Pens Fall To Panthers To Open Road Trip

October 23, 2019 3:45 am

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist to lift the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.  Denis Malgin had a goal and an assist, and Noel Acciari, and Frank Vatrano also scored goals for the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 22 shots. Aleksander Barkov had a pair of assists.  Patric Hornqvist and Teddy Blueger scored for Pittsburgh. Matt Murray made 18 saves.  The Panthers have won two of their past three games. After winning five in a row, the Penguins lost their second straight game.  Leading 2-1, Huberdeau stretched the Panthers lead to 3-1 when he deflected a shot from Anton Stralman with 6:18 left in the third.  The Penguins closed to 3-2 on Hornqvist’s goal.with 5:35 left, but Vatrano’s empty-net goal with 1:03 left made the score 4-2.  Malgin put the Panthers ahead 2-1 when he took a pass from Huberdeau to the side of the crease and poked the puck into the near side with 2:00 left in the second.  Acciari gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead on a flukey goal midway through the second period. Acciari shot from the high slot. Murray blocked the shot but the puck went straight up in the air and bounced off Murray’s back and into the net at 10:53.  The Penguins answered about 63 seconds later on Blueger’s goal. Blueger took a drop pass from Jake Guentzel and tapped in the puck from in front at 11:57 to tie the score at 1.

Nationals Take World Series Opener

October 23, 2019 3:43 am

HOUSTON (AP) – The Washington Nationals have opened the World Series by stealing home-field advantage from the Houston Astros.  Juan Soto drove in three runs and Max Scherzer provided a gritty effort on the mound as the Nationals held off the Astros, 5-4. Soto delivered a solo homer and a two-run double while the Nats were turning a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead against Gerrit Cole.
Scherzer quickly fell behind when Yuli Gurriel lined a two-run double with two out in the bottom of the first. The three-time Cy Young Award winner needed 112 pitches to get through five innings, striking out seven and allowing five hits and three walks.  Ryan Zimmerman sparked Washington’s comeback with a second-inning homer. Adam Eaton put the Nationals ahead to stay with a run-scoring single in the fifth, two batters before Soto widened their lead.  George Springer made it a one-run game with a seventh-inning homer and an RBI double in the eighth. Sean Doolittle protected the lead by getting the final out in the eighth, stranding Spring at second before picking up the save.  Cole suffered his first loss in 26 starts since May 22 against the Chicago White Sox. He entered the game 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in the postseason before surrendering eight hits over seven innings.  Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston. The Astros look to Justin Verlander to help them tie up the series. Stephen Strasburg will pitch for the Nats.

College Hoops; Michigan State Opens At #1

October 22, 2019 3:49 am

UNDATED (AP) – Michigan State is No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball preseason poll for the first time in program history.  The Spartans took the top spot on 60 of 65 ballots in results released Monday. Kentucky was No. 2 with two first-place votes, while third-ranked Kansas received the other three.  Michigan State had been ranked No. 1 for 12 weeks all-time in the AP poll before Monday, but never to start a season.  Tom Izzo’s Spartans return star Cassius Winston, along with starters Joshua Langford, Xavier Tillman and Aaron Henry from a 32-win team that reached the Final Four.  Duke is ranked fourth, followed by Louisville, Florida, Maryland, Gonzaga, North Carolina and Villanova to round out the top 10.  Reigning national champion Virginia starts at No. 11.

Patriots Blitz Jets; Remain Undefeated

October 22, 2019 3:48 am

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Tom Brady set the tone with a long slice-and-dice touchdown drive, New England’s blitz-happy defense forced Sam Darnold into five turnovers and the Patriots remained undefeated by cruising to a 33-0 victory over the New York Jets on Monday night.  Brady threw a TD pass to Phillip Dorsett and Sony Michel ran for three scores to help the Patriots improve to 7-0 for the third time in franchise history, and first since 2015.   They also swept the two-game season series against their AFC East rivals for the fourth straight year, outscoring the Jets (1-5) 63-14 in the two meetings this year.   And, the top-ranked Patriots defense was a big reason in this one.   Darnold was the AFC offensive player of the week after leading New York to a 24-22 win over Dallas last Sunday in his return from missing three games with mononucleosis.   He was miserable against New England, finishing 11 of 32 for 86 yards and a 3.6 quarterback rating.

Oklahoma Works WVU In Norman

October 20, 2019 7:58 am

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – Jalen Hurts passed for 316 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 75 yards and two more scores and No. 5 Oklahoma cruised to a 52-14 victory over West Virginia on Saturday. Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0) is unbeaten in eight games against West Virginia (3-4, 1-3) since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 Conference in the 2012 season. The Sooners now have won 20 of their last 21 games. Oklahoma, which rolled up 562 yards of offense, has scored at least 34 points in 17 straight games, the second-longest such streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 1980. The Sooners didn’t score a touchdown in the fourth quarter, though; they’ve now scored a touchdown in every quarter but two this season. West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall, who spent three seasons at Oklahoma as a backup to Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray before transferring, completed 15 of 31 passes for 182 yards, including touchdowns of 38 and 7 yards to T.J. Simmons. Hurts, whose transfer from Alabama to Oklahoma led to Kendall’s transfer, completed 16 of 17 passes, with the incompletion a drop by freshman Drake Stoops. Hurts entered the game averaging 398 yards of offense per game, a number that won’t drop much after his 391-yard performance against the Mountaineers. Oklahoma punted on its first possession but scored touchdowns on its next four – a 20-yard pass to Jeremiah Hall, a 6-yard pass to Charleston Rambo, a 9-yard run by Kennedy Brooks and a 2-yard run by Hurts. The Mountaineers were within 28-14 at halftime, but Oklahoma scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, the first on a 22-yard run by Hurts and the second on a 46-yard pass to Lee Morris. Brayden Willis then blocked a punt in the end zone that Oklahoma’s Austin Stogner recovered to extend the Sooners’ lead to 49-14. It was the first time that happened to West Virginia since the 2003 season and the third time since the start of last season that Oklahoma had a punt block result in a touchdown.

Duquesne Takes Down Sacred Heart

October 20, 2019 7:57 am

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) – Daniel Parr threw a pair of five-yard touchdown passes and Mitch Maczura kicked a pair of field goals as Duquesne stopped Sacred Heart, 20-6, Saturday in a battle of last year’s Northeastern Conference co-champions. The Dukes (4-2, 2-0) came into the game with the 13th-ranked defense in the Football Championship Subdivision, limiting opponents to just 317.2 yards per game. They held the Pioneers to 233 yards of total offense and allowed them just 10 first downs. Parr completed 15 of his 26 pass attempts for 149 yards, hitting Kellon Taylor to cap a 13-play, 83-yard drive, then finding Dontay Mayfield to cap an eight-play, 81-yard drive just before halftime to put the Dukes up, 17-0. A.J. Hines carried the load on offense for the Dukes, carrying 29 times for 142 yards. Defensively Duquesne limited Sacred Heart to just 84 passing yards and picked off Logan Marchi three times. Sacred Heart (3-4, 1-2) got on the board in third quarter when Julius Chestnut brook loose for a 61-yard touchdown run. Chestnut finished with 128 yards on 20 carries.

Yanks Beat Astros To Send ALCS Back To Houston

October 19, 2019 3:45 am

NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Yankees have earned a return trip to Houston, staying alive in the American League Championship Series with a win over the Astros. James Paxton was sharp over six innings and the Yankees belted two homers off Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first to earn a 4-1 triumph against Houston in Game 5. Paxton struck out nine and allowed just four hits in his first career postseason victory. The left-hander didn’t allow a run after George Springer scored on a wild pitch in the top of the first. DJ LeMahieu  greeted Verlander with a home run on the second pitch in the bottom of the first. Four batters later, Aaron Hicks delivered a three-run blast that gave New York a 4-1 advantage. Verlander was outstanding after the first inning, giving up just one hit after the three-run homer. Verlander struck out nine over seven innings but suffered his second loss of this postseason. Aroldis Chapman worked a scoreless ninth to get the save and complete a combined five-hitter. Houston had won three straight since a 7-0 loss to the Yankees in the series opener. The Astros host Game 6 on Saturday.

Penguins Win Fifth Straight Game

October 19, 2019 3:41 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Kris Letang scored twice, including the go-ahead goal in the third period, and the undermanned Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Dallas Stars 4-2. Pittsburgh has won five straight. Patric Hornqvist and Jared McCann also scored for the Penguins, and Matt Murray stopped 22 shots. Roope Hintz and John Klingberg scored for Dallas.

Patrick Mahomes Injured In Chiefs’ Win Over Broncos

October 18, 2019 3:46 am

DENVER (AP) – Reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes injured his right knee in a pileup near the goal line before his Kansas City teammates rallied around their fallen superstar for a 30-6 thrashing of Denver Thursday night.  Backup Matt Moore (pictured)  threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs had nine sacks, gave up a season-low 71 yards rushing and snapped a two-game skid in beating the Broncos for the eighth straight time.  His balky left ankle heavily taped, Mahomes completed 10 of 11 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown before he got hurt on a successful sneak on fourth-and-inches at the Denver 5 early in the second quarter.  The Broncos had won two straight after a winless September and were hoping to turn the AFC West upside down by handling the Chiefs their third straight loss.

Steelers Still Upbeat At 2-4

October 18, 2019 3:45 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers are upbeat even in the midst of the team’s worst start since 2013. The Steelers are 2-4 through an eventful six games that have featured a number of season-ending injuries to high-profile players, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and defensive end Stephon Tuitt. Coach Mike Tomlin called his team’s current state “fragile” but believes the Steelers have the depth to get back into the AFC playoff picture.