Caleb Hanson played enough to give Monticello an early lead against Casey-Westfield and backup quarterback Braden Snyder and junior runningback Lucas Lieb took it from there as the Sages routed the Warriors 36-0 Friday night from Monticello High School.
Battling a sore shoulder from last week’s win at St. Jospeh-Ogden, Hanson’s 15 yard touchdown pass to Nathan Graham capped a seven play, 47 yard opening drive and Hanson’s night was done.
Snyder relieved Hanson and accounted for three touchdowns, two through the air and one on the ground and Lucas Lieb rumbled for a season high 131 yards on the ground with a touchdown on a wet Friday night.
Nathan Harman scored a touchdown and finished with 31 yards on five carries.
Graham hauled in two touchdowns and Isiah Florey had another touchdown.
Casey-Westfield drops to 1-6 on the season.
The Sages improve to 6-0 on the season and face 5-1 Champaign St. Thomas More next Friday night for Homecoming.
Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
In a game heard Friday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Sullivan Okaw Valley Redskins by a score 51-20. The Maroons were led by Senior Alec Cooley with 18 carries for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Cooley was named the Country Financial representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game. Senior Quarterback Noah Griffin was three of five passing for 106 yards and two touchdowns, he also had 18 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown. Senior Dalton Whitted had 11 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown. Junior Jacob Hospelhorn had a touchdown pass for the second game in a row of 54 yards.
The Redskins were led by Freshman Quarterback Luke Herlin who was 11 of 13 passing for 209 yds, two touchdowns, and one interception. Bryce Farris had three catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams are 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the Central Illinois Conference.
Tune in next week as the Maroons take on the Shelbyville Rams. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. Game time is set for 6:30pm with the broadcast beginning shortly before then.
>>Maroons On Road at Sullivan
After a tough loss to state ranked Decatur St. Teresa last Friday night, the Clinton Maroons look to move on as they hit the road to take on Sullivan.
Falling 62-13, the Maroons face three road games in the final four weeks of the season, needing three wins to give themselves a shot at the postseason.
Entering action at 2-3 tonight, the Maroons face a Sullivan squad that has given up more points than they've scored yet have a 3-2 record.
In the Central Illiois Conference, each team enters action at 1-2.
Sullivan beat Meridian 21-12 last Friday night.
Hear tonight's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Monticello Hosts Casey-Westfield
After getting through the toughest part of their schedule without blemish, the Monticello Sages return to Friday night action as they host Casey-Westfield.
The undefeated Sages are coming off back-to-back Saturday night wins against Tolono Unity and St. Joseph-Ogden.
At 5-0, Monticello welcomes in the 1-4 Warriors who are coming off a 50-20 loss to Lawrenceville last Friday night and have lost four straight after a 9-6 opening win over Paris.
Hear tonight's action at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Week six action across the area tonight:
Meridian at Shelbyville
Central A & M at Decatur St. Teresa
Tuscola at Warrensburg-Latham
Rantoul at St. Joseph-Ogden
Tolono Unity) at Champaign St. Thomas More
Bloomington at Normal West
Champaign Centennial at Danville
Peoria Manual vs. Peoria at Peoria Stadium
Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Richwoods
Urbana at Champaign Central
Central State Eight
Decatur Eisenhower at Chatham Glenwood
Lincoln at Jacksonville
Rochester at Decatur MacArthur)
Springfield at Springfield Lanphier
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Springfield Southeast
Chillicothe Illinois Valley Central at Bloomington Central Catholic
Prairie Central at Mahomet-Seymour
Normal U-High at Olympia
Heart of Illinois (Large)
El Paso.-Gridley at Tri-Valley
Eureka at Ridgeview
Fieldcrest at Dee-Mack
Heart of Illinois (Small)
Fisher at Heyworth
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Tremont
LeRoy at Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest)
Argenta-Oreana at Cerro Gordo-Bement
Decatur Lutheran at Arcola
Sangamon Valley at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast)
Oakland Tri-County at Martinsville
Palestine at Villa Grove-Heritage
Toledo Cumberland at Oblong
East Peoria at Canton
Metamora at Limestone
Morton at Pekin
Washington at Dunlap
Auburn at Riverton
Maroa-Forsyth at Athens
New Berlin at Williamsville
Petersburg PORTA at Pittsfield
Virden North Mac at Pleasant Plains
Non-conference action this week:
Dupo at Blue Ridge (Sat.)
Normal Community at Lincoln-Way West
>>Illini At Nebraska Saturday
The Illinois Fighting Illini hit the road following their bye week to take on Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers beat Northwestern in Evanston last Saturday 24-13 and enter play at 4-0.
Illinois has lost their last two after losses to North Carolina and Western Michigan at home.
Game time Saturday is 2:30 pm and can be seen on ESPN2.
>>Illinois State at North Dakota State
Following two straight tough losses, the Illinois State Redbirds don't get a break as they head to Fargo, ND to take on top ranked North Dakota State Saturday afternoon.
The Redbirds have lost tough games to Eastern Illinois at home and then Indiana State in Tarre Haute while the Bison are still riding the high of beating No. 13 Iowa in Iowa City two weeks ago.
Game time from the Fargodome is 1 pm.
>>Eastern Illinois Looks To Keep Rolling at SEMO
The Eastern Illinois Panthers will put their three game win streak and 13th national ranking on the line Saturday night when the Panthers head to Cape Girardeau, Missour and take on the Southest Missour Redhawks.
The Redhawks have struggled this year, starting their season at 1-3 and are coming off 17-16 win at Murray State.
Hear all Saturday's action starting at 5:30 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
The Chicago Bears (0-3) could use a burst of energy from rookie running back Jordan Howard, or anyone, for that matter. Chicago is one of only four teams without a victory, joining Cleveland, Jacksonville and New Orleans.
Then again, the Lions (1-2) have not fared much better. But whereas all three of Detroit's games have been decided by seven points or fewer, the Bears have been outscored by a whopping margin of 83-45.
The Bears have lost 11 of their past 12 home games dating to the end of the 2014 season.
A sprained thumb could force Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler to miss his second consecutive game Sunday. If Cutler is sidelined, as expected, veteran Brian Hoyer will try once again to breathe life into a quiet offense. The Bears rank third-to-last in the league with an average of 15 points per game.
Howard hopes to help as the primary option in the backfield. He has averaged 5.6 yards per carry in limited action (12 carries for 67 yards). He also has caught six passes for 56 yards.
In the Bears' passing game, Alshon Jeffery has averaged 19.4 yards per reception but still is searching for his first touchdown. Kevin White, Eddie Royal and Zach Miller also have notched double-digit receptions.
As the Bears' offense has struggled, so has the Lions' defense. Detroit has allowed 28.3 points per game, which is 27th in the league.
>>Cutler Back To Watching After Going Through Limited Practice
Although Chicago Bears coach John Fox is back at practice after a day away because of illness, his starting quarterback isn't participating.
Quarterback Jay Cutler had practiced Wednesday on a limited basis for the first time since suffering a thumb sprain Sept. 19, but did not practice on Thursday.
As a result, Brian Hoyer continues to run the offense.
The Bears (0-3) are also without their top two running backs and rookie Jordan Howard appears to be the starter for Sunday's home game against the Detroit Lions (1-2).
>>Molina's Double Lifts Cardinals Past Reds
A game with playoff implications turned on a missed call Thursday night when Yadier Molina got credit for a winning double with two outs in the ninth inning to beat the Reds 4-3.
Matt Carpenter drew a one-out walk from Blake Wood (6-5). With two outs, Molina's one-hop hit clearly bounced off a sign above the left-field wall and caromed back into play.
Carpenter kept running and scored from first. It should have been a ground-rule double, putting Carpenter on third. Instead, the Cardinals celebrated.
Reds manager Bryan Price ran after the umpires to argue. He said he was later told he had 10 seconds after Carpenter scored to appeal for a replay.
Cincinnati scored single runs in the eighth and ninth. Pinch hitter Scott Schebler had a two-out, two-strike infield single to make it 3-all.
St. Louis rookie Alex Reyes, in his fifth major league start, gave up one run on seven hits in a 99-pitch outing. He struck out six and walked two.
Reyes, who lowered his ERA to 1.57, also drove in the go-ahead run with a groundout.
Molina and Jedd Gyorko hit solo homers for the Cardinals.
Seung Hwan Oh (6-3) wound up with the win after blowing his third save in 21 tries this season.
The Cardinals are one game behind San Francisco for the second NL wild-card spot. Each team has three games left.
Carlos Martinez (15-9, 3.15) will oppose Pittsburgh RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 4.91) in the opener of a three-game set on Friday at Busch Stadium. Martinez is 3-5 with a 4.01 ERA lifetime against Pittsburgh. Glasnow will be making his fourth start of the season.
>>Cubs, Pirates Rained Out After Tie
The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates played to the first tie game in the major leagues since 2005 when rain forced the teams to stop in the sixth inning Thursday night with the score 1-all.
The Cubs and Pirates aren't scheduled to play again this season, and the game won't be made up because it doesn't affect postseason positioning. So instead of becoming a suspended game, the stats count and it was declared a tie - the first since Houston and Cincinnati went seven innings on June 30, 2005, before rain halted them.
Willson Contreras had two hits and scored for the NL Central champion Cubs, who have already clinched the best record in the majors. Josh Bell hit a sacrifice fly for the Pirates.
The game was called after a delay of 1 hour, 23 minutes.
>>Rays Top White Sox
Chris Archer overcame a shaky seventh inning to avoid becoming the majors' first 20-game loser since 2003 and lead the Tampa Bay Rays past the Chicago White Sox, 5-3 on Thursday night.
Archer (9-19) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings to help the Rays snap a six-game skid and leave Detroit's Mike Maroth as the only pitcher to lose 20 games this century.
Mikie Mahtook hit a solo homer in the fourth off Jose Quintana (13-12) and doubled and scored in a three-run seventh off Chicago's shaky bullpen.
Quintana allowed two runs and five hits over six innings for the White Sox, whose five-game winning streak ended despite Carlos Sanchez's two-out, two-run homer in the seventh.
Chicago clinched its fourth consecutive losing season under manager Robin Ventura, whose future with the team is uncertain.
Todd Frazier hit his 40th home run, Miguel Gonzalez waited out a rain delay to throw 8 1/3 dominant innings and the Chicago White Sox edged the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 on soggy Wednesday night.
Frazier set a career high and became the seventh White Sox player to reach the homer milestone when he connected off knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa (0-2) with two out in the seventh. Frazier is hitting .391 (18 for 46) during a 12-game hitting streak.
Gonzalez (5-7) returned after a 1 hour, 16-minute delay in the third inning and retired 18 of 19 before being lifted after Logan Forsythe's one-out single to left in the ninth. David Robertson got the final two outs for his 37th save in 44 tries.
The game was also delayed by 21 minutes before the start. It was 57 degrees at first pitch and rain came and went amid blustery conditions as a tiny crowd watched Chicago win its fifth straight. The game itself lasted only 2 hours, 10 minutes.
John Jaso hit for the cycle and drove in five runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.
Jaso tripled off Chicago reliever Pedro Strop in the seventh inning to clinch the first cycle in the history of PNC Park and the first for the Pirates since 2004. Jaso's final hit was a fly ball to center field. At first he hesitated rounding second base but went on and the throw from Albert Almora Jr. was up the third base line.
Jaso performed the feat in just four at-bats. The last Pirate to hit for the cycle was Daryle Ward on May 26, 2004, in St. Louis. The last Pirates' home cycle was by Jason Kendall on May 19, 2000, against the Cardinals at Three Rivers Stadium.
Against Chicago starter Jake Arrieta (18-8), Jaso singled in the second inning, hit a three-run home run in the fourth and doubled in the fifth. Arrieta went five innings and allowed 10 hits and seven runs, both season highs.
Pirates starter Jameson Taillon (5-4) allowed one hit and struck out four in six innings.
Chicago's Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer, his 32nd of the season.
Adam Duvall's two-run single was all Cincinnati needed as the Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on Wednesday night.
The Reds' third win in their last four games dealt a blow to the Cardinals' playoff hopes. St. Louis remained one game behind San Francisco for the NL's second wild card, with the New York Mets 1 1/2 games ahead of the Giants.
Iglesias earned his fifth save in six opportunities with two innings of relief, pitching in and out of jams in both.
Cardinals pinch-hitter Kolten Wong led off the ninth with a triple. But Iglesias got a shallow fly sandwiched between two ground outs to end the game.
Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani (9-5) allowed one runner in each of the first four innings, but only once during that span did the Cardinals have anyone in scoring position. He stranded five runners, including two in the sixth, his last inning. He allowed six hits and one run.
Cardinals starter Mike Leake (9-12) allowed five hits and two runs in five innings, striking out six.
Leake was lifted for pinch-hitter Matt Adams in the fifth and he grounded into a double play that scored Aledmys Diaz for the Cardinals' lone run.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny brought closer Seung Hwan Oh in with one out in the eighth inning. Oh struck out both batters to get the Cardinals out of a jam after Duvall tripled to lead off the inning.
Oh left the game with two outs in the ninth after being hit by a line drive from Jose Peraza.
Alex Reyes (4-1, 1.58 ERA) has earned a win in his last three appearances. He is 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three career appearances against Cincinnati.
The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a five-year contract extension with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, rewarding him for an overhaul that has the long-suffering franchise eyeing its first championship since 1908.
The agreement announced Wednesday crosses a big item off the Cubs' to-do list, considering he had an expiring contract.
The extension comes with the Cubs wrapping up one of the greatest seasons in franchise history and their attention clearly fixed on winning their first World Series in more than a century.
They reached 100 wins for the first time since 1935 and were a major league-leading 101-56 heading into Wednesday's game at Pittsburgh. Chicago clinched the best record in the majors with more than a week left in the regular season.
Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura won't say whether he's been offered the chance to return next season and backtracked from an earlier comment that he'd like to come back for a sixth season.
USA Today reported Wednesday the White Sox decided to retain Ventura, if he wants to stay. Citing an unnamed official, the report indicated that Ventura hasn't told the front office of his 2017 plans.
The 49-year-old Ventura told reporters last month that he did want to return. But when asked that question again before Wednesday's game against Tampa Bay, he said he'll "wait until the end of the year to discuss it."
General manager Rick Hahn declined an interview request and a team spokesman said he's not planning to talk to reporters until Monday, the day after the season ends.
Ventura is in the last year of his contract. He's 373-432 with no playoff appearances.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday after missing a game because of a sprained right thumb.
Cutler was injured against Philadelphia on Sept. 19 and sat out last week's 31-17 loss at Dallas. Veteran Brian Hoyer went 30 of 49 for 317 yards filling in against the Cowboys and would likely start again if Cutler is not available against Detroit this week.
The Bears (0-3) have battled a long line of injuries, and on top of that, coach John Fox missed practice because of a stomach illness on Wednesday.
>>Cardinals Blast Reds
Aledmys Diaz made a vow Monday to the family of childhood friend Jose Fernandez, the late Miami Marlins ace who died in a boating accident early Sunday.
''I told them that every single time I put on the uniform, I would be thinking of him,'' Diaz said. ''And that I would give 100 percent because that's how he played the game.''
Fernandez would have been proud of his longtime buddy on Tuesday night.
Back in the lineup after attending a private ceremony for Fernandez in Florida on Monday, Diaz hit his first career grand slam and the St. Louis Cardinals finished with five home runs in a 12-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
St. Louis remained one game behind San Francisco for the final NL playoff spot, and 1 1/2 games behind the New York Mets.
The Giants routed Colorado 12-3. The Mets, who lead the wild-card standings, won 12-1 at Miami.
Jhonny Peralta had a three-run homer and drove in four runs for the Cardinals, who had lost four of five. Matt Carpenter, Randal Grichuk and Matt Adams also homered.
Joey Votto and Scott Schebler went deep for the Reds, who beat St. Louis 15-2 on Monday.
Diaz slammed a 2-1 pitch from Cincinnati starter Robert Stephenson over the left-field wall. The 408-foot drive erased a 2-1 deficit and served as a wake-up call for the Cardinals, who grabbed their first lead since Saturday.
The Cuban-born Diaz pointed to the sky after he crossed home plate and fell into the arms of teammate Yadier Molina. Diaz had tears in his eyes as he came out of the dugout for a curtain call.
Stephenson (2-3) ended up allowing five runs in four innings.
Wainwright (13-9) gave up five runs and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings.
>>White Sox Beat Rays; Sale Wins 17th
Melky Cabrera and Leury Garcia homered to back Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox routed the sloppy Tampa Bay Rays 13-6 on Tuesday night.
Sale (17-9) allowed three runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings, retiring the last seven batters to match his career high in victories in Chicago's fourth straight win.
Cabrera belted a two-run homer in a three-run first inning and Garcia added a three-run shot in the third. Garcia also tripled when Mikie Mahtook misplayed his liner to center in a two-run second.
Rays starter Alex Cobb (1-2) lasted three innings, allowing eight runs and eight hits in the Rays' fifth straight loss.
Tim Anderson added three hits, including a solo homer in the eighth off Chase Whitley, the 204th allowed by Tampa Bay this season.
Ex-White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez had a two-run single in the second and Curt Casali led off the fourth with a homer for the Rays, who have scored 11 runs in five games.
>>Cubs Beat Pirates
Chris Coghlan hit a three-run triple and John Lackey worked in and out of trouble over five innings, helping the Chicago Cubs beat the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Coghlan's second-inning drive off the wall in right-center against Ryan Vogelsong (3-7) gave the NL Central champions all the offense they would need to win for the seventh time in their last eight games. Chicago improved to 101-56, the club's highest victory total since it won 104 games in 1910.
Dexter Fowler added an RBI double for Chicago. Lackey (11-8) worked around five hits and three walks to win his last regular season start.
Felix Pena recorded the final two outs for his first career save after Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run single off Justin Grimm to get the Pirates within two. Pena struck out Sean Rodriguez with the bases loaded to end it.
Vogelsong allowed four runs in five innings and fell to 0-3 with a 9.55 ERA in September.
The Chicago Bears have signed running back Joique Bell and placed cornerback Kyle Fuller on injured reserve.
The Bears also signed defensive lineman CJ Wilson and elevated linebacker John Timu to the active roster. They waived linebacker Jonathan Anderson and tight end Greg Scruggs on Tuesday.
Bell had 2,234 yards rushing and 1,640 receiving over 68 games with Philadelphia (2010), Indianapolis (2010) and Detroit (2012-15). Chicago was looking for help at running back due to injuries for Jeremy Langford (ankle) and Ka'Deem Carey (hamstring).
Wilson had 111 tackles for Green Bay (2010-13), Oakland (2014-15) and Detroit (2015).
Fuller, a first-round pick in 2014, has not played after having arthroscopic knee surgery in August.
Chicago (0-3) plays Detroit this week.
Chase Reynolds shot a 77 six-over par Tuesday afternoon at the Central Illinois Conference golf meet and was the day's medalist.
Having to go to a sudden death playoff, Reynolds beat Tuscola's Seth Icenogle at Fox Prairie Golf Course in Windsor.
With a team score of 393, the Maroons placed fifth at the CIC meet.
St. Teresa won the tournament as a team with a score of 346, followed by Sullivan's 354 and Tuscola's 367.
Clinton's Tanner Devore and Mac Hickman fired 103's and Wesley Conn shot a 110.
Clinton starts regional play next Tuesday at Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
Javier Baez hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs while major league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks pitched six scoreless innings as the Chicago Cubs won their 100th game of the season, routing the Pittsburgh Pirates 12-2 on Monday night.
Baez helped the National League Central-champion Cubs reach triple digits in victories for the first time since 1935. He hit his second career grand slam in the fourth inning to extend Chicago's lead to 5-0 and his two-run single capped a six-run sixth that made it 11-0.
Hendricks (16-8) dropped his ERA to 1.99 by scattering seven hits, striking out five and walking none. He has not allowed more than three runs in 22 consecutive starts.
Kris Bryant hit a two-run home run, his 39th, in the sixth to draw within one of NL leader Nolan Arenado of Colorado.
The Pirates saw their hopes of a fourth consecutive postseason appearance dim even further with their third straight loss. They entered the day 4 ½ games out of the second NL wild card with seven games to play.
Rookie Chad Kuhl (5-4) was rocked for five runs and eight hits in three innings as his string of nine consecutive starts of giving up three runs or less ended.
John Lackey (10-8, 3.39 ERA) will start Tuesday night. He is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA in four starts since missing three weeks because of a strained shoulder.
James Shields pitched six effective innings for his first win in two months, Justin Morneau and Carlos Sanchez each hit a two-run homer and the Chicago White Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-1 on Monday night.
Shields (6-18) allowed one run and seven hits, using six strikeouts to help wriggle out of several jams and help Chicago win its third straight.
The right-hander hadn't won since July 26, when he pitched scoreless ball into the eighth against the crosstown Cubs. Shields was 0-6 in his previous 10 starts and is 4-11 since a trade to Chicago from San Diego.
Morneau and Omar Narvaez each had two hits. Jose Abreu had two hits and an RBI.
Tampa Bay's Drew Smyly (7-12) allowed three runs and seven hits over five innings in losing for the first time since July 18 at Colorado.
lex Cobb (1-1, 6.16) faces White Sox ace lefty Chris Sale (16-9, 3.19) on Tuesday night. Sale will try to match his career high of 17 wins set in 2012, but he's just 2-7 since peaking at 14-2 after beating Houston on July 2.
Joey Votto and Adam Duvall hit three of Cincinnati's four homers as the Reds routed the St. Louis Cardinals 15-2 on Monday night.
Reds starter Tim Adleman (3-4) retired the first 10 Cardinals he faced and went a career-long seven innings. It was his first win since Aug. 19.
The Reds improved to 6-4 in their last 10 games against the Cardinals, who fell one game behind the idle San Francisco Giants for the second wild card spot with six games to go.
Duvall's three-run homer in the fifth gave him a career-high five RBI and it gave him 100 for the season. It was the third multi-homer game and his first four-hit game of his career.
Steve Selsky went 5-for-5 including a homer, four RBI and scored three runs. He's the first Reds rookie to have five hits in a game since Wade Rowdon against the Mets on July 9, 1986.
Votto and Duvall hit back-to-back homers in the first to start the offensive barrage. They combined for seven hits, six runs, three homers and six RBI.
The Reds sent 12 men to the plate in a seven-run fourth and 11 more in a four-run fifth.
Brandon Phillips had his 14th career four-hit game.
Jaime Garcia (10-13) lasted just one inning in his shortest outing of his career and possibly last as a Cardinal. Jose Peraza and Phillips singled against him and combined to steal three bases and almost a fourth, but Peraza was thrown out at third.
Adam Wainwright (12-9, 4.57 ERA) has given up four runs while failing to get out of the fifth inning in each of his last two starts. He is 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three starts this season against Cincinnati.
Robert Stephenson (2-2, 5.59 ERA) gave up four runs in 3 2/3 innings to the Cubs last Wednesday. It is his first career appearance against St. Louis.
Tevin Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints 45-32 on Monday night.
The Saints' depleted defense struggled to slow Devonte Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing.
Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1), which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers - 376 yards and three TDs passing - and hit tight end Coby Fleener seven times for 109 yards and a TD. But Brees' tipped pass that resulted in Jones' TD return early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.
The loss dropped the Saints (0-3) to last place.
As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, after a slow start in the first half, the Monticello Sages turned it on in the second quarter to score 16 straight points and not look back in routing St. Joseph-Ogden 44-22 in Okaw Valley football action Saturday night and remain undefeated.
The Sages trailed 16-8 in the second quarter but used touchdowns passes from Caleb Hanson to Isiah Florey to take a 24-16 lead into the second half.
St. Joe pulled within 24-22 in the third quarter but a failed two point conversion kept them from tying the game and Monticello went on to close things out with a 20-0 run capped by a Johnny Dawson interception returned for touchdown.
Hanson finished another efficient night going 15-for-20 with 263 yards and four touchdowns through the air. He also ran for a 28 yard score.
Nathan Graham had another great game for the Sages, finishing with six receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown. Isiah Florey recorded three receptions, all for touchdowns, and 59 yards.
Dawson finished with two interceptions and three receptions for 70 yards.
The Sages return home for Friday night action this week hosting Casey-Westfield.
Game time Friday is at 7 pm, hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Packers Hold On Against Detroit
Aaron Rodgers threw for 205 yards and four touchdowns, including two in the first half to Jordy Nelson, and the Packers snapped out of their offensive funk before holding off the Detroit Lions for a 34-27 win Sunday.
Rodgers was 15 of 24, leading the Packers to touchdowns on their first three series. Nelson had 101 yards on six catches, returning to the form that made him one of the NFL's best receivers before missing the 2015 season with a knee injury.
Marvin Jones' 35-yard touchdown catch with 3:34 left got Detroit (1-2) within seven. But Rodgers had a critical 11-yard run on third-and-8 from the Packers 27 with 3:22 left to effectively seal the win.
Jones had a career-high 205 yards on six receptions. Matthew Stafford passed for 385 yards and three scores with one interception for the Lions, who held advantages in total yardage (418-324) and time of possession, holding the ball for 35 minutes.
Eddie Lacy ran for 103 yards on 17 carries.
>>Cowbnoys Beat Bears
Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.
With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without injured quarterback Tony Romo over three seasons before the rookie fourth-round pick showed up.
Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia rookie Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals in NFL history.
Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.
Rookie fourth overall pick Ezekiel Elliott had his first 100-yard game for Dallas, finishing with 140 yards on 30 carries and a 14-yard run when he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski.
Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas' first home win since last year's opener, which was a week before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season.
Prescott had one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.
Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn't do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.
>>Eastern Rolls Austin Peay
As heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com Saturday afternoon, Austin Green passed for 263 yards and had three touchdowns, Devin Church and Christopher Anderson each rushed for more than 100 yards, and Eastern Illinois continued its recent dominance of Ohio Valley foe Austin Peay with a 56-35 win on Saturday.
Trailing 21-7 Tommy Hays' 3-yard run got Austin Peay (0-3, 0-2) within a score at 21-14 midway through the second, and Kyran Moore returned the second-half kickoff 98 yards to tie it at 21.
The Panthers (3-1, 1-0) answered with a nine-play, 81-yard drive capped with a 14-yard scoring run by Anderson to take a 28-21 lead. After an Austin Peay missed field goal, Green led another another long scoring drive - 13 plays, 80 yards - to take a 14-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
Three fourth-quarter TDs by the Panthers iced the game.
Jared Beard had 11 receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns for Austin Peay.
Eastern Illinois has won eight straight against the Governors.
>>Indiana State Knocks Off Illinois State
Isaac Harker passed for 237 yards and two touchdowns, Roland Genesy rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns, and Jonas Griffith's sack and forced fumble in the game's waning moments clinched a 34-31 Indiana State win over Illinois State on Saturday in the Missouri Valley opener for both teams.
With a chance to tie or take its first lead, Illinois State had second-and-3 in Sycamores territory, but Griffith knocked the ball loose from Jake Kolbe, and Kenyota Rollins recovered to ensure an Indiana State (3-1, 1-0) victory.
Kolbe passed for 258 yards and three TDs, including two in the fourth quarter, the latter capping a 70-yard Illinois State (2-2, 0-1) drive to narrow the score to 34-31 with 3:07 remaining.
Illinois State's previous attempt to tie or take the lead fell short when Kolbe was sacked on fourth down by Lonnell Brown Jr. and Norvell McGlaun. Genesy ran 43 yards on two plays to give the Sycamores a 34-24 lead.
>>Lester Leads Cubs Over Cardinals
David Ross homered and teamed with Jon Lester for another scoreless performance, and the Chicago Cubs hurt St. Louis' wild-card chances with 3-1 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday night.
Ben Zobrist had three hits and scored two runs as Chicago finished with a major league-best 57-24 home record. It's the most home wins for the Cubs since they went 58-19 at the West Side Grounds in 1910.
The Cardinals lost for the third time in four games, wasting a chance to improve their playoff positioning. They remain a half-game back of San Francisco for the second NL wild card.
Lester (19-4), one of the top candidates for the NL Cy Young Award, struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander allowed three hits and walked one while improving to 10-0 with 1.34 ERA in his last 13 starts.
Carlos Martinez (15-9) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.
Jaime Garcia (10-12, 4.59 ERA) faces Cincinnati RHP Tim Adleman (2-4, 4.06 ERA) on Monday night in the opener of a seven-game homestand. After four against the last-place Reds, the Cardinals finish the regular season with a three-game series against Pittsburgh.
Kyle Hendricks (15-8, 2.06 ERA) pitches for Chicago in the opener of a four-game series at Pittsburgh. RHP Chad Kuhl (5-3, 3.73 ERA) gets the ball for the Pirates on Monday night.
>>Rodon, White Sox Shut Out Indians
Carlos Rodon struck out a career-high 11 over eight dominant innings and the Chicago White Sox denied Cleveland any chance of winning the AL Central title by beating the Indians 3-0 on Sunday.
Rodon (8-10) blanked the Indians on just two singles and easily handled the division leaders who still haven't wrapped up a playoff spot and have gone flat at the worst time possible. Cleveland needed to win its regular-season finale at home and Detroit to lose to Kansas City for the Indians to clinch their first division championship since 2007.
Now, they will have to try and do it on the road against the Tigers, whom they've beaten 13 times in 15 games this season. The clubs open a four-game series Monday at Comerica Park.
It was a disappointing finish for the Indians at Progressive Field, where they went 50-27 and had 11 walk-off wins in a season of comebacks. Cleveland had three errors for the second straight game.
Carlos Sanchez had two RBIs off Josh Tomlin (12-9).
At a loss to explain his struggles since coming to Chicago in June, James Shields is 0-6 in his last 10 starts. The right-hander starts the series opener against Tampa Bay, the team he played for from 2006-12.
>>White Sox Minor League Pitcher Suspended For Positive Drug Test
Chicago White Sox pitcher Yojensy Arias has been suspended for 72 games under baseball's minor league drug program following a positive test for hydrochlorothiazide, a banned diuretic used to treat high blood pressure.
The 23-year-old left-hander had a 3.54 ERA in 10 relief appearances this year for the Dominican Summer League White Sox. He will serve the suspension at the start of next season.
Major League Baseball announced the discipline Friday. There have been 83 suspensions this year under the minor league drug program and 13 under the major league program.
>>Baseball Star Jose Fernandez Killed in Boating Accident
Jose Fernandez has died at age 24, the Marlins confirmed on Sunday morning.
Fernandez and two others were killed in an early-morning boating accident along the coast of Miami beach. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue reportedly received a call concerning a possible accident around 3 a.m. ET. Upon arrival, they found an overturned boat that had crashed into the rocks.
Three bodies were subsequently discovered -- Fernandez's and a pair of his friends, each male and aged in their mid-to-late-20s. There is no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved, per Florida Fish and Wildlife.
As a result of the tragic news, the Marlins canceled Sunday's game against the Braves.
Fernandez won the 2013 Rookie of the Year award by posting a 2.18 ERA over 172 innings. He made his first of two All-Star Game appearances that season as well, and finished third in Cy Young voting, behind Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright. That was his age-20 season.
This season marked a triumph for Fernandez, as he returned to a full workload after making 11 high-quality starts in 2015. He showed no rust. Fernandez entered the weekend with the best strikeout rate and most wins (16) of his career.
The Marlins will resume play tonight when they host the New York Mets. Fernandez was the scheduled starter for tonight's game.
LSU has fired coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Ross Dellenger of the Baton Rouge Advocate first reported the firings, which were confirmed by CBS Sports and then announced by LSU later Sunday evening.
Miles, who led the Tigers to three SEC West titles, two SEC championships and one national title, was in his 12th season with the program.
LSU also announced that defensive line coach Ed Orgeron has been named interim coach for the remainder of the season. It's a role Orgeron has served in previously at USC, where he led the Trojans to a 6-2 finish after replacing Lane Kiffin. Orgeron also spent three seasons coaching at Ole Miss from 2005-07; he went 10-25.
Rory McIlroy played the last 50 holes of the Tour Championship 15 under par with $11.5 million on the line and one of the few titles that has eluded him just outside his grasp. He holed out on the 16th hole for eagle, birdies No. 18, shoots a 30 on the back nine with the season at stake and takes down two Americans in a four-hole playoff, swiping a $10 million bonus check from another one.
Everybody did miss on Sunday at East Lake as McIlroy took home his first Tour Championship and FedEx Cup trophy with a 64 in his final round to get into that sudden death playoff with Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore. Johnson missed badly by shooting a 3-over 73 to put himself in a precarious position where either Chappell or Moore had to win the playoff for Johnson to win the FedEx Cup and a cool $10 million.
Chappell missed on the first playoff hole with a par after Moore and McIlroy made birdie.
After pumping one 357 yards off the tee, McIlroy had 211 to the pin. He thumped it in a way that once made Geoff Ogilvy say Rory was even more pure than Tiger himself.
Two straight pars were made by Moore and McIlroy after Chappell was eliminated and while Johnson held onto his kid in the clubhouse as he waited to learn his fate. Would he make $10 million for winning the FedEx Cup (if Moore won the Tour Championship playoff) or $3 million for finishing second (if McIlroy took it).
McIlroy blistered his drive on the fourth playoff hole, No. 16, which is where some two hours earlier his final kick had begun with a hole-out eagle from 137 yards away. His ball waved at Moore's on its way to the green.
Moore hit a broke second shot, chipped off the putting surface (badly) and left himself nearly 20 feet for par. He buried it because why not. That meant McIlroy would need to make his 15-footer for the win. For $11.5 million. He'd already missed a seven-footer and a 17-footer for that same amount.
A 15-footer would be the longest made putt for McIlroy on the week.
Then he did that thing we have seen so often from the most talented player in the world. He took the moment in his hands and shaped it into what he wanted you to remember. He owned it.
"It was incredible," McIlroy told NBC.
>>Arnold Palmer Dies Sunday At 87
Arnold Palmer has passed away at the age of 87.
He passed Sunday at a Pittsburgh hospital, three days after being admitted and one day before he was scheduled to have heart surgery, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Palmer won 62 times on the PGA Tour, capturing four Masters as part of the seven major championships he conquered over his illustrious career. He had been in declining health for a few years and even missed out on the ceremonial first tee shot at Augusta earlier in 2016.
Palmer is one of the greatests the sport has ever seen and will forever be adored by millions of sports fans.
He accomplished so much it is hard to even know where to begin. The best place to start might be the 1958 Masters where Palmer made birdie at the final hole to secure his first major championship. There was a much controversy in that year's tournament after Palmer played two balls on the 12th hole in the final round after his first one embedded.
The legend grew in 1960 when Palmer took the Masters and the U.S. Open. That was the year "Arnie's Army," his die-hard base of fans, was born. The most famous tournament Palmer ever played was that year's U.S. Open at Cherry Hills. It turned out to be a classic between him and an amateur who was unknown at the time. The golf world would soon get to know that amateur as well. You know him as Jack Nicklaus.
Palmer trailed by seven strokes going into the final 18 holes. Then he made magic with a 30 on the front and 65 overall to beat Nicklaus by two.
The Monticello Sages defeated St. Joseph Ogden 44-22 on Saturday night.
As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell Friday night to St. Teresa by a score of 62-13.
The Maroons were led tonight by Alec Cooley with 16 carries for 90 yards, and a touchdown.
Jacob Hospelhorn received the Stephen York Country Financial Player of the Game in tonight's game.
The Maroons go 2-3 over all, and 1-2 in the conference.
Maroons play on the road to Sullivan next week.
>>Maroons Host Decatur St. Teresa
Coming off a thrilling 35-26 victory over Central Illinois conference foe, Central A & M last Friday night, the Clinton Maroons return home to host Decatur St. Teresa tonight.
The Maroons return home 2-2 on the season while Decatur St. Teresa is undefeated and 4-0 for the year.
Game time tonight is 7 pm. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Monticello Set For Another Big Saturday Matchup
The Monticello Sages played nearly flawlessly in a thrilling 52-36 over Tolono Unity last Saturday night.
This week, the Sages have another Saturday night game at St. Joseph-Ogden, where they will put a 4-0 mark on the line.
The Spartans are coming off a tough 27-26 loss to Champaign St. Thomas More last Friday.
St. Joe is 2-2 on the season coming into Saturday's 7 pm showdown.
Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Week five high school football action:
Decatur St. Teresa at Clinton
Shelbyville at Warrensburg-Latham
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Meridian)
Tuscola at Central A & M
Normal West at Danville
Normal Community at Peoria Richwoods
Peoria at Bloomington
Peoria Manual at Champaign Centennial
Peoria Notre Dame at Urbana
Central State Eight
Chatham Glenwood at Springfield
Decatur MacArthur at Lincoln
Jacksonville at Rochester
Springfield Lanphier at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
Springfield Southeast at Decatur Eisenhower
Bloomington Central Catholic at Pontiac
Fairbury Prairie Central vs. Normal U-High at ISU Hancock Stadium
Mahomet-Seymour at Illinois Valley Central
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest)
Arcola at Cerro Gordo-Bement
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Argenta-Oreana
Sangamon Valley at Decatur Lutheran
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast)
Oblong at Oakland Tri-County
Toledo Cumberland at Palestine
Villa Grove-Heritage at Martinsville
Limestone at Washington
Canton at Metamora
Dunlap at Morton
Pekin at East Peoria
Champaign St. Thomas More at Rantoul
Auburn at Virden North Mac
Maroa-Forsyth at Petersburg PORTA
Pittsfield at Athens
Riverton at New Berlin
Williamsville at Pleasant Plains
Non-Conference action this week:
Champaign Central at Gary Roosevelt, IN (Sat.)
Downs Tri-Valley at Heyworth
Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland at El Paso-Gridley
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Eureka
Dee-Mack at Fisher
Macomb at Olympia
Fieldcrest at LeRoy
Tremont at Ridgeview
>>Illini Off This Week
After an embarassing 34-10 loss in Champaign to Western Michigan last Saturday afternoon, the Illinois Fighting Illini will seek to regroup and prepare for the Big Ten opener in a week.
The Illini hit the bye week 1-2.
Illinois opens Big Ten play next Saturday afternoon at Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers, coming off a thrilling 35-32 win over Oregon last Saturday open their Big Ten slate at Northwestern this Saturday.
>>Eastern Hosts Austin Peay Saturday on WHOW
It's Family Weekend in Charleston this week, and the Eastern Illinois Panthers will look to continue their recent momentum.
Off wins over Miami (OH) and fifth ranked Illinois State in back to back weeks, the Panthers host Austin Peay this Saturday at 1 pm.
Ranked 16th in the country coming into week 4, the Panthers are 2-1 on season while the Governors are 0-2.
Hear all the action starting at 12:30 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Illinois State At Indiana State Saturday
Coming off a disappointing 24-21 loss to in-state rival Eastern Illinois last Saturday in the Mid-America Classic, Illinois State (2-1) will look to rebound against Indiana State (2-1) in the Missouri Valley Football Conference opener for both squads Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Indiana State opened the season with a 41-25 victory over Butler at home on Sept. 3.
Down 24-13 with only 5:19 left to play, Indiana State chances at a win seemed unlikely last weekend against Southeast Missouri State. However, two touchdowns in the final five-plus minutes propelled the Sycamores to a 27-24 win on the road.
For his effort in the win over SEMO, sophomore quarterback Isaac Harker was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
>>Packers Host Lions Sunday
It's going to be a battle of big time quarterbacks at Lambeau Field Sunday as the Green Bay Packers host the Detroit Lions.
In years past, the quarterback edge has gone to Aaron Rodgers, but a slow finish last year and struggles early this year could give the edge to Matthew Stafford.
Through two weeks, Stafford has thrown for 600 yards, completed 67.1 percent of his passes and ranks ninth with a passer rating of 101.3. Compare that to Rodgers, who has thrown for 412 yards, completed 57.1 percent of his passes and ranks 22nd with a passer rating of 82.5.
Green Bay will attack a Detroit defense that has allowed 5.1 yards per carry and an opponent passer rating of 112.7. The linebacker corps has been gutted, with injuries to DeAndre Levy (quad) and Kyle Van Noy (calf) leaving only Tahir Whitehead among the starting trio from last week vs. Tennessee.
Calvin Johnson, still one of the premier receivers in the NFL, retired in the offseason and the Lions filled the void by signing Marvin Jones and veteran Anquan Boldin. Combined with Golden Tate, who has back-to-back seasons of 90-plus catches, the Lions have a talented three-receiver package.
>>Bears in Dallas For Sunday Night Football
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott celebrated his first career victory last Sunday with his teammates.
By the time the 23-year-old woke up the next morning, he was hungry for seconds.
That could be bad news for the Chicago Bears (0-2) as they prepare for a challenging road game on short rest. They will head south to face the Cowboys (1-1) in a prime-time matchup Sunday night.
Already, Prescott is making history as a replacement for injured starter Tony Romo. The 6-foot-2, 226-pound signal-caller from Mississippi State has thrown 75 passes without an interception in his first two NFL games. He broke the record held by Warren Moon, who started his career with 72 passes without an interception.
The Bears are riddled with injuries on both sides of the field, but no position hurts worse than quarterback. Eight-year veteran Brian Hoyer is expected to start against the Cowboys in place of Jay Cutler, who sprained his right thumb Monday and was forced to leave the game early because he could not grip the football.
Hoyer, 30, does not deliver nearly the same excitement level as Prescott provides in backing up Romo. However, the journeyman showed his competency Monday as he completed nine of 12 passes for 78 yards after replacing Cutler.
He has thrown for 38 touchdowns and 26 interceptions in his career, which also has included stops in New England, Arizona, Cleveland and Houston.
>>Bears Promote QB Barkley From Practice Squad
The Chicago Bears have promoted quarterback Matt Barkley to the active roster and placed linebacker Lamarr Houston on injured reserve.
Barkley, the former USC star, figures to back up Brian Hoyer at Dallas on Sunday night after starter Jay Cutler sprained his right thumb in Monday's loss to Philadelphia.
Although the Bears haven't said Cutler is out, Hoyer has been practicing with the first team.
Houston tore the ACL in his left knee against the Eagles.
The Bears also signed fullback Paul Lasike to the practice squad on Thursday after releasing him this week.
Jose Reyes connected off Philadelphia Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez, tying it 6-6 and forcing extra innings.
Asdrubal Cabrera then hit a three-run drive during an 11th-inning rally to lift the Mets to a dramatic 9-8 win over the Phillies that kept them tied atop the NL wild-card standings.
New York trailed 6-4 before pinch-hitter Brandon Nimmo singled off Gomez leading off the ninth and Reyes sent a changeup over the right-field wall with one out.
Philadelphia went ahead 8-6 in the 11th when A.J. Ellis hit an RBI single off Jeurys Familia and Jim Henderson (2-2) walked Maikel Franco with the bases loaded.
Pinch-hitter Michael Conforto walked against Edubray Ramos (1-3) with one out in the bottom half, Reyes singled and Cabrera, who has been playing with a strained left knee tendon, sent a slider soaring to right, setting off a wild celebration. The Mets had been 0-63 this year when trailing after eight innings.
New York stopped a three-game skid and remained tied with San Francisco for the NL wild-card spots.
Jeremy Hellickson (12-9) starts against the Mets for the fifth time this year on Friday. He has not allowed an earned run in his last 15 1/3 innings. RHP Gabriel Ynoa (1-0) will start in place of Steven Matz, who was scratched from his start Thursday.
The final PGA Tour event of the 2015-2016 season is apparently not the time for surprises. Dustin Johnson, who has owned the latter half of the PGA Tour season, shot a 66 in the first round of the Tour Championship and is tied with Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Chappell at 4 under atop the leaderboard after 18 holes of play at East Lake.
Johnson made five birdies and a bogey and was fifth in the field in putting on Day 1 of the year's finale. It's always going to be difficult to beat D.J. when he's fifth in any tournament in putting, much less a tournament with just 30 golfers.
He's really feeling it too. Coming off a win in the BMW Championship two weeks ago, he's right back to that familiar first-place slot on the leaderboard after the first round. A win here would be Johnson's fourth on the season and guarantee him the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award.
Jason Day (-3), Jordan Spieth (-2) and Rory McIlroy (-2) lurk in the top ten at East Lake. Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott are both one-under and Bubba Watson is two-over after the first round.
Only 30 golfers are invited to East Lake.
>>Cubs Sweep Reds
John Lackey pitched seven solid innings for his first win in six weeks and Miguel Montero drove in three runs, helping the Chicago Cubs sweep the Cincinnati Reds with a 9-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Kris Bryant hit his 38th homer and Dexter Fowler also connected as major league-leading Chicago moved a season-high 42 games over .500. The Cubs (97-55) also matched their win total from a year ago and lowered their magic number for clinching home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs to two over Washington.
Lackey (10-8) allowed two runs and five hits in his first win since he beat the Angels on Aug. 9. The right-hander, who retired his last 14 batters, went 0-1 with a 2.55 ERA in his previous four starts.
The last-place Reds lost for the seventh time in eight games. They managed just five runs and 19 hits in the three-game series against the NL Central champions.
Robert Stephenson (2-2) was pulled with two out in the fourth inning. The rookie was charged with four runs and eight hits and remains winless in four September starts.
Jake Arrieta (17-7, 2.96 ERA) faces St. Louis RHP Mike Leake (9-10, 4.54 ERA) on Friday afternoon. Maddon said he plans to play the weekend series ''straight up'' out of respect for the Cardinals' competition in the wild-card race.
>>Cardinals Stay In Three-Way Wild Card Tie After Loss To Rockies
Nolan Arenado hit a grand slam, German Marquez pitched five solid innings for his first major league win and the Rockies slowed the Cardinals' playoff chase with an 11-1 victory on Wednesday.
The Cardinals, who had won four straight, entered the day tied with New York and San Francisco atop the NL wild-card standings. The Mets and Giants both played later.
Arenado broke open the game in the second with his NL-leading 39th homer of the season. His fourth career slam made it 6-1.
Luke Weaver (1-4) was roughed up by the Rockies, surrendering seven hits and six runs in two innings. Before this game, the right-hander had allowed 12 earned runs in his last seven starts combined.
DJ LeMahieu got two hits and drove in two runs to raise his average to .351. He holds a slight lead over Washington's Daniel Murphy in the NL batting race.
After a day off, RHP Mike Leake (9-10, 4.54 ERA) opens a three-game series Friday in Chicago. RHP Jake Arrieta (17-7, 2.96) goes for the Cubs.
>>Phillies Get By White Sox
Tommy Joseph homered, doubled and drove in three runs and Jerad Eickhoff outpitched Chris Sale as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-3 Wednesday night.
Joseph now has 21 home runs, third most among rookies in the majors.
The Phillies teed off on Sale (16-9), tagging the ace for six runs and seven hits in four innings.
It was the second-shortest outing of the season for Sale, and it snapped his run of six consecutive starts of at least eight innings.
Eickhoff (11-13) pitched seven innings and gave up six hits, including three solo home runs, while striking out six.
Adam Eaton, Todd Frazier and Alex Avila homered for the White Sox.
Phillies outfielder Tyler Goeddel had to leave the game in the sixth after being hit in the head by reliever Chris Beck. Goeddel was the fourth Philadelphia player to be hit in the game, tying a franchise record.
Miguel Gonzalez (4-7, 3.83) faces Indians RHP Trevor Bauer (11-8, 4.24) in the opener of a three-game series in Cleveland on Friday night.
The 2016 season isn't over yet, but, if it were, there would be a three-team tie for the two wild-card spots in the National League. The Mets, Cardinals and Giants all came into Wednesday with identical 80-71 records. All three teams lost Wednesday night as well.
It goes without saying the odds of those three teams finishing the regular season with identical records is tiny, though MLB is prepared for such a scenario.
Two teams play a tiebreaker game and the winner is one wild-card team. The loser plays the third team and the winner of that game gets the other wild-card spot. In this scenario you want to be Club A because you get the home tiebreaker game and a loss would not automatically mean elimination.
The Club A, B and C designations are determined according to a long cookbook formula. First up is head-to-head records.
The Mets and Cardinals are 3-3 against each other and 4-3 against the Giants, so they're our Clubs 1 and 2. The Giants are Club 3.
Based on those intradivision records, the Cardinals are Club 1, the Mets are Club 2, and the Giants are Club 3. That does not mean the Cardinals are Club A for the tiebreaker scenario. It means the Cardinals get to pick whether they want to be Club A, B or C. Then the Mets get to pick. The Giants get whatever is left over.
Since Club A has the most favorable situation -- again, you get the home tiebreaker and a loss doesn't equal elimination -- it's safe to assume that the Cardinals would elect to be Club A. That leaves the Mets the choice of being Club B or Club C.
Club B gets two chances to win one game to claim a wild-card spot, but both games are on the road. That means travel and unfriendly environments and all that.
Club C plays one winner-take-all game for a wild-card spot. That game is at home and you get to play a tired team that just lost the first tiebreaker game and traveled from St. Louis.
So, after all of that, here are the tiebreaker games:
Game 1: Mets (Club B) at Cardinals (Club A), winner gets one wild card spot
Game 2: Loser of Game 1 at Giants (Club C), winner gets the other wild card spot
All of that only determines the two wild-card teams. So there's two tiebreaker games then the Wild Card game itself.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer is preparing as if he's the starter at quarterback in place of the injured Jay Cutler as the Chicago Bears get set to play in Dallas on Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
Hoyer played for the Houston Texans during a playoff run last season.
Cutler suffered a thumb sprain Monday night in a 29-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He hasn't officially been listed as out, but he is not practicing.
Wichita State guard Peyton Allen has left the program and withdrawn from school.
Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said in a statement Wednesday that the redshirt sophomore decided to leave for personal reasons. Marshall did not elaborate on the reason, though he did say it was unrelated to basketball or any off-the-court conduct or violation of team rules.
Allen transferred to Wichita State from Texas A&M last fall, and spent the season on the Shockers' practice squad while satisfying NCAA transfer rules.
The native of Springfield, Illinois, started eight games and played in 32 as a freshman for the Aggies, averaging 4.5 points in 14.1 minutes. He scored a career-high 16 points in a game against New Orleans, and also reached double-digits against Alabama and Missouri.
The final PGA Tour event of the 2015-16 season is upon us, and 30 golfers have made it to the Tour Championship at East Lake. We have a few favorites for who will win the FedEx Cup and $10 million bonus, but the fun thing about this tournament is that anything can happen. That was proved back in 2011 when Bill Haas took the tournament and the FedEx Cup from the 25th spot in the standings coming into the week.
The odds are lower for this tournament for the favorites than they normally would be because there are only 30 participants. It's an elite field. The only massive name that didn't make it to East Lake is Rickie Fowler who will presumably be preparing for his Ryder Cup appearance.
The Fed Ex Cup has Dustin Johnson's name written all over it. He's the No. 1-ranked golfer in the FedEx Cup standings going in and has played tremendously at this course in the past (more on that in a minute).
The second is whether there will be a shakeup in the last United States Ryder Cup captain's pick.
Captain Davis Love III warned prospective picks like Bubba Watson, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger (who all practiced with the Ryder Cup team Monday) about getting too caught up in what the others are doing.
In a game that had semifinal seeding implications, Canada did what just about everyone expected them to do by rolling over Europe 4-1. The win gave Canada first place in Group A and a date with either North America or Russia in the first semifinal.
Sidney Crosby got the scoring started just 4:01 into the game on a quick wraparound, while Jonathan Toews added a pair of goals. Marian Hossa scored for Europe, but they couldn't get much going otherwise.
On the shot chart, Canada held a 46-20 edge. Canada also controlled 64 percent of the shot attempts at even strength over the first two periods before easing off the gas pedal in the third period.
They also managed to get Corey Crawford, Claude Giroux and Jake Muzzin into the game, while resting Carey Price, Ryan Getzlaf and Shea Weber. No matter what lineup they put out, they're always going to have the superior team. Wednesday night was a good reminder of that.v
>>Lester, Rizzo Lead Cubs
Jon Lester overcame an injury scare to throw seven strong innings, Anthony Rizzo drove in three runs and the Chicago Cubs moved closer to securing the NL's best record with a 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Lester (18-4) extended his scoreless streak to 21 innings before Jose Peraza's RBI triple in the fifth. He allowed six hits, struck out five, walked none and added an RBI double. Lester stayed in after Joey Votto's comebacker in the sixth left him with a welt on the wrist of his glove hand.
Rizzo had a two-run single in a four-run fourth and a run-scoring single in the sixth to give him 104 RBIs. The Cubs' 96th win reduced their magic number to three over Washington for clinching home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs.
John Lackey (9-8, 3.42 ERA), contending with Jason Hammel for the final postseason rotation spot, starts the series finale Wednesday night against RHP Robert Stephenson (2-1, 4.97).
>>Cardinals Pound Rockies, Three-Way Tie For Wild Card
Although shaky on the hill, Adam Wainwright shined in the batter's box with a career-high four RBIs as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 10-5 on Tuesday night to move into a three-way tie for the two NL wild cards.
The free-swinging Wainwright lined a two-run double in the second inning and brought in two more with a bloop single in the fifth. Matt Adams and Jedd Gyorko homered for the Cardinals, now even with the Mets and Giants in the race for the final two NL playoff spots.
The 35-year-old Wainwright (12-9) didn't have his sharpest command, yielding solo homers to Daniel Descalso, Charlie Blackmon and Gerardo Parra. But the right-hander was sharp enough - especially his curveball - as he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Jorge De La Rosa (8-9) struggled through what could be his final start in a Rockies uniform. The winningest pitcher in team history allowed eight runs - seven earned - in 4 2/3 innings.
Adams had a solo homer in the second and Gyorko added a two-run shot in the fourth - a 452-foot no-doubter to center. Gyorko has 27 homers this season.
DJ LeMahieu's average remained at .349 after he went 1 for 3 with a double. He holds a slight lead over Washington's Daniel Murphy in the NL batting race. Murphy is hitting .347.
The Cardinals will send RHP Luke Weaver (1-3, 3.21 ERA) to the mound in the series finale Wednesday. The Rockies counter with righty German Marquez (0-0), who will make his first major league start after three relief appearances.
>>Herrera Leads Phillies Past White Sox
Odubel Herrera kept up his hitting surge with three hits and three RBIs, and the Philadelphia Phillies held off a late Chicago White Sox rally in a 7-6 win Tuesday night.
Tommy Joseph and Roman Quinn added two hits apiece and combined to drive in three runs for the Phillies. Herrera is 15 for 28 in his last seven games.
Melky Cabrera hit a three-run home run for the White Sox, who have lost four straight. Struggling veteran James Shields (5-18), winless since July 26, allowed six earned runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Trailing 7-3 in the ninth, the White Sox pulled within one on a two-out wild pitch and a two-run double from Adam Eaton. However, Michael Mariot came on and got Tim Anderson to ground out to short to end the game and pick up his first career save.
Jake Thompson (3-5) gave up three runs and four hits over five innings.
The Phillies and White Sox close their two-game series Wednesday with Chicago LHP Chris Sale (16-8, 3.03) opposing Philadelphia RHP Jerad Eickhoff (10-14, 3.74).
>>Cutler Could Be Out With Sprained Thumb
The struggling Chicago Bears might have to get by without quarterback Jay Cutler.
Coach John Fox said Cutler has a sprained right thumb that does not appear to require surgery and would not rule him out for this weekend's game against the Dallas Cowboys.
If he is not ready, Brian Hoyer will start.
Cutler topped a long list of players injured in Monday's loss to Philadelphia.
The defense was hit hard, with linebacker Danny Trevathan scheduled for surgery Wednesday morning on a sprained thumb.
Nose tackle Eddie Goldman (sprained ankle) left the field on a cart.
>>Bears LB Houston Out for Year
Chicago Bears linebacker Lamarr Houston will miss the rest of the season because of a torn ACL in his left knee.
Coach John Fox confirmed the injury to WBBM-AM 780 on Tuesday night.
Houston was one of a long line of Bears hurt in Monday's 29-14 loss to Philadelphia, along with quarterback Jay Cutler (sprained right thumb).
Houston clutched his knee and was tended to on the field after trying to rush the quarterback in the second quarter.
He tore the ACL in his right knee celebrating a late sack in a blowout loss at New England in October 2014.
Despite a hot start by Team USA, Tuesday night's matchup wasn't even close. Canada rolled to a 4-2 victory, ending Team USA's hopes of advancing to the semifinals.
The score line makes the game seem closer than it really was, but the Americans got off to a 1-0 lead thanks to Ryan McDonagh crashing the net and shoveling the puck over Carey Price. It was exactly what they needed to do in a game they weren't favored to win. It was pretty much everything after that, that went wrong.
The optimism lasted exactly one minute and 31 seconds before Matt Duchene tied the game. And then 14 seconds later, Corey Perry gave the Canadians a lead that they never gave up.
Before Team USA could even get out of the period, they committed a disastrous defensive zone turnover that left Duchene with an open look and he didn't miss.
Patrice Bergeron provided the dagger off of a tremendous John Tavares pass, making it 4-1 at that point in the second period.
A late goal for Team USA closed the gap, but it was too little, too late for a team that didn't look like it belonged on the same ice as its opponent for long stretches of that game.
LeRoy shot a team score of 172 to take first place by ten strokes at the Clinton Invitational.
The Maroons finished second with a team score of 182 and Tuscola shot a 183 to finish third.
Tuscola's Seth Icenogle was the day's medalist with a 34. Zach Johnson of Maroa-Forsyth shot a 38.
Chase Reynold of Clinton shot a 42. Mac Hickman and Tanner Devore carded 46s while Wesley Conn finished with a 48.
The invitational included Clinton, Heyworth, Tuscola, LeRoy, Decatur St. Teresa, Maroa-Forsyth, Mount Pulaski, Eureka, Midwest Central, Roanoke-Benson, Hartem-Delevan, Meridian and Tri-Valley.
Carson Wentz followed up an impressive NFL debut with another solid performance, throwing for 190 yards and a touchdown, and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Chicago Bears 29-14 on Monday night.
Wentz showed plenty of poise, just as he did in his debut against Cleveland. The No. 2 overall draft pick completed 21 of 34 passes without an interception despite absorbing several big hits.
Ryan Mathews ran for two scores, and the Eagles (2-0) scored a pair of touchdowns late in the third quarter to break open a two-point game.
While Philadelphia was pulling away, Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler walked to the locker room with a right hand injury and did not return.
That was the biggest blow for the Bears (0-2), who lost several players and fell again after opening with a loss at Houston. It's not the sort of start they envisioned in their second year under coach John Fox after finishing last in the NFC North. But they continued to struggle at home, where they were 1-7 a year ago.
Cutler, who completed 12 of 17 passes for 157 yards, walked to the locker room following an interception by Nigel Bradham late in the third quarter. Cutler was seen having his right hand examined on the sideline early in the third following a strip-sack by Destiny Vaeao.
Brian Hoyer took over for Cutler and was 9 of 12 for 78 yards.
>>LB Houston Leaves Game With Knee Injury
Chicago Bears linebacker Lamarr Houston has left Monday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles because of a knee injury.
Houston remained on the ground clutching his left knee after trying to rush the passer in the second quarter. He was tended to on the field by team medical personnel before walking gingerly toward the sideline.
Houston tore the ACL in his right knee celebrating a late sack in a blowout loss at New England in October 2014.
>>Fowler's Big Hit Sends Cubs Over Reds
Dexter Fowler hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 on Monday night.
Fowler's line drive into center field capped a three-run rally for the Cubs after they were shut down by Tim Adleman most of the night. It also made a winner of Jason Hammel (15-9), who pitched seven solid innings.
Jason Heyward added a two-run homer in the eighth as the Cubs moved seven games ahead of Washington for the best record in the National League, lowering their magic number for clinching home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs to five. That's the only major goal still out there during the regular season for major league-leading Chicago after it secured the NL Central title last week.
on Lester (17-4, 2.40 ERA) faces Reds RHP Josh Smith (3-1, 4.97) on Tuesday night. Lester is 8-0 with a 1.47 ERA in his last 11 starts. Smith is making his first start of the season.
>>Martinez Helps Cardinals Keep Pace in NL Wild Card
Martinez threw five effective innings despite struggling to take a deep breath in the thin air and added a two-run double, helping the St. Louis Cardinals gain ground in the NL playoff race with a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
Martinez, who turns 25 on Wednesday, gave himself an early birthday present by holding Colorado to two runs while striking out six. The right-hander is 9-1 on the road this season.
Martinez (15-8) helped his own cause with a two-out double as part of a three-run fourth. He also was hit just below the left leg by a fastball from Tyler Anderson (5-6) in the third - two pitches after Randal Grichuk lined a two-run homer.
Anderson allowed five runs - two earned - in seven solid innings. The rookie is 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 starts at Coors Field.
Arenado, a Gold Glove third baseman, made a costly throwing error in the fourth. Martinez followed with a two-run double - giving him six RBIs this season - and Matt Carpenter added a run-scoring single.
LeMahieu finished 2 for 4 to raise his average to .349 and take a slight lead over Washington's Daniel Murphy in the NL batting race. Murphy is hitting .348.
The Cardinals moved into a tie for the second wild card with the Giants, who blew a ninth-inning lead in Los Angeles and lost 2-1 to the Dodgers.
St. Louis and San Francisco are one game behind the New York Mets, who lost to Atlanta.
With 132 wins, RHP Adam Wainwright (11-9, 4.51 ERA) tries to move closer to tying Dizzy Dean (134) for sixth on the team's career list.
Jorge De La Rosa (8-8, 5.22) is 4-0 with a 4.01 ERA in four starts against St. Louis at Coors Field.
>>Ventura Goes Distance As Royals Down Sox
Yordano Ventura picked up his first complete-game victory, Kendrys Morales hit a three-run homer and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-3 Monday.
The Royals have won three straight, keeping their faint playoff hopes flickering with 12 games remaining. The Royals went 14-5 against the White Sox this year.
Ventura (11-11) gave up nine hits, struck out five and walked one. His only other complete game in the majors was a loss July 28 at Texas.
Ventura had allowed 10 runs, 17 hits and six walks in 11 1-3 innings in losing his previous two starts.
Morales homered off Carlos Rodon (7-10) in a four-run fifth. Morales homered in back-to-back games, bringing his total to 29. The last Royal to hit 30 home runs in a season was Jermaine Dye, with 33 in 2000.
James Shields, who is 0-5 with a 9.37 ERA in his past nine starts, will start Tuesday at Philadelphia. RHP Jake Thompson will start for the Phillies.
>>Cardinals Blank Giants
Alex Reyes pitched seven dominant innings in his third major league start, fellow rookie Aledmys Diaz hit a two-run homer and St. Louis moved up in the tight NL wild-card race by beating the San Francisco Giants 3-0 on Sunday.
Reyes gave up four hits, struck out six and walked two. The righty's fastball was consistently in the mid-to-upper 90s mph, and he also mixed in a slider
Seung Hwan Oh pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save.
Diaz hit his 16th homer in the third off Albert Suarez (3-4). The All-Star's shot followed Matt Carpenter's two-out double.
Suarez has allowed three runs or fewer in his first 11 career starts, but the rookie is winless in 10 outings (including six starts) since June 23.
The Giants appeared to still be reeling from another blown ninth-inning lead in Saturday's 3-2 loss.
The Giants dropped one game behind the New York Mets for the top NL wild-card spot. The Cardinals closed within one game of San Francisco.
St. Louis split this four-game series, winning the final two. The struggling Giants finished their homestand 2-5 and have won just one series at AT&T Park since the All-Star break.
Carlos Martinez (14-8, 3.15 ERA) pitches the series opener in Colorado. He is 4-1 with six quality starts in his last seven outings.
>>Duffy, Royals Get By White Sox
Kendrys Morales homered for his 1,000th career hit and drove in four runs, Danny Duffy pitched effectively into the eighth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 10-3 Sunday.
Duffy (12-2) picked up his first victory since Aug. 21. He struck out eight and gave up three runs.
Morales homered in the sixth with Paulo Orlando aboard. Orlando reached base four times - two doubles, a walk and hit by pitch - and scored three runs.
Morales contributed a RBI single in the first and doubled home Eric Hosmer in the fourth.
Hosmer drove in three runs, giving him a career-best 94 RBIs. Whit Merrifield had three hits and two RBIs.
Alex Gordon ended an 0-for-21 drought with his 16th home run, which splashed into the upper right-field fountain.
Todd Frazier hit his 37th homer, a White Sox record for a third baseman.
Jose Quintana (12-11) fell to 1-9 lifetime against the Royals.
Carlos Rodon, who is 5-1 with a 2.77 ERA in his past eight starts, will start the series finale.
>>Cubs Fall To Brewers
Major league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks allowed two runs in six innings and remained stuck on 15 victories as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 Sunday.
Tyler Thornburg struck out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo with two on in the ninth to earn his 11th save in 16 chances.
The NL Central champion Cubs have lost four of six and are trying to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs. They resumed playing their regulars after clinching the division Thursday.
Chris Carter homered and Martin Maldonado and pitcher Wily Peralta (7-10) added RBI singles for the Brewers, who took three of four games from the Cubs. Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun got a scheduled day off after hitting two home runs Saturday.
Hendricks (15-8), making his first start since losing a no-hit bid in the ninth inning at St. Louis, struck out nine and gave up six hits. His ERA rose from 2.03 to 2.06 as he lost for the first time since July 26 at the White Sox.
Jason Hammel (14-9, 3.60) is scheduled to start the opener of a three-game set against the visiting Reds, who are expected to start RHP Tim Adleman (2-4, 4.21).
Sam Bradford had a Minnesota debut almost as dazzling as the new $1.1 billion building itself, completing 22 of 31 passes for 286 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers to lead the Vikings to a 17-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night just 15 days after he arrived in a trade.
The defense did the rest, harassing Aaron Rodgers for five sacks and two fourth-quarter turnovers that quashed the comeback and sent the crowd of 66,813 into a deafening frenzy in celebration of the first regular season game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Adrian Peterson limped off in the third quarter with a right knee injury, and only 19 yards on 12 carries, but the Vikings (2-0) proved they still have a lot of options. Stefon Diggs caught nine passes for 182 yards and a touchdown. They held the Packers (1-1) to 65 total yards in the first half, withstanding an early touchdown pass by Rodgers to Jordy Nelson on a drive aided by two penalties by cornerback Terence Newman.
Trae Waynes, who had two penalties himself, intercepted Rodgers' pass in Vikings territory with 1:50 left to seal the victory. The previous drive was killed with a strip sack by Brian Robison, when Shamar Stephen recovered at the Minnesota 44 with 6:53 remaining.
Rodgers, who ran for 29 yards and a touchdown, began to find a groove throwing the ball down the stretch. He finished 12 for 21 for 154 yards in the second half, but Bradford was the better quarterback on this night.
The Western Michigan Broncos (3-0) knocked off Illinois 34-10, two weeks after beating Northwestern on the road, 22-21.
Western Michigan looked the part of a Big Ten team for much of the game Saturday, pushing the Illini (1-2) around the field. The Broncos held Illinois to 3 yards rushing while they piled up 287 yards on 54 carries.
Sophomore running back Jamauri Bogan led Western Michigan with 189 yards on 24 carries, including a pair of long touchdowns.
Bogan now has 425 yards - 6.8 a carry - and four touchdowns. He praised an offensive line that dominated the Illini defensive line, considered the strength of the Illinois team.
While Western Michigan shoved Illinois down the field, the Illini could barely sustain a drive. Unable to run, their only touchdown came on a trick play, a reverse flea flicker that ended with quarterback Wes Lunt hitting tight end Ainslee Johnson deep down the right sideline to cut the Western Michigan lead to 21-7 midway through the second quarter.
Illinois gets a week off before heading to Nebraska to open the Big Ten season on Oct. 1.
As heard on WHOW and dewittdailynews.com, Mitch Kimble passed for 108 yards and two touchdowns and Eastern Illinois capitalized on three turnovers to hold off Illinois State 24-21 on Saturday in the 105th Mid-America Classic.
The Panthers (2-1) took a 24-7 lead early in the fourth quarter on Devin Church's 30-yard TD run. The Redbirds replied with a 58-yard scoring run by Jake Kolbe and a 2-yard TD catch by Spencer Schnell with 36 seconds left. But the Redbirds didn't recover the onside kick.
The Redbirds couldn't overcome miscues and a missed field goal that led 10 first-half points for the Panthers.
Vince Spiller recovered a fumble by Illinois State's Jamal Towns, setting up Nick Bruno's 42-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Te Stone-Davis intercepted a pass by Kolbe in the second quarter, and Kimble hit Addison Bounds on a 4-yard touchdown pass four plays later.
The Redbirds (2-1) scored in the third quarter on Kolbe's 16-yard TD pass to Christian Gibbs, but Kimble replied with a 34-yard TD strike to Ben Odugbesan on the next Eastern Illinois possession.
Kolbe connected on 25 of 37 passes for 275 yards
Coming into the 2016 high school football season, the Monticello Sages had a lot of questions to answer.
How to replace an All State quarterback.
How to replace a pair of All Conference, play-making wide receivers.
How to replace an All Conference two way player.
How to overcome a small front line.
Those are questions that can official be put to rest.
The Monticello Sages answered those questions emphatically Saturday night in a 52-36 victory over Okaw Valley rival, Tolono Unity.
Caleb Hanson threw six touchdown passes leading the Sages to a 4-0 start on the season.
Hanson was 23 for 32 for 364 yards.
Nathan Graham and Isiah Florey were the recipients of Hanson’s precision passing, hauling in all six touchdowns.
Florey had 10 catches for 215 yards and two long touchdowns.
Graham grabbed eight balls for 107 yards and four touchdowns.
Monticello's undersized defense stepped up in big spots and helped hold off Unity’s efficient offense.
Junior quarterback Steven Miget had 24 carries for 199 yards and three touchdowns.
Keaton Eckstein had 190 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns.
Ben Singleton kicked a 34 yard field goal that extended a slim Monticello advantage to 10, and Unity would never get closer than nine points.
Unity drops to 2-2 and Monticello remains undefeated at 4-0.
The Sages travel to St. Joseph-Ogden next Saturday night.
Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com starting at 7 pm.
Meridian 2, Decatur St. Teresa 53, F
Shelbyville 22, Tuscola 40, F
Warrensburg-Latham 75, Sullivan-Okaw Valley 35, F
St. Joseph-Ogden 26, Champaign St. Thomas More 27, F
Rantoul 0, Bloomington 58, F
Champaign Central 27, Champaign Centennial 14, F
Danville 65, Urbana 13, F
Normal West 21, Normal Community 49, F
Peoria 44, Peoria Notre Dame 36, F
Peoria Richwoods 41, Peoria Manual 20, F
Central State Eight:
Chatham Glenwood 7, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 56, F
Decatur Eisenhower 59, Springfield Lanphier 8, F
Jacksonville 41, Decatur MacArthur 0, F
Lincoln 0, Rochester 57, F
Springfield 38, Springfield Southeast 12, F
Illinois Valley Central 14, Prairie Central 7, F
Pontiac 13, Mahomet-Seymour 14, F
Olympia 6, Bloomington Central Catholic 41, F
Heart of Illinois (Large):
Colfax Ridgeview 3, Tri-Valley 42, F
El Paso-Gridley 20, Dee-Mack 40, F
Eureka 47, Fieldcrest 0, F
Heart of Illinois (Small):
Fisher 41, Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 6, F
Heyworth 6, Tremont 22, F
LeRoy 0, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 15, F
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest):
Argenta-Oreana 28, Arcola 14, F
Cerro Gordo-Bement 6, Sangamon Valley 13, F
Decatur Lutheran 46, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 8, F
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast):
Martinsville 6, Toledo Cumberland 52, F
Oakland Tri-County 44, Villa Grove Heritage 12, F
Palestine 12, Oblong 40, F
East Peoria 6, Dunlap 42, F
Morton 33, Limestone 0, F
Pekin 35, Canton 57, F
Washington 7, Metamora 14, F
Athens 28, Auburn 27, F
Petersburg PORTA 26, Riverton 0, F
Pittsfield 12, New Berlin 42, F
Pleasant Plains 7, Maroa-Forsyth 48, F
Virden North Mac 28, Williamsville 21, F
In a game heard Friday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Central A&M Raiders by a score of 35-26. The Maroons were led by senior quarterback Noah Griffin who was 10 of 17 passing for 213 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Senior Logan Winter had three receptions for 50 yards, a touchdown, and a 48 yard punt return for a touchdown. Winter was named the Country Financial Representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game. Senior Alec Cooley had 15 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown. Senior Dalton Whitted had six receptions for 151 yards, and senior Cannan Isaac had a 14 yard interception return for a TD.
The Raiders were led by Jameson Smith who was 16 of 31 passing for 178 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. Keaton Garner had eight catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
With the win the Maroons improve to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in Central Illinois Conference action. The Raiders fall to 2-2 on the season and 1-1 In the conference.
Tune in next Friday as Clinton takes on the St. Teresa Bulldogs. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Maroons At Central A&M Tonight
Coming off a 29-6 loss to Tuscola last Friday night, the Maroons hit the road to take on Central Illinois Conference rival Central A&M.
The Maroons are 1-2 after last week's defeat and tonight's matchup starts a stretch of three road games in four weeks.
The Raiders come into play tonight 2-1 off a road victory at Meridian.
Hear tonight's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Sages Host Tolono Unity Saturday
It's a rare regular season Saturday night game for the Monticello Sages tonight, as Tolono Unity comes to town for a late evening Okaw Valley matchup.
The Sages dominated Olney last Friday 43-0 and are no 3-0.
Unity is 2-1 after a 55-6 dominating victory over Macomb last Friday night.
The Sages play the next two weeks on Saturday night. Next Saturday they are at St. Joseph-Ogden.
Action from Monticello Saturday gets underway at 7:30 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Week 3 matchups across the area:
Meridian at Decatur St. Teresa
Shelbyville at Tuscola
Warrensburg-Latham at Sullivan-Okaw Valley
St. Joseph-Ogden at Champaign St. Thomas More
Rantoul at Bloomington (Non-Conference)
Champaign Central at Champaign Centennial
Danville at Urbana
Normal West at Normal Community
Peoriaat Peoria Notre Dame
Peoria Richwoods vs. Peoria Manual at Peoria Stadium
Central State Eight
Chatham Glenwood at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
Decatur Eisenhower at Springfield Lanphier
Jacksonville at Decatur MacArthur
Lincoln at Rochester
Springfield at Springfield Southeast
Illinois Valley Central at Prairie Central
Pontiac at Mahomet-Seymour
Olympia at Bloomington Central Catholic
Heart of Illinois (Large)
Colfax Ridgeview at Tri-Valley
El Paso-Gridley at Dee-Mack
Eureka at Fieldcrest
Heart of Illinois (Small)
Fisher at Flanagan-Cornell-Cornell-Woodland
Heyworth at Tremont
LeRoy at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest)
Argenta-Oreana at Arcola
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Sangamon Valley
Decatur Lutheran at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast)
Martinsville at Toledo Cumberland
Oakland Tri-County at Villa Grove-Heritage
Palestine at Oblong
East Peoria at Dunlap
Morton at Limestone
Pekin at Canton
Washington at Metamora
Athens at Auburn
Petersburg PORTA at Riverton
Pittsfield at New Berlin
Pleasant Plains at Maroa-Forsyth
Virden North Mac at Williamsville
Non Conference action this week:
Blue Ridge at Big Rock Crossroads Academy (Sat.)
>>Illini Host Western Michigan Saturday
After a 48-23 loss to North Carolina at Memorial Stadium last Saturday night, the Illinois Fighting Illini welcome Western Michigan to Champaign Saturday afternoon.
Illinois welcomed a sellout crowd of 60,670 last Saturday, marking the first sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium since hosting Michigan on Nov. 12, 2011.
Out of the MAC, Western Michigan is 2-0 on the season. Western Michigan was last at Memorial Stadium in 2012, where the Illini won 24-7.
Senior DE Carroll Phillips is tied for the FBS lead with 6.5 TFLs, while senior DL Gimel President ranks 12th in the nation with 4.5 TFLs.
Saturday's game is at 3 pm and can be seen on ESPNNews.
>>Illinois State Hosts Eastern Illinois in Annual Rivalry Game
Fresh off a thrilling 9-7 win over Big Ten Conference foe Northwestern last Saturday at Ryan Field, Illinois State faces longtime in-state rival Eastern Illinois in the 105th Mid-America Classic.
The Panthers (1-1) are coming off a win over a FBS foe themselves, following a 21-17 win over Miami (Ohio), and face a Redbird team that is off to a 2-0 start for the third time in the past six seasons.
The game renews the oldest FCS football rivalry in the state of Illinois and the 13th-oldest at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.
Following a two hour, forty-five minute weather delay in last Saturday's game between EIU and Miami (Ohio), the outcome came down to the final 56 seconds as Mitch Kimble hit Devin Church for a 7-yard touchdown pass as EIU won 21-17.
Illinois State redshirt sophomore Jake Kolbe took control and led the Redbird offense downfield to put kicker Sean Slattery in position for the game winner. Kolbe went 7-for-7 for 63 yards on the drive that ultimately resulted in Slattery's 33 yard field goal to win it. The Naperville, Illinois, native set career-highs with 30 completions for 287 yards against the Wildcats in the victory.
Hear all the action Saturday afternoon starting at 1:30 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>> CUBS CLINCH
Cubs clinch NL Central title with Cardinals loss
CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs have won the NL Central, becoming the first major league team this season to clinch a division title when St. Louis lost 6-2 at San Francisco.
The Cubs lost 5-4 to the Milwaukee Brewers earlier Thursday night, but captured their first NL Central crown since 2008 when the Giants finished off their victory over the Cardinals.
Wrigley Field was empty when Matt Adams made the final out on the West Coast, but a loud cheer went up in the neighborhood around the iconic ballpark and several people honked their car horns.
Brewers crash Cubs party with 5-4 win at Wrigley Field
CHICAGO - Scooter Gennett hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers spoiled the Chicago Cubs' first opportunity to clinch the NL Central title with a 5-4 victory Thursday night.
Chicago (93-53) was hoping to begin a 10-game homestand with a boozy celebration of its first division title since 2008. But Keon Broxton homered and Orlando Arcia drove in two runs for Milwaukee, making the Cubs wait for the result of St. Louis' game at San Francisco to find out if their season-long dominance of the Central was complete.
The crowd of 41,362 cheered loudly when Hunter Pence's two-run homer in the first inning against the Cardinals was shown on the video board in left field.
Johnny Cueto pitches 5-hitter, Giants beat Cardinals 6-2
SAN FRANCISCO - Fist-pumping Johnny Cueto pitched a five-hitter and retired his final 17 batters, and the San Francisco Giants gained ground in the playoff race with a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
The Cardinals' loss clinched the NL Central title for the Chicago Cubs.
Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer, Cueto (16-5) had a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth and Angel Pagan followed with an RBI single. Denard Span added a two-run single in the seventh for San Francisco.
The Giants gained a game on the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, who are ahead by four after losing at Arizona.
San Francisco also moved a game ahead of the Mets in the chase for the top NL wild card and two games up on the Cardinals.
St. Louis opened a 10-game road trip, its last of 2016.
Right-hander Trevor Rosenthal activated by St. Louis
SAN FRANCISCO - Right-hander Trevor Rosenthal was activated from the 15-day disabled list by the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday.
He had been sidelined since July 26 with inflammation in his throwing shoulder, that after losing his job as closer in late June.
He is 2-4 with a 5.13 ERA and 14 saves in 18 chances in 40 appearances this season, though manager Mike Matheny had said before the DL stint that he wouldn't be used in key moments.
Rosenthal led the majors with a combined 93 saves the last two seasons. He had a 2.11 ERA in April and May this year, but then gave up 15 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings in June and July.
>> Sox Top Indians
Jose Abreu continued his torrid streak with a home run and single and Carlos Sanchez drove in the winning run in the ninth inning in the Chicago White Sox's 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
The White Sox took three of four games in the series to conclude a 6-4 homestead against three playoff hopefuls. The first-place Indians remained six games ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
After Omar Narvaez led off the ninth with a single off Bryan Shaw (2-5), pinch-runner Leury Garcia stole second while Avisail Garcia struck out. Sanchez followed with a bloop single to right-center.
David Robertson (5-3) pitched a scoreless inning to earn the victory.
Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of home runs and Jon Lester pitched eight dominant innings as the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-0 on Wednesday to clinch at least a wild-card playoff berth.
The Cubs improved their MLB-best record to 93-52 and their magic number is one to clinch their first National League Central title since 2008. Chicago secured a playoff berth because St. Louis and San Francisco are the only teams that could pass them in the standings, but since those teams open a four-game series on Thursday both teams wouldn't be able to do so.
The Cardinals began the day a half-game behind the New York Mets and a full game behind the Giants for one of the two wild-card spots.
Lester (17-4) allowed four base runners, none of which got past first. Cubs catcher David Ross threw out two Cardinals trying to steal second and Lester faced just two batters over the minimum.
St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez (14-8) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Mike Montgomery (1-1, 3.67 ERA) will kick off a four-game series as Chicago hosts Milwaukee on Thursday. The Brewers counter with RHP Jimmy Nelson (14-7, 4.42 ERA).
Adam Wainwright (11-8, 4.45) will look to build on a one run, eight inning performance in his last start as St. Louis travels to San Francisco for a four-game series Thursday. RHP Johnny Cueto (15-5, 2.90) will start for the Giants.
Josh Tomlin pitched five effective innings in his return to the Indians rotation, Coco Crisp hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to break the game open and Cleveland defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-1 on Wednesday night to remain six games ahead of Detroit in the AL Central.
Tomlin (12-8) allowed one run on four hits and walked none as he ended a personal five-game losing streak that led to the right-hander being demoted to the bullpen after his last start on Aug. 30.
Jose Ramirez had two hits, including a triple that drove in two runs in a three-run third inning, and scored two runs. Brandon Guyer and Rajai Davis had two hits each.
Crisp, who also doubled, went deep to left with none out in the sixth to chase Carlos Rodon (7-9) who allowed six runs to match his season high and lost for the first time since July 31.
Mike Clevinger (2-2, 5.01) faces struggling RHP James Shields (3-10, 7.30) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday afternoon. Shields is 0-5 with a 10.75 ERA in his last eight starts. Clevinger has reached the fifth inning only once in four starts since his recall on Aug. 4 from Triple-A Columbus, but Francona said Clevinger has been ''stretched out'' and expects the righty can go deeper in games.
A woman who accuses NBA star Derrick Rose of raping her says not even her parents or brothers and sisters know about her claim or the lawsuit she is pursuing.
The woman, who is identified only as Jane Doe in court filings, tells The Associated Press in her first media interview that it is critical her identity remain a secret so she can maintain her relationship with her religiously conservative family.
The 30-year-old woman claims Rose and two of his friends raped her in her apartment after a night of drinking in August 2013. She had dated Rose for nearly two years, and his lawyer says the sex was consensual and her lawsuit is a money grab.
The case is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles on Oct. 4. The trial date coincides with Rose's 28th birthday and comes as his new team, the New York Knicks, will be underway in the preseason.
Forbes released its annual list of the NFL's most valuable franchises Wednesday and the three teams that increased the most in value this year just happened to be the same three teams that have been dealing with relocation issues over the past 12 months -- the Rams, Raiders and Chargers.
The Rams' value made the biggest jump in 2016, with the team now worth an estimated $2.9 billion. So yes, that sound you hear coming out of Southern California is probably just Stan Kroenke printing money.
Before moving to Los Angeles, the Rams were worth just $1.45 billion last year. Not only did the move to Los Angeles double the Rams' value, it also allowed them to move up from the 28th-most valuable franchise in 2015 to the sixth-most valuable this year.
Chase Reynolds shot an 80 and Mac Hickman shot a 90 as the Clinton Maroons finished ninth in a 16 team invitational at Weibring Golf Course in Normal Tuesday afternoon.
Reynolds finished sixth among individual scores and Peoria Christian took home the day's high score with a 329, followed by El Paso-Gridley with a 334.
Brandon Moss bounced out of a three-week skid with a tiebreaking home run and Aledmys Diaz connected in his return to the starting lineup, leading the Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
St. Louis ensured that the runaway Cubs won't clinch the NL Central at Busch Stadium. Chicago's magic number is three, and the series wraps up Wednesday.
The Cardinals remained a half-game behind the New York Mets for the second wild-card spot.
Moss entered the game mired in a 1-for-41 skid.
Moss slammed a two-run homer in the sixth off Jason Hammel (14-9).
The Cubs' Dexter Fowler led off the game with a home run against Jaime Garcia.
Alex Reyes (2-1) won with 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Kevin Siegrist got his second save.
Hammel allowed four runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked two.
Jon Lester (16-4, 2.51) takes on RHP Carlos Martinez (14-7, 3.05) in the final game of the three-game set. Lester has allowed fewer than two runs in each of his last five starts. He is 6-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his previous eight starts. Martinez is 6-3 in 11 day starts this season. He has induced an NL-leading 32 double plays.
Todd Frazier and Carlos Sanchez each drove in two runs in a seven-run sixth inning, and the Chicago White Sox handed the division-leading Cleveland Indians their second straight lopsided loss, 8-1 on Tuesday night.
The White Sox had seven hits, drew two walks and sent 12 batters to the plate against three pitchers in their highest-scoring inning of the season. The Indians maintained a six-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central after the Tigers lost to Minnesota 8-1.
Jose Quintana (12-10) held Cleveland to five hits over eight innings, including Brandon Guyer's solo homer in the second in Chicago's fifth win in seven games.
Tied at 1, Trevor Bauer (11-7) walked Adam Eaton to lead off the sixth. Four hits followed, with Jose Abreu driving in the first run and Frazier getting his career-high 92nd RBI to chase Bauer.
Avisail Garcia then delivered an RBI single, Sanchez tripled and Eaton doubled in a run in his second time up to end Dan Otero's night.
Josh Tomlin (11-8, 4.85 ERA) faces LHP Carlos Rodon (7-8, 3.80). Rodon is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA in his last seven starts.
The No. 1 player in the world will have a new look pretty soon as Jason Day has signed with Nike, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell. The deal, reportedly for $10 million a year, puts Day in the company's shoes and apparel going forward.
Day, of course, has always been a TaylorMade-Adidas guy, but Adidas is selling TaylorMade. So Day will stay with TaylorMade for clubs and golf balls but jump to Nike for everything else.
Rovell reports the move became possible when Nike suddenly announced last month that it was leaving the equipment business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but one source said the No. 1 golfer in the world will get paid north of $10 million a year. Day's agent Bud Martin of Wasserman did not return a call seeking comment.
This is the first time an athlete has split from TaylorMade-Adidas to Nike.
In what turned out to be a much more subdued pre-tournament game compared to the more physical contests Team USA played against Canada, the Americans earned a 3-2 victory over Finland Tuesday night. It was their final tune up before the World Cup of Hockey begins Saturday.
Ryan Kesler and T.J. Oshie both scored goals while playing alongside Max Pacioretty, giving the U.S. three threatening scoring lines instead of just two. It didn't take them long to get going either, as they scored Team USA's first goal just over a minute into the contest.
Team USA finished the pre-tournament with a 2-1 record and learned plenty about themselves over that span as they continue preparations for the tournament. The Americans will head to Toronto Wednesday to put the finishing touches on everything before the games go live on Sept. 17.
Tuesday night's contest was a bit sleepy, so there wasn't a whole lot to learn about Team USA, but there were a few points of note. The Americans pretty much dominated the first half of the game, but took their foot off the gas to close things out. It looked like both teams were just trying to get through the game without anyone getting hurt.
After the game, coach John Tortorella made what was already assumed official. Jonathan Quick will be Team USA's starter when the tournament begins Saturday against Team Europe. It's a role he'll likely retain for the duration of the World Cup.
Kyle Hendricks took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before giving up Jeremy Hazelbaker's leadoff home run, and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 Monday night to close in on the NL Central crown.
Hazelbaker drove an 0-2 pitch into the right-field stands for his 12th homer this season. Hendricks, the major league ERA leader, was relieved by Aroldis Chapman.
"Just left that one up right there. What are you going to do?" Hendricks said.
Ben Zobrist and Dexter Fowler homered for the Cubs, who lowered their magic number to three for clinching the division crown. They lead the second-place Cardinals by 17 games.
Soon after Hazelbaker's shot cleared the fence, teammates went to the mound to talk to Hendricks - leading to an argument between Cubs manager Joe Maddon and plate umpire Joe West.
Maddon was ejected, and Chapman came in.
Avisail Garcia matched a career high with four hits, including a tiebreaking home run, and the Chicago White Sox pounded the sloppy Cleveland Indians 11-4 on Monday night.
Todd Frazier hit his career-best 36th homer and Adam Eaton also went deep as the White Sox improved to 4-3 on their 10-game homestand. Tim Anderson had three of Chicago's 16 hits and Jose Abreu drove in two runs, backing another strong start by Miguel Gonzalez.
Cleveland had its AL Central lead trimmed to six games over Detroit, which rallied for a 4-2 victory over Minnesota. The Indians had won eight of their last nine against the White Sox, but Lonnie Chisenhall misplayed two balls in right field and another run scored on a passed ball by Roberto Perez.
>>Steelers Dominate Redskins
Ben Roethlisberger threw for three touchdowns to lead the Steelers to a 38-16 rout of the Washington Redskins on Monday night. After telling his teammates he believed in not just All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown but Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates and others, Roethlisberger recovered a fumble at a pivotal moment and completed 27 of 37 passes for 300 yards in the season-opening victory.
He threw two touchdowns to Brown and another to Rogers. Often playing on the opposite side from Josh Norman and tormenting cornerback Bashaud Breeland, Brown made eight catches for 126 yards.
Starting in place of Bell, DeAngelo Williams ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
>>'Niners Blank Rams
Carlos Hyde ran for 88 yards and two touchdowns and the San Francisco 49ers posted their first season-opening shutout in franchise history to spoil the Rams' first game since moving back to Los Angeles with a 28-0 victory Monday night.
Shaun Draughn also ran for a score and Blaine Gabbert threw a touchdown pass to Vance McDonald to help the 49ers win their first game under coach Chip Kelly in convincing fashion.
After Los Angeles football fans waited more than 21 years to once again be able to call a team their own, they need to wait at least another week to see that team score.
Case Keenum threw for just 130 yards with two interceptions, star running back Todd Gurley was held to 47 yards on 17 carries and the Rams barely even threatened the Niners as they made only 10 first downs all game.
San Francisco wasn't much better offensively but managed to run the ball fairly effectively early, leading to the two first-half touchdowns by Hyde and Draughn.
>>Packers Get By Jaguars
Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading Green Bay to a 27-23 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the teams' season opener Sunday.
Rodgers looked every bit like a two-time league MVP. He extended plays with his feet, escaped sacks and was accurate all over the field.
Rodgers completed 20 of 34 passes for 199 yards, with TD passes to Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. He was sacked once for no yards and didn't turn it over.
Nelson finished with six receptions for 32 yards, including a 6-yard TD in the second quarter.
Blake Bortles completed 24 of 39 passes for 320 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson finished with six catches for 72 yards, but there were nine more passes thrown his way.
The Jaguars mounted a late drive that came up short on a fourth-and-1 play at the Packers 14. The Jaguars had converted their previous three fourth-down plays, but Allen Hurns failed to move the sticks on a bubble screen.
Jaguars running back Chris Ivory was hospitalized Sunday with a ''general medical issue'' and was inactive for the opener. Ivory was taken by ambulance from the team hotel to a local hospital early Sunday. He was limited in three practices this week because of a calf injury, but the team said that was not related to his hospital stay.
>>Texans Get By Bears
Brock Osweiler threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns in his debut with Houston to lead the Texans and their revamped offense to a 23-14 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Osweiler, who signed to a $72 million contract from Denver in the offseason, was helped by an offense filled with playmakers.
He completed passes to eight different receivers, led by rookie first-round pick Will Fuller, who became the first player in franchise history to have 100 yards receiving in a debut with 107 and a touchdown. DeAndre Hopkins added 54 yards and a score and running back Lamar Miller had 106 yards rushing in his first game with the Texans.
Osweiler's day started with a hiccup when he threw an interception on the first drive, but soon got going and looked comfortable after that.
Houston trailed by 1 point entering the fourth quarter before Osweiler found Fuller on a short pass and he scampered 18 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-14. The Texans added a 38-yard field goal later in the quarter to make it 23-14.
Chicago's Jay Cutler threw for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but was also sacked five times and hurried several others on a day when linebackers Whitney Mercilus and 2014 top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney led the pass rush.
J.J. Watt didn't seem to be limited in his return after sitting out all of the preseason after back surgery. But last year's Defensive Player of the Year wasn't as effective as he normally is, and seemed to have a tough time dealing with three-time Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton.
Sitton was signed by the Bears last week after being a surprise cut by Green Bay.
>>North Carolina Blasts Illinois
Nursing an eight-point lead with just over 12 minutes left Saturday, North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky heaved the ball deep toward Ryan Switzer but instead connected with the back of an Illinois defensive back.
The ball bounced high and came down in the hands of Tar Heel tight end Jake Bargas for a first down that set up a touchdown that gave North Carolina a 38-23 lead.
Early on, Trubisky had to lead the Tar Heels (1-1) from behind.
Illinois (1-1) went up 7-0 on the opening drive on a 65-yard Ke'Shawn VAugh touchdown run while North Carolina's offense started slow.
Trubisky jump-started the attack, rushing for two short touchdowns by the end of the first quarter and giving UNC a 17-14 lead it never gave up.
The Tar Heels held Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt to 127 yards and two touchdowns on 17-35 passing.
Illinois also struggled with penalties. They were flagged 13 times for 99 yards.
>>Illinois State Upsets Northwestern
Sean Slattery connected on a 33-yard field goal as time expired to give Illinois State a 9-7 upset of Northwestern on Saturday.
Slattery had missed a field goal and an extra point earlier.
Jake Kolbe completed 30 of his 41 passes for 287 yards and two interceptions, Anthony Warrum had nine receptions for 116 yards and George Moreira had 57 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown for Illinois State (2-0).
Clayton Thorson was 17 of 41 for 191 yards for Northwestern, which fell to 0-2.
Justin Jackson had 39 yards on 11 carries for the Wildcats before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter with an apparent injury.
Thorson connected with Austin Carr on a 10-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down play early in the fourth quarter that gave the Wildcats a 7-6 edge with 9:04 remaining. That appeared to be the winning score before Kolbe led the Redbirds on an 11-play, 77-yard drive in the final 3:11 for the winning score.
Slattery missed the extra point following Moreira's 6-yard touchdown run just before halftime and missed a 49-yard attempt in the first quarter.
>>Eastern Illinois Rallies Past Miami (OH)
Mitch Kimble threw two touchdown passes in the final four minutes to rally Eastern Illinois to a 21-17 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday night in a game that began nearly three hours late because of lightning.
After Kimble threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Turner to get within 17-14, the Panthers (1-1) got the ball back on their 49-yard line with 2:45 left and drove to the 7. Devin Church dropped a pass but Kimble went back to the running back on the next play for the score.
It was the Panthers' sixth victory in 39 games against FBS schools.
Kimble threw 3 yards to Addison Bounds in the final minute of the first half to cut the Redhawks' lead to 10-7.
Billy Bahl passed long down the middle for 51-yard score to Rokeem Williams and also tossed a 14-yarder to James Gardner that put Miami (0-2) up 17-7 in the third quarter.
Illinois sophomore guard Jalen Coleman-Lands has broken a bone in his right hand and is expected to be sidelined for about eight weeks.
The University of Illinois Athletics Department says Coleman-Lands broke the bone during a workout Wednesday and had surgery Friday.
Coleman-Lands set the Fighting Illini record for 3-pointers by a freshman last year with 87. He averaged 10.3 points overall and scored in double digits in 19 games, hitting a career-high 26 points against Rutgers.
Illinois' first exhibition game is Oct. 30 against Washington University. The regular season opens Nov. 11 as the Illini face Southeast Missouri State.
>>Homers Lead Cubs Past Astros
Jorge Soler and Addison Russell homered to lead Chicago to a 9-5 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday night, moving the Cubs closer to clinching the NL Central.
Soler hit a solo home run as part of Chicago's four-run third, and Russell hit a two-run shot - his 20th of the season - in the fourth as the Cubs built a 9-0 lead.
Chicago extended its lead in the NL Central to 16 games over St. Louis.
Houston fell 9 1/2 games behind Texas in the AL West and 3 1/2 back of Toronto and Baltimore in the wild-card race.
Jake Arrieta (17-6) allowed three runs on four hits with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Jose Altuve, Yulieski Gurriel and Evan Gattis hit solo homers for the Astros. Mike Fiers (10-7) was tagged for seven runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Kyle Hendricks (14-7) starts the first game of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday. Hendricks leads the majors with a 2.07 ERA. He has allowed three runs or fewer in 19 straight starts.
>>Sale Strong, Not Enough To Overcome Defending Wolrd Champs
Ian Kennedy and three relievers combined on a two-hitter, and the Kansas City Royals beat Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox 2-0 on Sunday.
Kendrys Morales homered on Sale's first pitch of the second and Eric Hosmer did the same in the fourth. The Royals won their second straight to stay four games behind Baltimore for the final AL wild-card spot.
Kennedy (11-9) walked four, but Adam Eaton's leadoff single was the only hit off the right-hander in six innings. He improved to 5-0 in his last six starts.
Peter Moylan and Kelvin Herrera each threw a perfect inning before Wade Davis worked around Eaton's single and a walk in the ninth for his 24th save.
AL Central-leading Cleveland visits for four games starting Monday, with RHP Miguel Gonzalez (3-6, 3.81 ERA) facing RHP Carlos Carrasco (11-7, 3.15 ERA).
>>Brewers Edge Cardinals
Ryan Braun hit a solo home run in the ninth inning and the Brewers beat St. Louis 2-1 on Sunday, dropping the Cardinals back in the NL wild-card race.
The Cardinals are a half-game behind the Mets for the second wild-card slot.
Braun connected on a 3-2 fastball off Kevin Siegrist (5-3) for his 27th homer of the season and 19th in his career against the Cardinals.
St. Louis had tied it in the eighth when Matt Carpenter doubled and scored on Stephen Piscotty's sacrifice fly off Tyler Thornburg (6-5).
Thornburg struck out three in the ninth.
The Cardinals fell to 32-39 at home this season.
The Brewers' other run came in the first on singles by Scooter Gennett and Braun and a sacrifice fly from Chris Carter.
Milwaukee had just four hits in the game, with Braun getting the only one after the fifth inning.
Zach Davies pitched 7 1-3 innings and gave up one run on five hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Cardinals rookie Luke Weaver allowed three hits in six innings. He struck out eight with one walk.
Mike Leake (9-9) will face Chicago's Kyle Hendricks (14-7) on Monday night at Busch Stadium.
You can pinpoint the exact moment Dustin Johnson won the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award this season.
It happened on the 69th hole of the BMW Championship after Paul Casey had cut Johnson's lead to one stroke with an eagle. There were three holes left for Johnson to try and snag his third win of the season in addition to his U.S. Open and Bridgestone Invitational titles.
Johnson poured in a long putt for eagle on top of Casey to extend the lead back to three strokes and cruised home to the trophy and (more than likely) that Player of the Year award, which will be handed out after the Tour Championship in two weeks.
Johnson is ranked No. 1 going into the Tour Championship and controls his own destiny when it comes to the FedEx Cup. If he wins at the Tour Championship, he also earns $10 million for winning the FedEx Cup. Johnson has now won three times in a season for the first time in his career, and he has been the best golfer in the world for most (if not all) of 2016.
Johnson will try and replicate something else only Tiger Woods has done: Win the Tour Championship as the No. 1 player in the FedEx Cup points race going into the final event. He will also likely accomplish Woods has done an astonishing 10 times, which is take home the Player of the Year hardware at season's end. He deserves it, too. Nobody has been quite as good as Dustin Johnson in 2016.
Jordan Spieth finished 30th in strokes gained in his approach shots, which has been his downfall for much of the season. A solo ninth-place finish at Crooked Stick is fine, and he has put himself in position to repeat as the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup winner in two weeks (he's currently No. 7 in the FedEx Cup). But he seems just a little off. As we all know, that can change in golf in the blink of an eye, and I'm sure Spieth is aiming to peak at East Lake and the Ryder Cup.
Jason Day withdrew with a back injury halfway through his round on Sunday afternoon at Crooked Stick. It was an unfortunate ending for the week but likely won't have much bearing on the final outcome of his season. He will be in the top five going into the Tour Championship, which means a win gets him $10 million. That's a pretty good spot to be in.
Rory McIlroy disappointed this week with only one round in the 60s. He slid out of the top five (albeit only to sixth) and no longer controls his own destiny at the Tour Championship. His putting stunk again as he was No. 68 in a field of 68 in strokes gained with the flat stick.
He could still win the Tour Championship to salvage what has been a mildly disappointing year (for him), but that got slightly more difficult with the T42 finish at Crooked Stick.
Bloomington 21, Champaign Central 14, F
Champaign Centennial 0, Normal West 20, F
Peoria Notre Dame 21, Normal Community 14, F
Urbana 0, Peoria 79,F
Decatur St. Teresa 56, Warrensburg-Latham 20, F
Central A&M 47, Meridian 13, F
Sullivan-Okaw Valley 20, Shelbyville 62, F
Central State Eight:
Decatur Eisenhower 46, Jacksonville 27, F
Rochester 44, Springfield Southeast 7, F
Springfield 34, Decatur MacArthur 13, F
Springfield Lanphier 12, Chatham Glenwood 52, F
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 62, Lincoln 0, F
Illinois Valley Central 21, Normal U-High 32, F
Prairie Central 13, Pontiac 22, F
Mahomet-Seymour 24, Olympia 0, F
Limestone 28, East Peoria 8, F
Canton 21, Washington 28, F
Dunlap 7, Pekin 38, F
Auburn 28, Pleasant Plains 24, F
New Berlin 42, Petersburg PORTA 12, F
Riverton 0, Athens 42, F
Virden North Mac 59, Pittsfield 6, F
Williamsville 43, Maroa-Forsyth 22, F
Metamora 44, Morton 21, F
Argenta-Oreana 52, Martinsville 8, F
Bethalto Civic Memorial 6, Mt. Zion 40, F
Bloomington Central Catholic 34, LaSalle-Peru 32, F
Cerro Gordo-Bement 18, Villa Grove-Heritage 6, F
Ridgeview 52, Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 6, F
El Paso-Gridley 22, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 20, F, OT
Eureka 14, Tremont 6, F
Fisher 13, Fieldcrest 38, F
Heyworth 0, Dee-Mack 68, F
LeRoy 0, Tri-Valley 35, F
Sangamon Valley 26, Toledo Cumberland 12, F
Rock Island 43, Peoria Richwoods 14, F
Tolono Unity 55, Macomb 0, F
Friday night's game in Monticello kicked off 15 minutes late due to a non-weather related delay and then was delayed 30 minutes due to lightning in the area with 3:54 to play in the first quarter.
As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, the delays didn't phase senior quarterback Caleb Hanson, who scored three more touchdowns and Monticello dominated Olney 43-0 in Monticello Friday night.
A wet and humid night wasn't going to slow Hanson, who was once again efficient through the air finishing 11 of 16 for 265 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for 102 yards and another score on 11 carries.
Johnny Dawson led the Sages receivers with 109 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. He had receptions of 50 and 47 yards.
Isiah Florey finished 99 yards on four receptions with a touchdown.
Lucas Lieb and Alek Bundy scored on the ground as well. Lieb tallied 46 yards on six carries and Bundy’s score was his only touch of the night.
The Sages endured not only a late kick off but overcame a half hour lightning delay as severe storms hammered the areas southeast of Piatt County.
Despite the delays, Monticello improved to 3-0 on the season.
The Sages will play under the lights next Saturday night at 7:30 pm in Monticello hosting Tolono Unity. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
In a game heard Friday night on The Big 1520AM & 92.3FM WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell 29-6 against the Tuscola Warriors.
Kaleb Williams led the Warriors with 23 carries for 131 yards, and 4 touchdowns.
Noah Griffin led the Maroons with 6 carries for 50 yards, 7 of 12 passing for 92 yards for the touchdown.
Alec Cooley returned from injury, and was 14 yards recieving for a touchdown.
Sophomore Christain Reynolds was named the Stephan York Country Financial Maroons Player of the game for his defensive efforts, including 1 sac.
Maroons play at Central A&M next Friday. Hear the game on The Big 1520Am & 92.3FM WHOW, and streamed live online at DeWittDailyNews.com
>>Maroons Look To Rebound After Week 2 Loss
After a 58-27 loss to Reed Custer last Friday night, the Maroons will look to bounce back tonight at home when they host Tuscola.
The Maroons will open their Central Illinois Conference slate with a 1-1 record against the Warriors, who ran the table in last year's CIC schedule.
Tuscola enters action at 2-0 on the season and has scored at least 60 points in their first two contests and have allowed only 14 total points.
Tonight's game is set for 7 pm. Hear it all on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Sages Put Undefeated Mark On Line in Home Opener
After second half surge propelled the Monticello Sages to a 49-19 win at Sherrard last Friday night, Monticello will put their 2-0 mark on the line tonight when they host Richland County.
The Sages shut out the Tigers in the second half of their week 2 victory and have now outscored their opponents 96-26.
Richland County is also 2-0 and has won their first two contests by a combined six points.
Hear the Sages home opener tonight on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Week 3 action across the area tonight:
Bloomington at Champaign Central
Champaign Centennial at Normal West
Peoria Manual at Danville
Peoria Notre Dame at Normal Community
Urbana at Peoria
Decatur St. Teresa at Warrensburg.-Latham
Central A & M at Meridian
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Shelbyville
Central State Eight
Decatur Eisenhower at Jacksonville
Rochester at Springfield Southeast
Springfield at Decatur MacArthur
Springfield Lanphier at Chatham Glenwood
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Lincoln
Illinois Valley Central at Normal U-High
Prairie Central at Pontiac
Mahomet-Seymour at Olympia
Limestone at East Peoria
Canton at Washington
Dunlap at Pekin
Auburn at Pleasant Plains
New Berlin at Petersburg PORTA
Riverton at Athens
Virden North Mac at Pittsfield
Williamsville at Maroa-Forsyth
Metamora at Morton
Non-Conference action tonight:
Argenta-Oreana at Martinsville
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Oblong
Bethalto Civic Memorial at Mt. Zion
Bloomington Central Catholic)at LaSalle-Peru
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Villa Grove-Heritage
Champaign St. Thomas More at Big Rock Crossroads Academy (Sat.)
Ridgeview vs. Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland at Streator (Woodland)
Decatur Lutheran at Oakland Tri-County
El Paso-Gridley at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
Eureka at Tremont
Fisher at Fieldcrest
Heyworth at Dee-Mack
LeRoy at Tri-Valley
Sangamon Valley at Toledo Cumberland
Rantoul at Taylorville (Sat.)
Rock Island at Peoria Richwoods
St. Joseph-Ogden at Monmouth-Roseville (Sat.)
Tolono Unity at Macomb
After last week's 52-3 route of Murray State in the debut of head coach Lovie Smith, the Illinois football team will host a much bigger challenge as North Carolina comes to Memorial Stadium in the return of a home and home series with the Tar Heels.
While the Illini opened the season with a route of a mid-major, North Carolina let a late lead slip away to ninth ranked Georgia.
Illinois was crushed in Chapel Hill last September 48-14.
Game time from Memorial Stadium Saturday night is 6:30 pm and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
For the second time in as many seasons and for the fourth time in the past eight seasons, Illinois State will square off against a Big Ten Conference foe when it faces the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on Saturday.
After a slow start, Illinois State put up 27 points in the second quarter of its 50-13 season-opening win over Valparaiso to come away with its eighth home-opening win in a row. The Redbirds will not have the luxury of starting slow this weekend, as they travel north to Evanston to face Big Ten Conference foe Northwestern at Ryan Field in their first road contest of 2016.
The Redbirds and the Wildcats will meet for the second time, with the only other meeting coming in 2010 at Ryan Field. NU dominated that contest, running away with a 37-3 win over ISU in head coach Brock Spack's second season at the helm of the program.
Northwestern beat Western Michigan last week.
Game time is 2:30 pm Saturday and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
After a 38-21 season opening loss to Western Illinois last Thursday night, the Eastern Illinois Panthers football program hits the road to take on Miami (OH).
The RedHawks opened with a 45-21 loss to Iowa in week1.
Eastern QB Mitch Kimble threw for 323 yards last week.
Hear all Saturday's action starting at 2 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Santana, Arcia Lead Brewers Past Cardinals
Domingo Santana and Orlando Arcia hit back-to-back homers as the Milwaukee Brewers continued their recent road dominance routing the St. Louis Cardinals 12-5 on Thursday night.
Hernan Perez had four hits and three RBIs for the Brewers, who won their season-high fifth straight on the road and have won seven of their last eight games.
The bottom three hitters in the Brewers lineup reached eight times and scored six runs.
Brewers right-hander Junior Guerra (8-3) needed 74 pitches to get through five innings in his second start back from the disabled list. It was his first career win against St. Louis in three tries.
Jaime Garcia (10-12) struggled for the fourth time in his last five starts, losing a career-high fourth straight decision. He gave up five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings - his third shortest outing of the season.
Jimmy Nelson (7-13, 4.36 ERA) has made 12 quality starts this season. He is 0-6 with a 7.57 ERA in eight career games against St. Louis.
Carlos Martinez (13-7, 3.07 ERA) leads all National League pitchers with 30 double plays induced. He is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts this season against Milwaukee.
>>Cubs Head To Houston To Take On Struggling Astros
With their top two starters sidelined and the clock on the regular season winding down, the Houston Astros are in the precarious position of opening an interleague set against the Chicago Cubs with a busted rotation and an overworked bullpen.
Without reigning Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, the Astros (74-66) have plugged holes in their rotation with the likes of right-hander Brad Peacock, an organizational arm who spent most of this season with Triple-A Fresno, and rookies Joe Musgrove and Paulino.
Musgrove (2-3, 5.06 ERA) will open the three-game series with his first appearance against the National League Central-leading Cubs (89-50).
The Cubs, 13-4 in interleague play, will start left-hander Jon Lester (15-4, 2.61 ERA) in the opener. Lester is 6-0 with a 1.85 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break. He has faced the Astros (10-7 in interleague play) once in his career, allowing six runs on nine hits over five innings for Boston on June 28, 2008, at Minute Maid Park.
Manager Joe Maddon flipped his weekend rotation behind Lester, opting to bump right-hander Jake Arrieta to Sunday night while keeping right-hander John Lackey on regular rest. Lackey will start the middle game of the series on Saturday.
>>White Sox In Kansas City
he Kansas City Royals will try to preserve their slim hopes for the postseason when they open a three-game series against the host Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
The defending World Series champion Royals (72-67) have lost five of their past eight contests and trail the Baltimore Orioles by four games for the American League's second wild-card spot.
A matchup against the underwhelming White Sox (67-72) could help Kansas City gain ground in the standings. The Royals are 9-3 against Chicago this season after winning 12 of 19 games against the South Siders in 2015.
Right-hander Yordano Ventura (10-9, 4.22 ERA) will start the series opener for the Royals.
Opposing Ventura will be White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon (6-8, 3.90 ERA), who also has been on a hot streak. The 23-year-old is 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his past six outings. He has walked eight and struck out 31 in that span.
For the White Sox, first baseman Jose Abreu will look to continue his torrid hitting. The Cuban slugger is hitting .447 (17-for-38) with five home runs and 15 RBIs during his past eight games. He has boosted his season totals to a .298 average with 23 home runs and 88 RBIs in 136 games.
>>Mets Sign Former Heisman Winner Tim Tebow
Former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow made his intentions to play baseball known several weeks ago, and now he has an organization. And wouldn't you know it, he's signed with another orange and blue team, much like the Florida Gators and Denver Broncos.
The AP reports that Tebow and the New York Mets agreed to a $100,000 signing bonus. As James Wagner notes on Twitter, $100,000 is the highest bonus a team can give to a post-draft signee without incurring penalties. To put that figure in context, signing bonus slots for 10th-round picks in 2016 ranged from $161,300 to $156,000.
Tebow will continue his work as a college football analyst for the SEC Network, which will require him to be absent from instructs for at least a couple of days a week. The Mets were reportedly the only team willing to make such allowances for Tebow.
As for anyone misguidedly wondering about the impact on the Mets in 2016, there is zero. Instructional leagues are where teams start the earliest stages of development on players either needing experience or long-injured players go to get back some game speed during their rehab process. Generally speaking, a player like Tebow in instructionals is far, far away from hitting the majors.
As for the notion that Tebow might somehow be "taking someone else's spot," he's not. Spots in instructionals aren't limited and most of the game action isn't even limited to regular game-type situations. The at-bats aren't really limited, nor is the time spent on any given individual.
Basically, there's no real risk from a baseball standpoint for the Mets here. They are simply seeing what they can get out of a 29-year-old athlete who has flashed some upside despite being very raw.
>>Bears Open Season At Houston
The Houston Texans will open the season as a home favorite against the Chicago Bears, who are looking to improve in their second season under coach John Fox.
If any opposing coach knows what to expect from Brock Osweiler, it is Fox. He coached the 6-foot-8, 235-pound quarterback for two seasons with the Broncos before joining the Bears before the 2015 season.
The Bears went 6-10 in their first season with Fox, who led two-year turnarounds during his previous coaching stints in Carolina and Denver each ending in Super Bowl experiences in Fox's second season. Quarterback Jay Cutler returns for his ninth season in Chicago, where wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White offer his top targets downfield.
White will make his NFL debut on Sunday after missing all of his rookie season because of a stress fracture in his lower left shin. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound receiver was the Bears' first-round selection (No. 7 overall) out of West Virginia in the 2015 draft.
Bears running back Jeremy Langford also expects to take on a more prominent role in the offense. Langford is first in line to replace two-time Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte, who signed with the New York Jets during the offseason after the Bears elected not to bring him back.
Houston's hard-nosed defense presents a tough test for Langford, White and the rest of the Bears. The Texans set a franchise record in 2015 with 45 sacks, including a 17 1/2 sacks from J.J. Watt and 12 sacks from Whitney Mercilus.
>>Packers Open 2016 At Jacksonville
For the Green Bay Packers, it's the start of another attempt to reach the top of the NFL mountain.
For the Jacksonville Jaguars, it's the start of a long journey toward respectability.
With two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers at quarterback and Mike McCarthy as coach, the Packers enter their season-opening game at Jacksonville with a seven-year postseason streak -- tied with New England for the longest current run in the NFL. While they are considered Super Bowl contenders, they are surrounded by some nagging questions.
First, can Rodgers rebound after the worst season of his career? The man who owns the best passer rating in NFL history ranked just 15th in that category last season. Rather than rounding into form throughout the preseason, Rodgers played two series and threw nine passes.
Second, can receiver Jordy Nelson rebound after missing all of last season? In 2014, Rodgers won his second MVP on the strength of Nelson's stellar season of 98 receptions for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. Nelson, however, tore an ACL during the 2015 preseason. Without him, the Packers' offense went from leading the NFL in scoring in 2014 to ranking 15th in 2015. Nelson is back, but he didn't play a single snap in the preseason.
Third, how will the offensive line fare without two-time All-Pro guard Josh Sitton, who surprisingly was released on Saturday? He'll be replaced by fourth-year pro Lane Taylor, who has two career starts.
Put it together, and this offense could be a work in progress to start the season.
>>Broncos Edge Panthers Thursday Night
Denver's dominant defense came up big against Newton again and the Broncos escaped with a 21-20 victory over the Carolina Panthers Thursday night when Graham Gano missed a 50-yard field goal with 4 seconds remaining.
The Broncos collected three sacks and hit Newton eight more times, not counting the abuse he took on his 11 runs.
Three of the hits were of the helmet-to-helmet variety but none resulted in any penalty yardage.
Newton, the NFL's reigning MVP, was 18 of 33 for 194 yards, with one TD and one interception.
Just as he did over and over in the Super Bowl, Miller made a big play late, sweeping past right tackle Mike Remmers and sacking Newton at the 2-minute warning.
The Panthers took a 17-7 led into the fourth quarter of the first Super Bowl rematch to start a season since 1970, but Siemian hit running back C.J. Anderson for a 25-yard touchdown on the next snap.
Newton's next pass was intercepted by Harris at the Carolina 23. Ten plays later, Anderson bulled his way in from the 1 to give Denver its first lead at 21-17 with 9:26 remaining.
After Gano's 36-yard field goal brought the Panthers to 21-20, Carolina forced a three-and-out and got the ball back at its 40 with 3:06 remaining.
Avisail Garcia hit a go-ahead single against his former team in a four-run eighth inning and the Chicago White Sox beat Detroit 7-4 on Wednesday to keep the Tigers a game out of the final AL wild-card spot.
The Tigers wasted a chance to move into a tie with Baltimore for the second wild card. The teams begin a three-game series Friday in Detroit.
Jose Abreu led off the eighth with a single for his third hit and scored on Justin Morneau's double off Shane Greene (3-4). After Todd Frazier grounded out, Garcia singled to right-center. Tyler Saladino and Adam Eaton added RBI singles.
Chris Beck (2-1) got four outs in relief before David Robertson worked a shaky ninth for his 35th save and second in two days.
The start was delayed 40 minutes for a threat of thunderstorms that never arrived on a steamy day with the heat index approaching 100 degrees.
Jonathan Villar hit two home runs and Keon Broxton robbed Anthony Rizzo of a homer in the ninth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Milwaukee, which took two of three in the series, got its first hit when Villar homered leading off the fourth. Villar homered again off Joe Smith (1-1), the sixth Chicago pitcher, leading off the eighth.
Corey Knebel (1-2) pitched a scoreless inning in relief to get the win. Tyler Thornburg notched his ninth save in 13 chances.
With one out in the ninth, Rizzo hit a drive to deep center. Broxton jumped above the wall to make the catch.
Chicago starter Mike Montgomery faced the minimum number of batters through three innings. He lasted five innings, allowing one run and two hits with two walks and six strikeouts
Milwaukee starter Matt Garza gave up one run and three hits in six innings.
The Chicago Bears have signed three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Kyle Long to a four-year contract extension through the 2021 season.
The deal announced Wednesday with the star right guard locks in a key player as general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox reshape a team that finished last in the NFC North at 6-10 in their first season.
Long is one of seven Bears to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven seasons, a list that includes Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka and Brian Urlacher. With the signing of Josh Sitton on Sunday following his surprise release from Green Bay, Chicago has two elite guards.
Jung Ho Kang led off the eighth inning with a home run, leading the Pirates to a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night to snap an eight-game losing streak.
Kang hit a drive deep into the bullpens in left-center off rookie Alex Reyes (1-1) for his 17th homer and third in two games. It helped snap the Pirates' longest skid since dropping 10 straight in 2011.
The third baseman returned from the disabled list Monday after missing 15 days with a sore left shoulder.
The Cardinals are percentage points ahead of the New York Mets for the second NL wild card, and the Pirates pulled within 4 1/2 games of St. Louis.
Trevor Williams (1-0) allowed one unearned run in three innings for the win in his major league debut.
Reyes gave up one run in 3 2/3 innings and also singled off Williams in the seventh for his first major league hit.
Tony Watson worked a perfect ninth inning for his 11th save after blowing his previous two opportunities, including Tuesday night when he allowed three home runs in the ninth inning of a 9-7 loss.
The Cardinals ended a streak of 25 consecutive games with a home run, a club record.
Pirates starter Jameson Taillon pitched five innings. The rookie gave up two runs, six hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Mike Leake went 4 1/3 innings in his first start for the Cardinals since Aug. 21 after being sidelined by the shingles virus. He gave up three runs, nine hits and a walk while striking out three.
Jaime Garcia (10-11, 4.41 ERA), who has lost his last three starts, faces Milwaukee RHP Junior Guerra (7-3, 2.85) on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game home series.
Matt Carpenter's solo pinch-hit homer - a major league record 15th by a St. Louis pinch-hitter this season - tied the game and sent a jolt through the Cardinals.
A home run each from Randal Grichuk and Jhonny Peralta followed, and St. Louis rallied for a stunning 9-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
St. Louis blew an early five-run lead and the Pirates were a pitch away from ending a seven-game losing streak when Watson's 0-2 fastball turned into Carpenter's 18th home run. An All-Star two years ago as a setup man who moved into the closer role when Mark Melancon was traded to Washington at the deadline, Watson gave up as many homers in the ninth as he did during the entire 2015 season.
Yadier Molina went 4 for 5, including a first-inning grand slam for St. Louis. Mike Mayers (1-1) tossed a scoreless eighth for the win, and Seung-Hwan Oh worked around a solo homer to Jung Ho Kang in the ninth for his 16th save.
Jung Ho Kang had two homers for Pittsburgh and Jordy Mercer hit a two-run double in the fifth as the Pirates took advantage of some sloppy defense by the Cardinals to overcome an early five-run deficit.
Mike Leake returns to the rotation after a stay on the disabled list while battling a case of the shingles. Leake is 9-5 with a 3.28 ERA in his career against Pittsburgh but is 1-2 with a 5.71 ERA this season.
The comeback allowed St. Louis to remain a game in front of the New York Mets for the second wild card in the National League.
Jonathan Villar homered to start a five-run first inning against Jason Hammel, and the Milwaukee Brewers cooled off the Chicago Cubs with a 12-5 victory on Tuesday night.
The NL Central-leading Cubs had won seven of eight and were 41 games over .500 after winning Monday's series opener.
But Milwaukee rallied from a 1-0 deficit as its first seven batters reached against Hammel (14-8). Villar homered on Hammel's second pitch, Ryan Braun had an RBI single, Domingo Santana singled in two runs and Martin Maldonado added a sacrifice fly.
Wily Peralta (6-9) gave up four runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings, leaving after Anthony Rizzo's second home run of the game, a two-run drive. Peralta became the first Brewers starter to pitch into the eighth since Junior Guerra on July 29. He has a 3.35 ERA in six starts since his Aug. 8 recall from Triple-A.
Mike Montgomery (1-1, 4.09 ERA) will start the series finale against the Brewers. He has a 4.01 ERA in five starts and a 2.29 ERA in 37 relief appearances for Seattle and Chicago this season.
>>Cubs Activate Rondon, Recall Four From AAA
Right-hander Hector Rondon was activated from the disabled list and outfielder Albert Almora Jr. and infielder Munenori Kawasaki rejoined the Chicago Cubs from Triple-A Iowa.
The moves were announced before Tuesday night's game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Also recalled from Iowa were catcher Tim Federowicz and right-hander Spencer Patton.
Rondon, who was out with triceps soreness, said he is ready for immediate relief duty.
"I think we have enough guys right now - offense, defense, special teams. We're ready to go," manager Joe Maddon said.
Jose Abreu hit his fifth homer in seven games, Miguel Gonzalez came off the disabled list to throw 6 1/3 innings of six-hit ball and the Chicago White Sox cooled off the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday night.
The Tigers went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on in their fourth loss in 15 games.
Detroit fell one game behind Baltimore for the second AL wild card and stayed 4 1/2 games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.
Abreu connected off Matt Boyd (5-3) in the second for his 23rd homer as Chicago got its third win in nine games.
Gonzalez (3-6) struck out four in his first start since Aug. 11 following a groin injury.
The clubs meet for the 19th and final time Wednesday as White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (11-10, 3.05 ERA) faces RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-13, 5.70).
The first weekend of college football is in the books and now we have the first set of reactions from the coaches voting in this year's Coaches Poll. Alabama, to the surprise of no one, remained at No. 1 with 62 of 64 first-place votes. Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State and Stanford round out the top five.
Oklahoma's loss dropped the Sooners from No. 3 to No. 13, but the most significant drop was LSU's slide from No. 6 to No. 22. Wisconsin, after defeating the Tigers and getting to leap in Lambeau, moved from "Others Receiving Votes" into the Coaches Poll proper at No. 16.
While Oklahoma, LSU and Notre Dame all stumbled out of the gate, it was a fantastic weekend for the Lone Star State. Houston jumped up to No. 7, Texas made its first appearance in the Coaches Poll since September 2014 at No. 20 after beating Notre Dame, and Texas A&M checked in at No. 24 after beating UCLA in overtime.
The Coaches Poll was particularly kind to Texas-based teams and now the AP Top 25 has shown an affinity for Washington, which checks in at No. 8 after handling Rutgers 48-13.
Alabama is still No. 1 and received 54 of 61 possible first-place votes followed by No. 2 Clemson (two), No. 3 Florida State (four), No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan (one). Wisconsin, meanwhile, surged to No. 10 after beating LSU, which fell to No. 21.
Similar to the Coaches Poll, the AP voters are also high on No. 6 Houston, No. 11 Texas and No. 20 Texas A&M, all of which came up with big wins this past weekend. UCLA, which fell to the Aggies, dropped out of the top 25. Florida also fell from the top 25 despite beating UMass 24-7. Miami took its place.
DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 ranked basketball recruit in the class of 2017, verbally committed to Arizona on Tuesday night.
Ayton picked the Wildcats over Kentucky and Kansas.
Ayton, who attends Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, made his pledge to Sean Miller's program on ESPN's SportsCenter. In doing so, Ayton becomes the first top-ranked recruit of Sean Miller's career -- and the first No. 1 recruit to ever pick Arizona. Ayton's commitment to Zona will almost definitely ensure Miller winds up with a top-five class in 2017. U of A was No. 38 heading into the day on 247's composite, but now finds itself up to No. 9.
The national conversation surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit or kneel during the playing of the national anthem as a form of silent protest is still rolling on. The latest place the much-debated issue cropped up was at Team USA's training camp for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
With the U.S. in Columbus, Ohio, ahead of the tournament this week, with NHL players representing their country, the Kaepernick question has been a common one. Many of the players who have gone on record have looked to avoid controversy. Some who addressed Kaepernick's decision talked their way around the issue while expressing their own respect for the flag and the anthem.
The U.S. squad is led by John Tortorella, a man who only bites his tongue when it comes to strategy on the ice. And the Columbus Blue Jackets coach, who also spent time with the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, had some thoughts about what would happen if any of his players sat in a similar form of protest.
"If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game," Tortorella told Linda Cohn of ESPN.
Tortorella has talked a lot about the importance of his players representing their country well since camp opened. He also has felt his bond to the U.S. tighten through his son's military service. Tortorella's son, Nick, is an Army Ranger and is currently deployed. Tortorella will also have a Ranger on Team USA's bench during Friday's exhibition game against Canada in Columbus.
Major league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks threw six strong innings and the Chicago Cubs broke away late to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 Monday.
Pinch hitter Chris Coghlan delivered a go-ahead single in a two-run seventh. He stayed in the game and got a two-run single in a four-run eighth for the NL Central leaders.
Hendricks (14-7) gave up one run - on Chris Carter's 33rd homer - and five hits in six innings, and left with a 2.07 ERA. He is 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA over his last seven starts.
It was 1-all in the seventh when Zach Davies (10-7) retired the first two batters. Miguel Montero then doubled, setting up singles by Coghlan and Tommy La Stella that scored runs.
Ryan Braun hit his 25th homer in the Milwaukee ninth.
Jason Hammel (14-7, 3.14 ERA) will start the second game of the series in Milwaukee. He is 10-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 14 career starts against the Brewers.
Adam Wainwright drove in three runs and survived five occasionally bumpy innings to pick up his first victory since mid-July as the Cardinals drummed the staggering Pittsburgh Pirates 12-6 on Monday.
Wainwright hit an RBI-double off Chad Kuhl (3-3) in the second and added a two-run single in the fourth as the Cardinals held on to the second wild card spot in the National League by sending the Pirates to their seventh straight loss.
Wainwright (10-8) allowed four runs and struck out five as his ERA rose to 4.61 while picking up his first victory since July 16. He hardly needed to be sharp as the Cardinals battered Pittsburgh's beleaguered pitching staff. Jedd Gyorko and Matt Adams homered for St. Louis to extend the team's streak of games with at least one home run to a club-record 24.
Andrew McCutchen and Adam Frazier hit home runs for the Pirates, who have been outscored 47-22 during their current slide. A week ago Pittsburgh was well within striking distance of the Cardinals for a playoff spot but have fallen 4 1/2 games behind St. Louis and dropped below .500 (67-68) for the first time since July 2.
St. Louis pounded out 14 hits - eight for extra bases - against five pitchers and wasted little time getting to Kuhl, who has been steady if not spectacular since joining the rotation full-time a month ago.
Jeff Locke came on relief of Kuhl in the third and the Cardinals quickly went to work. Kolten Wong's RBI single against him made it 4-2 and Gyorko opened the fourth with a long home run down the left-field line for his 26th of the year.
Wainwright's bloop to left later in the inning pushed St. Louis' lead to six runs and allowed Wainwright to leave after five innings in which he needed 93 pitches to get 15 outs.
Rookie Luke Weaver makes his fourth major league start on Tuesday. Weaver is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA and gave up three runs over six innings in his last start against Milwaukee.
Justin Upton hit a three-run home run in the 11th inning to lift the Detroit Tigers over the Chicago White Sox 5-3 on Monday for their 11th win in 14 games.
Miguel Cabrera homered twice and had four hits off Chris Sale, and Justin Verlander struck out 11 in seven innings as the Tigers stayed tied with Baltimore for the second AL wild card.
Chris Beck (1-1) issued consecutive two-out walks to Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez before Upton crushed a 1-2 fastball to right for his 21st home run. It was his second game-winning homer in two days after connecting in the eighth inning Sunday against Kansas City.
Cabrera became the fourth player to reach 300 homers with the Tigers with a liner to right in the first. He secured his fifth multihomer game of the season with a drive to left-center in the third, his 31st of the season.
Alex Wilson (2-0) gave up one hit in the 10th and Francisco Rodriguez gave up a run in the 11th before securing his 39th save. He moved past John Franco for fourth on the career saves list with 425.
Miguel Gonzalez (2-6, 4.05 ERA) returns from a groin injury Tuesday night to make his first start since Aug. 11. LHP Matt Boyd (5-2, 4.00) will be recalled from Triple-A to start for the Tigers.
Deondre Francois made plays with both his arm and legs while playing in front of his home crowd in Orlando. He completed 33 of 52 passes for 419 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed for 59 yards.
Francois stood in the pocket and delivered a 16-yard touchdown pass to Travis Rudolph, the first of 33 consecutive points for the Seminoles in a 45-34 season-opening win over Ole Miss - the largest comeback victory in school history.
He led the Seminoles on four touchdown drives and positioned freshman kicker Ricky Aguayo to convert a school-record six field goals while FSU scored on nine consecutive possessions between the second and fourth quarters.
Francois outplayed his much more experienced counterpart, Ole Miss senior Chad Kelly, who threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns but also had three interceptions and a fumble.
On Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Rory McIlroy was staring at a six-stroke deficit to Paul Casey.
He caught Casey by the time he hit the back nine of the second FedEx Cup Playoff event on Monday at TPC Boston. McIlroy went out in 31 with five birdies before closing with a 34; he shot 65 and won the tournament at 15 under by two strokes over Casey, who shot a 2-over 73.
It was McIlroy's first PGA Tour win since the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship. The 65 tied his best final-round score in a win since his first PGA Tour victory at the Quail Hollow Championship in 2010 when he shot a 62 on Sunday.
With the victory, McIlroy also become the third player in the last 30 years with 12 or more PGA Tour wins before his 28th birthday (and he doesn't turn 28 until next May).
He shot 67-66-65 to close out his first PGA Tour win in 16 months, and he made it look fairly easy.
Dustin Johnson reverted to classic D.J. form with a 75-66 finish. His narrative is basically the same as Rory's. If he putts well, he wins or finishes top five. He was No. 41 in putting this week and finished T9. A solid showing, but he had a real chance to take hold of the Player of the Year race with a win.
After early struggles, Jason Day fought his way to a 68-67 finish and T15 outing. He will remain in the top five in the FedEx Cup points race which is paramount going to the Tour Championship here in a couple of weeks. As long as you're in that top five, you can control your own destiny at East Lake.
Bubba Watson missed a cut he really needed to make. He is not guaranteed a spot on the Ryder Cup team, and he did not play well when he really needed it.
Tom Hessert won the ARCA Racing Series race at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in an overtime shootout Sunday night for his first series victory since 2014.
The 30-year-old Hessert, driving Venturini Motorsports' No. 25 Toyota, survived the green-white-checker finish on the mile clay oval for his sixth career series victory.
Kelly Kovski was seccond, followed by 61-year-old former NASCAR driver Ken Schrader, points leader Chase Briscoe and Ryan Unzicker. Schrader drove Venturini's No. 25 Toyota.
On the final restart, Hessert elected to start on the outside and got a jump on Schrader. Briscoe got underneath Schrader into Turn 1 and pounded the back of Hessert's rear bumper through the corner. Hessert maintained a length advantage coming to the checkered flag, with Briscoe, Kovski and Schrader trailing. ARCA officials dropped Briscoe from second to fourth for jumped the start.
The Chicago Bears released Robbie Gould, ending an 11-year run with the most accurate kicker in franchise history, and upgraded their offensive line by signing three-time Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton to a three-year deal Sunday night.
With Gould gone and Sitton in place, the Bears figure to have a different look when they open the season against Houston on Sept. 11.
Gould had quite a run in Chicago after going undrafted out of Penn State in 2005. He was working in construction when he signed with the Bears early that season after being released by New England and Baltimore.
Gould helped the 2006 team reach the Super Bowl and became the Bears' all-time leader in field-goal percentage (85.4 percent) and points (1,207). He also holds club records for field goals made (276), field goals made of 50 yards or more (23), field goals made in a season (33 in 2015) and longest field goal made (58-yards in 2013).
Gould had a rough stretch last season after making his first 15 field-goal attempts, though he wound up converting 84.6 percent. He made 5 of 6 field goals in the preseason but missed two extra points in the final exhibition against Cleveland. And with two years remaining on his contract, the Bears are parting ways and will need to bring in another kicker.
The 30-year-old Sitton was a surprise cut by Green Bay on Saturday. He had started 112 of 121 regular-season games since being drafted in the fourth round in 2008 out of Central Florida. He was one of the leaders on a front five that protects quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The signing of Sitton should bring a smile to quarterback Jay Cutler. He will have two star guards protecting him with three-time Pro Bowl lineman Kyle Long on the right side and Sitton at left guard.
The Bears can now go with either veteran Ted Larsen at center or rookie Cody Whitehair, who took some snaps there but worked mainly at left guard in the preseason.
The Chicago Bears have signed tight end Logan Paulsen and claimed center Eric Kush and cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc off waivers.
Offensive lineman Cornelius Edison, defensive back Demontre Hurst and tight end Khari Lee were waived on Sunday to make room on the roster.
Paulsen played in 75 games for Washington over five seasons, finishing with 79 receptions for 801 yards and six touchdowns. But he missed last year with an injury and was released on Saturday.
Kush also was cut Saturday after appearing in seven games with the Rams last season. LeBlanc, an undrafted rookie out of Florida Atlantic, played 141 snaps and had an interception for New England during the preseason, but was released by the Patriots over the weekend.
The Bears also signed six players to their practice squad, including former Harvard tight end Ben Braunecker and wide receiver Daniel Braverman, a seventh-round pick in this year's draft out of Western Michigan.
Jose Abreu hit two three-run homers and drove in a career-best seven runs, and the Chicago White Sox used Tim Anderson's two-run double in the 12th inning to beat the Minnesota Twins 13-11 on Sunday
Abreu, Anderson and Melky Cabrera had three hits apiece, helping Chicago overcome four homers for Minnesota. The teams combined for 18 homers while splitting the four-game series.
Juan Minaya (1-0) earned his first major league win. He pitched a scoreless 11th but walked the first two batters in the 12th. Tommy Kahnle then came in and earned his third career save, retiring Eddie Rosario with the bases loaded for the final out.
The St. Louis Cardinals activated switch-hitting catcher Brayan Pena from the 60-day disabled list and promoted rookie catcher Carson Kelly from Triple-A Memphis.
St. Louis designated Memphis infielder Dean Anna for assignment to make room for Kelly and transferred pitcher Seth Maness (right elbow) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.
Left knee inflammation has limited the 34-year-old Pena to just four games this season. He batted a combined .286 (8-for-28) with one home run and eight RBIs in nine combined games with Single-A Palm Beach and the Gulf Coast League Cardinals during a recent injury rehabilitation assignment.
Kelly, the Cardinals second-round draft selection in 2012, will make his major league debut.
Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong homered, Carlos Martinez carried a shutout into the seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Yadier Molina had two of the Cardinals' five hits as they avoided being swept in Cincinnati for the first time since July 2012.
St. Louis began the day with a one-game lead over the Mets for the final NL playoff spot. New York was set to host Washington later.
Martinez (13-7) allowed three hits over six scoreless innings before the Reds reached him for three hits and two runs to knock him out of the game three batters into the seventh. He walked five and struck out six while improving to 8-1 in 13 road starts this season.
Jason Heyward tied it with a single in the ninth inning and his liner to left-center in the 13th won it as the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Sunday to take three of four games in a possible playoff preview.
Anthony Rizzo led off the 13th with a single off Matt Reynolds (0-1) and went to second on Ben Zobrist's sacrifice. Addison Russell, who had three hits, was walked intentionally before Heyward drove in his third run of the game.
Trevor Cahill (4-4) worked a perfect inning in a series in which all four games were decided by one run.
The Cubs were staring at a second straight loss when Russell led off the ninth with a double against Santiago Casilla. He went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Heyward's single up the middle to hand Casilla his seventh blown save.
Wes Lunt threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns and Kendrick Foster ran for a pair of 56-yard touchdowns to give new Illinois coach Lovie Smith his first win, 52-3 over Murray State.
The Illini (1-0) opened up a 35-3 halftime lead over the Racers and were never threatened by the Football Championship Subdivision school.
Ahead of his first game at Illinois, Smith preached defense and takeaways, just as he did in a long career as an NFL head coach.
On Saturday, the Illini heeded his words early and took control of the game.
A pair of first quarter interceptions off quarterback KD Humphries led to two touchdown passes from Lunt and a quick 14-0 lead.
Illinois sacked Murray State (0-1) quarterbacks Humphries and Cameron Birse six times and held the Racers to 165 total yards. With -10 rushing yards on 26 carries, Murray State's run game was all but invisible.
Illinois faces a tough test and its first Top 25 opponent of the season when North Carolina visits Champaign on Saturday. The Tar Heels handled the Illini last season in Chapel Hill, 48-14.
In a game heard Friday night on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, The Clinton Maroons fell to the Braidwood ReedCuster Comets by a score of 56-27. The Maroons were led by senior quarterback Noah Griffin with 85 yards passing, 13 yard touchdown run, and a 46 yard touchdown pass. Griffin was also named the Country Financial representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game.
The Maroons fall to 1-1 on the season.
Tune in next week as the Maroons take on the Tuscola Warriors at 7pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.
Champaign Centennial 48, Urbana 8, F
Daville 21, Champaign Central 49, F
Normal Community 54, Bloomington 26, F
Peoria Manual 14, Peoria Notre Dame 56, F
Peoria Richwoods 6, Peoria 42, F
Central State Eight:
Chatham Glenwood 16, Rochester 58, F
Decatur MacArthur 21, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 61, F
Jacksonville 31, Springfield 20, F
Lincoln 16, Decatur Eisenhower 50, F
Springfield Southeast 54, Springfield Lanphier 13, F
Normal U-High 31, Bloomington Central Catholic 6, F
Pontiac 14, Illinois Valley Central 24, F
Olympia 12, Prairie Central 39, F
Heart of Illinois:
Tri-Valley 41, Eueka 0, F
Dee-Mack 42, Ridgeview 0, F
Fieldcrest 18, El Paso-Gridley 26, F
Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 14, Heyworth 52, F
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 55, Fisher 0, F
Tremont 6, LeRoy 34, F
Athens 50, Petersburg 6, F
Auburn 22, Williamsville 29, F
New Berlin 28, Virden North Mac 35, F
Pittsfield 6, Maroa-Forsyth 60, F
Riverton 0, Pleasant Plains 43, F
Limestone 14, Mahomet-Seymour 13, F
Bunker Hill 28, Blue Ridge 6, F
Decatur St. Teresa 69, Nokomis 7, F
East Peoria 22, East Moline United 6, F
Meridian 22, Decatur-Lutheran 37, F
Monmouth-Roseville 12, Tolono Unity 48, F
Central A&M 24, Argenta-Oreana 34, F
Normal West 35, O'Fallon 48, F
Oakland Tri-County 12, Arcola 47, F
Oblong 7, Sangamon Valley 34, F
Palestine 6, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 28, F
Quincy Notre Dame 20, St. Joseph-Ogden 41, F
Rover Grove Guerin 6, Champaign St. Thomas More 35, F
Rock Island Alleman 21, Metamora 34, F
Seneca 36, Rantoul 12, F
Shelbyville 26, Cerro Gordo-Bement 14, F
Sullivan-Okaw Valley 46, Toledo Cumberland 30, F
Tuscola 69, Villa Grove-Heritage 8, F
Warrensburg-Latham 27, Kincaid South Fork 19, F
Washington 3, Morris 20, F
After a big opener against Nokomis last week, the Monticello Sages look to continue to roll as they make the hike up to Sherrard tonight.
The Sages rolled Nokomis 47-7 behind five touchdowns from senior quarterback Caleb Hanson.
Sherrard fell to Orion 56-7 last Friday night.
Hear tonight's action from Sherrard at approximately 7:30 pm. The JV will play prior to the varsity game tonight.
Other high school football games this week:
Champaign Centennial at Urbana
Danville at Champaign Central
Normal Community at Bloomington
Peoria Manual vs. Peoria Notre Dame at Richwoods Stadium
Peoria Richwoods at Peoria
Central State Eight
Chatham Glenwood at Rochester
Decatur MacArthur at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
Jacksonville at Springfield
Lincoln at Decatur Eisenhower
Springfield Southeast at Springfield Lanphier (Sat.)
Normal U-High at Bloomington Central Catholic
Pontiac at Illinois Valley Central
Olympia at Prairie Central
Heart of Illinois
Tri-Valley at Eureka
Dee-Mack at Ridgeview
Fieldcrest at El Paso-Gridley
Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland at Heyworth
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Fisher
Tremont at LeRoy
Athens at Petersburg PORTA
Auburn at Williamsville
New Berlin at Virden North Mac
Pittsfield at Maroa-Forsyth
Riverton at Pleasant Plains
Non Conference games tonight:
Limestone at Mahomet-Seymour
Bunker Hill at Blue Ridge
Decatur St. Teresa at Nokomis
East Peoria at East Moline United
Meridian at Decatur-Lutheran
Monmouth-Roseville at Tolono Unity
Central A & M at Argenta-Oreana
Normal West at O'Fallon
Oakland Tri-County at Arcola (Sat.)
Oblong at Sangamon Valley
Palestine at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Quincy Notre Dame at St. Joseph-Ogden
River Grove Guerin at Champaign St. Thomas More (Sat.)
Rock Island Alleman at Metamora
Seneca at Rantoul
Shelbyville at Cerro Gordo-Bement
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Toledo Cumberland
Tuscola at Villa Grove-Heritage
Warrensburg-Latham at Kincaid South Fork
Washington at Morris
A big second half propelled the Clinton Maroons to a 40-22 victory over Villa Grove and this week, the Maroons will travel to Braidwood and take on Reed Custer.
The Maroons are 1-0 on the season after last weeks win. Coal City downed Reed Custer 38-13 last Friday night.
Tonight's game is approximately 7:30 pm. The JV will play their game prior to the varsity game tonight.
Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
It's a new era of Fighting Illini Football as the Illini open the 2016 campaign hosting Murray State Saturday afternoon.
First year head coach Lovie Smith opens a new chapter in the college game after many years in the National Football League.
The Illini will rely on an experienced front four and quarterback, Wes Lunt.
The Illini will be led by DE Dewuane Smoot, who had a breakout 2015 season. Smoot leads a defense that will be inexperienced at both linebacker and in the secondary that returns just two starters.
The offense will be led by senior quarterback Wes Lunt. While the Illini will be without leading receiver from 2015 Geronimo Allison and Mike Dudek, who is out with another knee injury, the Illini have enough playmakers. They return true sophomore runningback Ke'Shawn Vaughn along with tightend Tyler White, receivers Justin Hardee and Malik Turner.
Game time Saturday afternoon is 2:30 pm on the Big Ten Network.
The Illinois State football team has had unprecedented success over the past two seasons, with a FCS National Championship appearance in 2014 and back-to-back shares of the Missouri Valley Football Conference title on its résumé in the past two seasons. However, the Redbirds will look to get off to a good start in 2016 with a win over Valparaiso Saturday, with hopes of advancing to the FCS playoffs for the third-straight season, something the program has not done in its history.
Head coach Brock Spack is in his eighth season as the head coach at Illinois State (56-29). Spack has led the Redbirds to back-to-back shares of the MVFC title the past two seasons and FCS playoff appearances three times in the past four seasons.
The Crusaders finished the 2015 season with a 1-9 record, including a 1-7 record in Pioneer League play. Valparaiso picked up its lone win of the season at Davidson in early October.
Anthony Warrum had a breakout season in 2015 and looks to improve on those numbers in 2016. The Fishers, Indiana, native earned third-team All-America honors last season, after setting a single-season record and leading the MVFC with 15 receiving touchdowns. Warrum also ranked second in the league with 1,290 yards on 58 receptions and recorded over 100 yards receiving in six contests, including the last two games of the season with a career-best nine receptions in the FCS quarterfinal loss to Richmond.
Illinois State senior outside linebacker Alejandro Rivera was named one of 165 nominees for the 2016 Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, as announced by Allstate Insurance Company and the AFCA.
Game time at Hancock Stadium Saturday is 6 pm.
As heard on WHOW, Steve McShane rushed for a career-high 207 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, and Western Illinois beat Eastern Illinois 38-21 in a season opener Thursday night.
Two third-quarter touchdown passes by Eastern Illinois' Mitch Kimble cut a 17-point halftime lead to 24-21 before Devon Moore ran 6 yards for a score and McShane burst for 70 yards and a touchdown with 7:04 remaining. McShane's run was the Leathernecks' first of at least 70 yards since 2000.
McShane scored on a 1-yard run and Sean McGuire from 5 yards after the Panthers took their only lead on Kimble's 19-yard run on their first drive. McGuire added a 2-yard TD pass to Tony Harper and Nathan Knuffman a career-tying 43-yard field goal as the half ended.
Kimble, who passed for 323 yards, threw 53 yards to Ben Odugbesan for a TD, and Korliss Marshall, with 111 yards receiving, took a backfield pass and went 79 yards.
>>Cubs Get By Giants
Addison Russell hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Thursday night.
The Cubs spoiled a shaky Jeff Samardzija's return to Wrigley Field and started September on a winning note after going 22-6 to match the 1932 team for the best August in franchise history.
The major league leaders also moved a season-high 39 games over .500 and a jaw-dropping 15 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central - their largest lead in the standings since the 1907 team finished 17 games ahead of Pittsburgh, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Russell's bloop single off Cory Gearrin gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead. Dexter Fowler had two singles and scored two runs.
Kris Bryant added an RBI single to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, matching a career high. And the Cubs rallied behind a dominant bullpen and another big hit by Russell.
The 22-year-old Russell's 88 RBIs are tops among National League shortstops. He is 8 for 18 and has driven in 23 runs with the bases loaded. On top of that, he is playing a Gold Glove-level defense.
His go-ahead hit wiped out a 4-3 deficit and capped a rally that began when Hunter Strickland (3-2) gave up a leadoff single to Fowler and walked Bryant after two close pitches were called balls.
Will Smith walked Ben Zobrist with one out to load the bases before retiring Jason Heyward on a pop fly. But Russell then drove in Fowler and Bryant with a bloop single to left.
Carl Edwards Jr. worked the ninth for his first career save with Aroldis Chapman getting the night off after pitching in the previous three games.
The Cubs send LHP Jon Lester (14-4, 2.70 ERA), unbeaten in his past six starts, to the mound while Albert Suarez (3-2, 4.35) makes his eighth start for San Francisco.
>>Twins Power Past White Sox
Byron Buxton homered in his return to the majors, and Trevor Plouffe continued his resurgence with a two-run shot as the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 8-5 and ended a 13-game losing streak Thursday night.
Minnesota got to Chicago starter Jose Quintana, who entered the day leading the American League with a 2.77 ERA. Quintana (11-10) allowed seven runs and seven hits in five innings and saw his ERA rise to 3.05.
Ervin Santana (7-10) escaped trouble to win for the fourth time in five decisions. He gave up 11 hits and two walks, but allowed just two runs as the Twins snapped their losing streak, one off the franchise record for a season.
Brandon Kintzler recorded his 13th save in 14 chances.
Kyle Gibson (5-8, 5.17 ERA) will start the second game of the four-game series for Minnesota on Friday against LHP Carlos Rodon (5-8, 3.91).
Rodon has won his last three decisions and owns a 1.47 ERA in his past five starts.
Jalen Hurd pounced on quarterback Joshua Dobbs' fumble in the end zone and No. 9 Tennessee overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to escape with a 20-13 victory over Appalachian State on Thursday night.
Appalachian State was trying to stage a repeat of its 2007 upset of No. 5 Michigan, which marked the first time a Football Championship Subdivision program had beaten a Top 25 team. The Mountaineers have since left the FCS ranks and had their first season as a full-fledged Bowl Subdivision member last year.
Tennessee faced third-and-goal from the 2 when Dobbs ran to his right and lost control of the ball as he tried to stretch his arms across the goal line. Hurd won the scramble for the loose ball in the end zone to give the Volunteers their only lead of the night.
Micah Abernathy ended the game by breaking up a pass into the end zone on fourth-and-5 from the 20.
The Vols tied it on Dobbs' 67-yard touchdown pass to Josh Malone with 10:30 left in regulation. Appalachian State redshirt freshman kicker Michael Rubino, who earlier missed an extra point, was wide right on a 42-yard field goal attempt with 5:24 remaining.
Rubino's miss wasted a 57-yard punt return by Jaquil Capel that gave Appalachian State the ball at the 28.
Tennessee entered the season with its highest ranking since 2006 after winning its final six games last year, but the Volunteers looked nothing like a Top 10 team Thursday. The Volunteers committed two first-half turnovers and lost linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin to a targeting penalty in the opening quarter as Appalachian State built a 13-3 lead.
Cam Sutton fumbled on a punt return and Appalachian State's Alex Gray recovered at Tennessee's 36 to set up the first touchdown, a 5-yard keeper from Taylor Lamb barely four minutes into the game. Appalachian State's other touchdown came in the second quarter on a 33-yard completion from Lamb to Cox.
>>Bears Win Final Preseason Tuneup
Robert Griffin III led Cleveland's starting offense on a short touchdown drive against Chicago's defensive backups in a 21-7 exhibition loss to the Bears on Thursday night.
Ka'Deem Carey scored on a 1-yard run in the first half, rookie Jordan Howard had a 16-yard TD run and Robbie Gould kicked three field goals as the Bears (1-3) avoided a winless preseason.
Isaiah Crowell had a 4-yard TD for the Browns (0-4), who played Griffin and the offensive starters for the first quarter. RG3, attempting to revive his career in Cleveland after an ugly departure from Washington, went 4 of 8 for 31 yards during his three series.
Griffin's night might have been over after the second possession, but the Bears fumbled a punt, giving Cleveland the ball at the Chicago 18.
Griffin threw two incompletions in the end zone before Crowell - with Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas watching from the sideline - squirted in on third down to give the Browns a 7-3 lead. It took Cleveland six plays to cover the 18 yards.
>>Kansas City Beats Green Bay In Final Preseason Game
Quarterback Joe Callahan capped a strong preseason by throwing for 143 yards and a touchdown as the Packers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 17-7 in their preseason finale Thursday night.
Callahan played almost the entire way in a game featuring second- and third-teamers on both sides. The product of Division III Wesley College has been trying to earn the No. 3 job behind Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley, who has been sidelined by an ankle injury this preseason.
Rodgers played two series.
Kansas City running back Knile Davis, who could be traded by the weekend, ran 15 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. The former third-round draft pick also caught a pass out of the backfield.
Darrin Reaves also had 63 yards rushing and a touchdown for Kansas City.
SS Marwin Evans had six tackles for Green Bay before getting shaken up on special teams. RB Brandon Burks had 31 yards rushing on 12 carries in the contest.
The wide receiver depth after Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb remains in flux for Green Bay. Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery and Jared Abbrederis are in the mix. Abbrederis had two catches for 49 yards Thursday night, while Adams caught two passes for 20 yards.
Chase Reynolds shot a 39, four over par, and Mac Hickman shot a 40, five over par, Wednesday afternoon at Clinton Country Club as the Maroons boys golf team beat Meridian in Central Illinois Conference meet.
Tanner Devore finished with a 46 and Wesley Conn shot a 49 on the par 35 course.
Grace Miller led Meridian with a 45.
For the Maroons JV squad, Owen Hunt and Luke Borland carded 49s and Skyler Williamson and Jackson Dempsey totaled 51s.
Clinton won 174 strokes to 206.
>>Cubs Win, Sweep Pirates
Kris Bryant hit his 36th homer and made three solid plays at third base, helping Jason Hammel and the Chicago Cubs top the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 on Wednesday night for a three-game series sweep.
Addison Russell had two RBIs and an outstanding sliding catch as Chicago equaled the best August in franchise history with a 22-6 record, also accomplished in 1932. It was the Cubs' first time with 22 wins in a month since it went 22-10 in September 1945.
Heading into the final stretch of the season, the Cubs (85-47) are rapidly closing in on their first division title since 2008. They begin September with the majors' best record at a season-high 38 games over .500 and a whopping 15-game lead over second-place St. Louis in the NL Central.
Pittsburgh (67-64) closed out a 4-3 trip that began with a sweep in Milwaukee. It trails the Cardinals by 2 1/2 games for the second NL wild card.
Mike Montgomery (1-1, 3.50 ERA) gets the ball when Chicago hosts San Francisco in the opener of a four-game set on Thursday night. RHP Jeff Samardzija (11-9, 4.50 ERA), who played for the Cubs for seven years, pitches for the Giants.
>>Jones Leads Tigers Past White Sox
JaCoby Jones doubled twice in his second major league game, then dashed home for the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Collins in the ninth inning to lift the Detroit Tigers over the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Wednesday.
After a day after doubling, singling and driving in two runs in his debut, Jones scored twice to help the Tigers complete a three-game sweep.
Jones hit a leadoff double in the ninth against David Robertson (4-3) and advanced to third on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's deep flyball.
Collins came up as a pinch-hitter and was able to lift the ball to left-center. Avisail Garcia made the catch, but his throw bounced before it even reached the mound.
Francisco Rodriguez (2-3) pitched the ninth.
Jose Abreu and Alex Avila homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth for the White Sox.
Chicago plays at Minnesota on Thursday night. LHP Jose Quintana (11-9) starts against Ervin Santana (6-10).
>>Nieuwenhuis, Garza Lead Brew Crew Past Redbirds
Matt Garza pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this season, leading his team to a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Garza (5-6) gave up one run and three hits in seven-plus innings while walking two and striking out eight.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a three-run homer off Luke Weaver (1-2) in the third inning for the Brewers, who snapped a six-game losing streak.
Weaver, making his fourth major league start, gave up three runs and four hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out 10, including four straight at one point.
The Brewers loaded the bases with one out in the sixth but failed to score off Weaver, who struck out Keon Broxton looking to end the inning.
Tyler Thornburg notched his sixth save in 10 chances.
Alex Reyes (1-0, 0.64 ERA) will make his second major league start when St. Louis starts a three-game series at Cincinnati on Friday. He had a no-decision in his first start on Saturday against Oakland, allowing one run and two hits in 4 1/3 innings.
>>LaStella Back With Cubs As Rosters Expand
The Chicago Cubs have recalled infielder Tommy La Stella from Triple-A Iowa and optioned reliever Spencer Patton to their top farm club.
La Stella was sent down on July 29, but refused to report to the minors. After weeks of dialogue between the New Jersey native and the team, La Stella joined Double-A Tennessee in mid-August.
The 27-year-old La Stella got the start at second for the series finale against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. He is batting .295 with two homers and eight RBIs in 51 games with major league-leading Chicago.
Patton is 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA in 12 appearances with the Cubs this season.
La Stella was acquired in a November 2014 trade with Atlanta.
>>Mets' 2B Walker Likely Out Remainder of 2016 Season
The Mets had been holding out hope that the disc issue in Neil Walker's back wasn't too serious, but instead it appears it will end his season. Manager Terry Collins told reporters after their win on Wednesday that Walker will "probably" have surgery to fix the issue (Marc Carig). Doing so would end Walker's 2016 season.
Walker's contract is up after this season, so he's soon to be on the open market. He'll turn 31 this September and is coming off back surgery by the time free agency hits. On the plus side, he's been a productive offensive player pretty much throughout his career. He's a .273/.339/.436 hitter with six 24-plus doubles seasons. Oddly, the doubles dropped to nine this season, but he matched a career high with 23 home runs. His .282/.347/.476 line was good for the best OPS of his career as well.
Wilmer Flores and Kelly Johnson are expected to fill in at second base.
Flores homered while Johnson came through with the big knock in the Mets' 5-2 win over the Marlins on Wednesday.
Flores is slashing .267/.320/.469 while Johnson is at .254/.316/.406.
The Mets have now won nine of their last 11 and have just completed their first winning month (15-14) since going 15-7 in April. They trail the Cardinals by only 1 1/2 games for the second wild-card spot, thanks to the Cardinals' loss in Milwaukee.
James Harrison, Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews no longer have to worry about being suspended by the NFL.
The league announced on Wednesday that all three players have been cleared following a short investigation where the NFL looked into the possibility that the three men had acquired and used performance-enhancing substances.
"The [league has] found no credible evidence that Pittsburgh's James Harrison and Green Bay's Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers were provided with or used substances prohibited under the NFL-NFLPA Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances following a comprehensive investigation into allegations made in a documentary by Al-Jazeera America," the NFL said in a statement.
The allegations were made in December in a report that was released by Al -Jazeera America. Peyton Manning was also named in the report. Manning was also cleared.
Much of the report was based on the testimony of Charlie Sly, who has since recanted everything he said, which probably made it even easier for the league to clear all three players.
The NFL investigation ends a suspenseful two months for all three players.
>>Philadelphia To Host 2017 NFL Draft
For the third time in four years, the NFL Draft has a new home.
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has reported that the league's annual event will be moved to Philadelphia in 2017. The draft was held in New York in 2014, before moving to Chicago for 2015 and 2016.
The league is expected to make the official announcement on Thursday in a press conference that will be held at Philadelphia City Hall.
The NFL has had its eye on Philly for a while now. Back in April, it was reported that Philadelphia was a front-runner to host the 2017 draft, something that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged at the time.
The 2017 draft will mark the first time since December 1960 that the draft has been held in the City of Brotherly Love.
>>More Concussion Lawsuits Filed Against NCAA
The latest round of class-action concussion lawsuits against the NCAA and major college football conferences were filed by former college football players from Florida State, Miami, Florida, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Louisville and Murray State.
The lawsuits were filed in federal courts Wednesday by Chicago-based attorney Jay Edelson. The seven lawsuits increase the total number to 22 filed since May.
The players are seeking damages for injuries they claim are the result of mishandled concussions they suffered while playing college football.
In most cases the lawsuits name the NCAA and the conferences in which the schools competed. State laws protect most schools from being sued. The University of Miami, a private school, is named in the lawsuit filed by former defensive back Ryan Hill, who played for the Hurricanes from 2006-2010.
>>EA Exec Says Football College Football Game Will Return 'One Day'
If EA Sports gets its way, you won't have to rely on old versions of the "NCAA Football" video game to get you through the summer.
According to one EA executive, the beloved, defunct video game is bound to make a comeback sooner or later.
"One day, I know we'll be back," said EA's Chief Competition Officer Peter Moore in an interview with IGN.
The last edition of the franchise was "NCAA Football 14." By that time, both EA and the NCAA (along with Collegiate Licensing Company) were at the center of major litigation started by former college athletes demanding compensation for the use of their likeness. Eventually, the legal process rolled into the more all-encompassing Ed O'Bannon antitrust case. In the fallout of NCAA Football's demise, players began receiving checks for the use of their likeness.
There have been passing rumors that "NCAA Football" was making a comeback, but this is the most concrete evidence that such hopes will come to fruition. Exactly when that will happen, though, is unknown.