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

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

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

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

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

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



The Gilmer Free Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

 



The Gilmer Free Press

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

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

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



The Gilmer Free Press

►  HEISMAN POWER RANKINGS: WEEK 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dropped Out: Taysom Hill, QB, BYU

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



The Gilmer Free Press

►  NFL SCORES Week 4

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

Final Score: Kansas City 41, New England 14

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


►  Redskins Sign Two DBs

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

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

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

He was released by the Vikings on August 08.

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

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


►  NFL hits Colts’ Landry with 4-Game Ban

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

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

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

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


►  Manuel Benched, Orton to Start for Bills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


►  Jets Cut WR Saunders, Sign Graham

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

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

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


►  Cowboys CB Claiborne Needs Surgery

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

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

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

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


►  Eagles Activate Johnson from Reserve/Suspension List

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

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

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

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


►  Raiders Fire Allen

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

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

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

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

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



The Gilmer Free Press

►  Suns Agree to Extensions with Morris twins

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

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

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

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

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

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


►  Celtics Ink Evan Turner

The Boston Celtics signed forward Evan Turner on Monday.

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

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

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


►  Blazers Pick Up Fourth-Year Option on Lillard

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

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

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


►  Spurs’ Splitter Has Strained Calf

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

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

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

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

--> Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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