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The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

►    Glenville State vs. Urbana – Game 4

The Glenville State Pioneers return home this weekend Saturday, September 27, 2014 to I.L. & Sue Morris Stadium to take on Mountain East Conference foe Urbana University.

Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM.

Last week the Pioneers fell on the road to Fairmont State University, 36-40.

FSU scored the first 24 points in the game, but a Lee 52-yard touchdown run and a Drake 14-yard TD reception cut the Pioneer deficit to 24-14 at the break.

The Falcons then got a touchdown and a safety to start the third quarter to make it 33-14 before GSC mounted a rally.

The Pioneers would eventually cut the lead to 40-36 with 3:29 to go after Dante Roberts scored from four yards out, and would get the ball back at their own 45.

However, a false start penalty and a sack by FSU’s Trevor Malnick derailed the Pioneers comeback and Fairmont State held on for the win. 

The Pioneers racked up 544 total yards of offense on 71 plays while the GSC defense allowed Fairmont State a total of 435 yards.

Penalties killed the Pioneers as they racked up 15 penalties for 145 yards.

Rahmann Lee had another fabulous day as he rushed for 220 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.

With Lee’s great day he now has over 3,000 rushing yards in his Pioneer career and is third All-Time in Career Rushing Yards.

Lee is fourth in Rushing Yards with 3,212, third in Rushing Yards per Game with 128.5, and second in All Purpose Yards per Game with 157.12 in NCAA Division II.

Urbana comes into the matchup after falling to 11th ranked Shepherd, 42-7.

Urbana only had 212 yards of total offense in the game.

The Blue Knights also committed 10 penalties for a whopping 115 yards.

Last year the Pioneers fell to Urbana on the road, 9-12.

The Pioneers defense held quarterback D.J. Mendenhall, who was the MEC Offensive Player of the Year, to his lowest passing total of the year (176 yards).

However the Urbana defense held Rahmann Lee to just 70 yards rushing.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Lewis County (3-1) at Lincoln County (0-4)

Lewis County bounced back a loss to Bridgeport by smothering Fairmont Senior’s offense in a 23-7 victory last week.

The Minutemen even scored on defense as corner Ryan Watson had an interception return for a touchdown.

The Lewis County offense produced some long scoring drives including one of 65 yards. Another 12 play drive led to an early field goal.

Winless Lincoln County has been outscored 173-34 so far. These teams met in Weston last year with Lewis County winning 59-0.

►  Philip Barbour (0-4) at Tucker County (1-3)

The Colts have to shore things up defensively as they’ve allowed an average of 35 points per game.  Opponents have scored 40 or more twice, including last week as Liberty won 42-12 at Philippi.

Tucker County has lost two in a row but is in the midst of a stretch of four consecutive home games.

►  Notre Dame (1-2) at River View (1-3)

Notre Dame earned its first win in come from behind fashion on the road at Bishop Donahue last week.

The Irish rallied from a 23-14 late third quarter deficit to win 30-29 in overtime.

The Irish defense stopped the Bishops on a two point conversion attempt in overtime to seal the victory.

Notre Dame running back Santino Cava put the final touches on breaking the Harrison County rushing record, finishing with 236 yards and four touchdowns — that brings his career rushing total to 4,283 yards with the Irish.

Riverview has lost three in a row.

Two of the losses have come against solid Class A opponents Buffalo and Man.

►  Robert C. Byrd (2-2) at Grafton (3-1)

he Eagles will try and snap a two game losing streak as they play on the road for the third consecutive week.

RCB has dropped back to back road games to Frankfort and Bridgeport teams that are a combined 7-1.

Grafton suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of Weir despite 355 yards rushing and 375 yards of total offense.

Three turnovers hurt the Bearcats in that loss.

►  Buckhannon-Upshur (2-1) at Oak Hill (0-3)

The Buccaneers take some momentum on the road as they’ve won back to back home games by a combined score of 83-7.

Last week in a 40-7 win over North Marion, Buckhannon rushed for 262 yards and over eight yards per carry.

The Bucs are over the .500 mark three games into the season for the first time in nearly ten seasons.

These teams are meeting for the second consecutive season.

Oak Hill won 23-10 at Buckhannon last season.

►  East Fairmont (1-3) at Bridgeport (3-1)

East Fairmont got its first win of the season beating Lincoln 31-21 last week.

Myles Johnson had a pair of long receptions to set up the go-ahead touchdown for the Bees.

Johnson then sealed the game with an interception return for a score.

Bridgeport won for the fifth straight time over rival RCB last week.

The Indians scored 31 unanswered after the Eagles jumped out to a 7-0 lead.

The Bridgeport defense has allowed just 35 points in four games.

That defense allowed just 26 yards in the second half against RCB.

Bridgeport has won the last five meetings in the series by an average score of 48-10.

►  Liberty (3-1) at Weir (3-1)

Liberty is on the road for the fourth time in five weeks.

The Mountaineers won at Philip Barbour 42-12 last week. Liberty put that game away early as Logan Robey had three first half scores.

Liberty will try and continue that success on the ground against a Weir team that allowed Grafton to rush for 355 yards last week.

Weir will be playing a representative from the North-Central region for the second week in a row.

Weir gained 548 yards in a 47-32 shootout win at Grafton last week.

William Larch is the name to know when facing Weir.

Larch had 360 total yards and five touchdowns in the win at Grafton.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Holgorsen: Last Year’s Kansas Loss ‘Makes Me Want to Puke

Given two weeks to prepare for West Virginia’s next game against Kansas on October 4, coach Dana Holgorsen will have extra time to re-absorb last season’s 31-19 upset loss to the Jayhawks.

“Miserable performance,” he said. “I’ve been watching it for two straight days and it makes me want to puke.”

Considering the game ended a 27-game Big 12 losing streak for Kansas and severed West Virginia’s bowl hopes, Holgorsen predicts the rematch will motivate his players through the bye week?

“Oh boy, I’d hope so.”

After losing 45-33 to Oklahoma on Saturday night, West Virginia (2-2, 0-1) has dropped four straight Big 12 games. Kansas (2-1) opens league play this week against Texas.

Trickett hurried throws against Sooners: While passing for 376 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-33 loss to Oklahoma, Clint Trickett also tossed two interceptions and made several errant throws. Holgorsen called it Trickett’s worse game of the season, and said the quarterback was harder on himself than coaches were.

“When he’s looking at two of the best pass rushers in college football, it’s probably going to affect him,” Holgorsen said. “The first time he dropped back he got sacked. That affects you a little bit.

“He didn’t play bad by no means. He rushed everything because he knew that clock was ticking.”

Bell leaves team: Fifth-year senior cornerback Travis Bell, after missing practice last week and sitting out Saturday’s game against Oklahoma, has given up football.

“Travis is retired, simply put,” Holgorsen said. “We wish him well.”

Bell appeared in 39 games and made 10 starts, nine of those last year. He also was arrested for domestic battery and DUI during his junior year, leading to a suspension last spring.

Special teams under scrutiny: Holgorsen cited Oklahoma’s 100-yard return as a rare lapse for West Virginia’s kick-coverage unit.

“On that one specific play … we had guys stuck on blocks, we had guys out of their lanes, and we had the safety guys out of position,” he said. “Why did they do it? I don’t know.

“One play doesn’t make the difference in a game. It did however suck the momentum out of everybody.”

The preceding week, of course, it was the punt-coverage unit victimized at Maryland on a 69-yard touchdown.

Holgorsen has effusively praised special teams coach Joe DeForest, a friend he hired away from Oklahoma State before the 2012 season. The head coach on Tuesday emphasized some of the specialists who are performing well, such as Josh Lambert’s making 7-of-10 field goals and Nick O’Toole repeatedly pinning teams inside the 20.

“Unfortunately the two glaring (coverage) mistakes affected the game,” Holgorsen said. “Those other teams have good players and they coach special teams as hard as we do. It’s called competition.”

Daryl Worley update: The cornerback remains suspended “while we continue to gather facts that are out there,” Holgorsen said.

Worley was arrested last week on a misdemeanor battery charge that stemmed from a September 14 nightclub incident in which video showed him grabbing a female patron by the throat. Attorneys claim Worley was defending his girlfriend in the altercation.

Structured bye week: Along with devoting developmental reps to backups, Holgorsen said the starters need to maintain momentum through the bye week.

“You can never relax,” he said. “There are some guys on the injury report who want to relax for a few days, but if you do that you’re not going to improve.”  ~~  Alan Taylor ~~

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Big 12 Showdown Pits Red Raiders against Cowboys

A pair of 2-1 teams kick off Big 12 Conference play on Thursday night, as the Texas Tech Red Raiders pay a visit to the 24th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Kliff Kingsbury’s Red Raiders began the season with a pair of narrow victories over Central Arkansas (42-35) and UTEP (30-26), but then dropped a double- digit decision at home to Arkansas (49-28). Texas Tech had a bye last weekend to regroup and game plan for the start of conference play, but late last week defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt resigned due to personal reasons.

“I have submitted my resignation to Coach Kingsbury effective immediately because I want the best for the Red Raider program, and this will allow them to go in a different direction on defense,“ Wallerstedt said. “I love our players and this school and have only their best interest in my heart and mind. I wish Coach Kingsbury every success this season.“

Outside linebackers coach Mike Smith takes over as defensive coordinator on an interim basis.

Oklahoma State had the unenviable task of taking on defending national champion Florida State in the season opener, and while the Cowboys put forth a valiant effort, they came up short in a 37-31 final. Since then however, coach Mike Gundy’s group has posted a pair of double-digit wins over Missouri State (40-23) and Texas-San Antonio (43-13). The Pokes also enjoyed a bye last week.

This is the third of four straight home games for OSU, which won’t play its next road tilt until visiting Kansas on October 11.

The all-time series between these two teams leans in favor of the Red Raiders, 21-17-3, but the Cowboys have won five straight and six of the last seven meetings overall. Texas Tech hasn’t won in Stillwater since 2001.

Plenty of offensive fireworks are to be expected when these two teams meet. In fact, at least 72 points have been scored in five of the last seven matchups. Both teams possess potent passing attacks, with the Cowboys averaging 264 ypg and the Red Raiders 327.3 ypg through the air.

Davis Webb is set to be the next great Texas Tech gunslinger, as he has completed 64.8% of his passes for 982 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions this season. Jakeem Grant is the team’s top receiver with 20 catches for 283 yards and a score, while Brad Marquez has brought in five TD receptions as part of his 18-grab, 251-yard effort. As for the Red Raiders’ rushing attack, DeAndre Washington and Justin Stockton combine to average more than 130 ypg, with three TDs between them.

Webb threw for 252 yards and three TDs, adding a rushing score, in the loss to Arkansas two weeks ago, while Grant finished with six catches for 85 yards and a TD. Three turnovers (two INTs by Webb) and the fact that the Red Raiders held the ball for only 19:21 played a significant role in the disappointing outcome.

Defense is the Red Raiders’ Achilles’ heel, as the team is being battered to the tune of 36.7 points and 432.7 yards per contest. They have been particularly inept trying to stop the run, as foes average just shy of 300 rushing yards per game while scoring 13 TDs. Their effort against the pass however, has been rock solid (135.0 ypg, one TD).

Arkansas rolled up 438 yards on the ground, averaging better than six yards per carry, and scoring seven TDs on the day. Sure the Razorbacks tallied only 61 passing yards, but they didn’t need to air the ball out when they were as successful as they were hammering the line of scrimmage.

A dozen guys have made at least 11 tackles this season, but a glaring lack of impact plays (three sacks, two forced turnovers) has hurt the unit. Couple that with the fact the opponents have had very little trouble reaching the next level on just about every run play and it’s not all that surprising that Wallerstedt resigned.

Pete Robertson led Tech with 10 tackles against the Hogs, and while the team pounced on a pair of fumbles, it did not record a sack and made only two stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Daxx Garman threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns, and Desmond Roland ran for 95 yards and two scores to power Oklahoma State to a 30-point win over UTSA the last time out.

Garman, who was making his first start since his junior year of high school some five years earlier, saw his second stint of extended action after throwing for 242 yards and two TDs against Missouri State in relief of injured starter J.W. Walsh.

Roland was solid in his return to the lineup after missing the previous game, as he averaged 4.5 ypc. Receivers Marcell Ateman and Jhajuan Seales combined for six catches and 145 yards.

Defensively, the Cowboys allowed only 11 first downs and 206 total yards to the Roadrunners. UTSA averaged a mere 3.2 yards per offensive play and was successful on only 3-of-17 third-down conversion attempts.

Jordan Sterns paced the Pokes with eight tackles, while Josh Furman was credited with two of the team’s three sacks. Ashton Lampkin finished off the scoring by returning an interception 50 yards for a TD as time ran out in the fourth quarter.

With regard to season averages, OSU is scoring 38 ppg while allowing 24.3 ppg, and it is outgaining the opposition by nearly 90 ypg. The Cowboys have come away with points on all 14 of their visits to the red zone, but only half of them have been touchdowns.

Neither quarterback has been all that efficient running Gundy’s offense, hitting less than 60% of their passes, but they haven’t made many mistakes (one INT). Garman has thrown for 559 yards, four TDs and no picks in his two games, and while no receiver has really stepped up to become the go-to guy, 12 players have caught at least one pass. The same can be said for the ground attack, as no one on the roster has more than 135 yards (Tyreek Hill). The trio of Rennie Childs, Roland and Walsh have combined for all seven of the team’s rushing scores.

Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich spoke after the UTSA game about the state of his unit as it gets set to embark on Big 12 play.

“I think we’re making plays. We need to be more consistent, but overall, there were a lot of positives,“ Yurcich said. “It’s really important to get the planning done so you can practice it a bunch of times and get extra reps at it. We’ll take a look at it. We like our productivity, but there’s a lot of room to improve as well.“

Oklahoma State’s strength on defense this season has been its play against the run (111.3 ypg, four TDs allowed). The Cowboys are yielding only 3.1 yards per rush, and they’ve permitting the opposition to move the chains on just 24% of their third-down tries (11-of-45). A lack of big plays has been an issue for the Pokes, as they’ve come up with only three takeaways, two on interceptions by Lampkin.

Ryan Simmons paces the unit with 21 tackles, 18 of which have been solo efforts, and Sterns is hot on his heels with 19 (16 unassisted).

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Vikings Place Cassel on IR

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel will miss the remainder of the season after being placed on injured reserve Wednesday because of a foot injury.

Cassel suffered fractured bones in his left foot during Sunday’s game against New Orleans. He was hurt while trying to scramble for a first down early in the second quarter of the 20-9 loss.

Rookie Teddy Bridgewater took over under center and was 12-of-20 passing for 150 yards in his first action. He is slated to make his first NFL start on Sunday against Atlanta.

Cassel, in his second season with the Vikings, completed 41-of-71 passes for 425 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions in three games.

The Vikings also placed guard Brandon Fusco on IR with a pectoral injury. He had started the first three games this season and all 34 games he has played for Minnesota since the 2012 campaign.

Minnesota also promoted tight end Chase Ford and offensive lineman Austin Wentworth from the practice squad to the active roster, and signed quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and tight end Ryan Otten to the practice squad.

►  Giants, Redskins Tangle to Avoid NFC East Cellar

The Washington Redskins and their interim starter at quarterback piled up 511 yards of offense last Sunday but they couldn’t muster one when it mattered most, losing a shootout to NFC East rival Philadelphia.

They’ll get another chance after a short week of preparation as the NFC East takes center stage on “Thursday Night Football” when the New York Giants renew their storied rivalry with the ‘Skins.

Each club is off to a somewhat disappointing 1-2 start in 2014 but New York comes in on a winning note, having secured its first win of the campaign with a 30-17 triumph over previously unbeaten Houston last Sunday.

Rashad Jennings piled up a career-best 176 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Giants in the win, while tight end Daniel Fells and wide receiver Victor Cruz each hauled in a TD pass from Eli Manning.

The Texans had entered the Week 3 clash with a plus-five turnover ratio en route to a mildly surprising 2-0 start, while the Giants were a league-worst minus-six in that category while dropping their first two tests.

However, New York came up with three interceptions of Ryan Fitzpatrick and got a mistake-free performance out of Manning to aid Jennings’ huge 34-carry effort.

Manning finished a sharp 21-of-28 for 234 yards with the two touchdowns in by far his best outing of the young season. Cruz also stepped up for New York, generating 107 yards on five catches.

“Nice to win, nice to do a lot of good things in the process,“ Giants head coach Tom Coughlin remarked. “A lot of guys played well.“

Washington, meanwhile, is fresh off a heartbreaking 37-34 setback to the Eagles in which Cousins, playing for the injured Robert Griffin III (dislocated ankle), passed for a career-high 427 yards and three touchdowns, including an 81-yard touchdown pass to ex-Philadelphia star DeSean Jackson.

Pierre Garcon had 138 receiving yards and a score on 11 catches, and Jackson also crossed the century barrier on five receptions.

“I think these guys are just competitors. No matter who’s at quarterback, they’re gonna battle,“ Cousins said.

The Redskins had a chance to win or at least tie the game in the waning moments after an uncharacteristically poor punt from the Eagles’ Donnie Jones, Cousins misfired badly on three consecutive throws, however, letting a wounded Eagles’ team, missing four of its five offensive line starters by the end of the game, escape.

Despite that first-year Redskins coach Jay Gruden was more than satisfied with his signal caller.

“(Cousins) was excellent,“ the mentor said. “I’m very proud of the way he played.“

This will be the 165th time Washington and Big Blue have locked up when you include the postseason with the Giants winning three of the past four in the series and holding a 95-65-4 all-time advantage.


The biggest issue in this game may be Washington’s health or lack thereof.

The Redskins left Philadelphia with a full MASH unit, most notably losing cornerback DeAngelo Hall (ruptured left Achilles) and safety Duke Ihenacho (broken left foot) for the season. Pass rusher Brian Orakpo (left middle finger), defensive lineman Jason Hatcher (hamstring) and guard Shawn Lauvao (right knee) are also ailing as Washington listed 17 players on its injury report at the beginning of the week.

“We’re losing guys left and right,“ Orakpo, who is expected to play Thursday, said. “Football’s a tough game.“

“Obviously this is a week that I would rather not have a Thursday night game,“ Gruden added.

One guy who will not be missing is defensive tackle Chris Baker, who destroyed Philadelphia QB Nick Foles with a devastating blindside block in Week 3 which set of a bench-clearing brawl in which Baker and Eagles left tackle Jason Peters were ejected. The NFL decided not to suspend Baker after determining that his hit was legal.

“Baker didn’t do anything wrong with that hit,“ Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, told the Washington Post. “When you look at the rule, he didn’t do anything illegal. People can say it’s a cheap shot and you can talk about whether it might fall under unsportsmanlike conduct. But when you know the rule and you look at the play, he didn’t hit him in the head. He didn’t hit him in the neck. We looked at it. I looked at it very closely.“

Offensively, the Redskins are second in the NFL, averaging 444.0 yards per game and Cousins’ numbers were gaudy against the Eagles with the third-year player completing 30-of-48 passes, including the big play to Jackson which saw the speedster high-step into the end zone in an effort to antagonize his old mates.

Heck, Cousins was 12-of-13 for 124 yards and two TDs before the Eagles offense and his old friend from East Lansing, Foles, had even taken a snap.

Cousins and Foles had once battled for the starting job in college at Michigan State, a gig Cousins won before Foles transferred to Arizona. That ledger is now even although Cousins tore apart the Eagles with quick timing routes and anticipatory throws, the kind of passing attack the injured RG3 is not all that adept at.

Philadelphia certainly helped by not jamming the receivers in an effort to disrupt rhythm, likely a testament to Jackson’s ability to pop the top on any defense at any time, something the Giants are intimately familiar with.

Jackson now has 16 career touchdowns (11 receiving, three punt-return and two rushing) against NFC East opponents, tied with Ahmad Bradshaw for the most by any player since he entered the league in 2008. Of those 16, seven (four receiving, two punt-return and one rushing) have come against the Giants, also the most by any player since 2008.

Cousins, a fourth-round draft pick in 2012, the same year RG3 arrived in D.C., has excelled at times as a fill-in in the past, especially when replacing Griffin in-game. Being the guy when teams are actually game planning for your skill set from week to week is a different animal, though.

“It’s different every week,“ Gruden admitted. “That’s the thing about being quarterback in this league is every defense poses different issues for you and it’s every week it’s something different—you’re going to see a different blitz, a different coverage and it is something you’ve got to continue to be flexible in your train of thought and your thinking and your approach to the game.“

Despite the loss last week and it’s implications in the NFC East, however, Cousins’ more traditional approach to the position seems to suit Gruden’s coaching style far better than Griffin. After all, Gruden rose to a head- coaching position in this league by developing Andy Dalton, a QB with similar skills as Cousins, while he was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati.

“We don’t expect him to go out and win the MVP or win a Super Bowl to prove he’s an upper-echelon quarterback right away, Gruden said. “We do expect him to produce and play within the offense and not make mistakes and do what he’s supposed to do—handle the protections and play the position.“

Conversely, the Giants are just happy their longtime starter at QB finally put together a decent performance and the obviously correlation is the running game led by Jennings.

You can’t expect the Jennings to pile up 176 every week but when he’s moving the chains that opens up play-action for Manning, who is most comfortable when pushing the football down the field, something he has been able to do in the past when playing at FedEx field.

“Keep running and keep pounding,“ Manning said when talking about his running game last week. “One point we ran the same play three times in a row.“

Heading into Thursday’s contest at Washington, Manning has won six of 10 regular-season starts against the Redskins at FedEx Field. In those 10 starts, Manning has 185 completions for 2,289 passing yards, the most of any active visiting player at FedEx Field since he entered the league in 2004. Meanwhile, Manning’s 10 touchdown passes on the road against Washington rank second among active players, trailing only Dallas quarterback Tony Romo with 12.


Ordinarily this is a spot in which you would take Washington but the Redskins are so banged up that New York should be in a prime position to steal one on a short week.

“I’m excited, it’s a benefit for our offense to play on Thursday night, because we’re going to go out there and we’re going to play up-tempo,“ Giants offensive tackle Justin Pugh said. “We’ve got to go out there and go down to a hostile environment and win a divisional game.“

Sports Network predicted outcome: Giants 24, Redskins 21

►  Texans Sign NT Pickett; Nix to IR

The Houston Texans have signed nose tackle Ryan Pickett after placing rookie defensive lineman Louis Nix on injured reserve.

Nix, a third-round pick out of Notre Dame, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee before training camp and hasn’t fully recovered. Texans coach Bill O’Brien said earlier this week that Nix still had “a ways to go.“

Pickett is entering his 14th NFL season. He spent his first five years with St. Louis, which made him a first-round pick in 2001, and played the past eight seasons in Green Bay.

The 34-year-old Ohio State product started all 16 games for the Packers last season and notched 19 tackles.

Houston also signed kicker Chris Boswell to the practice squad and released cornerback Marcus Williams from the practice squad.

►  Luck Leads AFC’s Top Players for Week 3

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget and Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker have been named the AFC Players of the Week for their efforts in Week 3.

Luck, the offensive player of the week, completed 31-of-39 passes for 370 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 140.4 passer rating in the Colts’ 44-17 win against Jacksonville. His four touchdown passes tied a career high and were the most among NFL players in Week 3.

The defensive player of the week, Liuget, had six tackles, one sack and a forced fumble in San Diego’s 22-10 win at Buffalo. In the fourth quarter, Liuget had a pair of game-deciding plays. With Buffalo lined up for a third- down play facing a 10-point deficit, Liuget sacked Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel, forcing a fumble that resulted in a 17-yard loss. He later pressured Manuel deep in Buffalo territory, which led to an intentional grounding in the end zone resulting in a safety.

Tucker, the special teams player of the week, connected on all three field goals, including the game-winner from 32 yards as time expired in the Ravens’ 23-21 win at Cleveland.

►  Falcons’ Ryan, Hester highlight NFC’s Best for Week 3

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and kick returner Devin Hester and Seattle Seahawks defensive back Kam Chancellor were named the NFC’s Players of the Week for Week 3.

The offensive player of the week, Ryan completed 21-of-24 passes for 286 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 155.9 passer rating in the Falcons’ 56-14 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

Ryan set franchise single-game records for highest completion%age (87.5) and passer rating (155.9).

Hester also had a record-setting night against the Bucs on his way to special team player of the week. Hester set an NFL record and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (19) with his 20th career return touchdown when he returned a punt 62 yards for a score.

Hester added a 20-yard touchdown run, a 25-yard catch and finished with 68 punt return yards and 29 kickoff return yards.

Chancellor, the defensive player of the week, had an interception, one forced fumble, two passes defensed and nine tackles in the Seahawks’ 26-20 overtime win over Denver.

Both of the turnovers that Chancellor caused led to Seahawks points in the Super Bowl rematch.

►  Jackson among Nine Redskins Listed as Questionable

The Washington Redskins have listed nine players as questionable for Thursday night’s game against the New York Giants.

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is among the most notable names on the list as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury. Jackson caught five passes for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles last Sunday.

Jackson was limited in practice this week. He played last week despite being listed as questionable.

Nose tackle Chris Baker (ankle/hip), defensive ends Jason Hatcher (hamstring), Frank Kearse (ankle) and Kedric Golston (groin), left guard Shawn Lauvao (knee), center Kory Lichtensteiger (groin/hip/ribs), cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) and safety Trenton Robinson (abdomen) are also questionable.

Tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) and linebacker Akeem Jordan have been ruled out.

►  Raiders WR Streater, S Branch Set for Surgery

Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch and wide receiver Rod Streater both need foot surgery, coach Dennis Allen announced Wednesday.

Both players suffered a fractured foot in last weekend’s game against the Patriots.

“There’s no timeline for either one of those guys,“ said Allen. “Both of them are going to need surgery. We’ll just monitor their situations individually and see what the recovery time is.“

Streater has nine catches for 84 yards and one touchdown in three games this season.

Branch has 29 tackles and one sack in three games this season. The veteran missed 14 games last year with a fractured fibula.

The Raiders are in London for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

►  Ravens LT Monroe to Have Knee Procedure

Baltimore Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe will have a minor surgical procedure on his knee.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced Wednesday that Monroe will take “some number of weeks” to heal from the surgery.

James Hurst is the next man up on the depth chart. It appears he’ll step in and be the starting left tackle this Sunday against the Panthers.

►  Cardinals sign DT Gaston

The Arizona Cardinals signed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston on Wednesday.

Gaston was on Miami’s practice squad. He spent the preseason with the Cardinals after signing with the team as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Purdue.

The Cardinals released Gaston in their final roster cut on August 30 and he was claimed off waivers by the Patriots. Gaston was then released by New England on September 3 and claimed by Miami, where he was inactive for the first two games of the season. He was released by Miami on September 20 and re-signed to their practice squad.

While at Purdue, Gaston set career highs with 48 tackles (31 solo), seven tackles for loss, and three sacks while playing in all 12 games as a senior in 2013.

To make room for Gaston, the Cardinals released running back Jalen Parmele.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Lakers Sign G Price

The Los Angeles Lakers signed veteran guard Ronnie Price on Wednesday.

Price averaged 2.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and a career-high 2.1 assists over 31 games with Orlando last season.

The 31-year-old owns career averages of 3.4 points, 1.5 assists and 1.1 rebounds across 425 games, spanning nine season with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix, Portland and Orlando.

The Gilmer Free Press


Final Score: Atlanta 6, Pittsburgh 2

Justin Upton smacked a two-run homer, Emilio Bonifacio singled in two runs and the Atlanta Braves showed some life with a 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. Andrew McCutchen’s home run provided the only offense for playoff-bound Pittsburgh, which remained 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central race with four to play. St. Louis lost to the Cubs on Wednesday. Atlanta broke out of its recent slump by knocking around Jeff Locke (7-6) for six runs on eight hits and five walks over the first four innings. The outburst provided Julio Teheran with some well deserved run support, and the right-hander even helped himself with a two-run single. Teheran (14-13) only lasted five innings but picked up the win after giving up two runs on six hits and three walks.

Final Score: Philadelphia 2, Miami 1

Kyle Kendrick tossed seven innings and had an RBI double among his three hits, as the Philadelphia Phillies edged the Miami Marlins 2-1 Wednesday night. Kendrick (10-13) allowed a run on six hits and walked one. Ken Giles pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon stranded a runner at second base in the ninth to earn his 38th save. Chris Hatcher (0-3) relieved Brad Hand and surrendered the go-ahead run in the eighth.

Final Score: Milwaukee 5, Cincinnati 0

Jean Segura posted two hits, two runs scored and two RBI, while Kyle Lohse recorded his second shutout of the season in Milwaukee’s 5-0 victory over Cincinnati in the middle test of a three-game series. Carlos Gomez hit a run-scoring double and Rickie Weeks drove in a run for the Brewers, who won for just the second time in their last seven to keep their slim postseason hopes alive. Lohse (13-9) struck out six and gave up just two hits over his 106-pitch performance, and also drove in a run. Jack Hannahan produced both hits for the Reds, who have lost seven of their last nine. Daniel Corcino (0-2) allowed two runs on four hits with four walks over 4 1/3 innings.

Final Score: Chicago 3, St. Louis 1

Jake Arrieta used his arm and his bat to carry the Cubs to a series win over the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday as Chicago pulled out a 3-1 victory. The Cubs took the final two meetings of this three-game set and finished the 100th year of baseball at Wrigley Field on a winning note. They also prevented St. Louis from extending its lead over the second-place Pirates, though the Cardinals’ magic number for a second-straight division title dipped to three following the Pirates’ loss to Atlanta. Arrieta (10-5) followed up a shutout of the Reds with a 10-strikeout effort in his final start of the year. He allowed just two hits and one unearned run and provided the only runs he needed with a two-run triple. John Lackey (3-3) surrendered five hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings and was done in by Arrieta’s gapper in the fourth.

Final Score: San Diego 4, Colorado 3

Tommy Medica hit a three-run homer and the San Diego Padres defeated the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game set. Joe Wieland (1-0) earned his first career win after allowing three runs on three hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings. Alexi Amarista knocked in a run for San Diego, which wrapped up its final homestand of the season by going 8-2. Yohan Flande (0-6) was given the loss, surrendering four runs on four hits over four innings. Michael Cuddyer and Corey Dickerson each went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Rockies, who have lost nine of its last 10 on the road.

Final Score: Los Angeles 9, San Francisco 1

Clayton Kershaw did it all in helping the Los Angeles Dodgers clinch the NL West crown on Wednesday night. The probable Cy Young Award winner and MVP candidate tossed eight innings, drove in a run with his first career triple and showed off his defensive skills as the Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 9-1. Kershaw gave up a run on eight hits and struck out 11 with no walks. He earned an MLB-best 21st win, tying his career high set in 2011. Yasiel Puig sparked a four-run sixth inning with a solo homer as Los Angeles captured its second straight division title. San Francisco’s Tim Hudson (9-13) was charged with three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. The Giants could have secured a playoff berth with a win,

Final Score: Minnesota 2, Arizona 1

Phil Hughes’ first season in Minnesota is going down in the record books. The veteran right-hander allowed just one run on five hits over eight innings, as the Twins defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-1, at Target Field. Hughes (16-10), who struck out five and didn’t walk a batter, finished the season with a 11.6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio to become the all-time single- season leader in that category. Danny Santana went 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Twins, who won two of three from the Diamondbacks to end a nine-game homestand with a 5-4 mark. David Peralta drove in the lone run for Arizona, which has dropped two straight and eight of nine.

New York at Washington, postponed

Wednesday’s game between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up Thursday as part of a split doubleheader, with the first game starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. The second game will start at 7:05. The Nationals will play consecutive doubleheaders as they seek to secure the best record in the National League and home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. Washington already had a doubleheader against the Marlins scheduled for Friday. 


Final Score: Baltimore 9, New York 5

Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty each knocked in two runs during a six-run fourth inning, sending the Baltimore Orioles to a 9-5 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday. Adam Jones and David Lough ended with two RBI apiece for the Orioles, who pounded out 15 hits. Nelson Cruz went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Baltimore starter Bud Norris (15-8) allowed three runs on five hits while striking out nine over six innings. The right-hander won his fourth straight decision and improved to 4-0 lifetime against the Yankees. Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew homered for the Yankees, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention. Shane Greene (5-4) gave up six runs on seven hits with three walks over 3 2/3 innings. Derek Jeter went 0-for-4 in the third game of the four- game series. There is a decent chance of rain for Thursday night when Jeter is scheduled to play at Yankee Stadium for the final time.

Final Score: Detroit 6, Chicago 1

Ian Kinsler collected two hits and drove in a pair of runs, while Justin Verlander tossed eight strong innings, as Detroit claimed a 6-1 decision over Chicago in the rubber match of a three-game series. Miguel Cabrera, Nick Castellanos, Andrew Romine and Rajai Davis finished with an RBI each for the Tigers, and gained a postseason berth with a Mariners loss and whose magic number to clinch the AL Central was reduced to three with four games left. They lead Kansas City by two games after the Royals lost in Cleveland. J.D. Martinez added three hits and a run scored. Verlander (15-12) gave up a run on seven hits with six strikeouts, then Joakim Soria tossed a perfect ninth to lock up the matinee and series victory. Conor Gillaspie posted two hits and Dayan Viciedo knocked in the lone run for the White Sox.

Final Score: Minnesota 2, Arizona 1

Phil Hughes’ first season in Minnesota is going down in the record books. The veteran right-hander allowed just one run on five hits over eight innings, as the Twins defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-1, at Target Field. Hughes (16-10), who struck out five and didn’t walk a batter, finished the season with a 11.6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio to become the all-time single- season leader in that category. He beat out Bret Saberhagen’s 20-year-old mark of 11-to-1. Hughes also became the first Twins pitcher to reach 16 victories since 2010, when Carl Pavano went 17-11. The former Yankee, Hughes, finished the year with 186 strikeouts and only 16 walks in a career-high 209 2/3 innings over 32 starts. Thanks to Mother Nature, he ended just one out shy of reaching a contract bonus that would have paid him an extra half million dollars. Needing one out in the ninth to reach the 210-inning mark, rain forced the game into a one- hour, six-minute delay in the middle of the eighth inning. When play resumed, Hughes was on the bench after tossing just 96 pitches. Jared Burton worked the final inning to record his third save of the season.

Final Score: LA Angels of Anaheim 5, Oakland 4

Howie Kendrick drove in three runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to a 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the rubber match of a three-game set on Wednesday. Kendrick finished with two hits and Albert Pujols drove in a run and scored for the Angels, who have won 10 of their last 11 road games. Hector Santiago (6-9) was solid over 5 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in his scoreless outing. Josh Reddick finished 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored for Oakland, which entered the game tied with Kansas City for the American League’s top wild card spot. Jon Lester (16-11) was tagged for five runs—three earned—on eight hits with seven strikeouts over seven frames in the loss.

Final Score: Toronto 1, Seattle 0

Ryan Goins hit an RBI bloop single in the eighth inning, Mark Buehrle worked into the ninth and reached 200 innings for the 14th straight season, and the Toronto Blue Jays held on for a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night. Baserunners were rare against Buehrle and Seattle starter Taijuan Walker, who combined to give up just seven hits and two walks. Buehrle stayed in for the ninth, but was lifted after giving up a leadoff hit to Chris Taylor. Pinch-runner James Jones was then picked off on a quick move to first base by Aaron Sanchez, who got two more quick outs to seal the win. Buehrle (13-10) struck out 10 batters, walked one and gave up three hits while reaching 202 innings for the season. The 35-year-old lefty has hit the mark in each of his 15 MLB seasons except the first, in 2000, when he pitched mostly out of the bullpen for the White Sox. It was only Buehrle’s second victory in his last 10 trips to the mound at the end of a season he started 10-1. The Blue Jays, who won the first two games of the series by a combined score of 24-6, will go for the sweep on Thursday.

Final Score: Boston 11, Tampa Bay 3

Xander Bogaerts drove in three runs to lead the Boston Red Sox to an 11-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. Daniel Nava hit a two-run double and Garin Cecchini homered for Boston, which bounced back from a 6-2 loss in Tuesday’s series opener. Anthony Ranaudo (4-3) allowed just two runs on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts over seven innings to earn the win. Wil Myers and Ben Zobrist each hit RBI doubles and Nick Franklin brought in a run for Tampa Bay, which had starter Jake Odorizzi (11-13) give up five runs on seven hits and three walks over three-plus frames.

Final Score: Cleveland 6, Kansas City 4

Gomes hit a three-run homer to help the Cleveland Indians keep their slim playoff hopes alive with a 6-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. Michael Brantley went 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana and David Murphy all had an RBI for the Indians, who would have been eliminated from playoff contention with a loss. Zach McAllister (4-7) earned the win for tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Trevor Bauer, who allowed four runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 frames. Brandon Finnegan (0-1) was charged with the loss in his first- career decision for Kansas City, which had its three-game winning streak snapped and now trails Detroit by two games in the AL Central.

Final Score: Texas 5, Houston 1

Lisalverto Bonilla became the first Texas Rangers pitcher to win his first three major-league starts in a 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday. Bonilla (3-0) threw six shutout innings and was part of a starting lineup featuring seven rookies that finished off a three-game sweep of the Astros. Rookies Ryan Rua and Rougned Odor homered for the Rangers, who improved to 11-1 in their last 12 games and to 12-6 since Tim Bogar took over as manager when Ron Washington resigned Sept. 5. Jonathan Villar homered for the Astros and former Ranger Scott Feldman (8-12) remained winless in his last four starts since throwing a shutout against his former team on Aug. 30. Bonilla had seven strikeouts and gave up four hits and two walks. Feldman, who is 0-2 in his last four outings, surrendered one run on Elvis Andrus’ double in the fifth inning. He also went six frames, striking out six, walking four and giving up four hits.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Jordan Staal Breaks Leg in Hurricanes’ Preseason Loss

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal broke a bone in his right leg during Tuesday’s 2-0 preseason loss to Buffalo.

Staal, 28, suffered the injury during the third period after getting hit into the boards by Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges. He was unable to put weight on his leg and had to be escorted off the ice by a trainer.

He will be further evaluated by team doctors in Raleigh on Thursday. A timetable for his return to the ice has yet to be determined.

Staal, who is entering his third season with the Hurricanes, tallied 15 goals and 25 assists in 82 games last season.

Since being selected second overall by Pittsburgh in 2006, the Ontario native has compiled 145 goals and 319 points in 561 regular-season games, adding 23 goals and 36 points in 73 postseason games. He helped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup title in the spring of 2009.
Carolina opens the regular season on October 10 against the New York Islanders.

►  Rangers’ Stepan Sidelined With Fractured Leg

New York Rangers center Derek Stepan suffered a fractured fibula during a workout on Wednesday.

The Rangers said via Twitter that he is being further examined and there is not yet a timetable for his recovery.

According to, Stepan was hurt during an on-ice conditioning test. He had been off the ice because of a foot contusion, which he apparently sustained when blocking a shot in a workout earlier this month.

Stepan scored 17 goals and set career highs with 40 assists and 57 points in 82 games last season. He has never missed a regular-season game in four years with the Rangers, and has compiled 73 goals with 124 assists for 197 points in 294 games.

The 24-year-old Minnesota native notched five goals and 15 points in 24 playoff games last spring, helping the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals. He missed just one game—Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Canadiens—after he suffered a broken jaw on a hit by Montreal’s Brandon Prust.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Stewart Cleared by Grand Jury in Ward Jr.‘s Death

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will not face charges for his role in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. during an accident in the August 09 sprint car race at a dirt track in Upstate New York.

A grand jury in Ontario County, New York began its deliberation on Tuesday and then revealed its findings on the following day. The Ontario County District Attorney’s Office announced on September 16 that a grand jury would determine if charges should be filed against Stewart for his involvement in the fatal accident.

Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said during a press conference on Wednesday that approximately two dozen people testified before the grand jury. These included a number of race car drivers, racetrack employees and volunteers, two accident reconstructionists, medical personnel and a number of police officers.

Tantillo noted the grand jury reviewed a number of photographs and video recordings as well as other documentary evidence.

“After listening to and questioning all of the witnesses and reviewing all of the evidence, the grand jury has determined that there is no basis to charge Tony Stewart with any crimes. His case was therefore ‘No-Billed’ by the grand jury,“ Tantillo said in his opening statement.

Tantillo also said a toxicology report indicated that Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time he was competing in the race. There was no toxicology work performed on Stewart.

“A certified drug recognition expert had interviewed (Stewart) on the night of the collision and determined that he found no basis to observe any alcohol consumption or impairment by drugs,“ Tantillo said.

Stewart, a three-time champion in NASCAR’s premier series, struck and killed 20-year-old Ward at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The incident occurred during a caution when Ward climbed out of his car and then walked down the dirt track, pointing his finger in the direction of Stewart and apparently yelling at him to express his displeasure. The right rear of Stewart’s car hit Ward and dragged him briefly across the track.

The caution came when Stewart and Ward made contact while battling for position, with Ward spinning out and hitting the wall.

Ward died from massive blunt trauma.

Following the announcement of the grand jury’s decision, Stewart released a statement, saying, “This has been the toughest and most emotional experience of my life, and it will stay with me forever. I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received and continue to receive.

“I respect everything the District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office did to thoroughly investigate this tragic accident. While the process was long and emotionally difficult, it allowed for all the facts of the accident to be identified and known.

“While much of the attention has been on me, it’s important to remember a young man lost his life. Kevin Ward Jr.‘s family and friends will always be in my thoughts and prayers.“

NASCAR also issued a statement on the decision.

“There are no winners in tragedy,“ NASCAR chief communications officer Brett Jewkes said in the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Kevin Ward Jr. family and Tony Stewart as they all cope with this tragic incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. This has been a difficult time for everyone involved, and we have respected the local authorities responsible for reviewing this case.“

The Ontario County Sheriff’s Department conducted a month-long investigation of the incident before handing its findings over to the district attorney on Sept 11. Among the evidence handed over to the district attorney were two videos of the accident—one which was seen by the public and the other being the racetrack’s own video.

“The videos actually did not demonstrate any aberrational driving by Tony Stewart until the point of impact with Kevin Ward, at which point his vehicle veered to the right up the track, as a result of the collision,“ Tantillo said. “Prior to that, his course was pretty straight.“

Stewart missed three Sprint Cup Series races—Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol—while he was in seclusion following the incident at Canandaigua. He returned to competition the last weekend in August at Atlanta. Stewart did not qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The series will be at Dover this weekend for the third race in the Chase.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Jockey Club Gold Cup Attracts Field of Young and Old

A top notch field of 12, including the top two 3-year-olds from the Travers, has been entered for Saturday’s $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

Part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” program, winning the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup guarantees a place for the winner in this November’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

With the recent retirements of Palace Malice and Will Take Charge, the leading older horse in the Gold Cup is Whitney Handicap winner Moreno. Trained by Eric Guillot, the 4-year-old gelding will start from post 11 with Junior Alvarado again riding.

Owned by Southern Equine Stable, Moreno notched just his second career stakes victory in the Whitney on August 2 at Saratoga and followed four weeks later with a second in the Woodward, a half-length behind Itsmyluckyday.

Moreno began this year with a third in the Charles Town Classic followed by a fourth in the Pimlico Special. At Belmont Park, he was 12th to Palace Malice in the Met Mile on June 7 and second behind Zivo in the Suburban Handicap on July 5.

“The (1 1/4-mile) Suburban was his best race, and he got beat by inches in the (2013) Travers,“ said Guillot. “Inner fractions make the race, and at 1 1/4 miles he’s allowed to set a slower pace. In the Suburban, if you look at the configuration of the starting gate, he had to be used up to get to the lead from post 11, and they still had to come get him in the last sixteenth.“

The gelding has three wins, seven seconds and three thirds in 21 lifetime starts for $1,829,940.

Travers champ V. E. Day faces older horses for the first time in the Gold Cup as will Belmont Stakes winner and Travers runner-up Tonalist.

V. E. Day, trained by Jimmy Jerkens for Magalen Bryant, will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post 10. The chestnut colt has won four straight races and his bankroll stands at $829,010.

Tonalist, owned by Robert S. Evans and trained by Christophe Clement, has drawn post 8 with Joel Rosario again in the saddle.

The colt has won three of six career starts, two at Belmont Park, for $1,202,000. Tonalist came into the Belmont Stakes off a four-length win in the Peter Pan Stakes on May 10 before his nose loss to V. E. Day in the Travers.

Here is the field for the Gold Cup in post position order: Micromanage, Luis Saez; Last Gunfighter, Joe Bravo; Wicked Strong, Rajiv Maragh; Zivo, Jose Lezcano; Prayer for Relief, John Velazquez; Long River; Cornelio Velasquez; Speak Logistics, Paco Lopez; Tonalist, Joel Rosario; Stephanoatsee, Jose Ortiz; V. E. Day, Javier Castellano; Moreno, Junior Alvarado and Big Cazanova, Irad Ortiz Jr.

►  Shared Belief Seeks Key Win in Awesome Again Stakes

Undefeated champion Shared Belief makes a final start before the Breeders’ Cup Classic in Saturday’s $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

The 1 1/8-mile stakes is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $5 million Classic at Santa Anita on November 1.

Unbeaten in six career starts, Shared Belief will face seven rivals on Saturday with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith again in the saddle. The 3-year-old gelding, co-owned and trained by Hall of Fame member Jerry Hollendorfer, will break from post 4.

This year, Shared Belief won the Los Alamitos Derby on July 5 and defeated older horses in Del Mar’s Pacific Classic on August 24, winning over dirt and synthetic surfaces.

“I think he’d run just as well on the grass,“ Smith said. “He’s a very athletic horse. Secretariat could run over the dirt and the grass. I’m certainly not going to compare Shared Belief to him, but he has the kind of ability that shows me he could run over anything, dirt or different synthetics.

“In fact, I bet you could put him on the grass and he’d just smoke around there. He’s just an extremely talented horse.“

As a 2-year-old in 2013, Shared Belief was perfect in four starts, including the Hollywood Prevue and CashCall Futurity, both at Hollywood Park. He comes into Saturday with earnings of $1,372,200.

Here is the field for the Awesome Again from the rail out: Fed Biz, Martin Garcia; Sky Kingdom, Victor Espinoza; Bird E House, Joe Talamo; Shared Belief, Mike Smith; Footbridge, Rafael Bejarano; Majestic Harbor, Tyler Baze; Mystery Train, Brice Blanc; and Imperative, Kent Desormeaux.

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►  Week 4 Edition: Three Buy-Low Options

It is truly amazing how quickly the NFL season moves.

We are already heading into Week 4, and as a result, players and teams are beginning to take shape. Saying that however, there are still a few anomalies up and down the fantasy football scoring leaders.

Allen Hurns ranks seventh amongst wide receivers in standard leagues with 36 total points, while Demaryius Thomas (21 total points) has three more points than Ricardo Lockette of the Seattle Seahawks. Thomas still holds extreme value, and may prove to be a tough buy-low candidate at this point of the season. However, there are some high quality trade targets out there, that fantasy owners need to pursue, before their value begins to soar.

Marques Colston, Wide Receiver:

This guy is a notoriously slow starter, and he has stayed true to form this season, with 17 total fantasy points (7 receptions, 135 yards, 1 touchdown). A season ago, through his first seven games, Colston produced 27 catches for 342 yards and only one score. Yet, during Colston’s next eight games to finish out the 2013 season (he played only 15 games), he produced at a much higher level (48 receptions, 601 yards, 4 touchdowns).

Right now, Colston holds no more than WR4 value, but the fact that he has Drew Brees throwing him the ball, combined with, that the Saints’ play their home games in a dome, makes for an attractive target to potentially trade bench players for. Colston has been one of Brees’ security blankets for many years, and as the season progresses and NFL teams want to figure out ways to win at all costs, clutch players trusts guys they are comfortable with. And that is how Brees feels about Colston.

Frank Gore, Running Back:

Last week I told fantasy owners to sit Frank Gore against the Arizona Cardinals. I hope everybody listened, as he had six carries for a dreadful 10 yards. Now, it is time to attempt to “buy low” on Gore.

This is Gore’s 10th NFL season, and he has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in seven of the previous nine seasons. The two years he failed to reach the 1,000-yard mark were his rookie year in 2005, when he played only 14 games, as well as 2010, when he played 11 games and still rushed for 853 yards. Yes, Gore is 31-years-old. However, he has showed no signs of decline, and should be able to continue to produce around his career numbers.

Not only has Gore been a consistent 1,000-yard runner, he has also scored at least eight total touchdowns (rushing and receiving) in six separate seasons. These numbers continue to show that Gore will improve upon his 139 rushing yards and one score, thus far in 2014.

Torrey Smith, Wide Receiver:

Smith is off to an abysmal start to his 2014 season. He has eight total fantasy points in standard leagues (8 receptions, 85 yards, 0 touchdowns), and has been drastically out performed by the “other” Smith on the Ravens, Steve Smith Sr. (34 total fantasy points). At 25-years-old, Torrey Smith owners should still expect big things, and owners who need to improve at the wide receiver position, should look to this guy for help.

With Dennis Pitta heading to the season-ending injured reserve, not only is Smith destined for more production, he is also in line for many more targets. Pitta had 21 targets through the first three games of the season, and while Owen Daniels is a suitable replacement for Pitta, he lacks the separation ability, at 31-years-old. Smith, who only has 19 targets through three games, will see that number rise.

Coming off a 2013 season in which he produced his first 1,000-yard campaign (1,128 total receiving yards), Smith will still have a great opportunity to exceed those numbers. He is a big-play threat that has failed to make a big play yet this season. Once he does, Smith should take off and turn into Baltimore’s number-one receiving threat.

The Gilmer Free Press


National Football League
NY Giants at Washington, 8:25 PM - CBS, NFL Network

Major League Baseball - National League
Milwaukee at Cincinnati, 12:35 PM - FS-Wisconsin, DSS, MLB Network
Philadelphia at Miami, 4:10 PM - CSN-Philadelphila, DSS
NY Mets at Washington, 7:05 PM - SNY, MASN2, DSS
Pittsburgh at Atlanta, 7:10 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, SportSouth, DSS
San Diego at San Francisco, 10:15 PM - FS-San Diego, CSN-Bay, DSS

American League
Seattle at Toronto, 4:07 PM - ROOT-Northwest, SNET1, DSS
Baltimore at NY Yankees, 7:05 PM - MASN, YES, DSS, MLB Network
Minnesota at Detroit, 7:08 PM - FS-North, Detroit, DSS, MLB Network
Tampa Bay at Boston, 7:10 PM - SunSports, NESN, DSS
Oakland at Texas, 8:05 PM - CSN-California, FS-Southwest, DSS
Kansas City at Chicago WSox, 8:10 PM - FS-Kansas City, CSN-Chicago, DSS

National Hockey League - Preseason
New Jersey at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - TCN-Philadelphia
Colorado at Montreal, 7:30 PM - RDS
Vancouver at Calgary, 9:00 PM - SN360
Anaheim at Los Angeles, 10:30 PM - FS-West, NHL Network

College Football
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern, 7:30 PM - ESPN U
Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 7:30 PM - ESPN
UCLA at Arizona State, 10:00 PM - FS1

International Soccer
SS Lazio vs. Udinese Calcio, 2:40 PM - beIN Sport

Click Below for More Sports...

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