on Friday. Indiana’s fourth win in its last six games overshadowed the return of two key pieces from last year’s 56-win team. David West (ankle) and C.J. Watson (foot) both made their season debuts and had an immediate impact. West started and scored 18 points and Watson shot 4-of-4 off the bench for nine points. Lavoy Allen posted 10 points and 14 boards for the Pacers, who dominated the glass from start to finish and ended with a plus-21 edge in the rebounding department.


Final Score: Oklahoma City 105, New York 78

Russell Westbrook made an emphatic return to the court, pouring in 32 points in just 24 minutes to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 105-78 blowout of the punchless New York Knicks at Chesapeake Energy Arena. In his first game back since fracturing his right hand on Oct. 30, Westbrook went 12-of-17 from the field while amassing eight assists and seven rebounds and providing a much-needed spark to the injury-plagued Thunder, who won consecutive games for the first time this season. The Knicks, meanwhile, struggled mightily on offense with their star out of the lineup. As Carmelo Anthony sat out a second straight contest with back spasms, New York shot a meager 38.7 percent and missed 17- of-19 attempts from 3-point range to fall for the 12th time in 14 games.


Final Score: San Antonio 112, Sacramento 104

Tony Parker finished with a game-high 27 points and eight assists to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 112-104 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday. Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range with four blocked shots and Tim Duncan supplied 18 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs, who won their sixth straight game. Rudy Gay paced the Kings with 23 points, eight assists and eight rebounds and Ryan Hollins and Darren Collison each chipped in 15 points apiece for the Kings, who defeated the Spurs, 94-91, on Nov. 15.


Final Score: Denver 122, Phoenix 97

Arron Afflalo led seven Denver players in double figures with 22 points in a 122-97 rout of the Phoenix Suns in the back end of a home-and-home set. Ty Lawson contributed 11 points and 10 assists, while J.J. Hickson came off the bench for 10 points and 11 rebounds. Timofey Mozgov had 13 points for the Nuggets, who have won six of their last seven games. Eric Bledsoe posted 16 points for the Suns, who shot only 38.8 percent from the floor and failed to build on a 120-112 home win over the Nuggets on Wednesday.


Final Score: Memphis 112, Portland 99

In a battle of two of the Western Conference’s top teams, all-around efforts from Marc Gasol and Mike Conley helped the Memphis Grizzlies to a 112-99 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Gasol contributed a team-high 26 points to go along with nine assists and seven rebounds for the Grizzlies, who pushed their winning streak to four games and snapped Portland’s nine-game winning streak in the process. Conley just missed a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, while Zach Randolph deposited 14 points and 13 rebounds in the win. Portland, which last lost at the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 8, was led by Wesley Matthews’ 26 points.


Final Score: Minnesota 120, LA Lakers 119

Thaddeus Young scored 22 points, and he hit the go-ahead free throw with 2.8 seconds remaining to boost the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 120-119 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in a battle between the teams with the worst records in the Western Conference. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 26 points, but he had a pair of costly free-throw misses, and his potential game-winning 3-pointer clanked off the rim and backboard as time expired. Zach LaVine netted a career-best 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting, and Mo Williams scored 25 to go with 11 assists for the Timberwolves, who snapped a three-game skid and moved to 4-10 on the season.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Royals agree to 1-year deal with Frasor

The Kansas City Royals have signed reliever Jason Frasor to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2016.

Frasor will reportedly earn a base salary of $1.25 million in 2015 with a $2 million option for the 2016 campaign. There is also a $500,000 buyout in the pact.

The 37-year-old Frasor came to the Royals in a mid-July trade from Texas and excelled, allowing just four earned runs in 23 innings, including the postseason.

Frasor pitched in seven of the Royals’ postseason games, going 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and earned the victories in the wild card game against Oakland and in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Orioles.

The right-hander has pitched to a career 3.59 ERA over 647 games out of the bullpen with the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, Rangers and Royals. His 34 victories out of the bullpen are also tied with the Los Angeles Angels’ Huston Street for fourth among active big leaguers.


►  Royals ship Crow to Miami

The Kansas City Royals have traded reliever Aaron Crow to the Miami Marlins for a pair of minor league pitchers.

The move comes on the heels of the Royals re-signing right-handed reliever Jason Frasor to a one-year deal.

Crow was lost in the shuffle of Kansas City’s tremendous bullpen a year ago, but still appeared in 67 games and went 6-1 with a 4.12 ERA, while seeing a noticeable dip in his velocity. The 28-year-old righty struck out 34 batters in 59 innings last season and has seen his strikeout total go down in each of the last three years.

A first-round draft pick by the Royals in 2009, Crow earned a spot on the AL All-Star team in 2011 and is 20-11 in 254 appearances with a 3.43 ERA.

Kansas City acquired lefty Brian Flynn and righty Reid Redman in the deal.

Flynn, acquired by Miami in the deal that sent Anibal Sanchez to Detroit, has given up 24 runs in 25 innings at the big league level. He also pitched to a 4.06 ERA in 25 starts for Triple-A New Orleans a year ago.

Redman, meanwhile, has yet to reach the majors and split last year between Single-A Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville, going a combined 5-1 with a 2.04 ERA.

► 



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Friday, November 28)


Final Score: NY Rangers 3, Philadelphia 0

Cam Talbot flustered the Flyers again and Martin St. Louis reached a milestone, as the New York Rangers went to Philadelphia in the opener of a home-and-home set and left with a 3-0 victory. Talbot hadn’t played since making 31 saves in a 2-0 triumph over the Flyers on Nov. 19 at Madison Square Garden and on Friday turned aside all 26 shots he faced to give the Rangers a third win in their last four tries. All three of those wins have come via shutout, as Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots in 5-0 win over Montreal five days ago. St. Louis notched a goal and an assist to reach 1,000 career points. Dan Boyle and Rick Nash also scored for the Rangers, while Derek Stepan assisted on all three goals. Steve Mason made 21 saves for the Flyers, who have lost three in a row and are 1-6-1 in their last eight. The teams will meet again Saturday afternoon in New York.


Final Score: Chicago 4, Anaheim 1

Corey Crawford stopped 23 shots to lead the Chicago Blackhawks in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. Patrick Kane scored twice while Brad Richards and Andrew Shaw each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who have won five of their last six. Hampus Lindholm scored the only goal of the game for the Ducks, who had a three- game winning streak snapped. Frederik Andersen allowed three goals on 37 shots in the loss.


Final Score: Washington 5, NY Islanders 2

Alexander Ovechkin scored the go-ahead goal to propel the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders in the finale of a home-and-home set at Verizon Center. Matt Niskanen tallied a goal and two assists, Evgeny Kuznetsov supplied a goal and a helper and Marcus Johansson and Joel Ward each scored for Washington, which bounced back from a 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders on Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum. Braden Holtby turned aside 26 shots in the win. John Tavares and Anders Lee each lit the lamp for the Islanders, who had their five-game win streak come to an end. Chad Johnson allowed four goals on 26 shots.


Final Score: Boston 2, Winnipeg 1 (OT)

Dougie Hamilton’s wrister 3:39 into overtime gave the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Tuukka Rask made 35 saves for the Bruins, who snapped a brief two-game losing streak. Hamilton also assisted on Milan Lucic’s fifth goal of the season early in the third period. Carl Soderberg recorded an assist on both markers. Dustin Byfuglien scored for Winnipeg, which got 36 saves from Michael Hutchinson.


Final Score: Buffalo 2, Montreal 1

Matt Moulson scored the game-winning goal with 1:18 to play as the Buffalo Sabres took a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the opener of a home-and-home set. Tyler Ennis had the other goal and Jhonas Enroth made 30 saves for the Sabres, who have won four of their last five. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau had the only goal for the Canadiens, who had won their previous two coming in. Carey Price allowed both goals on 25 shots. These clubs will meet in Montreal on Saturday.


Final Score: Detroit 5, New Jersey 4

Gustav Nyquist scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Detroit Red Wings clawed their way back from a three-goal deficit to defeat the New Jersey Devils, 5-4, on Friday. Nyquist, Detroit’s third shooter, veered to the right circle before cutting to the slot and unleashing a wrister over the glove of Cory Schneider into the top right corner of the net. Michael Ryder had a chance to prolong the skills competition, but Petr Mrazek turned aside his offering with a blocker save for the win. Drew Miller netted the game-tying goal halfway through the third period and Riley Sheahan, Xavier Ouellet and Justin Abdelkader all scored for the Red Wings, who won their third straight game. Mrazek made 21 saves plus three more during the shootout in his second start of the season. Mike Cammalleri scored twice, Jaromir Jagr supplied a goal and an assist and Peter Harrold found the back of the net for the Devils, who have dropped five of their last six games. Schneider turned aside 28 shots in defeat.


Final Score: Carolina 4, Pittsburgh 2

Jiri Tlusty recorded two goals and an assist as the Carolina Hurricanes came through with a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opener of a home-and-home series. Nathan Gerbe snapped a 2-2 tie with a power-play score early in the third period that helped the Hurricanes halt a three-game skid and deal the powerful Penguins just their third regulation defeat in their last 16 outings. Carolina entered the matchup an NHL-worst 2-9-2 on the road this season. Patrick Dwyer added a goal to support a 20-save effort from Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward. Pittsburgh, which was outshot by a 35-22 margin, received goals from Kris Letang and Patric Hornqvist. Sidney Crosby assisted on both markers, with Marc-Andre Fleury stopping 31-of-34 chances in defeat.


Final Score: Vancouver 5, Columbus 0

Ryan Miller saved all 31 shots against him, and the Vancouver Canucks peppered Columbus Blue Jackets’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to record a 5-0 win. Chris Higgins scored what proved to be the game-winning goal late in the second period, while Henrik Sedin, Shawn Matthias, Brad Richardson and Alexandre Burrows each scored in the third to put the game away. Miller made 12 of his 31 stops in the final period while his teammates were adding insurance goals. Higgins had a goal and an assist, and Nick Bonino assisted on three Vancouver goals. Bobrovsky made 25 saves on 29 shots for Columbus as it dropped its fourth game in a row. Jack Johnson and Ryan Johansen each had four shots on goal for the Blue Jackets.


Final Score: Florida 3, Ottawa 2

Jimmy Hayes scored the game-winning goal in the third period to lead the Florida Panthers in a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday. Dylan Olsen and Sean Bergenheim also scored for the Panthers, who have won their past two. Al Montoya stopped 22 shots for the win. Chris Neil had a goal and an assist and Cody Ceci scored for the Senators, who have lost three of four. Craig Anderson allowed all three goals on 46 shots in the loss.


Final Score: St. Louis 4, Edmonton 3 (OT)

Vladimir Tarasenko scored with less than a minute left in overtime to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 comeback win over the Edmonton Oilers in overtime Friday. Alex Pietrangelo’s goal with less than eight minutes left tied the game to help bail out Blues goaltender Jake Allen, who made 13 saves on just 16 shots. Ben Scrivens faced a barrage of St. Louis shots, stopping 37 of the 41 fired his way. T.J. Oshie started the scoring for the Blues in the first period, and Edmonton’s David Perron and Nikita Nikitin both scored second-period goals against their former team. Kevin Shattenkirk tied the game 31 seconds into the third period, but Mark Arcobello’s goal minutes later gave the Oilers their second lead of the game. Oshie had three points, and Taylor Hall led Edmonton with two, both assists.


Final Score: Minnesota 5, Dallas 4 (OT)

Marco Scandella scored the winner 2:04 into overtime to lead the Minnesota Wild in a 5-4 triumph over the Dallas Stars on Friday. Thomas Vanek tied the game late in regulation and added two assists, while Jason Zucker, Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund all scored for the Wild, who have won six of eight. Darcy Kuemper made 41 saves in the win. Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist while Alex Goligoski, Erik Cole and Ales Hemsky all scored for the Stars, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. Kari Lehtonen turned away 29-of-34 shots.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2014


National Basketball Association
Dallas at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - FS-Southwest, TCN-Philadelphia, NBA TV
New Orleans at Washington, 7:00 PM - FS-New Orleans, CSN-DC+, DSS
Charlotte at Atlanta, 7:30 PM - SportSouth, DSS
Indiana at Cleveland, 7:30 PM - FS-Indiana, Ohio, DSS
Houston at Milwaukee, 9:00 PM - ROOT-Southwest, FS-Wisconsin, DSS
LA Clippers at Utah, 9:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, ROOT-Northwest, DSS


National Hockey League
Philadelphia at NY Rangers, 1:00 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, MSG, DSS
New Jersey at NY Islanders, 7:00 PM - MSG, MSG+, DSS
Buffalo at Montreal, 7:00 PM - MSG-Buffalo, TVA, NHLNetwork, CBC, DSS
Washington at Toronto, 7:00 PM - CBC, DSS
Ottawa at Tampa Bay, 7:00 PM - CBC, SunSports, DSS
Pittsburgh at Carolina, 7:00 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, FS-Carolina, DSS
St. Louis at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - FS-Midwest, North, DSS
Columbus at Nashville, 8:00 PM - FS-Ohio, Tennessee, DSS
Dallas at Colorado, 9:00 PM - FS-Southwest+, Altitude, DSS
Chicago at Los Angeles, 10:00 PM - WGN, FS-West, NHL Network, DSS
Calgary at Arizona, 10:00 PM - FS-Arizona, CBC, DSS
Anaheim at San Jose, 10:30 PM - KCOP, CSN-California, DSS


College Basketball
Chattanooga at Kennesaw State, 12:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Georgia State at IUPUI, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
UNC Wilmington at Davidson, 2:00 PM - Time Warner Sports
Ill-Chicago at Dayton, 2:00 PM - FS-Ohio
Massachusetts at Harvard, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
VCU at Old Dominion, 2:00 PM - CSN-DC+, SNY
Jacksonville at South Florida, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Longwood at Iowa, 2:07 PM - MC22, Big Ten Network+
Toledo at Oakland, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Tulsa at Wichita State, 3:00 PM - COX Channel Kansas
FIU vs. CS FUllerton, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
MD-Eastern Shore at Fordham, 4:00 PM - SNY, CSN-Baltimore
Nicholls at Michigan, 4:00 PM - Big Ten Network+
George Washington at Seton Hall, 4:00 PM - YES, MASN2, ROOT-Pittsburgh
Wright State at USC Upstate, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Albany at UNLV, 6:30 PM - Mountain West Network
New Mexico State at Wyoming, 6:30 PM - ROOT-Northwest, Rocky Mountain
Siena at Loyola-MD, 7:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Corpus Christi Classic, 7:00 PM - CBSSN
Barclays Center Classic, 7:00 PM - NBCSN
College of Charleston at West Virginia, 7:30 PM - WV Media
McNeese State at LSU, 8:00 PM - SEC Network+
Colgate at Arizona State, 9:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Alabama State at Utah, 9:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Eastern Kentucky at BYU, 9:30 PM - BYUtv
Barclays Center Classic, 9:30 PM - NBCSN
Cal Poly at St. Mary’s (CA), 10:00 PM - CSN-California
Great Alaska Shootout, 11:30 PM - CBSSN


Women’s College Basketball
Notre Dame (OH) at Cleveland State, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Gulf Coast Showcase, 8:30 PM - ESPN3.com, SNY


College Football
Cincinnati at Temple, 12:00 PM - ESPNews
Rice at Louisiana Tech, 12:00 PM - CBSSN
Purdue at Indiana, 12:00 PM - Big Ten Network
So Carolina at Clemson, 12:00 PM - ESPN
North Texas at TX-San Antonio, 12:00 PM - FS-Southwest, Midwest, West, MSG+
Michigan at Ohio State, 12:00 PM - ABC
West Virginia at Iowa State, 12:00 PM - FS1
Kentucky at Louisville, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
Illinois at Northwestern, 12:00 PM - ESPN U
Old Dominion at Fla Atlantic, 12:00 PM - MyTV, Sinclair
Georgia Tech at Georgia, 12:00 PM - SEC Network
Sacred Heart at Fordham, 12:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Syracuse at Boston College, 12:30 PM - CSN, YES, STO, FS-San Diego, DSS
Louisiana at Troy, 12:30 PM - ESPN3.com
NC State at North Carolina, 12:30 PM - ACC Network, DSS
Utah at Colorado, 1:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Indiana State at Eastern Kentucky, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Morgan State at Richmond, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Idaho at Appalachian St, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Texas State at Georgia State, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
SE Louisiana at Sam Houston State, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Grambling State vs. Southern, 2:30 PM - NBC
New Mexico St at Arkansas State, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Wyoming at New Mexico, 3:00 PM - ROOT-Northwest, Rocky Mountain, Southwest
UAB at Southern Miss, 3:30 PM - American Sports Network, CSN-California
Florida at Florida State, 3:30 PM - ESPN
Baylor at Texas Tech, 3:30 PM - ABC (ESPN 2 mirror)
Rutgers at Maryland, 3:30 PM - ESPN U
San Jose St at San Diego St, 3:30 PM - CBSSN
Miss State at Ole Miss, 3:30 PM - CBS
Minnesota at Wisconsin, 3:30 PM - Big Ten Network
Michigan State at Penn State, 3:30 PM - ABC (ESPN 2 mirror)
Notre Dame at USC, 3:30 PM - FOX
Kansas at Kansas State, 4:00 PM - FS1
Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 4:00 PM - SEC Network
Connecticut at Memphis, 4:00 PM - ESPNews
Liberty at James Madison, 4:00 PM - ESPN3.com
San Diego at Montana, 4:00 PM - ESPN3.com
South Dakota State at Montana State, 4:00 PM - ESPN3.com
BYU at California, 4:30 PM - Pac-12 Network
ULM at Ga Southern, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Middle Tennessee at Texas-El Paso, 7:00 PM - ASN, CS-California
Pittsburgh at Miami-Florida, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
Wake Forest at Duke, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Hawaii at Fresno State, 7:00 PM - Mountain West Network
Auburn at Alabama, 7:45 PM - ESPN
Oregon at Oregon State, 8:00 PM - ABC
Stephen F. Austin at Northern Iowa, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Utah State at Boise State, 10:15 PM - ESPN 2
Washington at Washington St, 10:30 PM - FS1
Nevada at UNLV, 10:30 PM - ESPN U


College Hockey
Boston College at Providence, 7:00 PM - OSN
Nebraska-Omaha at North Dakota, 8:00 PM - FCS


Minor League Hockey
Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 8:00 PM - FS-Southwest


Major League Soccer - Playoffs
New York at New England, 3:00 PM - NBCSN


International Soccer
Charlton Athletic FC vs. Ipswich Town FC, 7:10 AM - beIN Sport
West Brom vs. Arsenal, 7:40 AM - NBCSN
Manchester United vs. Hull City, 9:55 AM - NBCSN
Paris Saint-Germain FC vs. OGC Nice, 10:55 AM - beIN Sport
Sunderland vs. Chelsea, 12:30 PM - NBC
Malaga CF vs. Real Madrid CF, 1:55 PM - beIN Sport


Golf
Australian Open, 8:00 PM - Golf Channel


Horse Racing
Hawthorne Gold Cup, 5:30 PM - TVG
Hollywood Derby, 6:30 PM - TVG

Sports News   141128

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL fines Lions C Raiola $10K

Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola was fined $10,000 by the NFL this week for striking a New England player in the back of the helmet in the final minute of Sunday’s 34-9 loss to the Patriots.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said Wednesday Raiola was fined for unnecessary roughness for violating a rule prohibiting “striking, swinging at, or clubbing the head, neck, or face of an opponent” with your wrist, arm, elbow or hand.

Raiola swung at rushing Patriots defensive lineman Zach Moore on a 3rd-and-9 pass play, hitting him in the back of the helmet and knocking him to the ground.

Signora said Raiola was not fined for diving at Moore’s legs on the final snap of the game as the Lions kneeled to run out the clock

Raiola drew criticism for the attempted cut block and for implying he did it because the Patriots scored a late touchdown in a rout.


►  Eagles crush Cowboys to grab NFC East lead

Mark Sanchez threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Philadelphia Eagles seized sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a 33-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Sanchez had 217 yards on 20-of-29 passing, and LeSean McCoy posted 159 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries for the Eagles (9-3), who raced out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back on their way to improving to 6-0 on Thanksgiving.

The only thing preventing the score from being even more lopsided was Philadelphia’s inefficiency in the red zone. The Eagles scored a touchdown only once and settled for four Cody Parkey field goals in five trips, but it didn’t come back to haunt them because of a strong defensive effort.

The Eagles ended Tony Romo’s consecutive games streak with a touchdown pass at 38 and held league rushing leader DeMarco Murray to under 100 yards.

Romo completed 18-of-29 passes for 199 yards and threw two interceptions as Dallas (8-4) dropped its third straight home game.

Murray failed to reach the century mark for only the second time in 2014. He finished with a season-low 73 yards on 20 carries against the Eagles.

The teams will meet again at Philadelphia on December 14.

The Eagles started quickly as back-to-back runs of 13 yards by Darren Sproles and 36 yards by McCoy placed the ball at Dallas 22. Sanchez capped the game’s opening drive by scoring on an option keeper from the 2.

After a Dallas punt, Sanchez picked apart the Cowboys secondary, completing 5- of-6 passes on an 88-yard drive that ended with a 27-yard touchdown grab by rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews.

The Cowboys responded as Dez Bryant’s 38-yard catch along the right sideline set up Murray’s 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter.

Philadelphia got another big play the next time on offense. Sanchez found an uncovered Jeremy Maclin, who cut across the field to the Dallas 20 on a 58- yard catch-and-run. Sanchez had fumbled on the previous play, but offensive lineman Andrew Gardner alertly pounced on the ball.

Parkey nailed a 31-yard field goal to put the Eagles up 17-7 with 12:10 left in the first half.

Parkey added two more field goals inside the final two minutes to put Philadelphia up 23-7 at halftime. The rookie made a 22-yarder and then hit a 26-yarder following a fumble by Dallas wideout Cole Beasley.

McCoy fumbled on the Eagles’ first drive of the second half, leading to a 28-yard Dan Bailey field goal, but he atoned for the turnover with a 38-yard touchdown run later in the third quarter.

Parkey made a 25-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

The Eagles won the only previous meeting between the teams on Thanksgiving by a 27-0 score on November 23, 1989 ... The Cowboys fell to 29-17-1 all-time on the holiday ... Maclin had 108 yards on eight receptions and posted his first career 1,000-yard receiving season ... McCoy eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for the fourth time in five seasons ... Bryant caught four passes for 73 yards ... The Eagles converted 8-of-15 third downs and outgained the Cowboys by a 464-267 margin.


►  NFL Game Results

(THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27)


Final Score: Detroit 34, Chicago 17

Joique Bell and Calvin Johnson each scored twice as the Detroit Lions grabbed a 34-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving. Matthew Stafford was 34-for-45 for 390 yards with two touchdown passes for the Lions (8-4), who bounced back from a pair of road losses to Arizona and New England. The victory moves Detroit a half-game back of Green Bay for first place in the NFC North. The Packers host the Patriots on Sunday. Bell totaled 91 yards on 23 carries while Johnson had 11 catches for 146 yards for Detroit, which had lost nine straight games in its traditional Thanksgiving Day game, but have now won its past two thanks to this win and a victory over Green Bay last year. Jay Cutler was 31-for-48 for 280 yards with a pair of touchdown passes to Alshon Jeffery along with two interceptions for the Bears (5-7), who had won their previous two coming into the contest. Jeffery had nine catches for 71 yards.


Final Score: Philadelphia 33, Dallas 10

Mark Sanchez threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Philadelphia Eagles seized sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a 33-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Sanchez had 217 yards on 20-of-29 passing, and LeSean McCoy posted 159 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries for the Eagles (9-3), who raced out to a 14-0 first- quarter lead and never looked back on their way to improving to 6-0 on Thanksgiving. The only thing preventing the score from being even more lopsided was Philadelphia’s inefficiency in the red zone. The Eagles scored a touchdown only once and settled for four Cody Parkey field goals in five trips, but it didn’t come back to haunt them because of a strong defensive effort. The Eagles ended Tony Romo’s consecutive games streak with a touchdown pass at 38 and held league rushing leader DeMarco Murray to under 100 yards. Romo completed 18-of-29 passes for 199 yards and threw two interceptions as Dallas (8-4) dropped its third straight home game. Murray failed to reach the century mark for only the second time in 2014. He finished with a season-low 73 yards on 20 carries against the Eagles. The teams will meet again in Philadelphia on Dec. 14.


Final Score: Seattle 19, San Francisco 3

Richard Sherman’s two interceptions highlighted a dominant defensive effort, as the Seattle Seahawks routed the San Francisco 49ers, 19-3, in a highly anticipated NFC West Thanksgiving clash. The outspoken cornerback, whose key defensive stop against San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree in January’s NFC Championship Game helped vault the Seahawks into the Super Bowl, picked off Colin Kaepernick twice as Seattle (8-4) limited the 49ers offense to just 164 total yards. Russell Wilson completed 15-of-22 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown pass to Robert Turbin, Marshawn Lynch ran for 104 yards on 20 carries and Steven Hauschka kicked five field goals for the Seahawks, who have won five of their last six games. The Seahawks now sit all alone for second place in the NFC West behind Arizona, which owns a 9-2 record heading into its matchup against Atlanta on Sunday. Kaepernick threw for 121 yards on 16-of-29 passing as the 49ers (7-5) had their three-game win streak come to an end.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Week 13 player fantasy rankings - quarterbacks

It is extremely rare to not see Peyton Manning ranked among the top three quarterbacks on any given week let alone out of the top five. That, however, is the case for Week 13 as the Broncos visit the Chiefs.

Manning broke out of his mini-slump throwing four touchdown passes last week, but that was at home, and Manning’s “mini-slump” of 986 yards and eight touchdowns came in the previous three games, all of which were on the road. In a loud Arrowhead Stadium and with an angry Chiefs team with extra time to prepare after coming off a heart-breaking loss, Manning could be due for another “average” day, by his standards anyway.

Even though Manning is not ranked in the top five, owners will find fantasy stud quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady near the top of the list. The two Pro Bowl No. 12 quarterbacks will face off for the first time ever, and it should be a dandy. It wouldn’t be wise to start a defense in this game.

Tony Romo has just been on fire lately, so he holds the No. 3 spot for Week 13. In Romo’s two games since his return from the back injury, he has thrown for 521 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions with a lost fumble being his only real blunder. Against the Eagles, who allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Romo should feast on Thanksgiving.

Ryan Tannehill has the juiciest matchup of the weekend versus the Jets, and with his performance in the Mile High City last week, fantasy owners shouldn’t hesitate to use him. He threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns against the Broncos. No one has given up more touchdown passes this season than the Jets.

Matt Ryan’s production seems to have plateaued for the season, which is both good and bad. In the last four games, Ryan has scored somewhere between 15 and 16 fantasy points.

Owners love the consistency, but Ryan’s upside is limited. Other quarterbacks such as Eli Manning, Mark Sanchez, Andy Dalton and Russell Wilson have much bigger upsides, but they also come with bigger risks. If owners want a “safe play,“ Ryan is the guy.

Usually, Wilson wouldn’t join a group with Eli Manning, Sanchez and Dalton, but he does this week versus the 49ers. Seattle and San Francisco give up the least and second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, so it appears fans are in for another brutal defensive battle.

That makes Colin Kaepernick a risky play in Week 13 as well.

Top-25 Quarterback Rankings

—————————————-

1) Andrew Luck, Indianapolis

2) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

3) Tony Romo, Dallas

4) Tom Brady, New England

5) Drew Brees, New Orleans

6) Peyton Manning, Denver

7) Ryan Tannehill, Miami

8) Matthew Stafford, Detroit

9) Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

10) Philip Rivers, San Diego

11) Joe Flacco, Baltimore

12) Matt Ryan, Atlanta

13) Eli Manning, New York Giants

14) Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia

15) Andy Dalton, Cincinnati

16) Russell Wilson, Seattle

17) Alex Smith, Kansas City

18) Cam Newton, Carolina

19) Jay Cutler, Chicago

20) Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco

21) Kyle Orton, Buffalo

22) Drew Stanton, Arizona

23) Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota

24) Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee

25) Blake Bortles, Jacksonville


►  Week 13 player fantasy rankings - wide receivers

No one has enjoyed Tony Romo’s return from his back injury more than Dez Bryant.

No. 88 still scored a touchdown the week Romo didn’t play against the Cardinals, but he only had two catches for 15 yards, both season-lows. In the last two games, Bryant has 13 catches for 244 yards and four touchdowns. Against the Eagles, who allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, Bryant should gobble up the points.

A.J. Green is officially back and ready to roll for the fantasy playoffs. He has 18 catches for 248 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks. Green takes the No. 2 spot for Week 13 facing the Texans defense that yields the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers.

All fantasy owners, well except the one’s facing him, loved seeing Josh Gordon back on the field. Hopefully owners took our advice and reaped the benefits of Gordon’s eight-catch, 120-yard performance in Atlanta. The matchup isn’t as favorable in Buffalo, but Gordon, who received 16 targets in his first regular-season action in 11 months, is a solid WR1 option.

Keenan Allen has emerged from his fantasy slumber as he had his first 100-yard with a touchdown game of 2014. He has 14 catches the past two weeks and has once again become Philip Rivers’ favorite target. The Chargers take on the Ravens, who are the only team allowing more fantasy points to wide receivers than the Eagles and Texans.

The 2014 wide receiver draft class might be the best ever with Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins and Odell Beckham Jr. just to name a few. All those guys are must-starts in 12-team leagues, but don’t forget about other rookies such as Jarvis Landry. The Dolphins rookie wide out is still only owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues despite four touchdowns in the last four weeks.

Speaking of Beckham Jr., it’s too bad fantasy owners don’t get extra points for that spectacular one-handed catch on Sunday night. It might have taken a dramatic catch like that to get the attention of casual fans, but fantasy owners who picked him up after Victor Cruz’s season-ending injury know he has scored at least nine fantasy points in each of the last five games and has two multi-touchdown games.

Keep riding Beckham’s hot streak to the fantasy playoffs.

Top-50 Wide Receiver Rankings

——————————————-

1) Dez Bryant, Dallas

2) A.J. Green, Cincinnati

3) Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

4) Calvin Johnson, Detroit

5) Demaryius Thomas, Denver

6) Josh Gordon, Cleveland

7) Jordy Nelson, Green Bay

8) Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants

9) T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis

10) Julio Jones, Atlanta

11) Golden Tate, Detroit

12) Emmanuel Sanders, Denver

13) Randall Cobb, Green Bay

14) Brandon Marshall, Chicago

15) Mike Wallace, Miami

16) Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia

17) Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina

18) Alshon Jeffery, Chicago

19) Keenan Allen, San Diego

20) Julian Edelman, New England

21) Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati

22) Mike Evans, Tampa Bay

23) Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

24) Sammy Watkins, Buffalo

25) Michael Floyd, Arizona

26) Terrence Williams, Dallas

27) Roddy White, Atlanta

28) Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia

29) Marques Colston, New Orleans

30) Jarvis Landry, Miami

31) Kendall Wright, Tennessee

32) Torrey Smith, Baltimore 20over

33) DeAndre Hopkins, Houston

34) Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis

35) Steve Smith, Baltimore 10under

36) Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh

37) Brandon LaFell, New England

38) John Brown, Arizona

39) Anquan Boldin, San Francisco

40) Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville

41) Malcolm Floyd, San Diego

42) DeSean Jackson, Washington

43) Andre Johnson, Houston

44) Justin Hunter, Tennessee

45) Percy Harvin, New York Jets

46) Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay

47) Pierre Garcon, Washington

48) Michael Crabtree, San Francisco

49) Reuben Randle, New York Giants

50) Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City


►  Week 13 player fantasy rankings - running backs

We have a “first-timer” on top of the fantasy running back rankings in Week 13. Pittsburgh Steelers tailback Le’Veon Bell gets the nod.

Here’s why.

Just like every single one of his fantasy owners, we loved his performance in the last game when he rushed for a career-high 204 yards and a touchdown. But that’s just the start of it. He’s a valuable asset whether the Steelers are ahead and running out the clock or trying to catch up because he’s also one of the best receivers on the team.

Add in a well-timed bye in Week 12 and Bell should be healthy and ready to run against a New Orleans defense that just yielded 182 yards to Justin Forsett and is in the bottom 10 for rushing yards allowed (123.8).

Dallas running back DeMarco Murray slips down one spot. It’s not like Murray isn’t running well, he notched his 10th 100-yard rushing game last Sunday night against the New York Giants, but he hasn’t been getting into the end zone much of late. In fact, he hasn’t scored in a month.

I’d normally have Arian Foster slotted in the No. 3 hole, but he’s still a question mark due to his groin injury. For that reason, even if he plays, the team will likely monitor his workload to prevent any setbacks.

We have Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy cracking the top-10. He’s coming off his best rushing game of the season and one way to slow down this week’s opposing quarterback, Tom Brady, is to not let him have the football.

We are also believer in Denver running back C.J. Anderson. Of course, we have always been a believer in whatever running back is standing behind Peyton Manning. That’s because every defense is focused on stopping Manning, Demaryius Thomas and the passing game. It has never mattered who was back there, be it Edgerrin James, Joseph Addai or Knowshon Moreno, running backs are successful in a Peyton Manning offense. This weekend it’s Anderson.

In the ever-changing, hard-to-predict world of the Patriots’ backfield I like them to go back to Jonas Gray. He’s likely learned his lesson and won’t miss any practices. And New England faces the hottest quarterback in the NFL - Aaron Rodgers. They should employ the same strategy they used against Indianapolis and Andrew Luck. The Pats will run the ball against the 30th- worst run defense which is yielding 136.7 ypg on the ground.

Top-50 Running Back Rankings

——————————————

1) Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh

2) DeMarco Murray, Dallas

3) Jamaal Charles, Kansas City

4) Matt Forte, Chicago

5) LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia

6) Arian Foster, Houston

7) Justin Forsett, Baltimore

8) Marshawn Lynch, Seattle

9) Eddie Lacy, Green Bay

10) C.J. Anderson, Denver

11) Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati

12) Alfred Morris, Washington

13) Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland

14) Mark Ingram, New Orleans

15) Denard Robinson, Jacksonville

16) Frank Gore, San Francisco

17) Joique Bell, Detroit

18) Rashad Jennings, New York Giants

19) Andre Ellington, Arizona

20) Tre Mason, St. Louis

21) Ryan Mathews, San Diego

22) Trent Richardson, Indianapolis

23) Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati

24) Lamar Miller, Miami

25) Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota

26) Jonas Gray, New England

27) Latavius Murray, Oakland

28) Fred Jackson, Buffalo

29) Chris Ivory, New York Jets

30) Bishop Sankey, Tennessee

31) Darren Sproles, Philadelphia

32) Terrance West, Cleveland

33) Reggie Bush, Detroit

34) DeAngelo Williams, Carolina

35) Knile Davis, Kansas City

36) Alfred Blue, Houston

37) Theo Riddick, Detroit

38) Shane Vereen, New England

39) Carlos Hyde, San Francisco

40) Steven Jackson, Atlanta

41) Matt Asiata, Minnesota

42) Benny Cunningham, St. Louis

43) Jonathan Stewart, Carolina

44) Charles Sims, Tampa Bay

45) Juwan Thompson, Denver

46) Branden Oliver, San Diego

47) LeGarrette Blount, New England

48) Roy Helu, Washington

49) Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay

50) James Starks, Green Bay


►  Week 13 player fantasy rankings - tight ends

One of the feature matchups in Week 13 will be in the frozen tundra of Green Bay where the Packers and Aaron Rodgers face off against the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.

It’s a huge game for each team and for that reason we think Brady will feature his best pass catcher and that’s Rob Gronkowski. “Gronk” has averaged 95 yards and a touchdown over his last seven games. That’s not a lot for a wideout, but at the tight end position, “that’s gold Jerry, gold.“

The Saints’ Jimmy Graham is the No. 2 choice. Graham’s yards per game average is the lowest in the past four seasons (60.9 ypg), but he’s still a touchdown maker and that has been the saving grace for fantasy owners. Monday night he caught six balls for just 47 yards, but two were for scores. He’ll face a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is stuck in the bottom-10 for yielding fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

With Dwayne Allen still a huge question mark because of his sprained ankle, Coby Fleener cracks the top-10. He came up short last weekend, but should see plenty of targets against a Washington defense known for giving up points to opposing tight ends. Note: if Allen does return, he should be substituted for Fleener in the top-10.

The most difficult decision at the tight end position this weekend is trying to decipher whether Julius Thomas will play and how effective he can be?

I don’t think Thomas plays, but if he does he’s mainly a decoy for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. That limits Thomas’ upside and he should be bypassed by most owners in Week 13. Getting a zero from your tight end is too big a risk to take in what is likely the first round of your fantasy playoffs.

If you are searching for a needle in a haystack, you can try Detroit’s rookie Eric Ebron. Ebron has been a disappointment this season, but faces a Chicago Bears team that is yielding a league-worst 12.7 ppg to tight ends.

Top-25 Tight End Rankings

————————————-

1) Rob Gronkowski, New England

2) Jimmy Graham, New Orleans

3) Greg Olsen, Carolina

4) Jason Witten, Dallas

6) Delanie Walker, Tennessee

5) Coby Fleener, Indianapolis

7) Larry Donnell, New York Giants

8) Martellus Bennett, Chicago

9) Antonio Gates, San Diego

10) Julius Thomas, Denver

11) Travis Kelce, Kansas City

12) Scott Chandler, Buffalo

13) Heath Miller, Pittsburgh

14) Tim Wright, New England

15) Mychal Rivera, Oakland

16) Vernon Davis, San Francisco

17) Charles Clay, Miami

18) Jared Cook, St. Louis

19) Zach Ertz, Philadelphia

20) Owen Daniels, Baltimore

21) Gavin Escobar, Dallas

22) Eric Ebron, Detroit

23) Niles Paul, Washington

24) Luke Wilson, Seattle

25) Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati


►  Week 13 player fantasy rankings - kickers

It is pretty tough to rank any kicker above New England Patriots’ place kicker Stephen Gostkowski right now.

Which is why we did no such thing, and have Gostkowski as our top-ranked kicker heading into Week 13. The selection is warranted, as he has made the most field goals in the NFL (26), and has missed just once all season. Gostkowski is also an impressive 11-of-11 from opportunities between 40 and 49 yards, which is also tops in the league.

Philadelphia Eagles’ kicker Cody Parkey has been one the biggest, pleasant surprises in 2014. According to Yahoo, he is third among kickers, with 118 fantasy points, and is coming off his most productive game of the season, scoring 21 points against Tennessee. The Eagles’ offense gets into the red zone 3.7 times per game (eighth in the NFL), yet only scores a touchdown 46.3% of time, giving Parkey even more chances to produce.

The only player yet to miss a field goal attempt this season, is Indianapolis Colts’ kicker Adam Vinatieri, who continues to add to his Hall-of-Fame resume. He is second in fantasy football with 122 points, and has made nine field goals on kicks over 40 yards. The Colts have one of the best offenses in the league, and get into the red zone 4.3 times per game (fourth in the NFL), but convert a touchdown only 53.2% of the time, and only 40% of the time during the past three games. As a result, Vinatieri’s value continues to increase.

A kicker who owners may want to plug into their lineups for Week 13, is the Detroit Lions’ Matt Prater. His opponent, the Chicago Bears, give up the most fantasy points to opposing kickers (11.3 points against), and combined with the fact that Prater has recorded double-digits in three of the past four games, makes for a solid option on Sunday.

While Prater may be a good option for this week, Atlanta Falcons’ place-kicker Matt Bryant may not be. The Falcons are 30th in the NFL in red-zone opportunities (2.4 chances per game), but do convert 69.2% of the time, which is good for the third-best efficiency in the league. With Bryant’s opponent, the Arizona Cardinals giving up the eighth-fewest fantasy points (6.7 points against) to opposing kickers, we simply recommend staying away from the Falcons’ kicker during Week 13.

Top-25 Kicker Rankings

———————————

1) Stephen Gostkowski, New England

2) Cody Parkey, Philadelphia

3) Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis

4) Caleb Sturgis, Miami

5) Dan Bailey, Dallas

6) Justin Tucker, Baltimore

7) Steven Hauschka, Seattle

8) Cairo Santos, Kansas City

9) Mason Crosby, Green Bay

10) Dan Carpenter, Buffalo

11) Billy Cundiff, Cleveland

12) Nick Novak, San Diego

13) Phil Dawson, San Francisco

14) Matt Prater, Detroit

15) Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona

16) Matt Bryant, Atlanta

17) Josh Brown, New York Giants

18) Randy Bullock, Houston

19) Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis

20) Mike Nugent, Cincinnati

21) Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh

22) Shayne Graham, New Orleans

23) Blair Walsh, Minnesota

24) Graham Gano, Carolina

25) Connor Barth, Denver


►  Week 13 player fantasy rankings - defense

After seeing the New York Jets score only three points on Monday night of Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills, we most likely would have ranked any team facing the Jets in Week 13, as our top defense.

Not only do we like their matchup on Monday night versus the Jets, but the Miami Dolphins also have the third-most fantasy points (according to Yahoo) this season, making them a must-start option. Miami has produced in a number of categories, as they have given up the fourth-fewest yards in the NFL (3,475) and are tied for fourth, with 31 sacks. The Jets have given up the second-most sacks (36) in 2014, giving the Dolphins an opportunity to put together a big game.

We are “buying” into the Bills’ defensive unit. They have the second-most fantasy points this season, with 123, and after scoring a season-high 24 points against the Jets, we like that trend to continue this week at home versus the Cleveland Browns.

Buffalo has recorded at least nine fantasy points over their last five games, and have scored under that mark just two times this year. The Bills seemingly always find a way to either force a turnover or get a sack. They have notched at least two sacks in every game, and even had seven during Week 12, and along with the fact they are tied for third in the league, with 22 takeaways, Buffalo is another must-start option.

Our third-ranked defense heading into Week 13, is also coming off a nice performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Indianapolis Colts notched 15 fantasy points, the second-most they have accumulated this season, and with another enticing matchup Sunday against the Washington Redskins, the Colts will have a great chance to continue to build in the right direction. Not only does Washington score just 19.7 points per game, but they also are giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing defenses (10.7 points against), which should give owners even more confidence to start Indianapolis.

An under-the-radar play that owners may want to consider starting this week, is the St. Louis Rams’ defense. The Rams’ defense has played well of late, and has scored at least 10 points in three of the past four games. With a matchup against the Oakland Raiders’ inept offense, which is scoring only 16.0 points per game, we like St. Louis to produce from a fantasy standpoint on Sunday.

The New York Giants have one of the worst fantasy-defenses this season, but if there was ever a week to start them, it would be Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville’s offense is so abysmal, that they are dead last in the NFL, scoring only 14.6 points per game, and on top of that, the Jaguars also give up the most fantasy points to opposing defenses, allowing 14.0 points per game. If owners are in a bind this week, look no further than the Giants.

Top-25 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

——————————————————-

1) Miami Dolphins

2) Buffalo Bills

3) Houston Texans

4) Indianapolis Colts

5) San Francisco 49ers

6) Seattle Seahawks

7) Philadelphia Eagles

8) St. Louis Rams

9) Arizona Cardinals

10) Cleveland Browns

11) Cincinnati Bengals

12) New York Giants

13) Pittsburgh Steelers

14) Detroit Lions

15) Chicago Bears

16) Minnesota Vikings

17) New York Jets

18) Carolina Panthers

19) Kansas City Chiefs

20) Green Bay Packers

21) Baltimore Ravens

22) Dallas Cowboys

23) New England Patriots

24) Denver Broncos

25) Tampa Bay Buccaneers



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, November 27)


Final Score: (2) Wisconsin 68, Georgetown 65

Sam Dekker had 17 points, Nigel Hayes scored 15 and second-ranked Wisconsin held on to beat Georgetown 68-65 on Thursday in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals. Bronson Koenig supplied 14 points and four assists for the Badgers (6-0), who will face Oklahoma in Friday’s championship game. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera sank five 3-pointers but missed one at the buzzer that could have forced overtime. He led the Hoyas (4-1) with 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting. Joshua Smith was the only other Georgetown player to reach double figures in points as he finished with 10.


Final Score: (5) North Carolina 78, (22) UCLA 56

Marcus Paige totaled 21 points and five assists and No. 5 North Carolina got back on track with a 78-56 dismantling of 22nd-ranked UCLA in the second round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Justin Jackson scored 12 points while J.P. Tokoto and Isaiah Hicks netted 10 apiece for the Tar Heels (4-1), who were upset by Butler in the opening round of the tournament. Nothing went right in this one for UCLA (4-2), which was pressured into 23 turnovers and went just 1-of-14 shooting from behind the arc. Norman Powell finished with 15 points and five steals in the setback.


Final Score: (11) Kansas 76, Rhode Island 60

Perry Ellis totaled 17 points and five rebounds as No. 11 Kansas subdued Rhode Island, 76-60, in the Orlando Classic. Frank Mason III picked up 12 points, with Devonte’ Graham and Wayne Selden, Jr. contributing 10 points each for the Jayhawks (3-1), who will face Tennessee on Friday. E.C. Matthews poured in a game-high 20 points for the Rams (3-1), who were coming off an overtime win against Nebraska. Gilvydas Biruta added 16 points and seven boards in defeat.


Final Score: (18) Florida 56, UAB 47

The 18th-ranked Gators got an unexpected boost from freshman Chris Chiozza, who came off the bench and supplied 13 points with six steals in Florida’s 56-47 win over UAB in the second round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Chiozza, who went scoreless in Wednesday’s overtime loss to Georgetown in round 1, had scored just 19 points in his collegiate career prior to Thursday’s win. The reserve guard made three of Florida’s seven 3-pointers, including consecutive triples during a crucial stretch midway through the second half. Tosin Mehinti made a layup around Chiozza’s 3s and UAB scored the next five points to tie the game at 39. The Blazers led by two after Mehinti split a pair of free throws out of the final media timeout. But Florida climbed in front when Chris Walker and Jon Horford made two free throws and Kasey Hill had a layup with 1 1/2 minutes to play. After Hakeem Baxter missed twice at the rim out of a timeout, Dorian Finney-Smith’s dunk and more free throws secured the game for the Gators.


Final Score: (20) Michigan State 77, Rider 45

Denzel Valentine scored a game-high 19 points with five rebounds to lead No. 20 Michigan State to a 77-45 victory over Rider in the Orlando Classic. Bryn Forbes finished with 15 points, Travis Trice and Gavin Schilling both had 10 points and six rebounds and Matt Costello supplied six points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the Spartans (4-1), who won their third straight game. Michigan State will face the winner of the Georgia Tech-Marquette game on Sunday. Matt Lopez scored 14 points and Kahlil Thomas contributed seven points and six rebounds for the Broncs (2-3), who dropped a second straight game.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Thursday, November 27)


Final Score: Nashville 1, Edmonton 0 (OT)

Filip Forsberg scored with 1:05 remaining in overtime to lift the Nashville Predators to a 1-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thanksgiving. The Oilers began overtime on a power play, then were awarded a penalty shot 13 seconds into the extra session when Nashville defenseman Shea Weber closed his hand on the puck while in the crease. Pekka Rinne stretched with his left pad to deny Jordan Eberle at the right post. Moments later, Forsberg spun to shield the puck from an Edmonton player and fired a wrist shot from the left circle past Viktor Fasth. Rinne made 37 saves to earn his second shutout of the season and 34th of his career. The Predators won their third straight game, all beyond regulation, and welcomed back forward Mike Fisher to the lineup. Fisher missed the first 21 games of the season after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon during the summer. Fasth finished with 24 saves for the Oilers, who lost their eighth consecutive game. They are now 0-11-2 against Western Conference teams this season.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2014


National Basketball Association
Chicago at Boston, 1:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, New England, DSS
Golden State at Charlotte, 7:00 PM - CSN-Bay, SportSouth, DSS
Milwaukee at Detroit, 7:30 PM - FS-Wisconsin, Detroit, DSS
New Orleans at Atlanta, 7:30 PM - FS-New Orleans, SportSouth, DSS
Dallas at Toronto, 7:30 PM - FS-Southwest, TSN2, DSS
New York at Oklahoma City, 8:00 PM - MSG, FS-Oklahoma, DSS
LA Clippers at Houston, 8:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, ROOT-SW, NBA TV, DSS
Orlando at Indiana, 8:00 PM - FS-Florida, Indiana, DSS
Sacramento at San Antonio, 8:30 PM - CSN-California, FS-Southwest, DSS
Phoenix at Denver, 9:00 PM - FS-Arizona, Altitude, DSS
Memphis at Portland, 10:00 PM - SportSouth, CSN-Northwest, DSS
Minnesota at LA Lakers, 10:30 PM - FS-North, Time Warner, DSS


National Hockey League
NY Rangers at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM - NBC
Chicago at Anaheim, 4:00 PM - WGN, FS-Prime Ticket, NHL Network, DSS
NY Islanders at Washington, 5:00 PM - MSG, CSN-DC, DSS
Carolina at Pittsburgh, 7:00 PM - FS-Carolina, ROOT-Pittsburgh, NHL Network
Detroit at New Jersey, 7:00 PM - FS-Detroit, MSG+, DSS
Montreal at Buffalo, 7:00 PM - RDS, MSG-Buffalo, DSS
Vancouver at Columbus, 7:00 PM - SNET-Pacific, FS-Ohio, DSS
Winnipeg at Boston, 7:00 PM - TVA, TSN3, NESN, DSS
Ottawa at Florida, 7:30 PM - RDS2, TSN5, FS-Florida, DSS
Edmonton at St. Louis, 8:00 PM - SNET-West, FS-Midwest, DSS
Minnesota at Dallas, 8:30 PM - FS-North+, Southwest+, DSS


College Basketball
Orlando Classic, 12:00 PM - ESPN
New Orleans at Texas A&M, 11:00 PM - SEC Network
Battle 4 Atlantis, 2:00 PM - ESPN
Orlando Classic, 2:30 PM - ESPN U
Wright State vs. FIU, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Wooden Legacy, 3:30 PM - ESPN 2
Penn State at Bucknell, 4:00 PM - Patriot League Network
James Madison at Ohio State, 4:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Yale at Providence, 4:00 PM - FS1
Battle 4 Atlantis, 4:30 PM - ESPN
NIT Season Tip-Off, 4:30 PM - ESPN U
Charleston Southern at Florida State, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
CS Fullerton at USC Upstate, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Orlando Classic, 6:30 PM - ESPN U
Monmouth at Maryland, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network
South Alabama at Miami-Florida, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Boise State at NC State, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Vanderbilt vs. Rutgers, 7:00 PM - NBCSN
Holy Cross at Syracuse, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
NIT Season Tip-Off, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
Bradley vs. TCU, 7:00 PM - CBSSN
Delaware State at Wake Forest, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Samford at Louisiana Tech, 8:00 PM - American Sports Net, MASN
UT Martin at Nebraska, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Battle 4 Atlantis, 8:00 PM - AXStv
Las Vegas Invitational, 8:00 PM - FS1
SE Louisiana at Tulane, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
North Texas at Arkansas, 9:00 PM - SEC Network
UNC Greensboro at Indiana, 9:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Orlando Classic, 9:00 PM - ESPN 2
Miss State vs. Saint Louis, 9:30 PM - CBSSN
La Salle vs. Virginia, 9:30 PM - NBCSN
North Dakota at Utah, 10:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Battle 4 Atlantis, 10:30 PM - AXStv
Las Vegas Invitational, 10:30 PM - FS1
Wooden Legacy, 11:30 PM - ESPN 2
Great Alaska Shootout, 12:00 AM - CBSSN


Women’s College Basketball
Binghamton vs. St. John’s, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Nebraska at UCLA, 4:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Miami-Ohio vs. Oakland, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
College of Charleston vs. Connecticut, 8:30 PM - ESPN3.com, SNY


College Football
Northern Ill at Western Mich, 11:00 AM - ESPN U
Nebraska at Iowa, 12:00 PM - ABC
UCF at So Florida, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
Houston at SMU, 12:00 PM - CBSSN
Western Ky at Marshall, 12:00 PM - FS1
Toledo at Eastern Mich, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Buffalo at Massachusetts, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Akron at Kent State, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Ball State at Bowling Green, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Arkansas at Missouri, 2:30 PM - CBS
Navy at South Alabama, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Arizona State at Arizona, 3:30 PM - FOX
Colorado State at Air Force, 3:30 PM - CBSSN
Stanford at UCLA, 3:30 PM - ABC
Virginia at Virginia Tech, 8:00 PM - ESPN
East Carolina at Tulsa, 8:30 PM - ESPN U


College Hockey
St. Cloud State at Bemidji State, 8:30 PM - Lakeshore Public TV


International Soccer
Olympique de Marseille vs. FC Nantes, 2:25 PM - beIN Sport


Golf
Australian Open, 8:00 PM - Golf Channel

Sports News   141127

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Redskins bench Griffin for McCoy

Colt McCoy will return to the starting quarterback role for the Washington Redskins.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden confirmed Wednesday the benching of Robert Griffin III, who had started the past three games after recovering from a dislocated ankle suffered in Week 2.

“Colt’s going to start this week,“ Gruden told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. “He’s done some good things. I felt like he deserved a bit of a promotion.“

The Redskins have lost all three games since Griffin’s return, falling to 3-8. Griffin has been sacked 16 times in losses to Minnesota, Tampa Bay and San Francisco, and last Sunday against the 49ers completed 11-of-19 passes for just 106 yards with a lost fumble in the 17-13 setback.

“I’m not putting the blame all on Robert, it seems that way when you make a change at that position,“ Gruden added. “Robert has done some good things. I think he needs a little more time in this system and needs to take a step back and learn. Right now, I felt like Colt would give us a better chance this week.“

McCoy led the Redskins to each of their last two victories. He replaced an ineffective Kirk Cousins in the second half of the Redskins’ Week 7 matchup against Tennessee and rallied the team to a 19-17 decision, then led the way in an overtime road upset of Dallas a week later.

In his limited action, McCoy has connected on 36-of-42 throws for 427 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He finished 25-of-30 for 299 yards in the 20-17 win at Dallas in Week 8.

Griffin has completed 69.7% of his passes for 869 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in his five starts this season. He has also been sacked 20 times, and has run for 100 yards on 22 carries.

“He’s not happy, nor did I expect him to be,“ Gruden said when asked how Griffin reacted to the decision.

Griffin’s future with the Redskins could also become a topic of consideration, as the team must decide during the offseason whether to exercise an option to extend his contract through 2016.


►  Jets turn back to Geno Smith

The New York Jets will start Geno Smith at quarterback for Monday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

“Everybody’s on board with this decision,“ Jets coach Rex Ryan said on Wednesday.

Smith, who started the first eight games this season, replaced Michael Vick under center during this past Monday’s 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills, a setback that dropped the Jets to 2-9.

Ryan made the decision and informed both quarterbacks Wednesday morning.

“I have said it all along that I feel we have two good quarterbacks, I definitely feel that. And we have another guy that is a decent quarterback as well, in [Matt] Simms. But I feel that way,“ Ryan said.

Smith had been the Jets’ starter for the first 24 games of his career after the team selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was benched in the Week 8 loss to Buffalo after throwing three interceptions in the first 10 minutes of the contest and Vick was named the starter the following week.

“We purposely put Geno back, let him observe,“ Ryan said. “Now is the opportunity for him to step back in and let’s see how it goes. I, for one, am excited to watch him. He has my support on this, and that’s what I’ll say about it.“

Vick started the past three games for the Jets, leading the team to a victory in Week 10 against Pittsburgh to end an eight-game losing streak. He struggled in Monday’s game against the Bills, completing just 7-of-19 passes for 76 yards with an interception while being sacked five times.

Smith entered in the third quarter and connected on 10-of-12 throws for 89 yards while being sacked twice.

In nine games this season, Smith has thrown for 1,459 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions.


►  Vikings place Loadholt on IR; add Webb

The Minnesota Vikings placed right tackle Phil Loadholt on injured reserve Wednesday and brought back tackle J’Marcus Webb.

Loadholt suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 24-21 loss to Green Bay. He had started the first 11 games this season.

Webb appeared in eight games last season with Minnesota and started once. He spent this summer in training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 26-year-old product of West Texas A&M was selected in the seventh round of the 2010 draft by the Bears and started 44 of the 46 games he played for Chicago.


►  Patriots’ Slater gets two-year extension

The New England Patriots prevented special teams ace Matthew Slater from hitting the open market in the offseason, with the wide receiver agreeing to terms on a two-year extension on Wednesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, though an ESPN report said the deal is worth $4 million and includes a $100,000 bonus if Slater is selected to the Pro Bowl.

Slater has been named to the Pro Bowl as the AFC’s special teamer in each of the last three years and was a first team All-Pro in both 2011 and 2012. The 29-year-old has recorded 83 special teams tackles since 2010.

“He’s really pretty much a model player. I’d love to have 53 guys like him,“ said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick of Slater.

“His personality, his intelligence, his toughness, his character—both on and off the field—his leadership is all exemplary. You couldn’t really find anything any better.“

Slater, the son of Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater, was in the final season of a three-year contract he signed in March of 2012. The UCLA product entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick of New England in 2008.


►  Redskins put CB Porter on IR

The Washington Redskins have placed cornerback Tracy Porter on injured reserve, the team announced Wednesday.

Porter separated the AC joint in his shoulder during Washington’s 17-13 loss at San Francisco on Sunday. The oft-injured veteran had previously missed eight of the team’s first nine games while dealing with a pulled right hamstring before returning to play in the last two contests.

The Redskins signed Porter in the offseason after he made 16 starts with Oakland in 2013, recording 67 tackles, two interceptions, 1 1/2 sacks and 12 passes defensed.

Cornerback Chase Minnifield was added back to the active roster from the practice squad to take Porter’s place. Minnifield appeared in six games with Washington earlier this season prior to being waived on November 04.


►  Bears place Brian de la Puente on IR

The Chicago Bears have placed guard/center Brian de la Puente on injured reserve because of an ankle injury.

The 29-year-old de la Puente appeared in eight contests with six starts (four at center and two at left guard) this season, his first with the Bears.

The Bears also elevated defensive tackle Brandon Dunn to the 53-man roster from the practice squad, signing him to a two-year contract.


►  Lacy among NFC Players of the Week

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy has been selected as the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for games played from November 23-24.

Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor was named the conference’s top defensive player for Week 12, with Philadelphia Eagles rookie Josh Huff claiming NFC Special Teams Player of the Week recognition after delivering a franchise-record 107-yard kickoff return touchdown in Sunday’s 43-24 win over Tennessee.

Lacy amassed 138 yards from scrimmage while scoring both a rushing and receiving touchdown in the Packers’ 24-21 road victory over fellow NFC North member Minnesota. The 2013 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year finished the game with 125 rushing yards on a season-best 25 carries.

The award is the second of Lacy’s career, having also earned the honor during Week 15 of last season.

Chancellor led an outstanding Seattle defensive effort that lifted the Seahawks to a 19-3 triumph over NFC West-leading Arizona last Sunday. The physical safety recorded eight tackles—seven solo—for a unit that held the Cardinals to 204 total yards.

This is Chancellor’s second Defensive Player of the Week award this season, also receiving the nod for a nine-tackle, one-interception and one forced fumble performance in the Seahawks’ overtime win over Denver in Week 3.


►  Forsett highlights AFC Players of the Week

Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett, Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson and Buffalo Bills running back Boobie Dixon were named AFC Players of the Week for Week 12.

Forsett carried the ball 22 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens’ 34-27 win at New Orleans. His 182 yards led all NFL players in Week 12 and marked his third 100-yard performance of the season.

Woodson had eight tackles and one sack in the Raiders’ first win of the season, a 24-20 decision over Kansas City on Thursday night. His sack marked the 20th of his career, and Woodson is the only NFL player with at least 20 sacks and 50-plus interceptions (58) since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

Dixon blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown in the Bills’ 38-3 win against the New York Jets at Detroit’s Ford Field on Monday night. The Mississippi State product, who also blocked a punt in Week 2 against Miami, is the first Bills player with two blocked punts in a season since Steve Tasker in 1990.


►  Lions’ Reiff, Bush questionable for Thanksgiving

Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush and left tackle Riley Reiff are questionable for Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears.

Bush has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. The USC product was limited in practice this week.

The 29-year-old Bush has carried the ball 53 times for 191 yards and one touchdown in seven games this season. He has also caught 26 passes for 169 yards.

Joique Bell has started the past two games. He has carried the ball 141 times for 490 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games this season.

Reiff was a limited participant in Wednesday’s walkthrough after missing practice on Monday and Tuesday. He suffered a left knee injury on the first play of the Lions’ 34-9 loss to the New England Patriots last weekend.

If Reiff can’t go, expect rookie Cornelius Lucas to make his first start at left tackle.

Guard Larry Warford and defensive tackle Nick Fairley are both out with knee injuries for the Lions.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  10 reasons to be thankful

With the turkey about to go in the oven, it is time to reflect on what we are truly thankful for this year.

Family ... Friends ... and Justin Forsett for saving all our fantasy teams with his 182 rushing yards and two touchdowns on Monday night.

For me, I am not thankful for Forsett because I was playing against him and fell on the losing end last week. However, there are still many things I am thankful for this holiday season.

Tony Romo’s back doctor

Like a majority of fans on the east coast, the blue star on silver helmets makes me vomit a little in my mouth, which doesn’t work too well with the Cowboys taking the field right around when dinner is set on Thanksgiving, but Romo’s play since Week 3 has sure made me smile.

In the last eight games, Romo has thrown for 2,062 yards, 20 touchdowns and has turned it over just five times. He gave us a little scare with a back injury, but since his return, Romo has been better than ever with seven touchdowns and one fumble the last two games.

All fantasy owners, like myself, are glad to see him ‘back’ and pray he can avoid major injury over the next four weeks.

Romo’s favorite target

A mid-season trade gave me the Romo-Bryant combination on one fantasy roster, and nothing has been better the last two weeks. Bryant has 13 catches, 244 yards and four touchdowns since Romo returned. Bryant has also scored six touchdowns during the past four games.

Bryant may or may not feel disrespected from the lack of love from Jerry Jones, but never will I forget to show Bryant the proper amount of thanks.

The Toyota Tacoma

If Jerome Bettis was “The Bus”, fantasy owners may have to find a proper nickname or the more elusive, but nearly as powerful, Le’Veon Bell.

Monday night in Week 11 looked like the old Steelers days with Bell rushing for 204 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries. 200 yards in a single game is something Bettis never achieved in his career.

Bell is one of five running backs with at least five fantasy points every single week, and Bell has failed to score at least 10 fantasy points just once.

There isn’t a better way to get to the playoffs than via a Tacoma, a.k.a. Le’Veon Bell.

My Garbage Time Hero

Kelvin Benjamin has tremendous stats this season: 52 catches, 768 yards and eight touchdowns. But a lot of his numbers have come in garbage time.

Benjamin scored the final two touchdowns against the Eagles in Week 10 when his team was trailing, 45-7. Even though he was shut out much of the game, Benjamin finished with 19 fantasy points and took me to victory.

He did the same against the Packers in Week 7, scoring a touchdown with Green Bay already leading, 38-3.

Just like all fantasy owners, however, I do not care. It doesn’t really matter how they come; all touchdowns are equally special to me.

My Main Wingman

Demaryius Thomas said in his commercial, “Only winners get wings”. Mr. Thomas, you can have all the wings at my house that you want this Thanksgiving.

After a slow start, Thomas leads all wide receivers in standard leagues with 175.2 fantasy points. And just when owners were worried he wasn’t finding the end zone, Thomas scored three times in Week 12.

Eric Decker 2.0

I’m extra thankful for Emmanuel Sanders not because he is a stud, but because he was a steal in the middle rounds.

In a 12-team league, I picked him in the fifth round and in a 10-team league, I managed to land him in the sixth round. That’s excellent value considering he is third in the NFL with 76 catches and fourth with 1,079 receiving yards to go with seven scores.

He is so good, I wish he was on all four of my teams, but no need to be greedy. Be thankful for what you have.

My Best Waiver Wire Pickup

Maybe I should have just made the Broncos offense one big thing to be thankful for. Some may have complained about the lack of production from the Broncos backfield, but with Peyton Manning at quarterback, whatever running back is starting must be in fantasy lineups.

I missed the boat on Ronnie Hillman, but didn’t on C.J. Anderson. He has filled holes the injured Montee Ball and Giovani Bernard left behind, and with Bernard back on the field, Anderson provides excellent production for a FLEX. His 167 yards and a score is just exhibit A.

New England’s Real Golden Boy

Thanksgiving originated in the New England states with the Pilgrims, so a Patriot player had to be included.

This time of year, fantasy owners must be thankful for everything, including kickers and defenses. It is hard to believe I dropped Gostkowski after New England’s rough outing in Kansas City. He scored 21 and 17 points the next two weeks, respectively, and I managed to beg him to return to the roster.

Gostkowski leads all kickers in fantasy points, and over the last seven weeks, he is averaging 13.4 points per game. When every point counts in the fantasy playoffs, it is great to know you have the best kicker in the business.

Gostkowski Jr.

If owners couldn’t get Gostkowski, Cody Parkey is a pretty close second or third. Adam Vinatieri is second among kickers in fantasy points, but Parkey is directly behind.

There is only one week Parkey hasn’t scored at least eight fantasy points, and in Week 12, he scored a season-high 21 points. With the high-powered Eagles offense, Parkey should continue to hit eight fantasy points or more every week, which gives me time to worry about other positions.

The return of the No Name Defense

The Dolphins don’t have many marquee names on the defensive side of the ball, but that hasn’t stopped them from scoring the third-most fantasy points in standard leagues.

With no marquee names on defense, Miami originally just looked to be a one week stream option versus the Jaguars back in Week 8. But when they scored 26 points and nearly single-handedly won my fantasy game, I stayed loyal, and they rewarded me with 20 more points the next week.

Miami did score in the negatives versus the Broncos last week, but the Dolphins have favorable matchups against the Jets, Ravens and Vikings down the stretch. In Week 15, they aren’t the best start on the road versus the Patriots, but I’m already extremely thankful for the help the prior weeks.

That is what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, along with turkey, stuffing, a little sister and all that other stuff. Make sure you let the people and fantasy players most important in your life know how you really feel.


►  Three players who will come up big on Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all the fantasy footballers out there.

Thursday is a special day, and to make matters even better, we are all privileged to have three enticing matchups on Turkey Day, with the Chicago Bears taking on the Detroit Lions, along with the Philadelphia Eagles traveling to Dallas to take on the Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks taking on their rivals, the San Francisco 49ers.

Not only do all three contests have NFL playoff implications, but there are also a ton of players suiting up who fantasy owners will be relying on. In most standard leagues, Week 13 marks the final week of the regular season, giving owners one last chance to make their playoff push.

Here are three players who will help take those teams to the promise land.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit

Before the readers react to my obvious choice of Lions’ wide receiver Calvin Johnson, let me tell you why he is destined for a solid game.

Over his past six games against the Bears, Johnson has played well, averaging five receptions for 74 yards per game, along with scoring four touchdowns during the span. On top of that, he has played in seven total Thanksgiving Day games, and not only is he averaging another 5.1 receptions for 75.7 yards per game on Turkey Day, but Johnson has also scored a touchdown in six of those seven games.

Johnson is fully recovered from is ankle injury, and with the combination of his success during his career against the Bears and on Thanksgiving, it seems quite fitting that he will have a big afternoon.

LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia

Fantasy owners are most likely disappointed with Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, after he declared himself the best halfback in football before the season, and felt that he would be able to push for 2,000 rushing yards. He will not come close to that mark, yet McCoy has still been productive in 2014.

The fact that he has scored only three touchdowns is the most frustrating part this season, but McCoy is trending in the right direction, after scoring in two of the past three games. Not only does it seem he has busted out of his touchdown slump, but McCoy has also accumulated a lot yards over the past six games.

He has 970 total yards (859 rushing yards, 111 receiving yards) on the year, and is easily on pace for another 1,000-yard rushing season, but over his past six games, McCoy is averaging 22 touches for a solid 105.7 yards per game. He is clearly getting stronger as the season progresses.

While his past six games are nice to see, McCoy has been even better over his last six games against the Cowboys, averaging 22.8 touches for 119.2 yards per game, and scoring three touchdowns during that span.

With McCoy seemingly finding his groove for the first time this season, along with his solid career-numbers versus Dallas, fantasy owners should be confident that he will come up big on Thanksgiving Day.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit

Yes, McCoy has not lived up to expectations this season, but Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford has actually been even worse. According to Yahoo, Stafford was the sixth-ranked fantasy quarterback heading into 2014, but he is currently performing as the 16th-ranked signal-caller.

However, with Johnson in line for a nice afternoon, it is only natural that his quarterback has a big game as well.

Stafford has played well over his past four games against the Bears, averaging 249 passing yards per game and throwing for eight touchdowns, along with rushing one into the end zone, during that span.

Those numbers are good, and if Stafford hits those averages on Thursday, it would make for a decent afternoon for fantasy owners ... but I know those owners want more.

More is what owners should receive, as Chicago is giving up the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per game (20.79 against), and with the Bears allowing 276 passing yards and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game, Stafford has a great opportunity to begin a hot streak, to conclude his 2014 season.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  No. 21 West Virginia routs VMI

Jevon Carter had 28 points and No. 21 West Virginia forced a school-record 36 turnovers in a 103-72 win over VMI on Wednesday night.

Juwan Staten added 17 points, six assists and four steals for the Mountaineers (6-0), who captured the Puerto Rico Tip-Off title on Sunday, beating then-No. 17 Connecticut. Jonathan Holton tallied 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals and four blocks.

West Virginia is off to its first 6-0 start since the 2009-10 Final Four team started 11-0. The Mountaineers also tied a school record with 26 steals.

QJ Peterson ended with 13 points for the Keydets (2-3). Craig Hinton donated 10 points in the lopsided defeat.

VMI actually held a 19-16 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half. However, the Mountaineers scored the next eight points for a 24-19 edge.

Ahead 26-24 moments later, West Virginia used a 14-3 run to pull away. Carter scored the final seven points of the surge to make it 40-27 with 3:53 left.

The Mountaineers led 53-35 at the half and extended their lead to as many as 35 in the second half.

Game Notes

Peterson turned the ball over a game-high 11 times ... VMI went 11-of-31 from beyond the arc ... West Virginia got 52 points from its bench.



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Basketball Game Results

(Wednesday, November 26)


Final Score: (2) Wisconsin 72, UAB 41

Frank Kaminsky had 16 points and eight rebounds and No. 2 Wisconsin took care of UAB, 72-43, in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Duje Dukan scored 11 points, Josh Gasser had 10 and Nigel Hayes finished with nine points, five rebounds and a game-high four assists for the Badgers (5-0). Wisconsin, which has won every game this season by at least 24 points, will meet the winner of Florida and Georgetown in the semifinals. Robert Brown was the lone bright spot for UAB (2-3), pouring in 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting.


Final Score: (4) Duke 93, Furman 54

Jahlil Okafor scored 24 points to lead the fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils to a 93-54 win over Furman at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Amile Jefferson posted 16 points and 12 rebounds and Matt Jones finished with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc for Duke (6-0). Kendrec Ferrara paced the Paladins (1-3) with 13 points and Stephen Croone added 12.


Final Score: Butler 74, (5) North Carolina 66

Alex Barlow scored 17 points to lead the Butler Bulldogs over the fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, 74-66, in quarterfinal round action of the Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena. Kelan Martin also scored 17 points and added six rebounds for Butler (4-0), which outrebounded Carolina 57-40, grabbing 29 offensive boards, on the way to the upset win. Roosevelt Jones hit four straight free throws down the stretch, ending with 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs, who will face Oklahoma in the semifinal round on Thursday. Marcus Paige scored 18 points to lead North Carolina (3-1), which rallied in the final minutes but never had possession of the ball with a chance to take the lead.


Final Score: (6) Louisville 45, Cleveland State 33

Rick Pitino’s 700th career win didn’t come nearly as easy as No. 699. Two days after producing a 61-point blowout on its home court, sixth-ranked Louisville had to scratch and claw against Cleveland State for most of the night before eventually pulling away for a 45-33 victory. The Cardinals led just 38-33 with under six minutes left before ending the game on a 7-0 run to give Pitino the milestone result over a Cleveland State squad that lost in overtime Saturday to Savannah State, the team Louisville walloped by an 87-26 count Monday at the KFC Yum! Center. Montrezl Harrell led a Cardinals’ contingent that shot a troubling 31.9 percent for the game with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Chris Jones added 11 points and Terry Rozier had nine along with a career-high 11 boards for Louisville (5-0). Trey Lewis kept the Vikings in it by pouring in 24 points, but Cleveland State (2-3) made just 25 percent of its field goal attempts in another top-notch effort by the Cardinals’ defense.


Final Score: (10) Gonzaga 88, Georgia 76

Kyle Wiltjer poured in a career-high 32 points and Kevin Pangos scored 22 as 10th-ranked Gonzaga used strong free- throw shooting to beat Georgia, 88-76, in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Byron Wesley had 12 points for Gonzaga (5-0), which will face St. John’s in the championship game Friday night at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s beat Minnesota in the other semifinal. Gonzaga, which made 50 percent from the field, missed only three of its 35 foul shots. Charles Mann finished with 23 points and seven rebounds for Georgia (3-2), which also received 14 points from J.J. Frazier and 10 from Nemanja Djurisic.


Final Score: (16) Ohio State 91, Campbell 64

D’Angelo Russell scored 22 points and handed out seven assists, and Marc Loving tallied a career-high 18 points, as 16th-ranked Ohio State pounded Campbell, 91-64, at Value City Arena. Russell shot 9-of-13 from the field, including hitting four 3-pointers. Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson each chipped in 11 for the Buckeyes (4-0), who shot 60.7 percent from the field. Andrew Ryan paced the Fighting Camels (1-3) with 17 points, including 14 after halftime when he shot 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. D.J. Mason scored 10 with six rebounds.


Final Score: Georgetown 66, (18) Florida 65 (OT)

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera hit a pull-up jumper with four seconds left in overtime and Georgetown beat 18th-ranked Florida 66-65 in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Hoyas trailed by one following Kasey Hill’s three-point play with just under 12 seconds to play. Out of a timeout, Smith-Rivera isolated at the top of the key and put a move on Michael Frazier II before stepping back and hitting a long two. Smith-Rivera led Georgetown (4-0) with 17 points, while Jabril Trawick and Paul White finished with 10 apiece. Georgetown’s reward for winning is a meeting with No. 2 Wisconsin in the semifinals. Dorian Finney-Smith, who missed the last two games with a wrist injury, returned and scored 16 points to lead Florida (2-2), which shot just 35.9 percent from the field. Frazier had 12 points and Jon Horford finished with 10 points and 11 boards.


Final Score: (21) West Virginia 103, VMI 72

Jevon Carter had 28 points and No. 21 West Virginia cruised past VMI, 103-72, on Wednesday. Juwan Staten added 17 points, six assists and four steals for the Mountaineers (6-0), who captured the Puerto Rico Tip-Off title on Sunday, beating then-No. 17 Connecticut. Jonathan Holton tallied 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals and four blocks. QJ Peterson ended with 13 points for the Keydets (2-3), who turned the ball over 36 times. Craig Hinton donated 10 points.


Final Score: Oklahoma 75, (22) UCLA 65

Buddy Hield collected a game-high 24 points as Oklahoma knocked off No. 22 UCLA by a 75-65 count in a quarterfinal meeting in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Frank Booker had 11 points and Jordan Woodard 10 for the Sooners (3-1), who advance to face Butler—which toppled No. 5 North Carolina earlier Wednesday. Bryce Alford finished with 19 points while Kevon Looney added 16 points and a game-best 15 rebounds for the Bruins (4-1).



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Pulse of the NBA

Two young players have made significant strides in their games, and both are part of rebuilding teams that look like they’re on the upswing.

I’m referring to Tobias Harris of the Orlando Magic and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Harris, who’s in his fourth year in the league, is putting up career-highs in points (18.8), rebounds (8.4), assists (1.8), steals (1.2), field goal percentage (46.9 percent) and three-point percentage (41.2 percent).

“I’ve taken the next step in my game and the next level now is continuing to trust my teammates and trust that this whole thing is going to work out for us as a team as long as we play the right way,“ Harris said. “I’ve told all of the guys on the team, ‘You look better individually when we win as a team.‘ So it really is all about winning.“

Harris’ scoring average is up over four points from last season, but it’s another part of his game that he’s really tried to improve.

“One of the main focuses for me was making sure that we all play the right type of basketball and that’s team basketball,“ he said. “I’ve taken it upon myself to be the guy who takes that first step for everybody else. Especially in that first quarter, I want to make that extra pass, be patient and trust everyone. The coaches have told me over and over to keep trusting the system. I’ve been doing that, it’s helping my teammates and it’s had a ripple effect on everybody.“

The 22-year old small forward’s motivation to get better is driven by one goal.

“The reason I’m focused and so locked in is because I want our group here to win,“ said Harris . “Our coaches have put in a tremendous amount of time with us and they have given us the right plan and structure to help us win games. And for us as a team, it’s on us to go out there and execute and win games. The games where we’ve been locked in offensively and defensively, that’s when we have won. So we just have to be consistent with it and win games.“

Harris, who will be a restricted free agent next summer, has the benefit this season of playing with his older cousin, Channing Frye, who has imparted some pretty good advice.

“I just constantly tell him, ‘You be you and don’t worry about what happens. Carve out your niche for who you want to be as a player and don’t just be a contract-year guy; be an all-the-time guy and he’s doing that. Winners get paid - I said that since I first got here - and you want to be a winner.“

The Magic front office and coaching staff wanted Harris to come in this season with a more diversified game, and coach Jacque Vaughn is glad to see he’s lived up to the challenge.

“He’s trying to just be a better player overall,“ said Vaughn, who drew up Harris’ game-winning, buzzer-beating basket in Philadelphia two weeks ago because of his confidence in the versatile forward. “A lot of times when we talk about a player trying to get better everybody (looks) at the offensive end of the floor. I think defensively he’s taken some strides in the different matchups that he’s had throughout the course of the season so far. He’s taking pride in both ends of the floor. I’ve been pleased to see that from him.“

Now on to the player who was nicknamed “The Greek Freak” as a teenager playing in Greece.

Giannis Antetokounmpo looks like a totally different player in this his second season and it’s scary to think how good he can be with his skill set and the incredible size and length he brings to the table with his 6-foot-11 frame and huge 7-3 wingspan.

Bucks center Larry Sanders is impressed by his 19-year old teammate and knows how much potential he has.

“He’s such a skilled player,“ Sanders said. “He’s only just scratching the surface of how good he’s going to be. He’s just tapping into new abilities and trying on new things. He’s really learning about himself and it’s amazing to watch.“

Because of his size and his ability to handle the ball so well, Antetokounmpo is a difficult matchup for smaller players who he can post up and for bigger players who he can take off the dribble.

Just ask the Memphis Grizzlies Zach Randolph, who had his hands full when he was matched up against Antetokounmpo on November 7 when the Bucks handed the Grizzlies their first loss of the season.

Antetokounmpo continually beat Randolph off the dribble in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his 18 points against the Grizzlies power forward, as the Bucks handed Memphis its first loss of the season.

“We played through Giannis, and he didn’t settle,“ said coach Jason Kidd. “He was getting the ball in the paint and was able to finish. You could see his growth coming along.“

In Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, the Bucks have two 19-year olds with a ton of talent and immense potential, and they’re playing well enough along with the likes of Sanders, Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo to give the Bucks a legitimate chance to be a playoff team.


►  NBA Game Results

(Wednesday, November 26)


Final Score: Portland 105, Charlotte 97

Wesley Matthews had 28 points and the red- hot Portland Trail Blazers used a strong second half to beat the struggling Charlotte Hornets, 105-97, on Wednesday. Damian Lillard added 22 points and seven assists for the Blazers, who have won nine in a row. Robin Lopez tallied 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Brian Roberts ended with a career- high 24 points off the bench for the Hornets, who have lost seven straight. Al Jefferson donated 21 points and 14 boards. Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson each had 15 points for Charlotte, which lost forward Marvin Williams to a left shoulder strain.


Final Score: Cleveland 113, Washington 87

LeBron James’ third straight double-double helped the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 113-87 win over the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena. James, who scored 22 points on just 38 percent shooting in Cleveland’s 91-78 loss to the Wizards last Friday, poured in 29 points on 7-of-14 shooting with 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals in the Cavs’ second straight win. Kevin Love netted 21 points on an efficient 7- of-10 shooting and Kyrie Irving dropped in 18 with five assists for Cleveland, which committed 19 turnovers in the loss to the Wizards compared to just 10 on Wednesday. Rasual Butler led the Wizards with 23 points off the bench, while Paul Pierce supplied 15 and Marcin Gortat added 12 in the setback, Washington’s second straight.


Final Score: Golden State 111, Orlando 96

Stephen Curry scored 25 of his game-high 28 points in the first half, and Golden State dominated the Orlando Magic, 111-96, in the Warriors’ seventh consecutive victory. Harrison Barnes had 16 points and Shaun Livingston scored 15 off the bench for the Warriors, who at 12-2 are continuing their best start in the franchise’s 69-year history. Additionally, Golden State’s 7-1 road mark is its best ever at this juncture of a season. Curry, who had 14 points in the opening quarter, finished the game 9-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Tobias Harris, who missed the previous two games due to a strained right calf, scored 16 and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Magic, losers of three straight. Nikola Vucevic had 11 points and 13 boards, while Elfrid Payton and Ben Gordon both scored 13 in defeat.


Final Score: Brooklyn 99, Philadelphia 91

The Philadelphia 76ers had a fourth- quarter lead but walked off the court with another loss to match the worst start in franchise history. Kevin Garnett and the Brooklyn Nets did just enough to escape with the win. Garnett scored three key points in the final minutes of the game and the Nets held on for a 99-91 victory on Wednesday night, dropping the Sixers to 0-15. That matches the 1972-73 Philadelphia team for the most losses to start a season without a win. Those Sixers ended 9-73, the worst record for an NBA team in an 82-game season. The Sixers are three losses from matching the 2009-10 Nets for the worst start to an NBA season.


Final Score: Toronto 126, Atlanta 115

DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and Kyle Lowry deposited 14 with 13 assists as the Toronto Raptors rallied past the Atlanta Hawks, 126-115, to win their sixth straight game. Lou Williams and Greivis Vasquez scored 22 and 21 points, respectively, in another dominant bench effort for the Raptors. Toronto’s reserves outscored their counterparts, 52-27. All five starters also reached double figures for the Raptors, who own the best record in the NBA at 13-2 and have won six in a row for the first time since March 22 - April 4, 2009. Terrence Ross scored 12, Jonas Valanciunas had 11 with seven rebounds and Amir Johnson added 10 points.


Final Score: Dallas 109, New York 102 (OT)

Tyson Chandler pulled down an NBA season-high 25 rebounds to go with 17 points and the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Carmelo Anthony-less New York Knicks 109-102 in overtime on Wednesday night. Dallas used a 9-0 run and forced six Knicks turnovers to pull away in the extra session. Monta Ellis stripped Samuel Dalembert from behind and fed Chandler for a dunk for a 101-99 lead with 1:37 in overtime. After a Dallas miss a trip down the floor later, Chandler Parsons forced turnover to give the Mavericks an extra possession. Dirk Nowitzki then hit a fallaway from the foul line with 43.5 seconds left and another Knicks turnover put the game away, with Ellis swiping a pass from Jose Calderon. New York’s J.R. Smith hit a jumper with less than a second remaining in regulation to force overtime. Nowitzki posted his first 30-point game of the season, netting 30 on the number to go with six boards for the Mavericks, who snapped a brief two-game slide. They’ve won seven of their last nine games overall. Calderon tallied 21 points, 10 boards and four assists for New York, which has dropped four of its last five games. Anthony missed the game due to back spasms.


Final Score: Houston 102, Sacramento 89

Isaiah Canaan nailed six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 24 points as the Houston Rockets defeated the Sacramento Kings, 102-89, on Wednesday night. James Harden netted 26 points, but was just 10-of-31 from the field. He added eight assists and seven rebounds. Donatas Motiejunas provided 21 points and six boards for the Rockets, who have won three in a row and six of their last eight games. DeMarcus Cousins posted 29 points, 17 rebounds and six assists for Sacramento, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.


Final Score: LA Clippers 104, Detroit 98

Jamal Crawford scored 25 points in the Los Angeles Clippers’ 104-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. Chris Paul added 23 points and seven assists for the Clippers, who improved to 4-1 on a seven-game road trip. Blake Griffin tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. D.J. Augustin ended with 19 points and six assists for the Pistons, who have lost six in a row. Josh Smith, Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each had 17 points, with Drummond also pulling down 13 boards.


Final Score: Milwaukee 103, Minnesota 86

In a matchup of the top two picks in the 2014 NBA Draft, Jabari Parker’s Milwaukee Bucks took care of Andrew Wiggins’ Minnesota Timberwolves, 103-86, courtesy of a big fourth-quarter run on Wednesday. Parker, the No. 2 selection out of Duke, had 11 points with seven rebounds, while the top pick Wiggins went for 14 points and eight boards. Wiggins was acquired by the Timberwolves from Cleveland in an offseason trade that sent Kevin Love to the Cavs. Brandon Knight scored 13 of his 15 points during the fourth-quarter run that turned a one-point game into a comfortable win. Larry Sanders also netted 15 with seven rebounds and five blocks for the Bucks, who have won two straight. Corey Brewer paced the Timberwolves with 19 points in their third straight loss. It was the first time in NBA history that four teenagers played in the same game, with Minnesota’s Wiggins and Zach LaVine both starting against Milwaukee’s Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo.


Final Score: Oklahoma City 97, Utah 82

Reggie Jackson poured in 22 points and Jeremy Lamb scored 21 off the bench in Oklahoma City’s 97-82 rout of the Utah Jazz Wednesday night. Serge Ibaka registered 20 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Thunder, who snapped a six-game losing streak and gained just their fourth win in 16 tries this season. The Jazz, losers of four in a row, were led by Gordon Hayward’s 24 points, but he committed eight of his team’s 19 turnovers.


Final Score: San Antonio 106, Indiana 100

Manu Ginobili scored 28 points off the bench and without coach Gregg Popovich on the bench, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Indiana Pacers 106-100 on Wednesday. Two-time Euroleague coach of the year Ettore Messina, who is a first-year assistant with San Antonio, coached in place of Popovich, who underwent a minor medical procedure prior to the game. Popovich will miss an undisclosed amount of time. Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard both deposited 21 points for the Spurs, winners of five straight. Leonard also pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds, and Tim Duncan went for 17 points with six boards. Rodney Stuckey netted 22 points to pace the undermanned Pacers, who were without center Roy Hibbert for the second straight game. Hibbert left Saturday’s loss to Phoenix with a sprained left ankle.


Final Score: Phoenix 120, Denver 112

Gerald Green scored 24 points off the bench and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Denver Nuggets, 120-112, on Wednesday. Eric Bledsoe deposited 21 points with 10 assists, Goran Dragic scored 20 and Markieff Morris totaled 15 points with 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Suns, who have won five of their last six. Wilson Chandler led the Nuggets with 19 points, while Timofey Mozgov and Arron Afflalo each contributed 18 points, with Mozgov pulling down 13 rebounds in the setback. Denver had its five-game winning streak snapped.


Final Score: Memphis 99, LA Lakers 93

Marc Gasol had 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 99-93 on Wednesday night. Mike Conley posted 19 points and seven assists for the Grizzlies, who have won seven of their last eight games. Kobe Bryant netted 22 points for Los Angeles, which has dropped three in a row and seven of its last nine games.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Rays sign Frieri to one-year deal

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed pitcher Ernesto Frieri to a one-year contract.

Financial terms for the former Angels closer were not disclosed.

Frieri split last season with the Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates after losing his closer role in Anaheim. He finished the year 1-4 with 11 saves and a 7.34 ERA in 48 games.

The 29-year-old right-hander notched 37 saves in 41 chances for the Angels during the 2013 season and has 71 saves in 81 opportunities during a six-year career with the Pirates, Angels and San Diego Padres.

Frieri has a career record of 10-13 with a 3.46 ERA in 276 appearances, all out of the bullpen.

The Rays also designated infielder Sean Rodriguez for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

Rodriguez batted .228 with 40 homers and 172 RBI over the past five seasons with the Rays. In 2014, he hit only .211, his lowest average during his Tampa Bay tenure, but set career highs with 12 homers and 41 RBI.


►  Orioles acquire LHP Scott Barnes

The Baltimore Orioles acquired left- handed pitcher Scott Barnes from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations on Wednesday.

Barnes, 27, spent all of 2014 with Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. He finished with a 3-2 record and a 3.69 ERA in 25 appearances, including one start.

In his major league career, Barnes has made 22 appearances out of the Indians bullpen, posting an 0-1 mark with a 5.20 ERA in 27 2/3 innings with 26 strikeouts.

The Orioles also signed infielder Rey Navarro to a major league contract. The 24-year-old has never appeared in the majors. Between Double-A and Triple-A in the Cincinnati organization in 2014, Navarro batted .282 with 12 home runs and 57 runs batted in, splitting time between shortstop and second base.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Wednesday, November 26)


Final Score: NY Islanders 3, Washington 2 (OT)

John Tavares notched a power-play goal with 24 seconds remaining in overtime as the New York Islanders stayed hot thanks to a 3-2 decision over Washington at Nassau Coliseum. Anders Lee and Travis Hamonic supplied additional offense, with Ryan Strome adding two assists for the Islanders, who have taken five in a row and nine of their last 10 to challenge Pittsburgh for the Metropolitan Division lead. Jaroslav Halak came up with 25 saves for the win. Alex Ovechkin picked up both scores for the Capitals, who can avenge the loss in the latter portion of this home-and-home series on Friday. Braden Holtby played well in defeat, making 32 stops.


Final Score: Winnipeg 2, Buffalo 1

Bryan Little scored in a third straight game, Ondrej Pavelec made 19 saves and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Wednesday. Michael Frolik added a short-handed goal for the Jets, who have won the first two stops on their three-game road trip and three of five overall. Chris Stewart scored in the third period and Jhonas Enroth stopped 24 shots for Buffalo, which had its win streak snapped at three games.


Final Score: Detroit 5, Philadelphia 2

Pavel Datsyuk celebrated his return to the lineup with two goals, and the Detroit Red Wings continued their home dominance over the Philadelphia Flyers thanks to a 5-2 decision at Joe Louis Arena. Stephen Weiss added a goal and assist for the Red Wings, winners in five of their last seven. Tomas Jurco and Henrik Zetterberg also lit the lamp. Darren Helm picked up a pair of assists to back a 22-save effort by Jimmy Howard. Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek tallied for the Flyers, who have lost six of seven since a three-game win streak. Steve Mason took the loss, charged with three goals on 14 shots over 31-plus minutes. Ray Emery subbed for the remainder of the game and made nine stops.


Final Score: Tampa Bay 4, NY Rangers 3

Former Ranger Ryan Callahan had two goals and an assist against his ex-team to spoil Martin St. Louis’ return to Tampa and help the Lightning to a 4-3 victory over New York. The pregame buildup was solely centered on St. Louis’ first game in Amalie Arena since the Lightning’s all-time leading scorer requested and was granted a trade to the Rangers on March 5. However, it was Callahan—the key player Tampa Bay received in the blockbuster swap—who earned the night’s First Star as St. Louis was held off the scoresheet. Steven Stamkos made quite an impact as well, notching a goal and two assists in the Lightning’s fourth win in their last six outings, including two in a row by one goal. Ben Bishop finished with 16 saves in the triumph. New York entered the anticipated matchup off shutout wins over Philadelphia and Montreal, but Henrik Lundqvist stopped just 25-of-29 shots and St. Louis was mostly a non-factor. Rick Nash did record a goal and an assist for the Rangers, with Mats Zuccarello and Dan Boyle also scoring in defeat.


Final Score: Florida 1, Carolina 0

Nick Bjugstad scored 21 seconds into the game and a pair of Florida goaltenders combined to shut out the Carolina Hurricanes in the Panthers’ 1-0 win. About halfway through the game, Roberto Luongo was forced to exit with an upper-body injury after making 11 saves. Al Montoya came in to relieve him, and he stopped all 22 shots sent his way. Cam Ward made 27 saves on 28 shots for Carolina. Brandon Pirri and Jonathan Huberdeau were credited with assists on the lone goal.


Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Toronto 3 (OT)

Blake Comeau scored 2:53 into overtime to complete a hat trick and lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists and Sidney Crosby collected two helpers, giving the Pittsburgh captain 800 career points. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots for the Penguins, who won their second straight overtime game. Leo Komarov scored two goals and Tyler Bozak added a short-handed tally for Toronto, which had won its previous two games following an embarrassing 9-2 loss to Nashville on Nov. 18.


Final Score: Los Angeles 4, Minnesota 0

The Los Angeles Kings scored four goals against Darcy Kuemper in the first period to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-0 on Wednesday night. The goals by Mike Richards, Dustin Brown, Tyler Toffoli and Justin Williams helped the Kings salvage a three-game road trip after two losses. It was just their second road win of the season (2-4-4) and marked only the second home loss for the Wild (7-2-0). Martin Jones made 28 saves for his fifth career shutout and first of the season. Kuemper was pulled after giving up the four goals on just 10 shots before Niklas Backstrom stopped all 12 he faced over the last two periods.


Final Score: Chicago 3, Colorado 2

Bryan Bickell broke a tie with 5:17 remaining in the third period as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Wednesday. Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw scored power-play goals in the second period for the Blackhawks, who improved to 3-1-0 on their six-game road trip. Patrick Kane collected three assists, while Corey Crawford made 27 saves for the win. Ryan O’Reilly and Maxime Talbot had the goals for Colorado, which was seeking a third straight win. Calvin Pickard stopped 42 shots in his second career NHL start.


Final Score: Calgary 2, San Jose 0

Karri Ramo made 32 saves for his third career shutout, leading the Calgary Flames to a 2-0 win over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night. Jiri Hudler scored both goals in the Flames’ fifth win in seven games. The only one they needed came with 2:44 left in the second period, when he beat Antti Niemi stick-side with a wrister in the slot to make it 1-0. Hudler added an empty-netter in the final minute of the third period, his 10th goal of the season. Ramo had 11 saves in both the first and second period and made 10 in the third for the shutout in his ninth appearance this season. The Sharks, coming off back-to-back shootout losses to Florida and Arizona, dropped their fourth game in a row. They are 0-1-2 on a six-game homestand with just five total goals in the three outings.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2014


National Football League
Chicago at Detroit, 12:30 PM - CBS
Philadelphia at Dallas, 4:30 PM - FOX
Seattle at San Francisco, 8:30 PM - NBC


National Hockey League
Edmonton at Nashville, 8:00 PM - SNET-360, FS-Tennessee, DSS


College Basketball
Santa Clara vs. Tennessee, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
Battle 4 Atlantis, 1:00 PM - ESPN
Princeton vs. UTEP, 2:00 PM - ESPN U
Kansas vs. Rhode Island, 2:30 PM - ESPN 2
Battle 4 Atlantis, 3:30 PM - ESPN
FIU at USC Upstate, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Long Island vs. Stony Brook, 4:00 PM - ESPN U
San Diego vs. Xavier, 4:30 PM - ESPN 2
Illinois vs. Indiana State, 5:00 PM - FS1
Western Kentucky vs. Saint Joseph’s, 6:00 PM - ESPN U
CS Fullerton vs. Wright State, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Michigan State vs. Rider, 6:30 PM - ESPN 2
Battle 4 Atlantis, 7:00 PM - AXS.tv
Marquette vs. Georgia Tech, 8:30 PM - ESPN 2
Long Beach State vs. Western Michigan, 8:30 PM - ESPN U
Rice vs. Mercer, 9:30 PM - CBSSN
Battle 4 Atlantis, 9:30 PM - AXS.tv
San Jose State vs. Washington, 11:00 PM - ESPN 2
Baylor vs. Memphis, 12:00 AM - FS1
Washington State vs. UC Santa Barbara, 12:00 AM - CBSSN


College Football
TCU at Texas, 7:30 PM - FS1
LSU at Texas A&M, 7:30 PM - ESPN


International Soccer
Wolfsburg vs. Everton, 1:00 PM - FS1
Tottenham vs. Partizan Belgrade, 3:00 PM - FS1


Golf
Australian Open, 8:00 PM - Golf Channel

Sports News   141126

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  Bengals place OT Smith on IR

Cincinnati Bengals right offensive tackle Andre Smith was placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday.

Smith left Sunday’s win over Houston with an arm injury that was later revealed to be a torn left triceps. He will undergo surgery and is expected to be ready for next season.

Cincinnati made Smith the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft, and he’s grown into one of the best offensive tackles and run blockers in the league. He has been the team’s starting right tackle since 2011.

In corresponding move, the Bengals signed offensive tackle Jamon Meredith.


►  Broncos sign K Barth, waive McManus

The Denver Broncos signed former Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth and waived kicker Brandon McManus on Tuesday.

McManus took over kicking duties after the team cut Matt Prater, a Pro Bowler last year. The Temple product struggled at times and was 9-of-13 on field goal attempts for the Broncos this season.

The 23-year-old McManus, who was acquired in a trade before the season, missed a 33-yard field goal attempt during Sunday’s 39-36 victory over Miami. That proved to be the final straw for McManus.

Barth last played in the NFL for the Buccaneers in 2012, when he converted 28- of-33 field goal attempts. He missed the 2013 season after tearing his Achilles tendon.

After starting his career in Kansas City, Barth spent four years in Tampa Bay, attempting 108 kicks in 56 games, making 91 of them.


►  Titans place C Schwenke on IR

The Tennessee Titans placed starting center Brian Schwenke on injured reserve Tuesday.

Schwenke suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. He started 11 games this season.

The Titans agreed to terms with guard/center Eric Olsen to take Schwenke’s place on the 53-man roster. Tennessee also signed linebacker Dontay Moch to the active roster from the practice squad to take the place of linebacker Shaun Phillips, who was released.


►  Cardinals sign RB Michael Bush

The Arizona Cardinals announced that they have signed running back Michael Bush on Tuesday.

Bush, 30, has not played in the NFL this season after being released by the Bears on March 10. He rushed for 608 yards and eight touchdowns in two seasons with Chicago after a productive four-year stint with the Oakland Raiders.

In his six-year career, Bush has 3,250 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns, adding 104 catches for 1,010 receiving yards and two scores.

In a corresponding move, the Cardinals released running back Kerwynn Williams.

Williams was signed by the Cardinals off their practice squad on November 1 and played in one game with Arizona but did not receive any carries. Williams also played in one game for the Colts after being drafted by Indianapolis in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft from Utah State.

Arizona also released tackle Kelvin Palmer from their practice squad.


►  Dolphins sign CB Stanford

The Miami Dolphins have signed cornerback R.J. Stanford and waived cornerback Jalil Brown.

Stanford played for the Dolphins during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He played in 29 games and totaled 26 tackles.

The 26-year-old Stanford was a seventh-round pick out of Utah by the Carolina Panthers in 2010.

The Dolphins are thin at cornerback with recent injuries to starter Cortland Finnegan and reserve Jamar Taylor.


►  Bills-Browns on for Sunday despite stadium damage

The Buffalo Bills will be able to host Sunday’s scheduled game against the Cleveland Browns even with Ralph Wilson Stadium sustaining some damage from the massive snowstorm that struck the area last week.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Bills president Russ Brandon and vice president of operations Andy Major revealed that the stadium remains structurally sound and will require only some minor repairs.

“There’s nothing that would put the safety of the public or our fans or our players and staff in any jeopardy,“ Brandon told reporters.

Major said the facility suffered some damage to ceiling tiles as well as to its Wall of Fame ring. Additionally, the wall to the team fieldhouse caved in some from the weight of the snow and pipes had burst in a few of the concession stands.

“We had less leaks than we really anticipated, less issues than we anticipated, but still a lot of damage,“ said Major. “And that’s what we’re focused on now is the repair work.“

Despite those concerns, the Bills determined the facility to be fit to host a game following a thorough inspection by engineers.

“There’s no structural damage to the facility from an engineering standpoint,“ said Brandon. “We’ve had structural engineers in here throughout the process, and this building, the training center, the fieldhouse and the stadium are fine structurally.“

A prodigious lake-effect storm dumped more than five feet of snow in the Buffalo area and forced the Bills’ Week 12 contest with the New York Jets to be relocated from Ralph Wilson Stadium to Detroit’s Ford Field and switched from Sunday to Monday.

The change in plans didn’t seem to affect the team at all, as Buffalo rolled to a 38-3 victory over the Jets.


►  Lions cut TE Davis

The Detroit Lions released tight end Kellen Davis Tuesday following a month-long stint with the team.

Davis was signed by Detroit on October 20 with the Lions dealing with injuries to tight ends Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron and Joseph Fauria. The 29-year-old journeyman saw action in three games, but did not record a catch.

The Lions filled the roster spot by promoting guard Rodney Austin to the active roster from the practice squad.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL Fantasy Player of the Week - Week 12

With the weather around the country taking a turn for the worse and looking more like December than November, the running game finally became a big factor. Five of the top-10 fantasy performances this weekend were from running backs, which is a much larger percentage than we have seen this season.

The following players were the best at their positions in Week 12.


Quarterbacks -

Peyton Manning, Denver - Manning failed to reach the 300-yard passing mark for the first time in a month, but his fantasy owners still couldn’t complain after he posted four touchdown passes and zero interceptions for 28 fantasy points.

Drew Brees, New Orleans - Playing from behind for most of Monday night, Brees and the Saints abandoned the running game and he threw for a season-high 420 yards and three touchdowns.


Running Backs -

Justin Forsett, Baltimore - Forsett’s running dominated the Saints defense Monday night as he rushed for 182 yards and a pair of scores on 22 carries. It was his second consecutive 100-yard game. The early season shared situation in Baltimore is no longer.

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay - Although Aaron Rodgers owners weren’t happy, the Packers featured Lacy in the game against Minnesota. Lacy sparkled with 125 yards and a score on 25 carries and two receptions for 13 yards and another score. It was Lacy’s best fantasy total of the season.


Wide Receivers -

Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants - Beckham Jr. was open all night long, hauling in 10 of 11 targets for 146 yards and two scores. And in case you were disconnected from the world Sunday night and missed the game, go find a video of his three-fingered touchdown reception. Shouldn’t they give bonus fantasy points for one-handed touchdown catches?

Demaryius Thomas, Denver - Thomas has taken up permanent residence in this column. Sunday’s 10-catch, 87-yard, three-touchdown performance was just the latest in a string of great games. He’s averaging 26.1 fantasy points over the past eight contests.


Tight Ends -

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans - Graham’s yards per game average is the lowest in the past four seasons, but he’s still a touchdown maker and that’s been the saving grace for fantasy owners. Monday night he caught six balls for just 47 yards, but two were for scores.

Delanie Walker, Tennessee - Walker has been forced to deal with three different quarterbacks this season (Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst, Zach Mettenberger), but is still producing for fantasy owners. Sunday he posted his best yardage total of the season - 155 yards on five receptions.


Kickers -

Cody Parkey, Philadelphia - It’s always a gamble when a playoff team brings in a rookie place-kicker, but Parkey has played well for the Eagles this season and Sunday he was 5-of-6, including a 50-yarder, for 20 fantasy points.


Defense/Special Teams -

Buffalo Bills - The Bills top-five defense destroyed the Jets offense Monday night and actually outscored them 7-3. Add the blocked punt for a touchdown to seven sacks and a turnover and you get this weekend’s D/ST winner with 26 fantasy points.

And the winner of the TSN Fantasy Player of the Week for Week 12 is ... New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. It’s hard to imagine how quickly Beckham Jr. has gone from a “rookie with potential” to fantasy star. After missing the first four games of the season due to a lingering preseason hamstring issue, Beckham has posted double-digit fantasy points in six of seven games, including 36 points Sunday night.



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Basketball Game Results

(Tuesday, November 25)


Final Score: (1) Kentucky 92, Texas-Arlington 44

Devin Booker had 19 points off the bench and No. 1 Kentucky held Texas-Arlington to four made field goals in the first half on the way to a 92-44 win Tuesday night. The Wildcats (6-0) have beaten their first six opponents by an average of 36.8 points per game, including last week’s 32-point win over then-No. 5 Kansas and Sunday’s 58-point rout of Montana State. Starting forward Alex Poythress was back after missing the last two games for Kentucky and had four points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes. Karl-Anthony Towns added 13 points and 11 rebounds and Dakari Johnson scored 12 off the bench. Lonnie McClanahan scored 10 points to lead the Mavericks (3-2), who entered play off back-to-back wins over Grand Canyon and Houston Baptist.


Final Score: (2) Arizona 72, Kansas State 68

Kansas State gave the No. 2 team in the country all it could handle, but Arizona nevertheless pulled out a hard-fought 72-68 victory in the semifinal round of the Maui Invitational. Kansas State had three chances to tie or take the lead down the stretch, and the underdogs came away empty each time. Arizona (5-0) received 18 points from Kaleb Tarczewski, 15 from Gabe York and shot 63.2 percent from the field in the second half to advanced to Wednesday’s championship game against San Diego State. Marcus Foster paced Kansas State (3-2) with 23 points behind six 3-pointers.


Final Score: (7) Texas 78, St. Francis-PA 46

Myles Turner had 25 points and 10 rebounds as No. 7 Texas routed St. Francis-PA 78-46 on Tuesday night. The heralded freshman Turner was 11-of-12 from the field. Cameron Ridley posted 16 points, five rebounds and three blocks, while Kendal Yancy tallied 12 points and six boards for the Longhorns (5-0), who are 5-0 for the first time since 2009. Texas played its second game without talented point guard Isaiah Taylor. He is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks after suffering a broken wrist in Texas’ semifinal win over Iowa in the 2K Classic last week. Malik Harmon netted 15 points to lead the NEC’s Red Flash (2-3).


Final Score: (8) Virginia 79, Tennessee State 36

Justin Anderson and Anthony Gill scored 36 points between them without missing a shot as No. 8 Virginia steamrolled Tennessee State 79-36 on Tuesday. Anderson paced Virginia with 20 points on 7-of-7 from the floor, including five 3s, while Gill chipped in with 16 points and nine boards on 6-for-6. The Cavaliers (5-0) shot 51.7 percent as a team. Xavier Richards and Marcus Roper both scored 10 points to lead Tennessee State (2-3).


Final Score: (12) Villanova 60, (19) Michigan 55

JayVaughn Pinkston put Villanova ahead and then kept it in front. Pinkston hit a go-ahead basket with 16 seconds left and then blocked Zak Irvin at the other end as the No. 12 Wildcats defeated 19th- ranked Michigan 60-55 on Tuesday night in the Legends Classic championship game. Pinkston, who was called for an offensive foul with 31 seconds remaining after powering into Derrick Walton on the right block, barreled into a flopping Caris LeVert. Pinkston then went up and nailed the short jumper to give the Wildcats a 56-55 edge. Michigan had seven seconds on the clock after Walton was stripped, and Spike Albrecht fed a cutting Irvin down the paint. Pinkston met him at the rim and emphatically swatted his shot away. Ryan Arcidiacono made a pair of foul shots with four ticks to play and Max Bielfeldt tossed the ensuing inbounds away. Arcidiacono then hit two more free throws to seal the outcome. Dylan Ennis netted 15 points, while Pinkston finished with eight points and nine rebounds for Villanova (5-0), which outscored VCU by 22 points in the second half en route to a 77-53 win in the semifinals Monday. LeVert posted 16 points, six boards and three steals and Irvin added 11 points for the Wolverines (4-1), who held off Oregon 70-63 Monday to reach the title game.


Final Score: Maryland 72, (13) Iowa State 63

Jake Layman and Jared Nickens scored 15 points each and Maryland knocked off No. 13 Iowa State 72-63 on Tuesday night in the final of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Dez Wells added 14 points and Melo Trimble scored 11 for the Terrapins (5-0), who are off to their best start since going 8-0 in 2006. Bryce Dejean-Jones had a game-high 17 points to lead the Cyclones (3-1) and Georges Niang scored 10.


Final Score: (14) VCU 77, Oregon 63

VCU created a lot more havoc Tuesday night than it did on Monday. Especially on Oregon’s leading scorer Joseph Young. Melvin Johnson had 19 points and No. 14 VCU pulled away from Oregon in the second half for a 77-63 win in the third-place game of the Legends Classic. The Rams forced just nine Villanova turnovers in its 77-53 loss in the semifinals Monday, but got 20 from the Ducks. Young, who came in averaging 24.5 points per game, was held to nine points on 2-of-13 shooting. Briante Weber posted 11 points, 10 assists and four steals for the Rams (4-1). Jordan Burgess tallied 12 points and seven rebounds in the triumph. Dillon Brooks netted 15 points to lead Oregon (3-2).


Final Score: (15) San Diego State 74, Pittsburgh 57

Trey Kell scored 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting and Steve Fisher set a school record for wins as No. 15 San Diego State cruised past Pittsburgh, 74-57, in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational. Fisher has amassed the most victories as a head coach in SDSU history, surpassing the 316 George Ziegenfuss accumulated from 1948-69. The Aztecs (5-0) led virtually wire-to-wire with a 58.7 percent shooting display and advanced to play No. 2 Arizona in Wednesday’s final. Winston Shepard and Angelo Chol contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively, in the rout. Pitt (3-2) committed 17 turnovers, shot just 37.7 percent from the floor and only had one player, James Robinson, score in double figures. Robinson netted 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting.


Final Score: (17) Miami-Florida 77, Charlotte 74

Sheldon McClellan made five 3-pointers and finished with 31 points as the 17th-ranked Hurricanes escaped Charlotte with a 77-74 win over the 49ers in a rematch of the Charleston Classic title game. Miami went the final five-plus minutes without making a field goal and missed the front end of a 1-and-1 twice down the stretch to keep the Niners close. Charlotte’s Braxton Ogbueze was fouled taking a 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds remaining and had a chance to tie the game, but after making the first two free throws, the sophomore guard missed the third to keep Miami ahead 75-74. McClellan made two free throws for a three-point game, and Ogbueze’s off- balanced try just before the buzzer was well off the mark. These programs were meeting for the second time in three days, and while the decision again went to the Hurricanes, the method was decidedly different. After hitting just 6-of-22 from behind the arc in Sunday’s 77-58 victory, Miami-Florida (6-0) hit a scorching 14-of-23 (60.9 percent) from long distance to stay unbeaten on the young season. Manu Lecomte and Angel Rodriguez each connected four times from the perimeter and totaled 18 and 14 points, respectively, for the victors. Charlotte (3-2) outscored Miami in the paint by a wide 44-24 margin but came up just short in its home opener. Torin Dorn and Mike Thorne Jr. scored 17 points apiece in defeat.


Final Score: (23) Creighton 75, Eastern Illinois 53

Geoffrey Groselle scored a career-high 15 points to lead No. 23 Creighton to a 75-53 victory over Eastern Illinois in the Emerald Coast Classic on Tuesday. Toby Hegner netted 13 points and James Milliken finished with seven points and 10 rebounds for the Bluejays (5-0), who kicked off their schedule with five straight wins for the fourth consecutive season. Trae Anderson and Jake Verhagen each had nine points for the Panthers (1-4), who were coming off a 54-49 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.


Final Score: (25) Arkansas 78, SMU 72

Bobby Portis scored 22 points before fouling out and No. 25 Arkansas held on for a 78-72 win over SMU on Tuesday night. Michael Qualls added 13 points and Rashad Madden had 10 for the Razorbacks (4-0), who have won their first four games for the first time since 2006. Yanick Moreira scored 20 points to lead SMU (2-3) and Keith Frazier had 16. The Razorbacks, ranked for the first time since November 2007, opened the game on an 11-2 run behind five points from Portis and never trailed in their 13th consecutive win over SMU.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Wolves’ Martin has surgery, out 6-8 weeks

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Tuesday that shooting guard Kevin Martin underwent successful surgery to repair a fracture in his right wrist.

Martin, who suffered the injury during Minnesota’s 115-99 win over the New York Knicks last Wednesday, is expected to be out between 6-to-8 weeks.

The 11-year veteran was off to a strong start in 2014-15, averaging a team- best 20.4 points over nine games this season. Martin knocked down 26-of-54 attempts (48.1 percent) from 3-point range over that span.


►  Nothin’ but Net: Geography yields no respect

You probably know that the two NBA teams with 12 wins are the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors.

They are both great teams, built with strong rosters and defensive mentalities.

They were also bounced in the first round of the playoffs last season. Same goes for the Houston Rockets, who flew out of the gate this season, but are still near the top of the Western Conference standings.

The world remains mum on the NBA’s other 11-win team, the Portland Trail Blazers.

Why is that?

“We’re way up in the Northwest,“ said Portland All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge. “A lot of media outlets probably don’t see us as much other than TNT games. We’re not on the east as much. I think being tucked away up there has a big deal to do with it.“

Geography is costing the Blazers respect. There’s nothing anyone can do about that. I blame Vespucci. Aldridge doesn’t care.

“We’ve never lived for that,“ he said. “We like being underdogs, we like feeling disrespected at times. I think most of the guys over here have been disrespected at times, so I think that fits our personality. I don’t think guys are trying to look for accolades, or being in the media. We just like being us and going out every night and just taking care of business.“

Of all the teams off to great starts this season, the Blazers are mentioned least often. Aldridge is probably right, their location hurts them to some degree. The media capital of the world is New York City. The basketball media home may just be Atlanta.

So what is everyone missing with the Blazers?

For starters, Portland is sixth in the league in scoring and seventh in opponents’ scoring. Only the Raptors rank higher in both categories than the Blazers, whose point differential is fourth at 9.1 ppg. That’s impressive.

They are third in the league in 3-point shooting percentage, but also third in defending it. Portland is third in field-goal percentage defense overall, so what you’re missing is an elite offensive and defensive two-way unit, second only to the Raptors.

Oh, they’re also the best rebounding team. There’s that I almost forgot.

And, you’re missing the hottest team in the NBA at the moment. The Blazers have won eight in a row and already own a 4 1/2 game lead over the Denver Nuggets in the Northwest Division. Only the ... you guessed it ... Raptors own a bigger divisional lead.

If today’s NBA is superstar-driven, and it is, then what’s not to like about the Blazers? Aldridge is a three-time running All-Star and twice was voted a member of the All-NBA Third Team. Shows that some national people see you, LaMarcus.

Damian Lillard is the second superstar, making his first All-Star appearance last season, his second in the league. He was the Rookie of the Year after his first.

The other three starters are above-average with skill sets befitting the Blazers. Nicolas Batum is a good defender and 3-point shooter. Wesley Matthews is the same and Robin Lopez is a vital interior defender, solid board man and master agitator.

What doomed this squad in seasons past was the bench. It was putrid two seasons ago, bad last season, but has emerged a little this campaign. With the main additions of Chris Kaman and Steve Blake, the Blazers’ bench went from 30th in the league in second-unit scoring to 24th. It’s not leaping the Grand Canyon, but it’s improvement.

The personal stories of the Blazers aren’t shabby either.

After Walton’s Blazers and Clyde Drexler’s Blazers, they became the Jail Blazers. That group with Rasheed Wallace, Zach Randolph, Bonzi Wells was talented, but the only stamp they left on the organization came in the form of fingerprint ink.

This group is a solid den of citizens. No legal troubles, just characters like Lopez and Kaman, great leadership in Blake, Aldridge and Lillard and an unassuming man at the helm in head coach Terry Stotts. It’s a group of professional men.

Aldridge wasn’t supposed to be the man in Portland. That honor was bestowed on Greg Oden. We know what happened there.

Lillard is from Weber State. Sounds like a made-up college for a TV show.

The rest of the group was not highly-regarded coming into the league. The next name you’d think from amateur ranks was Thomas Robinson of Kansas, but he’s out of the rotation in Portland.

With this great core, the results have been there. They squashed the Rockets, a team most said was more talented, more star-laden and flat-out better, in the first round of the playoffs. They ran into the buzz saw known as the San Antonio Spurs, but someone had to.

The Blazers can improve on that this season. The improvement in bench scoring will go a long way, but the varied way they’ve won so far this season, shows a complete team. The Blazers have buried teams under 130-point nights, or pulled out under-100 defensive battles.

Portland is far from complete, however. They don’t have a big signature victory yet. The Blazers have beaten LeBron James and the Cavaliers at home, but Cleveland is finding its identity. They crushed the Chicago Bulls on TNT so everyone could see them, but among the other spectators beside a national television audience were Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Kirk Hinrich.

Maybe their 21-point victory over the Dallas Mavericks qualifies.

The losses were predictable - on the road to Sacramento and the Los Angeles Clippers and at home to the Golden State Warriors.

One thing this Blazers group is learning is that some people are definitely paying attention to them, namely their peers in the league.

“Every team gets up for you, every team wants to play well against you. We’re already getting everybody’s best play,“ said Aldridge.

They slept-walked through the first half Monday night against the pitiful Philadelphia 76ers, then Aldridge took over. The Blazers hung 39 on Philly in the third, then won by 10.

It will take some time for them to appreciate being the hunted. Paul George told me it was an issue for the Indiana Pacers last season, while it was happening, so being able to handle the onslaught is a learned skill.

Portland will continue to learn it. The Blazers are legitimate contenders with no obvious weaknesses, although that bench still isn’t exactly an asset.

Just think of the Trail Blazers a little more. Turn on your TV to TNT if they’re on, or, fly to the great northwest. The Blazers deserve your respect, geography be damned.


►  NBA Game Results

(Tuesday, November 25)


Final Score: Atlanta 106, Washington 102

Jeff Teague scored 28 points and the Atlanta Hawks held off the Washington Wizards, 106-102, on Tuesday. Paul Millsap added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who have won two in a row. Mike Scott had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench. John Wall ended with 21 points and 13 assists for the Wizards, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Paul Pierce and Bradley Beal tallied 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Marcin Gortat had 12 points and 11 boards.


Final Score: Golden State 114, Miami 97

Golden State star Stephen Curry scored just 23 points over his previous two games. He erupted for a season-high 40 on Tuesday. Curry shot 8-of-11 from behind the arc and contributed seven assists and six rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 114-97 win over the Miami Heat. Klay Thompson added 24 points for the Warriors, who improved to 6-1 on the road this season with their sixth straight win overall. Andrew Bogut was questionable to play with an orbital contusion that he suffered on Sunday against Oklahoma City, but he powered through the injury and contributed eight points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Chris Bosh had 26 points and nine boards to pace Miami, which was without Dwyane Wade (hamstring) for the seventh straight game. The Heat are 3-4 without Wade this season.


Final Score: Milwaukee 98, Detroit 86

Brandon Knight had 20 points and eight assists in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 98-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. O.J. Mayo, making his first start of the season, added 17 points for the Bucks, who snapped a two-game skid. Jabari Parker and Ersan Ilyasova tallied 14 and 13 points, respectively, with each pulling down nine rebounds. Andre Drummond ended with 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who have lost five in a row. Greg Monroe had 15 points and eight boards.


Final Score: Sacramento 99, New Orleans 89

DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals as the Sacramento Kings defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 99-89 on Tuesday night. Omri Casspi netted 22 points for the Kings, who have won three in a row and four of their last five. Tyreke Evans posted 22 points, seven boards and five helpers, while Anthony Davis added 14 points and nine rebounds for New Orleans, which has dropped three of its last five games.


Final Score: Denver 114, Chicago 109

Ty Lawson had 20 points, 12 assists and three steals to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 114-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. Arron Afflalo added 19 points for the Nuggets, who have won five in a row. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler tallied 15 and 14 points, respectively. Jimmy Butler ended with 32 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls, who have lost three of four. Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 boards. Bulls star Derrick Rose suffered another injury setback, leaving the game with tightness in his left hamstring. Rose had just returned to the lineup Monday after missing the previous four games with a hamstring injury.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Nikola Vucevic: the double-double machine

For any fantasy owner out there, searching to trade for a player who will produce both points and rebounds, look no further than Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic.

Through the first four weeks of the season, with the exception of New Orleans Pelicans’ center Anthony Davis, Vucevic’s play has been on par with some of the top big men in the NBA. However, his name rarely comes up in the same conversation of players such as Sacramento Kings’ center DeMarcus Cousins, Portland Trail Blazers’ big-man LaMarcus Aldridge, or Memphis Grizzlies’ center Marc Gasol, yet, it is about time that it does.

Cousins has been on a tear to start the season, averaging 23.2 points per game, 12.3 rebounds per game, 1.5 blocks per game, while shooting 52% from the field and 79% from the free throw line. Aldridge (21.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 45% FG, 85% FT) and Gasol (19.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 50% FG, 83% FT) have not been slouches, and according to Yahoo, all three of these players are currently producing at a top-12 fantasy value.

While Cousins, Aldridge, and Gasol have been fantastic early on, Vucevic (19.4 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 53% FG, 78% FT), who is currently ranked as the 23rd overall fantasy basketball player, has very similar numbers to these three superstars, and even has more double-doubles than each of them this season.

Cousins, Aldridge, and to a lesser extent Gasol, have all been known as players who provide points and rebounds for fantasy owners throughout their careers.

Cousins has 160 double-doubles in 304 career-games, which equates to producing double-figures in points and rebounds, 52% of the time. Aldridge has 199 double-doubles in 589 career-games (34 percent), and Gasol has managed 114 of them through 450 career-games (25 percent), yet Vucevic’s double-double efficiency trumps all three of these guys.

Since being traded to Orlando to begin the 2012-13 season, Vucevic has started every game he has suited up for, but even more impressively, has produced monster numbers. During the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, he has recorded 82 double-doubles in 134 total games, which means Vucevic had at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in 61% of those games.

He has been even better this season.

After averaging 13.1 ppg and 11.9 rpg, and 14.2 ppg and 11.0 rpg during the past two seasons, respectively, Vucevic has taken a giant step forward in 2014-15. He already has a league-leading 11 double-doubles through 15 games.

Although double-doubles are a solid basketball stat, fantasy owners in standard leagues do not receive bonus points for their players producing them. However, what they do show, is consistency.

The fact that Vucevic produces double-figures in points and rebounds as often as he does, should make fantasy owners feel extremely confident in having him as one of the top two or three players in their lineups. On top of that, Vucevic’s other averages are either very close, or even better than the top big-men in fantasy basketball, making it clear how truly valuable he really is.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Red Sox announce Sandoval signing

The Boston Red Sox have confirmed that the team has come to terms with 2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval on a five- year contract.

Multiple media outlets reported Monday that the former San Francisco Giants third baseman had agreed to a five-year deal worth $95 million with the Red Sox, who also landed three-time All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez with a four- year, $88-million contract that the club has yet to announce.

According to Boston radio station WEEI, Sandoval’s pact also includes a $17 million team option for the 2020 season. The two-time All-Star received a $3 million bonus and will earn $17 million in each of the next three seasons and $18 million in 2018 and 2019.

Sandoval will become Boston’s new third baseman after spending six full seasons manning the position in San Francisco, where the 28-year-old emerged into a proven performer in the clutch as well as one of the Giants’ most popular players.

“I need a new challenge,“ Sandoval said during his introductory press conference on Tuesday. “I’m happy to be here right now, I’m going to enjoy this ballpark.“

In 869 games for the Giants since 2008, Sandoval is a .294 hitter with 192 doubles, 106 homers and 462 runs batted in. He batted .279 with 16 homers and 73 RBI in 157 games this past season.

Sandoval has been an incredibly clutch performer in postseason play, owning a .344 career average in 39 playoff games. He hit .366 for the Giants in the 2014 postseason, including .429 in the World Series victory over Kansas City last month.

“There was a lot about Pablo that appealed to us,“ Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington stated. “This was an opportunity to add a really great player, a great person, and a great fit for our team at a position we need.“

By adding Sandoval and Ramirez, who won the NL batting title in 2009 with the Marlins, the Red Sox are trying to revamp an offense that tied for the second-worst batting average in the American League last season at .244, had the second-worst slugging percentage at .369 and scored just 634 runs, better than only three other teams.

The Giants had corroborated the reports of Sandoval’s departure by releasing a statement on Monday that wished one of the team’s most popular players well.

“Pablo Sandoval has been a key member of the Giants since breaking into the majors with us in 2008,“ said the statement. “He has been with us through some of the greatest moments in San Francisco Giants history—including all three World Series championships. We will never forget his World Series MVP performance in 2012 and his numerous contributions to the 2014 championship. His connection with Giants fans—young and old—is truly special and he will be greatly missed. We wish him nothing but the best in Boston.“

Catcher/first baseman Ryan Lavarnway was designated for assignment to make room for Sandoval on the 40-man roster. The 27-year-old hit just .201 in 97 games with Boston over the past four seasons.

►  White Sox finalize deal with LaRoche

The Chicago White Sox officially announced Tuesday that the team has agreed to terms with veteran first baseman Adam LaRoche on a two-year, $25 million contract.

LaRoche, who will earn $12 million next season and $13 million in 2016, provides the White Sox with one of general manager Rick Hahn’s top offseason priorities—a left-handed power bat to complement 2014 American League Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu in the heart of the lineup.

The 35-year-old is coming off a ninth season in the last 10 years with at least 20 home runs, swatting 26 along with 92 RBI while batting .259 with the Washington Nationals in 2014.

LaRoche is also well-regarded for his defensive work, having won an NL Gold Glove in 2012 and being named as a finalist for the award this past year. His addition will allow the White Sox to shift Abreu between first base and designated hitter in the lineup.

“Adam’s signing addresses several important needs for our club heading into the 2015 season,“ said Hahn. “He provides a proven left-handed bat in the middle of our lineup, brings a valuable mix of the ability to get on base and power, and he is a veteran leader on the field and in the clubhouse.“

LaRoche has been a part of four teams that have reached the playoffs over the course of his 11-year major league career, including the NL East-winning Nationals in 2014.

A 2012 NL Silver Slugger recipient while with Washington, LaRoche owns a career .264 average with 264 homers and 838 RBI over 1,478 games with Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Boston, Arizona and the Nationals.

To create a spot for LaRoche on the 40-man roster, the White Sox designated pitcher Scott Carroll for assignment.

Carroll broke into the majors as a 29-year-old rookie this past season to make 19 starts for Chicago. The right-hander went 5-10 with a 4.80 ERA over 26 overall appearances with the White Sox.


►  Red Sox coming in hot

Major League Baseball’s Hot Stove needed a little something to get it going.

Enter the Boston Red Sox.

Boston kick started the offseason into high gear, agreeing to deals with both third baseman Pablo Sandoval and shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

We knew the Red Sox were in on both of them, but it was hard to imagine that they would sign both. The smart money was on Sandoval, considering the Red Sox seemingly jumped on him the minute he became a free agent, but when news broke late Sunday that they were nearing a 4-year deal worth close to $90 million with Ramirez most figured they were then out on Sandoval, or at the very least that the Panda had chosen to stay in San Francisco.

Wrong.

Sandoval’s agent confirmed on Monday that his client had also in fact signed with the Red Sox for five years and around $100 million.

Now you figure Sandoval will play third base for Boston, but where does that leave Ramirez? He’s spent the majority of his career at shortstop, but has also played some third base. The Red Sox, though, have one of the more talented young players in baseball in Xander Bogaerts playing short.

The thought is that Ramirez will play left field, a position he’s never played in his 10-year big league career. A team may be able to get away with stashing someone in left at a normal ballpark, but do you really want to have Ramirez battling that Green Monster 81 times a year?

Oh and Yoenis Cespedes plays there already.

So, there are a lot more moves to be made, especially since the Red Sox still haven’t addressed their biggest need from a year ago: starting pitching.

The Red Sox have been connected to Jon Lester, but they’d probably have to go higher than the reported $110 million they offered. And if they wanted Lester so bad why didn’t they just give him the extension he wanted last season.

For whatever reason I just don’t see Lester going back to Boston when teams like the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves and probably the New York Yankees will throw more money his way.

And Lester apparently can’t stand Ramirez.

If the Red Sox are going to upgrade their starting staff it’s going to be through the trade market. And they have a ton of chips to get something done.

Most people assume Cespedes is all but gone from Boston. But I’m not so sure.

Don’t be shocked if you start hearing Bogaerts name come up in trade rumors over the next few weeks. The Philadelphia Phillies have supposedly engaged in talks with the Red Sox concerning Cole Hamels.

Wouldn’t Bogaerts be a nice place to start?

Cespedes was linked to the Mets earlier this offseason given how much young pitching they have. The Mets are also looking for a shortstop. Maybe they deal some of that pitching for Bogaerts instead.

Bogaerts, who won’t turn 23 until after next season, was the consensus No. 2 ranked overall prospect according to Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus heading into last season. However, he struggled, batting just .240 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI in 594 plate appearances.

Still, he’s only 22 and the Red Sox would probably get a whole lot more for him than Cespedes, who can become a free agent after the 2015 campaign.

Who’d have thought the Red Sox would sign both Sandoval and Ramirez? So it may not be that much of a surprise if they deal both Bogaerts and Cespedes in the coming months.

This is the type of thing that happens when you lose over 90 games a year after winning a World Series title.

We are just getting started here. It should be an interesting couple of months.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Tuesday, November 25)


Final Score: Winnipeg 4, Columbus 2

Michael Hutchinson made 32 saves, Evander Kane scored two goals and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on Tuesday night. Both of Kane’s tallies came on the power play, including an empty-netter with less than a minute left to seal the win. Andrew Ladd scored the eventual game-winner for the Jets in the second period, just 31 seconds after Kane’s first goal of the game. Bryan Little gave Winnipeg a 1-0 lead just nine seconds into the game with his seventh goal of the season, but a Jordan Leopold power-play goal for Columbus tied the game minutes later. Ryan Johansen added a goal for the Blue Jackets in the third period and Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves in the loss.


Final Score: Ottawa 3, St. Louis 2 (SO)

Alex Chiasson’s goal with 41 seconds left in the third period tied the game, and Bobby Ryan was the only player to score in the shootout of Ottawa’s 3-2 win over St. Louis. Senators goalie Robin Lehner made 27 saves in the win. Blues goalie Brian Elliott made 16 saves on 16 shots before leaving with a lower body injury, and he was relieved by Jake Allen, who made 15 saves on 17 shots. Ian Cole and Erik Condra scored their first goals of the season for St. Louis and Ottawa, respectively, and Alexander Steen scored a Blues power play goal in the second period.


Final Score: Nashville 4, Los Angeles 3 (SO)

James Neal netted the lone goal in the shootout, as Nashville outlasted Los Angeles, 4-3, at Bridgestone Arena. None of the first 10 shooters were able to put the puck into the net. Neal opened up the sixth round by beating Martin Jones between the pads, and then Pekka Rinne closed off the lane along the ice to deny Dwight King’s chance and end the contest. Craig Smith, Ryan Ellis and Eric Nystrom tallied in regulation for the Predators, who have won two in a row and seven of their last nine. Rinne ended up with 18 saves. Jamie McBain, Marian Gaborik and Drew Doughty scored for the Kings, who have lost both contests in a three-game road trip which ends on Wednesday in Minnesota. Jones made 30 stops in helping the visitors gain a point.


Final Score: Dallas 3, Edmonton 2

Tyler Seguin scored twice as the Dallas Stars held off the struggling Edmonton Oilers for a 3-2 victory on Tuesday. Rookie defenseman John Klingberg finished with a goal and an assist for the Stars, who won their third straight game. Kari Lehtonen turned aside 35 shots in the win. Boyd Gordon and Taylor Hall each lit the lamp for Edmonton, which received 30 saves from Viktor Fasth in defeat. Edmonton dropped its seventh consecutive game and fell to 0-11-1 against Western Conference opponents this season. The Oilers also dropped into 30th place in the NHL by virtue of one more regulation loss than the Blue Jackets and Sabres. All three teams have 14 points.


Final Score: Colorado 4, Arizona 3 (OT)

Danny Briere picked up the deciding goal, coming with 1:44 remaining in overtime, which allowed Colorado to rally from an early three-goal deficit and claim a 4-3 victory over Arizona on Tuesday. Briere had possession along the left-wing boards deep in the hosts’ zone and attempted a cross-ice pass to Zach Redmond, but the puck instead deflected off the active stick of Martin Hanzal and slid past Mike Smith to end the contest. Gabriel Landeskog added two goals and Matt Duchene tied the score for the Avalanche, the basement dwellers in the Central Division who have won four of their last five. Calvin Pickard earned the win in relief, stopping all 25 shots over the game’s final 52:23. Reto Berra started, but was pulled after allowing three goals on eight chances. Antoine Vermette, Michael Stone and Tobias Rieder lit the lamp for the Coyotes, losers of two straight and six of nine. Smith made 30 saves in defeat.


Final Score: Vancouver 2, New Jersey 0

Ryan Miller halted 20 shots to post his second shutout of the season, and Vancouver shut down New Jersey, 2-0, at Rogers Arena on a night the hosts celebrated former defenseman and head coach Pat Quinn. Alex Burrows and Shawn Matthias supplied offense for the Canucks, who have won two in a row and eight of their last 10 (8-1-1). Quinn, an original member of the franchise, died on Monday at the age of 71. He played two seasons in Vancouver during his nine-year NHL career, then later served as head coach and general manager, racking up a 141-111-28 record and taking the club to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. Quinn took home the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s top coach that year. Cory Schneider played well in defeat, making 34 saves for the Devils, who stumbled to their fourth loss in five and completed a western Canadian road swing at 1-2-1.


Final Score: Anaheim 3, Calgary 2

Matt Beleskey tallied a goal and an assist as the Anaheim Ducks used a 3-2 victory over Calgary to win their 19th straight home game against the Flames at Honda Center on Tuesday. Kyle Palmieri and Corey Perry also scored and Frederik Andersen made 32 saves for the Ducks, who have not lost at home against Calgary since Jan. 19, 2004. T.J. Brodie had a goal and an assist and Jiri Hudler lit the lamp for the Flames, who were coming off a 5-4 shootout win over New Jersey on Saturday. Jonas Hiller, who spent his first seven seasons between the pipes for the Ducks, allowed all three goals on 29 shots in his return to Anaheim.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2014


National Basketball Association
Portland at Charlotte, 7:00 PM - CSN-Northwest, SportSouth, DSS
Washington at Cleveland, 7:00 PM - CSN-DC, FS-Ohio, DSS
Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - YES, CSN-Philadelphlia, DSS
Golden State at Orlando, 7:00 PM - CSN-Bay, FS-Florida, DSS
Toronto at Atlanta, 7:30 PM - SN-360, SportSouth, DSS
New York at Dallas, 7:30 PM - MSG, FS-Southwest, ESPN
LA Clippers at Detroit, 7:30 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, Detroit, DSS
Sacramento at Houston, 8:00 PM - CSN-California, Houston, DSS
Milwaukee at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - FS-Wisconsin, North+, DSS
Utah at Oklahoma City, 8:00 PM - FS-Oklahoma, DSS
Indiana at San Antonio, 8:30 PM - FS-Indiana, Southwest, DSS
Denver at Phoenix, 9:00 PM - Altitude2, FS-Arizona, DSS
Memphis at LA Lakers, 10:30 PM - SportSouth, Time Warner, NBA TV, DSS


National Hockey League
Washington at NY Islanders, 7:00 PM - CSN-DC+, MSG+, DSS
Winnipeg at Buffalo, 7:00 PM - SNET-1, MSG-Buffalo, DSS
Philadelphia at Detroit, 7:30 PM - TCN-Phil, FS-Detroit+, NBCSN
Toronto at Pittsburgh, 7:30 PM - TVA, SNET, ROOT-Pittsburgh, DSS
Carolina at Florida, 7:30 PM - FS-Carolina, Florida, DSS
NY Rangers at Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM - MSG2, SunSports, DSS
Los Angeles at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - FS-West, North, DSS
Chicago at Colorado, 9:00 PM - TVA, CSN-Chicago, Altitude, DSS
Calgary at San Jose, 10:30 PM - SNET-West, CSN-California, DSS


College Basketball
Butler vs. North Carolina, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
Samford at Kennesaw State, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
UCLA vs. Oklahoma, 2:30 PM - ESPN 2
Maui Invitational, 2:30 PM - ESPN U
Maui Invitational, 5:00 PM - ESPN 2
Furman at Duke, 5:00 PM - ESPN U
Minnesota at St. John’s, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Albany at Colgate, 7:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Cleveland State at Louisville, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
PSU-Harrisburg at Navy, 7:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Richmond at NC State, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Campbell at Ohio State, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Cancun Challenge, 7:00 PM - CBSSN
Wisconsin vs. UAB, 7:00 PM - AXS.tv
Davidson at UCF, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Mount St Mary’s at Wake Forest, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Maui Invitational, 7:30 PM - ESPN 2
Lehigh at DePaul, 8:00 PM - FS1
Morehead State at Marshall, 8:00 PM - MASN, American Sports Net
Texas Southern at SMU, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
UNC-Asheville at South Carolina, 8:00 PM - SEC Network
Pan American at Utah, 8:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Northern Ill at Iowa, 8:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Georgia vs. Gonzaga, 9:30 PM - ESPN 2
Florida vs. Georgetown, 9:30 PM - AXS.tv
Cancun Challenge, 9:30 PM - CBSSN
Cal Poly at California, 10:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Maui Invitational, 10:00 PM - ESPN
MGM Grand Main Event, 11:30 PM - ESPN 2
Pacific at Alaska-Anchorage, 11:30 PM - CBSSN
Missouri State vs. Colorado State, 2:00 AM - CBSSN


Women’s College Basketball
Colgate at Georgia, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
Pan American at Texas, 8:00 PM - Longhorn Network
Iona at Kansas, 8:00 PM - Jayhawk TV


International Soccer
Arsenal vs. Borussia Dortmund, 2:30 PM - FS1


Golf
Australian Open, 8:00 PM - Golf Channel

Sports News   141125

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL Game Result

(MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24)


Final Score: Buffalo 38, NY Jets 3

Kyle Orton passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns as the Buffalo Bills routed the New York Jets 38-3 Monday night at Detroit’s Ford Field. The game was moved from Ralph Wilson Stadium after the venue was deemed unplayable due to several feet of snow that fell last week, crippling Buffalo and neighboring areas. Boobie Dixon rushed for a touchdown and blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone for another score, helping the Bills (6-5) keep their playoff hopes alive. Michael Vick struggled mightily against the Buffalo defense, completing only 7-of-19 passes for 76 yards. He limped off the field after a third-quarter interception and was replaced by Geno Smith, who saw his first action since he was intercepted three times on eight passes in the first quarter against the Bills on Oct. 26. Smith threw for 89 yards on 10-of-12 passing for the Jets (2-9).


Final Score: Baltimore 34, New Orleans 27

Justin Forsett’s career night helped propel the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday. Forsett finished with a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries for the Ravens (7-4), who moved into a three-way tie for second place in the AFC North behind the Bengals (7-3-1). Joe Flacco threw for 243 yards and a touchdown on 18-of-24 passing, Steve Smith made four catches for 89 yards and a touchdown and Torrey Smith hauled in five passes for 98 yards in the win. Drew Brees completed 35 of his 45 passes for 420 yards with three scores and an interception, and Jimmy Graham had two touchdowns to go with 47 yards on six catches for the Saints (4-7), who went 0-3 on a homestand for just the third time in franchise history (1967, 1997). Despite the loss, New Orleans is tied for first with Atlanta in the underwhelming NFC South. It is the first time in NFL history that a division leader is three games under .500.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Things we learned on Week 12

What do Tom Brady, Zach Mettenberger, Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer and Mark Sanchez have in common?

The answer is almost nothing. One is a future Hall of Fame quarterback and the other four are barely noteworthy.

Except in Week 12 where the five quarterbacks all threw for over 300 yards on Sunday.

Below are a few more things we observed:


Cleveland at Atlanta

Fantasy owners could care less that Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Hoyer led the team to a game-winning field goal as time expired. What they do care about, is the fact that he threw three interceptions, without tossing a touchdown pass. Even with his 322 passing yards and 12 rushing yards, Hoyer had a rough afternoon for owners, with arguably the only positive thing coming out of Week 12, was that he will continue to be Cleveland’s starting quarterback.

Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan does not have to worry about job security, but needs to cut down on his turnovers. He turned the ball over twice, throwing an interception and losing a fumble, yet Ryan was still able to put together a solid afternoon. He was 27-of-43 for 273 yards and two scores, marking just his second multi-touchdown performance over the past seven games.

At least Ryan was able to find some holes in the passing game, because Atlanta tailback Steven Jackson was unable to find any on the ground. Although he found the end zone for a change, Jackson rushed 13 times for only 34 yards (2.6 yards per carry). With Jackson not getting any younger and the Falcons having continuing issues along the offensive line, owners should not expect Atlanta to get their running game going anytime soon.

The Browns on the other hand performed very well on the ground. Rookie running backs Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West were both utilized, with Crowell having the bigger day (12 carries, 88 yards, 2 TD), and West leading the team in carries (14 carries, 62 yards). It seems like both halfbacks will be involved. Fantasy owners should like the sound of that.

Arguably, the most anticipated performance heading into Week 12, was the output of Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon, and he did not disappoint. Gordon recorded eight receptions for 120 yards, on 16 targets, making him an easy WR1 for the remaining games this season.

Atlanta receivers’ Roddy White and Julio Jones came to play on Sunday as well. White led the team with nine receptions for 96 yards, and Jones notched his first touchdown in eight games despite being sick all week. Both wideouts will continue to be solid options for Ryan, and more importantly, for fantasy owners.


Tampa Bay at Chicago

If you had Chicago Bears’ running back Matt Forte in your lineup, you should be pretty happy, as he was the one Chicago player who produced a solid day. Forte was our top-ranked tailback heading into Week 12. He made us look good with that decision, rushing for 89 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, along with chipping in five receptions for 23 yards. His two touchdowns were iconic, as he passed Bears legend Gale Sayers to become No. 4 on the Bears all-time in rushing touchdowns (40). Forte continues to be a dual-threat in both the running and passing games.

Surprisingly, quarterback Jay Cutler was not able to get going Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks coming into Week 12 (according to Yahoo), allowing 18.9 points per game. Cutler threw for only 130 yards. He was able to notch one touchdown pass, but with owners expecting much more. It is time to realize that Cutler will consistently inconsistent, just as he has been throughout his career.

The guy who caught the touchdown pass was wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, yet, that was essentially the only highlight from Chicago’s pass-catching trio. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Cutler’s inconsistency will continue to result in subpar games from Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall and Jeffery.

Cutler’s counterpart, Buccaneers’ signal-caller Josh McCown had a better afternoon finishing the day with 341 passing yards and one touchdown. However, McCown coughed the ball up three times (two interceptions, one lost fumble), significantly reducing his fantasy total.

On the other hand, since he was re-inserted as Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback in Week 10, McCown has not thrown for less than 288 yards, and has five total touchdowns during that span making him a solid QB2.

Wideout Vincent Jackson had his first 100-yard game since Week 5, as he recorded five catches for 117 yards, and rookie receiver Mike Evans found the end zone yet again, scoring for the sixth time over the past four games. While

Evans and Jackson are expected to produce, but receiver Louis Murphy Jr’s total came out of nowhere. Heading into the game, he was owned in just one% of Yahoo leagues, but hauled in six passes for 113 yards. Murphy’s totals were impressive, but with so many mouths to feed in Tampa Bay, owners should leave him on the waiver wire.

Hopefully fantasy owners did not start any of the Buccaneers’ running backs. Tailback Doug Martin led the “attack” with 11 carries for 27 yards.


Cincinnati at Houston

The biggest question for fantasy owners in regards to the Cincinnati Bengals, heading into Week 12, was how the team would manage the work load of running backs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill.

Well…both halfbacks were heavily involved on Sunday, and each player touched the ball the same amount of times. Hill led the team in rushing with 18 carries for 87 yards, while Bernard totaled 17 rushing attempts for 45 yards and caught two passes for 22 yards.

Hill had the better fantasy afternoon, with a short touchdown run in the third quarter. Seeing both tailbacks get extensive playing time, makes them both solid plays for the duration of the season.

Another Bengal who has battled an injury throughout 2014, is wide receiver A.J. Green. However, he seems to be fully healed from his toe injury, and topped 100 yards for the second consecutive week, recording 121 total yards on 12 receptions. Moving forward, Green will easily be a solid WR1.

Quarterback Andy Dalton was not overly impressive, throwing for 233 yards and an interception, but did hit Mohamed Sanu for a score. Coming off a three- touchdown performance in Week 11, fantasy owners were hoping for a little more production.

After playing well in his first-career start during Week 11, Mallett was unable to build off that performance, going 21-of-45 for only 189 yards, one interception, and zero touchdowns, proving to be nothing more than a QB2.

Mallett’s rough afternoon directly affected the Texans’ receivers. No player was able to reach 50 receiving yards.

One player that looked destined for a big day, was Texans’ running back Alfred Blue, after totaling career-highs in carries (36) and rushing yards (156) last week. Halfback Arian Foster was officially declared inactive to start the day, but Blue was unable to capitalize, rushing for just 46 yards on 16 attempts, Foster is expected back next week so it is likely that we have already seen the best of Blue for 2014.


Jacksonville at Indianapolis

Many owners expected Indianapolis Colts’s quarterback Andrew Luck to have a big day against a bad Jacksonville Jaguars’ team. Although he played okay, throwing for 253 yards and a score, along with rushing for an additional 49 yards, Luck was not at his best, as he lost two fumbles. This was only the second game all season that Luck threw for less than 300 yards and fewer than two touchdown passes, Don’t worry, even the best quarterbacks have bad days once in a while.

Ahmad Bradshaw season-ending injury was expected to elevate tailback Trent Richardson’s workload and fantasy value. While he rushed 13 times for 42 yards and a touchdown, tailback Daniel Herron actually was credited for a start. Herron rushed 12 times for 65 yards and caught five passes for 31 yards. It appears to still be a shared backfield.

Colts’ receiver T.Y. Hilton had a memorable day on Sunday. His wife gave birth to a baby girl, causing him to state that he would score a touchdown for little Eugenia. Hilton came through, catching four passes for 122 yards and that special touchdown. He has gone over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season.

Jaguars’ receiver Marqise Lee led the team with 52 receiving yards on three receptions. Quarterback Blake Bortles was the main reason why the team struggled, as he threw for only 146 yards and one interception. Owners need to leave Bortles on the bench, with him being a borderline QB2 ... at best.

Coming into Week 12, there was a ton of hype surrounding Jacksonville running back Denard Robinson, but unfortunately he disappointed. Robinson had 25 yards on 14 carries, and was even out gained by fellow halfback Toby Gerhart. Robinson did contribute four receptions for 47 yards, but he also lost a fumble.


Green Bay at Minnesota

Upset of the day - The Packers’ first score wasn’t via the pass. Instead they let Eddie Lacy score from one yard away.

Getting Lacy going turned out to be invaluable as he posted big numbers (138 yards from scrimmage, 2 TDs). He’s run for over 100-yards just twice this season and both games were against the Vikings.

Second biggest upset of the day - Aaron Rodgers’ two touchdown passes didn’t go to Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb or even Davante Adams. One was caught by Richard Rodgers (no relation) and the other by Lacy.

It was obviously a quiet day for the Packers’ big receivers. Hope that didn’t keep you from getting into the fantasy playoffs.

Teddy Bridgewater still has a long way to go to be an NFL quarterback and even further to be a fantasy-worthy starter. His second-quarter interception wasn’t even worthy of Miami Northwestern High School.

Ben Tate didn’t run the ball today. Not surprising considering he doesn’t know the plays.


Detroit at New England

I thought the return of Calvin Johnson to healthy status would be the end of Golden Tate, but Tate was solid with four receptions for 97 yards as Darrelle Revis held Megatron to 58 yards.

As suspected, the Patriots healthy respect for the Lions top-ranked run defense, led them to a very unbalanced offense almost exclusively featuring the pass. Nine passes in the first 10 plays and Brady ended up throwing a stunning 53 times for 349 yards.

So much for Jonas Gray. Newly-signed LeGarrette Blount scored twice from inside the 3-yard line. Final tally: Blount 12 rushes (78 yards), Shane Vereen eight rushes, Gray zero touches. The lesson here, boys and girls ... don’t miss practice.

Tim Wright is the Patriots No. 2 tight end, but he caught his fifth and sixth touchdown passes of the season and only five others TEs have more, including his teammate Rob Gronkowski.

Wright was the only receiver to score, though the yards were pretty evenly distributed between Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman and “Gronk.“


Tennessee at Philadelphia

Justin Hunter (knee) was a question mark heading into the game, but caught a nice 40-yard touchdown pass and run. In his second season, Hunter only has 45 career catches, but seven are scores.

Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger found a friend in tight end Delanie Walker (5-155-0).

If you were hoping that Bishop Sankey’s touchdown run last week was the start of him getting red zone carries, think again. It was Shonn Greene getting the red zone work.

Eagles special teams did it again. They started the game with a 107-yard kickoff return. It was their four kick return for a score this season and 10th score for fantasy owners who have started the Philadelphia defense.

Finally, LeSean McCoy looked as elusive as last season. Don’t know why, but it’s been a while. He rushed for 130 yards and a score on 21 carries.

Mark Sanchez wasn’t very good throwing a pair of bad interceptions, but in the “Chip Kelly” up-tempo offense he still threw for 307 yards.


Arizona at Seattle

Andre Ellington continued to struggle running the ball, rushing 10 times for just 24 yards and leaving fantasy owners wondering what to do.

Ok, now we know why Drew Stanton is an NFL backup and not a starter.

The Seattle offense was determined to make Steven Hauschka the fantasy place- kicker of the week. In the first half they couldn’t finish any of their drives and Hauschka hit from 27, 32 and 52 yards. They “field-goal fest” continued after the break as he hit a 40-yarder early in the third quarter.

Part of the reason they didn’t get in the end zone more than once all day was Russell Wilson getting sacked seven times.

After consecutive 100-plus yard rushing games, Marshawn Lynch was a non-factor in this one. Wilson rushed for almost twice as many yards as Lynch (74-39).


St. Louis at San Diego

After beating Peyton Manning and the Broncos, the Rams defense tried to continue to show off their upgraded defense against Philip Rivers. It worked for a half as Janoris Jenkins intercepted a pass and ran in back 99 yards to put the Rams on top.

Rivers threw for just 106 yards in the first half, but was much more efficient after the break. He finished with 291 yards and a touchdown to Keenan Allen.

Allen had a very nice day and with a late reception as the Chargers tried to run out the clock earned his fantasy owners the 100-yard bonus.

Ryan Mathews was back and healthy. It was particularly evident on his 32-yard touchdown run that also put him over the century mark. Then he hurt his shoulder, didn’t play again, and fantasy owners are left wondering about next weekend. Deja vu?


Miami at Denver

Miami built a 14-3 lead on their running game. Lamar Miller rushed five times for 49 yards and both Ryan Tannehill and Daniel Thomas posted short touchdown runs.

Unfortunately, in the second half when the Broncos offense opened up, the Dolphins couldn’t match the firepower.

Ten of the Broncos first 14 plays were running plays and fantasy owners were wondering what team was inside the Denver uniforms?

When they finally decided to pass, however, they got three scores from the combination of Peyton Manning-to-Demaryius Thomas.

C.J. Anderson posted another big fantasy total rushing 27 times for 167 yards and the go-ahead score. It doesn’t seem to matter what running back is behind Manning, the threat of his passing game makes them all fantasy stars.

Wes Welker scored in Week 12. Normally that isn’t significant, but it was his first one since Week 7 and just the second one all season. He’s still not fantasy worthy these days.


Washington at San Francisco

Saying Robert Griffin III didn’t do much would be an understatement. He was 11-of-19 for 106 yards, got sacked five times, and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter.

Alfred Morris was the only viable offensive weapon, rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown.

In case you have not been paying attention, Colin Kaepernick’s favorite receiver isn’t Vernon Davis or Michael Crabtree, it’s Anquan Boldin. Today he caught nine balls for 137 yards and a touchdown.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Morales Named MEC Player Of The Week

Glenville State’s Donte Morales has been named the Mountain East Conference Player of the Week after helping the Pioneers to a pair of wins.

Morales, a senior from Virginia Beach, Va., averaged 26.5 points and five rebounds on the week for GSC. He scored 16 points in a non-conference win against Ohio Valley before exploding for 37 points on 11-of-13 shooting in a win over Shepherd top open MEC play.


Other Top Performances

Devin Hoehn (West Liberty) averged 28.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds in a 2-0 week for the top-ranked ‘Toppers…

Carlas Jackson (Urbana) had a game-high 26 points in just 28 minutes of work to give the Blue Knights their first MEC win in program history…

Nick Harney (FSU) had 21 points to lead the Falcons to win in their only game of the week…

Morgan McDonald (Shepherd) averaged 26.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Rams…

Tyree Gaiter (Notre Dame) had back-to-back 30-point games as the Falcons went 1-1…

Tanner McGrew (West Virginia Wesleyan) averaged a double-double with 10.5 points and 13.5 rebounds for the Bobcats.



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Basketball Game Results

(Monday, November 24)


Final Score: (2) Arizona 72, Missouri 53

Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson each had 15 points as second-ranked Arizona won its Maui Invitational opener with a 72-53 decision over Missouri. Hollis-Jefferson went 5-for-6 from the field and added six rebounds, while Stanley Jefferson contributed 14 points for the Wildcats, who used their trademark tough defense to dominate the game’s final 24 minutes and advance to Tuesday’s winner’s bracket matchup with Kansas State. Arizona (4-0) scored 24 points off 17 Missouri turnovers and held the Tigers to 36.4 percent shooting to overcome a slow offensive start. Montaque Gill-Caesar paced Missouri (2-2) with 13 points and Johnathan Williams III and Keith Shamburger each finished with 11 in the loss. The Tigers will next take on Purdue, which fell to Kansas State in Monday’s first game, in the consolation round.


Final Score: (6) Louisville 87, Savannah State 26

Montrezl Harrell put up 15 points and nine rebounds, and sixth-ranked Louisville put on a defensive clinic in an 87-26 domination of Savannah State at the KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals scored the game’s first 29 points, led 41-7 at halftime and rendered Savannah State into a 10-of-51 shooting night while forcing 26 turnovers and owning a lopsided 54-28 rebounding advantage. Chinanu Onuaku led Louisville’s smothering defensive display with six blocks in addition to tallying 10 points and nine rebounds. Wayne Blackshear added 13 points and Terry Rozier finished with 11 in 16 minutes for the Cardinals (4-0). Savannah State (2-3), which also misfired on all 16 of its 3-point attempts, was paced by Alante Fenner’s eight points. Rick Pitino’s 699th career win was in the books early as Louisville completely imposed its will on the grossly overmatched Tigers, who missed their initial 23 shots from the floor and didn’t record their first point until Saadiq Muhammad hit 1-of-2 free throws with 4:02 remaining in the opening half.


Final Score: (11) Kansas 87, Rider 60

Perry Ellis scored 17 points to lead No. 11 Kansas to an 87-60 win over Rider in a non-bracketed game of the Orlando Classic. Brannen Green deposited 17 points off the bench and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk supplied 10 points for the Jayhawks (2-1), who rebounded from a blowout loss to No. 1 Kentucky their last time out. Xavier Lundy paced the Broncs (2-2) with 15 points and Teddy Okereafor added 10 in the setback. Kansas will open the tournament Thursday in Orlando with a matchup against Rhode Island, while Rider will take on No. 20 Michigan State in its opener.


Final Score: (12) Villanova 77, (14) VCU 53

JayVaughn Pinkston scored 15 points with seven rebounds to help No. 12 Villanova to a 77-53 win over 14th-ranked VCU in the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. Darrun Hilliard II netted 14 points and Kris Jenkins supplied 13 points off the bench for the Wildcats (4-0), who played their first game away from home. Briante Weber and Melvin Johnson each totaled 13 points for the Rams (3-1). Treveon Graham, VCU’s second-leading scorer who entered the game averaging 18 points per game, had just four points on 2-of-9 shooting. The Rams’ patented “Havoc” defense couldn’t stop Villanova on Monday, allowing the Wildcats to make 50 percent of their shots while only mustering a 37.3 percent success rate on the offensive end.


Final Score: (13) Iowa State 84, Alabama 74

Georges Niang had a game-high 28 points along with six rebounds to help No. 13 Iowa State post an 84-74 victory over Alabama in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Dustin Hogue had 17 points, Naz Long scored 15 and Matt Thomas supplied 13 and eight rebounds for the Cyclones (3-0), who will take on Maryland in the championship round on Tuesday. Rodney Cooper had 27 points and five rebounds, while Levi Randolph totaled 18 points and five boards for the Crimson Tide (3-1), who will play Arizona State in the consolation game on Tuesday.


Final Score: (15) San Diego State 92, BYU 87 (2-OT)

Aqeel Quinn finished with a career-high 22 points and came up big down the stretch as No. 15 San Diego State beat BYU 92-87 in double overtime in a quarterfinal game of the Maui Invitational on Monday. Trey Kell made two foul shots, stole the ball from Tyler Haws and sent it down the court to Dwayne Polee II, who went in for an uncontested dunk and an 80-76 lead. Haws briefly tied the game with a jumper, but Quinn knocked down a three at the other end. Quinn’s layup and Polee’s free throw made it an 86-82 game. BYU missed three shots from beyond on its next trip down the floor and Kell made two at the line to seal the win. Winston Shepard had 18 points and eight rebounds, Kell chipped in 14 and JJ O’Brien finished with 13, nine rebounds and six assists for the Aztecs (4-0), who will play Pittsburgh in a semifinal game on Tuesday. Haws scored a game-high 26 points and Kyle Collinsworth supplied 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Cougars (3-1).


Final Score: (19) Michigan 70, Oregon 63

Zak Irvin scored 19 points to help No. 19 Michigan defeat Oregon, 70-63, in the Progressive Legends Classic on Monday. Caris LeVert tallied 18 points and Ricky Doyle registered 10 points off the bench for the Wolverines (4-0), who will play No. 12 Villanova in the final on Tuesday. LeVert went just 3-of-13 from the floor, but he managed to make 11 of his 13 shots from the foul line. The Wildcats defeated No. 14 VCU, 77-53, earlier in the night to punch their ticket to the championship game. Joseph Young netted 20 points for the Ducks (3-1), while Dillon Brooks and Elgin Cook supplied 14 and 13, respectively.


Final Score: (20) Michigan State 79, Santa Clara 52

Travis Trice made five 3-pointers en route to 19 points and the 20th-ranked Michigan State Spartans handled the Santa Clara Broncos, 79-52, in a non-bracketed game of the Orlando Classic. Marvin Clark Jr. added 15 points and four blocks for the Spartans (3-1), who have won two in a row since a loss to Duke. Gavin Schilling tallied 14 points and 11 boards. Jared Brownridge ended with 12 points for the Broncos (2-2), who have lost two straight.


►  College Basketball Rankings

Associated Press Top 25
1. Kentucky
2. Wisconsin
3. Arizona
4. Duke
5. North Carolina
6. Louisville
7. Texas
8. Virginia
9. Wichita State
10. Gonzaga
11. Kansas
12. Villanova
13. Iowa State
14. Virginia Commonwealth
15. San Diego State
16. Ohio State
17. Miami (FL)
18. Florida
19. Michigan
20. Michigan State
21. West Virginia
22. UCLA
23. Creighton
24. Connecticut
25. Arkansas


Coaches Poll
1. Kentucky
2. Duke
3. Wisconsin
4. Arizona
5. Louisville
6. North Carolina
7. Virginia
8. Gonzaga
9. Texas
10. Wichita State
11. Villanova
12. Kansas
13. Iowa State
14. Virginia Commonwealth
15. San Diego State
16. Florida
17. Ohio State
18. Michigan
19. Michigan State
20. Miami (Fla.)
21. Oklahoma
22. Connecticut
23. UCLA
24. West Virginia
25. Providence



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NBA Game Results

(Monday, November 24)


Final Score: LA Clippers 113, Charlotte 92

Blake Griffin amassed 22 points in a near triple-double, and five other Los Angeles players scored in double figures as the Clippers pulled away for a 113-92 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Griffin grabbed 16 rebounds and added nine assists to lead a Clippers’ attack that shot 52.4 percent in the second half. Chris Paul turned in a monster game as well for Los Angeles, with the North Carolina native tallying 22 points along with 15 assists. Jamal Crawford chipped in 21 points off the bench and JJ Redick recorded 17 points for the Clippers, with DeAndre Jordan contributing a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds in the victory. Cody Zeller finished with a career-high 17 points in the loss, the sixth in a row and eighth in nine games for the struggling Hornets.


Final Score: Cleveland 106, Orlando 74

LeBron James had 29 points and 11 assists playing just three quarters and the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled to a 106-74 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night to snap a four-game losing streak. James had 22 points in the first half to help the Cavaliers take an 18-point lead into the break and they went up by as many as 33 in the fourth quarter. Anderson Varejao added 14 points and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving each scored 12 for Cleveland, which also snapped a three-game home losing streak. Victor Oladipo had 22 points and Nikola Vucevic scored 18 with 13 rebounds to lead the Magic, who have dropped eight in a row to the Cavs and four of their last six games overall. It was a season low in points for the Magic.


Final Score: Portland 114, Philadelphia 104

LaMarcus Aldridge had 33 points and 11 rebounds to help the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers beat the winless Philadelphia 76ers 114-104 on Monday. Wesley Matthews added 17 points for the Blazers, who have won eight in a row. Damian Lillard tallied 16 points. Michael Carter-Williams ended with 24 points and seven rebounds for the Sixers (0-14), who are now four losses away from matching the NBA record for the worst start to a season, which was set by the Nets in 2009-10. Henry Sims and Tony Wroten had 22 and 20 points, respectively.


Final Score: Toronto 104, Phoenix 100

Jonas Valanciunas had 27 points and 11 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan scored 23 and the Toronto Raptors survived for a 104-100 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. The Raptors led by as many as 17 early in the fourth quarter before Isaiah Thomas made three consecutive 3-pointers to punctuate a quick 14-0 run by the Suns, who later took their first lead since the first quarter on two Eric Bledsoe free throws with 3:04 remaining. But Phoenix scored just five more points and DeRozan made four straight free throws in the last 14.7 seconds to put Toronto over the top. Lou Williams was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday and scored 17 points off the bench for the Raptors, who have won five in a row. The Eastern Conference leaders ran their record to 4-0 this season against Western Conference teams. Bledsoe scored 25 points to lead the Suns, who had a four- game losing streak stopped and finished 4-2 on a six-game road trip. Markieff Morris added 17 points in the loss.


Final Score: Houston 91, New York 86

James Harden scored Houston’s final 12 points of the game, leading the Rockets to a 91-86 victory over the New York Knicks. Harden went 7-of-12 from beyond the arc and ended with 36 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Rockets, who have won 10 straight against the Knicks. Donatas Motiejunas added 13 points and eight boards for Houston, which has won two in a row overall. Trevor Ariza tallied 10 points and three steals. New York forward Carmelo Anthony had 14 points and seven rebounds before leaving in the second quarter with back spasms. He did not return to the game.


Final Score: Indiana 111, Dallas 100

Donald Sloan scored 29 points and the Indiana Pacers never trailed in the second half on the way to a 111-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. The already banged-up Pacers played without center Roy Hibbert, who sprained his left ankle in Saturday’s loss to Phoenix. They made half of their 3-point attempts and took the lead for good on Sloan’s 3 with 1:44 remaining in the second quarter. Luis Scola added 14 points in the win and Solomon Hill, Rodney Stuckey, Chris Copeland, Damjan Rudez and Ian Mahinmi all scored at least 10. Monta Ellis had 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 with 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who have dropped two in a row following a six-game winning streak.


Final Score: Chicago 97, Utah 95

Two key players returned to the Chicago starting lineup Monday night, but the Bulls had to hold on for a 97-95 win over the Utah Jazz. Derrick Rose was back after missing four games with a strained left hamstring and scored 18 points. Pau Gasol totaled 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals after missing three games with a strained left calf. Gasol was fouled after Chicago won a jump ball and made 1- of-2 free throws to give the Bulls a two-point lead with 3.2 seconds remaining. The Bulls, who led by as many as 21, escaped EnergySolutions Arena with a win when Gordon Hayward missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer. Jimmy butler scored 25 points to lead the Bulls, who snapped a two-game skid and improved to 2-2 on their seven-game road trip. Derrick Favors had 21 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for Utah, which has dropped three games in a row. Trey Burke also posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Red Sox closing in on deals for Ramirez, Sandoval

The Boston Red Sox are apparently set to make a big splash in free agency, as reports indicate that both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval have agreed to multi-million dollar contracts.

Numerous media outlets, including Fox Sports, said Ramirez will sign a deal worth $90 million over five years, while CBSSports.com has reported that Sandoval will earn close to $100 million over five years.

Ramirez will return to the team that originally signed him as a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic. The shortstop played just two games for the Red Sox in 2005 before he was shipped to the Marlins as part of the package that sent pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell to Boston.

In 6 1/2 seasons with the Marlins, Ramirez developed into a star. He was the National League’s top rookie in 2006 and earned three All-Star selections with the Marlins, who traded him to the Dodgers in 2012.

Ramirez is a career .300 hitter, but has battled injuries in the past two seasons in Los Angeles. He played just 86 games in 2013 and batted .345, then in 128 games last year hit only .283 with 13 homers and 71 runs batted in.

Where the soon-to-be 31-year-old Ramirez will play in Boston is still a question with Xander Bogaerts currently slated to be the club’s shortstop.

Sandoval would likely be Boston’s new third baseman after spending six full seasons manning the position for the San Francisco Giants. He was part of three World Series championship teams for the Giants, and was the MVP of the 2012 Fall Classic.

In 869 games for the Giants since 2008, Sandoval is a .294 hitter with 192 doubles, 106 homers and 462 runs batted in. He batted .279 with 16 homers and 73 RBI in 157 games this past season.

Sandoval, a two-time All-Star, has been a clutch performer in postseason play with a .344 career average in 39 playoff games. He hit .366 for the Giants in the 2014 postseason, including .429 in the World Series victory over Kansas City last month.

The Red Sox are trying to revamp an offense that tied for the second-worst batting average in the American League last season at .244, had the second- worst slugging percentage at .369 and scored just 634 runs, better than only three other teams.


►  2015 Hall ballot includes Big Unit, Pedro, Smoltz

The 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot includes 17 new additions, including Cy Young Award winning pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz.

Also new to the ballot for 2015 are sluggers Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.

Rounding out the 17 first-time candidates are infielders Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone and Tony Clark, outfielders Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd and Brian Giles, and pitchers Troy Percival, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado and Jason Schmidt.

The 17 candidates returning to the BBWAA ballot (with their 2014 election percentages) are: Craig Biggio (74.8%), Mike Piazza (62.2%), Jeff Bagwell (54.3%), Tim Raines (46.1%), Roger Clemens (35.4%), Barry Bonds (34.7%), Lee Smith (29.9%), Curt Schilling (29.2%), Edgar Martinez (25.2%), Alan Trammell (20.8%), Mike Mussina (20.3%), Jeff Kent (15.2%), Fred McGriff (11.7%), Mark McGwire (11.0%), Larry Walker (10.2%), Don Mattingly (8.2%) and Sammy Sosa (7.2%).

Mattingly is eligible for the ballot for the 15th and final time. If he is not elected in January, he will become eligible for consideration by the Expansion Era Committee beginning in the fall of 2016.

Candidates need 75% of the vote to earn induction into the Hall of Fame. Results will be announced on January 6, 2015.

When including the returners to the ballot, it’s interesting to note that only once in the history of voting have as many as five candidates earned the 75% in the same voting year. That was in 1936, the first year of voting, when Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner became the First Five.

Since then, the BBWAA has elected four candidates in one year only twice: 1947, when Mickey Cochrane, Frankie Frisch, Lefty Grove and Carl Hubbell were elected; and 1955, when Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons and Dazzy Vance earned election.

The three candidates who at first glance deserve first-ballot Hall of Fame consideration are Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz.

Johnson pitched 22 seasons for Expos, Mariners, Astros, Diamondbacks, Yankees and Giants, posting three 20-win seasons (1997, 2001-02) and winning five Cy Young Awards. The hard-throwing left-hander ended his career with a 303-166 mark with a 3.29 ERA, finishing in top 10 of his league’s Most Valuable Player Award voting twice: 1995 (6th) and 2002 (7th) and was named to 10 All-Star Games, starting four times. Known as a strikeout pitcher, Johnson led his league in strikeouts nine times (1992-95, 1999-2002, 2004) and is second on the all-time strikeout list with 4,875.

Martinez played 18 seasons for Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies, going 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA. He had two 20-win seasons (1999, 2002) and captured three Cy Young Awards (1997, 1999-2000). An eight-time All-Star, the right-hander finished in Top 10 of his league’s Most Valuable Player Award voting twice: 1999 (2nd) and 2000 (5th). He won 1999 American League Pitching Triple Crown after leading the league in wins (23), earned run average (2.07) and strikeouts (313).

Smoltz, who could be the first Hall of Fame member to have the famed “Tommy John” surgery, made a name for himself as a starter and closer, pitching 21 seasons for Braves, Red Sox and Cardinals. Smoltz had a career record of 213-155 with a 3.33 ERA with 154 saves. He won 1996 National League Cy Young Award and was named to eight All-Star Games (1989, 1992-93, 1996, 2002-03, 2005, 2007). As a reliever, the right-hander topped the 40-save mark three times (2002-04), the only three full seasons he served as his team’s closer. His 3,084 strikeouts rank 16th all-time. Smoltz appeared in 25 postseason series over 14 seasons with Braves and Cardinals, posting 15-4 record in 41 appearances (27 starts) with 2.67 earned run average and four saves, striking out 199 batters in 209 innings.

If the BBWAA elects at least two candidates in January, it will mark the first time since 2004-05 that the writers have elected multiple candidates in back- to-back years. Dennis Eckersley and Paul Molitor were elected in 2004, followed by Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg in 2005. The last time three-or-more BBWAA candidates were elected in successive years was 1954-55, when the DiMaggio-Hartnett-Lyons-Vance group followed the 1954 class of Bill Dickey, Rabbit Maranville and Bill Terry.

The Class of 2015, and any candidates elected by the Golden Era Committee on December 8, will be inducted on July 26 in Cooperstown.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Monday, November 24)


Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Boston 2 (OT)

Evgeni Malkin scored 32 seconds into overtime to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Monday. Malkin skated to the top of the right circle and one-timed a feed from Sidney Crosby through the pads of Tuukka Rask for his second goal of the game. Crosby had the other Pittsburgh goal and finished with two assists, while Marc- Andre Fleury earned his 300th career win with a 27-save performance. Milan Lucic and Joe Morrow scored 28 seconds apart in the second period for Boston. Rask stopped 30 shots in defeat.


Final Score: NY Islanders 1, Philadelphia 0 (SO)

Frans Nielsen’s shootout goal led the New York Islanders to a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in a goaltenders duel on Monday. Philly’s Steve Mason made a season-high 46 saves through regulation and overtime, while Jaroslav Halak stopped 21 shots. Nielsen put the first puck past either goaltender with New York’s second chance, as he buried a wrister past Mason. Claude Giroux then beat Halak back to the forehand and his low shot appeared to have an open path to the net, but Halak slammed the glove arm down and kept it out. Jonathan Tavares then sealed the victory as he went back and forth before lifting a backhand into the right corner of the net. Both goaltenders were given a shutout in the game, as Mason notched his first of the year and 24th of his career, while Halak nabbed his third of the season and 33rd of his career.


Final Score: Detroit 4, Ottawa 3

Stephen Weiss scored a pair of goals as the Detroit Red Wings held on for a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday. Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan each had a goal for the Red Wings, who have won three of their last four. Jimmy Howard stopped 23 shots in the win. Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson each posted a goal and an assist while Mike Hoffman scored late for the Senators, who have lost three of four. Craig Anderson allowed all four goals on 43 shots in the loss.


Final Score: Minnesota 4, Florida 1

Jason Zucker’s seventh and eighth goals of the season powered the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday. Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise also scored and Mikko Koivu supplied two assists for Minnesota, which bounced back from Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay and has won five of its last six games. Niklas Backstrom turned aside 29 shots in his first start since Nov. 16. Shawn Thornton netted Florida’s lone goal and Roberto Luongo made 34 stops in defeat.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Arrivabene replaces Mattiacci as Ferrari’s team principal

Ferrari announced on Monday that Maurizio Arrivabene is replacing Marco Mattiacci as team principal of its Formula One team.

Arrivabene comes to Ferrari from Philip Morris, which he joined in 1997 after a 20-year career in marketing and promotions in Italy and abroad. He was appointed Vice President of Marlboro Global Communication and Promotions for Philip Morris International in 2007 and then promoted to Vice President of Consumer Channel Strategy and Event Marketing in 2011. Arrivabene has been closely involved in the company’s partnership with Ferrari. He has also represented all Formula One sponsors on the F1 Commission since 2010.

In addition to his team principal role, Arrivabene will serve as Managing Director of Gestione Sportiva (Scuderia Ferrari), the racing team division of the Ferrari automobile company.

“We decided to appoint Maurizio Arrivabene because, at this historic moment in time for the Scuderia and for Formula 1, we need a person with a thorough understanding not just of Ferrari but also of the governance mechanisms and requirements of the sport,“ Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “Maurizio has a unique wealth of knowledge.

“He has been extremely close to the Scuderia for years and, as a member of the F1 Commission, is also keenly aware of the challenges we are facing. He has been a constant source of innovative ideas focused on revitalization of Formula One. His managerial experience on a highly complex and closely regulated market is also of great importance, and will help him manage and motivate the team. I am delighted to have been able to secure his leadership for our racing activities.

There have been many changes at Ferrari this year. In April, Stefano Domenicali stepped down as team principal, with Mattiacci replacing him. Then in September, Luca di Montezemolo resigned as Ferrari chairman, as Marchionne took over that position.

Last week, Ferrari revealed that four-time and outgoing F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel will join the Italian team for the 2015 season, replacing Fernando Alonso, who had been with the organization since the start of the 2010 season. Kimi Raikkonen will remain with Ferrari next season.

Mattiacci had previously served as President and CEO of Ferrari North America.

“We would also like to thank Marco Mattiacci for his service to Ferrari in the last 15 years, and we wish him well in his future endeavors, Marchionne added in his statement.

Ferrari ended the 2014 F1 season fourth in the constructors’ championship and failed to win a race this year. It was the first time the team was winless in a season since 1993. Ferrari’s last grand prix victory occurred in May 2013, with Alonso winning the Spanish Grand Prix.

Alonso concluded his last season with Ferrari sixth in the drivers’ championship standings, and Raikkonen, in his first season back with the team, placed 12th.

Mercedes captured this year’s F1 constructors’ title, and Lewis Hamilton won Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to claim his second world championship. Hamilton finished 67 points ahead of his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2014


National Basketball Association
Atlanta at Washington, 7:00 PM - SportSouth, CSN-DC, DSS
Golden State at Miami, 7:30 PM - CSN-Bay, SunSports, DSS
Detroit at Milwaukee, 8:00 PM - FS-Detroit, Wisconsin, DSS
Sacramento at New Orleans, 8:00 PM - CSN-California, FS-New Orleans, DSS
Chicago at Denver, 9:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, Altitude, DSS


National Hockey League
Winnipeg at Columbus, 7:00 PM - TSN3, FS-Ohio, DSS
Ottawa at St. Louis, 8:00 PM - RDS, TSN5, FS-Midwest, DSS
Los Angeles at Nashville, 8:00 PM - FS-West, Tennessee, DSS
Edmonton at Dallas, 8:30 PM - SNET-West, FS-Southwest, DSS
Colorado at Arizona, 9:00 PM - TVA, Altitude2, FS-Arizona, DSS
New Jersey at Vancouver, 10:00 PM - MSG+, SNET-Pacific, DSS
Calgary at Anaheim, 10:00 PM - SNET-West, Flames, FS-Prime Ticket, DSS


College Basketball
Maui Invitational, 2:00 PM - ESPN 2
Maui Invitational, 4:30 PM - ESPN 2
NC Central at Cincinnati, 7:00 PM - FS-Ohio, ESPN3.com
Citadel at Florida State, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Texas-Arlington at Kentucky, 7:00 PM - SEC Network
Saint Peters at Rutgers, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Hofstra at South Florida, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Loyola-Maryland at Syracuse, 7:00 PM - RSN
Penn at Temple, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Tennessee State at Virginia, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Northern Iowa vs. Virginia Tech, 7:00 PM - CBSSN
Maui Invitational, 7:30 PM - ESPN
Arkansas at SMU, 7:30 PM - ESPNews
Legends Classic, 7:30 PM - ESPN U
Eastern Ill at Creighton, 8:00 PM - FS1
St Xavier at Ill-Chicago, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Nebraska Omaha at Nebraska, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
NC A&T at Saint Louis, 8:00 PM - FS-Midwest+
St. Francis-PA at Texas, 8:00 PM - Longhorn Network
Northwestern State at Texas Tech, 8:00 PM - FS-Sothwest+, FCS-Pacific
Southern at Tulane, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Loyola-Chicago at Texas-San Antonio, 8:00 PM - American Sports Net, MASN
Norfolk State at Vanderbilt, 8:00 PM - SEC Network+
Miami-Florida at Charlotte, 9:00 PM - FSN, MASN2
Air Force at Colorado, 9:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Northwestern vs. Miami-Ohio, 9:30 PM - CBSSN
CBE Hall of Fame Classic, 9:30 PM - ESPN U
Maui Invitational, 10:00 PM - ESPN
Legends Classic, 10:00 PM - ESPN 2
Delaware at Stanford, 11:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Cal State Fullerton at USC, 11:00 PM - Pac-12 Network


Women’s College Basketball
SE Missouri State at Ole Miss, 4:00 PM - SEC Network+
Charleston Southern at Florida, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
Western Kentucky at Louisville, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Georgia Southern at Georgia, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
Northern Iowa at Iowa, 8:00 PM - Mediacom, Big Ten Network+
ULM at Miss State, 8:00 PM - SEC Network+


College Football
Ohio U at Miami-Ohio, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2


International Soccer
Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich, 2:30 PM - FS1

Sports News   141124

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  WV Football Semifinal Playoff Pairings

This weekend, the remaining 12 teams in high school football will meet on football fields across the state to decide the six teams that will make the trip to Wheeling for the Super Six the first weekend in December.

Most of the playoff games this season have been contested on Saturday, and that will hold true in the semifinal round.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2014,  7:30 PM


CLASS A:

No. 6 Williamstown (10-2)  at   No. 2 Tug Valley (11-1)


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2014, 1:30 PM


CLASS AAA:

No. 4 Martinsburg (11-1)  at   No. 1 Capital (11-0)

No. 7 Huntington (9-3)  at   #6 South Charleston (10-2)


CLASS AA:

No. 5 Wayne (10-2)  at   No. 1 BrIdgeport (11-1)

No. 6 Westside (10-2)  at   No. 2 Frankfort (12-0)


CLASS A:

No. 4 Clay-Battelle (11-1)  at   No. 1 St. Marys (12-0)



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL Week 12 Game Results

(SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23)


Final Score: Cleveland 26, Atlanta 24

Billy Cundiff kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Cleveland Browns to a 26-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Cundiff’s winner came after the Falcons took the lead on Matt Bryant’s 53-yard field goal at the other end of the field. But Atlanta left 44 seconds on the clock—Matt Ryan threw an incomplete pass on third down to stop it before Bryant’s kick—and Cleveland had all three of its timeouts. Brian Hoyer, who threw interceptions on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter—including one in the end zone—completed four passes for 61 yards to set up Cundiff’s winning kick. One of the passes was to Josh Gordon for 24 yards. Gordon returned from a 10-game suspension to make eight catches for a game-high 120 yards. The Browns (7-4) bounced back from last week’s loss to Houston and haven’t dropped back-to-back games this season. The Falcons (4-7) had a two-game winning streak snapped. Hoyer finished 23-of-40 for 322 yards and three interceptions. Isaiah Crowell rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Ryan was 27-of-43 for 273 yards, one interception and touchdown passes to Julio Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers.


Final Score: Chicago 21, Tampa Bay 13

Lovie Smith and Josh McCown were not greeted warmly in their return to Chicago. The Bears scored three straight touchdowns in the third quarter to take the lead, including two by Matt Forte, who finished with 89 yards on 23 carries to lead Chicago to a 21-13 win over Smith and McCown’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. McCown, who spent the past three seasons with Chicago, threw a touchdown pass to rookie Mike Evans 1:36 into the second quarter to give the Bucs a 7-0 lead, but they didn’t find the end zone again. The Bucs quarterback committed three turnovers, including two in the second half, as the Tampa Bay offense never gained footing after the break. Jay Cutler completed 17-of-27 passes for just 130 yards for the Bears (5-6). Alshon Jeffery caught a 2-yard touchdown pass for Chicago’s first touchdown in the third quarter. Tampa Bay (2-9) never got its ground game going. Doug Martin led the team with 27 yards on 11 carries and Charles Sims added 22 yards. Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy both had over 100 yards receiving for the Bucs.


Final Score: Cincinnati 22, Houston 13

A.J. Green racked up 121 yards on a career- high 12 catches, and the Cincinnati Bengals received a stout effort on defense to come through with a 22-13 victory over the Houston Texans. The Bengals kept the Houston offense out of the end zone and limited the Texans to 248 total yards in their fourth win in five games, which gave Cincinnati (7-3-1) a slim lead atop a crowded AFC North. Andy Dalton completed 24-of-35 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown to Mohammed Sanu in the triumph, with Jeremy Hill adding 87 rushing yards and a touchdown on 18 attempts. The Texans’ only touchdown came on Johnathan Joseph’s 60- yard interception return of Dalton in the third quarter. Ryan Mallett was largely ineffective in his second career start at quarterback, mustering just 189 yards with an interception on a 21-of-45 completion rate. Alfred Blue, coming off a 36-carry, 156-yard effort in last week’s win at Cleveland, was held to 46 yards on 16 rushes in place of an injured Arian Foster for Houston (5-6).


Final Score: Indianapolis 23, Jacksonville 3

Trent Richardson and T.Y. Hilton scored touchdowns 2:23 apart in the third quarter to help the Indianapolis Colts pull away for a 23-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Andrew Luck fumbled twice on his team’s first three possessions and the Colts (7-4) were tied with the Jaguars (1-10) until Adam Vinatieri kicked his second of three field goals at the end of the first half. Richardson’s 1-yard touchdown run and Hilton’s electric 73-yard catch pushed the lead to 20-3. Luck finished 21- of-32 for 253 yards and Hilton had four catches for 122 yards on the day his daughter was born. The AFC South-leading Colts bounced back from a 22-point loss to New England last week, during which leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a season-ending broken leg. Dan Herron led them with 65 yards rushing on 12 carries. Blake Bortles completed 15-of-27 passes for 146 yards with an interception for the Jaguars, who have lost four in a row since beating Cleveland on Oct. 19. They were coming off a bye after losing to Dallas in London the week before.


Final Score: Green Bay 24, Minnesota 21

Aaron Rodgers had two touchdown passes and Eddie Lacy scored twice as the Green Bay Packers edged the Minnesota Vikings, 24-21, in an NFC North battle on Sunday. Rodgers went 19-for-29 for 209 yards while Lacy finished the game with 25 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown, along with two catches for 13 yards and a score for the Packers (8-3), who have won three straight and now sit atop the NFC North. Green Bay came into the game tied with Detroit, but the Lions lost in New England on Sunday and the Packers now hold a one-game lead in the division. The Packers entered the game after consecutive 50-plus point games, just the sixth team in NFL history to turn that trick. Teddy Bridgewater went 21-for-37 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Vikings (4-7), who have dropped their past two games.


Final Score: New England 34, Detroit 9

Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in leading the New England Patriots to a 34-9 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Brady carved up the NFL’s top-ranked defense, completing 38-of-53 passes for 349 yards. LeGarrette Blount had two rushing scores in his first game back with the AFC-leading Patriots (9-2), who secured their 14th consecutive winning season. New England has won seven games in a row, 14 straight against NFC North teams and 15 straight at home. Matthew Stafford was 18-of-46 for 264 yards as the Lions (7-4) fell one game behind Green Bay in the division with a second consecutive loss.


Final Score: Philadelphia 43, Tennessee 24

The Philadelphia Eagles bounced back from a blowout loss with their seventh 30-point game of the season. LeSean McCoy led the way in Philadelphia’s 10th consecutive regular-season home win, a 43-24 decision over the Tennessee Titans. McCoy carried the ball 21 times for 130 yards and a score for the Eagles (8-3), who rebounded from last Sunday’s 53-20 defeat at Green Bay. Darren Sproles rushed for 25 yards and one touchdown on six carries. Mark Sanchez completed 30-of-43 passes for 307 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for Philadelphia, which will play at Dallas on Thanksgiving in a highly-anticipated NFC East matchup. Jordan Matthews caught six passes for 77 yards for the Eagles, who improved to 7-0 this season against teams .500 or worse. Cody Parkey made 5-of-6 field goals. Zach Mettenberger connected on 20-of-39 passes for 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Titans (2-9), who have lost five in a row. Delanie Walker caught five passes for a career-high 155 yards for Tennessee, which lost left tackle Taylor Lewan to an ankle injury. Justin Hunter caught four passes for 64 yards and a score.


Final Score: San Diego 27, St. Louis 24

Marcus Gilchrist intercepted a Shaun Hill pass just inside the end zone as the San Diego Chargers held on for a 27-24 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. The Rams were already in position to attempt a tying field goal when Hill completed a 27-yard pass to Kenny Britt to the San Diego 6-yard line with a little over a minute remaining in the game. Hill looked Britt’s way again after a short Benny Cunningham run, but Gilchrist picked off the throw. Philip Rivers was 29-of-35 for 291 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Chargers (7-4), who earned their second straight win following a three-game skid. Hill finished 18-of-35 for 198 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for St. Louis (4-7), which was coming off a surprising 22-7 home win over Denver last week.


Final Score: Seattle 19, Arizona 3

The Seattle Seahawks used a stellar defensive performance to prevent the Arizona Cardinals from beating them at home for a second straight year. The Seahawks came away with a 19-3 victory to put an end to Arizona’s six-game winning streak. The Cardinals handed the Seahawks their only home loss in 2013, winning 17-10 on Dec. 22 to end Seattle’s 14-game home win streak and move within striking distance of the franchise’s first postseason berth since 2009. However, the 10-6 Cardinals eventually missed out. Russell Wilson completed 17-of-22 passes for 211 yards and one touchdown for the Seahawks (7-4), who bounced back from last Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Wilson also carried the ball 10 times for 73 yards. Steven Hauschka made 4-of-5 field goals in the win. Drew Stanton connected on 14-of-26 passes for 149 yards and an interception for the Cardinals (9-2), who lost for the first time since Oct. 5 at Denver. Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was unable to play due to a knee injury, snapping his consecutive games played streak at 110. Calais Campbell accounted for three of Arizona’s seven sacks.


Final Score: Denver 39, Miami 36

Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes, three to Demaryius Thomas and two during a fourth-quarter rally that lifted the Denver Broncos to a hard-earned 39-36 win over the Miami Dolphins in a key AFC clash. The Broncos trailed a gritty Dolphins team for most of the game and were down 28-17 after three quarters, then erupted for 22 consecutive points in the fourth to regain sole possession of first place in the AFC West and bounce back from last week’s startling 22-7 loss at St. Louis. Manning hit Thomas and Wes Welker for touchdowns during the stretch, while C.J. Anderson had a go-ahead touchdown run with 5:01 left to highlight a career-high 167-yard, 27-carry performance. Thomas amassed 10 catches totaling 87 yards and Emmanuel Sanders snared nine Manning passes for 125 yards in the Broncos’ eighth straight home victory. Manning finished a sharp 28-of-35 for 257 yards for Denver (8-3). Ryan Tannehill threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to put Miami (6-5) in position for the upset before Manning engineered his 41st career fourth-quarter comeback. The young quarterback completed 26-of-36 throws for 228 yards with a costly late interception that helped seal the outcome. Jarvis Landry hauled in two of Tannehill’s scoring strikes and recorded seven catches for 50 yards.


Final Score: San Francisco 17, Washington 13

Carlos Hyde’s late touchdown gave the San Francisco 49ers a 17-13 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Colin Kaepernick was 20-for-29 for 256 yards with an interception and a touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin for the 49ers (7-4), who have won their past three games. Coming off a tough week, Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III didn’t do much to help himself in the game as he went 11-for-19 for 106 yards while adding just 11 yards on the ground. Griffin had said after last week’s loss to Tampa Bay about needing other guys to play well, with some thinking he was throwing his team under the bus, which he went on to deny on his Twitter account. On Monday, head coach Jay Gruden pointed out fundamental issues Griffin was still having but then backtracked on Wednesday by saying that no one should be singled out. Alfred Morris had 21 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins (3-8), who have lost their past three games.


Final Score: Dallas 31, NY Giants 28

Odell Beckham sent social media into a frenzy and had everyone buzzing. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys still found a way to upstage him. Romo hit Dez Bryant for a go-ahead 13-yard touchdown with 1:01 remaining and the Cowboys’ defense stood tall in the final minute as Dallas edged the New York Giants 31-28 on Sunday night. Right after Adrien Robinson’s 1-yard TD catch gave the Giants a 28-24 advantage with three minutes left, Romo hit Cole Beasley for a gain of 21 yards to put the ball at the Giants’ 36. Dallas’ offensive line took over from there. Romo had an eternity to scan the field before firing a 15-yard completion to Jason Witten over the middle and two plays later, had all day to throw again as Bryant hauled in his 13-yard score in the back left corner of the end zone. Rashad Jennings was unable to power for a first down after bringing in a short completion from Eli Manning on 4th-and-2 and a couple of Dallas kneel downs sealed the outcome. Prior to that, Beckham’s jaw- dropping 43-yard TD catch was all anybody wanted to talk about. During pregame warmups, Beckham puts headphones on and casually practices an array of one-handed snatches. That routine was put to use early in the second quarter. With Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr draped all over him along the right sideline, Beckham leapt inside the 5-yard line. He contorted his body and reached back as far as he could behind his head to snatch Manning’s rainbow toss with his right hand before pulling it into his body and landing backwards in the end zone. The snag highlighted his 10-reception, 146-yard, two touchdown night.


(THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20)


Final Score: Oakland 24, Kansas City 20

It has been a long 368 days for Oakland, but there was finally joy at the Black Hole on Thursday night. Rookie quarterback Derek Carr led the way as the Raiders put an end to their 16-game losing streak with a thrilling 24-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Carr’s late touchdown pass to James Jones capped off a lengthy drive that proved to be the difference as the Raiders (1-10) won their first game since Nov. 17, 2013 against Houston. Latavius Murray rushed for two touchdowns and 112 yards on four carries before departing after the first half with a concussion. Carr threw for 174 yards on an 18-of-35 completion rate in the win. Alex Smith completed 20-of-36 passes for 234 yards with two touchdowns and Jamaal Charles ran 19 times for 80 yards while also adding a receiving score for the Chiefs (7-4), who were coming off a 24-20 win over Seattle.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  West Virginia Defeats #17 Huskies in Puerto Rico Title Game

Scrambling for turnovers, confidently stroking shots and owning 50-50 balls, West Virginia threatened to blowout No. 17 Connecticut in the first half.

Yet the Mountaineers were most proud of their response later in the game when the defending national champions rallied.

With a 15-point margin sliced to six, West Virginia stabilized behind the steady hand of Juwan Staten and key plays by its less-heralded guards to complete a 78-68 upset in the championship of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

“I’ve got my kind of guys again, guys that are just going to keep swinging,” coach Bob Huggins said after the program’s first 5-0 start since the 2009-10 season, which culminated in a Final Four appearance. No one projected such a finish this year, though the Mountaineers won’t be underrated any longer after their three-game run through San Juan.

“We have a lot of confidence in ourselves and we just want to put this program back where it deserves to be.” — Mountaineers point guard Juwan Staten

Tournament MVP Staten scored 21 points while playing 37 minutes—most of that with West Virginia pressing. Despite being drained, he produced 10 points during a nine-minute stretch when his team rebuilt a six-point edge into a 72-59 cushion.

“It was time to put the ball in the guy’s hands who was supposed to have it,” Huggins said. “Near the end of the game, we called him over and asked him to keep the freakin’ ball.

“So we got the ball to Wannie and tried to spread it so he could get it at the basket. He did that and got fouled.”

Staten finished 9-of-12 at the foul line after attempting only four free throws in the previous two games.

Point guard Ryan Boatright scored 17 points but missed all four 3-point tries for UConn (3-1), which lost for the first time since the AAC tournament last March. The Huskies closed the game only 3-of-17 from deep, 9-of-18 from the foul line and committed 19 turnovers, nearly double their early season average. That became “a recipe for losing,” said Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie.

“(West Virginia) did a real good job pressuring us,” he said. “They challenge every dribble, every pass.”

Said Boatright, the former WVU commitment: “There is no excuse for having 19 turnovers—we are way better ballhandlers than that. They were denying me and Terrance (Samuel) the ball but there is absolutely no excuse for having 19 turnovers.”

Throughout a blazing first half, West Virginia dominated their former Big East rivals. Jonathan Holton led the energy brigade with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 11 minutes. He picked up his third foul immediately after halftime and didn’t score again until a punctuating dunk with 12 seconds left.

Likewise, Devin Williams scored all seven of his points in the first half when the Mountaineers built a 47-32 lead.

After that, the guards produced 25 of West Virginia’s 31 second-half points. Those included seven by Gary Browne and six by freshman Daxter Miles, a tandem that buried UConn’s comeback with back-to-back 3-pointers in a 26-second span for 70-56 lead.

Fellow freshman Jevon Carter, the star of West Virginia’s semifinal win over Boston College, had only one basket and five points Sunday. But his defense made Boatright uncomfortable and Carter finished with a team-high 11-point plus-minus.

“When you have a freshman off the bench like Jevon Carter and he comes into the game and tells me, ‘I’ve got Boatright.’ Well, when he says that, I’m like, ‘You got him,‘” Huggins said. “He and Daxter make plays that normal freshmen don’t make.”

“(West Virginia) did a real good job pressuring us. They challenge every dribble, every pass. We had some bad turnovers.” — UConn coach Kevin Ollie

UConn showed off one of the nation’s marquee freshmen, Daniel Hamilton, who finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists. He also contributed eight turnovers, erratically throwing away jump-passes against the press.

“Honestly, we kind of put the press in two days before our first game, but we have the right personnel to make it work,” said Staten, a senior who has yet to play in an NCAA tournament game.

“We have a lot of confidence in ourselves and we just want to put this program back where it deserves to be. We have a brand new team and a lot of new faces and … this is our first big test. UConn won it all last year and they came in ranked and with a huge reputation. So to knock them off was a great feeling.”

West Virginia faces VMI in Charleston on Wednesday night before hosting College of Charleston at the WVU Coliseum on Saturday.



<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Basketball Game Results

(Sunday, November 23)


Final Score: (1) Kentucky 86, Montana State 28

Devin Booker had 18 points to lead No. 1 Kentucky in an 86-28 rout of Montana State on Sunday. Aaron Harrison had 14 points and Dakari Johnson scored 13 points with eight rebounds for the Wildcats (5-0), who have won all their games by double-digits this season. Joseph Frenchwood IV scored seven points to lead the Bobcats (0-4), who also got six points from Marcus Colbert.


Final Score: (11) Wichita State 105, Newman 57

Ron Baker had a game-high 18 points as No. 11 Wichita State dismantled Newman, 105-57, on Sunday. Baker made 6-of-9 shots, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, Darius Carter scored 15 points and Fred VanVleet chipped in 12 for the Shockers (3-0), who won their national-best 34th consecutive regular-season game. Reggie Baker paced Newman with 14 points and Cortrael Colbert finished with 12 points and four rebounds in defeat. The Jets, who won their first two games, won’t have the loss count against the their record since they counted it as an exhibition matchup.


Final Score: West Virginia 78, (17) Connecticut 68

Juwan Staten scored 23 points and West Virginia stayed unbeaten with a 78-68 upset of No. 17 Connecticut in the finals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Jonathan Holton and Daxter Miles Jr. scored 10 points apiece for WVU (5-0), which became the first team to take down the defending National Champs this season. The Mountaineers beat George Mason and Boston College to reach the championship in San Juan. Turnovers and 3-point shooting plagued UConn (3-1), which had won nine straight games dating back to last season. Freshman Daniel Hamilton had eight of the 19 Huskies turnovers, and they shot just 3-for-17 from behind the arc as a team. Ryan Boatright scored 17 points and Hamilton had 15 with 11 boards in the setback.


Final Score: (18) Oklahoma 90, Northwestern State 68

Isaiah Cousins had 20 points and seven rebounds in the 18th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners’ 90-68 rout of the Northwestern State Demons. Buddy Hield added 16 points, seven boards and two steals for the Sooners (2-1), who bounced back from a 65-63 loss at Creighton on Wednesday. Ryan Spangler, Jordan Woodard and Dinjiyl Walker each scored 13 points. Zeek Woodley ended with 26 points, eight rebounds and three steals for the Demons (2-2), who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Marvin Frazier had 11 points and seven boards.


Final Score: (20) Ohio State 106, Sacred Heart 48

D’Angelo Russell scored a career-high 32 points to lead No. 20 Ohio State to a 106-48 rout of Sacred Heart on Sunday. Russell shot 12-for-21, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range, Shannon Scott had 11 points and a school-record 16 assists and Sam Thompson and Jae’Sean Tate each chipped in 12 points for the Buckeyes (3-0), who were coming off a 74-63 win over Marquette. Filip Nowicki finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Pioneers (1-2), who lost their second straight game.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NBA Game Results

(Sunday, November 23)


Final Score: Portland 94, Boston 88

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as Portland edged the Celtics 94-88 on Sunday. The Trail Blazers were behind at the half but got hot from the field later in the game and finally erased a Boston lead that persisted through the entire first half. Portland got great contributions from its bench, led by veterans Chris Kaman and Steve Blake. Kaman scored 16 points and grabbed eight boards in 17 minutes, and Blake chipped in 11 on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor. Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green tied for the Celtics lead with 19 points apiece. Rajon Rondo ran the Boston offensive effectively with 13 points on nine shots and a game-high eight assists. Avery Bradley also scored 13 despite shooting just 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. Damian Lillard scored 12 points and finished with a career-high nine rebounds.


Final Score: Memphis 107, LA Clippers 91

The Memphis Grizzlies are fully recovered from a stomach virus that plagued nearly half the team earlier in the week. Too bad for the Los Angeles Clippers. Marc Gasol had 30 points and 12 rebounds and the Grizzlies dominated the paint en route to a 107-91 victory over the Clippers for their 22nd straight home win. Los Angeles had been shooting 65 percent inside of five feet coming in—among the top five in the NBA—and outscored Miami and Orlando a combined 82-58 in the lane during the first two games of its road trip. It was a different story on Wednesday, as the Grizzlies held a commanding 52-32 advantage in the paint. Zach Randolph tallied 10 points and eight rebounds, while Courtney Lee netted 13 points for Memphis, which has won six of its last seven games. Chris Paul posted 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Clippers, who had won three of their last four games heading in.


Final Score: Miami 94, Charlotte 93

Chris Bosh’s baseline jumper with 31 seconds left was the difference, as the Miami Heat survived a scare from the Charlotte Hornets, 94-93, in a see-saw affair at American Airlines Arena. Miami trailed by one when Bosh channeled his inner Olajuwon, shaking free from Cody Zeller on a post up and hitting a turn-around 12-footer. Kemba Walker missed a runner at the other end six seconds later. Mario Chalmers, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth, was then pressured near midcourt by Walker, and Lance Stephenson came up with the loose ball with 14.9 to play. Out of a timeout, Walker missed a pull-up jumper and Al Jefferson’s tip-in rimmed out. The buzzer sounded as Jefferson attempted to get another tip off his own miss. Deng paced Miami with 26 points and eight rebounds and Bosh scored 20 with 10 boards. Chalmers also added 10 assists, giving him his second double-double this month. In six previous NBA seasons, Chalmers had just two double- doubles.


Final Score: Golden State 91, Oklahoma City 86

Marreese Speights had 28 points and seven rebounds off the bench as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 91-86 on Sunday. Klay Thompson posted 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Stephen Curry added 15 points, six boards and six helpers for the Warriors, who have won five in a row on the heels of a two-game slide. Reggie Jackson tallied 22 points, 11 boards and eight assists for Oklahoma City, which has dropped six consecutive games. Anthony Morrow provided 16 points and 12 rebounds in defeat.


Final Score: Denver 101, LA Lakers 94 (OT)

Ty Lawson totaled 18 points and a season-high 16 assists and the Denver Nuggets held off the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime on Sunday, 101-94. Both teams held two-point leads in overtime before a four-point possession by Danilo Gallinari gave Denver the edge. Gallinari split a pair of free throws at 1:49 but Timofey Mozgov tipped out the rebound to keep the ball in Denver’s possession. Gallinari canned a 3 near the end of the shot clock to make it 94-90. Kobe Bryant hit a short turnaround at the other end, but Lawson countered with a short jumper of his own. Arron Afflalo was pure with two free throws, and Bryant’s desperation 3- pointer was off the mark as the Nuggets held on to win their fourth straight game. Wilson Chandler paced Denver with 19 points, while Mozgov finished with 13 points and 13 boards. Bryant scored a game-high 27 points, Jeremy Lin had 17 and Jordan Hill grabbed a game-high 14 boards for Los Angeles.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Indians acquire Brewer from D-backs

The Cleveland Indians acquired right- handed pitcher Charles Brewer from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday for cash considerations.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Brewer, the Indians designated left- hander Scott Barnes for assignment.

The 26-year-old Brewer made four appearances out of the Arizona bullpen in 2013, allowing two runs and striking out five in six innings of work. He split the 2014 season between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, finishing with an 11-12 record and 4.46 ERA in 169 2/3 innings between the two levels.

Brewer was a college teammate of current Indians starter Trevor Bauer at UCLA.

Barnes, 27, made his big-league debut in 2012 and pitched two seasons in Cleveland’s bullpen. In 22 appearances, he owned a 5.20 ERA in 27 2/3 innings with 26 strikeouts. He pitched out of the bullpen for Triple-A Columbus in 2014, finishing with a 3.69 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings.


►  A’s obtain 1B Davis from Pirates

The Oakland Athletics acquired first baseman Ike Davis from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, three days after he was designated for assignment.

The teams swapped international bonus slots as part of the deal, with the Pirates gaining the No. 27 slot and the A’s landing slot No. 86 from Pittsburgh.

Davis finished fifth in the National League with 32 home runs while with the New York Mets in 2012 and spent the majority of last season as Pittsburgh’s regular first baseman. The 27-year-old hit just .233 with 11 homers and 51 RBI in 143 games between the Pirates and Mets in 2014, however.

Over five major league seasons, Davis owns a .240 average with 78 homers and 270 RBI.

To create room for Davis on the 40-man roster, Oakland designated outfielder Andrew Brown for assignment.

Brown spent most of last season with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas (PCL), batting .283 with 21 homers and 69 RBI in 103 games. The 30-year- old was claimed off waivers from New York by the A’s on October 31.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Sunday, November 23)


Final Score: St. Louis 4, Winnipeg 2

Jake Allen made 28 saves on 30 shots to lead St. Louis to a 4-2 win over Winnipeg Sunday. Winnipeg native Ryan Reaves scored the eventual game-winner at even strength 2:25 into the third period, while Jaden Schwartz and David Backes added power-play goals in the second period, each time erasing one-goal leads held by Winnipeg. Bryan Little and Jim Slater each lit the lamp for the Jets, who had Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves on 28 shots.


Final Score: NY Rangers 5, Montreal 0

Henrik Lundqvist posted 21 stops for his fourth shutout of the season as the New York Rangers thumped the Montreal Canadiens, 5-0, on Sunday. Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist while Derek Stepan, Dominic Moore, Rick Nash and Carl Hagelin all scored for the Rangers, who have shut out their last two opponents. Dustin Tokarski allowed all five goals on 34 shots for the Canadiens, who had won their previous two coming into the game.


Final Score: Anaheim 2, Arizona 1

Patrick Maroon netted the game-winning goal and the Anaheim Ducks held on for a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. Kyle Palmieri tallied the other marker, Ryan Kesler supplied two assists and Maroon also added a helper for the Ducks, who were coming off a 4-3 shoottout win over Vancouver on Thursday. Frederik Andersen turned aside 26 shots in the win. Keith Yandle lit the lamp and Mike Smith made 28 saves for the Coyotes, who defeated the Sharks 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday.


Final Score: Vancouver 4, Chicago 1

Jannick Hansen notched his first career hat trick to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Bo Horvat tallied the first three assists of his young NHL career and Derek Dorsett supplied two helpers for the Canucks, who bounced back from a 4-3 shootout loss to Anaheim on Thursday. Ryan Miller stopped 24-of-25 shots fired his way in the win. Kris Versteeg potted the lone goal for Chicago, which had a three-game winning streak come to an end. Corey Crawford made 26 saves in his 11th straight start.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Sprague becomes 39th PGA of America President

Derek Sprague was elected as the 39th President of the PGA of America on Saturday.

The announcement came at the association’s 98th annual meeting. Sprague has previously served as the PGA Secretary and the Vice President before he became the interim President after Ted Bishop was removed from office in late October.

Paul Levy, who took over as the interim Vice President in October, was elected to the official position and he will succeed Sprague. Levy was the PGA Secretary before taking the interim Vice President position.

History was also made on Saturday as Suzy Whaley became the first female PGA officer when she was elected as the new Secretary. Sprague, Levy and Whaley will each serve two-year terms.

Allen Wronowski was given two additional years as the Honorary President by the PGA Board of Directors. Wronowski was previously the Secretary and Vice President before he was elected as the 37th PGA of America President. Wronowski served as President in 2011 and 2012.

In other moves announced on Saturday, Jeff Drimel, Tim Fries and Kyle Heyen were sworn in as new members of the PGA Board of Directors. They will each serve three-year terms.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Hamilton claims second F1 title with Abu Dhabi GP win

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton captured his second Formula One world championship by winning Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while his teammate and title rival, Nico Rosberg, finished 14th in the season-finale.

Rosberg, who entered this race 17 points behind Hamilton, started on the pole, but Hamilton quickly pulled ahead of Rosberg for the lead heading into the first turn of the opening lap.

“It was a great start, probably the best I’ve ever had,“ Hamilton said.

While Hamilton had pulled away from the field, Rosberg experienced a problem with his ERS (Energy Recovery System) on lap 25, causing a loss of engine power. Rosberg gradually fell behind in the field and was lapped by Hamilton on the second-to-lap lap.

Hamilton only relinquished the lead during his two pit stops. Felipe Massa from Williams chased down Hamilton in the closing laps, but Massa finished 2.5 seconds behind him.

“Woooooaaahh! World champion. I can’t believe it. Thank you so much everyone,“ Hamilton radioed to his Mercedes team after he crossed the finish line in first.

An emotional Hamilton then grabbed a British flag and waved it during his cool-down lap. At the same time, Britain’s Prince Harry, who was in attendance for this race, congratulated Hamilton over the team radio, saying, “Well done, Lewis, you’re an absolute legend.“

It was the 11th win for Hamilton this season. He also earned his 33rd career victory, allowing him to surpass Fernando Alonso for fifth on the all-time F1 race winners list.

Hamilton concluded the season 67 points ahead of Rosberg (384-317). This race awarded double the amount of points for the first time in F1 history. Hamilton scored 50 for the win.

His first F1 world championship occurred in 2008 when he drove for McLaren. He claimed the title by only one point over Massa, who drove for Ferrari at the time. Massa won the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, but Hamilton’s fifth- place finish in that race allowed him to clinch the title.

“I can’t really explain how much this means to me,“ Hamilton said of his second world championship. “This one means more than the first (title). It feels like it’s the first time. I feel so blessed.“

Hamilton became the fourth British driver to win multiple F1 world championships, joining Jackie Stewart (1969, ‘71 and ‘73), Jim Clark (1963 and ‘65) and Graham Hill (1962 and ‘68). Hamilton is also the 16th different driver with two or more titles in the sport.

Throughout the season, there has been an intense rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg, which at times reached the boiling point, particularly in Monaco and Belgium.

After the conclusion of this 55-lap race at Yas Marina Circuit, Rosberg approached Hamilton to congratulate him for winning the race and the championship. It was the second time Hamilton won in Abu Dhabi. His first victory here came in 2011.

“Nico put on an incredible fight throughout the year, and he was a phenomenal competitor,“ Hamilton said. “We met each other back in 1997, and we always said that it would be pretty amazing to race on the same team and fight for the world championship.

“He did an amazing job today. His car wasn’t quick enough in the end, so he couldn’t fight, but he was still graceful enough to come up to me, being very professional, and said, ‘Fantastic. You drove very well’.“

Rosberg concluded the season with five grand prix wins and 11 pole victories. Two weeks ago, he won the Brazilian GP to keep his title hopes alive.

“I’m very disappointed with the ending, of course, but congratulations to Lewis,“ Rosberg said. “Lewis deserves to be champion this year, but for me, it wasn’t a nice ending. All in all, it’s been a great season for the team, and I’m proud to be a part of that. Lewis was a little bit better of a driver this year, a tiny bit, so he deserves the win.“

Massa’s second-place run marked his best finish in a grand prix since October 2012 in Japan. This was his first season with Williams.

“It was an incredible race for us,“ Massa said. “I did not expect to have that pace…I wanted so much for victory, but we were close. I hope this is the beginning for next year.“

Massa’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finished third, followed by Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull and McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez placed sixth and seventh, respectively, while Sebastian Vettel, the four-time and outgoing champion, was eighth in his final race with Red Bull. Vettel is moving over to Ferrari for the 2015 season, replacing Alonso, who finished ninth.

“I think the last six years (with Red Bull) have been an incredible journey,“ Vettel said. “I’d like to thank Red Bull and the team for everything they did, and I will miss them. I feel ready for the next step.“

Alonso’s teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, completed the top-10.

This might have been Button’s last race in F1, as it is widely rumored that Alonso will replace him at McLaren for next season. Button, the 2009 world champion, has been competing in F1 since 2000.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014


National Football League
NY Jets vs. Buffalo (at Detroit), 7:00 PM - CBS, DSS
Baltimore at New Orleans, 8:30 PM - ESPN


National Basketball Association
Orlando at Cleveland, 7:00 PM - FS-Florida, Ohio, DSS
LA Clippers at Charlotte, 7:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, SportSouth, DSS
Portland at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - CSN-Northwest, Philadelphia, DSS
Phoenix at Toronto, 7:30 PM - FS-Arizona, TSN2, DSS
New York at Houston, 8:00 PM - MSG, CSN-Houston, DSS
Indiana at Dallas, 8:30 PM - FS-Indiana, Southwest, DSS
Chicago at Utah, 9:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, ROOT-Northwest, DSS


National Hockey League
Pittsburgh at Boston, 7:00 PM - NESN, ROOT-Pittsburgh, NBCSN
Philadelphia at NY Islanders, 7:00 PM - TCN-Philadelphia, MSG+, DSS
Ottawa at Detroit, 7:30 PM - RDS, TSN5, FS-Detroit, DSS
Minnesota at Florida, 7:30 PM - FS-North, Florida, DSS


College Basketball
Purdue vs. Kansas State, 2:30 PM - ESPN 2
Missouri vs. Arizona, 5:00 PM - ESPN 2
Paradise Jam, 6:30 PM - CBSSN
Savannah State at Louisville, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Arizona State vs. Maryland, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Santa Clara at Michigan State, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Western Carolina at Oakland, 7:00 PM - Horizon League Network
Villanova vs. VCU, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
Nicholls at Wake Forest, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Murray State at Xavier, 7:00 PM - FS1
Eastern Washington at Indiana, 7:30 PM - ESPNews
Stephen F. Austin at Baylor, 8:00 PM - FS-Southwest, MASN2
Brown at Illinois, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Pepperdine at Iowa, 8:00 PM - ESPn3.com
Rider at Kansas, 8:00 PM - Jayhawk TV, ESPN3.com
Prairie View at Memphis, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Oregon State vs. Oklahoma State, 8:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Pittsburgh at Chaminade, 9:00 PM - ESPN U
NJIT at arquette, 9:00 PM - FS1
Stetson at New Mexico State, 9:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Paradise Jam, 9:00 PM - CBSSN
Alabama vs. Iowa State, 9:30 PM - ESPN 2
Michigan vs. Oregon, 9:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Tulsa vs. Auburn, 11:00 PM - ESPN U
BYU vs. San Diego State, 11:30 PM - ESPN 2


Women’s College Basketball
Saint Louis at Vanderbilt, 12:30 PM - SEC Network+
Tennessee State at Tennessee, 7:00 PM - SEC Network+
Prairie View at Texas A&M, 8:00 PM - SEC Network+


International Soccer
Genoa CFC vs. US Citta di Palermo, 2:40 PM - beIN Sport

Sports News   141123

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►  High school Football Playoff Quarterfinal Results

CLASS AAA

#6 South Charleston (9-2)  24  at   #3 University (10-1)  20

#7 Huntington (8-3)  28  at   #2 Cabell Midland (10-1)  21

#5 Point Pleasant (10-0)  28   at   #4 Martinsburg (10-1)  49

#8 Wheeling Park (9-2)  14   at   #1 Capital (10-0)  35



CLASS AA

#7 Nicholas County (10-1)  20   at   #2 Frankfort (11-0)  26

#8 Robert C. Byrd (9-2)  14   at   #1 Bridgeport (10-1)  35

#5 Wayne (9-2)  35  at   #4 Mingo Central (10-1)  17

#14 Ravenswood (8-3)  25   at   #6 Westside (9-2)  42



CLASS A

#10 Buffalo (9-2)  19   at   #2 Tug Valley (10-1)  36

#9 Moorefield (9-2)  0   at   #1 St. Marys (11-0)  36

#12 Bishop Donahue (9-2)  20   at   #4 Clay-Battelle (10-1)  30

#14 East Hardy (8-3)  22   at   #6 Williamstown (9-2)  42



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Mountaineers, Big 12 finalize 2015 football schedule

West Virginia won’t play a road game during the first month of the 2015 football season, according to the schedule released Wednesday.

The Mountaineers’ opponents have been known for months, but the schedule couldn’t be finalized until the Big 12 set its lineup for conference games.

West Virginia opens the season with three home games against nonconference foes: September 5 against Georgia Southern, September 12 against Liberty and September 26 vs. Maryland.

The Mountaineers won’t travel until an October 3 game at Oklahoma.

2015 West Virginia football               
September 05          Georgia Southern
September 12           Liberty
September 26           Maryland
October 03           at Oklahoma
October 10               Oklahoma State
October 17            at Baylor
October 29            at TCU (Thursday)
November 07            Texas Tech
November 14            Texas
November 21        at Kansas
November 28            Iowa State
December 05         at Kansas State

What’s not to like: Two byes within a five-week span. The first bye comes during Week 3, following money games against Georgia Southern and Liberty and preceding the Maryland matchup. That’s not exactly optimal timing.

The next bye comes about a month later on October 24, wedged between road trips to Baylor and a Thursday night game at TCU. Having two byes in the first half of the season means West Virginia will play six consecutive weeks to close the regular season.

Recall that Oklahoma and West Virginia agreed to move up their meetings in 2013 and 2014 to avoid an early-season bye. In the case of 2015, Baylor has a September 19 bye like WVU, but moving up that game is unlikely because it would create a 19-day gap between games in October for the Mountaineers.

October gauntlet: The month features three road games against teams projected to be among the Big 12’s elite—Oklahoma, Baylor and TCU. (Oklahoma has a bye preceding the game against West Virginia.)

Around the Big 12: Texas Tech plays 11 straight Saturdays before its first bye week November 21, which precedes a Thursday night game vs. Texas and then, that’s right, another bye to close the season. … Texas plays the toughest nonconference schedule (at Notre Dame and hosting Cal). The only other intersectional matches of note: Oklahoma visits Tennessee, Texas Tech plays at Arkansas and TCU visits Minnesota.

Quoting Oliver Luck: “Seven home games return in 2015, and I think our fans and the Morgantown community will appreciate the extra game and another chance to see the team play at Milan Puskar Stadium,” said WVU’s athletics director. “The rivalry with Maryland returns at home for the first time since 2012, and the Big 12 schedule week-to-week will be a great test for our team.”

Quoting Dana Holgorsen: “Our schedule will be very competitive, with our non-conference opponents and the always-tough Big 12 slate,” the coach said. “The 2015 schedule will bring great challenges and great opportunities for our program.”

The kickoff times and television schedule will be announced later.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Defense keeps Herd’s dream season alive; Marshall moves to 11-0

The Thundering Herd needed a defensive touchdown and a fourth down stand at its own 10-yard line, to pull out at 23-18 win over UAB Saturday afternoon at Legion Field.

“They (UAB) played extremely hard and they’ve done that all year,” Doc Holliday said about the Blazers. “Sometimes throughout the year you’ve got to grind one out. That’s the definition of grinding one out, of course you don’t like them that way. But at the end of the day I’m proud of the way the football team found a way to win and that’s all that matters.”

UAB took an 18-17 lead with 11:29 left in the game on a 10-yard touchdown run by Jordan Howard, who finished the day with 168 yards on the ground. The Herd, trailing in the fourth quarter for the first time all season, started the ensuing drive on its 25-yard line and passed its way into UAB territory. But the drive stalled at the UAB 29 after a pair of incomplete passes and a Diaheem Watkins sack back to the 35.

Tyler Williams’ punt on fourth down may have been the play of the game for the Herd. The punt rolled dead at the 1-yard line forcing UAB to start in the shadow of its own goal post.

“That punter was able to punt that ball down there and that was huge,” asserted Holliday.

That punt, with 8:20 to play, set up what would turn out to be the game winning touchdown for the Herd. Three plays later, UAB quarterback Cody Clements was hit in the endzone by Marshall’s Arnold Blackmon jarring the football loose and Rashawde Myers was there to recover the ball in the endzone for the go-ahead score.

“Arnold made a good play, he came around the corner and knocked the ball out. It was more of a ‘look what I found’ type deal and it just happened to be in the endzone,” grinned Myers after the win.

“We got this thing in practice where we go back and forth and work on meeting in the backfield,” said Blackmon. “It’s about practice. We practice hard and we play hard.”

But the upset-minded Blazers were not done yet. UAB got the ball back down 23-18 at its own 25 and started to work its way down the field, mostly on the broad shoulders of running back Jordan Howard, who rushed for 40 yards on the final drive.

The Blazers moved the ball down to Marshall’s 10-yard line, needing a touchdown for the win, were forced to go for it on fourth-and-one. Howard lined up in the shotgun in the wildcat formation and Marshall’s defense drove him back for a yard loss to preserve the win.

“We really just prepared for everything, whether he (Howard) was going inside or outside,” said Blackmon.

Marshall needed its defense to step up Saturday as the offense struggled to finish drives, leaving potential points on the field.

On the first drive of the game, Marshall slashed through the Blazers’ defense down to the UAB 6-yard line. Rakeem Cato appeared to score on a quarterback keeper on first-and-goal, but the play was called back on a holding penalty. UAB’s defense stiffened forcing a 23-yard field goal attempt, which Justin Haig missed wide right.

In the third quarter, Marshall appeared to be on its way to extend its precarious 17-6 lead. On third-and-goal from UAB 1-yard line, Devon Johnson and Rakeem Cato mishandled the exchange on the handoff; the ball came loose and rolled out of the endzone for a touchback.

Penalties also hurt the Herd. It was flagged 11 times for 90 yards on the day. Five of those flags were for false start penalties along the offensive line.

“It’s obvious we didn’t play as well as we have all year but we found a way to win and that’s all that matters,” admitted Holliday. “We’re 11-0 and we’re happy to be there.”

Marshall outgained UAB 515 to 346. Devon Johnson led all rushers with 171 yards on 20 carries, becoming the first Marshall running back to run for 100+ yards in seven consecutive games.

Rakeem Cato was 20-for-38 for 284 yards, two touchdowns and interception. Cato connected with Tommy Shuler for a 28-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and later Angelo Jean-Louis caught a deflected pass and went 43 yards for a touchdown.

Marshall returns home next week to face Western Kentucky. Kickoff is set for noon on Friday.

The Herd then awaits the winner of Rice vs. Louisiana Tech for the Conference USA Championship game on December 06.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Football Game Resuts

(Saturday, November 22)


Final Score: (1) Florida State 20, Boston College 17

Roberto Aguayo atoned for an earlier miss, hitting a 26-yard attempt with three seconds left in regulation, which kept top-ranked Florida State’s win streak alive with a 20-17 victory over Boston College at Doak Campbell Stadium. Jameis Winston finished 22-of-32 for 281 yards and a touchdown to Nick O’Leary for the Seminoles (11-0, 8-0 ACC), who extended their string to 27 consecutive victories. Rashad Greene totaled 106 yards on eight receptions and O’Leary added three catches for 59 yards. Dalvin Cook registered 77 yards on 15 carries and Karlos Williams posted an early rushing score. Tyler Murphy ended up with 73 yards and a touchdown each through the air and on the ground for the Eagles (6-5, 3-4), who did their best but dropped their fifth straight game to FSU. Jon Hilliman led BC with 73 yards on 14 attempts, while Shakim Phillips posted a TD reception in defeat.


Final Score: (2) Alabama 48, Western Carolina 14

Derrick Henry scored three touchdowns to help No. 2 Alabama in a 48-14 win over Western Carolina on Saturday. Henry rushed for 92 yards with two touchdowns and added a TD reception for the Crimson Tide (10-1), who took a week off from their vaunted SEC schedule with an FCS opponent prior to the Iron Bowl against arch-rival Auburn next weekend. Blake Sims went 17-of-22 passing for 222 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the win. Alabama star wide receiver Amari Cooper left the game, however, with an apparent left knee injury after taking a hard hit in the first quarter. Cooper finished with three receptions for 46 yards. Chris Black took over in his absence and hauled in six passes for 101 yards. Troy Mitchell threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns to Spearman Robinson for Western Carolina (7-5), which has lost all four meetings with the Crimson Tide.


Final Score: (3) Oregon 44, Colorado 10

Marcus Mariota had another huge game for Oregon, throwing three touchdown passes and adding another on the ground, to lead the third-ranked Ducks to a 44-10 rout of Colorado on Saturday. Mariota continued his Heisman campaign with 323 passing yards and 73 rushing yards for the Ducks (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12), who have won six straight since their lone loss of the season against Arizona on Oct. 2. Royce Freeman led the Oregon ground attack with 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Buffaloes (2-9, 0-8) used two quarterbacks but could not find success through the air. Jordan Gehrke and Sefo Liufau combined to complete just 16-of-32 passes for 105 yards. Christian Powell led Colorado in rushing with 51 yards on five carries. Oregon outgained Colorado 597-226.


Final Score: (4) Mississippi State 51, Vanderbilt 0

Dak Prescott threw for 193 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns to lead No. 4 Mississippi State to a 51-0 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. Prescott threw three touchdown passes, two of which went to Joe Morrow, and also rushed for 30 yards with a score for the Bulldogs (10-1, 6-1 SEC), who bounced back from a 25-20 loss to Alabama last week. Mississippi State can clinch the SEC West with a win over arch- rival Ole Miss next weekend, coupled with an Alabama loss to Auburn. Johnny McCrary completed 15-of-31 passes for 160 yards with an interception for the Commodores (3-8, 0-7).


Final Score: (6) Baylor 49, Oklahoma State 28

Devin Chafin had three rushing touchdowns to lead No. 6 Baylor to a 49-28 victory over Oklahoma State. Chafin finished the game with 21 carries for 106 yards. Shock Linwood had 113 yards with a score on 21 carries and Bryce Petty was 18-for-29 for 262 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Bears (9-1, 6-1 Big 12), who have won three straight since their lone loss of the season at West Virginia. Mason Rudolph went 13- for-25 for 281 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Cowboys (5-6, 3-5), who have dropped five straight games. Desmond Roland and Rennie Childs each had a rushing touchdown in the loss.


Final Score: (7) Ohio State 42, Indiana 27

Jalin Marshall returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown and added three receiving touchdowns in the fourth quarter, lifting the seventh-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes over the Indiana Hoosiers, 42-27, on Saturday. With the win, Ohio State (10-1, 7-0 Big Ten) captured the Big Ten’s East Division crown and clinched a spot in the conference championship game for the second straight year. Marshall caught five passes for 95 yards for the Buckeyes, who have won a record 23 consecutive Big Ten bouts during the regular season. J.T. Barrett completed 25-of-35 passes for 302 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Indiana’s (3-8, 0-7 Big Ten) Tevin Coleman rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.


Final Score: Arkansas 30, (8) Ole Miss 0

Rohan Gaines’ 100-yard interception return touchdown highlighted a banner day for the Arkansas defense, which stifled a mistake-laden Ole Miss in a resounding 30-0 victory over the No. 8 Rebels. Gaines’ big play was one of six turnovers forced by Arkansas (6-5, 2-5 SEC) in the resurgent Razorbacks’ second consecutive shutout over a ranked opponent. The Hogs halted a 17-game losing streak in SEC play with last week’s 17-0 blanking of then-No. 20 LSU. Bo Wallace was responsible for four of the miscues, tossing two interceptions and losing a pair of fumbles on a forgettable afternoon for the Ole Miss offense, which mustered just 63 rushing yards in the third straight conference loss for the sliding Rebels (8-3, 4-3).


Final Score: (9) Georgia 55, Charleston Southern 9

Hutson Mason passed for 187 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half, and No. 9 Georgia cruised to a 55-9 win over FCS foe Charleston Southern on Saturday. Mason played only two quarters because of the lopsided score. The Bulldogs scored points on each of their first five drives and led 38-3 at halftime. Nick Chubb rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns on only nine carries for Georgia (9-2), which will clinch a spot in the SEC championship game if Missouri loses against Arkansas next week. Austin Brown was 4-of-10 for 15 yards and one interception for Charleston Southern (8-4) before he got injured late in the first half.


Final Score: (10) Michigan State 45, Rutgers 3

Jeremy Langford and Nick Hill each ran for two scores in the 10th-ranked Michigan State Spartans’ 45-3 rout of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday. Langford carried the ball 16 times for 126 yards for the Spartans (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten), who have won two in a row since a loss to Ohio State on Nov. 8. Hill rushed for 59 yards on 12 carries. Connor Cook completed 16-of-24 passes for 254 yards for Michigan State, which racked up 520 yards of total offense. Michigan State’s slim hopes of making the Big Ten title tilt for the second straight year were dashed when Ohio State beat Indiana on Saturday. the Buckeyes captured the Big Ten’s East Division crown and clinched a spot in the conference championship game for the second straight year. Gary Nova connected on 11-of-26 passes for 108 yards and two interceptions for the Scarlet Knights (6-5, 2-5), who were unable to build off last weekend’s win over Indiana.


Final Score: (11) UCLA 38, (24) Southern California 20

Brett Hundley settled in after an early blunder and finished with three passing touchdowns and another on the ground to lead No. 11 UCLA to a 38-20 victory over No. 24 Southern California on Saturday. Hundley threw for 326 yards on 22-of-31 passing after throwing an interception on his first pass of the game and for the Bruins (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12), who have won three straight games against the rival Trojans. Paul Perkins rushed for a game-high 93 yards and a score on 24 carries, Thomas Duarte hauled in two passes for 95 yards and a touchdown and Devin Lucien and Eldridge Massington each added receiving scores in the win. UCLA can now move on to the Pac-12 Championship Game against Oregon with a win over Stanford next Friday. Cody Kessler, who compiled 771 yards and nine touchdowns in his two previous games, was limited to just 214 passing yards and one score with an interception on a 22-of-34 completion rate. Javorious Allen ran for 60 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and Justin Davis made a TD catch for the Trojans (7-4, 6-3), who were coming off a 38-30 win over California.


Final Score: (13) Arizona State 52, Washington State 31

Taylor Kelly passed for 232 yards and four touchdowns and No. 13 Arizona State overcame a first-half deficit to beat Washington State 52-31 on Saturday. D.J. Foster ran for 96 yards and three touchdowns for the Sun Devils (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12), who bounced back from last week’s 35-27 loss to Oregon State, which snapped a five-game winning streak. Cameron Smith had six catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns in the win and Fred Gammage and Kody Kohl also had touchdown receptions. Washington State (3-8, 2-7) led 21-7 in the first half and 24-21 at the break but lost for the fifth time in its last six games. Cougars quarterback Luke Falk passed for 601 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Vince Mayle caught 15 passes for 252 yards, giving him 101 catches this season.


Final Score: (14) Wisconsin 26, Iowa 24

Melvin Gordon rushed for two touchdowns as 14th-ranked Wisconsin held off a charge from a plucky Iowa team for a 26-24 win on Saturday. The victory sets up a showdown against Minnesota next Saturday in Madison, with the winner securing the Big Ten West title and a spot in the conference championship game. Gordon finished with 200 yards on 31 carries, tying Ron Dayne’s single-season Big Ten rushing record of 2,109 yards set in 1996. Gordon broke the FBS single-game rushing record a week ago with 408 yards against Nebraska, but Oklahoma true freshman Samaje Perine eclipsed his mark with 427 yards on Saturday. Joel Stave completed 11-of-14 passes for 139 yards and scrambled 12 yards for a key third down late in the fourth quarter as Wisconsin (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) won its sixth straight game. Jake Rudock threw two touchdown passes and added a score on the ground for Iowa (7-4, 4-3).


Final Score: (15) Arizona 42, (20) Utah 10

Arizona will be on the UCLA bandwagon later on Saturday, but will quickly have to hop off if the Bruins beat USC. First things first. Nick Wilson ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns as the 15th-ranked Wildcats rolled to a 42-10 win over No. 20 Utah on Saturday afternoon. Arizona (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) is currently one of four two-loss teams in the Pac-12 South. The Wilcats need a UCLA win over USC on Saturday and a Bruins loss to Stanford on Friday along with a win over Arizona State to make it to the Pac-12 title game at Levi’s Stadium.


Final Score: (16) Auburn 31, Samford 7

Cameron Artis-Payne ran for 129 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries as 16th-ranked Auburn posted a 31-7 win over Samford at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers overcame a sluggish start and 14 penalties to pull away from the FCS-level Bulldogs and halt a two-game skid as they enter next Saturday’s Iron Bowl showdown with No. 2 Alabama. Nick Marshall threw for 164 yards on 10-of-17 passing with one touchdown and an interception for Auburn (8-3), which also received rushing scores from Quan Bray and Roc Thomas. Michael Eubank completed 17-of-31 throws for 140 yards and one touchdown for Samford (7-4), but was intercepted twice during a second half in which the Bulldogs were held scoreless.


Final Score: (18) Marshall 23, UAB 18

Ra’Shawde Myers recovered a fumble in the end zone with 7:35 remaining and No. 18 Marshall remained undefeated with a 23-18 win over UAB on Saturday. With its offense struggling, Marshall overcame an 18-17 deficit with big plays on special teams and defense. The Thundering Herd downed Tyler Williams’ punt at the 1-yard line and Arnold Blackmon stripped UAB quarterback Cody Clements in the end zone on third down. The ball ended up with Myers, whose touchdown gave Marshall (11-0, 7-0 C-USA) its 12th straight win dating back to last December’s Military Bowl. Rakeem Cato passed for 284 yards and two touchdowns for Marshall, but threw an interception in the fourth quarter then led to a go-ahead touchdown for UAB.


Final Score: (19) Missouri 29, Tennessee 21

Maty Mauk threw two touchdown passes and Marcus Murphy ran for two as No. 19 Missouri picked up a crucial 29-21 win over Tennessee. Mauk completed just 12-of-25 throws for 230 yards, but his fourth-quarter TD passes to Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser were the difference. Murphy ran 19 times for 82 yards, and Russell Hansbrough added 68 yards on 15 carries. Missouri (9-2, 6-1 SEC) controls its own destiny in the SEC East. With a win next week against Arkansas, the Tigers will return to the SEC championship game for the second straight season. If Arkansas wins, then Georgia, which finished its SEC regular-season slate last week with a win over Auburn, would represent the division in the title game. Joshua Dobbs, who had totaled 11 touchdowns over Tennessee’s last three games, went 24-for-37 for 195 yards with one touchdown and an interception. The Volunteers (5-6) need a win next week at Vanderbilt to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.


Final Score: Minnesota 28, (21) Nebraska 24

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are in the driver’s seat to represent the West division in the Big Ten title game after rallying to beat No. 21 Nebraska without their best offensive player. Mitch Leidner scored his second rushing touchdown with 3:25 remaining in the fourth quarter to lift the Golden Gophers to a 28-24 win over the Cornhuskers. Leidner completed 8-of-17 passes for 135 yards and added 110 yards on the ground for Minnesota (8-3, 5-2 Big Ten), which overcame a 21-7 halftime deficit to post its first victory in Lincoln since 1960. Golden Gophers star running back David Cobb rushed for 80 yards on 15 carries, but left after pulling up lame with a hamstring injury on a third-quarter touchdown run.


Final Score: (22) Colorado State 58, New Mexico 20

Dee Hart scored six touchdowns to lead 22nd-ranked Colorado State to a 58-20 rout of New Mexico. Hart ran for 230 yards and five touchdowns and added two catches for 42 yards and a receiving score for the Rams (10-1, 6-1 MWC), who have won nine in a row since a Sep. 6 loss at Boise State. Garrett Grayson was 23-of-29 for 389 yards and three touchdowns. He became the school’s all-time offensive leader in the triumph. New Mexico’s (3-8, 1-6) ground game was effective, totaling 301 yards, but it wasn’t enough. Jhurell Pressley ran for 109 yards on seven carries, while quarterback Lamar Jordan ran for 74 yards and scored a touchdown.


Final Score: (23) Oklahoma 44, Kansas 7

Oklahoma freshman Samaje Perine broke the week-old FBS single-game rushing record to lead the No. 23 Sooners in a 44-7 rout of Kansas on Saturday. Perine rushed for 427 yards, surpassing the record set last week by Wisconsin junior Melvin Gordon, whose 408 yards against Nebraska in just three quarters broke LaDainian Tomlinson’s 15-year- old FBS mark. It took Perine a little longer, but not much. He set the new mark on his last run, a 42-yarder 2 1/2 minutes into the fourth quarter after shaking off a few would-be tacklers near the line. The game was played in the rain after a 90-minute delay because of lightning and most of Perine’s big runs came with little contact.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Saints try to stop Superdome skid against Ravens

The Superdome used to be the New Orleans Saints’ salve, an edifice that could soothe any ailment the team might have.

Not anymore.

The struggling Saints have dropped two straight on their home field and will try to stop the bleeding when they host the well-rested Baltimore Ravens on “Monday Night Football.“

New Orleans, considered by many to be a true Super Bowl contender before the season started, remains relevant in the NFC playoff picture only because of the division they play in, the dismal NFC South.

A 27-10 loss to Cincinnati at the Superdome in Week 11 lowered the Saints’ record to 4-6 but that’s still good enough to be tied for the top spot in the South with Atlanta entering the weekend, although the Falcons currently hold the tiebreaker thanks to their 4-0 mark in division play.

“I feel good about our chances and the opportunity that we have,“ New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said. “We’re learning a lot about how to win. Failure can be the best teacher at times.“

It taught them plenty against the Bengals as Brees threw for 255 yards and a touchdown on 33-of-41 passing but the Saints dropped back-to-back home games for the first time since 2012, when they lost the season opener to Washington and then to Kansas City in overtime in Week 3.

New Orleans had won a club-record 11 straight home games in the regular season until a Week 10 overtime loss to San Francisco.

Mark Ingram added 67 yards on the ground on 23 carries and caught a game-high seven passes for only 30 yards.

“We kind of felt going in we were going to run a sequence there: certain run then come back to a pass. They defended it well and we weren’t able to get anything,“ said New Orleans head coach Sean Payton.

“We can’t escape the reality of where we are right now,“ Brees added. “You are what your record says you are. We’re a 4-6 team right now. None of us feel that because we’re still in contention that that’s good enough. We still have a lot of work to do.“

The Ravens, on the other hand, play in the ultra-tough AFC North, where every team is at least two games over .500 and Baltimore, despite its 6-4 mark, is tied for last with Cleveland entering Week 12. Cincinnati, at 6-3-1, tops the division with Pittsburgh next at 7-4.

“Every win is important,“ said Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith. “In our division, there are a bunch of talented teams. It’s going to be interesting down the stretch. Hopefully, we come out on top.“

The Ravens are coming off their bye week after halting a two-game skid by coasting past Tennessee, 21-7, back on November 9 in the Charm City.

“Players took some time off and kind of emotionally and physically recharged a little bit,“ Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “You don’t realize how exhausted you are until you get a chance to take a deep breath and relax.“

Justin Forsett rushed for 112 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Titans while Joe Flacco finished 16-of-27 for 169 yards and one score to Smith for Baltimore, which shook off a pair of road division losses to the Bengals and Steelers.

“Going into the bye, you want to feel good about things and get back on track,“ tight end Owen Daniels said.

The Ravens and Saints have met just five times previously with Baltimore holding a 4-1 advantage, including a 30-24 win on December 19, 2010, the last time the two teams met. The clubs haven’t clashed in New Orleans since October of 2006, also a Ravens win (35-22).

Baltimore is 9-9 all-time on Monday nights while the Saints are just under that .500 barrier at 17-18.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Both Brees and Flacco tend to excel under the national spotlight.

Brees has won nine of his past 10 starts on “Monday Night Football” with a 118.6 passer rating in those contests. Meanwhile, Flacco has won four of his past five starts on MNF.

Both have been buoyed by a renewed running game. In New Orleans Ingram has stabilized things and leads the NFL in rushing since Week 8 with 459 yards on the ground. That’s important because impact rookie receiver Brandin Cooks had surgery to repair a broken right thumb this week and is gone for the season.

Baltimore’s Forsett leads all NFL backs with 5.4 yards per rush and will be matching up against a defense that has allowed nearly 150 yards on the ground over its past three games.

Each team has struggled with turnovers, though. The Saints are minus-nine on the season and while Baltimore is barely on the plus side of the ledger (plus- one), Flacco has been regressing recently, throwing five interceptions in his last four games.

Facing Rob Ryan’s defense could get Flacco headed back in the right direction. The Saints are 24th in the NFL against the pass and have only created 10 takeaways, the fifth-worst mark in the league.

Brees, who leads the NFL with a nearly 70% completion percentage, is also facing a unit that struggles stopping the passing game. The Ravens are 21st in football against the pass and have managed just six picks on the season.

Brees has never beaten the Ravens, however, going 0-3 against them in his career, once when he was with the Chargers and twice with New Orleans.

“I am aware. Thanks for reminding me,“ Brees said of his lack of success against Baltimore. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. Every time I step on the field, I want to win. But certainly, you want to say that you’ve beaten every team.“

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Although there are six games left on their schedule, this could be the last stand for the Saints, who haven’t lost three straight home games since a six- game slide in 2005.

“There have been a number of tough losses, close losses, and what that means is at this point in the season, that margin for error becomes that much more slight,“ Payton said. “We’re playing a six-game season right now. We have to find a way to get a win this week.“

The guess here is that this is the last chance for New Orleans to reestablish its mojo inside the Superdome and the Saints will get it done ... barely.

“We’re going to have a tough environment,“ Harbaugh said. “They’re coming off two losses, they’re a very proud team, very well coached, very talented. We’re going to have our hands full and we’d better be ready to go. I’d like to think our guys understand that, but we’ll find out Monday night.

Predicted outcome: Saints 24, Ravens 21


►  Divisional dominance

A rather stark contrast will be highlighted on “Monday Night Football” when the Baltimore Ravens visit the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints to cap off Week 12 of the NFL season.

With six games to go in the campaign for each team, it’s the 6-4 Ravens who are in the basement of the ultra-tough AFC North, while the underwater Saints remain relevant in the NFC playoff picture because of the division they play in, the dismal NFC South.

A 27-10 loss to Cincinnati at the Superdome in Week 11 lowered New Orleans’ record to 4-6 but that’s still good enough to be tied for the top spot in the South with Atlanta entering the weekend, although the Falcons currently hold the tiebreaker thanks to their 4-0 mark in division play.

Conversely, the Ravens play amongst a group where every team is at least two games over .500, making the AFC North the first division since the 1935 Western Division in which every member is at least two games in the black at any point in a season.

“I probably feel the same way I felt about it when the season opened, this is the best division in football,“ Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh stated. “That’s only going to serve to make us all better in the end.“

Harbaugh’s Ravens, despite that 6-4 mark, are tied for last with Cleveland in the AFC North entering Week 12. Cincinnati, at 6-3-1, tops the division with Pittsburgh next at 7-4.

By next week, the Bengals conceivably go from first to worst.

“Every win is important,“ said Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith. “In our division, there are a bunch of talented teams. It’s going to be interesting down the stretch. Hopefully, we come out on top.“

Perhaps a better indication of just how good the AFC North has become is its clubs’ record outside its confines. The four AFC North teams currently sport a 17-7-1 mark against non-division opponents, the best of any division in the football and a winning percentage of .700.

Since the AFL-NFL merger back in 1970, only seven divisions have ever finished with a combined winning percentage of .700 or better in contests outside the division. Three of those produced that particular season’s Super Bowl winner, including the 2013 Seattle Seahawks from the NFC West.

The Seahawks, who were one of three different 10-win teams in the NFC West a season ago, finished with a 13-3 mark en route to the Lombardi Trophy.

Success outside one’s division also foreshadows a significant playoff presence.

All seven of those divisions with a .700 or better out-of-division mark produced at least two playoff teams, with four of them sending three teams to the postseason.

“(The AFC North) has always been competitive, but this year you are really seeing the youth and talent that has been on these teams stepping up and growing into those roles,“ Cincinnati left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. “It’s going to be a heck of a challenge to win this division.“

Others believe playing each other so consistently helps each team when they venture outside the North.

“When you play against playoff-caliber teams, it definitely helps you,“ Pittsburgh safety Will Allen claimed. “Being in a tougher division brings better competition and it brings a greater preparation for what’s to come.“

And what’s to come is plenty.

With six weeks remaining in the regular season, 12 different AFC clubs in a 16-team field have records of .500 or better.

“The meaningful games come at the end of November and December,“ Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer said.

All four teams in the AFC North plan on playing in those meaningful games.


►  Broncos TE Thomas questionable, Sanders probable

Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas was listed as a non-participant in practice for a third straight day on Friday, leaving his status uncertain for this weekend’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

Thomas, the NFL’s leader with 12 touchdown catches this season, did take part in a few individual drills during Friday’s session, according to the Broncos’ website. The team officially declared the 2013 Pro Bowl selection questionable for Sunday’s contest.

Thomas sprained his left ankle in the first quarter of last week’s 22-7 loss at St. Louis and did not return to the game.

The news was considerably better in regards to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who returned to the practice field Friday and is probable to play against the Dolphins.

Sanders was forced out of the St. Louis game in the third quarter after sustaining a concussion on a vicious hit from Rams safety Rodney McLeod. The offseason acquisition was cleared by a neurologist on Thursday night, however.

Prior to departing last week’s tilt, Sanders recorded five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown for his third 100-yard effort in Denver’s past four games.

The Broncos will definitely be without running backs Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball for Sunday’s matchup, with both players ruled out. Hillman will miss a second straight week with a sprained foot, while Ball aggravated a groin injury against the Rams. It was his first action since Week 5.

Backup tight end Virgil Green is considered questionable with a calf injury, but was a limited practice participant throughout the week.


►  Fitzgerald questionable for Cards-Seahawks

The Arizona Cardinals remain unsure as to whether they’ll have Larry Fitzgerald available for Sunday’s key NFC West clash with the Seattle Seahawks.

Fitzgerald sat out of practice for a third straight day on Friday as he continues to rest a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, with the Cardinals listing the veteran wide receiver questionable for this weekend’s clash with the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks at Qwest Field.

Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said Friday that Fitzgerald’s status won’t be determined until pregame warmups, though he was hopeful that the eight-time Pro Bowl honoree will be able to play.

“Practice at his age right now is overrated sometimes,“ Arians said. “We’ll see if he can capably play on Sunday at the game.“

Fitzgerald sustained the injury, which was diagnosed as a Grade 2 sprain, during the first half of last week’s 14-6 Arizona win over Detroit. The 31- year-old did return to the contest but was limited to just two catches for 33 yards.

Running back Andre Ellington is expected to participate in Sunday’s matchup after putting in a full practice on Friday. The Cardinals’ leading rusher is dealing with injuries to his foot and hip, but was termed probable on Friday’s injury report.

The Cardinals enter Sunday’s showdown with an NFL-best 9-1 record and a six- game winning streak. Seattle currently stands three games back of Arizona in the division at 6-4.


►  Chiefs bring in Avant

Seeking help to a struggling receiver corps, the Kansas City Chiefs signed veteran Jason Avant to an undisclosed contract on Friday.

Avant, who was released by the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, reunites with his original NFL head coach in Andy Reid. The 31-year-old spent his first eight seasons playing under Reid in Philadelphia from 2006-13, recording 51 or more catches in three of his final four seasons with the team.

The nine-year veteran signed with the Panthers as a free agent back in March, but managed just 201 yards and a touchdown on 21 catches over 11 games with Carolina.

For his career, Avant has compiled 318 catches totaling 3,847 yards with 13 touchdowns.

He joins a Kansas City squad that has trouble finding a reliable No. 2 receiver opposite Dwayne Bowe this season. No Chiefs wideout other than Bowe has caught more than 14 passes through the team’s 11 games.

Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, who had only nine catches in nine games this season, was placed on injured reserve in a corresponding move. The former first-round pick has missed Kansas City’s last two contests with a shoulder problem.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Hold your horses

Prior to Thursday Night Football, there was not a single Oakland Raiders player fantasy owners could trust.

Despite the emergence of running back Latavius Murray against the Chiefs, there still isn’t a Raiders player owners should feel confident placing in a playoff starting lineup.

No doubt, Murray looked impressive on Thursday, rushing for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He should see a huge bump in carries the rest of the year and is therefore, the “best” fantasy option on Oakland.

But for a team that features a washed-up Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones- Drew, a rookie quarterback and no-name wide receivers, that isn’t saying much.

Murray gained his 112 yards on just four carries, which is a double-edged sword. Obviously, that makes Murray’s average in Week 12 a whopping 28 yards- per-carry. On the other hand, the big runs could also be an aberration. Murray gained 90 of his yards on one carry.

If not for the concussion Murray suffered in the middle of the second quarter, he could have had a really huge night. As it was, he finished with over 23 fantasy points in standard leagues.

But before fantasy owners hurry to go pick him up on the waiver wire, ask this question: are you really ready to trust an Oakland Raiders running back with a fantasy championship on the line?

Even with the 179 yards on the ground in Week 12, the Raiders are averaging 73.5 yards per game, good for last in the league. The last time a team had fewer than 73 rushing yards per game in a single season was the Lions in 2006.

Prior to Week 11, the Raiders were averaging just 62.1 rushing yards per game, which was the lowest average since the Lions gained 42.5 yards per game on the ground in 1946. So before this sudden outburst in rushing yards, the Raiders were statistically the worst running team in nearly 70 years.

Plus, even with the average increasing 11 yards per game over the last two weeks, there are still just 18 teams since 1932 with fewer rushing yards per game than the 2014 Raiders, and over half of those teams played before the NFL merger.

For fantasy owners in deeper keeper leagues and dynasty leagues, Murray is definitely a guy worth targeting. He is the most promising, young, offensive player in Oakland and paired with a young quarterback, he has tremendous potential.

But for fantasy owners in the hunt for a 2014 fantasy championship, I would roll with the horses who got me to the playoffs in the first place, rather than turn to a still relatively unproven rookie, coming off a concussion, who is on one of the 20-worst rushing teams in the history of the NFL.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  MEC Basketball Roundup

Shepherd 109, Glenville State 98 | Final Stats

Morgan Arden and Rachel Johnson combined for 53 points to help lead Shepherd past Glenville State, 109-98, on Saturday afternoon at the Waco Center. A 19-4 run over the first seven minutes of the second half gave the Rams a double-digit lead it would not relinquish.

Arden finished with 30 points, aided by 12-of-15 shooting from the free throw line to lead Shepherd (3-0, 1-0). Johnson was 10-of-14 from the field on her way to 23 points and also added eight rebounds. Cara Mason had eight points and dished out eight assists. Briana Vaden added 14 points and Kristina Prange chipped in 12.

Glenville State (0-2, 0-1) was led by 23 points from Keyanna Tate. Paige Tuttle added 14 points and Katrina Salins and Tayana Stewart each contributed 11 points.

Shepherd made its only three-point attempt of the game, while Glenville State was 7-of-31 from behind the arc.


West Liberty 87, Charleston 65 | Final Stats

Liz Flowers scored 30 points and West Liberty shot 52% from the field as West Liberty defeated Charleston, 87-65.

Flowers was 11-of-19 from the field and sank eight of WLU’s 17 three-pointers in the game for her 30 points. Kailee Howe added 17 points and handed out a game-high 14 assists. Emily Bucon chipped in 10 points for the ‘Toppers (2-1, 1-0).

Kiara Johnson had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Nichole Perry had 16 points and four assists, and Monet Saunders had 14 points for the Golden Eagles.

WLU was 17-of-32 (53%) from behind the three-point line, while UC was just 2-of-11 (18%).


Notre Dame 78, Concord 61 | Final Stats

Notre Dame used a balanced attack to defeat Concord, 78-61, on Saturday at Murphy Gymnasium.

The Falcons (2-1, 1-0) were paced by Lauren Langenderfer’s 18 points in 28 minutes of action. Martha Nagbe scored 17 and Alyssa Kraus had 13, while Kelsey Miller added 11 points and 14 rebounds off the bench for NDC.

Rachel Artrip led Concord (0-3, 0-1) with 22 points and eight rebounds. Melea Smith scored 12 and Jacqueline Kestner recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.


Fairmont State 74, West Virginia Wesleyan 67 (OT) | Final Stats

Fairmont State withstood West Virginia Wesleyan’s late rally and came away with a 74-67 overtime win over the Bobcats on Saturday at the Rockefeller Center.

Fairmont State (5-0, 1-0) led from the opening basket until Stacey Remar’s three-pointer with four seconds left tied the game at 59-59. A three-point play Emily Puskarich with under a minute left in the overtime session stretched FSU’s lead from two points to five and helped clinch the win for the Falcons.

The Falcons got a pair of double-doubles from Emily Lohr (17 points and 14 rebounds) and Hallie Gunnoe (17 points and 10 rebounds). Amanda Ruffner added 16 points and eight boards. FSU held the Bobcats to just 32% shooting from the field.

Mari Stewart led WVWC (0-3, 0-1) with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Kiki Devane also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Adrian Cunningham had 13 points.


UVa-Wise 51, Urbana 39 | Final Stats

UVa-Wise forced 22 turnovers and held Urbana to just 24% shooting to come away with a 51-39 road win on Saturday at the Grimes Center.

Taylor Sandidge had 13 points and five rebounds to help the Cavs (1-2, 1-0) pick up their first win of the season. Blair Harding added 10 points and seven boards for UVa-Wise.

Tori Purk was the only Urbana player to reach double figures as the Blue Knights fell to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the MEC.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  WVU Hoops Improves to 3-0

At a glance there wasn’t much that West Virginia didn’t seem to do well in its opening game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

The Mountaineers forced turnovers on defense, played unselfishly on the offense end and limited their own mistakes. It all added up to an easy 91-65 victory over George Mason Thursday.

Still coach Bob Huggins thinks his team can play better this week.

“I thought we played really well for stretch, and then we got a big lead and we would kind of stop playing and our pressure just wasn’t very good. Our offense was worse,“ Huggins said. “When you get ahead I think even if it’s subconsciously you start looking for shots instead of looking to score. And then we just turned them loose at the basket the whole second half which is not a good thing to do.“

Devin Williams led the barrage for the Mountaineers with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jonathan Holton added 16 points and seven rebounds.

West Virginia (3-0) led by as many as 31 points and never allowed George Mason (1-2) to get it below 20 in the second.

For Williams it was his third straight double-double. It was the 11th of the sophomore’s career.

“Devin was good, I want him to be great,“ Huggins said. “He was good, but Devin can be so much better and that’s what I want for him. Sometimes he doesn’t understand why I’m upset with him, but I’m upset with him because I know how good he can be.

“Good guys don’t take plays off. We gotta not take plays off. That’s not just Devin, that’s everybody. We gotta stop taking plays off.“

Williams played sparingly in the final 20 minutes, being sent to the floor after a collision underneath the basket. But he was able to walk off under his own power and is expected to be fine.

Patrick Holloway led the Patriots with 17 points.

West Virginia used its quickness in the first half to speed up George Mason’s offense, racking up 10 steals and forcing 16 Patriots’ turnovers. Those turnovers led to 19 Mountaineers’ points, including several dunks.

The dominance extended inside the paint, where West Virginia outscored George Mason 24-8 for the half and 40-26 for the game.

George Mason entered the game having committed just 18 turnovers combined in its first two outings.

“They were just physically stronger and pushed us around,“ Patriots coach Paul Hewitt said. “What we talked about coming in here was turnovers and offensive rebounds and they dominated that. We had 24 turnovers and they had 19 offensive rebounds and that’s pretty much the game.“



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Report: Red Sox offer Sandoval contract

The Boston Red Sox have offered free-agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval a five-year deal, according to a report.

A Major League source, per the Boston Globe, stated that the offer is for $95 million.

The switch-hitting third baseman, considered one of the top hitting free agents, helped the San Francisco Giants win their third World Series title in the last five years.

The 28-year-old hit .366 in the postseason and posted a .279 average with 16 homers and 73 RBI during the regular season.

Sandoval declined the Giants’ qualifying offer of $15.3 million for the 2015 season.


►  Report: White Sox sign LaRoche for two years

The Chicago White Sox have reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with first baseman Adam LaRoche on Friday.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting the deal is worth $25 million and will be announced as soon as a spot on the roster is cleared for LaRoche.

The 35-year-old just finished his 11th season in the majors as he batted .259 with 26 home runs and 92 RBI in 140 games for Washington.

In 1,478 games with Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Boston and Washington, he has a career average of .264 and has clubbed 243 home runs with 838 RBI.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Saturday, November 22)


Final Score: St. Louis 3, Ottawa 2

Brian Elliott made 24 saves and Alex Steen netted the deciding goal in the latter stages of the second period as St. Louis nipped Ottawa, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon. Max Lapierre and Vladimir Tarasenko also provided goals while Alex Pietrangelo recorded a pair of assists for the Blues, who snapped a two-game skid. Mika Zibanejad and Erik Karlsson tallied for the Senators, with Robin Lehner making 30 stops as the hosts lost for the fifth time in seven contests.


Final Score: Montreal 2, Boston 0

Carey Price stopped 33 shots for his second shutout of the season as the Montreal Canadiens grabbed a 2-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Tomas Plekanec had a goal and an assist, Andrei Markov scored and Brendan Gallagher dished out two helpers for the Canadiens, who have won eight of their last nine games. Tuukka Rask allowed both goals on 23 shots for the Bruins, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.


Final Score: Toronto 4, Detroit 1

Tyler Bozak scored two goals in the third period to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Leo Komarov tallied a goal and an assist and Peter Holland also lit the lamp for Toronto, which has won two straight on the heels of a three-game skid. Jonathan Bernier turned aside 26 shots in the win. Tomas Tatar provided Detroit’s lone marker and Jimmy Howard made 24 saves in defeat.


Final Score: Tampa Bay 2, Minnesota 1

Ben Bishop made 30 saves, including 12 in the third period to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn scored for the Lightning, who were coming off back-to-back losses at the end of a 1-2 road trip. Zach Parise scored for the Wild, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Darcy Kuemper gave up both Tampa Bay goals and faced 28 shots in the loss.


Final Score: NY Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 1

John Tavares recorded a goal and an assist as the New York Islanders got the better of the Pittsburgh Penguins once again with a 4-1 decision at Nassau Coliseum. Tavares, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson all scored in the third period and Jaroslav Halak came up with 27 saves to help the red-hot Islanders complete a home-and-home sweep of the Penguins. New York, winners in eight of its last nine, bested the Pens in a 5-4 shootout in Pittsburgh on Friday. The Penguins mustered only Evgeni Malkin’s first-period goal in dropping consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 22-23. Thomas Greiss posted 31 saves in the loss.


Final Score: Philadelphia 4, Columbus 2

Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek picked up two assists apiece and four different players registered goals, as Philadelphia doubled up Columbus, 4-2, on Saturday. Brayden Schenn, Mark Streit, Wayne Simmonds and Braydon Coburn tallied once each for the Flyers, who put a season-worst four-game losing streak to rest. Steve Mason earned his first win since Nov. 8 with 20 saves. Boone Jenner and Matt Calvert scored for the Blue Jackets, who have lost three in a row. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 33 shots in the setback.


Final Score: Buffalo 2, Washington 1

It’s been a tough week for the people of Buffalo, but the Sabres gave their fans something to cheer about from their snowbound homes on Saturday with a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Torrey Mitchell scored the winning goal in the third period for the Sabres, who had not played since Tuesday when a lake-effect storm dumped more than five feet of snow on the western New York region. Buffalo’s scheduled game Friday against the New York Rangers was postponed in the aftermath. Matt Moulson also scored for the Sabres, while Jhonas Enroth made 43 saves in a brilliant effort. Buffalo has won three straight games for the first time since late February. Matt Niskanen scored the lone goal for Washington, which had won its last two games. Braden Holtby made 24 saves in defeat.


Final Score: Nashville 3, Florida 2 (SO)

Filip Forsberg scored in the fourth round of the shootout to prevent an epic collapse from the Nashville Predators, who pulled out a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. The Predators held a comfortable 2-0 lead before Florida scored twice in the final minute of regulation, with Nick Bjugstad forcing overtime with 30.3 seconds left in the third period. Rocco Grimaldi potted his first career NHL goal just 12 seconds earlier for the Panthers, who received an outstanding 48-save effort from Roberto Luongo that helped Florida steal a point. Colin Wilson and Matt Cullen both scored in Nashville’s sixth victory in its last eight outings, with Pekka Rinne stopping 28 shots.


Final Score: Dallas 5, Los Angeles 4

Jamie Benn led the way with two goals and one assist, and Dallas survived a late challenge from Los Angeles to claim a 5-4 victory at American Airlines Center. Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg totaled a score and helper each for the Stars, who almost blew an early four-goal lead but held on to record back-to-back home wins for the first time all season. Jason Demers also tallied, while Cody Eakin added a pair of assists to back 37 saves from Kari Lehtonen. Justin Williams netted a pair of goals with Kyle Clifford and Jarret Stoll contributing two assists each for the Kings, whose three-game win streak came to an end. Jonathan Quick allowed five goals on only 23 shots in the loss.


Final Score: Colorado 4, Carolina 3

Zach Redmond’s second goal of the game came with 1:35 to play as the Colorado Avalanche grabbed a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist and Erik Johnson also scored for the Avalanche, who have won three of four. Reto Berra was pulled less than 17 minutes into the start after giving up three goals on 10 shots. Calvin Pickard turned aside all 17 shots he faced in relief to pick up the first win of his career. Nathan Gerbe, Andrej Nestrasil and John-Michael Liles all scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost five of six.


Final Score: Calgary 5, New Jersey 4 (SO)

Jiri Hudler scored the first of two Calgary goals with the netminder pulled in the closing minutes to help forge a tie, then netted the winner in a shootout to lift the Calgary Flames to an improbable 5-4 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at the Saddledome. Hudler scored with 2:22 remaining to pull the Flames within one and Curtis Glencross tied it with just five seconds to play in regulation. After the overtime period could not solve things and each team scored once in the first three rounds of the shootout, Hudler snapped a wrister past Scott Clemmensen and Travis Zajac’s response glanced off the glove of Karri Ramo to end it. Ramo finished with 25 saves for the Flames, who finished 4-1-0 on a five-game homestand. Glencross netted two goals and Josh Jooris also scored in the victory. Clemmensen gave Cory Schneider a night off for the first time this season and made 33 saves in defeat. Adam Henrique notched a goal and an assist, while Mike Cammalleri scored in his return to Calgary. Cammalleri, who also had a goal in the shootout, played the past 2 1/2 seasons with the Flames before signing as a free agent in July. Schneider had started each of New Jersey’s first 20 games, something even the great Martin Brodeur did not accomplish during his long tenure with the Devils. But, coming off a shutout of Edmonton on Friday night, Devils coach Pete DeBoer finally gave his top netminder a breather.


Final Score: Chicago 7, Edmonton 1

Jonathan Toews scored twice and Marian Hossa added a goal and three assists as the Chicago Blackhawks crushed the Edmonton Oilers, 7-1. Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg each had a goal and an assist, while Duncan Keith and Marcus Kruger each scored a goal for the Blackhawks, who have won three straight and five of six. Corey Crawford stopped 24 shots in the win. David Perron scored the only goal of the game for the Oilers, who have lost six straight. Ben Scrivens was tagged for five goals on 13 shots in a little over one period of action, while Viktor Fasth stopped 15-of-17 shots in relief.


Final Score: Arizona 4, San Jose 3 (SO)

Antoine Vermette scored the lone goal of the shootout to lift the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Vermette, Arizona’s third shooter, skated up the middle and wristed a shot off the left goal post and off the back of Antti Niemi for the win. Shane Doan finished with a goal and an assist, David Schlemko and Vermette also scored and Mikkel Boedker supplied two helpers for the Coyotes, who ended a two-game skid. Devan Dubnyk made 40 saves and stopped San Jose’s three attempts in the shootout to improve his record to 5-0-1 on the season. Joe Pavelski, Andrew Desjardins and Tommy Wingels all lit the lamp for the Sharks, who received 22 saves from Niemi.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Woods picks Chris Como as new swing coach

Tiger Woods tweeted on Saturday that he has chosen Chris Como to be his new swing coach.

“Happy to have Chris Como consulting and working with me on my swing. I’m excited to be back competing,“ Woods tweeted around noon ET Saturday.

Woods, who is coming off an injury-plagued season, parted ways with his old coach Sean Foley in August after Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship. Foley had worked with Woods for about four years.

Como is a 36-year-old Texas native who was named one of the “best young teachers” by Golf Digest in 2013.

Woods is expected to make his return to golf on December 04 at the Hero World Challenge, which is Woods’ tournament. Woods played in just eight events last season due to back surgery and he has not competed since the PGA Championship in August.



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Rosberg wins pole, Hamilton qualifies 2nd for Abu Dhabi GP

Nico Rosberg won his 11th pole position in Formula One this season after topping his Mercedes teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton in Saturday’s qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Rosberg beat Hamilton for the pole with a lap in 1 minute, 40.480 seconds, which was 0.386 seconds quicker than Hamilton’s lap. It was the third consecutive pole win for Rosberg and the 12th time this year that Mercedes has started 1-2 in a grand prix.

Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi GP at Yas Marina Circuit will determine the F1 world championship between Hamilton and Rosberg. They are the only drivers who remain eligible for the title. Hamilton enters this 55-lap race with a 17- point lead over Rosberg, who won the most recent grand prix in Brazil two weeks ago. The Abu Dhabi GP will award double the amount of points, with the winner collecting 50, second place receiving 36 and third place 30.

Therefore, if Hamilton finishes no worse than second in this race, he will claim his second world championship, regardless if Rosberg wins the event.

If Rosberg wins and Hamilton finishes third or lower, then Rosberg will clinch his first F1 title.

“It was a great day again today, for sure, and I’m thankful to the (Mercedes team) engineers, because they did a good job with the car, and I was really happy with the setup,“ said Rosberg, who scored his 15th career F1 pole, including his first in the Abu Dhabi GP. “It all worked out well, and I got a good lap together in the end. I’m pleased with that.

“But of course, it’s only one step, a very small step, because this weekend is about the championship, not about pole position or anything.“

Hamilton posted the quickest lap in the opening and second qualifying rounds. In Q3, he had to abort his first lap when he locked up his brakes and nearly went off course. Hamilton’s last lap in Q3 was clocked in 1:40.866. He led the way in Friday’s two practice sessions, while Rosberg was fastest in final practice, held shortly before qualifying.

“I generally didn’t have the best of laps, but it was still a really good qualifying session, and I enjoyed it,“ Hamilton said. “The car was fantastic. Tomorrow will be a special day.“

Valtteri Bottas qualified third with a lap in 1:41.025, while his Williams teammate, Felipe Massa, took the fourth spot.

Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, the four-time world champion, placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in qualifying. This will be Vettel’s last race with Red Bull before he moves over to Ferrari for the 2015 season, replacing Fernando Alonso.

Daniel Kvyat from Toro Rosso qualified seventh, followed by McLaren’s Jenson Button. Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Alonso completed the top-10.

This could be Button’s last race in F1, as it is widely rumored that Alonso will replace him at McLaren for next season. Button, the 2009 world champion, has been competing in F1 since 2000.

The Gilmer Free Press


References
ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
DSS - DIRECTV
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014


National Football League
Cleveland at Atlanta, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (705)
Cincinnati at Houston, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (707)
Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (708)
Tennessee at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM - CBS, DSS (709)
Tampa Bay at Chicago, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (710)
Green Bay at Minnesota, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (711)
Detroit at New England, 1:00 PM - FOX, DSS (712)
St. Louis at San Diego, 4:05 PM - FOX, DSS (713)
Arizona at Seattle, 4:05 PM - FOX, DSS (714)
Washington at San Francisco, 4:25 PM - FOX, DSS (715)
Miami at Denver, 4:25 PM - CBS, DSS (716)
Dallas at NY Giants, 8:30 PM - NBC


National Basketball Association
LA Clippers at Memphis, 6:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, SportSouth, DSS
Portland at Boston, 6:00 PM - CSN-Northwest, New England, DSS
Charlotte at Miami, 6:00 PM - SportSouth, SunSports, DSS
Golden State at Oklahoma City, 7:00 PM - CSN-Bay, FS-Oklahoma, NBA TV, DSS
Denver at LA Lakers, 9:30 PM - Altitude, Time Warner, DSS


National Hockey League
St. Louis at Winnipeg, 4:30 PM - TVA, FS-Midwest, TSN3, DSS
Montreal at NY Rangers, 7:00 PM - RDS, MSG, NHL Network, DSS
Arizona at Anaheim, 8:00 PM - FS-Arizona, West, DSS
Chicago at Vancouver, 9:30 PM - CSN-Chicago, SNET-Pacific, DSS


Canadian Football League - Playoffs
Montreal at Hamilton, 1:00 PM - TSN, ESPN
Edmonton at Calgary, 4:30 PM - TSN, ESPN3.com


College Basketball
Puerto Rico Tip-Off, 11:30 AM - ESPN3.com
Massachusetts vs. Florida State, 12:00 PM - ESPN U
Charleston Classic, 1:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Texas A&M-CC at Saint Louis, 2:00 PM - FS-Midwest
Puerto Rico Tip-Off, 2:00 PM - ESPN U
Providence vs. Notre Dame, 2:30 PM - ESPN 2
Northwestern State at Oklahoma, 3:00 PM - FS-Oklahoma
Catawba at Radford, 3:00 PM - Big South Network
Charleston Classic, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Newman at Wichita State, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
NC Central at Creighton, 4:00 PM - FS1
South Florida at NC State, 4:00 PM - ESPN U
Nicholls College at Holy Cross, 4:05 PM - Patriot League Network
Puerto Rico Tip-Off, 4:30 PM - ESPN 2
Eastern Illinois at Cincinnati, 5:00 PM - FS-Ohio, ESPN3.com, DSS
FAU at Georgia, 5:00 PM - FSN, DSS
Presbyterian at Louisiana Tech, 5:00 PM - American Sports Net, MASN
St. Francis-NY at Rutgers, 5:00 PM - Big Ten Network+
Massachusetts Lowell at Fordham, 6:00 PM - SNY
Montana State at Kentucky, 6:00 PM - SEC Network
Paradise Jam, 6:00 PM - CBSSN
USC Upstate at UCF, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Puerto Rico Tip-Off, 6:30 PM - ESPN 2
Charleston Classic, 6:30 PM - ESPN U
Sacred Heart at Ohio State, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Tennessee State at Vanderbilt, 7:00 PM - FSN, DSS
Mercer at Colorado State, 8:00 PM - Mountain West Network
Northern Arizona at Ole Miss, 8:00 PM - SEC Network
Pacific vs. Washington, 8:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Hall of Fame Tip-Off, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
UC Irvine at St. Mary’s (CA), 9:00 PM - Comcast
Charleston Classic, 9:00 PM - ESPN 2
Paradise Jam, 9:00 PM - CBSSN
Long Beach State at UCLA, 10:00 PM - Pac-12 Network


Women’s College Basketball
Creighton at Connecticut, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com, SNY, DSS
Georgia at Georgia Tech, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
San Diego State at South Carolina, 2:00 PM - SEC Network+
Toledo at Purdue, 2:00 PM - Big Ten Network+
Northwestern State at Arkansas, 3:00 PM - SEC Network+
Western Kentucky at Miss State, 3:00 PM - CBSSN
IPFW at USC Upstate, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Georgetown at Kansas, 3:00 PM - Jayhawk TV, DSS
Middle Tennessee at Ole Miss, 4:00 PM - SEC Network+
Texas at UCLA, 4:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Ave Maria at Florida Gulf Coast, 5:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Chicago State at Oakland, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
North Carolina at Oregon, 6:00 PM - Pac-12 Network


College Football
FCS Selection Show, 11:00 AM - ESPN U


Major League Soccer - Playoffs
New England at New York, 1:30 PM - NBC
Seattle at Los Angeles, 5:00 PM - ESPN


International Soccer
Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool, 8:00 AM - CNBC
SSC Napoli vs. Cagliari Calcio, 8:55 AM - beIN Sport
Hull vs. Tottenham, 10:55 AM - NBCSN
Levante UD vs. Valencia CF, 10:55 AM - beIN Sport
AC Milan vs. FC Internazionale Milano, 2:40 PM - beIN Sport


Golf
EUROPEAN - DP World Championship, 2:30 AM - Golf Channel
LPGA - CME Group Tour Championship, 1:30 PM - Golf Channel


Tennis
Davis Cup - Switzerland vs. France, 7:00 AM - Tennis Channel
Davis Cup - Switzerland vs. France, 10:00 AM - Tennis Channel


Auto Racing
FORMULA ONE - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, 7:30 AM - NBCSN

Click Below for More Sports...

Page 406 of 413 pages « First  <  404 405 406 407 408 >  Last »




The Gilmer Free Press

Copyright MMVIII-MMXVIII The Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved