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Monticello Second Round Playoff Game Start Time Set

The Monticello Sages second round playoff game against Westville for Saturday afternoon has been set for 2 pm.
The Sages rolled Chicago Clark 49-8 in the first round Saturday. 
 
Westville and Monticello are among five remaining teams in the north bracket undefeated at 10-0 on the season.
 
From the Vermillino Valley Conference, the Tigers won the league and advanced to the second round after a win over Chicago Marine last Saturday.
 
The two schools have never met in the postseason.
 
Hear all the action from Westville on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Lester, Chapman Get Cubs By Indians

Aroldis Chapman got eight outs in the longest relief appearance of his career and the Chicago Cubs held off Cleveland 3-2 Sunday night, cutting the Indians' lead in the World Series 3-2.
 
The Cubs won a Series game at Wrigley Field for the first time since in 1945. They'll try to extend their season in Game 6 at Cleveland on Tuesday night when Chicago right-hander Jake Arrieta faces Josh Tomlin.
 
Kris Bryant's homer sparked a three-run burst in the fourth inning that gave Jon Lester and the Cubs the lead.
 
Carl Edwards Jr. relieved Lester to begin the seventh with a 3-2 edge. With a runner on second and one out, Chapman was called in.
 
The hard-throwing closer hadn't pitched in the seventh inning since 2012. Chapman escaped the jam, then shut down the Indians for a save.
 
Jose Ramirez homered for Cleveland. Losing pitcher Trevor Bauer went four innings.

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Falcons Late Score Downs Packers

After two excruciating losses, the Atlanta Falcons rallied for a 33-32 victory over the Green Bay Packers when Matt Ryan threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds remaining Sunday.
 
With Julio Jones shut down in the second half, Ryan turned to Sanu to bail out Atlanta (5-3). He caught five passes for 50 yards on the final possession, the last of them a touchdown pass in the back of the end zone after he got matched against linebacker Jake Ryan.
Sanu had nine catches for 84 yards, both season highs in his first year with the Falcons. Atlanta needed every one of them, since Jones was held to three catches for 29 yards and targeted only once in the second half - a dropped pass on the final possession.
 
But Jones helped Sanu get open on the winning play, drawing two defenders when they lined up on the same side of the field.
Ryan was 28 of 35 for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
 
Rodgers threw for 246 yards, teaming up with a bunch of unknown receivers as the banged-up Packers played without six starters. 
 
Three Green Bay receivers - Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis and Jeff Janis - got their first career touchdown. Allison, in fact, had just been promoted from the practice squad and never caught a pass in an NFL game. Ditto for Davis, a rookie who had mainly been used as a returner.
 
Rodgers was also Green Bay's leading rusher with a career-high 60 yards on six carries. 
 
The Packers return home next Sunday to face the Indianapolis Colts (3-5), in what will be the only game played in Green Bay during the month of November. After that, it's three straight on the road.

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Illini Get By Wash U in Exhibition

The Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team led by as many as 29 points and cruised to an 82-75 exhibition win against Washington University Sunday at State Farm Center.
 
Every Illini who saw playing time scored - led by Maverick Morgan's 20 points. Michael Finke added 13 points and Malcolm Hill and Jalen Coleman-Lands each scored 11.
 
Up next, Illinois hosts Lewis University for its second and final exhibition. game on Friday, November 4 at 7 pm.

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Crawford Leads Blackhawks Over Kings 3-0

Corey Crawford made 32 saves, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa each had a power-play goal and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 on Sunday night.
 
Artem Anisimov also scored to extend his career-best point streak to seven games. He has six goals and five assists during the run.
 
Toews got his first goal of the season - the Chicago captain had just three assists in the Blackhawks' first eight games. Hossa scored into an empty net with 1:10 remaining.
 
Peter Budaj made 26 saves for Los Angeles.
 
Hossa was honored in a pregame ceremony for becoming the 44th player with 500 goals, a milestone he reached on Oct. 18.

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ISU, Western Win Saturday; Eastern, Illinois Lose

>>ISU Tops South Dakota State
 
Jake Kolbe threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Illinois State delivered South Dakota State its first conference loss with a 38-21 win on Saturday.
 
Kolbe had 138 yards passing for the Redbirds (4-5, 2-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Jamal Towns ran for 136 yards and a score.
 
Kolbe ran for an 18-yard touchdown and threw two scoring passes to Anthony Warrum in the first half to give Illinois State a 28-14 advantage at halftime.
 
The Jackrabbits (5-3, 4-1) cut the Redbirds lead to 28-21 on a 30-yard scoring pass by Taryn Christion with 11:39 left in the third quarter. But two Christion interceptions in the fourth by DraShane Glass, in the end zone, and La'Darius Newbold - who returned his 92 yards for a score - ended SDS's hopes of a late rally.
 
Christion threw for 430 yards and two touchdowns and was intercepted three times. He also ran for a score.
 
>>Western Illinois Rallies Past South Dakoka
 
Joey Borsellino's 2-yard touchdown reception with 32 seconds left lifted Western Illinois to a 35-34 win over South Dakota on Saturday.
 
Miles Bergner's 54-yard field goal attempt as time ran out was wide as South Dakota (4-4, 3-2 MVFC) saw its three-game conference winning streak snapped.
 
On third-and-goal with three receivers left and a back in motion to the left, Sean McGuire threw the game-winner to Borsellino wide open to the right side to cap an 80-yard scoring drive.
 
Lance Lenoir had six catches for 111 yards and a TD for Western Illinois (6-2, 3-2).
 
Steve McShane and Jamie Gilmore had rushing touchdowns for the Leathernecks. McShane ran 13 times for 112 yards.
 
Streveler carried 21 times for 102 yards and a TD and completed 29 of 40 passes for 373 yards and two scores. Streveler's 1-yard run with 1:12 left in the first half gave USD a 31-14 lead.
 
The Leathernecks needed most of the third quarter to get back into the game. McGuire scored on a 6-yard run with 11:58 left in the quarter and Gilmore scored on a 1-yard run with 1:13 left to make it 31-28.
 
Bergner's 21-yard field goal with 9:52 left made it 34-28.
 
After a defensive stop, the Coyotes took over on its own 23. Streveler's first pass was incomplete, but his second to Brandt Van Roekel went for 69 yards down to the Leathernecks 8.
 
The drive ended when Bouma fumbled the ball into the end zone and WIU recovered for a touchback with 4:37 to play. Bouma finished with 47 yards.
 
Eleven plays later, the Leathernecks completed the comeback.
 
>>Jacksonville State Rolls Eastern Illinois
 
As heard on WHOW, Eli Jenkins passed for two touchdowns and ran for another and Jacksonville State beat Eastern Illinois 47-14 on Saturday for the Gamecocks' sixth straight victory.
 
Josh Clemons, who rushed for two touchdowns, scored on a 1-yard run early in the game after Eastern Illinois (5-4, 3-3 Ohio Valley) lost a fumble at its own 6. The Gamecocks (7-1, 4-0) added two more first-quarter touchdowns on Jenkins' 11-yard run and his 13-yard pass to Josh Barge for a 21-0 lead.
 
Jenkins, who passed for 157 yards and ran for 85, moved into second place on the OVC career total yards offense list at 10,533. Barge became the first FCS player to make a reception in 46 straight games, tied later Saturday by Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp. Roc Thomas rushed 13 times for 115 yards.
 
The second-ranked Gamecocks have the longest active FCS home win streak at 13 and the longest active Division I streak with their 21st consecutive conference victory.
 
>>Late Minnesota Surge Dooms Illini
 
A pair of early Illinois turnovers and a short punt gave Minnesota the ball at the Illinois 49-, 20- and 9-yard lines, and the Gophers turned each into a touchdown on the way to a 40-17 win.
 
Rodney Smith did the bulk of the damage, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Shannon Brooks added 59 yards and a score on a dozen carries.
 
Smith's first touchdown was a 20-yard burst up the middle with 2:16 left in the first quarter, giving Minnesota (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) the lead for good at 14-7. It followed a fumbled punt by Illinois' Darius Mosely, recovered by Antione Winfield Jr. at the 20.
 
Jeff George Jr., Illinois' (2-6, 1-4) third-string quarterback and the son of Illini legend and longtime NFL quarterback Jeff George, started his second straight game and went 16-34 for 156 yards and a touchdown.
 
Illinois starter Wes Lunt suited up but sat out his third straight game with a back injury. Second-string quarterback Chayce Crouch, who injured a shoulder in a win over Rutgers two weeks ago, is out for the season after having surgery Monday, Smith confirmed.
 
Illinois receiver Malik Turner left the field on a stretcher in the first half after a hit by Minnesota safety Duke McGhee. Turner was taken to a local hospital but was back in the locker room before the end of the game, Smith said, though further information about his injury was not available.
 
McGhee was flagged for targeting and ejected from the game.
 
The Illini get a second straight home game hosting a Michigan State.
 
>>Wisconsin Moves Up in Coaches Poll
 
Nebraska, Baylor, West Virginia and Boise State -- all previously undefeated -- lost on the road Saturday. The Cornhuskers got beat in overtime, the Bears by a field goal and the Broncos by a safety. Week 9 started with nine undefeated teams eyeing playoff bids and spots in the New Year's Six. Suddenly, there are just four undefeated Power Five teams and one unbeaten team in the Group of Five as Western Michigan hopes to get the golden ticket.
 
The Broncos' boost came as a result of Boise State's first loss of the season. The WMU Broncos moved up three spots to No. 18 while Boise State made the biggest fall, down 11 spots to No. 24.
 
With the first College Football Playoff Rankings coming out Tuesday, you get the feeling that we're still a few major shakeups away from seeing the playoff picture clearly. The last couple of weeks of conference play should be enough evidence to know that we're nowhere close to the end, but history provides even more reason to believe in the continuation of chaos.
 
Only three of the eight teams named to the top four in the initial rankings have gone on to make the playoff thanks to a series of bracket-busting defeats in November. We think that Alabama, Michigan, Clemson and Washington are the teams most likely to be in the top four Tuesday, but given recent history, we should also be paying attention to the other teams lurking in the wings to take their spot.
 
Ohio State, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Florida, Oklahoma and Auburn all made moves up of at least three spots thanks to the reshuffling.
 
Alabama, Michigan, Clemson and Washington have risen to the top of the polls thanks to undefeated starts, but after that, the rankings are much more fluid. Teams like No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 10 Florida are joining No. 5 Louisville at the top of the one-loss group that welcomes those Bears, Mountaineers and Cornhuskers after the weekend shakeup.
 
Meanwhile, two-loss teams like Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Auburn and LSU continue to win and hope for some help in conference title races in order to help their playoff chances.

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UPDATED First Round Football Playoff Scores

3A first round playoff scores:
 
St. Joseph Ogden 8
Elmhurst Catholic 49
 
Aledo Mercer County 2
Paxton-Buckley-Loda 50
 
Bloomington Central Catholic 14
Emwood-Brimfield 36
 
Vandalia 20
Unity 46
 
Williamsville 56
Hillsboro 12
 
Class 1A first round playoff scores:
 
Arcola 0
Hardin Calhoun 8
 
Argenta-Oreana 30
Warrensburg-Latham32
 
Decatur Lutheran 7
Bridgeport Red Hill 20
 
Decatur St. Teresa 54
Toledo Cumberland 20
 
Kirkland Hiawatha 12
LeRoy 40
 
Tuscola 52
Oblong 7
 
In Class 2A
 
Carmi-White County 6
Shelbyville 46
 
Tri-Valley 49
Rushville-Industry 0
 
Hamilton West Hancock 38
Champaign St. Thomas More 44
 
Dee-Mack 58
Orion 10
 
Maroa-Forsyth 42
Johnston City 6
 
G.C.-Melvin-Sibley 35
El Paso-Gridley 7
 
Class 4A first round playoff scores:
 
Mt. Zion 41
Olney Richland County 0
 
In Class 5A:
 
Decatur Eisenhower 51
Jacksonville 22
 
Peoria 21
Dunlap 9
 
Centralia 44
Mahomet-Seymour 0
 
Kankakee 6
Metamora14
 
Washington 35
Peoria Notre Dame 14
 
Crete-Monee 37
Chatham Glenwood 6
 
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 57
Normal West 20
 
In Class 7A:
 
Normal 20
Belleville West 18
 
Glenbard North 49
Pekin 0

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Welter Wins No. 200 in Sages Route of Chicago Clark

Monticello Sages head coach Cully Welter was quick to deflect the attention after picking up his 200th victory as a head coach after his team routed Chicago Clark 49-8 Saturday afternoon at Monticello High School in the first round of the Class 3A IHSA football playoffs.
 
The Sages opened the scoring with a Caleb Hanson 24 yard touchdown run and Chicago Clark answered with a 61-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Everett Spraggs to Demetrius Richardson, but it was all Monticello after that, as the Sages scored the next 41 points and their relentless defensive pressure left the Eagles without answers.
 
After a postgame ceremony to recognize Coach Welter, now in his sixth year in Monticello, the Sages head man says it's not about him, but the kids he's had in his 20-plus years of coaching.
 
 
Chicago Clark's size and athleticism was a focal point of the Sages coming into their Class 3A first round playoff matchup but Coach Welter says he was pleased with the defensive intensity, despite the one coverage break down early in the ballgame.
 
 
Leading 46-8 at the half, Monticello was able to rest their starters in the second half and a field goal by Ben Singleton early in the third quarter put the 40-point running clock in motion for virtually the entire second half. 
Lucas Lieb found the end zone three times carrying the ball for 87 yards on 13 carries.
 
Hanson finished 16 for 22 with 210 yards and two touchdowns through the air and ran for 72 yards on five carries and scored another touchdown.
 
Dylan Thomas and Nathan Graham all caught touchdown passes. Graham led the Sages with 57 yards on five catches, Isiah Florey added 47 yards on four catches and Thomas hauled in three balls for 45 yards.
 
The Sages improve to 10-0 on the season and travel to Westville next Saturday.
 
Game time is still to be determined.
 
Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Monticello Hosts Chicago Clark Saturday

The Monticello Sages football team rolled through the regular season finishing 9-0. 
 
It is the first undefeated season at Monticello for Head Coach Cully Welter who says despite losing a very good senior class last year, they felt they had a good opportunity be good once again.
 
 
The Sages high powered offensive attack has been highlighted by their passing game in 2016, but Coach Welter indicates the offensive line and running game has come a long ways this season.
 
 
Game time from Monticello High School Saturday is 2 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
Class 3A first round playoff games:
 
#16 St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden) (5-4) vs. #1 Elmhurst Catholic (9-0) at Plunkett Athletic Center Sat. 4:00 pm
#9 Aledo Mercer County (7-2) at #8 Paxton-Buckley-Loda (8-1) Sat. 3:00 pm
#12 Eureka (6-3) at #5 Byron (9-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
 #10 Bloomington Central Catholic (7-2) vs. #7 Elmwood-Brimfield (8-1) Sat. 3:30 pm
#12 Hillsboro (6-3) at #5 Williamsville (8-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
#10 Tolono Unity (7-2) at #7 Vandalia (8-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 1A first round playoff games:
 
#12 LeRoy (6-3) at #5 Kirkland Hiawatha (7-2) Sat. 1:00 pm
#16 Oblong (5-4) at #1 Tuscola (9-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
#13 Bridgeport Red Hill (5-4) vs. #4 Decatur Lutheran (8-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
#15 Toledo Cumberland (5-4) at #2 Decatur St. Teresa (8-1) Sat. 1:30 pm
#14 Warrensburg-Latham (5-4) at #3 Argenta-Oreana (8-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
 
Class 2 first round playoff games:
 
#13 Orion (6-3) at #4 Dee-Mack (8-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
 #10 El Paso-Gridley (6-3) at #7 Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (7-2) Fri. 7:00 pm
 #16 Rushville-Industry (5-4) at #1 Tri-Valley (9-0) Sat. 1:00 pm
#12 Johnston City (6-3) at #5 Maroa-Forsyth (8-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
#10 Shelbyville (6-3) at #7 Carmi-White County (7-2) Sat. 2:00 pm
#14 Champaign St. Thomas More (6-3) vs. #3 Hamilton West Hancock (9-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
#11 Sangamon Valley (6-3) at #6 Bismarck-Henning (7-2) Sat. 6:00 pm
 
Class 4A first round playoff games:
 
#13 Olney Richland County (5-4) at #4 Mt. Zion (8-1) Fri. 7:00 pm
#12 Bethalto Civic Memorial (5-4) at #5 Rochester (8-1) Fri. 7:00 pm
 
Class 5A first round playoff games:
 
#16 Dunlap (5-4) vs. #1 Peoria (8-1) Fri. 7:30 pm
#9 Jacksonville (6-3) at #8 Decatur Eisenhower (6-3) Sat. 1:00 pm
#13 Peoria Notre Dame (6-3) at #4 Washington (7-2) Sat. 1:00 pm
#12 Mahomet-Seymour (6-3) at #5 Centralia (7-2) Sat. 2:00 pm
#10 Metamora (6-3) at #7 Kankakee (6-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 6A first round playoff games:
 
#13 Chatham Glenwood (6-3) at #4 Crete-Monee (7-2) Sat. 2:00 pm
 #15 Normal West (5-4) at #2 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (9-0) Fri. 7:00 pm
 
Class 7A first round playoff games:
 
#18 Pekin (6-3) at #15 Glenbard North (7-2) Fri. 7:00 pm
#27 Belleville West (5-4) at #6 Normal Community (8-1) Sat. 1:30 pm

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Illinois Hosts Minnesota; ISU at Home, EIU At Jacksonville State

>>Illini Host Minnesota for Homecoming
 
It's Homecoming Week at Illinois and for the second straight year, the Illini will sport the Gray Ghost uniforms.
 
Off a blowout loss to Michigan at the Big House last Saturday, Illinois hosts the Golden Gophers, who can clinch bowl eligibility with a win.
 
The Illini will look for their second conference victory.
 
Game time Saturday is 11 am and the game can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
 
>>Illinois State Hosts South Dakota Saturday
 
For the second-straight week, the Redbirds (3-5, 1-4 MVFC) will face off against a foe from South Dakota, this time in the form of the league-leading and nationally-ranked South Dakota State Jackrabbits (5-2, 4-0 MVFC) when ISU hosts SDSU at Hancock Stadium.
Sophomore wide receiver Spencer Schnell had a breakout game last weekend at South Dakota. Schnell caught a career-best nine catches for a career-high 83 yards for the Redbirds against the Coyotes at the DakotaDome.
 
The Jackrabbits are 5-2 on the season, but lead the Missouri Valley Football Conference title race with a perfect 4-0 record in league play.
 
Quarterback Taryn Christion was named STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Week, after helping lead the Jackrabbits to their come-from-behind victory at top-ranked North Dakota State. Christion accounted for 444 yards of total offense (303 passing, career-high 141 rushing) in the win over the Bison.
 
Game time Saturday is 2 pm.
 
>>Panthers at Jacksonville State Saturday
 
After last Saturday’s 40-38 loss to Murray State, the road ahead doesn’t get any easier for Eastern Illinois who is fighting for their playoff hopes when they travel to second ranked Jacksonville State Saturday afternoon.
 
Devin Church rushed for a career high 155 yards against Murray State as he now leads the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing yards with 769. 
 
The two schools have won the last four OVC titles outright with EIU winning in 2012 & 2013.
 
Game time Saturday is 2 pm. Hear all the action starting at 1:30 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.

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World Series Notes: Cubs' Schwarber Will Not Play LF This Weekend

Cubs star Kyle Schwarber won't be in the starting lineup for the three World Series games this weekend after he was denied medical clearance to play the outfield following his return from knee surgery.
 
Schwarber tore a pair of knee ligaments on April 7 and returned in Tuesday's Series opener. He was 3 for 7 with a double, two RBIs and two walks as the designated hitter in the first two games at Cleveland, but with the shift to Wrigley Field, there will be no DH.
 
Chicago president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says it's too soon after the injury for Schwarber's knee to be fully tested, especially with quick moves required to play the outfield. He says: "There was too much risk."
 
Schwarber will be used as a pinch hitter. He says it's "not disappointing at all" and "it was a long shot at the most."
 
The Indians will likely start designated hitter Carlos Santana in left field in Game 3.
 
Without a DH because they're playing in a National League ballpark, the Indians are prepared to put Santana, who has only played the position for a few innings in his career, out in left at Wrigley Field, where he'll have to deal with the wind and the rowdy bleacher crowd never mind the pressure.
 
Indians manager Terry Francona said he has "anxiety" in making the move but feels it gives his team the best chance to win.
 
Santana, who hit 34 homers during the regular season, last played left in 2012 during a 14-1 loss. He's been taking fly balls in preparation for his start and said he's excited about the opportunity.
 
The first two games of the World Series averaged 18.3 million viewers on Fox, up 27 percent from last year and the most since 2009.
The Nielsen company said Thursday that Chicago's 5-1 win over Cleveland on Wednesday night received an 11.3 rating and 19 share and averaged 17.4 million viewers. Kansas City's 7-1 victory over the New York Mets in Game 2 last year was seen by an average of 13.7 million viewers.
 
The two-game average of 10.7/19 and 19.2 million is the most since 11.8/19 and 19.2 million for the Yankees-Philadelphia Series in 2009.
 
In addition, Fox Sports Deportes averaged 278,000 for Spanish-language coverage for Game 2 and Fox Sports Go 115,000 for digitial viewership.

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Red Wings Beat Blues in Overtime

Henrik Zetterberg scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give Detroit a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Zetterberg's goal gave the Red Wings a six-game winning streak.
 
In the shootout, St. Louis' first shooter, Alexander Steen, scored but then Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron, Nail Yakupoc, Robby Fabbri, Patrick Burgland and Dmitrjij Jaskin all came up short.
 
Gustav Nyquist scored on Detroit's second attempt but Nielsen, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheehan and Darren Helm all missed.
 
St. Louis had the better chances in overtime. Center Jaden Schwartz missed a wide-open net early in the extra session. Jori Lehtera was stopped on a breakaway midway through the period by Mrazek.
 
The Blues scored first at 2:31 of the second period on a goal by Shattenkirk. 
 
Nielsen got it back for Detroit on a short-handed goal, tying the game 1-1 at 13:54.
 
The Blues play host to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

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Wade Leads Bulls Past Celtics in Chicago Debut

Dwyane Wade scored 22 points in a triumphant Chicago debut, Jimmy Butler had 24 and the Bulls won their season opener, beating the Boston Celtics 105-99 on Thursday night.
 
Wade hit the clinching 3 with 26.3 seconds left. Taj Gibson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the new-look Bulls got off to a winning start after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008.
 
Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 25 points. Avery Bradley had 16, and Jae Crowder 14 points, but the Celtics came up short after opening with a win over Brooklyn the previous night.
 
The Bulls remade their roster in the offseason, jettisoning one hometown superstar and welcoming another when they traded Derrick Rose to New York and signed Wade to a two-year deal worth about $47 million in a move that stunned Miami.
 
Wade hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in this game after making just 7 of 44 all of last season.
 
Rajon Rondo, signed by Chicago after a resurgent season with Sacramento, added nine assists. Butler had seven rebounds, and the Bulls pounded the Celtics on the glass 55-36.
 
The Bulls were leading 95-81 midway through the fourth quarter after newcomer Michael Carter-Williams buried a 3 and a floater and Butler hit a floater of his own.
 
The Celtics scored 11 straight to get back into it, a driving layup by Thomas cutting it to 95-92.
 
It was 101-99 when Boston's Jaylen Brown got called for a travel. Wade then nailed that 3 over Bradley to make it a five-point game with 26.3 seconds left, sealing the win for Chicago.
 
Butler had some heated words with college teammate Crowder late in the first half.
 
Crowder rebounded a miss by Wade - another Marquette product - and charged into Butler, leading to a heated exchange.
 
Rondo also got into it with Isaiah Thomas, and all four players got called for technicals.
 
The Bulls host Indiana on Saturday.
 
>>Bulls Sign Former First Round Pick Hunter
 
The Chicago Bulls have signed former Boston Celtics first-round draft pick R.J. Hunter.
 
The Bulls announced the move before Thursday's opener against the Celtics. The guard from Georgia State was let go by Boston this week.
 
The 28th pick in the 2015 draft, Hunter averaged 2.7 points in 36 games as a rookie for the Celtics last season.

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Packers in Atlanta Sunday

Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who had struggled through most of the first five games, turned to a quick-hitting passing game to complete a team-record 39 passes, with receivers Davante Adams and Randall Cobb and receiver-turned-running back Ty Montgomery all catching at least 10.
 
Green Bay's offense will need a repeat performance because the Atlanta Falcons offense has been nothing short of dominant. The Falcons are No. 1 in scoring (32.7 per game), No. 1 in total offense (433.6 yards per game) and No. 2 in passing offense (319.0 yards per game). Matt Ryan has thrown for at least 200 yards in a league-record 46 consecutive games and has a glitzy passer rating of 113.6, and receiver Julio Jones is on pace for 1,900 yards and topped 250 against the Packers in 2014 at Lambeau Field.
 
The two teams meet at 3:25 pm Sunday afternoon.
 
On paper, this game projects to a shootout dominated by the quarterbacks.
 
With injuries sidelining running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks, the Packers' top player in the backfield is Montgomery, who the Packers list as a receiver on the depth chart. Meanwhile, Atlanta's defense ranks 27th in scoring, 26th in yards allowed and 31st in passing yards allowed.
 
On the flip side, Ryan is off to the best start of his career and will be attacking a Packers secondary that might be without its three top cornerbacks.

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Heart of Illinois Rivals Embark On New Postseason Run

The defending 2A state champion Tri-Valley Vikings and LeRoy Panthers football programs are rivals when they meet once a year, but their coaches know each other very well and the two find each other rooting for each other outside of that one Friday night.
 
Tri-Valley opens Class 2A playoff football action Saturday while LeRoy, again is seeded in 1A.
 
LeRoy football coach BJ Zeleznik calls his teams 2016 season 'predictable'.
 
 
Josh Roop led Tri-Valley to a Class 2A state title last November and says the kids that returned from last year did a good job paving the way for the success they are having this year.
 
 
Coach Zeleznik says his team has a big sophomore group and coming into the season, they new they would have to get major contributions from about a half-dozen of those kids.
 
 
Tri-Valley started the season hosting 3A Bloomington Central Catholic and then finished with a tough matchup against Dee-Mack. Both were victories and Coach Roop says he learned a lot about his team in those two contests.
 
 
Tri-Valley will host Rushville-Industry as the top seed in the south bracket of the Class 2A playoffs. Game time is 1 pm. 
 
LeRoy will travel to Kirkland Hiawatha for a 1 pm start time. 

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Bryant Wins NL Hank Aaron Award

David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.
 
The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.
 
The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.
 
The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.
 
The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.

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Arrieta, Cubs Even World Series at 1-Game Apiece

Jake Arrieta carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber drove in two runs and the Cubs brushed off a shutout to even the Series with their first Fall Classic win in more than seven decades, 5-1 over the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
 
The big-swinging Schwarber, who made it back for Chicago's long-awaited Series return after missing six months with an injured left knee, hit an RBI single in the third off Cleveland's Trevor Bauer and had another in the Cubs' three-run fifth - highlighted by Ben Zobrist's run-scoring triple.
 
With rain in the forecast, Major League Baseball moved the first pitch up an hour in hopes of avoiding delays or a postponement.
 
It turned out to be a good call as the game went on without a hitch and ended after more than four hours as light rain was beginning to fall.
 
Cubs lefty Mike Montgomery replaced Arrieta and worked two scoreless innings before Aroldis Chapman came in and unleashed his 103 mph heat while getting the last four outs in his Series debut.
 
The teams will have an off day before the series resumes with Game 3 at Wrigley, which will host its first Series game since 1945.
 
Josh Tomlin will start for the Indians, who will lose the designated hitter in the NL ballpark, against Kyle Hendricks.

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Pacers Top Dallas

Indiana Pacers second-year center Myles Turner scored 30 points, tied his career high with 16 rebounds, blocked four shots and made a 3-pointer in overtime that started the decisive 8-0 run in his first opening night start.
 
In a game that was supposed to be all about the Pacers' revamped roster and new up-tempo style, Turner stole the show by making 13 of 19 shots, coming up with big play after big play and overshadowing All-Stars Paul George and Dirk Nowitzki.
 
George added 25 points, including another 3 with 55 seconds left to seal Indiana's fifth season-opening win in six years.
 
Deron Williams led Dallas with 25 points. J.J. Barea and Nowitzki each had 22 as the Mavs lost their fifth in a row in the series.
 
Forward Thaddeus Young returns to his previous home when the Pacers visit Brooklyn on Friday night. Indiana won three of the four meetings with the Nets last season and is 4-3 all-time at the Barclays Center.

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Rangers Blast Bruins on Rivalry Night

Brandon Pirri scored twice to help the Rangers beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Wednesday night. 
 
Pirri has four goals and two assists in seven games. The left wing signed with the Rangers as a free agent after splitting last season with Florida and Anaheim.
 
Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey also scored for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots. The Rangers won their third straight game, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to improve to 5-2-0.
 
David Pastrnak and Austin Czarnik scored for Boston. The Bruins have lost three straight to drop to 3-4-0.
 
Zane McIntyre made 26 saves in his first NHL start. He was called up prior to Boston's 5-0 home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night to back up Malcolm Subban due to injuries to Tuukka Risk and Anton Khudobin.
 
Down 2-0 after the first, the Rangers scored three times in the final 10:44 of the second.
 
The Bruins head to Detroit Saturday night while the Rangers next destination is Carolina Friday.

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First WGC Event Opens Today

The second tournament of a two-week Asia swing will take place this week in China. The HSBC Champions is the first WGC event of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season. As a guaranteed-money, small-field event, this one brings out the big boys.
 
This tournament always has a terrific field, especially for the fall swing, and this week is no different. Dustin Johnson and Rory Mcilroy will be there. So will Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott. 
 
The event gets several Ryder Cup golfers in their first event in nearly a month, Justin Thomas coming off a win last week and studs like Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama, who played the CIMB Classic last week.
 
We've seen things like Dustin Johnson banging one off the flagstick in the final round, Bubba Watson sinking a bunker shot on the final hole to get in a playoff and Patrick Reed uttering an expletive which was caught on camera.
 
One underlying story that people might not know that much about is Rory McIlroy's equipment change. Chris Solomon of No Laying Up first reported it, and it was confirmed this week. McIlroy has put the TaylorMade M2 driver and 3-wood in his bag for this event.
 
Russell Knox won last year. PGA Tour Player of the Year won in China in 2013. 

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Maroa-Forsyth Football Seeking Another Deep Postseason Run

After the first year in the always competitive Sangamo Conference, the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans football program is hoping to make another deep run in the Class 2A football playoffs.
 
Head Coach Josh Jostes spoke highly of the Sangamo Conference and felt despite it being the only loss of the season, their third game of the season, he felt as though their matchup with Williamsville was a turning point in the season.
 
 
Jostes credits his programs success with the hard work of the students throughout the year. He says this year they have a good balance that makes them a tough team.
 
 
Maroa-Forsyth will open the postseason at home against Johnston City.
 
The Trojans are the fifth seed in the 2A north bracket after an 8-1 regular season.
 
Johnston City, out of the Black Diamond Conference, went 6-3 this year. 
 
Game time is 2 pm in Maroa. 

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Kluber, Perez Lead Indians Past Cubs in Game 1; Game 2 Start Time Adjusted

>>Kluber, Perez Lead Indians Past Cubs in Game 1
 
Corey Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Roberto Perez had four RBIs with a pair of home runs and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in Tuesday night's opener of a highly anticipated matchup between the teams with baseball's longest championship droughts.
 
AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and stranded runners at the corners the eighth, preserving a three-run lead and delighting the sellout crowd of 38,091 in Cleveland's first-ever Series home opener.
 
Back in the Series for the first time since 1997, the Indians scored twice in the first off October ace Jon Lester.
 
Perez hit a fourth-inning solo shot and added a three-run drive in the eighth against Hector Rondon, becoming the first Cleveland player and the only No. 9 batter to homer twice in a Series game.
 
Francisco Lindor added three hits as the Indians improved to 8-1 this postseason.
 
Kyle Schwarber, making a surprise return in his first big league game since tearing knee ligaments on April 7, doubled off the right-field wall in the fourth - a drive kept in by a stiff wind on a 50-degree night. Kluber then got Javier Baez to fly out.
 
Jon Lester gave up three runs, six hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings.
 
Kluber combined with Miller and Cody Allen to fan 15 - two shy of the Series record for a nine-inning game - and Chicago went 2 for 15 with 10 strikeouts with runners on base.
 
Trevor Bauer, trying to come back from a sliced pinkie caused by a freak drone accident, starts Game 2 for the Indians on Wednesday night against Jake Arrieta.
 
>>Game 2 Start Time Moved Up For Weather Concerns
 
The start time for Game 2 of the World Series has been moved up by an hour because there's rain in the Cleveland weather forecast.
 
The game Wednesday night is now scheduled to begin at 7:08 p.m. EDT.
 
Major League Baseball announced the time shift Tuesday night midway through the Series opener between the Chicago Cubs and Indians.
 
There was no rain during Game 1 at Progressive Field.

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Calgary Blasts Blues

Brian Elliott stopped 23 shots in his return to St. Louis, Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett each had a goal and an assist and the Calgary Flames beat the Blues 4-1 on Tuesday night.
 
Elliott was traded from St. Louis to Calgary in June, and the 17,337 in attendance serenaded him with chants of ''Moose,'' his nickname, on his first couple of saves.
 
Elliott's best save came late in the second when he slid his right pad across the crease to rob Nail Yakupov on a rebound attempt.
 
Dennis Wideman and Deryk Engelland also scored to help the Flames snap a seven-game losing streak at St. Louis.
 
Kevin Shattenkirk scored for the Blues on a two-man advantage in the third, and Carter Hutton made 26 saves. After winning their first three games, the Blues are 1-2-1 in their last four.
 
Wideman's power-play goal early in the first ended a string of 19 straight penalty kills for the Blues.
 
Engelland added to the lead midway through the first after Kris Versteeg sent him in alone on Hutton with a pass. The play started after Vladimir Tarasenko whiffed on a shot on the other end, sending the Flames in on an odd-man rush.
 
Bennett's wrist shot went in through a maze of traffic early in the second to give Calgary a 3-0 lead. Bennett had an assist on Engelland's goal, giving him his second multipoint game of the season, both against St. Louis.
 
The game was also a homecoming for Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk, son of former Blue Keith Tkachuk, who had an assist on Bennett's goal. Matthew Tkachuk, the 6th overall pick by the Flames, was one of four St. Louis area natives taken in the first round of this year's amateur draft.
 
The Blues continue a three-game home stand against Detroit on Thursday night.

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Cutler Says Fox Doesn't Have Choice But To Support Him

Jay Cutler is back.
 
After losing his starting job when he sprained a ligament in his throwing thumb, he regained that job only when Brian Hoyer broke his forearm. If Hoyer hadn't suffered that injury a week ago, it's unclear if Cutler ever would've started a game for the Bears again.
 
So, now it's Cutler who's in line to start against the Vikings on Monday night. He has been medically cleared to play and Bears coach John Fox tried his best downplay his comments during the past month, when he hinted -- multiple times -- that Hoyer had done enough to hang onto Cutler's job.
 
On Tuesday, Cutler met with reporters for the first time since Week 2. During his press conference, he was asked about Fox's confidence in him as the team's starter. He had the perfect response.
 
"He doesn't have a choice, I guess, at this point," Cutler said, via the Chicago Tribune. "Brian is out, so I've got to go."
 
He then went on to say he has had "good conversations with Foxy this week, last week, the week before. There's never been any strain in our relationship. We're both very open and honest, and we're on the same page. We just want to win football games."

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Cavs Open Title Defense With Blowout Win of Knicks

LeBron James had his 43rd career triple-double, Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and the Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks 117-88 on Tuesday night in the NBA season opener.
 
James scored 19 points and added 11 rebounds and 14 assists in front of a raucous home crowd that was on its feet from the pregame ceremony until late in the game, celebrating the city's first championship in 52 years.
 
Irving scored 19 points in the third quarter, when Cleveland used a 20-4 run to take a 74-53 lead. Kevin Love scored 23 for the Cavaliers.
 
Carmelo Anthony led New York with 19 points and Derrick Rose had 17.
 
New York, playing its first game under new coach Jeff Hornacek, trailed by 13 in the second quarter but rallied to cut the lead to 45-43 at halftime. A pair of dunks by James and 3-pointers from Irving and Love pushed the lead to 61-49.
 
Cleveland's spurt continued as Irving hit three 3-pointers for a 74-53 lead.
 
Kristaps Porzingis scored 16 points for New York.

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Warrensburg-Latham, Argenta-Oreana To Meet in 1A Playoffs

When the Argenta-Oreana Bombers and Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals meet Saturday at 1 pm, it will be a match-up of program that are very familiar with each other.
 
The Bombers and Cardinals were once a part of the soon-to-be defunct Okaw Valley Conference and each coach says they have a lot of respect for the other.
 
Argenta-Oreana football coach Chad Eisenmenger says it was somewhat of a surprise his team, who finished the regular season 8-1, had success early on against good football programs.
 
 
Head football coach at Warrensburg-Latham Scott Godfrey says his team worked hard in the offseason, improved and the hard work paid off in a playoff appearance after a 5-4 season.
 
 
Argenta-Oreana in 2013 had a very successful team and Coach Eisenmenger says that group had a terrific senior class but this year's squad has a more balanced mix of experience and youth.
 
 
Coach Godfrey says the increased numbers in the program this year has helped in a lot of areas for the Cardinals.
 
 
The two coaches have a lot of respect for each other's squads as both coach the track teams at their respective schools.
 
Game time for Saturday's Warrensburg-Latham at Argenta-Oreana Class 1A playoff football game is set for 1 pm. 

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World Series Notes

>>Lester, Arrieta To Start Games 1 and 2; Schwarber To DH Game 1
 
As expected, the Cubs have announced that veteran lefty Jon Lester will start Game of the World Series against the Indians on Tuesday night in Cleveland. He'll be opposed by right-hander Corey Kluber.
 
In Game 2, the Cubs will start 2015 NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, and he'll likely be countered by Trevor Bauer. Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey will pitch Games 3 and 4, respectevely.
 
Lester, 32, pitched to a 2.44 ERA and 3.79 K/BB ratio in 202 2/3 innings during the regular season. In the postseason, he boasts an ERA of 2.50 in 19 games, 17 of which have been starts. He's been even better in three World Series starts. He's 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in those games (one earned run in 21 innings). This postseason, Lester shared NLCS MVP honors with Javier Baez.
 
As for Arrieta, he pitched to a 3.10 ERA and 2.50 K/BB ratio during the regular season. In five career postseason starts -- all taking place in 2015 and 2016 -- Arrieta has a 4.11 ERA.
 
Despite having recorded zero hits in the regular season for a 103-win team, Kyle Schwarber is among the hottest topics leading up to the 2016 World Series between the Cubs and Indians.
 
Schwarber was a power-hitting monster last postseason, making him a national talking point heading into the 2016 season. He tore his ACL and LCL early during the third game of the season. He's now been cleared to start playing again and started his second Arizona Fall League game on Monday.
 
Cubs executives were said to be monitoring Schwarber's game and the final World Series roster isn't due until Tuesday morning.
 
Schwarber went 1 for 3 with a double and walk.
 
MLB Insider Jon Morosi tweeted Monday evening Schwarber is expected to DH Monday. 
 
>>Indians Salazar On World Series Roster, Kipnis Wants Bartman To Throw Out First Pitch
 
One of the biggest questions heading into the 2016 World Series has been answered: Indians right-hander Danny Salazar will indeed be on the World Series roster. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway and Salazar himself confirmed it.
 
"I don't know if I'm a starter or reliever but I'm ready," said Salazar.
 
Salazar has been out since September with a forearm issue, and over the last few weeks he's been getting back into game shape with bullpen sessions and simulated games. Salazar said he's still gaining feel for his curveball but isn't concerned because he's a fastball/changeup guy.
 
The Indians will start Corey Kluber in Game 1 on Tuesday night then Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin in Games 2 and 3 in some order. That order depends on the health of Bauer's finger, which he cut repairing his drone last weekend.
 
Salazar could be an option to start Game 4 -- the alternative would be ALCS Game 5 hero Ryan Merritt -- though the Indians could again bring Kluber back on short rest. 
 
Games 1-3 of the World Series will determine Cleveland's pitcher in Game 4.
 
In advance of Game 1 of the 2016 World Series between the Cubs and Indians on Tuesday night, Tribe second baseman Jason Kipnis is mostly focused on getting his ankle healthy. However, he still made time to talk a bit about his Chicagoland neighbor growing up. The neighbor in question? As CBS Chicago notes, it's Steve Bartman.
 
Hills be shaken: Jason Kipnis, native of the Northern Chicago suburbs, lived down the street from Steve Bartman. In fact his older sister was in the same grade as Bartman.
 
Bartman, of course, is unjustly famous for catching a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS that left fielder Moises Alou might have been able to catch. As the story goes, a complete and utter Cubs meltdown ensued, and the Cubs wound up frittering away a pennant. The blame for all that is squarely on the Cubs players who blew that big lead against the Marlins, but it's Bartman who's forever yoked to it. That's not fair at all, as Kipnis said on Monday.
 
Regarding Bartman being at Wrigley Field for a first pitch, Kipnis said quote-"That would be awesome. Probably everybody would go nuts." 

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Blackhawks Fall in Shootout To Calgary

Kris Versteeg scored the lone goal of the shootout in the seventh round of the tiebreaker to give the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night and just their second victory this season.
 
Versteeg, a former Blackhawk, faked Corey Crawford and connected on a wrist shot.
 
Sam Bennett and Sean Monahan scored in regulation for Calgary, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
 
Patrick Kane and Brian Campbell connected in regulation for Chicago.
 
Campbell's goal, his first with the Blackhawks since rejoining them as a free agent in the offseason, tied it 2-all at 4:12 of the third. Campbell's feed from the right circle, intended for Artem Anisimov, deflected in off Calgary defenseman T.J. Brodie.
 
Brian Elliott made 31 saves through overtime and blocked all seven in the shootout to earn his first win with Calgary after three losses.

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Jay Cutler Receives Medical Clearance to Play

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will return from a thumb injury to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 31.
 
Cutler has been out since he suffered a thumb sprain in a Sept. 19 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Coach John Fox said Monday that Cutler has been cleared to play in the game next Monday night.
 
His backup, Brian Hoyer, suffered a broken left arm against Green Bay in the Bears' 26-10 defeat last Thursday. Fox says Hoyer has had surgery.
 
Fox says it's possible the team could pick up one more quarterback behind backup Matt Barkley, who played against the Packers after Hoyer's injury.
 
Chicago (1-6) is at the bottom of the NFC North division.
 
>>Broncos Dominate Osweiler, Texans
 
C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker energized Denver's sputtering ground game, both running for a touchdown. Anderson gained 107 yards on 16 carries and Booker had 83 on 17 hand-offs in Denver's 27-9 win over Houston Monday night. 
 
Brock Osweiler, who returned to a raucous crowd in Denver for the first time after he signed a big offseason deal with the Texans, was just 22 for 41 for 131 yards with no TDs and no interceptions. Siemian was 14 of 25 for 157 yards, a TD and no interceptions.
 
Osweiler also lost a fumble at his own 25-yard line. It was scooped up by Chris Harris on the first play of the fourth quarter and led to Brandon McManus' chip-shot field goal that made it 24-9.
 
Of the dozen passes thrown his way, Hopkins caught just five of them, covering 36 yards, and no other Texan gained more. And Houston was limited to Nick Novak's field goals from 43, 43 and 39 yards.
 
Anderson scored on a 7-yard run and Siemian hit Demaryius Thomas from 4 yards out as the Broncos took a 14-6 halftime lead.
 
Novak's 29-yarder made it 14-9, but Darian Stewart punched the ball from running back Alfred Blue's grasp and linebacker Todd Davis plucked it out of the air . That led to Booker's 1-yard TD run .

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Sages Playoff Game Start Time Announced

The Monticello Sages will play host Chicago Clark Saturday afternoon at 2 pm, as announced by the team Sunday.
 
The Sages are the sixth seed in Class 3A with a 9-0 mark.
 
Chicago Clark was the Chicago Public School Second City League champions at 7-2. 
 
Monticello wrapped up the Okaw Valley title in it's final year. 
 
Hear Saturday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Indians Announce Kluber Will Start World Series Opener

Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.
 

Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-ame winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.
 
Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer's injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.
 
Bauer's start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.
 
Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he's made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.

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Illinois, Illinois State, Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois All Lose Saturday

>>Michigan Pounds Illinois
 
Wilton Speight threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns in three quarters before watching No. 3 Michigan finish off Illinois 41-8 Saturday.
 
The Wolverines (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) were leading 34-0 in the fourth quarter when Jim Harbaugh put backup quarterback John O'Korn in the game and rested Speight.
 
The Fighting Illini (2-5, 1-3) were relegated to starting their third-string quarterback with a familiar name. Jeff George Jr., son of the former Illinois and NFL quarterback, was 4 of 15 for 95 yards with a TD, an interception and a fumble in his first start. The redshirt freshman played because Wes Lunt and Chayce Crouch are injured.
 
Speight, who completed 16 of 23 passes, threw a 3-yard TD pass to Jake Butt and a 21-yard pass to Tyrone Wheatley Jr. for a score in the first quarter. Khalid Hill's ninth touchdown and De'Veon Smith's 4-yard run gave the Wolverines a 28-0 lead after their first four possessions.
 
After Michigan botched a fake punt near midfield in the fourth quarter with a 34-0 lead, George threw a 43-yard TD pass to Malik Turner on the next snap and followed with a 2-yard conversion pass to Zach Grant.
 
Karan Higdon scored on a 45-yard run on the ensuing possession and finished with 106 yards rushing on just eight carries for the Wolverines.
 
>>South Dakota Tops Illinois State
 
Backup quarterback Austin Simmons threw for two touchdowns as South Dakota edged Illinois State 27-24 on Saturday.
 
Simmons, a redshirt freshman filling in for injured starter Chris Streveler, had 205 yards on 13-of-30 passing for the Coyotes (4-3, 3-1 Missouri Valley). Michael Frederick ran for a score and Miles Bergner kicked a pair of field goals.
 
Simmons threw a 15-yard score Riley Donovan late in the first quarter and a 26-yard scoring strike to Tacari Carpenter late in the second and South Dakota led 24-17 at the break.
 
Bergner's second field goal of the day, a 39-yarder, made it 27-17 with 4:46 left in the third quarter.
 
The Redbirds (3-5, 1-4) closed to within 27-24 in the fourth quarter on a 42-yard pass from Jake Kolbe to Christian Gibbs with 7:43 to play but that was the end of the scoring.
 
Kolbe threw for 241 yards for Illinois State.
 
>>North Dakota Downs Western
 
North Dakota State shook off last week's last-second loss to South Dakota State to beat Western Illinois 21-13 on Saturday night.
 
The Bison intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble in the end zone, while holding the Leathernecks to 269 total yards.
 
King Frazier ran 20 times for 89 yards and two touchdowns and Easton Stick shook off two interceptions to pass for 160 yards and a score.
 
The fourth-ranked Bison (6-1, 3-1 Missouri Valley Conference) have not lost back-to-back games since ending a five-game losing streak in 2009.
 
Sean McGuire was 19-for-27 for 183 yards and led WIU in rushing with 37 yards.
 
NDSU held WIU to 86 yards rushing.
 
WIU's Lance Lenoir caught seven passes for 61 yards. He is one catch away from the MVFC reception record of 250 by Tyrone Walker of Illinois State (2009-12).
 
>>Murray State Upends Eastern Illinois
 
Connor Mitchell kicked six field goals as Murray State rallied to upend Eastern Illinois 40-38 on Saturday.
 
KD Humphries threw for 299 yards and a score for the Racers (2-5, 2-2 Ohio Valley Conference). Mareio McGraw ran for 139 yards and a score and Jesse Blackburn had 147 yards and a score receiving.
 
Trailing 21-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Racers rallied to score 16 unanswered points on three Mitchell field goals - including one from 49 yards - and a scoring run by Demetric Johnson to cut the Eastern Illinois lead to 21-19 with 11:52 to go in the third quarter.
 
McGraw ran for a 77-yard touchdown to put Murray State on top, 37-31, with 9:00 left in the game. Mitchell kicked his sixth field goal to make it 40-31 with 2:31 remaining.
 
Mitch Kimble threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers (6-3, 3-2).

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Michigan Up To No. 2 In Coaches Poll; Penn State Joins AP Poll

The "Big Six" in the College Football Playoff race got mixed up after an eventful Week 8.
 
Alabama, Clemson and Washington maintained their positions in the top four of the new Coaches Poll while Michigan jumped to No. 2 and Louisville cracked the top five. The Tide received all but one first-place vote in the process. Ohio State fell six spots to No. 8 after losing 24-21 to Penn State on the road. Texas A&M also dropped four slots, but stayed in the top 10, after losing to Alabama 33-14.
 
West Virginia cracked the top 10 with its convincing win over TCU. The Mountaineers are 6-0 for the first time since 2006 and are gaining momentum for the Big 12 title hunt.
 
Elsewhere, the biggest riser was Auburn, who shot up seven spots to No. 17 after dismantling Arkansas. Houston, stunned by SMU, fell 13 spots to No. 24. 
 
The Nittany Lions, still buzzing after an upset win over Ohio State on Saturday, join the rankings at No. 24. It marks the first time in nearly five years that Penn State was ranked in the AP Top 25. The last time the Nittany Lions were ranked was December of 2011.
 
The Buckeyes, meanwhile, dropped only four spots to No. 6. Michigan, Clemson and Washington each moved up a spot while Louisville moved up two spots to No. 5. Texas A&M dropped three spots to No. 9 after losing to Alabama.
 
Speaking of the Tide, they gained all but one first-place vote, mirroring the Coaches Poll. Also like the Coaches poll, West Virginia climbed into the top 10. Auburn and LSU were two of the biggest risers, moving up six spots each, while Houston dropped out of the rankings after a loss to SMU.

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Rangers Down Coyotes

Dan Girardi scored 1:55 into the final period, lifting the New York Rangers over the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Sunday night.
 
The goal was the first of the season for Girardi. He put the Rangers up for good with a slap shot from the right point.
 
Josh Jooris and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, who have 12 players with at least one goal this season and 20 players with at least one point.
 
Henrik Lundqvist made 27 stops for New York.
 
Radim Vrbata had both of Arizona's goals, and Louis Domingue made 23 saves. The Coyotes have lost their first four games on a six-game trip since beating Philadelphia in overtime at home to start the season.

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Giants Beat Rams in London

The New York Giants capitalized on four interceptions of Case Keenum to defeat the Los Angeles Rams 17-10 Sunday in the first NFL game played at London's home of English rugby, a sold-out and raucous Twickenham Stadium.
 
Keenum, coming off the best start of his career, had the Rams at the Giants' 15-yard line with 50 seconds left when he lobbed a pass in the left corner of the end zone that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie easily picked off. Keenum's intended target, Brian Quick, failed to get the quarterback's audible and cut off his route early.
 
Keenum, who finished 32 of 53 for 291 yards and one touchdown, has thrown an interception on the Rams' final offensive play of the last three games. That likely will fuel debate on a potential quarterback change to overall No. 1 draft pick Jared Goff.
 
The win kept the Giants (4-3) in good shape in the ultra-competitive NFC East, where no one has a losing record. The Rams (3-4) lost their third straight.
 
Keenum threw two interceptions, both off high-sailing deflections, to safety Landon Collins, and two more in the end zone to cornerback Rodgers-Cromartie. RB Todd Gurley struggled, carrying 15 times for 57 yards, his longest run an 8-yarder.
 
Collins returned his first pick 44 yards for a second-quarter touchdown, making several Rams miss tackles before he bowled over center Tim Barnes to draw the Giants even.
 
Collins' second pick set up the winning drive, which featured a 22-yard catch by Odell Beckman Jr. to the Rams 6. Rashad Jennings scored from the 1 for the Giants' only offensive touchdown.
 
Eli Manning had a pedestrian day, going 24 of 37 for 196 yards and no touchdowns. The Rams managed 20 first downs to the Giants' 13.

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Area IHSA Football Playoff Matchups Announced

Class 1A
First Round
#12 LeRoy (6-3) at #5 Kirkland (Hiawatha) (7-2), TBA
#16 Oblong (5-4) at #1 Tuscola (9-0), TBA
#13 Bridgeport (Red Hill) (5-4) at #4 Decatur (D. Lutheran) [Coop] (8-1), TBA
#12 Hardin (Calhoun) [Coop] (6-3) at #5 Arcola (7-2), TBA
#15 Toledo (Cumberland) (5-4) at #2 Decatur (St. Teresa) (8-1), TBA
#14 Warrensburg (W.-Latham) (5-4) at #3 Argenta (A.-Oreana) (8-1), TBA
 
Class 2A 
First Round
#13 Orion (6-3) at #4 Mackinaw (Deer Creek-M.) (8-1), TBA
#10 El Paso (E.P.-Gridley) (6-3) at #7 Gibson City (G.C.-Melvin-Sibley) (7-2), TBA
#16 Rushville (R.-Industry) (5-4) at #1 Downs (Tri-Valley) (9-0), TBA
#12 Johnston City (6-3) at #5 Maroa (M.-Forsyth) (8-1), TBA
#10 Shelbyville (6-3) at #7 Carmi (C.-White County) (7-2), TBA
#14 Champaign (St. Thomas More) (6-3) at #3 Hamilton [West Hancock Coop] (9-0), TBA
#11 Niantic (Sangamon Valley) [Coop] (6-3) at #6 Bismarck (B.-Henning) (7-2), TBA
 
Class 3A 
First Round
#16 St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden) (5-4) at #1 Elmhurst (IC Catholic) (9-0), TBA
#9 Aledo (Mercer County) (7-2) at #8 Paxton (P.-Buckley-Loda) (8-1), TBA
#10 Bloomington (Central Catholic) (7-2) at #7 Elmwood [E.-Brimfield Coop] (8-1), TBA
#11 Chicago (Clark) (7-2) at #6 Monticello (9-0), TBA on 95.9FM WEZC
#12 Hillsboro (6-3) at #5 Williamsville (8-1), TBA
#10 Tolono (Unity) (7-2) at #7 Vandalia (8-1), TBA
 
Class 4A 
First Round
#16 Chillicothe (Illinois Valley Central) (5-4) at #1 Herscher (9-0), TBA
#9 Taylorville (7-2) at #8 Alton (Marquette) (7-2), TBA
#13 Olney (Richland County) (5-4) at #4 Mt. Zion (8-1), TBA
#12 Bethalto (Civic Memorial) (5-4) at #5 Rochester (8-1), TBA
 
Class 5A 
First Round
#9 Jacksonville (H.S.) (6-3) at #8 Decatur (Eisenhower) (6-3), TBA
#12 Mahomet (M.-Seymour) (6-3) at #5 Centralia (H.S.) (7-2), TBA

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Week 9 Football Scores

Central Illinois:

 

Decatur St. Teresa 43, Shelbyville 18, F

Central A&M 54, Warrensburg-Latham 41, F

Tuscola 52, Sullivan-Okaw Valley 7, F

 

Big Twelve:

 

Champaign Central 14, Normal Community 54, F

Danville 77, Bloomington 54, F

Peoria Notre Dame 43, Normal West 49, F

Peoria Richwoods 33, Champaign Centennial 32, F-OT

Urbana 34, Peoria 26, F

 

Central State Eight:

 

Decatur MacArthur 21, Springfield Lanphier 46, F

Lincoln 0, Chatham Glenwood 42, F

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 69, Decatur Eisenhower 24, F

Springfield Southeast 10, Jacksonville 48, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Large):

 

Ridgeview 21, Fieldcrest 15, F

Tri-Valley 42, Dee-Mack 35, F

Eureka 28, El Paso-Gridley 0, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Small):

 

Fisher 6, LeRoy 43, F

Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 0, Tremont 54, F

Heyworth 6, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 53, F

 

Mid-Illini:

 

Canton 14, Dunlap 25, F

East Peoria 6, Metamora 49, F

Morton 21, Washington 35, F

Pekin 42, Limestone 0, F

 

Sangamo:

 

Athens 13, Williamsville 55, F

Auburn 46, New Berlin 29, F

Petersburg PORTA 0, Pleasant Plains 0-34, F

Riverton 33, Pittsfield 49, F

Virden North Mac 19, Maroa-Forsyth 27, F

 

Non-Conference:

 

Bethalto 0, Taylorville 41, F

Bloomington Central Catholic 23, Tolono Unity 24, F

Champaign St. Thomas More 28, Bismarck-Henning 29, F

Fairbury Prairie Central 22, St. Joseph-Ogden 42, F

Mahomet-Seymour 33, Effingham 20, F

Martinsville 22, Cerro Gordo-Bement 56, F

Moline 18, Normal U-High 24, F

Mt. Zion 49, Rantoul 0, F

Oakland Tri-County 20, Sangamon Valley 42, F

Oblong 14, Arcola 48, F

Palestine 0, Decatur Lutheran 1, forf.

Peoria 35, Galesburg 28, F

Toledo Cumberland 28, Argenta-Oreana 42, F

Villa Grove-Heritage 50, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 20, F

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Sages Roll Monmouth-Roseville, Wrap Up Undefeated Season

It was the Monticello Sages final tune-up before the postseason, and the Sages offense could not have been more sharp in a 68-27 win over Monmouth-Roseville Friday night.

 

Senior quarterback Caleb Hanson was 27 for 34 for 386 yards and five touchdowns.

 

Isiah Florey was the target of three of those five scores, hauling in six passes for 133 yards.

 

Nathan Graham had eight catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Junior tailback Lucas Lieb finished with 12 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown.

 

For the first time in the tenure of Cully Welter in Monticello, the Sages finished the season undefeated and 9-0.

 

The Titans were led by Matthew Burris’ 204 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Keep it tuned to Regional Radio News for the details on the Sages first playoff game.

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Clinton Maroons Defeat Meridian

In a game heard Friday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Meridian Hawks by a score of 42-14. The Maroons were led by senior Alec Cooley with 23 carries for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Cooley was named as the Country Financial representative Maroons Player of the Game. Cooley was also 122 yards short of breaking the school career rushing record. Senior quarterback Noah Griffin had three caries for 23 yards. Senior Dalton Whitted had three carries for five yards and a touchdown, and a thirteen yard touchdown pass. Junior Jacob Hospelhorn had two interceptions and a thirteen yard touchdown reception. Junior Bryson Carson had a 57 yard interception and a return for a touchdown.

 

The Hawks were led by Cameron Getz who had four carries for 33 yards and a touchdown, three of four passing for 76 yards and a touchdown.

 

Clinton improves to 4-5 on the season and 3-4 in the Central Illinois Conference. Meridian falls to 0-9 on the season and 0-7 in the conference.

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Final Week of HS Football Regular Season

It's the final week of the regular season for the Clinton Maroons, who were elimated from playoff consideration following last week's defeat in the Homecoming game to Warrensburg-Latham.
 
Tonight the Maroons host Meridian in the final game of the regular season for both squads.
 
Hear all the action on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
Meanwhile, the Monticello Sages will wrap up their regular season trying to finish off the first undefeated season in the tenure of head coach Cully Welter.
 
The Sages are coming off a 42-6 victory at Rantoul last Friday night and take on 1-7 Monmouth-Roseville.
 
Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
 
Week 9 matchups across the area:
 
Central Illinois
 
Decatur St. Teresa at Shelbyville
Central A & M at Warrensburg-Latham
Tuscola at Sullivan-Okaw Valley
 
Big Twelve
 
Champaign Central at Normal Community
Danville at Bloomington
Peoria Notre Dame at Normal West
Peoria Richwoods at Champaign Centennial
Urbana vs. Peoria(Manual at Peoria Stadium
 
Central State Eight
 
Decatur MacArthur at Springfield Lanphier
Lincoln at Chatham Glenwood
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Decatur Eisenhower
Springfield Southeast at Jacksonville
 
Heart of Illinois (Large)
 
Ridgeview at Fieldcrest
Tri-Valley at Dee-Mack
Eureka at El Paso-Gridley)
 
Heart of Illinois (Small)
 
Fisher at LeRoy
Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland at Tremont
Heyworth at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
 
Mid-Illini
 
Canton at Dunlap
East Peoria at Metamora
Morton at Washington
Pekin at Limestone
 
Sangamo
 
Athens at Williamsville
Auburn at New Berlin
Petersburg PORTA at Pleasant Plains
Riverton at Pittsfield
Virden North Mac at Maroa-Forsyth
 
Non-Conference Football action this week:
 
Bethalto at Taylorville
Bloomington Central Catholic at Tolono Unity
Champaign St. Thomas More at Bismarck-Henning
Fairbury Prairie Central at St. Joseph-Ogden
Mahomet-Seymour at Effingham
Martinsville at Cerro Gordo-Bement
Moline at Normal U-High
Mt. Zion at Rantoul
Oakland Tri-County at Sangamon Valley
Oblong at Arcola
Palestine at Decatur Lutheran
Peoria at Galesburg
Olympia at Robinson (Sat.)
Toledo Cumberland at Argenta-Oreana
Villa Grove-Heritage at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

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Illinois At Michigan; ISU, Eastern Illinois At Home

>>Illinois Heads To Big House To Take on Michigan
 
The Illinois Fighting Illini, off their first Big Ten win in the Lovie Smith era, will head north to take on the Michigan Wolverines at the Big House in Ann Arbor, MI.
 
Off their 24-7 win over Rutgers last week, the Illini will have their hands full with a stout Michigan defense featuring Heisman Trophy hopeful, Jabril Peppers.
 
The Illini will need to continue the trend of forcing turnovers and taking care of the football, as their top-5 in the country turnover margin is also tops in the Big Ten.
 
Michgian Coach Jim Harbaugh and Smith are the first college coaches ever to face each other that have also coached in the Super Bowl.
 
The last time Illinois traveled to a Michigan team ranked in the top three, the Illini and Wolverines tied 22-22 on Nov. 14, 1992.
 
The 2010 meeting in Ann Arbor was an instant classic, with the Wolverines winning a triple-overtime thriller 67-65.
 
Game time is 2:30 pm Saturday and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
 
>>Illinois State at South Dakota State
 
With five of the final seven games of the Illinois State Redbirds season at Hancock Stadium, the Redbirds will hit the road for one of those two games this Saturday. 
Coming off a much-needed home win last Saturday, the Redbirds (3-4, 1-3 MVFC) will travel to Vermillion, South Dakota, this weekend to face off against the South Dakota Coyotes (3-3, 2-1 MVFC) in a pivotal league contest for both squads.  Each will be playing to keep their possible FCS playoff hopes alive and stay relevant in the always-tough MVFC conference.
 
The Redbirds topped Southern Illinois last week 31-28.
 
Game time Saturday is 2 pm.
 
>>No. 15 EIU Hosts Murray State For Homecoming
 
15th ranked Eastern Illinois returns home this Saturday to take on Murray State in their Homecoming game.
 
The Panthers, at 5-2 on the season look to bolster their postseason resume as they continue to climb in the polls following last week's win at Tennessee Tech.
 
The Panthers and Racers meet for a 1 pm kickoff. Hear all the action starting at 12:30 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Lester Leads Cubs Past Dodgers For 3-2 NLCS Lead

Jon Lester pitched seven sharp innings, Addison Russell hit a tiebreaking homer and the Chicago Cubs moved one win from their first World Series trip in 71 years by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 on Thursday.
 
The Cubs grabbed a 3-2 lead in the NL Championship Series and will have two chances to wrap up that elusive pennant back home at Wrigley Field.
 
The first comes Saturday night in Game 6, when Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw faces major league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks.
 
Chicago jumped on struggling Dodgers rookie Kenta Maeda from the start. Fowler singled leading off the game and scored on Rizzo's double to right two batters later.
 
Maeda gave up one run and three hits over 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander has allowed eight earned runs in 10 2/3 innings this postseason.
 
The Dodgers' defense fell apart in the eighth.
 
Gonzalez tried flipping Russell's slow roller to reliever Pedro Baez, who came over to cover first and bobbled the ball for an error.
 
Contreras followed with a pinch-hit single, and the runners moved up on pinch-hitter Albert Almora Jr.'s sacrifice bunt. Fowler reached on an infield single to first, with Gonzalez losing a foot race when Fowler slid into the bag as Russell scored.
 
Kris Bryant reached on an infield single to third, with the Dodgers unsuccessfully challenging the call that he was safe.
 
The Dodgers thought they'd finally escaped the inning when Rizzo lined out to second baseman Kike Hernandez, who nearly doubled up Fowler at second. But the Cubs challenged the call and it was reversed, prolonging the inning.
 
Pedro Baez got yanked after walking Ben Zobrist to load the bases. Ross Stripling came on to face Javier Baez, who doubled to deep right, driving in three more runs.
 
Kyle Hendricks' 2.13 ERA was tops in the majors this season. The right-hander allowed a solo homer over 5 1/3 innings in Game 2, his longest career postseason start. The Cubs lost 1-0 to Kershaw.

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Packers Use Big Second Half To Beat Bears

Aaron Rodgers threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns, Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery emerged as playmakers in the second half and the Green Bay Packers beat the offensively challenged Chicago Bears 26-10 on Thursday night.
Rodgers was 39 of 56, setting a franchise record for completions in a game in the Packers' first contest without injured running back Eddie Lacy .
 
The Packers (4-2) moved effectively on short gains most of the night, but couldn't break into the end zone until Adams caught the first of his two touchdown receptions with 9:11 left in the third quarter for a 13-10 lead.
 
Rodgers and Adams combined again for a 4-yard score on the first play of fourth quarter for a 10-point lead.
 
It was effectively over from there for the Bears (1-6), who lost quarterback Brian Hoyer to a broken left arm in the second quarter.
 
With Jay Cutler already out with a right thumb injury, Chicago turned to third-stringer Matt Barkley.
 
An offense that was already 31st in the league in scoring got worse. Barkley was 6 of 15 for 81 yards and two interceptions.
 
Coach John Fox tried to lean on the rush against the NFL's third-best run defense. It didn't work either.
 
Kadeem Carey had 48 yards on 10 carries, including a 24-yarder. Receiver Alshon Jeffery was held to three catches for 33 yards against a Packers secondary without its top three cornerbacks because of injuries.
 
It got so bad for the Bears that Rodgers had more completions (37) than the Bears had offensive plays (36) by 5:31 of the fourth quarter.
 
That 37th completion for Rodgers was 2-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb for a 16-point lead.
 
Adams, Montgomery and Cobb each finished with at least 10 receptions.

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McDavid, Oilers Down Blues

Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist as the Oilers won their second straight game in a strong start to the season, defeating the St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Thursday night.
 
Tyler Pitlick and off-season free-agent signing Milan Lucic scored for Edmonton, which improved to 4-1-0 on the season.
Nail Yakupov replied for the Blues (3-1-1) in his return to Edmonton since he was traded to St. Louis earlier this month.
 
Edmonton made it 2-1 just 36 seconds into the third period as McDavid broke out of a two-game scoring drought by threading a pass through to Lucic in front. It was the big wing's second goal of the year.
 
Both goaltenders made big saves before the Blues came close to tying it up midway through the third. Yakupov had Talbot beat on a backhand shot, but hit the post.
 
McDavid put the game away with his fourth goal of the season into an empty net.
 
The Blues conclude a three-game road trip in Calgary on Saturday.

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Former Bulls Top Pick, Brand Retires from NBA

17-year veteran Elton Brand became the latest elder star to have retired from the NBA this past year.
 
Acting more as a mentor and a teacher, Brand played sparingly for the Philadelphia 76ers last season, which is exactly what he wanted to do. Brand came out of a semi-retirement in 2015 to provide guidance as a player to the Sixers' young big men like Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. 
Happy with that role, he returned to the Sixers on a one-year deal right before the start of training camp. However, Brand announced Thursday that he won't play out that contract and has decided to retire from the NBA.
 
Despite suffering some injury setbacks, Brand had a stellar NBA career. He was the Bulls' No. 1 overall pick in 1999 and immediately made an impact, averaging a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds and earning co-Rookie of the Year honors.
 
 
He was then traded in 2001 to the Clippers, where he made the All-Star team twice. Also, after not making the playoffs for years, Brand led L.A. to the postseason in 2006. Brand was a force to be reckoned with that season and averaged 24.7 points (on 52.7 percent shooting), 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots.
 
Yet after suffering an Achilles injury in 2007, Brand became a shell of his former self. He signed with the Sixers in 2008 and was a solid player for four seasons in Philadelphia. Brand finished his career with stops in Dallas, Atlanta and then back in Philadelphia last season. He will finish his career with averages of 15.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 17 seasons.

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Duke No. 1 in Preseason Coaches Poll

Duke is on track to be a consensus choice for No. 1 team in college basketball at the start of the season. The preseason coaches poll was unveiled on Thursday morning and the Blue Devils are atop the rankings followed by Kansas, Villanova, Kentucky and Oregon. All five programs received first-place votes.
 
Gonzaga, St. Mary's, and Rhode Island received votes in the top-25. 
 
Michigan State and Wisconsin were top ten teams from the Big Ten at ninth and tenth, respectively. Indiana, Purdue and Maryland were among representatives from the Big Ten in the top-25. 

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Area Football Coaches To Be Featured on WEZC Playoff Show

It's one of the biggest nights of the high school football season.
 
Saturday night, area high school football programs find out the inevitable and others might receive bad news.
 
It's the time of year when we find out the pairings for the postseason of high school football.
 
Several teams in the WHOW/WEZC listening area know their fate. 
 
The Monticello Sages, Argenta-Oreana Bombers, Maroa-Forsyth Trojans and Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals are among the area schools who will hear their names called Saturday night when the playoff pairings are released.
 
Hear all the pairings as they are released and hear from their coaches.
 
Coach Chad Eisenmenger from Argenta-Oreana, Scott Godfrey at Warrensburg-Latham, BJ Zeleznik  in LeRoy, Josh Roop at Tri-Valley and Monticello Sages head football coach Cully Welter are among some of the voices you'll hear along with the release of the pairings for those schools and others.
 
Showtime Saturday night is 7 pm, pairings will be released in the 8 pm hour.
 
Hear it all on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Cubs Trounce Dodgers, Even NLCS 2-2; Indians To World Series

Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and the rest of the Chicago Cubs' bats broke out in a big way.
 
Rizzo homered and ended a postseason slump with three RBIs, Russell's two-run drive highlighted a four-run fourth that stopped Chicago's 21-inning scoreless streak, and the Cubs routed the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-2 on Wednesday to even the NL Championship Series at 2-all.
 
Kenta Maeda is set to start for the Dodgers in Game 5 on Thursday against Jon Lester. Before the game, manager Dave Roberts said he would not use Clayton Kershaw on short rest after the Los Angeles ace threw a bullpen session Wednesday.
 
Following consecutive shutout losses, the Cubs rapped out 13 hits on an 80-degree night with the warm Santa Ana winds fluttering the flags in center field.
 
>>Indians Punch Ticket To World Series
 
Ryan Merritt coolly kept the Indians ahead until reinforcements arrived, and Cleveland earned its first trip to the World Series since 1997 by blanking the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 Wednesday.
 
The 24-year-old lefty defied expectations, shutting down the powerful Blue Jays before exiting in the fifth inning. Thanks to a most unlikely pitching performance, a most unexpected team won the ALCS 4-1.
 
Cleveland, which has never hosted a World Series opener, will play Game 1 at Progressive Field on Tuesday night against the Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers.
 
Andrew Miller again did most of the heavy lifting, going 2 2/3 innings before Cody Allen worked the ninth for a save . Winning pitcher Bryan Shaw tossed an inning before Miller came in.
 
Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp homered for the Indians.
 
Cleveland won despite hitting .168 in the series, with slick-fielding shortstop Francisco Lindor leading the way in going 7 for 19.
 
Toronto lost in the ALCS for the second straight year.

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Rose Cleared In Sexual Assault Lawsuit

After three hours and 45 minutes of deliberations, a jury in Los Angeles found Derrick Rose not liable in his civil sexual assault case on Wednesday afternoon, per the New York Post's Julia Marsh.
 
The New York Knicks guard was accused of gang raping a woman while she was unconscious at her apartment in Los Angeles on Aug. 27, 2013, with two of his friends, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen. The three men have been cleared of all charges.
 
Rose was mostly emotionless as the not-liable verdicts were read on claims including sexual battery, battery, trespassing, conspiracy, gender violence and emotional distress, staring at his hands during the reading and closing his eyes and tilting his head back once it was over. 
 
The trial had stretched out over more than two weeks in the downtown federal courthouse in Los Angeles, culminating in closing arguments in which each side accused the other of being liars. 
 
All along, Rose and his two friends maintained their innocence, testifying that they went to the accuser's apartment and had consensual sex with her. The accuser testified that she was unconscious and could not have consented.
 
Rose played one game for the Knicks in the preseason and is not expected to play in any more.

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Bears, Packers Meet on Thursday Night Football

The Packers probably will be without their three top cornerbacks. That unit will be under siege from Brian Hoyer, who is the first quarterback in Bears history to have four consecutive 300-yard passing games.
 
On the other side of the coin, the Packers have had shockingly little success throwing the football. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers' funk continued in last week's 30-16 loss to Dallas. While the numbers looked nice at the end of the game - 31-of-42 passing for 294 yards and a 90.8 passer rating, Rodgers turned over the ball twice and the Packers scored one touchdown in four trips in the red zone.
 
Chicago's offensive stats are hard to fathom. The Bears are seventh in total offense, including fourth in passing offense, but they're just 31st in scoring with 16.8 points per game. They've topped 20 points only once in six games.
 
Eddie Lacy played through a sprained ankle last week and was "very sore" on Tuesday, according to coach Mike McCarthy.
 
His backup, James Starks, had knee surgery on Sunday. As a response, Green Bay acquired Knile Davis from the Chiefs in a trade on Tuesday. The other option is Don Jackson, an undrafted rookie who's on the practice squad.
 
Chicago, on the other hand, has gotten production from rookie Jordan Howard, who has 330 yards and a 5.0-yard average.

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Red Wings Down Rangers

Jimmy Howard's 32-save effort led the Red Wings to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
 
Thomas Vanek and Drew Miller scored for Detroit, which improved to 2-2-0, and it has Howard to thank for their latest win as New York had the better of play for wide stretches. The Rangers outshot Detroit 33-18 and Howard was forced into making highlight reel stops to keep the Red Wings in the game.
 
New York led 1-0 as Mika Zibanejad redirected Ryan McDonagh's slap shot from the right point past Howard 1:09 into the game. The Rangers carried the 1-0 lead into the first intermission, following an opening 20 minutes in which they outshot the Red Wings 14-7.
 
Their lead could have been larger as Jimmy Vesey and Brady Skjei had shots that hit goal posts late in the first, and Michael Grabner, Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello all misfired on quality scoring chances in the first three minutes of the second period.
 
The game remained tied until 59 seconds into the third period. Luke Glendening's forecheck forced Henrik Lundqvist into committing a turnover behind his net, and Miller fired a shot into the net before the New York goaltender could fully recover for his first goal of the season.
 
Detroit hosts Nashville on Friday night and New York is off until Saturday, when it visits Washington.

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Dodgers Knock Off Cubs, Take 2-1 Series Lead; Blue Jays Avoid Elimination

>>Dodgers Knock Off Cubs, Take 2-1 Series Lead
 
Rich Hill outpitched reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-0 Tuesday night to take a 2-1 NL Championship Series lead.
 
Corey Seager's go-ahead single ended an 0-for-15 slide with runners in scoring position in postseason play.
 
Grandal was 0 for 5 with three strikeouts against Arrieta in his career before he launched a 3-2 pitch into the right-field pavilion in the fourth for a 3-0 lead. Grandal drove in Reddick, who singled and stole second and third.
 
Hill, 14 months removed from independent league ball on Long Island, allowed two hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two. Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen finished, giving the Dodgers consecutive postseason shutouts for the first time.
 
Justin Turner homered on the first pitch leading off the sixth to chase Arrieta, who gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.
 
Joc Pederson doubled in a run in the eighth and Grandal hit a run-scoring groundout .
 
Chicago's 3-4-5 hitters went 1 for 11 in the game and are 2 for 32 in the series without an RBI.
 
Dexter Fowler's two-out double in the eighth provided the Cubs' first extra-base hit since their 8-4 win in the opener.
 
Jose Urias starts Game 4 for the Dodgers on Wednesday and at 20 years, 68 days will become the youngest starting pitcher in postseason history John Lackey starts for the Cubs.
 
>>Blue Jays Salvage Game 4, Hold Off Elimination
 
Josh Donaldson backed up his fiery pep talk to teammates before the game, hitting a home run and turning in a timely diving stop Tuesday to help the Blue Jays avert a sweep with a 5-1 win over the Cleveland Indians.
 
The Indians still lead the matchup 3-1, but with a couple of big hits and a strong outing by Aaron Sanchez, Toronto handed them their first loss of this postseason.
 
Donaldson's solo shot to left-center field off Corey Kluber in the third put the Blue Jays ahead for the first time all series. Two innings after that, the star third baseman made an outstanding play to preserve a one-run edge.
 
Sanchez, the American League ERA champion, allowed a run and two hits in six innings, and the bullpen finished with three perfect innings.
 
The wild-card Blue Jays made it 2-0 in the fourth when Ezequiel Carrera's blooper fell between three Cleveland fielders in left-center for an RBI single.
 
Roberto Perez hit an RBI double in the fifth off Sanchez. Carlos Santana's two-out grounder to the left side might have had a chance to score him, but Donaldson made the play to his left , then popped up and danced off the field with a bit of a fist pump.
 
The Indians didn't have another baserunner after that. Brett Cecil, Jason Grilli and Roberto Osuna pitched an inning each in relief for Toronto.
 
Taking no chances, Gibbons brought in Osuna, his closer, in a non-save situation to finish off Cleveland.
 
In Game 5, Cleveland will start Ryan Merritt, who has pitched just 11 innings in the majors, against Marco Estrada.

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Blackhawks Win; Blues Lose

>>Hossa's 500th Goal Sends Blackhawks Past Flyers
 
Marian Hossa scored his 500th career goal, Artem Anisimov snapped a third-period tie with his first score of the season and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 on Tuesday night.
 
Hossa's power-play goal chased Michal Neuvirth and gave Chicago a 4-0 lead, but Philadelphia responded with four goals in a 5 1/2-minute span overlapping the second and third periods. Wayne Simmonds, who hit the left post on two different shots, tied it at 4 on the power play at 3:49 of the third.
 
The Flyers had all the momentum before Artemi Panarin stepped up for the Blackhawks in his best game so far this season. The Calder Trophy winner found a wide-open Anisimov for the tiebreaking goal at 10:24, and then finished off a 2-on-1 with Patrick Kane, beating Steve Mason for a 6-4 lead with 3:57 to go.
 
Panarin also scored on the power play during Chicago's three-goal first. The Russian winger was kept off the scoresheet during the Blackhawks' first three games.
 
>>Canucks Top Blues in OT
 
Henrik Sedin scored 1:40 into overtime after Bo Horvat tied it late in the third period, lifting Vancouver over the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Tuesday night.
 
Horvat scored with 2:55 left in regulation, helping Vancouver to its third consecutive comeback win to start the season. Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves.
 
The winner came after Markstrom made a nice glove save in the extra period and played the puck to keep the play moving. Christopher Tanev worked a nice give-and-go with Daniel Sedin, and then Tanev took a light shot that Henrik Sedin re-directed in for his first of the season.
 
The Canucks trailed both of their previous games heading into the third. Horvat's goal snapped a streak of 177 minutes, 34 seconds of shutout hockey by St. Louis against Vancouver dating to 2015-16.
 
The Blues took the lead at 10:23 of the second after Jake Allen stopped Henrik Sedin's initial shot and then the rebound on a flurry in front. St. Louis broke the other way on a 2-on-1, with Tarasenko ripping his fourth of the season shortside on Markstrom.
 
The Blues play at Edmonton on Thursday night.

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NLCS Shifts To LA; Dodgers Name Urias Gamd 4 Starter

Back in spring training, Joe Maddon cornered Jake Arrieta for a frank conversation about his workload during the upcoming season.
 
Maddon knew Arrieta would be upset any time he got lifted early, especially after tossing 229 innings for the Chicago Cubs on his way to winning the NL Cy Young Award in 2015.
 
Maddon knew Arrieta might just feel invincible after shouldering the burden of huge innings while compiling a 1.77 ERA. He didn't want the right-hander thinking he could pitch that much every year.
 
Arrieta bought into Maddon's plan, and it's gotten him to the NL Championship Series with 197 1/3 innings and a 3.10 ERA.
 
With the series 1-1, Arrieta starts for the Cubs against Los Angeles' Rich Hill on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
 
Julio Urias is scheduled to start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.
 
Manager Dave Roberts said Monday the 20-year-old rookie from Mexico will open Wednesday, followed by Kenta Maeda in Game 5 on Thursday "as it stands now."
 
Urias pitched two scoreless innings of relief in the Dodgers' win over Washington in Game 5 of the NL Division Series, raising his total innings since Sept. 1 to 16. He has never thrown more than 100 pitches in the major leagues and the team has been careful to manage his workload this season.
 
Urias hasn't thrown over 78 pitches since Sept. 2, although Roberts isn't concerned about pitch count. Since the All-Star break, Urias is 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA.

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Bulls Trade G Tony Snell for G Michael Carter-Williams

The Chicago Bulls traded Tony Snell to Milwaukee on Monday in exchange for Michael Carter-Williams as the two Central Division foes swapped two guards going into their fourth NBA seasons.
 
The 6-foot-6 Carter-Williams was the 11th overall selection by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2013 draft and he was traded to Milwaukee during the 2014-15 season. He has averaged 14.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 190 games, including 170 starts.
 
Bulls general manager Gar Forman said the team was excited to add Carter-Williams - "a two-way player who adds versatility and depth."
 
The 6-foot-7 Snell was selected 20th overall that same draft year by the Bulls. In three seasons, he has averaged 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 18.5 minutes over 213 games, including 67 starts.
 
>>Bulls, NBA Still Trying To Overcome Poor 2013 Draft
 
The Chicago Bulls completed the trade with the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, landing the 2013 rookie of the year for a back wing player in Snell that didn't figure to see a lot of minutes for the Bulls this season. With Khris Middleton out for the season with a hamstring injury, the Bucks were in desperate need of depth on the wing, so they took a flier on Snell and didn't hesitate to part with Carter-Williams, who gained little traction in Milwaukee after being acquired in a February 2015 trade that sent Brandon Knight to Phoenix.
 
Carter-Williams will come to Chicago and try to compete for minutes as the backup to Rajon Rondo. The Bulls also have Jerian Grant, Isaiah Canaan and Spencer Dinwiddie at point guard behind Rondo. Grant scored 12 points in 17 minutes and hit a tying jumper in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime in a 108-104 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.
 
Frank Kaminsky scored 14 points and hit three 3-pointers to lift the Hornets over the Bulls.
 
Jimmy Butler scored 15 points in 24 minutes for Chicago.
 
Doug McDermott scored 14 points, but was just 1 for 5 from 3-point range. The shooting-starved Bulls desperately need his floor-stretching range this season.

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Indians Double Up Blue Jays, Take 3-0 Series Lead

Before the Cleveland Indians could even consider giving the ball to Andrew Miller, their bullpen faced a daunting task in the very first inning.
 
After Trevor Bauer's bloody exit , these remarkable relievers had to stitch together almost an entire game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
 
Four outs apiece for Dan Otero and Jeff Manship. Three for Zach McAllister. Five each for winner Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen.
 
After all that, Cleveland finally turned to Miller, who was overpowering again in closing out a 4-2 victory that moved the Indians within one win of their first pennant since 1997.
 
Jason Kipnis and Mike Napoli homered for the Indians, unbeaten in six playoff games this year. They can complete their second consecutive series sweep on Tuesday.
 
In the bullpen's most impressive feat yet this October, six relievers combined for 25 outs and 128 pitches while limiting Toronto to two runs and seven hits. Miller got four outs for the save.
 
The hard-hitting Blue Jays have mustered only three runs in the series and have never led.
 
Michael Saunders homered early for Toronto. Ezequiel Carrera tripled leading off the fifth and scored on Ryan Goins' grounder to tie it 2-all.
 
Marcus Stroman took the loss after allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings.
 
Indians Ace Corey Kluber has never started on three days' rest in his major league career, but Francona said before Monday's game that was the plan for Game 4 if Bauer had problems with his finger. Toronto will start AL ERA leader Aaron Sanchez, who allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings against Texas in Game 3 of the ALDS.

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Rangers Down Defending Western Conference Champs

Chris Kreider was one of seven Rangers to score as the Rangers beat the San Jose Sharks 7-4 on Monday night. Marc Staal, Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes, rookie Jimmy Vesey, Mats Zuccarello and Michael Grabner found the back of the net and twelve Rangers finished with at least one point, led by Zuccarello, who recorded a goal and two assists.
 
Tied 1-1 early in the second period, New York took the lead for good on Nash's first of the season 4:15 of the period. The sequence began when Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh's shot ricocheted off the end boards to Nash, who was in front of Martin Jones' net.
 
Jones finished with 22 saves.
 
The lead grew to 3-1 6:06 later when Kreider's off-wing drive ticked off Jones' stick and into the net.
 
New York was 1 for 3 on the power play, and San Jose was 1 for 4.
 
New York goaltender Antti Raanta made 26 saves on 30 shots.

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Kershaw's Brilliance Lifts Dodgers Past Cubs, Evens Series

Clayton Kershaw pitched seven sparkling innings, Adrian Gonzalez homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 1-0 on Sunday night to tie the NL Championship Series at a game apiece.
 
Kershaw retired his first 14 batters and allowed just two hits in first outing since he pitched three times in the NL Division Series, including a two-out save in Game 5 on Thursday night in Washington. He struck out six and walked one in the best playoff start of his illustrious career.
 
The Dodgers needed a clutch pitching performance after their heartbreaking 8-4 loss in the series opener, and their ace left-hander stepped up. Kenley Jansen then got six outs for his third save of the playoffs.
 
Game 3 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles, with Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta facing Dodgers lefty Rich Hill.

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Former Illini's Late TD Reception Lifts Jaguars Past Bears

Blake Bortles threw for 271 yards and hit a slipping Arrelious Benn for a 51-yard touchdown in the closing minutes, lifting the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 17-16 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
 
The Jaguars (2-3) wiped out a 13-0 deficit in the fourth quarter in a matchup of last-place teams. And the go-ahead touchdown might have been helped by the oft-criticized turf at Soldier Field.
 
Benn, who attended the University of Illinois from 2007-'09, slipped as he caught a slant and so did Tracy Porter as he tried to tag the receiver. That allowed Benn, who spent the past three seasons on injured reserve, to get up and run untouched for his first touchdown in five seasons.
 
That gave the Jaguars a one-point lead with 2:49 left and sent the Bears (1-5) to another loss after they dropped the previous game to Indianapolis on a late TD pass by Andrew Luck. Chicago came up short despite racking up 389 yards.
 
The Bears' Brian Hoyer threw for 302 yards - his fourth straight 300-yard game filling in for the injured Jay Cutler (sprained right thumb).
 
Cameron Meredith had 11 catches for 113 yards. Alshon Jeffery added 93 yards receiving.
 
Willie Young had two sacks for Chicago. Porter intercepted Bortles in the end zone early on, but Chicago fell to 2-9 at home in two seasons under coach John Fox.
 
Bortles completed 20 of 33 passes with a touchdown and interception. Allen Hurns added 74 yards receiving, and Chris Ivory ran for a TD for Jacksonville.

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Cowboys Overcome Miscues To Top Packers

Dak Prescott threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns, and the Cowboys forced four turnovers in a 30-16 win over the Green Bay Packers and their dysfunctional offense Sunday.
 
Prescott was 18 of 27 and shook off two fumbles and an interception to lead the Cowboys (5-1) to their fifth straight win.
 
Prescott showed poise in the fourth quarter while marching the Cowboys on a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Cole Beasley for an 18-point lead with 10:26 left.
 
The Packers had five fumbles on the day, losing three.
 
Aaron Rodgers finished 31 of 42 for a season-high 294 yards.
 
The Packers didn't get into the end zone until Rodgers and Cobb connected on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 6:53 left to get within 27-16.
 
Rodgers accounted for two turnovers with an interception to go with a fumble on first-and-goal at the Cowboys 1 with 1:10 left in the third quarter. It was a designed draw play out of an empty backfield.
 
The Packers host the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.

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Foster scores twice, Mosely returns pick in Illinois win

Kendrick Foster scored two touchdowns and Darius Mosely returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown as Illinois snapped a four-game losing streak with a 24-7 victory over mistake-prone Rutgers on Saturday.
 
Foster ran 5 yards for a touchdown and caught a 5-yard scoring pass from first-time starter Chayce Crouch in helping the Fighting Illini (2-4, 1-2 Big Ten) give coach Lovie Smith his first win since the season opener.
 
The Illini defense forced five turnovers, recovering four fumbles and getting the game-clinching return in the fourth quarter from Mosely, who also had a fumble recovery.
 
Gio Rescigno, who replaced Chris Laviano at the start of the second half, threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Nick Arcidiacono on the first play of the fourth quarter to snap an 11-quarter scoring drought and get Rutgers (2-5, 0-4) within 17-7.
 
Rescigno had Rutgers at the Illini 25 with a first down on the next series, but Mosely intercepted his short pass to the left side. The clincher came after play was delayed a couple of minutes for an injury Scarlet Knights lineman J.J. Denman.
 
Crouch played well, starting for the injured Wes Lunt. He was 6 of 14 for 92 yards and ran 11 times for 25. Lunt missed the game with a back injury sustained last week.
 
The Illini travel to No. 4 Michigan next Saturday.

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Kimble, Eastern Illinois rally past Tennessee Tech 30-24

Mitch Kimble passed for 323 yards and two touchdowns and guided Eastern Illinois back from a 14-point deficit on Saturday to beat Tennessee Tech 30-24.
 
The Panthers (5-2, 3-1 Ohio Valley Conference) trailed 17-3 late in the second quarter before scoring the next 24 points.
Eastern Illinois cut the deficit to 17-10 with 19 seconds left in the first half and Nick Bruno added a field goal before halftime after Tennessee Tech fumbled on the kickoff. Kimble's 65-yard TD pass to Paul Gossage made it 20-17 early in the third and Darshon McCullough scored on a 1-yard TD run less than four minutes later.
 
Tennessee Tech (2-5, 2-3) cut the lead to 27-24 on Andrew Goldsmith's 3-yard TD run with 7:31 left, but The Panthers answered with Bruno's third field goal and the EIU defense held from there.
 
Michael Birdsong had 294 yards passing for Tennessee Tech.

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Kolbe, Illinois St. hold off Southern Illinois, 31-28

Jake Kolbe threw three touchdown passes, James Robinson ran for 122 yards and a score and Illinois State held on to beat Southern Illinois 31-28 on Saturday night.
Sean Slattery kicked a career-long-tying 50-yard field goal with 12:45 to play.
 
Kolbe hit Christian Gibbs for a 51-yard score and connected with Anthony Warrum for a 38-yard TD in the third quarter and Illinois State (3-4, 1-3 Missouri Valley) took a 28-21 lead into the fourth.
 
Slattery's kick made it a 10-point game and each team had three three-and-outs before Southern Illinois (2-4, 0-3) used a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive - capped by Josh Straughan's 35-yard pass to Darrell James - to make it 31-28 with 1:19 left.
 
Illinois State recovered an onside kick and bled the final 77 seconds off the clock.
 
Straughan completed 28 of 46 passes for 244 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Salukis.

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Week 8 Football Scores

Central Illinois:

 

Meridian 0, Tuscola 65, F

Shelbyville 44, Central A&M 15, F

Sullivan-Okaw Valley 7, Decatur St. Teresa 37, F

 

Okaw Valley:

 

St. Joseph Ogden 8, Tolono Unity 26, F

 

Apollo:

 

Mattoon 31, Taylorville 27, F

Mt. Zion 21, Effingham 0, F

Salem 14, Charleston 20, F

 

Big Twelve:

 

Bloomington 51, Urbana 14, F

Champaign Centennial 14, Peoria Notre Dame 35, F

Normal West 49, Peoria Richwoods 20, F

Normal Community 34, Danville 20, F

Peoria 74, Champaign Central 49, F

 

Central State Eight:

 

Chatham Glenwood 58, Decatur MacArthur 19, F

Decatur Eisenhower 21, Rochester 62, F

Springfield Lanphier 7, Jacksonville 47, F

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 31, Springfield 17, F

Springfield Southeast 54, Lincoln 13, F

 

Corn Belt:

 

Illinois Valley Central 51, Olympia 28, F

Mahomet-Seymour 6, Bloomington Central Catholic 14, F

Normal U-High 19, Pontiac 33, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Large):

 

El Paso-Gridley 30, Ridgeview 6, F

Dee-Mack 49, Eureka 14, F

Fieldcrest 0, Tri-Valley 54, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Small):

 

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 60, Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 0, F

LeRoy 46, Heyworth 6, F

Tremont 51, Fisher 0, F

 

Little Okaw Valley (Northwest):

 

Artur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 8, Cerro Gordo-Bement 40, F

Decatur Lutheran 34, Argenta-Oreana 24, F

Sangamon Valley 0, Arcola 20, F

 

Little Okaw Valley (Southeast):

 

Oblong 53, Martinsville 28, F

Palestine 19, Oakland Tri-County 35, F

Toledo Cumberland 44, Villa Grove-Heritage 0, F

 

Mid-Illini:

 

Limestone 13, Dunlap 56, F

Metamora 20, Pekin 21, F

Morton 14, Canton 20, F

Washington 49, East Peoria 13, F

 

Sangamo:

 

Maroa-Forsyth 24, Auburn 7, F

New Berlin 26, Athens 49, F

Pleasant Plains 36, Pittsfield 34, F

Virden North Mac 62, Riverton 14, F

Williamsville 49, Petersburg PORTA 0, F

 

Non-Conference action:

 

Peoria Manual 24, Macomb 14, F

Peoria Heights 26, North Fulton 14, F

Praire Central 14, Champaign St. Thomas More 20, F

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Maroons Fall To Cardinals; Miss Playoffs

In a game heard Friday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals on Homecoming, 42 to 6.

 

The loss drops Clinton to 3-5 on the season, and removes them from playoff contention.  Warrensburg-Latham becomes eligible for the postseason with a 5-3 record.

 

Clinton was led by Senior running back, Alec Cooley.  He carried the ball 23 times for 189 yards. Cooley was named the Stephan York Country Financial Maroons Player of the Game.

 

Clinton Senior quarterback Noah Griffin was 2 of 13 passing for 22 yards. He ran the ball 10 times for 20 yards.  

 

The Maroons were shut down in the second half.  The Cardinals defense only allowed Clinton 23 total yards in the final two quarters.

 

Warrensburg-Latham was led by the Lewis twins.  Donte Lewis ran the ball 17 times for 267 yards and 3 TDs.  He was 5 of 10 passing for 86 yards, and 2 TDs.  Deondre Lewis carried the ball 17 times for 155 yards and a touchdown.  He also caught a 45 yard touchdown pass.

 

Clinton falls to 2-4 in the CIC.  The Cards even their conference record to 3-3.

 

The Maroons will wrap up their 2016 season on the road at Meridian next Friday against the winless Hawks.  Hear the game on 92.3FM WHOW, and online at DewittDailyNews.com,

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HS FBALL: Maroons Host Warrensburg-Latham for Homecoming; Monticello at Rantoul

>>Maroons Host Warrensburg-Latham for Homecoming
 
It's a must win for the Clinton Maroons tonight as the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals come to town for Homecoming.
 
After a disappointing 26-0 defeat at Shelbyville last Friday night, the Maroons enter tonight's Homecoming matchup 3-4 and need to win-out to qualify for the postseason for a second straight year.
 
Warrensburgh-Latham is 4-3 and looking to get themselves a postseason birth under coach Scott Godfrey. 
 
Hear tonight's game on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
 
>>Sages At Rantoul
 
The Monticello Sages will yet again put their undefeated record on the line tonight when they travel to Rantoul.
 
The winless Eagles and a one-win Monmouth Roseville team are the only teams between an undefeated regular season for the Sages, who are 7-0 entering play tonight.
 
The Sages will face some injuries heading into action tonight. Defensive starters Jack Leinhart and Johnny Dawson are questionable after suffering injuries in last week's 39-14 win over Champaign St. Thomas More, which clinched an Okaw Valley title for the Sages.
 
Offensive lineman Noah Zimmerman is doubtful for Friday's contest.
 
 Hear all Friday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
 
Week 8 area football matchups:
 
Central Illinois
 
Meridian at Tuscola
Shelbyville at Central A & M
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Decatur St. Teresa
Warrensburg-Latham at Clinton
 
Okaw Valley
 
St. Joseph-Ogden at Tolono Unity (Sat.)
Prairie Central at Champaign St. Thomas More (Non-Conference)
 
Apollo
 
Mattoon at Taylorville
Mt. Zion at Effingham (H.S.)
Salem at Charleston
 
Big Twelve
 
Bloomington at Urbana
Champaign Centennial vs. Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Richwoods
Normal West at Peoria Richwoods
Normal Community at Danville
Peoria at Champaign Central
 
Central State Eight
 
Chatham Glenwood at Decatur MacArthur
Decatur Eisenhower at Rochester
Springfield Lanphier at Jacksonville
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Springfield
Springfield Southeast at Lincoln
 
Corn Belt
 
Illinois Valley Central at Olympia
Mahomet-Seymour at Bloomington Central Catholic
Normal U-High at Pontiac
 
Heart of Illinois (Large)
 
El Paso-Gridley at (Ridgeview
Dee-Mack at Eureka
Fieldcrest at Tri-Valley
 
Heart of Illinois (Small)
 
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley vs. Flanagan-Cornell-Cornell-Woodland at Streator (Woodland)
LeRoy at Heyworth
Tremont at Fisher
 
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest)
 
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Cerro Gordo-Bement
Decatur Lutheran at Argenta-Oreana
Sangamon Valley at Arcola
 
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast)
 
Oblong at Martinsville
Palestine at Oakland Tri-County
Toledo Cumberland at Villa Grove-Heritage
 
Mid-Illini
 
Limestone at Dunlap
Metamora at Pekin
Morton at Canton
Washington at East Peoria
 
Sangamo
 
Maroa-Forsyth at Auburn
New Berlin at Athens
Pleasant Plains at Pittsfield
Virden North Mac) at Riverton
Williamsville at Petersburg PORTA
 
Non-Conference action this week:
 
Peoria Manual at Macomb
Peoria Heights vs. North Fulton at Spoon River Valley HS

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CFB: Illinois At Rutgers; ISU Hosts SIU; Eastern Illinois At Tennessee Tech on WHOW

>>Illini At Rutgers
 
The Illinois Fighting Illini start a two-game road swing with this week's contest in Piscataway, NJ as the the Illini take on Rutgers.
 
Illinois and Rutgers will meet for the first time since Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014 and split their only two meetings in 2005 and 2006. 
 
The 2-4 Scarlet Knights host the 1-4 Illini. Illinois is coming off a 34-31 overtime loss against Purdue last weekend at Memorial Stadium. 
Sophomore QB Chayce Crouch came in for an injured Wes Lunt against Purdue and had a career game. Crouch completed 10-of-14 passes for 142 yards and rushed for a career-high 137 yards and two touchdowns.
 
Redshirt Freshman RB Reggie Corbin, making his second career start, ran for a career-high 92 yards on 11 carries (8.4 ypc), including a career-long 46-yard run in the first quarter. He also had a 30-yard reception against the Boilers.
 
Game time Saturday is 11 am and can be seen on ESPNNews.
 
>>Redbirds Look To End Four-Game Slide
 
The Illinois State Redbirds are in uncharted territory as they host in-state rival Southern Illinois Saturdaynight.
 
The Redbirds are losers of four straight and are looking to end a four-game losing streak at Hancock Stadium. The Redbirds early-season schedule has been tough, with losses to ranked Eastern Illinois, Indiana State, top-ranked North Dakota State and Youngstown State. 
 
Southern Illinois battled back from a 17-point deficit, but ultimately fell to No. 12 South Dakota State by a score of 45-39 last week at Saluki Stadium. SDSU quarterback Taryn Christion completed 32-of-51 pass attempts in the game en route to a school-record 466 passsing yards and threw a career-high five touchdown passes to lead the Jackrabbits past the Salukis.
 
Both teams are seeking their first Missouri Valley Conference wins when action gets underway at 6 pm. Saturday night.
 
>>Eastern Illinois At Tennessee Tech Saturday
 
No. 17 Eastern Illinois won its fourth game this season beating No. 25 Tennessee State 35-34 to improve to 2-1 in the OVC, and now moves on to play Tennessee Tech (2-2) in Cookesville, TN.
 
Devin Church was named the OVC co-Offensive Player of the Week following the Panthers win over Tennessee State.  He rushed for 94 yards and caught seven passes for 37 yards in the victory.  
 
David Johnson was named the OVC co-Defensive Player of the Week following the Panthers win over Tennessee State.  It was the second time in three weeks that the South Carolina transfer has won the OVC weekly defensive honor.  Johnson had nine tackles with 1.5 for loss and a sack.

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Lester To Get Nod For Game 1 Of NLCS vs Los Angeles

The Cubs will start Jon Lester in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series, and the rest of their rotation depends on the health of Kyle Hendricks.
Hendricks left Game 2 of the Division Series against San Francisco when a comebacker went off his right forearm in the fourth inning. He had a bullpen session Thursday, and the Cubs are waiting to see how he feels Friday before confirming their rotation.
 
If Hendricks is ready to go, he likely will pitch Game 2. The right-hander went 9-2 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 games at Wrigley Field during the regular season.
 
Lester pitched eight sparkling innings in the Cubs' 1-0 victory over San Francisco in their playoff opener last Friday.

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NFL: Bears, Packers At Home Sunday

>>Bears Host Jaguars Sunday
 
For three consecutive games, Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer has passed for 300-plus yards without throwing an interception.
 
The Bears (1-4) will try to reverse a season that quickly is slipping away as they host the Jaguars (1-3) at Soldier Field for the first time since 2008.
Hoyer is expected to make his fourth start in place of Jay Cutler, who remains sidelined because of a thumb injury. Hoyer is 1-2 in his starts but has performed admirably as he has completed 71.1 percent of his passes (91 of 128) for 1,016 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions in his starts.
 
Jacksonville has fared slightly better than the Bears with 21.0 points per game, which is good for No. 19 in the league. Quarterback Blake Bortles has completed 61.3 percent of his passes, the best mark of his career, for 1,050 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions in four games.
 
The Jaguars are coming off a bye after beating the Colts two weeks ago in London. Two of Jacksonville's losses (against the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens) have been by four points or fewer.
 
Danny Trevathan returns last week after missing a couple of games because of a thumb injury. He was one of Chicago's top free-agent signings during the offseason after he won a Super Bowl title with the Denver Broncos.
 
>>Packers Host Cowboys
 
Dak Prescott  has yet to throw an interception while leading Dallas to a 4-1 start and he attempts to again avoid the key miscues when the Cowboys visit the Green Bay Packers on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX).
 
Prescott ascended to the starting job after Romo broke a vertebra in his back during the preseason. He has displayed poise beyond his 23 years of age by completing 69 percent of his passes, and his ongoing streak of 155 attempts without an interception is a rookie record.
 
The Packers (3-1) have no debate at quarterback with Aaron Rodgers firmly entrenched and the perennial Pro Bowler has seven touchdown passes against no interceptions in five career meetings against Dallas.
 
However, Rodgers is coming off a suspect performance against the New York Giants in which he was just 23-of-45 passing for 259 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
 
The 259 yards do qualify as a season best for Rodgers, who has thrown nine touchdown passes against three interceptions.
 
Green Bay's defense will face a challenge as it goes up against stellar Dallas rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys' rugged offensive line.
 
Elliott leads the NFL with 546 rushing yards and is averaging 5.0 yards per carry with a hard-charging running style that includes power, speed and the occasional hurdle.
 
Yet the Packers feature the NFL's top-ranked rushing defense and the sensational performances through four games include superb figures such as allowing just 42.8 yards per game and 1.99 yards per carry.
 
The Packers have won the past four meetings with Dallas, including a 28-7 victory last season when Rodgers passed for 218 yards and two touchdowns.

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Blues Edge Wild

Nail Yakupov had a goal and an assist and Jake Allen made several big saves as the St. Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Thursday night.
 
Alexander Steen and Magnus Paajarvi also scored for St. Louis. Patrik Berglund had two assists and Allen made 18 saves for the Blues, who have won four of their past five home openers.
 
Ryan Suter and Charlie Coyle scored for the Wild, who were 4-0-1 in their previous five season openers.
 
Yakupov put the Blues ahead 2-1 on his first career slap shot goal at 12:36 of the second. The shot went off Devan Dubnyk's glove and floated over his shoulder into the net.
 
Yakupov found Paajarvi as the last man on a 3-on-2 rush to give the Blues a 3-1 lead early in the third.
 
Blues F Jaden Schwartz (elbow) missed his second game Thursday.
 
The Blues host the New York Rangers on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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Blues Open 2016 With 5-2 Win Over Blackhawks

Vladimir Tarasenko had two goals and an assist, and the St. Louis Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Wednesday in an opening-night matchup of Central Division rivals.
 
Kevin Shattenkirk and Paul Stastny each had a power-play goal and two assists for the Blues, who eliminated the Blackhawks in seven games in the first round of the playoffs in April. Jake Allen had 17 saves in his first game since he became St. Louis' clear No. 1 goaltender with Brian Elliott's June trade to Calgary.
 
Richard Panik and Ryan Hartman scored for Chicago, which had five rookies in the starting lineup. Corey Crawford finished with 29 saves.

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Cubs Rally Past Giants, Off To NLCS

World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs took another step in their championship chase Tuesday night by rallying for four runs in the ninth inning of Game 4 to beat San Francisco 6-5 and win their NL Division Series.
 
Javier Baez's tiebreaking single capped the comeback against a beleaguered bullpen that sabotaged the Giants one last time.
 
Held to two hits over eight innings by Matt Moore, the Cubs trailed 5-2 heading to the ninth.
 
Pinch-hitter Willson Contreras tied it with a two-run single with none out. Baez singled in the go-ahead run two batters later, and the Cubs capitalized on Gold Glove shortstop Brandon Crawford's second costly error and more untimely blunders by the Giants' once-reliable relief staff.
 
One day after getting tagged in the eighth inning, Aroldis Chapman closed this one out by striking out the side in order. 
 
Soon-to-retire David Ross homered to start the third, hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth and threw out Denard Span trying to steal.
 
Four wins from their first pennant since 1945, the Cubs will open the NL Championship Series at Wrigley Field on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers or Washington Nationals. That matchup is tied 2-all heading into the deciding Game 5 on Thursday.
 
The Dodgers avoided elimination Tuesday with a 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals that forced a deciding game in their NL playoff.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer for the Dodgers, who turned to Kershaw on three days' rest to salvage their season.
 
The score was tied 5-all with two outs in the eighth when Andrew Toles got hit by a pitch from loser Blake Treinen. Ethier followed with a single to left and Utley singled to right, scoring Toles from second for a 6-5 lead.
 
Trailing 5-2 in the seventh, the Nats had runners on first and second against Kershaw with two outs. The crowd chanted Kershaw's name as he and Bryce Harper battled through eight pitches before Harper drew a walk.
 
Harper's walk loaded the bases and chased Kershaw, who walked off with his head down. He sat alone in the dugout with his head resting on his right hand.
 
Pedro Baez came in and hit Jayson Werth with his only pitch, forcing in a run to make it 5-3. Baez got booed off the field.
 
Daniel Murphy's single off Luis Avilan dropped between Toles and Joc Pederson in left-center field, scoring two runs to tie it at 5. Avilan also heard boos.
 
Joe Blanton, who earned the win, retired Anthony Rendon on a swinging strikeout to end the inning.

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Blues, Blackhawks Open 2016-17 NHL Season in Chicago

The St. Louis Blues knocked the Chicago Blackhawks out of the playoffs last season with a one-goal victory in Game 7 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
 
Now, the Blues are back in Chicago to open the season against their division rivals.
 
In last year's seven-game playoff series, six games were decided by a single goal. The same held true for three of the teams' five meetings during the regular season. Both teams topped 100 points during the regular season, but neither achieved their ultimate goal as Chicago was bounced in the first round of the playoffs and the San Jose Sharks eliminated the Blues in the conference finals.
 
This time around, some familiar faces will not be present for the rivalry. Former Blues captain David Backes signed a free-agent deal with the Boston Bruins, and St. Louis promoted defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to wear the "C" on his sweater.
 
Meanwhile, Blues goaltender Jake Allen will assume a clear-cut No. 1 role in net after the team shipped goaltender Brian Elliott to the Calgary Flames.
 
Allen went 26-15-3 with a 2.35 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in 47 games during the 2015-16 campaign. He exited the Blues' final preseason game because of an apparent injury but said he felt fine heading into the season opener.
 
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock decided to return for a final season behind the bench. His successor already has been named: former Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo, who will serve as Hitchcock's assistant this season before taking over next season.
 
The Blackhawks said goodbye to several key contributors during the offseason, including feisty forward Andrew Shaw (traded to Montreal) and young playmaker Teuvo Teravainen (traded to Carolina). Top-six forward Andrew Ladd left as a free agent to sign with the New York Islanders.
 
Veteran defenseman Brian Campbell, who won a Stanley Cup championship with the Blackhawks in 2010, is back with the Blackhawks on a one-year deal. He will provide depth and experience on the blue line, which also will feature newcomer Michael Kempny.
 
 
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is notorious for changing his line combinations at a moment's notice, but look for Toews to anchor the team's top line to start the season. He will be joined by Richard Panik on the left wing and Marian Hossa on the right wing.
 
The second line contains even more firepower as left winger Artemi Panarin and right winger Patrick Kane will try to replicate last season's dominance alongside center Artem Anisimov.
 
Goaltender Corey Crawford is back in net for Chicago and is expected to start against the Blues.
 
St. Louis likely will counter with left winger Robby Fabbri, center Paul Stastny and right winger Alexander Steen on its top scoring line. Next will be the combination of 

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Dustin Johnson Wins PGA Tour Player of the Year

Dustin Johnson was rightfully named PGA Tour Player of the Year on Tuesday for the 2015-16 PGA Tour season after winning the U.S. Open, Bridgestone Invitational and BMW Championship, and finishing No. 1 on the PGA Tour money list over $1 million ahead of Jason Day.
 
The only other true candidates this season were Day (who hasn't won since The Players Championship in May), Adam Scott (who hasn't won since March) and Rory McIlroy (who did not win a major championship and missed the cut in two of them).
 
Johnson, who admitted he did not vote for himself and abstained from voting at all on the award, won three events in the same season for the first time in his career in 2016. He is currently tied for 81st all time in total PGA Tour wins with 12.

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Illini's Dee Brown Leaving Basketball Program

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman says former Illini basketball great Dee Brown has resigned as director of player development and alumni relations for the men's basketball team after five months on the job.
Whitman said in his Monday news release that Brown is leaving "for reasons that are personal to him," bit did not elaborate.
 
On Twitter, Brown said he is leaving during "a difficult time for my family right now." He did not offer further explanation and asked that fans respect his privacy.
 
Brown took the job in May after spending a year as a special assistant in the athletic director's office.
 
Brown was part of the 2005 Illinois team that lost the national title game to North Carolina. He played professionally for 10 years.

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Giants Outlast Cubs, Trim Series To 2-1

Joe Panik doubled off the right-center wall in the 13th inning to drive in Brandon Crawford, and the Giants outlasted the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Monday night in Game 3 to extend their NL Division Series.
Boosted by Conor Gillaspie's go-ahead triple in the eighth off Aroldis Chapman, the Giants rallied from a three-run deficit and won their 10th straight game when facing postseason elimination.
 
San Francisco overcame Kris Bryant's two-run homer off closer Sergio Romo that tied it 5-all in the ninth, and an early three-run shot by pitcher Jake Arrieta against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.
 
The wild-card Giants forced Game 4 at their raucous ballpark, postponing a potential Cubs clinch party in the visitors' clubhouse.
 
Chicago leads the best-of-five playoff 2-1 and will send John Lackey to the mound Tuesday night opposite lefty Matt Moore.
 
>>Cleveland Advances to ALCS; Nationals Push Dodgers To Brink
 
The Cleveland Indians swept the Boston Red Sox out of the postseason and sent David Ortiz into retirement on Monday night with a 4-3 victory that completed a three-game AL Division Series sweep.
 
Coco Crisp hit a two-run homer , closer Cody Allen got four outs and the Indians advanced the AL Championship Series for the first time since 2007. 
 
Mike Tomlin allowed two runs on four in five-plus innings. Andrew Miller pitched two innings , Bryan Shaw got two outs and Allen came on to face Ortiz with two out and a man on first in the eighth.
 
Jayson Werth's homer helped break open a one-run game in the ninth inning, moving the Washington Nationals within one victory of taking a postseason series for the first time with an 8-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday and a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five NL playoff.
 
Four relievers combined for 4 2/3 shutout innings, putting the Nationals in position to wrap up the NL Division Series on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
 
Kenta Maeda gave up four runs and five hits in three innings. 
 
Werth's RBI double in the right-field corner tied the game 1-all. Harper hit an RBI single and Rendon followed with his two-run shot to the left-field pavilion for a 4-1 lead.
 

Dodgers rookie Corey Seager continued his first-inning success in the series, hitting an RBI double off the wall for a 1-0 lead after homering in the first inning of Games 1 and 2.
 
Dodgers rookie Julio Urias (5-2, 3.39 ERA) is scheduled to start Game 4, but the Dodgers could bring back Game 1 winner Clayton Kershaw on short rest with their season on the line.
 
The Nationals have yet to announce their starter. It's possible RHP Joe Ross would start Game 4 and Game 1 loser Max Scherzer would take the mound if Game 5 is necessary.
 
The game will start at 5:05 p.m. EDT. The teams had to wait until San Francisco's 13-inning win over the Cubs ended just before 3 a.m. EDT to find out when first pitch would be - Los Angeles and Washington would have begun at 8:08 p.m. EDT if Chicago had won.

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Tampa Edges Carolina on MNF

Roberto Aguayo's made up for missing two earlier field goals by converting a 38-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Carolina Panthers 17-14 on Monday night.
 
Aguayo, the most accurate kicker in NCAA history, had clanked a 33-yard field goal attempt off the right upright and missed wide left from 46 yards that would have given the Bucs the lead with 3:38 left in the game. He was just 3 of 7 on the season before the winning kick.
 
Jameis Winston was 18 of 30 for 219 yards and threw a TD pass to Mike Evans . He also led a 66-yard drive to get the Buccaneers (2-3) into field goal range. A costly 15-yard facemask penalty on Kony Ealy hurt the Panthers along the way.
 
Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 101 yards on 30 carries in place of the injured Doug Martin.
 
The Panthers turned the ball over four times, three of those by Derek Anderson, who was filling in for the concussed Cam Newton.
 
The Panthers ruined a memorable night from Greg Olsen, who had a career-high 181 yards receiving on nine catches. Cameron Artis-Payne ran for two touchdowns for the Panthers.
 
Carolina is now 1-4 after reaching the Super Bowl last season.

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College Football Polls See Shakeup After Wild Weekend

Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Michigan all took care of business in Week 6, but now that crew of heavyweights we have become used to seeing at the top has a newcomer in the surging Washington Huskies.
 
Washington's 6-0 start includes wins against both recent Pac-12 North Division winners, creating a two-game lead on both teams for a spot in the Pac-12 title game and causing fans to start comparing this team to Don James' national championship season in 1991. The Huskies still have plenty of conference play left, including an Apple Cup showdown with Washington State, but at the moment it seems like the preseason hype has been validated in Seattle. Stanford, once as high as No. 7 in the AP Top 25, fell completely out of the poll.
 
Houston, Tennessee and Miami were not able to make it through the weekend undefeated, all falling in tight conference contests that caused a slight drop in polls (or none at all) though no consensus of voters -- including in the CBS Sports 128 rankings -- is ready to give up on any of these teams as one of the top 25 in the country.
 
While the Hurricanes fell to No. 16, Florida State made one of the biggest moves this week, moving up nine spots to No. 14.
 
The new AP Top 25 featured four Big Ten teams in its top 10 for the first time since 1960, and the Coaches Poll has followed suit, although the four teams are in a different order.
 
The polls also show some balance in the conference. The East Division is considered the best in the Big Ten, but both the East and West have top-10 teams right now between Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
 
Elsewhere, there aren't any major surprises. Washington climbs up a spot into the top five following Houston's loss (which dropped to 12), and Tennessee tumbled a couple of spots following its overtime loss to Texas A&M. Florida, which saw its game with LSU postponed, moved up four spots and is ahead of its two in-state rivals.

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Penguins Crosby Has Concussion, Status Uncertain

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Monday that captain Sidney Crosby has been diagnosed with a concussion. Just how long the Pens will be without the reigning Conn Smythe Award winner remains uncertain.
According to head coach Mike Sullivan, Crosby was injured during practice Friday, but won't say how.
 
Crosby sat out Saturday's preseason game vs. Columbus because he was not feeling well, and missed practice today to undergo concussion testing.
Crosby's status will be updated when more information is available.
 
The Penguins are set to open the season with their Stanley Cup banner raising Thursday night against the Washington Capitals.

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Packers Hold Off Giants, Bears Fall Short in Indy

>>Packers Hold Off Giants
 
Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes, and the Green Bay Packers offensive line pushed around the New York Giants' front and powered the ground game in a 23-16 win on Sunday night over the New York Giants.
Rodgers was 23 of 45 for 259 yards and also threw two interceptions. Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams each had highlight-reel touchdown catches to help the Packers (3-1) build an 11-point halftime lead.
 
New York's Eli Manning was 18 of 35 for 199 yards and was sacked three times.
 
The Giants (2-3) looked out of sorts until a hurry-up drive that ended with Beckham's 8-yard touchdown catch with 2:54 left.
 
Randall Cobb was the Packers' most consistent receiver with nine catches for 108 yards. 
 
Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins had two interceptions in the first half, one coming on third-and-6 at the Giants 21 after a pass deflected off Nelson's hands . It was Jenkins' first two-interception game since his rookie season with St. Louis, when he had two against Arizona on Nov. 25, 2012.
 
Lacy left late in the third quarter with a left ankle injury. He had 81 yards on 11 carries, including 77 yards on nine carriers in the first half.
 
>>Colts Hold Off Bears
 
Andrew Luck threw a 35-yard TD pass to T.Y. Hilton with 3:43 left Sunday to lead the Indianapolis Colts past the Chicago Bears 29-23.
 
It's the first time the Colts (2-3) defeated the Bears in Indianapolis.
 
After hearing a clamoring for changes all week, Indy went to the hurry-up offense and Luck made the alterations look good early and late.
 
When the Colts opened up the passing game and took shots down the field, they were efficient. When they didn't, they bogged down.
 
The result: Indy had its first halftime lead of the season, 16-13, and when they fell behind midway through the third quarter, the Colts turned up the pace again. This time, Luck needed six plays to move 82 yards - the last 35 coming on the TD pass to Hilton that gave Indy a 26-23 lead.
 
Luck finished 28 of 39 with 322 yards and two touchdowns. Hilton had 10 catches for 171 yards.
 
Brian Hoyer was solid in his third straight start and gave Chicago (1-4) a 23-19 lead by capping a 94-yard drive with a 24-yard TD pass to Jordan Howard to make it 23-19 with 7:04 to go. It was the Bears' longest drive in more than seven years.
 
Hoyer was 33 of 43 for 397 yards with two touchdowns.
 
But after a late Bears fumble led to Adam Vinatieri's fifth field goal, Hoyer couldn't convert on fourth-and-8 from Indy's 28-yard line.

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Eastern, Western Illinois Win; Illinois, ISU Lose

>>Purdue Clips Illinois in OT
 
Purdue came to Illinois Saturday reeling from a 43-point loss at Maryland and living with growing pressure on its coach, Darrel Hazell, to win.
 
The Boilermakers got just what they needed from a freshman kicker who had missed more field goals this season than he had made and a freshman running back starting his first game, knocking off the Illini in overtime, 34-31.
 
The running back, Brian Lankford-Johnson, carried the ball 18 times for 127 yards and a touchdown.
 
The kicker, J.D. Dellinger, had missed three of his five field goals on the season. But he hit from 28 yards on the game's final play, and set off a wild celebration.
 
The Boilermakers (3-2, 2-1 Big Ten) rushed for the Illinois sideline, mistakenly thinking they would find the Cannon trophy the teams play for there, before finally mobbing their band in the south end zone.
 
Chayce Crouch, a sophomore, carried the ball 17 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
 
Wes Lunt was knocked out of the game in the second quarter on a big hit by linebacker Danny Ezechukwu, who was flagged for roughing the passer. Smith said immediately after the game that he only knows Lunt's injury is a concern.
 
The Illini make their first trip to Rutgers since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten and just the third meeting between the schools. The last game, in New Jersey, was a 33-0 Rutgers win in 2006.
 
>>Eastern Holds On To Edge Tennessee State
 
Mitch Kimble threw two touchdown passes to Devin Church who also ran for a score as Eastern Illinois handed Tennessee State its first loss, 35-34, Saturday night.
 
Kimble had 180 yards passing for the Panthers (4-2, 2-1 Ohio Valley Conference). He also ran for a 9-yard touchdown early in the first quarter. Church finished with 94 yards rushing.
 
After the Panthers fell behind 34-28 early in the fourth quarter, Kimble capped an 80-yard drive with a 4-yard scoring pass to Church to regain the lead, 35-34, with 9:00 remaining.
 
Tennessee State ate up the next 5:56 on the ensuing drive but Lane Clark missed a 46-yard field goal try with 3:00 to play and the Panthers held on to win.
 
Eastern Illinois scored on its first two possessions and led 21-13 at halftime.
 
Ronald Butler threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score for the Tigers (4-1, 1-1).
 
>>Western Illinois Beats Indiana State
 
Sean McGuire threw for a career-high 363 yards and three touchdowns and Western Illinois erased an 8-point 4th quarter deficit to beat Indiana State 36-35 on Saturday.
 
McGuire's favorite target was Senior Lance Lenoir, who caught 11 passes for 204 yards and two scores.
The Leathernecks (4-1, 1-1 Missouri Valley) trailed 35-27 entering the fourth and quickly cut their deficit to 35-33 on 9-yard TD pass from McGuire to Jamie Gilmore. A two-point conversion failed. On its next possession, Western Illinois seized the lead for good on a 41-yard Nathan Knuffman field goal, capping a 6-play 37-yard drive.
 
Indiana State (3-3, 1-2) had three opportunities to answer, but were forced to punt twice and stopped on fourth-and-1 at the Leathernecks 29 with 44 seconds left.
 
Isaac Harker threw for 241 yards and a touchdown and Roland Genesy added 78 yards and a score on the ground for the Sycamores.
 
>>Youngstown State Tops Illinois State
 
Ricky Davis threw a touchdown pass and Tevin McCaster ran for another score in the fourth quarter as Youngstown State beat Illinois State 20-6 on Saturday.
 
The Penguins (4-1, 2-0 Missouri Valley) won for the first time in 10 seasons at Illinois State (2-4, 0-3). The Redbirds have lost four straight, their longest streak since 2008.
Sean Slattery kicked field goals of 20 and 27 yards in the third quarter to give Illinois State a 6-3 lead. Davis led a 91-yard drive, capped by a 20-yard scoring throw to Alvin Bailey. On its next series, Davis threw an interception to DraShane Glass at the Redbirds 49, but Illinois State punted six plays later. Kenny Bishop sacked Jake Kolbe for a 9-yard loss to help stall the drive.
 
McCaster ran for 56 yards on a second-and-4, and then capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run with about five minutes left.
 
James Robinson ran for a career-best 103 yards for Illinois State.

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Late Error Lifts Blue Jays Past Rangers, Into ALCS

Josh Donaldson raced home from second base after Rougned Odor bounced a double-play relay in the 10th inning and Toronto beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 on Sunday night to sweep their AL Division Series.
 
Donaldson, the reigning AL MVP, led off the 10th with a double into the right-center field gap and Matt Bush intentionally walked Edwin Encarnacion.
After Jose Bautista struck out, Russell Martin hit a grounder to shortstop Elvis Andrus, who tried to start a double play with a feed to second base. After making the turn, second baseman Odor short-hopped his throw to first baseman Mitch Moreland and the ball skipped away, allowing Donaldson to sprint home and beat Moreland's throw with a dive across the plate.
 
The wild-card Blue Jays are headed back to the AL Championship Series after beating Texas in an ALDS for a second straight year and will face the winner of the Cleveland-Boston series. The Indians lead 2-0, with Game 3 scheduled for Monday following a postponement Sunday.
 
Andrus hit a solo homer in the third and Odor added a two-run shot in the fourth. They were the only two homers of the series for Texas.
 
Donaldson had two doubles among his three hits and is batting .538 through four postseason games, all wins for the Blue Jays, who had to beat Baltimore in a wild-card game to get to the ALDS.
 
Bush had thrown two scoreless innings in relief prior to beginning the 10th. It was the longest career outing for the 30-year-old rookie, who was crucial in the bullpen while Texas finished with the AL's best record.
 
Closer Roberto Osuna threw two perfect innings to get the win. His appearance capped 4 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball by Toronto's bullpen after starter Aaron Sanchez allowed six runs.
 
Encarnacion had a two-run homer and Martin a solo shot in the first inning for Toronto, which swept a postseason series for the first time.
 
Moreland gave Texas a 6-5 lead with a two-run double off Joe Biagini in the sixth, but Toronto responded in the bottom half when Troy Tulowitzki scored on Jonathan Lucroy's bases-loaded passed ball.
 
Colby Lewis allowed five runs in two innings for Texas.

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Week 7 Football Scores

Central Illinois:

 

Decatur St. Teresa 14, Tuscola 33, F

Central A&M 44, Sullivan-Okaw Valley 14, F

Warrensburg-Latham 48, Meridian 6, F

 

Okaw Valley:

 

Rantoul 22, Tolono Unity 42, F

 

Apollo:

 

Charleston 0, Taylorville 40, F

Effingham 19, Mattoon 41, F

Salem 14, Mt. Zion 48, F

 

Big Twelve:

 

Champaign Central 51, Peoria Notre Dame 49, F

Danville 40, Peoria 42, F

Normal West 62, Peoria Manual 6, F

Normal Community 33, Bloomington 34, F

 

Central State Eight:

 

Decatur MacArthur 14, Springfield Southeast 49, F

Jacksonville 27, Chatham Glenwood 21, F

Rochester 28, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 33, F

Springfield 41, Decatur Eisenhower 42, F

Springfield Lanphier 20, Lincoln 21, F

 

Corn Belt:

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 35, Fairbury Prarie Central 6, F

Mahomet Seymour 25, Normal U-High 20, F

Olympia 0, Pontiac 28, F

 

Little Okaw Valley (Northwest):

 

Arcola 44, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 20, F

Argenta-Oreana 44, Sangamon Valley 14, F

Cerro Gordo-Bement 18, Decatur Lutheran 22, F

 

Little Okaw Valley (Southeast):

 

Martinsville 8, Palestine 18, F

Oakland Tri-County 6, Toledo Cumberland 46, F

Villa Grove-Heritage 28, Oblong 55, F

 

Mid-Illini:

 

Canton 44, Limestone 14, F

Dunlap 23, Metamora 13, F

East Peoria 12, Morton 49, F

Pekin 21, Washington 42, F

 

Sangamo:

 

Athens 35, Virden North Mac 42, F

Petersburg (PORTA) 8, Auburn 49, F

Pittsfield 8, Williamsville 62, F

Pleasant Plains 9, New Berlin 10, F

Riverton 6, Maroa-Forsyth 56, F

 

Non Conference:

 

Ridgeview 10, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 49, F

Tri-Valley 56, Fisher 12, F

Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 0, Eureka 48, F

Heyworth 0, Fieldcrest 18, F

Dee-Mack 35, LeRoy 2, F

St. Joseph Ogden 52, Lawrenceville 12, F

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Sages Outlast Champaign St. Thomas More, Win Okaw Valley Conference Title

As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC Friday night, senior quarterback Caleb Hanson returned to full action and despite one series last Friday night, the Sages on-field general for the first time this year showed signs of rust in a 39-14 win against Champaign St. Thomas More.

 

Coming into action Friday, Hanson had committed one turnover all year. All in the first half, Hanson threw three interceptions, showing signs of a little of rust after playing the opening drive last Friday night against Casey-Westfield.

The Sages defense pitched a shutout as Clavin Davis and Mike Lamb returned kickoffs for touchdowns and starting quarterback DJ Lee left in the first half with an injury and the Sages offense wasn’t the same as Monticello wrapped a share of the Okaw Valley Conference title Friday.

 

Hanson finished with an uncharacteristic three interceptions but threw two touchdowns on 15-for-27 passing with 206 yards.

 

Nathan Graham had an interception return for touchdown and found the end zone twice on offense on 127 yards with seven receptions.

 

Isiah Florey scored on an eight-yard touchdown and Lucas Lieb romped 71 yards for a big score late in the third quarter helping Monticello pull away after just a 19-14 halftime lead.

 

Davis battled cramps for much of the second half but battled through the entire way, taking over at quarterback for Lee and finished with 42 yards passing, throwing three interceptions.

 

Johnny Dawson, Alek Bundy and Graham had interceptions Friday night.

 

Monticello improves to 7-0 and travels to Rantoul next Friday night.

 

Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Clinton Maroons Fall to Shelbyville

In a game heard Friday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Shelbyville Rams by a score of 26-0. The Maroons were led by Senior Quarterback Noah Griffin who was 11 of 17 passing for 82 yards and two interceptions. The team rushing total was 21 carries for 24 yards. The Country Financial representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game was junior Bryson Carson. Carson had a sack and was one of the leading tacklers.

 

Shelbyville was led by Turner Pullen who had 18 carries for 143 yards, two touchdowns, and was 12 of 26 passing for 156 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

 

Clinton falls to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the Central Illinois Conference. Shelbyville improves to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the CIC.

 

Tune in next week as Clinton takes on the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Bears WR White Goes To IR

Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White will be placed on injured reserve with a fractured left fibula, one year after missing his entire rookie season with a stress fracture in the same leg.
White was injured Sunday in a 17-14 victory over the Detroit Lions. In addition to the broken bone, White suffered a high ankle sprain as he was tackled during the third quarter.
 
White leads the Bears this season in receptions with 19, and has 187 receiving yards. The seventh overall draft pick in 2015, he went on IR during the preseason last year because of left shin injury.
 
>>Jerry Jones Surprised By Cowboys 3-1 Start?
 
After Tony Romo went down with a back injury in August, it looked like the Cowboys' season was going to be over before it started. That's because if the Cowboys had proven one thing recently, it's that they're generally horrible without Romo.
 
In 2015 alone, the Cowboys went 1-11 in games that Romo didn't play.
 
With Romo out to start 2016, the expectations were so low in Dallas that Jerry Jones didn't think there was any possible way his team would get off to a hot start.
 
Jones almost seemed shocked recently when he was asked about his team's 3-1 start to the season.
 
"I didn't expect it," Jones said this week, via the Dallas Morning News. "I really didn't expect it.''
 
Although Romo's injury has taken over the headlines in Dallas, that's not that only thing that the Cowboys have had to deal with. Their star left tackle (Tyron Smith), Pro Bowl receiver (Dez Bryant) and All-Pro corner (Orlando Scandrick) have each all missed at least one game this season.
 
Not to mention, the Cowboys also had to deal with three defensive suspensions that were handed out before the season even started (Demarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Rolando McClain).
 
"This is a competitive league. I didn't expect to do it without Dez, without our left tackle, without key players like Scandrick," Jones said. "It says a lot about our depth. It says a lot about Jason [Garrett] and our coaching."

 

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Bumgarner, Gillaspie Lead Giants Past Mets

Madison Bumgarner pitched a four-hitter for his latest postseason gem, outlasting Noah Syndergaard in a classic duel between aces, and injury substitute Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning that sent San Francisco to a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets in the NL wild-card game Wednesday night.
 
Gillaspie connected off All-Star closer Jeurys Familia, who led the majors this year with a club-record 51 saves while allowing only one home run.
 
With their ninth consecutive victory when facing postseason elimination, Bochy and the Giants advanced to play the NL Central champion Cubs in a best-of-five Division Series. Game 1 is Friday night at venerable Wrigley Field in Chicago.
 
In a matchup between the past two NL champions, Syndergaard struck out 10 in seven innings of two-hit ball. Familia entered in the ninth and Brandon Crawford lined a leadoff double. Angel Pagan struck out after failing to get a bunt down, and Joe Panik walked.
 
Gillaspie, starting at third base for injured All-Star Eduardo Nunez and playing his first postseason game, drove a 96 mph pitch to right field.
 
After having the best record in the majors at the All-Star break, San Francisco was 26-42 in the second half before finishing with a four-game winning streak to hold off St. Louis by one game for the final NL playoff spot.
 
Now, the Giants have a chance to extend their pattern of even-year titles after winning World Series crowns in 2010, `12 and `14.
 
Johnny Cueto figures to start the Division Series opener against LHP Jon Lester. The Cubs had the top record in the majors this year at 103-58.

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Adidas, Knicks Porzingis Agree To Multiyear Deal

Four years ago, Nike swooped up a promising Latvian 17-year old with a shoe contract. Kristaps Porzingis was in the process of becoming of the best prospects in basketball at the time and Nike wanted him to wear their shoes when he was on the court. On Oct. 1, Nike's deal with Porzingis expired and the New York Knicks' second year big man went out looking for a new deal. Immediately, Adidas swooped in and kept trying to sign up as many young NBA players as they possibly can.
 
Shoe guru Nick DePaula of the Vertical is reporting that Adidas and Porzingis have agreed on a multiyear deal for footwear and apparel that will pay Porzingis in the neighborhood of $3 million and $6 million annually. It's the biggest shoe contract for a European player ever. Nike has the right to match the deal but DePaula is also reporting they are not expected to match.

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Reynolds, Hickman Advance In HS Golf Regionals

Chase Reynolds tied for the day's second highest score with an 80 and Mack Hackman's 85 was enough to send the Clinton High School duo to Sectionals next week in IHSA 2A golf action.
 
As a team, the Maroons finished with a 365, good for sixth at the Bloomington Regional. 
 
Champaign Central, Bloomington Central Catholic and Bloomington High School advanced to the sectional.
 
Reynolds and Hickman will compete at the Metamora Sectional next Monday.

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Lester Named Cubs Game 1 NLDS Starter

Jon Lester will start the Chicago Cubs' playoff opener.
 
Manager Joe Maddon announced Tuesday he was going with Lester over Kyle Hendricks and 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta in Game 1 of the NLDS against the New York Mets or San Francisco Giants. The series opens at Wrigley Field on Friday, with the Cubs' sights set on winning their first World Series since 1908 after leading the majors with 103 wins.
 
Lester (19-5) was second in the majors to Hendricks with a 2.44 ERA.
 
Hendricks (16-8, 2.13) will start Game 2 at home on Saturday. Arrieta (18-8, 3.10) will pitch Game 3 on the road, with John Lackey (11-8, 3.35) starting Game 4 if necessary.
 
Lester was 10-2 with a 1.74 ERA at Wrigley Field. Hendricks also dominated at home, going 9-2 with a 1.32 ERA.
 
Arrieta was shaky down the stretch, going 3-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his last seven starts.
 
>>Encarnacion's Walk Off Sends Blue Jays To NLDS
 
Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run drive in the 11th inning off Ubaldo Jimenez , and Toronto beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 in Tuesday night's AL wild card game to advance to a Division Series matchup against old foe Texas.
 
Jose Bautista also homered for the Blue Jays , who open the Division Series on Tuesday at Texas. Encarnacion's homer brought back memories of the tiebreaking, three-run shot that Bautista hit in the seventh inning of Game 5 of last year's AL Division Series win over the Rangers, a shot punctuated by a memorable bat flip.
 
Jimenez relieved Brian Duensing with one out in the 11th, and Devon Travis singled in a 1-1 pitch. Reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson singled on the next pitch, and Travis went all the way to third as left fielder Nolan Reimold bobbled the ball.
 
Encarnacion sent the following pitch, a 91 mph offering, soaring into the second deck in left. Encarnacion immediately knew it was gone and raised both arms in triumph, index fingers pointed skyward.
 
Orioles closer Zach Britton, who was perfect in 47 save chances during the regular season, never got in the game.
 
Francisco Liriano retired five straight batters on four groundouts and a strikeout for the win after closer Roberto Osuna left with a sore shoulder.
 
Toronto beat Texas in five-game Division Series, sparked by Bautista's memorable homer. The teams brawled in May this year when Bautista was punched in the face by Rangers infielder Rougned Odor following a play at second base.

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Michigan State Transfer Carter Has Knee Surgery

Michigan State is a preseason top 10 team. A part of that is due to Ben Carter, the grad transfer from UNLV who was/is expected to play a key role in MSU's frontcourt for the season.
 
But that's all on hold.
 
Michigan State announced Monday afternoon that Carter's going to need surgery on his knee after taking an awkward landing at practice after trying to block a shot. It's the left knee -- which is the same one he tore an ACL in back in January while at UNLV.
 
Carter's rehab will determine if he wants to sit the entire year, then apply for an extra year of eligibility and play in 2017-18. Depending on the severity of the injury, if he's healthy enough in time to contribute later this season, and Michigan State is good to great, he could opt to burn his final year and help the team.
 
The injury also likely means Miles Bridges, a highly touted, five-star freshman forward, will now be used more often and spend more time playing power forward, since Carter won't be available.

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Ventura Officially Out, Renteria New Manager

Rick Renteria is getting a second chance to manage in Chicago - this time on the South Side.
 
The White Sox promoted Renteria from bench coach to replace Robin Ventura on Monday, hoping he can help turn around a struggling franchise.
 
The 54-year-old Renteria takes over a team with one playoff appearance since the 2005 championship year. And he gets a second chance after the Cubs unceremoniously let him go after the 2014 season so they could hire Joe Maddon.
 
Ventura announced Sunday after the final game against Minnesota that he would not return, insisting the decision was his and he wasn't pushed out despite five seasons without a playoff appearance.

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Blackhawks D Hjalmarsson Suspended

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson has been suspended for the rest of the preseason and the regular-season opener against St. Louis for charging Blues forward Ty Rattie.
 
Hjalmarsson also loses $22,777.78 in salary, which goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. The NHL's Department of Player Safety announced the punishment on Monday.
 
Hjalmarsson's hit on Rattie occurred at 18:55 of the third period in Chicago's 4-0 exhibition win on Saturday. Hjalmarsson received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head.
 

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College Football Top 25 Update

The Week 6 edition of the AP Top 25 poll was released Sunday and with it came a shakeup in the rankings following a number of top-tier matchups on Friday and Saturday.
 
Washington was the big winner this week, moving up five spots to No. 5 after taking down Stanford on Friday night.
 
North Carolina (No. 17), Oklahoma (No. 20) and Virginia Tech (No. 25) reentered the poll, while Colorado (No. 21) and West Virginia (No. 22) made their debuts. Florida (No. 18) and Boise State (No. 19) were other big movers, joining the Huskies by picking up five spots each in the rankings.
 
The Tigers hung tight at No. 3 after the win while the Cardinals dropped to No. 8. There were more dramatic shakeups coming further down the latest Coaches Poll. Washington started the weekend of ranked battles with a dominant win over Stanford on Friday that moved the Huskies up to No. 6, right around the clutch-your-pearls, thrill-a-minute Tennessee, which now checks in at No. 9 after its own insane ending against Georgia.
 
Michigan State, TCU, Georgia, San Diego State and Texas all fell out of the top 25 following losses, opening the door for a ton of new faces in the poll. Colorado jumped 14 spots to No. 23, West Virginia up 10 spots No. 20 and Western Michigan moved up seven spots to No. 25. Row the Boat.

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Bears HC Fox Non-Commital Towards Cutler

Continually during Jay Cutler's tenure with the Bears, he's been forced to watch perpetually awful quarterbacks like Caleb Hanie, Josh McCown, and even Jimmy Clausen come close to stealing his job. They've all ultimately failed in that endeavor and Cutler's managed to survive as the Bears' quarterback, until now it appears.
Add another name to the list of usurpers. This time, it's Brian Hoyer who's making a push to supplant Cutler with Cutler on the sidelines due to a sprained thumb in his throwing hand. Hoyer, who the Bears signed this offseason as Cutler's backup, helped guide the team to its first win of the season against the hapless Lions on Sunday.
 
And suddenly, the idea of Hoyer keeping the starting job after Cutler regains his health is catching on like wildfire. On Monday, Bears coach John Fox indicated that Hoyer is playing well enough to continue on as the starter.
 
Fox said, per CBS Chicago-"It's performance-based. So anybody that's performing well, I don't think we're going to be likely to change."
 
>>Vikings Frustrate Giants, Remain Undefeated
 
Minnesota's defense denied Odell Beckham Jr. all night and forced two turnovers that led to 10 points, and the Vikings mystified Eli Manning yet again during a 24-10 victory Monday over the New York Giants.
Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph for the third straight game and kept his turnover-free streak since joining Minnesota intact, helping the Vikings (4-0) lead from start to finish after falling behind in each of their first three wins and record their first 4-0 start since 2009. The Vikings, Eagles and Broncos are the only remaining unbeatens.
 
Beckham, who has yet to score this season, was smothered by cornerback Xavier Rhodes and had a career-low 23 yards on three catches.
 
Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard were quiet, too, and Manning was erratic as ever while finishing 25 for 45 for just 261 yards. Rhodes picked him off in the third quarter , the 15th interception for Manning in eight career starts against the Vikings. He's 2-6 with only five touchdown passes.
 
Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon each ran for a touchdown as the Vikings rushed for a season-high 104 yards to strike their best balance of the season as they continue to craft a post-Adrian Peterson strategy without their injured veteran running back. Bradford went 26 for 36 for 262 yards, thriving with quick-release throws behind an offensive line that protected better than it had in any of the previous three games.
 
The Vikings, who have allowed only 50 points in four games and rank second in the league in that category, have an NFL-best turnover margin of plus-10. The Giants (2-2) dropped to minus-8 for the season, including a muffed punt in the first quarter by Dwayne Harris that was forced by Vikings wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson in his new role on the coverage team.

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Five-Star Duke Recruit Has Knee Surgery

Arguably the most important player to this year's Duke team, five-star freshman Harry Giles, underwent his third knee surgery in the past three years on Monday.
 
Duke announced Monday afternoon that an arthroscopic procedure on Giles' left knee was "successful." Giles is expected to miss six weeks, which calls into question the start of the season.
 
A six-week recovery would put him on track to return on Nov. 14. Duke's first game is on Nov. 11., at home, against Marist. But the first big game comes four days after that: the Champions Classic tilt vs. Kansas at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 15. Giles' availability for that game is to be determined, but with a knee scope this close to the season, it wouldn't be a shock to see Krzyzewski opt to ease him back into the lineup.

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Cardinals, Cubs Win; Sox Lose

>>Cardinals Win; Can't Get Support To Make Postseason
 
Matt Carpenter homered and Randal Grichuk keyed a six-run seventh-inning with a two-run double to lead St. Louis to its fourth win in a row with a 10-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, but the Cardinals still missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
 
San Francisco (87-75) beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-1 and earned the second NL wild card.
 
St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright allowed two runs and six hits over six innings. He did not get a decision.
 
St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday was brought into the game briefly to play left field in the ninth inning. He was given a standing ovation and taken out before the first pitch. The Cardinals announced Friday they plan to decline his 2017 option and allow him to become free agent.
 
St. Louis was a big league-best 100-62 last year but lost to the Chicago Cubs in the Division Series. The Cardinals never led the NL Central at any point this season and finished with a losing record at home (38-43) for the first time since 1999.
 
After making the playoffs for three straight years, Pittsburgh dropped from 98-64 to 78-83.
 
Yadier Molina had three hits for the Cardinals. Stephen Piscotty singled in Molina to break a 4-4 tie in the seventh.
 
Carpenter hit his 21st homer of the season off Antonio Bastardo for a 4-2 lead.
 
Jonathan Broxton (4-2) won despite allowing two runs in one inning of relief.
 
Juan Nicasio (10-7) gave up three runs without recording an out in the seventh.
 
Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run single in the fifth to give his team a 2-1 lead.
 
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle is ready to move on from the disappointing campaign.
 
>>Cubs Win 103rd of Season; Start Playoffs Friday
 
Matt Szczur doubled home two runs with two outs in the ninth inning, and Miguel Montero followed with a homer as the Chicago Cubs finished one of their most successful seasons with a flourish, beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 on Sunday.
 
With victory No. 103 in the books, the Cubs headed back to Wrigley Field for their first playoff game on Friday against the winner of the NL wild-card game.
 
The Cubs led the majors with their most victories since 1910. That's no longer the reference point, however. The postseason focus is 1908, the last time they won a World Series.
 
The final series at Great American Ball Park was more about personal milestones. Jon Lester failed to get his 20th win on Saturday, and Kyle Hendricks finished as the ERA leader at 2.13 on Sunday despite a ragged performance. He gave up four runs and six hits in five innings, forcing in one run with a bases-loaded walk.
 
>>Buxton Leads Twins Past Chi Sox in Season Finale
 
Byron Buxton hit the game's first pitch for an inside-the-park home run and the Minnesota Twins beat Chris Sale and the White Sox 6-3 on Sunday in what may have been manager Robin Ventura's final game with Chicago.
 
Miguel Sano added a three-run homer off Sale (17-10), who allowed five runs and six hits over five innings.
 
Ventura, in the last year of his contract, said he would announce his future plans after the game. The White Sox (78-84) finished their fourth straight losing season despite Jose Abreu's run-scoring single that gave him 100 RBIs.
 
Jose Berrios (3-7) allowed one run and four hits in five innings. The Twins (59-103) closed with two straight wins after setting the record for most losses since the franchise began play in Minnesota in 1961.
 
Brandon Kintzler got the final three outs for his 17th save in 20 tries.
 
>>Ventura Announces He's  Out as White Sox Manager
 
Robin Ventura has announced he will not return as manager of the White Sox next season.
 
Speaking after Chicago's season-ending 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, Ventura said it was "a personal decision." Ventura was in the last year of his contract.
 
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday that bench coach and former Cubs manager Rick Renteria will likely take over. But the team did not immediately announce a replacement. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is scheduled to address reporters Monday.
 
Ventura went 375-435 in five seasons with the White Sox. After an 85-77 debut in 2012 that wasn't good enough for the playoffs, Ventura suffered through four consecutive losing seasons.
 
The White Sox finished 78-84 this year despite a 23-10 start that gave them a six-game lead in the AL Central on May 9.
 
>>MLB Playoffs Set
 
After a clarifying slate on Sunday, we now know the field and the matchups for the 2016 postseason. 
 
The American League wild card will open the frenzy  Tuesday night when the Blue Jays host the Orioles, with the winner to move on to take on the Texas Rangers.
 
Boston, as the American League East champions, will open against the Cleveland Indians, the American League Central champions. 
 
In the National League, the New York Mets host the San Francisco Giants Wednesday night with the winner to take on baseball's best team, the National League Central champion Chicago Cubs.
 
The Los Angeles Dodgers, champions of the National League West will take on the Washington Nationals, the champions of the National League East.
 
Start times for game 1 of each series have yet to be announced but we do know the American League games will open Thursday, with National League games to open Friday. 

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Hoyer, Bears Get By Lions

Brian Hoyer threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chicago Bears earned their first win of the season with a 17-14 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
 
The Bears (1-3) got a win after starting 0-3 for the second time in as many seasons under coach John Fox.
They also stopped a six-game home losing streak as well as a six-game slide against Detroit (1-3), though things got tight near the end.
 
Chicago was leading 17-6 when Andre Roberts returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. Golden Tate then caught a 2-point conversion pass from Matthew Stafford to cut it to 17-14 with 1:52 left, but the Bears recovered the onside kick.
 
Hoyer was on target in his second straight start with Jay Cutler nursing a sprained right thumb. He was 28 of 36 passes against a defense missing the injured Ezekiel Ansah and DeAndre Levy.
 
Eddie Royal caught seven passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Jordan Howard ran for a career-high 111 yards for Chicago.
 
Zach Miller caught a touchdown, and the Bears gained 408 yards in just their second home win in 10 games under Fox.

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CFB: Illinois, Illinois State, Eastern Illinois All Lose

>>Ilini Hang Tough, Can't Overcome Powerful Cornhuskers
 
Terrell Newby ran for 113 of his 140 yards and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and No. 15 Nebraska got a scare from Illinois before winning 31-16 on Saturday.
Newby touched the ball on 18 of Nebraska's last 21 plays from scrimmage and the Cornhuskers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) won going away after being down 16-10. They also avenged a 14-13 loss last year in Champaign.
 
Illinois (1-3, 0-1) got off only 10 offensive plays after taking its six-point lead with 7:40 left in the third quarter. The Illini have lost 14 straight and 23 of 24 against Top 25 opponents.
 
Nebraska, favored by three touchdowns, fell behind after turning over the ball on back-to-back possessions. But the Illini had to settle for field goals after each takeaway, allowing the Huskers to stay close.
 
The Huskers went 18 plays in 10:42 to take a one-point lead early in the fourth. Nebraska was able to keep the drive alive because of two huge penalties on the Illini. Chunky Clements had Tommy Armstrong Jr. stopped for a loss on a third-and-12, but he was called for a horse-collar tackle, and Darius Mosley was flagged for pass interference on a fourth-and-4.
 
The biggest play, though, was when Newby picked up a first down by inches on a fourth-and-1 at the Illinois 4. The spot stood after a video review, and Newby scored on the next play.
 
The Illini went three-and-out on their next series, and then Armstrong led an 11-play drive that ended with a 6-yard pass to Trey Foster for a 24-16 lead with 4:32 left.
 
The Huskers' last TD came when Newby busted through the line and went 63 yards to the end zone.
 
Armstrong was 16 of 23 for 220 yards, and Jordan Westerkamp caught four balls for 65 yards.
 
Reggie Corbin led the Illini with 72 yards on nine carries, and Wes Lunt was 13 for 22 for 133 yards.
 
>>Southeast Missouri Tops Eastern Illinois
 
As heard on WHOW, Jesse Hosket threw for two touchdowns and ran in a third to lift Southeast Missouri State past Eastern Illinois 21-14 on Saturday.
 
Hosket punched in the first touchdown from the 1 to cap a seven-play, 51-yard opening drive for the Redhawks (2-3, 2-0 Ohio Valley). He then found Adrian Davis for a 62-yard TD on the next possession to make it 14-0.
 
But Eastern Illinois (3-2, 1-1) stormed back, getting an 18-yard touchdown run from Christopher Anderson late in the first quarter and then a fumble recovery by Pono Choy, who returned it 22 yards to tie the game early in the second half.
 
Hosket, who finished 12 of 20 for 223 yards, connected with Marquette Murdock for a 45-yard touchdown on the next possession to put the Redhawks on top for good and snap a four-game losing skid to Eastern Illinois.
 
>>North Dakota State Runs Over Illinois State
 
Easton Stick was 13-of-18 passing for 256 yards and three touchdowns and North Dakota State cruised 31-10 over Illinois State on Saturday.
 
King Frazier added 76 yards rushing and Rj Urzendowski had 70 yards receiving for the Bison (4-0, 1-0 Missouri Valley), who have won their last six conference openers.
 
Illinois State held a 10-7 lead early in the second after Jake Kolbe found Anthony Fowler on an 18-yard TD pass. North Dakota State rallied with 21 straight points to close the quarter, highlighted by a 65-yard strike from Stick to Urzendowski to effectively put the game away.
 
Kolbe finished with 285 yards passing. Fowler added 119 yards receiving for the Redbirds (2-3, 0-2).
 
North Dakota State has won five consecutive games in the series, and 23 straight following a bye week.
 
>>South Dakota State Routes Western Illinois
 
Taryn Christion threw five touchdown passes and South Dakota State returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a 52-14 win over Western Illinois in the the Missouri Valley opener for both teams on Saturday.
 
Trailing 14-7, SDSU (2-2, 1-0) scored 45 straight points against the previously unbeaten Leathernecks (3-1, 0-1).
 
Christion passed for a career-high 361 yards. Four of his touchdown passes went to Dallas Goedert, who tied a 67-year-old school record for TD catches in a game.
 
Goedert had three TDs in the first two quarters to help the Jacks build a 28-14 lead. He finished with eight catches for 204 yards.
 
Western Illinois quarterback Sean McGuire tossed two touchdown passes in the first quarter as the Leathernecks took a 14-7 lead. He threw a 6-yard pass to Lance Lenoir less than three minutes into the game and a 3-yarder to Joey Borsellino with 1:52 left in the quarter.
 
McGuire and backup quarterback Trenton Norvell combined for 159 yards passing. Lenoir caught 10 passes for 84 yards.
 
>>Former Illinois QB Bailey Leads Northern Iowa Past Southern Illinois
 
Aaron Bailey passed for three touchdowns, ran for another, and Northern Iowa handled Southern Illinois 42-21 in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams on Saturday.
 
Bailey finished 11 of 18 for 186 yards and no interceptions with 98 yards on the ground on 20 carries.
 
Northern Iowa (2-2) took a 14-0 first-quarter lead on a 4-yard run by Tyvis Smith and Bailey's 7-yard run. In the second quarter, Bailey connected with Daurice Fountain on touchdown passes of 20 and 18 yards, and Malcolm Washington returned an interception 43 yards just before halftime to make it 35-14 at intermission.
 
Fountain's third touchdown reception - an 8-yard catch at the start of the fourth quarter - extended the lead to 42-21. Fountain had five catches for 89 yards.
 
Josh Straughan led Southern Illinois (2-2) with 307 yards on 25-of-35 passing with three touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions.
 

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USA Wins Ryder Cup

Patrick Reed was not the best golfer on the United States' Ryder Cup team. He was not even the best golfer on his own two-man team for the week. That was Jordan Spieth. Or at least, Spieth was the more accomplished of the two.
 
Reed was not the best driver on the U.S. team (by far). He was not the best putter. He did not solidify his spot on this team until August when he won The Barclays. He does not have a top 10 in a major championship. He was the only U.S. player who has not achieved that feat. Five of his American peers have major championships. Reed has never come close.
 
Reed is reviled in some PGA Tour circles, mostly by fans, for once referring to himself as one of the world's top five players. That's a barrier he has not come close to breaking. Even his opponent on Sunday, Rory McIlroy, has given him grief for that statement in the past.
 
 
And yet, Reed was the designated starter for captain Davis Love III, who paired him with Spieth to open foursomes play on Friday. Reed was also the designated closer on Sunday.
 
It had been eight years since the United States had taken that spire of a golden trophy back to the team room where the champagne and trash talk surely flows at levels us plebeians have never experienced. The Americans took it again this time around after beating the Europeans 17-11 and thrashing them in singles on Sunday 7.5-4.5.
 
It all started with Reed. Spieth called him "Captain America" on Saturday. Reed showed why on Sunday. He was the most ruthless of all these Americans players at Hazeltine. He was the "Reedemer."
 
Reed helped the U.S. overcome three straight heartbreaking Ryder Cup defeats this week. He helped it to a six-point victory, its largest in Ryder Cup play dating back to 1981. He helped it to its first sweep of a entire session (four matches) since 1975.
 
On paper, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed are not in the same stratosphere. Everyone knows this, McIlroy most of all. The only person at Hazeltine to whom that is a foreign concept is Patrick Reed. Their singles match, the first of 12 on Sunday, started slowly but soon blasted off like a Dustin Johnson drive. Reed drove the fifth and made eagle. After a birdie to match McIlroy at the sixth, he bowed and finger-wagged across the green while looking at the Ulsterman. McIlroy didn't see it, but the message had been sent.
 
They both birdied the seventh and eighth, and Reed wagged again.
 
Reed ended it on No. 18 with yet another birdie, his fifth of the day to go with that eagle. He started his trademark double fist pump (a move he showed off in the victory press conference following a few sips of champagne), and it was all over.

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Week 6 Football Scores

Central Illinois:

 

Meridian 6, Shelbyville 44, F

Central A&M 0, Decatur St. Teresa 34, F

Tuscola 56, Warrensburg-Latham 27, F

 

Okaw Valley:

 

Rantoul 0, St. Joseph-Ogden 44, F

Tolono Unity 26, Champaign St. Thomas More 12, F

 

Big Twelve:

 

Bloomington 34, Normal West 41, F

Champaign Centennial 10, Danville 17, F

Peoria Manual 6, Peoria 68, F

Peoria Notre Dame 48, Peoria Richwoods 6, F

Urbana 14, Champaign Central 47, F

 

Central State Eight:

 

Decatur Eisenhower 36, Chatham Glenwood 42, F

Lincoln 0, Jacksonville 42, F

Rochester 64, Decatur MacArthur 19, F

Springfield 14, Springfield Lanphier 15, F

Springfield Sacred Hear-Griffin 42, Springfield Southeast 0, F

 

Corn Belt:

 

Chillicothe Illinois Valley Central 14, Bloomington Central Catholic 38, F

Prairie Central 22, Mahomet-Seymour 33, F

Normal U-High 46, Olympia 0, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Large):

 

El Paso-Gridley 0, Tri-Valley 45, F

Eureka 28, Ridgeview 3, F

Fieldcrest 0, Dee-Mack 62, F

 

Heart of Illinois (Small):

 

Fisher 14, Heyworth 28, F

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 45, Tremont 0, F

LeRoy 55, Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 16, F

 

Little Okaw Valley (Northwest):

 

Argenta-Oreana 54, Cerro Gordo-Bement 20, F

Decatur Lutheran 6, Arcola 8, F

Sangamon Valley 44, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 10, F

 

Little Okaw Valley (Southeast):

 

Oakland Tri-County 15, Martinsville 14, F

Palestine 6, Villa Grove-Heritage 50, F

Toledo Cumberland 30, Oblong 14, F

 

Mid-Illini:

 

East Peoria 6, Canton 42, F

Metamora 28, Limestone 6, F

Morton 0, Pekin 23, F

Washington 32, Dunlap 21, F

 

Sangamo:

 

Auburn 54, Riverton 20, F

Maroa-Forsyth 21, Athens 19, F

New Berlin 21, Williamsville 63, F

Petersburg PORTA 8, Pittsfield 14, F

Virden North Mac 22, Pleasant Plains 20, F

 

Non-Conference:

 

Normal Community 17, Lincoln-Way West 7, F

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