Football: Switch at quarterback causes spark, switch for blockbuster game

first_imgThree quarters of brutal play left the University of Wisconsin football team in perilous territory against Georgia State University Saturday.With just under six minutes to play in the third quarter, the No. 9 Badgers held a slim 6-3 lead after the Panthers put their first points on the board, courtesy of a 45-yard field goal from kicker Rogier ten Lohuis. It wasn’t until one redshirt quarterback Alex Hornibrook trotted on to the field that the Wisconsin offense finally showed signs of life.The move was unexpected, considering UW starting quarterback Bart Houston’s performance was not exactly terrible. The fifth-year senior Houston threw 10-18 for 91 yards with no touchdowns — not a poor performance, or not so horrible that it would warrant a third-quarter replacement.Football: Third-down success on both sides of ball key for No. 9 Wisconsin moving forwardIt’s no secret that third down is the most important down in football. Usually, the team that converts the majority Read…So when Hornibrook subbed in for the lackluster Houston, it didn’t cause any immediate relief for Wisconsin fans. At least not until Hornibrook’s first pass.Complete for 29 yards, Hornibrook’s beautiful spiral to a streaking Jazz Peavy drew a healthy roar from a previously silent crowd at Camp Randall. The pass gave hope to a nervous sea of red, one frantically coping with the possibility of a major upset. Hornibrook then followed up the Badgers’ first pass for over 20 yards since the first quarter in the only way he knows how.The redshirt freshman dropped back and slung a 19-yard pass to George Rushing down to the Georgia State 21-yard line. Wisconsin was finally knocking on the door and ready to score its first touchdown, which came two plays later on a Dare Ogunbowale rush.“I was hoping just that [putting Hornibrook in would cause a spark],” Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said. “It gave us a little something, and it wasn’t even Bart’s fault why were [in that situation] … I like the way [Hornibrook] has been preparing.”Football: Wisconsin’s win over Akron highlights a matured freshmen wide receiving coreA.J. Taylor left Camp Randall Stadium after practice this week, he noticed his bicycle had been towed. He began to Read…Despite being picked off on the next drive when Rushing tipped the pass into the hands of the Panthers defense, Hornibrook was as poised as ever, even with Georgia State now holding a 17-13 lead from touchdowns on consecutive drives.He slung an 11-yard pass to favored target Rob Wheelwright, and when the Badgers were in desperate need of something big, Hornibrook delivered a 29-yard, arcing pass to tight-end Kyle Penniston to put the Badgers in the red zone.Five plays later, his next pass went right back to Penniston — a one-yard play action pass for the score on third down. The Badgers had the 20-17 lead they so desired and added a Rafa Gaglianone field goal to it later to seal the win.“There was a lot of small mistakes we made,” Hornibrook said. “Aside from that one interception, or converting on a few third downs, I think a big thing we need to work on is scoring touchdowns and not just settling on field goals.”It wasn’t pretty, but Wisconsin got the win. An unsightly victory like this begs questions about the Badgers, but none more important than who should be UW’s starting quarterback.Why is it that the second Hornibrook came in that Wisconsin’s offense finally opened up? Houston did not play poorly. Was it merely that the Badgers finally woke up midway through the third quarter? Does Hornibrook being in the huddle actually make a difference?“No,” Ogunbowale said when asked if there was a difference in the huddle between the two quarterbacks. “They’re both commanding quarterbacks, both have a lot of confidence.”From an outsider’s perspective, there’s no way of knowing what’s on the minds of players on the field when Hornibrook is taking snaps compared to Houston. In the stands, however, it was evident that at least today the team seemed to gain energy from Hornibrook’s presence.Football: Rafael Gaglianone opens up about tragic loss of friend, Nebraska punter Sam FoltzAll he had to do was get the ball in the air and the angel on his shoulder would take Read…Going into next weekend, a marquee matchup against Michigan State that is one of the biggest games Wisconsin has faced over the past few years.The Badgers announced ahead of it that Hornibrook will in fact be the starter, so whether the spark against Georgia State was a coincidence or a true facet to his play is yet to be seen.What has been seen though, is what Hornibrook can do in a game. Chryst has been happy with his young quarterback’s performance, but now thrust into the one of Wisconsin’s biggest games of the past few seasons for his first career start there’s one thing Hornibrook has that separates him.“I’ve been impressed [with Hornibrook],” Chryst said. “I think [poise is] one of his characteristics that stuck out to me.”Perhaps all it takes to deliver the big plays Hornibrook has, is a little poise. If he continues that trend, following Saturday’s game we could be starting the Alex Hornibrook-era at Wisconsin.last_img read more

Winning in the rain at senior championship

first_img It rained and then it poured – but England’s leading seniors put on an impressive display of dogged determination in the first match play round of their national championship. The English senior women’s amateur is something of a magnet for bad weather – and the greenstaff put in sterling work to keep the greens playable (pictured bottom). The players, meanwhile, were stoic. “You’ve just got to get on with it,” was the steady response as they returned, cold and dripping wet, to the South Staffordshire clubhouse. “I haven’t played in a good weather one yet!” said former champion Julie Brown of Trentham (pictured top), who nevertheless had a successful outing, losing just one hole and winning her game 5/4. Tomorrow she plays fellow international Lindsey Shaw (Chevin, Derbyshire). Brown is one of two Staffordshire players through to the second round, alongside the host club’s Annette Deeley – who is living the dream. Three years ago she was recovering from breast cancer and major surgery when Brown – a good friend – told her that this championship was due to be played at her home club. “That was the catalyst, that kept me going. I’m playing here because I can and it’s been a fantastic experience,” she said. Today she knocked out former British champion Katherine Russell (Royal Ashdown Forest, Sussex) and tomorrow she faces another past winner of the British title, Felicity Christine (Woking, Surrey). Top seed Caroline Berry and defending champion Cath Rawthore (pictured left) will be pitted against each other in an intriguing all-Cheshire second round clash. Berry (Bromborough) was taken to the last hole by English senior captain Debbie Richards (Burhill, Surrey) but a birdie on the 17th – her third there in consecutive rounds – had given her a crucial advantage. Rawthore (Sale) sped away in her game and was six up at the turn, but her opponent, Jane Sly (Mill Ride, Berkshire), pulled her back with a pair of birdies and the match went to the 15th. Two more past champions are safely through to the next round. The 2015 winner, Helen Lowe, (Scraptoft, Leicestershire) will take on Fiona Edmond (Ipswich, Suffolk), who was an England international in the early 90s and is making her debut in senior golf. The 2013 champion, Janet Melville (Royal Birkdale, Lancashire) birdied the last to take her place against Lulu Housman (Wyke Green, Middlesex), a past winner of the English senior stroke play title. Housman in turn came through a good tussle with last year’s runner-up, Karen Jobling (Richmond, Yorkshire). Another international, Aileen Greenfield (Pyecombe, Sussex), improvised with her rescue club to avoid fat chip shots and it paid off with a 3/2 win. She plays Sandy Catford (Wath, Yorkshire) who was another fast starter today. She was five up at the turn before Linda Hunt (Newbury & Crookham, Berkshire) fought back and took the match to the 16th. “It was a really good, feisty second nine,” said Catford. Jo Shorrocks (Bigbury, Devon), mounted a successful fightback after dropping three behind in her game. “I had a struggle and a big hook – and changed my grip over the last few holes and managed to win,” she said after her 2up win. She will play Nicola Tebbutt (Carlisle, Cumbria). Tomorrow’s line-up is completed by English senior stroke play champion Jackie Foster (Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire) and Julia Gallagher (Woburn, Bedfordshire) who won through on the 19th today. In the second flight, for over 60s, the top seed Cathy Armstrong (Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire), was toppled by the 16th qualifier, Sue Penfold (Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire), who won 1up.  She now plays Sue Westall (Copt Heath, Warwickshire). Click here for Flight one scores for the Wendy Taylor Salver Click here for Flight Two scores for the Ann Howard Trophy Images © Leaderboard Photography 17 May 2017 Winning in the rain at senior championship last_img read more

American Meb Keflezighi wins Boston Marathon

first_imgMeb Keflezighi, of San Diego, Calif., is hugged after crossing the finish line to win the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)BOSTON (AP) — “The Star-Spangled Banner” played over Boylston Street in honor of an American winner of the Boston Marathon.One year after a bombing there killed three people and left more than 260 injured, Meb Keflezighi added Boston to a resume that includes the New York City Marathon title in 2009 and a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics.Running just two weeks before his 39th birthday, he had the names of the 2013 bombing victims on his bib.“At the end, I just kept thinking, ‘Boston Strong. Boston Strong,’” he said. “I was thinking ‘Give everything you have. If you get beat, that’s it.’”Keflezighi completed the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to the finish on Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay on Monday in a personal-best 2 hours, 8 minutes, 37 seconds. He held off Kenya’s Wilson Chebet, who finished 11 seconds behind.Keflezighi went out early and built a big lead. But he was looking over his shoulder several times as Chebet closed the gap over the final two miles. After realizing he wouldn’t be caught, Keflezighi raised his sunglasses, began pumping his right fist and made the sign of the cross. He broke into tears after crossing the finish line, then draped himself in the American flag.No U.S. runner had won the race since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach took the women’s title in 1985. The last American man to win was Greg Meyer in 1983. Meyer and Keflezighi embraced after the race.“I’m blessed to be an American and God bless America and God bless Boston for this special day,” Keflezighi said.Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended the women’s title she said she could not enjoy a year ago. Jeptoo finished in a course-record 2 hours, 18 minutes, 57 seconds. She is a three-time Boston Marathon champion, having also won in 2006.“I came here to support the people in Boston and show them that we are here together,” she said. “I decided to support them and show them we are here together.”Jeptoo broke away from a group of five runners at the 23-mile mark. Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia finished second in 2:19:59. Countrywoman Mare Dibaba was third at 2:19:52. All three women came in under the previous course record.American Shalane Flanagan, who went to high school in nearby Marblehead, finished seventh after leading for more than half the race. She gambled by setting the early pace, but fell back on the Newton Hills about 21 miles into the race.“It does mean a lot to be that my city was proud of me,” she said. “I’m proud of how I ran. I don’t wish I was it was easier. I wish I was better.”After breaking a 27-year American drought at the New York marathon, Keflezighi contemplated retiring after the 2012 NYC Marathon. But that race was canceled because of Superstorm Sandy, and he pulled out of the Boston Marathon last April because of injury.  He watched the race from the stands at the finish line, but said he left about five minutes before the bombs went off.He was the first American to medal in an Olympic marathon since Frank Shorter won gold in 1972 and silver in 1976. His 2009 New York victory broke a 27-year American drought there.Another American, Tatyana McFadden, celebrated her 25th birthday Monday by winning the women’s wheelchair race for the second straight year. She was timed in in 1 hour, 35 minutes, 6 seconds.McFadden was born in Russia and lived in an orphanage as a child before starring at the University of Illinois. She also won the 2013 NYC Marathon women’s wheelchair race after taking the titles in Boston, London and Chicago last year.Ernst van Dyk of South Africa won the men’s wheelchair division for a record 10th time. The 41-year-old crossed in 1 hour, 20 minutes, 36 seconds.Van Dyk holds the record for most all-categories Boston Marathon wins. This was his first win at this race since 2010.Last year’s men’s champion, Lelisa Desisa, did not finish this year’s race, and had to be picked up by a van about 21 miles into the event.Marathon officials said 35,755 runners registered for the race, with 32,408 unofficial starters. The field included just less than 5,000 runners who were not able to finish last year and accepted invitations to return this year.____Associated Press freelance writer Ken Powtak contributed to this report.last_img read more