Thomas Terriers football
|10 - 2||5 - 0||5 - 2||.833||377||164|
|2013-09-06||vs||Alva||W||28 - 21|
|2013-09-13||@||Okeene||W||14 - 0|
|2013-09-20||@||Carnegie||W||40 - 13|
|2013-09-27||vs||Burns Flat-Dill City||W||40 - 6|
|2013-10-04||vs||Apache||W||43 - 32|
|2013-10-11||@||Sayre||W||47 - 0|
|2013-10-17||@||Hollis||L||15 - 40|
|2013-10-25||vs||Cordell||W||49 - 13|
|2013-11-01||@||Snyder||W||15 - 0|
|2013-11-08||@||Mangum||W||44 - 18|
|2013-11-15||vs||Texhoma||W||28 - 0|
|2013-11-23||@||Ringling||L||14 - 21|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
Thomas football News
NewsOK articles about Thomas football, or articles mentioning current or former Thomas football players.
Thomas High School Varsity Boys Football
Oklahoma State football: Witness testifies against running back Devon Thomas for alleged robbery, burglary and shooting
Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every game in the state. Last week’s record: 127-51 (71.3 pct.) Overall record: 262-98 (72.8 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Choctaw 28, PUTNAM CITY NORTH 21 EDMOND MEMORIAL 28, Mustang 24 Norman 21, MOORE 14 LAWTON 42, Sapulpa 14 Class 5A Tulsa Edison 48, TULSA HALE 8 Class 4A ANADARKO 28, Midwest City JV 0 Class 3A Tulsa...
The Oklahoman's Week 3 high school football picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 17, 2014Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every game in the state. Last week’s record: 127-51 (71.3 pct.) Overall record: 262-98 (72.8 pct.) NEWSOK VARSITY STATS APP: Stats, schedules, scores and more in the palm of your hand from The Oklahoman Thursday’s Games Class 6A Choctaw 28, PUTNAM CITY NORTH 21 EDMOND MEMORIAL 28, Mustang 24 Norman 21, MOORE 14 LAWTON 42, Sapulpa 14 Class 5A Tulsa Edison 48, TULSA HALE 8 Class 4A ANADARKO 28, Midwest City JV 0 Class 3A Tulsa Webster 28, CAPITOL HILL 24 Wynnewood 34, CENTENNIAL 16 Class A KIEFER 42, Beggs JV 20 Quapaw 28, JOPLIN, MO. JV 24 Friday’s Games Class 6A ENID 17, Bartlesville 14 TULSA UNION 31, Broken Arrow 17 MIDWEST CITY 24, Del City 22 STILLWATER 21, Edmond North 14 Fayetteville, Ark. 28, MUSKOGEE 21 Jenks 31, OWASSO 24 LAWTON MACARTHUR 56, Lawton Ike 28 Norman North 42, Westmoore 35 SHAWNEE 35, Ponca City 14 PUTNAM CITY 28, Putnam City West 24 GUTHRIE 30, Sand Springs 18 CLAREMORE 20, Siloam Springs, Ark. 14 EDMOND SANTA FE 32, Southmoore 20 BIXBY 34, Springdale, Ark. 28 TULSA WASHINGTON 28, Tulsa East Central 12 Yukon 24, DEER CREEK 21 Class 5A Ardmore 17, GAINESVILLE, TEXAS 12 Carl Albert 24, DUNCAN 8 Catoosa 28, GROVE 14 Chickasha 31, CACHE 28 Collinsville 27, SKIATOOK 20 ADA 19, Durant 12 Elk City 35, ALTUS 28 DALHART, TEXAS 28, Guymon 24 McGuinness 24, WEATHERFORD 13 TULSA CENTRAL 32, Northwest 22 NOBLE 28, Piedmont 21 McALESTER 28, Pryor 24 TAHLEQUAH 21, Sallisaw 20 Southeast 44, U.S. GRANT 28 COWETA 18, Tulsa Kelley 10 TULSA MEMORIAL 33, Tulsa NOAH 21 Western Heights 34, EL RENO 28 Class 4A MANNFORD 20, Bristow 12 Broken Bow 26, SEQ.-TAHLEQUAH 14 POTEAU 28, Campus, Kan. 24 Cascia Hall 27, MILLWOOD 22 CLEVELAND 35, Cushing 28 TUTTLE 35, Elgin 7 Harrah 27, PERKINS 20 MULDROW 19, Heavener 13 Meeker 32, TECUMSEH 20 Metro Christian 36, SEQ.-CLAREMORE 21 Newcastle 45, BLANCHARD 28 Nowata 28, MIAMI 20 Oologah 20, GLENPOOL 14 CLINTON 38, PLAINVIEW 21 Seminole 42, McLOUD 8 Mount St. Mary 44, SANTA FE SOUTH 16 LOCUST GROVE 42, Stilwell 17 Tulsa McLain 27, HILLDALE 22 Vinita 21, DEWEY 20 Wagoner 28, FORT GIBSON 22 Woodward 35, TULSA ROGERS 12 Class 3A BEGGS 28, Berryhill 24 KINGFISHER 42, Bethany 35 PRAGUE 28, Bethel 14 FREDERICK 18, Comanche 12 Douglass 34, STAR SPENCER 20 CHECOTAH 27, Eufaula 24 JAY 28, Gravette, Ark. 27 Hennessey 30, JONES 28 STIGLER 21, Henryetta 14 Heritage Hall 28, DAVIS 27 VALLIANT 18, Hugo 12 SPERRY 22, Inola 16 John Marshall 42, CROOKED OAK 8 Kansas 32, WESTVILLE 14 VIAN 44, Keys (Park Hill) 16 IDABEL 28, Konawa 24 KELLYVILLE 31, Liberty 22 OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN 42, Lincoln Chr. 38 Lindsay 28, PAULS VALLEY 12 Little Axe 45, CHANDLER 42 KINGSTON 26, Madill 21 OKEMAH 28, Morris 12 OKC Legion 30, DICKSON 20 ROLAND 35, Okmulgee 18 Purcell 34, LEXINGTON 20 Sanger, Texas 44, LONE GROVE 31 Spiro 42, HASKELL 22 BRIDGE CREEK 28, Sulphur 27 Tonkawa 22, BLAKCWELL 18 ADAIR 34, Verdigris 24 Victory Christian 48, SHILOH CHR. 12 MARLOW 28, Washington 24 Class 2A ANTLERS 32, Atoka 20 LUTHER 40, Cashion 37 SALINA 34, Chelsea 14 Chisholm 26, THOMAS 24 Colcord 30, COMMERCE 16 Dibble 32, WAYNE 28 CANEY VALLEY 24, Drumright 20 OKLAHOMA UNION 21, Fairland 14 Hartshorne 26, COALGATE 20 Healdton 18, TISHOMINGO 14 Hobart 28, ALVA 22 Hominy 28, PAWHUSKA 14 MOUNDS 28, Hulbert 27 RINGLING 29, Marietta 13 Northeast 35, OKLAHOMA CHR. ACADEMY 28 Okeene 16, NEWKIRK 12 WARNER 24, Panama 22 Pawnee 26, YALE 20 CHOUTEAU 28, Porter 14 Quinton 30, POCOLA 8 Savanna 20, WILBURTON 14 WALTERS 24, Snyder 16 WEWOKA 30, Stratford 20 Stroud 20, PERRY 8 CHRISTIAN HERITAGE 22, Talihina 14 HOLDENVILLE 16, Wellston 14 MARIONVILLE, MO. 20, WYANDOTTE 12 Class A Apache 42, CROSSINGS CHR. 7 HOLLIS 28, Beaver 14 CENTRAL MARLOW 20, Carnegie 14 Community Christian 24, SUMMIT CHR. 20 Cordell 28, BURNS FLAT-DILL CITY 8 MOORELAND 22, Crescent 14 VELMA-ALMA 24, Elmore City 16 CENTRAL SALLISAW 22, Foyil 6 Hinton 28, EMPIRE 14 Ketchum 20, GORE 12 Minco 27, RUSH SPRINGS 16 MORRISON 28, Oklahoma Bible 27 BARNSDALL 24, Rejoice Christian 20 MANGUM 14, Sayre 8 HOOKER 28, Syracuse, Kan. 6 Texhoma 32, at VEGA, TEXAS 12 FAIRVIEW 14, Watonga 13 Class B Alex 48, ALLEN 22 CYRIL 54, Bray-Doyle 28 Caddo 34, CANADIAN 16 RINGWOOD 42, Canton 20 Coyle 54, WELCH 8 Davenport 48, GARBER 16 Depew 44, WESLEYAN CHR. 30 Dewar 60, ARKOMA 24 WETUMKA 42, Gans 24 KEOTA 56, Haileyville 6 MERRITT 48, Kremlin-Hillsdale 20 Laverne 56, TURPIN 6 MAUD 48, Macomb 8 Oaks 52, SOUTH COFFEYVILLE 28 Pond Creek-Hunter 46, PIONEER 12 Seiling 56, WAUKOMIS 38 GEARY 34, Strother 28 MAYSVILLE 34, Waurika 20 Weleetka 54, PORUM 8 Woodland 56, WATTS 6 Class C Bluejacket 42, TIMBERLAKE 34 SHATTUCK 58, Boise City 8 WAYNOKA 48, Buffalo 6 Cave Springs 36, MIDWAY 28 COVINGTON-DOUGLAS 42, Copan 30 Destiny Christian 60, COPAN 6 Duke 34, TEMPLE 20 Fox 54, PAOLI 8 Grandfield 54, GRACEMONT 8 DC-LAMONT 52, Medford 6 BALKO 54, OKC Patriots 6 Ryan 48, SW COVENANT 22 MT. VIEW-GOTEBO 38, Sharon-Mutual 34 Thackerville 48, SASAKWA 6 Tipton 58, CORN BIBLE 12 CHEROKEE 48, Tyrone 0 Webbers Falls 34, BOWLEGS 28 Independent Casady 28, TRINITY VALLEY 24 ARLINGTON OAKRIDGE 34, Holland Hall 14 WRIGHT CHRISTIAN 42, Life Christian 34 Regent Prep 56, IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN 28 Saturday’s Game OSD 48, LOUISIANA DEAF 44 *-Home team in CAPS
Sep 14, 2014
DENVER (AP) — Hidden inside Terrance Knighton's gargantuan body listed generously at 330 pounds is a former tight end who dreams of playing offense."I have great ball instincts being an ex-wide receiver," Denver's mammoth nose tackle said after preserving the Broncos' 24-17 win over the scrappy Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.Knighton deflected Alex Smith's fourth-and-goal pass from the 2 to...
Broncos fend off Chiefs 24-17 with goal-line stand
ARNIE STAPLETON, Associated Press | Sep 14, 2014DENVER (AP) — Hidden inside Terrance Knighton's gargantuan body listed generously at 330 pounds is a former tight end who dreams of playing offense. "I have great ball instincts being an ex-wide receiver," Denver's mammoth nose tackle said after preserving the Broncos' 24-17 win over the scrappy Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Knighton deflected Alex Smith's fourth-and-goal pass from the 2 to Dwayne Bowe with 15 seconds left. He was engaged with center Rodney Hudson when he reached up and felt the football smack into his right arm, then skitter harmlessly into the end zone. "I'd rather it my arm than theirs," said Knighton. So, what would it take for Peyton Manning to have Knighton line up with him as a not-so-secret offensive weapon, like J.J. Watt did in Oakland on Sunday? "Might have to send two guys out of the game to put Terrance in there," Manning deadpanned. "Believe it or not, I have thrown some passes to him in practice and he does have good hands. I will vouch for that. High school receiver, he says." The Broncos (2-0) didn't think it would come down to another goal line stand, but Aqib Talib's interception return for a TD earlier in the drive was negated when Quanterus Smith jumped offside. Then, Nate Irving's fumble recovery following DeMarcus Ware's sack and strip was changed to an incomplete pass after a review. "We had two takeaways taken away," Broncos coach John Fox said. "There are going to be things we'll look at that we need to improve on. But we'll take every 'W' we get." The Chiefs (0-2), without All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles for much of the game, converted 11 of 16 third-down opportunities overall. They just couldn't capitalize in the biggest moments as the Broncos mustered two goal-line stands for the second straight week. Manning was 21 of 26 for 242 yards and three TDs with no interceptions, but spent most of the game on the sideline. The Broncos had the ball for less than 10 minutes in the second half. "It's part of football," Manning said. "I've been in games like that where you get excited on third-and-long, start warming up, ready to get out there. The defense out there, they were maybe bending a little, but not breaking." Smith was 26 of 42 for 255 yards, and Knile Davis ran 22 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns for Kansas City. Charles left with an ankle injury in the first half, as did safety Eric Berry. Without Wes Welker for the second straight game and facing a defense that lost Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson and tackle Mike DeVito last week, Manning targeted his tight ends again. He found Julius Thomas and Jacob Tamme for 4-yard TDs in the first half. Manning also threw a 12-yarder to Demaryius Thomas. The Broncos (2-0) head to Seattle (1-1) next week not exactly with a head of steam. They'll face the Seahawks, who handed them a Super Bowl shellacking and then talked trash about them in the offseason. The Broncos have their issues on third downs, but they certainly have come up big on the goal line. Smith led the Chiefs on a 19-play drive that ate up 10 minutes coming out of halftime. They came up empty after getting to the Denver 4 on the strength of five third-down conversions. "I guess that answered the question if we're out of shape," Knighton said. An offensive holding call and linebacker Brandon Marshall's sack dropped the Chiefs back to the 19. Cairo Santos, who beat out veteran Ryan Succop in camp, was wide right on a 37-yard field goal attempt. "We've got to punch it in, bottom line," said Bowe, who caught three passes for 40 yards in his return from a one-game suspension. The Chiefs got it right the next time, converting three third downs on a 14-play drive that covered 90 yards. Davis trotted in from 4 yards, pulling Kansas City to 21-17 with 7:11 left. Santos, however, failed to kick a touchback and Bubba Caldwell returned it 54 yards, setting up Brandon McManus' 20-yard field goal with 3:27 left. Coach Andy Reid said he doesn't regret cutting Succop and keeping Santos: "Our guy's got to kick better right now but I don't ever look back on those things." Kansas City was trying to get Charles more involved after giving him just seven carries against Tennessee in the opener. But he left after running just twice for 4 yards and catching one pass for 8 yards. Reid blamed himself for poor play calls in the red zone, but Smith said Charles' absence was sorely felt close to the goal line. "Everything is magnified down there," Smith said. "It hurts to have him out." Notes: Emmanuel Sanders led the Broncos with eight catches for 108 yards, the first 100-yard game of his career. ... Demaryius Thomas had an 80-yard TD catch negated when right tackle Chris Clark was whistled for being downfield. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A northeast Kansas high school football player is in critical condition after collapsing during a football game.The Kansas City Star reports that Olathe East High School senior James McGinnis was rushed into surgery Friday night at Overland Park Regional Medical Center with bleeding around his brain.His father, Patrick McGinnis, said doctors were removing a piece of his...
Olathe East player rushed to hospital
Associated Press | Sep 13, 2014OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A northeast Kansas high school football player is in critical condition after collapsing during a football game. The Kansas City Star reports that Olathe East High School senior James McGinnis was rushed into surgery Friday night at Overland Park Regional Medical Center with bleeding around his brain. His father, Patrick McGinnis, said doctors were removing a piece of his son's skull to relieve pressure. A hospital spokeswoman told The Associated Press on Saturday that James McGinnis remains in critical condition. Olathe East assistant coach Mike Thomas says the 165-pound linebacker and slotback had made a tackle a few plays before collapsing. Olathe East head coach Jeff Meyers also said that James McGinnis had suffered one concussion during his sophomore season, but had not had any other related medical issues.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky teenager was killed while trying to protect his mother from her estranged boyfriend, and the woman was abducted and later found dead in Ohio during a multistate police search, a sheriff said Friday.The suspect, Terry Froman, 41, of Brookport, Illinois, was taken into custody in the Cincinnati area and faced murder and kidnapping charges back in Kentucky, said...
Teen found dead in home, mother abducted, killed
BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press | Sep 12, 2014LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky teenager was killed while trying to protect his mother from her estranged boyfriend, and the woman was abducted and later found dead in Ohio during a multistate police search, a sheriff said Friday. The suspect, Terry Froman, 41, of Brookport, Illinois, was taken into custody in the Cincinnati area and faced murder and kidnapping charges back in Kentucky, said Dewayne Redmon, the Graves County sheriff in western Kentucky. Froman suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital for treatment, he said. Froman's vehicle was stopped along Interstate 75 by Ohio authorities, who found 34-year-old Kim Thomas dead inside, the sheriff said. Earlier Friday, authorities found the body of her 17-year-old son, Michael E. Mohney, in the living room of his mother's home in Mayfield, Kentucky, while checking on Thomas after she failed to report to work, Redmon said. There were signs of a struggle, he said. "What we believe, apparently the son intervened and tried to protect his mother, and it cost him his life," the sheriff said. The teenager suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and an autopsy was scheduled, said Graves County Coroner Phillip McClain. Mohney attended Mayfield High School. Students formed prayer circles after learning of the tragedy, and grief counselors and youth ministers were brought to the school, said school district spokeswoman Kim Hamby. Students formed prayer circles after learning of the tragedy, and school counselors and youth ministers were available to help students deal with their grief, said school district spokeswoman Kim Hamby. "He's as good as good gets," said Don Hubbard, the high school's principal. Senior football players and cheerleaders decided to go ahead and play the school's football game Friday night, Hamby said. Afterward, a candlelight vigil was planned at Mohney's parking spot at the school. Kentucky authorities started tracking Froman when video showed a bloodied woman trying to flee from a vehicle at a convenience store in Paducah in western Kentucky, Redmon said. A man caught her, put her back in the vehicle and fled, he said. The vehicle, a white 2004 GMC Yokon, matched the description of Froman's vehicle, authorities said. Investigators also learned that Thomas was Froman's ex-girlfriend and suspected she might have been the woman in the video at the convenience store. Authorities received another call that Froman was covered in blood when he went to his mother's house in Paducah, authorities said. That prompted the multistate police search that included the vehicle's license plate and descriptions of the man and woman inside, Redmon said. Ohio authorities spotted the vehicle Friday afternoon and stopped it in the Middletown-Monroe area north of Cincinnati. Investigators were trying to determine where Thomas was killed, Redmon said. Redmon said investigators also were trying to determine a possible motive. The sheriff said he didn't know how long Thomas and Froman had dated and when their relationship ended. There was no sign of forced entry into the house, he said.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Demaryius Thomas can't quite put his finger on his butterfingers."First time ever," Denver's star receiver replied when asked when was the last time he dropped three passes in a game as he did in the Broncos' opener.Not at West Laurens High School in Montrose, Ga., where he won a state basketball championship as a senior after earning a college football scholarship.Not...
Thomas vows to bounce back from big drops
ARNIE STAPLETON, Associated Press | Sep 12, 2014ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Demaryius Thomas can't quite put his finger on his butterfingers. "First time ever," Denver's star receiver replied when asked when was the last time he dropped three passes in a game as he did in the Broncos' opener. Not at West Laurens High School in Montrose, Ga., where he won a state basketball championship as a senior after earning a college football scholarship. Not at Georgia Tech, where he was lucky to be targeted three times in a game by the run-oriented Yellow Jackets. Then came the Colts on Sunday night, and Thomas dropped two passes on third downs and another in which he was wide open for a big gain. "It was bothering me after the first one and I guess I let it linger on and bother me the other two," Thomas said. This from the two-time Pro Bowler who even made the erratic Tim Tebow look good back in 2011. "I don't know what it was," Thomas said. "Probably thinking too much." In the first quarter, Thomas was running free with two blockers in front of him when the ball skipped off his hands. He dropped another in the third quarter and one in the fourth, helping the Colts whittle away a 24-point deficit to a single touchdown. Thomas dropped eight of the 142 passes thrown his way last season. He dropped three Sunday night when he was targeted 11 times. "You can't figure it out," Thomas said. "You've got to let that go. Once it's a drop, it's a drop. You've got to go on to the next play." And yet, Thomas didn't do that as one dropped turned into two and then three. The Broncos' coaching staff counted five drops altogether from Peyton Manning's pass catchers in Denver's 31-24 win. "It was a little surprising to see that, especially D.T. having a couple of them, which is very unusual," offensive coordinator Adam Gase said. "I think last year he was probably one of our better guys (dropping only 5.6 percent of passes). He's playing a different spot, has a lot on his plate. Maybe that first one got in his head a little bit." All of his drops came within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage with significant yards after the catch a possibility. "My main thing was trying to get the ball up the field too fast," Thomas said. "So, this week has been mainly watch the ball in before I make the move." Thomas led the league in yards after the catch in 2013. Almost half — 704 — of his 1,430 yards on 92 receptions came with the ball in his hands. "He knows the play really well so he knows he's got a chance for a big play sometimes," Gase said. "And you get ready to take off and especially how explosive he is, he's looking to get that ball in his hands as fast as possible and get north. It's just a little bit of a concentration deal and that's the one thing that he's going to do real well. "The guy can refocus and start over and it's a new week." This was Thomas' sixth sub-50-yard game since 2012. In games following those performances, he's bounced back with an average of six catches for 109 yards with four TDs. According to SportingCharts.com, Thomas has been targeted 403 times in his career and dropped 29 passes, or 7.1 percent. This year that number is a whopping 27.3 percent. "It's over with," Thomas said. "It's gone now. New team, new week. That game right there, we won and that's all that really matters." Notes: Another Broncos player who's coming off a career first is All-Pro RG Louis Vasquez. He's been flagged just seven times in his six-year career but two came Sunday, when he was whistled twice for holding. On one of them, he deliberately held his man to keep Manning from getting pummeled. "I'm not going to let it affect my game," Vasquez said. ... Dan Reeves, Gene Mingo and Rick Upchurch will be inducted into the Broncos' Ring of Fame on Sunday. ... G Ben Garland (ankle) practiced Friday for the first time this month. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton
Tony Mendoza threw three long TD passes as Hennessey, ranked No. 3 in Class 2A, beat Class 3A’s top-ranked Kingfisher 32-13.
High school football roundup: Hennessey beats top-ranked Kingfisher
From Staff Reports | Sep 12, 2014Three long touchdown passes by Tony Mendoza helped lead Class 2A No. 3 Hennessey to a 32-13 home victory over Kingfisher, the top-ranked team in 3A. Mendoza had a 37-yard TD pass to Tabor Johns and a 25-yarder to Jose Sanchez as Hennessey took a 25-0 lead after three quarters. Kingfisher scored twice in the fourth to make it 25-13, before Mendoza hit Sanchez on an 80-yard TD. Mendoza finished 12 of 14 for 228 yards. Sanchez had 153 yards on seven catches. Javy Renteria led Hennessey’s defense with 13 tackles and two pass deflections. HARMON PACES CASHION Matt Harmon threw for 193 yards and three touchdowns to lead Class A No. 5 Cashion to a 40-7 victory over Mooreland. Harmon was 13 of 18, including TD passes of 38 and 11 yards to Josh Hampton. Hampton finished with 102 yards on five catches. Dylan Kordeliski scored twice for Cashion, including a 44-yard fumble return. DAVENPORT COASTS Hunter Reid accounted for five touchdows as Davenport, ranked No. 3 in Class B, defeated Watts 46-0 in a game stopped at halftime due to the mercy rule. Reid threw three TD passes, had a 31-yard touchdown run and returned a kickoff 88 yards for a score. CURRY-MALTZ CONNECTION LEADS GUTHRIE Class 5A No. 4 Guthrie improved to 2-0 with a 24-6 victory at Ponca City. L’liott Curry caught touchdown passes of 10 and 21 yards from Zane Maltz, and ran for 114 yards on 11 carries. CHOCTAW BOUNCES PUTNAM CITY Jonah Llanusa ran for three scores and threw for another, leading Choctaw past Putnam City 34-3. Two of Llanusa’s TD throws went to Jacob Rapp, covering 17 and 8 yards. Llanusa also connected with Kurt Yandell on a 49-yarder, and scored on a 6-yard run. Choctaw (2-0) is ranked No. 4 in Class 6A-II. JONES GETS PAST HARRAH A 7-yard run by Brandon George in the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner in Jones’ 26-20 victory at Harrah. George also had a 16-yard TD pass to Layton Moore. Tarik Leniger had TD runs of 19 and 16 yards for the Longhorns. Grant Martin led the way for Harrah with touchdown runs of 24, 1 and 60 yards. MCGUINNESS EDGES KELLEY Bishop McGuinness scored two first-half touchdowns and held on for a 16-14 victory at Tulsa Kelley. Jacob Mullins completed 15 of 22 passes for 214 yards including a 31-yard touchdown to Rubell Goe. The other TD for the Irish (1-1) came on an 11-yard run by Zach Segell. Kelley scored both its touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Comets (0-2) converted the 2-point coversion after their first TD, but failed on the second after a penalty. PAYTON SHINES FOR PERKINS Jacob Payton ran for 227 yards on just 12 carries and scored four touchdowns as Perkins beat McLoud 42-9. Payton had TD runs of 6, 28, 67 and 5 yards. Zac Bledsoe added two TD passes, one of them a 59-yarder to Thunder Sharp. BIG PLAYS SPARK OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN A 99-yard kickoff return by Kade Van Meter was the first of several big scoring plays that helped Oklahoma Christian beat Class 4A No. 10 Metro Christian, 43-32. OCS, No. 10 in Class 2A, got three touchdowns from quarterback Thomas Qualls — on a 75-yard run, and passes of 29 and 15 yards to Connor Sikes. Callen Crockett added a 49-yard interception return for a score, and Luke Frankfurt had a 75-yard TD. He finished with 113 yards. Van Meter also had two interceptions. Abe Anderson threw three touchdown passes for Metro Christian. CHRISTIAN HERITAGE TRIMS ROCKETS Spencer Lindsey threw for 144 yards and two touchdowns as Christian Heritage beat Mount St. Mary, 21-14. Lindsey’s TD passes went to Braden Mikes, one of them a 68-yarder. St. Mary got touchdown runs of 33 yards from Archie Browne and 11 yards from Joe Castiglione Jr. RUN GAME CARRIES MEEKER The running of quarterback Jake Stanlee and fullback Tim Whitfield led Meeker to a 62-46 victory over Chandler. Stanley had 222 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, and Whitfield had 204 yards and six TDs on 20 carries.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU defensive back Dwayne Thomas doesn't hesitate to run his mouth on the field.If his early season play is a sign of things to come, opposing receivers may tire of the sound of his voice.Thomas has emerged as the 10th-ranked Tigers' second-leading tackler through LSU's opening two games and snagged his first-career interception last Saturday night when he hauled in an...
No. 10 LSU DB Thomas hoping to fulfill promise
BRETT MARTEL, Associated Press | Sep 11, 2014BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU defensive back Dwayne Thomas doesn't hesitate to run his mouth on the field. If his early season play is a sign of things to come, opposing receivers may tire of the sound of his voice. Thomas has emerged as the 10th-ranked Tigers' second-leading tackler through LSU's opening two games and snagged his first-career interception last Saturday night when he hauled in an overthrown flea-flicker against Sam Houston State. The 2012 recruit from one of New Orleans' powerhouse high school programs saw the early part of his career derailed by groin injuries, but now is starting to look more like the play-making force in the secondary LSU thought it was getting all along. "Coming out this season, starting off strong, being out there more and knowing the entire defense, I just feel comfortable, getting back to my normal self and just playing football, having fun out there with the other 10 guys," Thomas said this week. "Knowing the defense makes it easier for me now, now that I can just see everything, do my job and plays are just coming to me now." Thomas still hasn't cracked the starting lineup yet, but he's rotating in regularly at safety, a position LSU moved him to in the spring after he'd began his career primarily at cornerback. The change has caused a spike in production. He had five tackles in LSU's season opener at Wisconsin, and added seven tackles last weekend. His 12 tackles are more than he had all of last season, when he was only getting on the field as the "dime" back in six-defensive back formations. "At safety this past spring it came natural to me to have a knack for the ball in the air, or to come down on the running backs, fill the gaps," Thomas said. "It seems easier to me." Thomas was an All-State player and widely rated as a four-star cornerback recruit coming out of O. Perry Walker High School, which has since merged with nearby L.B. Landry High School in the Algiers section of New Orleans, right across the Mississippi River from downtown. As a freshman at LSU, he was eager to learn from former Heisman Trophy candidate and current Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. Although Mathieu wound up leaving the Tigers just before that season because of failed drug tests, Thomas practiced with him enough to learn some lessons that he takes on the field now. "Play fast, play smart, learn your plays and be a ball hawk and an animal out there on the field," Thomas said in summarizing Mathieu's advice. "Talk trash if you want to. Talk trash if you have to. If that's going to bring up your game, be out there making noise. Talk to your opponents, let them know you're here." Because of connections both through high school and LSU, Thomas has become acquainted with a number of NFL players from whom he's constantly seeking to learn. He has spent parts of his offseason working out with New York Giants defensive back Corey Webster, a former LSU star who often returns to Baton Rouge. From White, Thomas said he learned to take his post-workout recovery more seriously, so he would feel ready to work even harder the next day. His relationships with New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis and Miami Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace goes back to when he was a ball boy at O. Perry Walker for former coach Frank Wilson, who is now the running backs coach at LSU. Lewis and Wallace were Walker teammates then. They've since paid periodic visits to their old high school program, working with younger players. Among them was Thomas, who tried covering Wallace on a post route before heading off to his first fall camp at LSU. It was a humbling experience. "He accelerated away from me," Thomas recalled. Still, Lewis saw a lot of potential in Thomas, and still does. "I'm very proud of him, just to watch him come from the park to Walker to where he is now," Lewis said this week after a Saints practice in New Orleans. "That's a guy who works extremely hard. His skills are amazing. ... He'll be on this (NFL) level and I'm just waiting on him with open arms."
Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last week’s record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Season record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Bixby 28, TULSA EAST CENTRAL 24 EDMOND SANTA FE 44, Moore 20 NORMAN NORTH 38, Yukon 17 Class 4A SANTA FE SOUTH 35, SeeWorth Aca. 14 Class 3A Locust Grove 45, KANSAS 12 Class 2A Pocola...
The Oklahoman's Week 2 high school football picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 10, 2014Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last week’s record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Season record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Bixby 28, TULSA EAST CENTRAL 24 EDMOND SANTA FE 44, Moore 20 NORMAN NORTH 38, Yukon 17 Class 4A SANTA FE SOUTH 35, SeeWorth Aca. 14 Class 3A Locust Grove 45, KANSAS 12 Class 2A Pocola 36, Poteau JV 14 Class B DEPEW 40, OSD 24 Independent Wright Christian 46, Eagle Point Chr. 28 Friday’s Games Class 6A Bartlesville 28, CASCIA HALL 17 Bentonville, Ark. 17, BROKEN ARROW 7 Deer Creek 21, NORMAN 17 Edmond Memorial 20, EDMOND NORTH 14 Enid 28, SAND SPRINGS 24 Guthrie 44, PONCA CITY 10 TULSA UNION 31, Jenks 28 DEL CITY 55, Lawton Eisenhower 28 LAWTON 28, Lawton MacArthur 27 Midwest City 21, CARL ALBERT 20 Owasso 35, MUSKOGEE 14 CHOCTAW 42, Putnam City 28 Putnam North 28, PUTNAM WEST 24 Rogers, Ark. 21, CLAREMORE14 Sapulpa 48, TULSA HALE 12 WESTMOORE 28, Southmoore 20 MUSTANG 45, Stillwater 28 TULSA WASHINGTON 49, Tulsa Central 8 Class 5A ANADARKO 42, Altus 8 Ardmore 28, DURANT 12 WESTERN HEIGHTS 40, Capitol Hill 12 COLLINSVILLE 28, Catoosa 14 GROVE 22, Jay 18 Liberal, Kan. 35, GUYMON 14 McAlester 35, COWETA 28 McGuinness 17, TULSA KELLEY 14 Noble 28, CHICKASHA 14 NORTHWEST 35, Northeast 28 Pryor 24, WAGONER 20 Shawnee 35, DUNCAN 14 Skiatook 20, OOLOGAH 14 ELK CITY 31, Southeast 24 Stilwell 14, TAHLEQUAH 13 Tulsa Edison 30, TULSA MEMORIAL 22 Weatherford 17, PIEDMONT 13 Woodward 20, EL RENO 12 Class 4A HOBART 27, Cache 20 HERITAGE HALL 24, Clinton 21 HILLDALE 17, Fort Gibson 14 BEGGS 32, Glenpool 27 BROKEN BOW 28, Idabel 22 HARRAH 27, Jones 20 ADA 31, Madill 28 CLEVELAND 30, Mannford 10 Marlow 24, ELGIN 17 McLoud 30, PERKINS 20 VERDIGRIS 27, Miami 24 SPIRO 28, Muldrow 6 Oklahoma Christian 24, METRO CHR. 20 Poteau 34, VAN BUREN, ARK. 28 Seminole 49, TECUMSEH 7 SALLISAW 28, Stigler 20 BRISTOW 30, Stroud 22 TULSA McLAIN 28, Tulsa NOAH 24 NEWCASTLE 28, Tuttle 27 NOWATA 21, Vinita 17 Class 3A Berryhill 35, CUSHING 28 NEWKIRK 20, Blackwell 16 LEXINGTON 21, Bridge Creek 20 KELLYVILLE 34, Caney Valley 18 BLANCHARD 24, Casady 20 Chandler 28, MEEKER 21 Checotah 32, HENRYETTA 14 Chr. Heritage 42, MOUNT ST. MARY 28 LITTLE AXE 34, Crooked Oak 16 Davis 42, SULPHUR 14 PAWHUSKA 28, Dewey 24 LINDSAY 30, Dickson 17 HARTSHORNE 34, Eufaula 10 Haskell 14, MORRIS 13 John Marshall 38, CENTENNIAL 26 Kingfisher 40, HENNESSEY 20 VICTORY CHRISTIAN 49, Lighthouse Chr. 7 Lincoln Christian 42, HOLLAND HALL 14 Lincoln, Ark. 28, KEYS (PARK HILL) 21 Lone Grove 42, HUGO 7 BETHANY 45, OKC Legion 8 Okemah 28, BETHEL 12 PLAINVIEW 26, Pauls Valley 13 WASHINGTON 18, Purcell 12 Roland 35, SEQ.-TAHLEQUAH 14 Salina 21, INOLA 14 Seq. Claremore 28, SPERRY 6 COMANCHE 14, Tishomingo 13 Tulsa Rogers 26, TULSA WEBSTER 22 U.S. Grant 22, OKMULGEE 18 KINGSTON 35, Valliant 7 Vian 28, HEAVENER 6 COLCORD 27, Westville 22 Class 2A Adair 46, WYANDOTTE 6 COMMERCE 28, Afton 26 Alva 24, OKLAHOMA BIBLE 21 TALIHINA 41, Antlers 16 Barnsdall 21, OKLAHOMA UNION 20 PANAMA 28, Central Sallisaw 20 Chouteau 24, KETCHUM 16 SAVANNA 42, Coalgate 14 Empire 20, WALTERS 14 CHISHOLM 42, Fairview 20 CHELSEA 27, Foyil 16 Holdenville 20, ATOKA 14 Hominy 28, PAWNEE 18 FREDERICK 30, Mangum 12 ELMORE CITY 18, Marietta 14 TONKAWA 28, Morrison 21 CRESCENT 28, Perry 6 LUTHER 35, Prague 20 Rush Springs 30, DIBBLE 16 Summit Christian 46, LIBERTY 6 Warner 27, HULBERT 14 Wewoka 28, KONAWA 21 QUINTON 22, Wilburton 6 Yale 28, WELLSTON 20 Class A SYRACUSE, KAN. 20, Beaver 16 SNYDER 29, Burns Flat-Dill City 7 COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN 34, Carnegie 20 CORDELL 21, Central Marlow 20 MINCO 28, Crossings Christian 21 Drumright 16, PORTER 14 TEXHOMA 22, Gruver, Texas 14 STRATFORD 24, Healdton 22 Hollis 42, HOOKER 6 Humboldt, Kan. 27, QUAPAW 14 Kiefer 42, REJOICE CHRISTIAN 14 CASHION 35, Mooreland 16 Mounds 28, GORE 7 THOMAS 21, Okeene 7 WAYNE 32, Okla. Christian Aca. 13 HINTON 24, Sayre 14 WYNNEWOOD 35, Velma-Alma 34 APACHE 37, Wilson 20 Class B Allen 56, MACOMB 6 Arkoma 38, GANS 26 Canadian 28, HAILEYVILLE 24 ALEX 44, Cyril 6 Garber 48, OAKS 20 Geary 56, BRAY-DOYLE 42 Keota 42, WELEETKA 34 WAURIKA 38, Maud 20 Maysville 56, STROTHER 22 SEILING 44, Merritt 28 CANTON 34, Pioneer 28 DEWAR 56, Porum 6 Ringwood 48, KREMLIN-HILLSDALE 8 WELCH 32, South Coffeyville 28 POND CREEK-HUNTER 48, Turpin 12 DAVENPORT 54, Watts 6 LAVERNE 58, Waukomis 20 WOODLAND 42, Wesleyan Christian 20 Wetumka 40, CADDO 28 Class C Balko 42, ROLLA, KAN. 28 BOKOSHE 28, Bowlegs 24 Cherokee 54, BUFFALO 8 RYAN 44, Corn Bible 28 Covington-Douglas 34, MEDFORD 30 Coyle 54, PRUE 16 BLUEJACKET 56, DC-Lamont 40 Fox 60, WEBBERS FALLS 14 DUKE 48, Gracemont 44 CAVE SPRINGS 28, Paoli 24 Regent Prep 54, COPAN 38 Sasakwa 42, MIDWAY 26 Shattuck 58, SHARON-MUTUAL 28 MT. VIEW-GOTEBO 38, SW Covenant 22 TIPTON 56, Temple 8 Thackerville 54, GRANDFIELD 52 Timberlake 34, WAYNOKA 24 BOISE CITY 40, Tyrone 14 Independent Destiny Christian 40, OKC PATRIOTS 16 CLAREMORE CHR. 42, Immanuel Chr. 14 Saturday’s Game Class 3A Douglass 28, MILLWOOD 24 *Home team in CAPS
Sep 9, 2014
From ballyhooed quarterback recruit to the Belldozer to starting quarterback to tight end, Bell has had a unique career arc.
Oklahoma football: The long and winding road of Blake Bell
By Jason Kersey | Sep 9, 2014NORMAN — Blake Bell is hardly the first Oklahoma football player to change positions during his collegiate career. He’s not the first quarterback to do so, either. The senior’s touchdown catch last weekend at Tulsa was his first score on a reception, but his 37th overall touchdown. With that grab, he became one of only a handful of OU players to ever throw, run and catch a touchdown during his career. But consider all the different hats Bell has worn throughout his career. He was a ballyhooed quarterback prospect. He was the Belldozer. He was Landry Jones’ backup and heir apparent. Bell was the starting quarterback for eight games last season, leading the Sooners to their first victory over Notre Dame since the Eisenhower administration. He’s a two-time Bedlam hero. Last weekend, he became the first OU tight end in more than two years to catch a touchdown. Through it all, Bell has remained a fan favorite, and when it’s all said and done, he might have completed the most unique career arc in OU’s storied football history. “I mean, how many different things has he done?” said OU football historian Mike Brooks. “He’s been the third-down back as the Belldozer. He was a five-star quarterback prospect. He’s been a tight end. He’s just such an unusual athlete.” Bell joined the Sooners out of Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, Kan., and when he signed, many OU fans thought they’d landed the next great Oklahoma quarterback. He redshirted as a true freshman in 2010, and midway through the 2011 season, with OU struggling in short-yardage situations, became a cult hero by scoring touchdowns and picking up first downs from the “Belldozer” formation. He rushed for 51 yards and three touchdowns in Oklahoma’s Insight Bowl victory over Iowa to end that season, earning him the game’s offensive most valuable player honors. Before the next season began, coach Bob Stoops named Bell as Jones’ backup. He continued his Belldozer role that year, scoring 11 touchdowns — four of which came in a 63-21 rout of archrival Texas — and plowing into the end zone for the tying score to force overtime in an eventual 51-48 Bedlam victory. A redshirt freshman named Trevor Knight spoiled Bell’s plans to become the Sooners’ starting quarterback in 2013, but after Knight struggled and was injured in the second game of the season, Bell took over. He threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns in his first career start against Tulsa, setting the program record in both categories for a quarterback in his starting debut. Two weeks later, he was spectacular in a 35-21 win at Notre Dame — the Sooners’ first win over the Fighting Irish since 1956, and only the second in the series. Bell started six more games before Knight took back over, playing well in some contests and poor in others, most notably in embarrassing losses to Texas and Baylor. Bell was the third option at quarterback last December at Oklahoma State, but entered the game and led a remarkable last-minute touchdown drive to stun the No. 6 Cowboys on their home field. After Knight’s Sugar Bowl MVP performance against two-time defending national champion Alabama, Bell’s future as Oklahoma’s quarterback was clear. Many expected him to transfer, considering he had graduated from OU and would have immediate eligibility elsewhere, but instead, he chose to stay and change positions. Coaches and teammates insisted he was adapting well to his new position, and he’s proved it with two solid performances to begin his senior season. He caught no passes in the season opener, but blocked well. With his touchdown reception against Tulsa, he became the 21st OU football player to throw for, rush for and catch a touchdown during his career. That list also includes Heisman Trophy winner Billy Vessels and All-Americans like Tommy McDonald, Clendon Thomas and Joe Washington. In all likelihood, Bell won’t win any national awards and probably won’t be an All-American. But what he has accomplished gives him a special, unique place in OU lore. “Blake is special,” Stoops said. “I’m elated that it’s working out as well as it is. “It does speak to his talent, his skill and his overall attitude and how positive he is.”
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — What was billed as the return of football to the Tulane campus turned into a successful homecoming for Georgia Tech's Tony Zenon Saturday.Zenon and Tim Byerly each rushed for two touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 38-21 victory over the Green Wave in the first game at Yulman Stadium.Zenon, a fifth-year senior running back who had 45 family members in attendance, was...
Zenon, Byerly power G. Tech past Tulane 38-21
LENNY VANGILDER, Associated Press | Sep 6, 2014NEW ORLEANS (AP) — What was billed as the return of football to the Tulane campus turned into a successful homecoming for Georgia Tech's Tony Zenon Saturday. Zenon and Tim Byerly each rushed for two touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 38-21 victory over the Green Wave in the first game at Yulman Stadium. Zenon, a fifth-year senior running back who had 45 family members in attendance, was an eighth-grade student at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck. While his immediate family relocated to Albany, Georgia, dozens of Zenon's relatives returned to the city. "When I scored, I waved (to my family)," said Zenon. "It was great (to return home). A lot of people hadn't seen me play." In addition to doubling his career touchdown total, Zenon finished with career highs in rushes (eight) and rushing yards (62). Zenon had a 19-yard touchdown run in the second quarter — the first of 24 consecutive points by the Yellow Jackets — and a 2-yard scoring run in the third quarter. Byerly, the Yellow Jackets' short-yardage quarterback, had 1-yard touchdown runs in the first and fourth quarters. The other Georgia Tech touchdown came on a 10-yard interception return by linebacker Quayshawn Nealy in the second quarter. Georgia Tech (2-0) rushed for 342 yards and converted on 10 of 12 third downs, while the Yellow Jacket defense held Tulane scoreless in the second half. "I think we probably improved in some areas," said Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, "but I told them, this is not the standard. The defense, he added, "bent a little, but they didn't give up any points." Miscues by Tulane (0-2) set up four of Tech's five touchdowns — three interceptions by Tulane redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee and a blocked punt in the fourth quarter. "We have some young players here," said Tulane coach Curtis Johnson. "We made some mental mistakes and did some little things wrong ... that we have to clean up." A sellout crowd of 30,000 was on hand for the first on-campus home game for Tulane since 1974, a year before the Superdome opened. The Tulane fans had plenty to cheer early. On the first play from scrimmage, Tulane linebacker Eric Thomas sacked Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas and forced a fumble, which defensive end Royce LaFrance scooped and return to the 8-yard line. Three plays later, Lee found Justyn Shackleford for a 12-yard touchdown to give the Green Wave a 7-0 lead with just 88 seconds elapsed. Tech responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive, using all of the ground elements of its triple-option attack. Byerly came in for the first time on third-and-goal and covered the final yard to tie the game at 7-7. The Green Wave regained the lead on the next possession with a 75-yard drive of its own, capped by a 24-yard end around by freshman wide receiver Teddy Veal. The Jackets got even again when Nealy stepped in front of a Lee pass and returned it for a touchdown to make it 14-14 with 11:10 left in the second quarter. "I didn't see the throw because the tackle was so big," Nealy said. "All I saw was the tip of the ball and I broke on it." Lee and the Green Wave offense answered quickly with a deep slant to Xavier Rush, who outran the Georgia Tech secondary for a 61-yard touchdown to give Tulane a 21-14 lead with 9:38 left in the half. Georgia Tech's second interception of Lee — by Demond Smith — set up another tying touchdown. Zenon raced around left end for a 19-yard score with 2:51 left in the half to make it a 21-21 game. Tech took its first lead of the day, 24-21, on a 46-yard field goal by Harrison Butker as time expired in the half, moments after a failed fourth-down try by Tulane. "We were going to try to block the punt," Paul Johnson said, "then they sent the offense back out. That (field goal) really helped us gain momentum." Tulane got the ball to start the third quarter, but Lee's third interception — this time by Lawrence Austin — set up a 76-yard, 12-play drive by the Jackets that took 6:42 off the clock, capped by Zenon's second score. A blocked punt by Matt Connors and a 46-yard return by Kyle Travis set up the Jackets at the Tulane 1. Three plays later, Byerly scored for the second time to give Tech its final score.
Defending state champion Kingfisher blasted Woodward 38-0 behind a smothering defense and strong running game Friday night. Junior running back Nick Smith rushed for 103 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns for the top-ranked Yellowjackets. Smith also kicked a 53-yard field goal. Kingfisher’s defense limited Woodward to three first downs and 67 yards of total offense as linebacker...
High school football roundup: Defending champion Kingfisher blanks Woodward
Compiled by Ed Godfrey, from staff reports | Sep 5, 2014Defending state champion Kingfisher blasted Woodward 38-0 behind a smothering defense and strong running game Friday night. Junior running back Nick Smith rushed for 103 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns for the top-ranked Yellowjackets. Smith also kicked a 53-yard field goal. Kingfisher’s defense limited Woodward to three first downs and 67 yards of total offense as linebacker Trey Weoman recorded a team-high 11 tackles. The Yellowjackets’ defense also intercepted three passes, including a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown by defensive tackle Kolton Mueggenborg, who also had eight tackles. Defensive backs Wendell Prim and Trey Borelli also had interceptions as Woodward completed just one pass. Kingfisher’s first score of the game was on a 67-yard pass to Jace Sternberger from quarterback Docker Haub. Giles has big night for Western Heights Running back Gerald Giles rushed for 303 yards on just 12 carries as Western Heights belted U.S. Grant, 54-2. Giles scored three touchdowns, including two 80-yard runs as the Jets led 29-0 after the first quarter. Quarterback J.T. Lewis was 7 of 10 passing for 165 yards and four touchdowns for Western Heights. Duke leads Bethany to victory Bethany quarterback Kyle Duke accounted for four touchdowns and 294 yards of total offense to lead the Bronchos to a 32-26 victory over Marlow. Duke was 19 of 30 through the air for 211 yards with no interceptions and a touchdown. On the ground, Duke ran for three more scores, rushing for 83 yards on 20 carries. Guthrie rolls over Duncan Guthrie compiled 409 yards in total offense, including 323 on the ground, as the Bluejays pounded Duncan 47-6 at Jelsma Stadium. Senior running back Idae Alexander scored three touchdowns while rushing for 197 yards on 25 carries. Alexander added his fourth touchdown and the final score of the game on a 95-yard kickoff return. Cashion trounces Yale behind Liebman’s four TDs Cashion running back Blakely Liebman scored four touchdowns as the fifth-ranked Wildcats rolled to a season-opening 50-14 victory over Yale. Liebman scored on runs of 15, 1 and 1 yards and also returned a punt 61 yards for a score. Payton Maroney returned a kick 90 yards for a touchdown for the Wildcats. Cashion quarterback Matt Harman was 17 of 19 passing for 201 yards in the game. The Wildcats led 44-0 at halftime. Lindsey to LittleJim deady connection for Christian Heritage Quarterback Spencer Lindsey tossed three touchdown passes in the first quarter to lead Christian Heritage to a 35-7 victory over Santa Fe South. Gabe LittleJim caught two TD passes and had 83 of Christian Heritage's 202 total passing yards on the night. Joseph Lemieux added two rushing touchdowns as Christian Heritage held Santa Fe South scoreless for the first three quarters. Standlee, Bagwell lead Meeker past Prague Jake Standlee returned two interceptions for touchdowns as Meeker downed Prague, 35-22. Wide receiver Levi Bagwell caught four passes for 91 yards and returned a kickoff 75 yards for a score for Meeker. Bagwell and Standless combined for 299 all-purpose yards. Fourth quarter surge carries Hennessey past Elgin Abraham Ortega had 220 yards of total offense, including 125 receiving, as Hennessey defeated Elgin, 30-7. Ortega made an impact on both sides of the ball, recording five tackles and a sack while playing defensive end. He scored twice, one on a 4-yard run and the other on an 80-yard reception from Tony Mendoza, who also added a 10-yard touchdown run for Hennessey. The Eagles broke open a close game with a 17-point fourth quarter. OCS shuts out Ringling Senior running back Luke Frankfurt rushed for 131 yards on 12 carries to lead Oklahoma Christian to a 29-0 victory over Ringling in a battle of ranked teams. Frankfurt scored on a 33-yard run while Connor Sykes added a 3-yard scoring run for the Saints. Corbin Mez caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Thomas Qualls. Ringling is ranked No. 2 in Class A while Oklahoma Christian is No. 10 in Class 2A. Seminole nips Harrah behind Harvey’s five touchdowns Seminole quarterback Doc Harvey rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more as the Chieftains edged Harrah, 34-32. The senior quarterback carried the ball 19 times for 111 yards and tossed touchdown passes of 46 yards to Max Guest and 23 yards to Dake Reese. Reese also gained 127 yards on 19 carries for Seminole, ranked No. 4 in Class 3A. Sheppard’s two TDs carries Little Axe Little Axe's Jacob Sheppard had touchdown runs of 27 and 25 yards as the Indians defeated Lexington, 22-15. Sheppard rushed for 133 yards on 17 carries and had two receptions for 37 yards. CORRECTION: Two Christian Heritage football players' names -- Spencer Lindsey and Joseph Lemieux -- were spelled incorrectly in Saturday's editions. Lindsey threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter to lead Christian Heritage to a 35-7 victory over Santa Fe South, while Lemieux added two rushing touchdowns. (This story has been corrected.)
Oklahoma State football: Witness testifies against running back Devon Thomas for alleged robbery, burglary and shootingSep 4, 2014
TULSA — The victim of an alleged robbery, burglary and shooting testified against former Oklahoma State running back Devon Thomas on Wednesday in a Tulsa County courtroom. Mason Cade Willison, 18, said a drug deal organized by Thomas on May 27 is what sparked the alleged crimes to take place, according to The Tulsa World.
Oklahoma State football: Witness testifies against running back Devon Thomas for alleged robbery, burglary and shooting
Kyle Fredrickson | Sep 4, 2014[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/38/2014/09/afd8d0229850a4d51f490f5d24a70775.jpg]3378238[/img] TULSA — The victim of an alleged robbery, burglary and shooting testified against former Oklahoma State running back Devon Thomas on Wednesday in a Tulsa County courtroom. Mason Cade Willison, 18, said a drug deal organized by Thomas on May 27 is what sparked the alleged crimes to take place, according to The Tulsa World. Willison said Thomas had sent him text messages seeking marijuana and Xanax, then arranged a meeting at a mutual friend’s home. When Willison arrived, Thomas was alone inside sitting on a couch, Willison testified. Willison said he went back outside to grab something from his car and was surrounded by a group of about 15 people. Some of those alleged suspects took $1,000 cash, recently purchased apparel in shopping bags, a 9 mm gun and the shoes Willison was wearing, he testified. As Willison drove away, he said he heard yelling from the group followed by two-to-three gunshots, as well as a bullet “zip past” his right ear. Following Willison’s testimony, two of the five defense attorney’s present cross-examined Willison and questioned how he could identify the suspects. “I know these people, so of course I can pick them out,” Willison said. Thomas, 19, and two others were charged by Tulsa County prosecutors in June with armed robbery, shooting with intent to kill and first-degree burglary. A preliminary hearing for Thomas and five others accused in the case will be continued in two weeks, a Tulsa County judge ruled Wednesday. An OSU spokesman confirmed Thomas is not enrolled in classes. When football coach Mike Gundy was asked about the possibility of Thomas playing this season, pending the legal process of this case, Gundy said, “he’s not on our team, he’s not on our roster, he’s not on scholarship.” Thomas was a four-star recruit out of Broken Arrow and was among the top-rated recruits in the Cowboys’ 2014 class. ESPN ranked Thomas as the No. 15 running back in the country. Thomas finished his high school career with 3,796 rushing yards. – Follow Kyle Fredrickson on Twitter: @kylefredrickson
Oklahoma State football: Witness testifies against running back Devon Thomas for alleged robbery, burglary and shootingSep 4, 2014
TULSA — The victim of an alleged robbery, burglary and shooting testified against former Oklahoma State running back Devon Thomas on Wednesday in a Tulsa County courtroom. Mason Cade Willison, 18, said a drug deal organized by Thomas on May 27 is what sparked the alleged crimes to take place, according to The Tulsa World. […]
Kyle Fredrickson | Sep 4, 2014[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/11/2014/09/afd8d0229850a4d51f490f5d24a70775.jpg]3378273[/img] TULSA — The victim of an alleged robbery, burglary and shooting testified against former Oklahoma State running back Devon Thomas on Wednesday in a Tulsa County courtroom. Mason Cade Willison, 18, said a drug deal organized by Thomas on May 27 is what sparked the alleged crimes to take place, according to The Tulsa World. Willison said Thomas had sent him text messages seeking marijuana and Xanax, then arranged a meeting at a mutual friend’s home. When Willison arrived, Thomas was alone inside sitting on a couch, Willison testified. Willison said he went back outside to grab something from his car and was surrounded by a group of about 15 people. Some of those alleged suspects took $1,000 cash, recently purchased apparel in shopping bags, a 9 mm gun and the shoes Willison was wearing, he testified. As Willison drove away, he said he heard yelling from the group followed by two-to-three gunshots, as well as a bullet “zip past” his right ear. Following Willison’s testimony, two of the five defense attorney’s present cross-examined Willison and questioned how he could identify the suspects. “I know these people, so of course I can pick them out,” Willison said. Thomas, 19, and two others were charged by Tulsa County prosecutors in June with armed robbery, shooting with intent to kill and first-degree burglary. A preliminary hearing for Thomas and five others accused in the case will be continued in two weeks, a Tulsa County judge ruled Wednesday. An OSU spokesman confirmed Thomas is not enrolled in classes. When football coach Mike Gundy was asked about the possibility of Thomas playing this season, pending the legal process of this case, Gundy said, “he’s not on our team, he’s not on our roster, he’s not on scholarship.” Thomas was a four-star recruit out of Broken Arrow and was among the top-rated commits in the Cowboys’ 2014 class. ESPN ranked him as the No. 15 running back in the country. Thomas finished his high school career with 3,796 rushing yards. — Follow Kyle Fredrickson on Twitter: @kylefredrickson
Sep 3, 2014
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brenton Bersin has something in common with the man writing his paycheck.Bersin was placed on Carolina's 53-man roster over the weekend, becoming only the second player from Wofford College to make an NFL team. The other is Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, a receiver for the Baltimore Colts more than a half century ago."That's an honor,...
Panthers WR Bersin follows NFL owner's footsteps
STEVE REED, Associated Press | Sep 3, 2014CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brenton Bersin has something in common with the man writing his paycheck. Bersin was placed on Carolina's 53-man roster over the weekend, becoming only the second player from Wofford College to make an NFL team. The other is Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, a receiver for the Baltimore Colts more than a half century ago. "That's an honor, right there," Bersin said. The 24-year-old Bersin can only hope for the same success as Richardson, who caught a touchdown pass from Johnny Unitas in the 1959 NFL Championship game — and later his used his rookie signing bonus to open a successful burger chain and eventually bring the expansion Panthers to the Carolinas. Bersin isn't too worried about opening a chain of burger restaurants, let alone owning an NFL team. His goal is much simpler: to make an impact with the Panthers. If Bersin can succeed, it would be the completion of a fairytale story. He grew up in Charlotte and attended high school just minutes from where the Panthers play. He attended the team's first regular-season home game in 1995 at Clemson University as a 5-year-old. He's been following the Panthers ever since, so playing for Richardson is a dream come true. "I haven't talked to him," said Bersin, his shoulder length blond hair pulled back in a ponytail. "I don't think he communicates with the players that much. I haven't gotten a congratulatory call, but if I see him I will talk to him about it." Bersin's story is one of perseverance. He signed with Carolina as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and was cut twice by the team. Earlier this year he thought about getting a "real job" in financing, but instead agreed to play for the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena League. Bersin said that experience, along with facing Carolina's No. 2 ranked defense every day in practice as a member of the scout team has elevated his game. Panthers coach Ron Rivera has noticed Bersin's steady progression. "He's a gifted athlete to begin with and he's a smart, intelligent football player," Rivera said. "It was a matter of developing him, and he did that very quickly over the last couple of seasons. It doesn't surprise me he made the team because of the way he plays and how he works. "He made plays (in the preseason) when he had opportunities. He made plays in traffic and made clutch plays." Bersin's next challenge is to find his way on the field in the regular season. He's one of five receivers on Carolina's roster, and it's unclear if he'll be among the 46 active players come Sunday when the Panthers visit Tampa Bay. Rivera has already said he considers rookie Kelvin Benjamin and veterans Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant his top three receivers, which leaves Bersin in a fight with undrafted rookie Philly Brown for the No. 4 receiver spot. Brown could have an edge because he can return punts and kickoffs. Bersin has plenty of folks rooting for him. "I love him as a player and a person and I've been one of his biggest supporters," veteran linebacker Thomas Davis said. "Now it's about him continuing to grow from what he's accomplished. And I think he'll be big this year for us. I've watched him get better and continue to make plays." Bersin said he thought about giving up on his NFL dream at one point, but decided against it. Now his dream of playing for the Panthers has come true. "It's always been taught to me since I was a little kid — don't quit," Bersin said. ___ AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Each week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last year’s record: 1,551-364 (81.0 pct.) Thursday Class 6A Edmond Memorial 28, SOUTHMOORE 24 NORMAN NORTH 31, Norman 13 Class 5A COLLINSVILLE 28, Oologah 20 Weatherford 44, SOUTHEAST 20 Class 4A Broken Bow 34, VALLIANT 6 Cleveland 40, HOMINY 8 ALMA (ARK.
High school football: The Oklahoman's Week 1 picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 3, 2014Each week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last year’s record: 1,551-364 (81.0 pct.) Thursday Class 6A Edmond Memorial 28, SOUTHMOORE 24 NORMAN NORTH 31, Norman 13 Class 5A COLLINSVILLE 28, Oologah 20 Weatherford 44, SOUTHEAST 20 Class 4A Broken Bow 34, VALLIANT 6 Cleveland 40, HOMINY 8 ALMA (ARK.) 35, Poteau 20 Roland 35, MULDROW 10 Class 3A WASHINGTON 35, Bridge Creek 12 INOLA 28, Chelsea 13 VELMA-ALMA 22, Comanche 16 CASADY 42, Heritage Hall 38 Kingston 14, DICKSON 12 DOUGLASS 48, Northeast 12 Locust Grove 42, Salina 8 Class 2A Crescent 28, NEWKIRK 14 PANAMA 40, Gore 14 Hartshorne 44, HOLDENVILLE 12 Talihina 48, WILBURTON 6 Oklahoma Union 14, QUAPAW 13 Class A Carnegie 28, BURNS FLAT-DILL CITY 12 Class B GEARY 42, Canton 38 DEER CREEK-LAMONT 40, Kremlin-Hillsdale 22 POND CREEK-HUNTER 42, Medford 12 BLUEJACKET 48, Welch 20 Class C Shattuck 56, Pioneer JV 6 Friday Class 6A JENKS 56, Bixby 16 Choctaw 35, SAPULPA 20 PRYOR 28, Claremore 22 STILLWATER 30, Deer Creek 27 Edmond Santa Fe 24, EDMOND NORTH 20 Fayetteville (Ark.) 35, LAWTON EISENHOWER 14 Lawton 28, SALINA (KAN.) CENTRAL 21 McALESTER 42, Muskogee 28 Mustang 28, YUKON 21 BROKEN ARROW 31, Owasso 17 ENID 28, Ponca City 20 Putnam City 28, PUTNAM CITY NORTH 27 DEL CITY 42, Putnam City West 20 Tulsa East Central 28, BARTLESVILLE 24 SAND SPRINGS 40, Tulsa Hale 12 SOUTHLAKE (TEXAS) CARROLL 35, Tulsa Union 28 MIDWEST CITY 21, Tulsa Washington 20 Westmoore 35, MOORE 7 Class 5A Ada 14, ARDMORE 13 Ashdown (Ark.) 28, DURANT 24 ANADARKO 42, Chickasha 17 Coweta 28, WAGONER 27 GUTHRIE 27, Duncan 21 CALR ALBERT 21, El Reno 7 Grove 28, MIAMI 21 HUGOTON (KAN.) 24, Guymon 14 Lawton MacArthur 33, CLINTON 27 JOHN MARSHALL 32, Northwest Classen 13 Shawnee 28, MCGUINNESS 14 Skiatook 21, PIEDMONT 20 FORT GIBSON 28, Tahlequah 16 NOBLE 21, Tecumseh 14 TULSA MEMORIAL 28, Tulsa Central 12 TULSA KELLEY 34, Tulsa Edison 30 WESTERN HEIGHTS 28, U.S. Grant 22 Vernon (Texas) 27, ALTUS 21 Class 4A McLOUD 35, Bethel 14 TUTTLE 28, Blanchard 21 CUSHING 27, Bristow 24 PAMPA (TEXAS) 28, Elk City 18 Glenpool 35, BERRYHILL 34 SEMINOLE 28, Harrah 27 Hennessey 35, ELGIN 14 CASCIA HALL 28, Holland Hall 20 CACHE 20, Iowa Park (Texas) 17 VINITA 20, JAY 13 TULSA McLAIN 14, Mannford 7 Newcastle 28, PAULS VALLEY 14 Sallisaw 31, CATOOSA 28 CHRISTIAN HERITAGE 42, Santa Fe South 7 Spiro 28, STILWELL 24 METRO CHRISTIAN 35, Tulsa NOAH 27 Woodward 21, KINGFISHER 20 Class 3A Beggs 40, EUFAULA 14 Centennial 28, CAPITOL HILL 12 Chandler 24, OKMULGEE 14 Hartford (Ark.) 28, WESTVILLE 12 Heavener 21, ATOKA 14 STIGLER 28, Hilldale 21 Hugo 35, IDABEL 14 LINCOLN CHRISTIAN 48, Kansas 12 KIEFER 22, Kellyville 16 CHECOTAH 38, Keys (Park Hill) 8 LITTLE AXE 27, Lexington 24 PURCELL 28, Lindsay 21 LONE GROVE 41, Marietta 14 BETHANY 28, Marlow 21 Meeker 20, PRAGUE 18 HENRYETTA 22, Morris 20 CROOKED OAK 28, Mount St. Mary 24 Nowata 38, DEWEY 12 TULSA ROGERS 21, OKC Legion 18 VERDIGRIS 28, Pawhuska 22 SEQ.-CLAREMORE 21, Perkins-Tryon 14 Perry 30, BLACKWELL 14 Plainview 24, SANGER (TEXAS) 21 TULSA WEBSTER 34, SeeWorth Academy 6 OKEMAH 28, Seq.-Tahlequah 20 ADAIR 44, Sperry 21 MILLWOOD 21, Star Spencer 20 WYNNEWOOD 32, Sulphur 17 MADILL 28, Tishomingo 22 Class 2A Caney Valley 22, BARNSDALL 20 Chisholm 28, OKEENE 24 Chouteau 36, FOYIL 14 AFTON 24, Colcord 22 STROUD 28, Commerce 21 Frederick 21, ELECTRA (TEXAS) 20 HASKELL 14, Ketchum 13 MOUNDS 34, Liberty 12 Luther 28, TONKAWA 27 HOBART 42, Mangum 14 Minco 28, DIBBLE 12 OCS 24, RINGLING 20 MORRISON 35, Pawnee 16 Pocola 28, CENTRAL SALLISAW 21 HULBERT 14, Porter 7 Savanna 32, ANTLERS 20 Stratford 35, COALGATE 14 Thomas 21, ALVA 7 Walters 40, WILSON 16 Wellston 28, DRUMRIGHT 14 Wyandotte 42, FAIRLAND 14 Class A Apache 44, RUSH SPRINGS 20 TEXHOMA 28, Booker (Texas) 24 Central Marlow 20, SNYDER 16 Community Christian 31, OCA 20 Cordell 24, SAYRE 12 REJOICE CHRISTIAN 34, Crossings Christian 24 EMPIRE 28, Elmore City 21 OKLAHOMA BIBLE 21, Fairview 20 ELKHART (KAN.) 28, Hooker 14 KONAWA 30, Quinton 28 BEAVER 31, Stanton County (KAN.) 14 Summit Christian 35, WARNER 21 Watonga 28, HINTON 8 Wayne 35, HEALDTON 16 HOLLIS 42, Wellington (Texas) 21 CASHION 48, Yale 14 Class B Arkoma 44, BOKOSHE 8 ALEX 44, Caddo 38 Cave Springs 48, WATTS 8 Cherokee 56, PIONEER 0 Claremore Chr. 42, S. COFFEYVILLE 28 WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN 28, Copan 14 MERRITT 44, Corn Bible 24 GARBER 56, Covington-Douglas 20 Davenport 54, WELEETKA 34 Dewar 60, WOODLAND 28 DEPEW 38, Haileyville 34 Keota 56, IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN 14 CYRIL 44, Life Christian 28 SASAKWA 38, Macomb 6 Maud 56, BOWLEGS 6 Maysville 44, PAOLI 12 Mountain View-Gotebo 42, BRAY-DOYLE 6 Oaks 56, GANS 8 WEBBERS FALLS 48, Porum 8 Ryan 42, WAURIKA 12 Seiling 56, SHARON-MUTUAL 38 Strother 40, CANADIAN 32 RINGWOOD 56, Timberlake 38 Waukomis 56, BUFFALO 8 Wetumka 48, ALLEN 42 Class C WAYNOKA 38, Duke 28 Gracemont 40, PRUE 24 Grandfield 56, OKC PATRIOTS 14 BALKO 48, Moscow (Kan.) 18 DESTINY CHR. 44, Southwest Covenant 28 THACKERVILLE 56, Temple 12 Tipton 54, FOX 42 BOISE CITY 28, Wiley (Colo.) 24 Wright Christian 34, MIDWAY 28 Saturday Class 3A Victory Christian 42, JONES 28 (at Choctaw) Class 2A DAVIS 28, Vian 22 (at Choctaw) Class A Mooreland 42, CHISHOLM JV 14 Independent Missouri Deaf 54, OSD 48 *Home team in CAPS
Oklahoma football: Freshman cornerback Jordan Thomas' intelligence, fast learning result in early playing timeSep 3, 2014
Thomas, from Klein (Texas) Collins High School, enrolled in a heavy courseload for his first college semester. But his intelligence has also created some early opportunities on the football field.
Oklahoma football: Freshman cornerback Jordan Thomas' intelligence, fast learning result in early playing time
By Jason Kersey | Sep 3, 2014NORMAN — Jordan Thomas didn’t take many Advanced Placement tests at the end of his senior year of high school. “I was afraid of the unknown,” Thomas said. Did the Oklahoma freshman cornerback fear failure? Was he unprepared for those tests? No, Thomas was worried that he would pass them. “Having to balance academics as well as football, I didn’t want to take my AP Calc test and place into Calc 2 or Calc 3, and then be struggling in that,” Thomas said. “I just took a precaution and started with the stuff I have a nice base in so I could grow from there.” Thomas, from the Houston suburb Klein, Texas, quickly jumped past several more experienced cornerbacks on the OU depth chart during fall camp, and a lot of that is due to his high intelligence. The freshman wants to be an engineer and is already enrolled in classes like calculus and chemistry his first semester. Early, unexpected playing time isn’t anything Thomas isn’t used to. As a 14-year-old freshman at Klein Collins High, he started nine games at cornerback for an 11-1 varsity team. He spent time playing virtually every non-lineman position on both sides of the ball throughout his high-school career, but for most of his junior and senior seasons, he played offense. “I think deep down inside, he really loves defense,” said Klein Collins coach Drew Svoboda. “I think that’s where he sees his identity. He’s a long cornerback who’s got good hands and he’s very intelligent. He’s not one of those guys who’s playing cornerback because he’s not tall enough and can’t catch.” Thomas’ parents, though, never let him lose sight of what was really important. Any grade below a “B” was unacceptable in the Thomas household, and there were consequences. Curley Thomas, Jordan’s dad, remembers making him miss an important sixth-grade football game because of grades. “It was to prove a point that school is the vehicle, not sports,” Curley Thomas said. Curley still takes issue with the popular star ratings used to grade prospects by major recruiting services. Jordan Thomas was considered a three-star prospect, but Curley said that’s only because “we didn’t do the circuit.” Thomas’ sophomore year, he attended camps at LSU, Texas and Stanford. Scholarship offers started rolling in, and his parents decided that was enough. “We felt like, ‘OK, the rest of your audition will be school. We’re not gonna run you around the country to all these camps,’” Curley Thomas said. Jordan Thomas was originally committed to play football at Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., which is ranked as one of the nation’s elite academic universities. But when he realized he could still study engineering while staying closer to home at Oklahoma, he flipped his commitment in late January. The Sooners lost several veteran leaders in last season’s secondary, including All-Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin, so there were plenty of opportunities for young defensive backs to earn playing time. Still, Thomas was expected to start the season behind sophomores Dakota Austin and Stanvon Taylor, as well as junior Cortez Johnson. By the time last weekend’s season opener against Louisian Tech rolled around, he’d leap-frogged all of them. That’s because, Thomas said, he soaked up information and instruction like a sponge once he arrived on campus. Thomas made notes even when coaches were correcting other cornerbacks’ mistakes. “He’s gone by a few guys pretty fast,” said cornerbacks coach Bobby Jack Wright, referring to the depth chart. “He may not know how to play something the first time, but after the first time, he’ll learn from it. He’s got a good mixture of athletic ability, size and he is a smart guy.” Still, that level of commitment to football might not have been possible if he had taken that AP Calculus test months earlier. His dad, Curley Thomas, had already paid for the test and Jordan had been studying for it. “His goal was to make an impact this year,” Curley Thomas said. “He thought that if he was put in Calc 2 or some statistics class, then he’d really have to focus on that. He didn't want to do bad in school.” Jordan Thomas said balancing his tough courseload with football has been a challenge three weeks into the semester, but that he wouldn’t have it any other way. Asked when he has fun, Thomas replied, “I have fun when I sleep. You’ve got to rest your brain and rest your body from all the work you have to do mentally and physically. That’s it.”
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Get to the quarterback.That's the goal this season for Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Jarvis Jones. It doesn't matter how he does it, either."No matter how you get there, you just have to get there," Jones said.The Steelers hope to see just that starting Sunday when they welcome the Cleveland Browns to Heinz Field for their season opener.Jones displayed flashes...
Jones' mantra: Get to the quarterback
DAN SCIFO, Associated Press | Sep 2, 2014PITTSBURGH (AP) — Get to the quarterback. That's the goal this season for Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Jarvis Jones. It doesn't matter how he does it, either. "No matter how you get there, you just have to get there," Jones said. The Steelers hope to see just that starting Sunday when they welcome the Cleveland Browns to Heinz Field for their season opener. Jones displayed flashes during the preseason. He sacked Eli Manning in the first game against the New York Giants and, in the team's finale, recovered a fumbled snap that went 15 yards past Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson. Jones is ready for more against the Browns. "That's what we look forward to, being able to play some real football and actually fight for something," Jones said. "This one right here, Week 1, we're playing against a top opponent in our division and we can't afford to start slow. "You have to be hitting on all cylinders because everything counts from here on out." Jones, the No. 17 pick in the 2013 draft, carried a reputation for reaching the passer at Georgia, totaling 28 sacks in 26 games, good for third in school history. But he struggled in his rookie season with just one sack, four passes deflected and 41 tackles in 14 games. "I wasn't productive and it hurt," Jones said. "I'm not used to being in that position. Ever since I started playing football in high school, I've always been successful. "It was humbling, but at the same time it makes you work harder. That's the approach I take." Jones has focused more on his mental approach to the game, spending additional time in the film room, studying formations, techniques, tendencies and more. The extra time helps, particularly in a week like this one when Jones will face Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, considered one of the best in the league. "When you get to the NFL, you're playing against guys that have been in the league for 10 years," Jones said. "I think most people try to play this game on the physical side, but it's the mental side that makes you a Pro Bowler and a Hall of Famer." That's where Jones eventually wants to land. He wants to be mentioned alongside the likes of James Harrison, the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year who retired over the weekend fourth in team history with 64 sacks. "When you look at it, he's one of the best players to ever play this game," Jones said. "When you win Defensive Player of the Year in this league it means something. "When you talk about someone who had 60-plus sacks, defensive player of the league . I've got a long way to go and I'm nowhere near there. So for myself I have to continue to work, continue to try to get better and do the things my coaches and teammates ask of me." Reaching the quarterback is a big part of the job description, and Jones knows it. "Everybody puts me as a pass rusher, so that's the main thing everybody wants to see me produce this year," Jones said. Jones is ready to answer the call. The disappointments of last season are a distant memory, replaced by the optimism of an impressive preseason and a new start against the Browns on Sunday. "We got a good defense here and I believe we can be great," Jones said. "We have a lot to improve on, and that's going to be there no matter how good you are, but I think we have a great defense. We just have to go out and prove it." NOTES: The Steelers will honor former coach Chuck Noll this season with a commemorative decal on the back of their helmets. Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls, passed away in June. . The players selected quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as offensive captain for the sixth time in his career. Safety Troy Polamalu was voted defensive captain for the first time. Safety Robert Golden and kicker Shaun Suisham are the special teams captains. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
NEW YORK (AP) — A 16-year-old high school football player in New York City is dead after collapsing during practice Monday, officials said.The teen's father says Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed Monday morning during practice for Staten Island's Curtis High School. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.Jamar Thomas tells the New York Daily News his 6-foot-2, 320-pound son had passed a physical in...
Prep football player, 16, collapses and dies in NY
Associated Press | Sep 1, 2014NEW YORK (AP) — A 16-year-old high school football player in New York City is dead after collapsing during practice Monday, officials said. The teen's father says Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed Monday morning during practice for Staten Island's Curtis High School. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. Jamar Thomas tells the New York Daily News his 6-foot-2, 320-pound son had passed a physical in July and the family was not aware of any pre-existing conditions. Thomas says an autopsy will be conducted.
Sep 1, 2014
Late in the second quarter of Saturday's 48-16 win over Lousiana Tech, Bulldogs’ running back Kenneth Dixon and Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker got tangled up a bit after a play. When Striker raised his arm, Dixon fell back like he’d been hit forcefully. There was no flag on the play, which came two plays before Louisiana Tech kicked a field goal. Striker was asked Monday whether it looked...
Oklahoma football notebook: Sooners' Eric Striker compares Kenneth Dixon's flop to LeBron James
By Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey | Sep 1, 2014Late in the second quarter of Saturday's 48-16 win over Lousiana Tech, Bulldogs’ running back Kenneth Dixon and Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker got tangled up a bit after a play. When Striker raised his arm, Dixon fell back like he’d been hit forcefully. There was no flag on the play, which came two plays before Louisiana Tech kicked a field goal. Striker was asked Monday whether it looked like a soccer flop. “He did, didn’t he?" Striker said. “Flopping like that. Or LeBron James. Something like that.” Striker talked to Dixon about it after the game ended. “I was kind of caught off guard,” Striker said. “That’s just him trying to get a penalty. He sold it a lot, didn't he? Like he almost hurt himself. It was kind of funny. I laughed. I’m sure you all laughed. I told him he was crazy for that after the game. He just laughed at me. He was just trying to do what he had to do to help his team, so that's what he did. It was pretty funny, though. “I think he should win an Oscar for it.” STOOPS SEEKS CLARIFICATION ON TARGETING CALL Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops expected to receive clarification Monday afternoon on the targeting penalty that caused sophomore linebacker Jordan Evans to be ejected Saturday. “I’ve got a request into the office — the officials’ office — and I’m sure by this afternoon sometime I’ll have some kind of clarification on it and even some explanation,” Stoops said. “I need to know what I can tell the player. It’s a pretty tight situation. But Walt Anderson and all our crew at the Big 12, they do a great job. We’ll get an explanation one way or the other. We just want to learn from it.” Evans will be back Saturday against Tulsa. He was ejected late in the first quarter when he made helmet-to-helmet contact with Louisiana Tech quarterback Cody Sokol as Sokol started to slide. Cornerback Zack Sanchez said players have to be able to adjust regardless of what the offensive player does. “It’s tough,” Sanchez said. “You never know when a quarterback is going to slide. Going full speed, it’s hard to adjust. That’s one of the things that Coach Stoops stresses. We watch a video every week on targeting and things like that. He’ll learn from it obviously and be more cautious, but as defenders we have to be more cautious.” STOOPS: ‘I CAUSE ENOUGH WAVES’ At his Monday press conference, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was asked about the SEC's performance last weekend against teams who run the spread offense, including Alabama’s struggles against West Virginia. “I’m not gonna sit here and talk about that. You guys are more than capable of doing that without me,” Stoops said. “I cause enough waves. This isn’t the out-of-season where I cause waves.” Stoops is regularly asked about the SEC, especially as it relates to the Big 12 and has made headlines with plenty of those responses in the past. He did, though, say he wasn’t surprised about the strong performances from Oklahoma State and West Virginia in losses to national powers. “That should be obvious to everybody — the strength of the league and the depth,” Stoops said. “Both those teams, we knew were better than what people thought of them and had them ranked. These scores and the way they played did not surprise me at all. “Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to go anywhere and go bet on them. I would've liked to.” KNIGHT: ‘I NEVER SLID IN HIGH SCHOOL’ Stoops said before the season that he wanted quarterback Trevor Knight to be smarter about giving himself up at times to avoid injury after Knight left two of his starts last season with injury. Knight clearly took the lesson to heart, sliding several times in Saturday’s season opener. “I never slid in high school,” Knight said. “I maybe slid one time my whole career in high school. And that’s just transitioning from being a playmaker to being a distributor. I took two hits all night the other night. That’s what we want. I don’t want to take a whole bunch of hits — get the ball into those three running backs’ hands and get out on the edge. “Those receivers did a great job blocking it up. We just pitched it out on the bubbles and picked up 10-11 on each of those bubbles, so it was good for those guys.” BELL REMAINS A QB OPTION In Saturday's game, Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight went the distance even with the Sooners having the game well in hand. That's because backup Cody Thomas was banged up a bit, though OU coach Bob Stoops said he could've put Thomas in to just hand off the ball in the fourth quarter. Because of Thomas' status, quarterback-turned-tight end Blake Bell keeps taking limited reps at quarterback. “He took some last week and was well and throwing the ball great,” Stoops said. “The kids were teasing him that he’s still got it. But the projection is that Cody will be ready to go this week.” Stoops has expressed a desire to redshirt freshman quarterback Justice Hansen.
Aug 30, 2014
Quarterback-turned-tight end Blake Bell didn’t get onto the stat sheet, going without a catch in his first game at the position. But Bell did a solid job blocking, including a couple blocks that sprung Sooners running backs for long gains in Oklahoma’s 48-16 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. After the game, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he would...
OU football notebook: Sooners' Blake Bell makes debut at tight end
BY RYAN ABER AND JASON KERSEY, Staff Writers | Aug 30, 2014Quarterback-turned-tight end Blake Bell didn’t get onto the stat sheet, going without a catch in his first game at the position. But Bell did a solid job blocking, including a couple blocks that sprung Sooners running backs for long gains in Oklahoma’s 48-16 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. After the game, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he would have to evaluate film before making a final determination on how Bell performed. “It seemed to me like he played pretty well though,” Stoops said. The Sooners looked Bell’s way in the end zone late in the second quarter but Louisiana Tech defender Lloyd Grogan interfered with Bell and Bell drew the flag. SOONERS GET FIRST BLOCKED FG IN DECADE Big-time special teams plays were a calling card for Oklahoma in Bob Stoops’ early years. But the Sooners hadn’t blocked a field goal for nearly a decade before cornerback Zack Sanchez slipped through to stop Jonathan Barnes’ 51-yard attempt late in the first quarter. The block was picked up by Eric Striker, who brought it back 20 yards to set up a touchdown that put the Sooners up 21-0. “I found a crease there and fortunately I got my hand on it,” Sanchez said. “Striker made a play and returned it, and it created some momentum for us on offense.” Oklahoma’s last blocked field goal came Sept. 18, 2004 against Oregon in Norman by Brodney Pool. TYLER EVANS GETS START IN COMEBACK In his first three years in Norman, Tyler Evans made 29 starts at right guard. After missing the last two seasons with torn anterior cruciate ligaments, Evans made start No. 30 Saturday night. Evans was as the third-string left guard on Oklahoma’s depth chart but started on the right side in place of Nila Kasitati. Kasitati was dressed but it was posted on OU’s official Twitter account before the game that he was being held out for “precautionary” reasons. The start was Evans’ first since the 2011 Insight Bowl. JOHNSON, RUSSELL NO SHOWS When the Sooners released their depth chart earlier this week, neither cornerback Cortez Johnson nor defensive tackle Quincy Russell were listed. Saturday, neither was in uniform and afterward Stoops said he wasn’t sure whether either would be part of the team moving forward. “We’ll find out Monday whether he’s with us or not,” Stoops said of Johnson, who started two games last season. “He kind of went missing the last couple of days. He may have quit.” MIXON TWEETS SUPPORT BEFORE GAME Suspended OU freshman Joe Mixon reactivated his Twitter account a couple weeks ago, but hasn’t sent out very many tweets. A couple hours before kickoff Saturday, though, Mixon tweeted, “Man this hurt … Goodluck 2 my brothers out there in Oklahoma. … Go Crazy I'll be watching! #LetsGetIt #BoomerSooner” Mixon, a five-star running back prospect from Oakley, Calif., was charged with a misdemeanor stemming from a late-night, off-campus altercation with a female OU student. The university suspended Mixon for this season from all football activities. It is unclear if Mixon attended Saturday’s game. Mixon later deleted his pregame tweet. SHEPARD DISPLAYS RETURN SKILLS Receiver Sterling Shepard was impressive in his collegiate punt-returning debut. The junior from Heritage Hall picked up 17 yards on his first punt return of the game in the first quarter, and added an 18-yard return in the third quarter. After that second return — with the game well in hand — OU coaches replaced Shepard at punt returner with true freshman receiver Michiah Quick. Shepard’s weren’t the only big returns for the Sooners against the Bulldogs. Alex Ross added an 80-yard kick return that gave OU the ball inside the 15 in the second half. Shepard was a standout return man in high school, but hadn’t had the opportunity to return punts so far in his OU career. He waited two years behind Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders. Saunders, who was named to the New York Jets roster over the weekend, was in Norman for the game Saturday night. SWITZER MAKES GRAND ENTRANCE AFTER THIRD QUARTER During the break between the third and fourth quarters, a video featuring legendary former OU coach Barry Switzer appeared on the Jumbotron. Switzer spoke during the video about protecting OU’s tradition and never quitting. The 76-year-old then ran through smoke onto the field out of the northwest tunnel to thunderous applause. According to OU spokesman Pete Moris, the Sooners will welcome back a different legend to begin the fourth quarter at every home game this season. SHEPARD DOES ‘SUPERMAN’ AGAIN Shepard got some advice from the coaches after his 16-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Knight early in the first quarter. The words didn’t have anything to do with Shepard’s catch or the route but his celebration. After scoring, Shepard pulled on his shirt, mimicking Cam Newton’s Superman celebration. Shepard has a history with the celebration and it figures that’s why Bob Stoops said something to him about it. Shepard was penalized for doing the move in January’s Sugar Bowl win over Alabama, though the call was incorrect. Shepard was called for doing the banned “throat slash” gesture after a touchdown late in the second quarter of the bowl game. REPLAY SCHEDULED, TV FOR TULSA SET The game, which was broadcast on pay-per-view, will be replayed on Fox Sports Oklahoma at 9 a.m. Monday. The broadcast will be squeezed into a three-hour window. The kickoff for next week’s game at Tulsa has long been set for 11 a.m., but the network was unknown until Saturday night. ABC and ESPN2 will broadcast the game in a reverse mirror. The game will be broadcast in ABC in some markets and ESPN2 in others. ABC will carry the game in the Oklahoma City metro area. EXTRA POINTS Michael Hunnicutt extended his school record for made field goals to 64 with a pair of field goals. Hunnicutt has made nine in a row dating back to last season’s win over Iowa State. … Sooners Dimitri Flowers, Samaje Perine, Daniel Brooks, K.J. Young, Jordan Smallwood, Jeffery Mead, Michiah Quick, Josiah St. John, Sam Grant, Jonathan Alvarez, David Driskill, D.J. Ward, Charles Walker, Matt Romar, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Devante Bond, Steven Parker, Jordan Thomas and Wesley Horky made their OU debuts. … The Sooners are now 20-0 against current members of Conference USA.
DE Frank Alexander (Carolina): Suspended the first four games after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Alexander, a 2012 fourth-round pick, has been a backup in the Panthers’ defensive-line rotation. Alexander has compiled 33 tackles in 28 games, including 3 1/2 sacks. QB Sam Bradford (St. Louis): The former No. 1 overall pick’s career in the crosshairs after he suffered another torn...
Former Sooners in the NFL: A look at ex-OU players on NFL rosters and those who didn't make the cut
BY MIKE BALDWIN | Aug 30, 2014DE Frank Alexander (Carolina): Suspended the first four games after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Alexander, a 2012 fourth-round pick, has been a backup in the Panthers’ defensive-line rotation. Alexander has compiled 33 tackles in 28 games, including 3 1/2 sacks. QB Sam Bradford (St. Louis): The former No. 1 overall pick’s career in the crosshairs after he suffered another torn ACL injury in preseason. Bradford has notched stats (11,065 yards, 58.6 percent completion rate, 59-to-38 touchdown-to-interception ratio), that indicate he could still develop into an NFL franchise quarterback if the Putnam North product can stay healthy. WR Justin Brown (Pittsburgh): Darrius Heyward-Bey’s strong camp showing made it tough for Brown to make the 53-man roster, but he made it. On the Steelers’ practice squad last season, Brown at some point could get an opportunity to work his way onto the field. WR Ryan Broyles (Detroit): For the second straight year the NCAA’s all-time leading receptions leader was forced to overcome a major injury, this time a ruptured Achilles tendon. A second-round pick in 2012, Broyles has been limited to 16 games, but the Norman product led the Lions in receiving in preseason, further proof he can contribute when healthy. Last year, he played in only 10 games but had 22 catches. S Quinton Carter (Denver): Trying to rebound from two lost seasons because of a knee injury, Carter played well his rookie season but must prove he’s healthy to play a key role. Carter started 12 games his rookie season (2011) and compiled 49 tackles his first two seasons before the knee injury led to a lengthy rehabilitation. OG Chris Chester (Washington): Entering his ninth season, the former second-round pick has started 95 games, including all 48 games the past three seasons. Chester returns to his right guard slot, one of the Hogs assigned to protect QB Robert Griffin III. CB: Aaron Colvin (Jacksonville): Sidelined by a knee injury, the Owasso product was placed on the non-football injury list. Colvin is prohibited from practicing or playing the first six weeks and must be activated by Week 11 to play his rookie season. TE Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati): In four seasons, the Ardmore product has compiled 218 receptions for 2,262 yards and 19 touchdowns. Playing in a two-tight end package last season, Gresham hauled in 46 passes for 458 yards and four TDs. But the Bengals keep adding quality tight ends — Tyler Eifert last year, Ryan Hewitt this season. TE James Hanna (Dallas): A sixth-round pick two years ago, Hanna has solidified a roster spot as the Cowboys’ No. 3 tight end. In his first two seasons, Hanna has hauled in 20 catches and serves as an extra blocker in short-yardage situations. CB Demontre Hurst (Chicago): The Bears are loaded with talented cornerbacks, but Hurst played well enough to make the 53-man roster after spending a year on the practice squad. Hurst could eventually work his way into Chicago’s nickel package. S Tony Jefferson (Arizona): Proving he should have been drafted in the third or fourth round, Jefferson will be the Cardinals’ starting strong safety entering the season. As a rookie, Jefferson played in all 16 games, including two starts. He compiled 24 tackles. OT Lane Johnson (Philadelphia): The fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, Johnson will miss the first four games for testing positive for a banned substance. Johnson started all 16 games his rookie season and was an All-Rookie selection, but he won’t be eligible to return until Oct. 5. QB Landry Jones (Pittsburgh): OU’s all-time leading passer, a fourth-round pick in 2013, Jones started the Steelers’ preseason finale but failed to lead Pittsburgh on a scoring drive. Jones, though, held onto his tenuous roster spot as the No. 3 quarterback after completing 57-of-110 passes for 572 yards with two TDs and four interceptions the past two years in preseason games. OG Davin Joseph (St. Louis): The Rams signed the veteran O-lineman, who appeared in 100 games, including 99 starts, the past seven years with Tampa Bay. The two-time Pro Bowler is embracing the fresh start in a team that’s trying to take the next step despite losing Sam Bradford. LB Travis Lewis (Detroit): A reserve, Lewis has appeared in 25 games his first two seasons. Lewis primarily has been relegated to special teams duties, compiling only nine tackles. OT Phil Loadholt (Minnesota): A second-round pick in 2009, the Vikings’ right tackle has started 78 games his first five seasons, missing only two games. Scouts graded him at a Pro-Bowl level last season but he wasn’t named to the squad. He still has three years left on a $25 million extension. LB Curtis Lofton (New Orleans): Ranked in the top 10 among all NFL players for tackles the past five seasons, Lofton begins his seventh season, his third with the Saints. The Kingfisher product compiled 125 tackles last season and has 740 in his career. DT Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay): The third overall pick in the 2010 draft, McCoy turned in a Pro Bowl season. Ranked as one of the top players in the NFL regardless of position, the Southeast High School product collected 50 tackles and 9 1/2 sacks, a breakthrough season that established McCoy an elite defensive tackle. DT Stacy McGee (Oakland): Coming off a solid rookie season, the Muskogee product compiled 15 tackles in 15 games last season that included five starts. McGee will back up veteran Antonio Smith, who signed with Oakland, but the 2013 sixth-round pick is entrenched on the depth chart. FB Trey Millard (San Francisco): A seventh-round draft pick, Millard was placed on the injured reserve list, still working his way back from a knee injury he suffered while in college. RB DeMarco Murray (Dallas): Injuries have always been the key variable. Murray played in 14 games last season to rush for a career high 1,121 yards and seven touchdowns. He also compiled 53 receptions to develop into a two-way threat. He’s missed eight games his first three seasons, but when healthy he’s rushed for 2,681 yards. LB Corey Nelson (Denver): A seventh-round pick, Nelson seized an opportunity when injuries mounted in camp and made the Broncos’ 53-man roster as a weakside linebacker who will also play a key role on special teams. RB Adrian Peterson (Minnesota): After becoming the 28th running back in NFL history to reach 10,000 career yards rushing, Peterson this season can move into the top 15 all-time, leapfrogging names like John Riggins and O.J. Simpson. Entering his eighth season, Peterson rushed for 1,266 yards in 14 games last season. WR Jalen Saunders (NY Jets): The fourth-round pick is one of three receivers the Jets drafted, all fighting for roster spots in addition to several young receivers invited to camp. OT Donald Stephenson (Kansas City): After serving as a backup his first two seasons, Stephenson inherited the starting right tackle job but then was given a suspension for failing the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In his two seasons in his hometown, Stephenson has appeared in all 32 games with the Chiefs, including 14 starts. WR Kenny Stills (New Orleans): A fifth-round pick, Stills was a steal. A big-play threat, Stills hauled in 32 catches his rookie season. His 20.0 yards-per-catch average led the NFL. After a solid debut, Stills is in the starting lineup opposite veteran Marques Colston. No longer limited to third-down snaps, Stills could have a breakout season. P Tress Way (Washington): After being cut by the Bears, Way hooked up with Washington and won its punting job, for now. In the preseason, he had an impressive showing with four punts for a 45.3-yard average and a 43.3-yard net over the final two preseason games. RB Damien Williams (Miami): The rookie earned the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller, beating out veteran Daniel Thomas, the K-State product whose career is now in limbo. OT Trent Williams (Washington): The fourth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Williams is entrenched as the Redskins starting left tackle after developing into one of the best “blind side” blockers in the NFL. Selected to the Pro Bowl, Williams has started 55 games for the Redskins, including all 32 games the past two seasons. OU players who were cut WR Lacolton Bester (Houston): Among eight receivers battling for five roster spots, Bester recorded only one reception in preseason but a strong camp showing could land him a spot on the practice squad after he was one of the Texans final cuts. OT Cory Brandon (Arizona): In his fourth season, with his third team, Brandon was on the Bears’ practice squad two years ago and was briefly activated without appearing in a game. He signed with the Cardinals and hopes to be re-signed to the practice squad. RB Brennan Clay (Denver): The unrestricted free agent caused a stir in camp with his trash talking and all-out, physical style but was cut. It was a tough roster to crack with Monte Ball entrenched as the starter backed up by Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson. LB Keenan Clayton (Arizona): Originally a fourth-round pick by Philadelphia, Clayton compiled 48 career tackles in 36 games in three seasons with the Eagles and Raiders. He wasn’t on an active NFL roster last season but was trying to revive his career with the Cardinals. RB Roy Finch (New England): After an up-and-down career with the Sooners, Finch had a strong training camp. He didn’t make the final roster but has a good shot to be re-signed to the Patriots practice squad. CB Jamell Fleming (Jacksonville): In his second season with the Jaguars, after two seasons with the Cardinals, Fleming faced stiff competition for one of the final two backup cornerback vacancies and wasn’t beaten out for the final vacancy. CB Dominique Franks (Baltimore): He played in only 13 defensive snaps last season with the Falcons, but because of injuries he seized an opportunity in his first Ravens training camp. With cornerback Aaron Ross out for the season the Ravens’ depth has taken a hit. He was cut but the former fifth-round pick could resurface with the Ravens. C Gabe Ikard (Tennessee): An undrafted free agent, the McGuinness product was competing for a shot on the 53-man roster but was waived after suffering a knee injury. OT Bronson Irwin (Houston): The undrafted rookie signed late in the summer with the Texans and lasted until the final cut on Saturday which could be a sign the Mustang product will be re-signed to the Texans’ practice squad on Sunday. DE David King (Cincinnati): He spent part of last season on the Bengals’ practice squad, which puts him back in the competition for a roster spot but once again failed to make the 53-man roster. Another season on the practice squad would allow him to stay in the mix if he’s resigned by the Bengals on Sunday. WR Jaz Reynolds (Tennessee): An undrafted free agent, Reynolds is one of a dozen receivers in camp. He was a long shot to grab one of the five or six receiver spots but is still hoping to land a practice roster spot. DT Casey Walker (Carolina): An undrafted free agent, Walker spent most of last seasons on the Panthers’ practice squad. He was cut on Saturday but once again should land a spot on the practice squad, hoping to eventually join former OU teammate Frank Alexander in the Panthers’ D-line rotation.
ATLANTA (AP) — Justin Thomas is ready to take plenty of hits as Georgia Tech's starting quarterback.It's all part of the job in coach Paul Johnson's spread option offense.Quarterbacks carry the ball as much as running backs. They are tackled lightly in practice, even during the season, to get ready for the hammering they take in games."No big deal," Thomas said Tuesday. "I'm just as big as...
Justin Thomas takes over at QB for Georgia Tech
GEORGE HENRY, Associated Press | Aug 26, 2014ATLANTA (AP) — Justin Thomas is ready to take plenty of hits as Georgia Tech's starting quarterback. It's all part of the job in coach Paul Johnson's spread option offense. Quarterbacks carry the ball as much as running backs. They are tackled lightly in practice, even during the season, to get ready for the hammering they take in games. "No big deal," Thomas said Tuesday. "I'm just as big as anyone out there. I'm 190. It's all the same. I'm just going out there playing football, something I've been doing since I was a little kid. I'm ready." When the Yellow Jackets open the season Saturday at home against Wofford, Thomas will be Johnson's most recent full-time starting quarterback, following Josh Nesbitt, Tevin Washington and Vad Lee. All have stayed relatively healthy. Nesbitt's season-ending injury, a broken arm in November 2010, occurred as he tried to tackle a Virginia Tech player following an interception. "If you go back and look, we've been here six years, and it's the same party line every year — that guys are going to get knocked out and you need to have two or three of them with the licks they take," Johnson said. "To be the best of my knowledge, we haven't one knocked out yet." The 5-foot-11 Thomas, listed at 185 pounds by the school, easily beat out Tim Byerly for the job in spring and summer practices. Johnson says that Thomas has proven quick enough to compensate for an undersized frame. "Can Justin Thomas, at 185, do the same things that Josh Nesbitt, at 220, did on short yardage? Probably not," Johnson said. "But if you're good at reading (the defense) and you're good at doing other things, you don't have to. If we call a 'follow' play, J.T. ain't going to go, 'Oh, no.' He's going to run it." Thomas will run an offense that's finished among the nation's top six in rushing during each of its six years under Johnson, and the coach is again returning to his playbook roots. Lee, last year's starter, occasionally took snaps in a shotgun formation to take advantage of his passing arm, but that approach has been scrapped by Johnson to best use Thomas' skills as a perimeter runner and passer. Thomas' primary asset is speed. He won the 100 meters with a time of 10.79 seconds among Alabama's top three high school classifications. In 33 attempts last year for the Jackets, he averaged 7.1 yards per carry in 33 rushing attempts. "I think we're pretty good at what we do," Johnson said. "Contrary to popular opinion, you can't run the BYU passing offense one week and then transition to what we do and then the next week (use a) run zone read. You can do it, but you're not going to be any good at it. So it's like you want to get good at something." Georgia Tech, which went 7-6 last year, is one of only 11 FBS schools that don't have a current quarterback with a career start. Thomas played in 10 games last year, Byerly in four. "We totally support each other," Thomas said. "Tim's got my back and I've got his. We just want to win." Johnson says that Thomas has the skills and smarts needed to help the Jackets do what they do best — control time of possession and wear down the defense. "Depending on how they're playing and how you block it and how you change things, you've got to be good at the fundamentals or it doesn't matter," Johnson said. "If you can't read the thing and you can't keep the ball off the ground, it doesn't matter." ___ Follow George Henry at www.twitter.com/georgehenryAP
Aug 22, 2014
So if most sports movies are about underdogs, how do you make a film about a football team that goes on a 150-game winning streak? According to “When the Game Stands Tall,” you focus on what happens when the streak ends.
'When the Game Stands Tall' is a flawed film with a good message
Josh Terry, Deseret News | Aug 22, 2014So if most sports movies are about underdogs, how do you make a film about a football team that goes on a 150-game winning streak? “When the Game Stands Tall” focuses on what happens when the streak ends. “When the Game Stands Tall” is based on the true story of the De La Salle Spartans, a high school football team out of California that set a massive winning streak record through the 1990s and into the early 2000s. The film picks up at the end of the 2003 season, as the winning streak passes 150 games and the Spartans’ senior class passes the torch to the next generation. While many of the players move on, their legendary coach, Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) stays on staff. This is a great relief to his starting wide receiver and son Danny (Matthew Daddario), as well as running back Chris Ryan (Alexander Ludwig), who has set his sights on the state touchdown record. Coach Ladouceur has built his program on fundamentals and character instead of focusing on winning streaks. But as the team gets ready for its ’04 campaign, it begins to show cracks in the coach’s foundation. There are also peripheral concerns. Coach Ladouceur is getting regular recruitment pitches from major colleges. Former players are facing challenges as they prepare for college and struggle to leave their old lives behind. And the coach himself is dealing with the aftermath of a heart attack that threatens his position on the sidelines while his wife, Bev (Laura Dern), is strained due to his alienation from his family duties. All of this comes to a head in the team’s first game, a loss that puts the first blemish on the school’s record in more than a decade. But as the film moves forward, it becomes clear that winning football games is only part of the adversity that “When the Game Stands Tall” intends to address. There are plenty of nice moments to go around through the film’s hour and 55 minute running time. But at the same time, there’s a sense that “When the Game Stands Tall” is spread a bit too thin. Certain plot lines come and go, sometimes without resolution; big “chill” moments arrive with a fanfare you’re not sure they’ve earned; and you begin to feel like you’re seeing the highlight reel for a much longer movie. The film also has a bad habit of using dialogue to tell us why something is important instead of showing us the same thing. “When the Game Stands Tall” deserves credit for the positive message it is trying to give its audience, but its determination to communicate the ideals of teamwork and character sometimes overrides its artistic sensibilities. Having the characters tell us the moral makes the message clear, but showing that message through action would have left a deeper impression. Like 2004’s “Friday Night Lights,” which was also based on a true story, “When the Game Stands Tall” wisely puts its focus on the characters inside the football pads rather than getting carried away with the games themselves. But Peter Berg’s direction of “Friday Night Lights” put a distinctive style on a sharp story, where Thomas Carter hasn’t quite brought “When the Game Stands Tall” into focus. None of these flaws are critical wounds to the film’s overall feel, which, aside from some annoying product placement by way of the fine people at Dick’s Sporting Goods, comes across as sincere. But the flaws will be enough to keep “When the Game Stands Tall” from rising to the upper level of inspiring sports movies. “When the Game Stands Tall” is rated PG for some violent content, including some on-field action that would make the sound effects from the “Rocky” films feel conservative.
Aug 22, 2014
There really wasn’t much Casady didn’t do correctly, as it dominated all three teams in its only tuneup before the first game of the regular season next week at Holland Hall.
High school football: Casady dominant in its only preseason tuneup
By Jacob Unruh | Aug 22, 2014Casady wide receiver Denver Johnson gave the Cyclones an A-minus when asked how the team performed during Friday’s scrimmage against Christian Heritage Academy, Centennial and U.S. Grant. There really wasn’t much Casady didn’t do correctly, as it dominated all three teams in its only tuneup before the first game of the regular season next week at Holland Hall. “We had a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but mostly ups,” Johnson said. “We just wanted to see how we did going against somebody else. We put in a lot of work this summer, and we just wanted to see how we progressed and where we’re at. Now we’re ready for game time.” Johnson had a touchdown reception and fell a half yard shy of scoring another. Quarterback T’Quan Wallace was rarely off the mark. Gary Woods was impressive wherever he played. The state’s top prospect, Josh Wariboko-Alali, was dominant on both sides of the ball at the line. It was exactly what Casady coach Koby Scoville was hoping to see in the 60-play scrimmage. “We had a couple position questions I think we got answered,” he said. “I thought our defense looked outstanding. Tickled to death. I think we’re ready to go. “We’re still not world-beaters by any means. We’ve still got to stay focused and keep practicing hard, but if we’re headed in the direction we’re headed we’re going to be all right.” CHA’S RUNNING GAME IMPROVES A shaky start against Casady didn’t derail Christian Heritage’s running game. The Crusaders, led by running back Joseph Lemieux improved against Centennial and U.S. Grant, scoring multiple times on the ground and breaking long runs. “The first one against Casady wasn’t very good, but they have a pretty big defensive line and I think it was more jitters,” Lemieux said. Senior quarterback Spencer Lindsey also looked sharp at times, but then at times looked off the mark. “I think we can be pretty good if we can stay healthy,” Lemieux. “We should be one of the better run teams in the state.” One CHA offensive lineman did suffer an injury. Senior Josh Street went down early with a knee injury. He did not return. CENTENNIAL’S PEREZ DELIVERS HARD HITS Centennial linebacker Luis Perez was ready to hit somebody other than his own teammate. He did just that, delivering a blow just a few plays into the scrimmage on a runner from U.S. Grant that knocked the wind out of the runner along with the ball. “It was built up from all of the practices,” Perez said. “I’m ready to show people I’m not a two-hit wonder and that I can actually do this constantly. I love my team, and I’d do anything for my team. I love hitting.” Perez, who is moving to linebacker this season after playing on the defensive line last season, was all over the field for the Bison, making multiple big hits. Now, he just hopes he can deliver that once the season starts. “He’s a perfectionist,” Centennial coach Don Willis said. “He just wants to do it right.” U.S. GRANT SHOWS SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT With nearly 50 players at the scrimmage, first-year U.S. Grant coach Matt Lane saw some improvement on the field. “They were ready to go when we showed up,” Lane said. “This was the most aggressive, physical play that we’ve had. There was kids that we didn’t think could hit that were laying people out.” Defensive back Waymon Thomas was one of those kids, coming from one side of the field to another to make a hard hit against Centennial. Lane said his players got a little tired by the end of the scrimmage, but he was happy with how they competed. He was also pleased with the progress of quarterback Cesar Payan. “The passes weren’t on the mark, but he was making the right reads,” Lane said. “That means he’s getting better.”
Thomas has moved from District A-2 to A-1, and the majority of the district’s coaches pick the Terriers to be the A-1 champions. Thomas knows a lot about two of its district foes — Sayre and Burns Flat-Dill City also made the move from A-2 — and is familiar with the rest of the district. The Terriers faced current district foe Texhoma in a playoff game last year, giving them an idea of what...
High school football: District A-1 preview: Thomas picked to win district
By Jonathan Greco, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org | Aug 21, 2014Thomas has moved from District A-2 to A-1, and the majority of the district’s coaches pick the Terriers to be the A-1 champions. Thomas knows a lot about two of its district foes — Sayre and Burns Flat-Dill City also made the move from A-2 — and is familiar with the rest of the district. The Terriers faced current district foe Texhoma in a playoff game last year, giving them an idea of what panhandle football is like. “We’ve been out in the panhandle a few different times, and we know the teams we’re playing out there,” Terriers coach Bob Ward said. “The schools are very similar. They’ll be good competition and it’ll be very competitive.” MOORELAND COACH CHALLENGES OFFENSIVE LINE The Bearcats are returning a lot of experience in 2014, with 10 offensive starters and nine defensive starters coming back. While coach Frank Howard liked how his team played last year and wants all of his players to improve upon last year’s playoff-less 6-4 season, he especially is challenging the offensive line if his team is going to make a run at the playoffs. “We’re really hoping that those offensive linemen step it up and make a big impact for us this year,” Howard said. “They’re going to have to be a lot more physical. They have to open up holes for us and be more consistent on blocking the right guy.” TEXHOMA CO-OPTING WITH GOODWELL Instead of co-opting with Yarbrough this year, Goodwell will be sending some of its football players to Texhoma for the 2014 season. Texhoma’s new coach Ryan Jackson and the Red Devils welcome nine Goodwell players, giving Texhoma 33 varsity players. Of the nine, three or four of the players from Goodwell should be starters, Jackson said. “This helps tremendously with depth and size,” Jackson. “It’s meshing really well. Everything is good.” EXTRA POINTS Thomas quarterback Trent Dunaway is back for his senior year and has improved since last year simply in the fact he has a better understanding of the offense, Ward said. … Mooreland’s Kyler Hensley had a productive sophomore year, posting more than 2,000 total yards and 20 touchdowns as a dual-threat quarterback. He is also a team captain this year. ... Beaver will be looking for another solid year from running back Hadley Skaggs, who ran for 1,225 yards and 14 touchdowns during his junior season. … Texhoma’s players, led by senior quarterback Jacob Test, are adjusting to new coach Jackson’s scheme well considering he and former Red Devils head coach Aaron Witten come from similar backgrounds and have similar coaching styles. DISTRICT A-1 COACHES’ POLL 1. Thomas (10-2) 2. Fairview (7-4) 3. Mooreland (6-4) 4. Texhoma (5-6) 5. Hooker (2-7) 6. Beaver (2-8) 7. Sayre (3-6) 8. Burns Flat-Dill City (0-10) *Last year’s records in parentheses
Aug 21, 2014
NORMAN — Oklahoma’s secondary is the defensive unit facing the most questions and uncertainty entering 2014. The Sooners lost cornerback Aaron Colvin and free safety Gabe Lynn off last year’s team, leaving glaring holes in two key positions on the Oklahoma defense. OU coaches have moved a seasoned veteran into one of those spots, though, allowing senior Julian Wilson to finally play the...
Oklahoma football: Secondary facing questions
By Jason Kersey | Aug 21, 2014NORMAN — Oklahoma’s secondary is the defensive unit facing the most questions and uncertainty entering 2014. The Sooners lost cornerback Aaron Colvin and free safety Gabe Lynn off last year’s team, leaving glaring holes in two key positions on the Oklahoma defense. OU coaches have moved a seasoned veteran into one of those spots, though, allowing senior Julian Wilson to finally play the position he was recruited to play. Wilson was a standout cornerback at Southmoore High, but has played nickelback and dimeback throughout his career — until now. “I played boundary corner in high school, so really now, being able to do that at the college football level is really exciting,” Wilson said. Coaches haven’t named a starter at the cornerback position opposite Zack Sanchez, but all signs point to Wilson emerging from the long competition with junior Cortez Johnson and sophomore Dakota Austin and Stanvon Taylor. “A starter isn't named yet, so really all I can do is go out there and compete every day until they name the starter next Saturday,” Wilson said. “So really, I’m not worrying about starting, I’m just going out there, reviewing the film and making sure I don't make the same mistakes I made the day before.” Wilson started all 13 games last season at nickelback. That spot is likely to be filled by senior Quentin Hayes, last year’s strong safety. Sophomores Hatari Byrd and Ahmad Thomas are competing with true freshman Steven Parker, a former Jenks standout, for the safety spots. “I think they’ve all had good camps,” said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “We haven’t really set a final rotation, but I’m rotating all four of them at different positions. So they’re all interchangeable pieces for us. “All four will play. They all have worked hard and deserve the opportunity to play.”
Aug 21, 2014
NORMAN — Oklahoma senior Blake Bell said after Thursday’s practice that he hasn’t taken a snap at quarterback since early January. But multiple sources confirmed to The Oklahoman that Bell has been splitting some of his time this week in practice between his new position — tight end — and his old one. Bell’s limited […]
Oklahoma football: Sources confirm Blake Bell taking limited practice reps at quarterback
Jason Kersey | Aug 21, 2014NORMAN — Oklahoma senior Blake Bell said after Thursday’s practice that he hasn’t taken a snap at quarterback since early January. But multiple sources confirmed to The Oklahoman that Bell has been splitting some of his time this week in practice between his new position — tight end — and his old one. Bell’s limited quarterback repetitions have only come against the second-team defense, and coaches have only been working him there as possible insurance in case something happens to starter Trevor Knight. Earlier this week, coach Bob Stoops said redshirt freshman Cody Thomas would likely be Knight’s primary backup, but according to sources, Thomas has been injured, which is why Bell has split second-team reps this week with true freshman Justice Hansen. Thomas’ injury isn’t believed to be serious. He was dressed out in full pads for the open portion of Thursday’s practice, when students and media were allowed inside. Bell didn’t take any snaps at quarterback during the open portion of practice. The Sooners also have sophomore Baker Mayfield on the roster, but he is battling the NCAA for immediate eligibility after transferring from Texas Tech, where he started several games and played well last season as a true freshman. The walk-on Mayfield would in all likelihood be Knight’s backup — eliminating the need for Bell to work at all at quarterback — if he were eligible. Bell came to OU as a four-star quarterback from Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, Kan., and served as the backup to Landry Jones in 2012. He also scored 24 rushing touchdowns over two seasons in the special “Belldozer” package. Knight beat Bell out for the starting quarterback job to begin the 2013 season, but Bell replaced him in the fourth quarter of the second game and started eight times in 2013. He also came off the bench to lead OU to a last-minute touchdown to shock No. 6 Oklahoma State in Stillwater in the Sooners’ regular-season finale. But after Knight’s MVP performance in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama, Bell moved to tight end, and until this week, that’s where he’d worked exclusively. Bell completed 60.1 percent of his passes last season for 1,648 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Summerville coach John McKissick heads the group of nine standout high school coaches named to the South Carolina Football Coaches Association's first Hall of Fame class.The group will be enshrined at a banquet in Myrtle Beach on Dec. 12th.McKissick is the country's winningest high school coach with career mark of 613-151-11, all at Summerville. The 87-year-old coach...
Summerville's McKissick in SCFCA Hall of Fame
Associated Press | Aug 20, 2014COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Summerville coach John McKissick heads the group of nine standout high school coaches named to the South Carolina Football Coaches Association's first Hall of Fame class. The group will be enshrined at a banquet in Myrtle Beach on Dec. 12th. McKissick is the country's winningest high school coach with career mark of 613-151-11, all at Summerville. The 87-year-old coach starts his 63rd season with the Green Wave this month, seeking his 11th state championship. Others named to the hall were Pinky Babb, Paul Chapman, Bob Rankin, Keith Richardson, Doug Shaw, Thomas L. Smith, Joe Turbeville and Willie Varner. Varner coached 42 years at Woodruff, where he won 10 state championships and 383 games. Babb coached 38 years at Greenwood, winning 346 games and eight state titles.
Aug 20, 2014
END OF AN ERA — Some say it’s cyclical. Some say it’s just the way things are now. But are we seeing the end of the feature back era? Former Oklahoma standout Adrian Peterson is one of the last true feature backs. Both OU and OSU now feature the running back position by committee and many NFL teams are doing the same.
College football: Could Adrian Peterson be the end of the feature back era?
BY CODY STAVENHAGEN, Staff Writer, email@example.com | Aug 20, 2014Ten years ago, Adrian Peterson set college football’s conventional wisdom up in flames by rushing for an NCAA freshman record 1,925 yards. Built in the Earl Campbell mold of a workhorse running back, he has gone on to a storied NFL career featuring six Pro Bowls and an MVP season. Thanks largely to his style, there’s little debate against “All Day” being the best running back in the league. But as career expectancies decline and the running-back-by-committee becomes more popular, could he be among the last of a dying breed? ‘WHY SHOULDN’T WE GIVE HIM THE BALL?’ Before Peterson ever took a handoff for the Oklahoma Sooners, he carried every expectation that comes with being the nation’s No. 1 player — a 6-foot-1, 217-pound running back with a 4.3-second 40-yard dash time. But Chuck Long, OU’s offensive coordinator from 2002-05, knew to keep his outlook realistic. “You always think, ‘Well, he was great in high school and he’s the No. 1 player in the country and all that, but this is a new level,’” Long said. “It was going to take some time.” OU quarterback Jason White, the defending Heisman Trophy winner heading into that 2004 season, found out quickly that didn’t apply to Peterson. “When he walks into the training facility as a freshman, we were all looking at this guy like, ‘He looks like he’s been here for five years,’” White said. “His build, the way he ran, things like that, it was like, ‘Holy cow, this guy is definitely not a freshman.’” Soon after, Long discovered for himself. “We knew by Day Two of practice, probably Day One of pads, he could play at this level right away,” Long said. “In all my years of playing and coaching, especially coaching, I’ve never seen a kid that I felt that way about right away. The only other guy I played with was Barry Sanders.” At 18 years old, Peterson was sculpted like a god, carried himself like a senior and was gifted with unmatched competitive drive. “At times in practice, we had to tell him to settle down, tell him, ‘You don’t have to do that, those are your teammates, we don’t want them hurt,’” Long said. Built in the Earl Campbell mold of a workhorse tailback, Peterson was quickly used like one. Despite having a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback, the Sooners started moving away from shotgun sets, putting White under center and letting Peterson go to work as a deep back. He carried 339 times that season. That’s three more carries per game than Billy Sims got out of a wishbone offense for OU in 1978. “I remember talking with the coaches and saying, ‘Hey, the guy can fly, he runs hard every time he touches the ball, he doesn’t turn it over. Why shouldn’t we give him the ball?’” White said. Peterson ended up second to USC’s Matt Leinart in the Heisman Trophy voting, and White — who finished third — said he still thinks Peterson should have won. Ten years later, Peterson is the Minnesota Vikings’ franchise player, and in 2012 — a year after tearing his ACL— he won the NFL MVP after running for 2,097 yards. He carried 348 times that season, a rarity in today’s NFL. But not all that long ago, bell-cow backs were synonymous with stardom. HOT COMMODITIES If anyone knows the value of the running back position, it’s Barry Switzer. The legendary OU coach had true feature backs with Marcus Dupree out of the I-formation at OU and Emmitt Smith with the Dallas Cowboys. However, Switzer is best known as the innovator of the multiple-back wishbone offense. In the late 1970s, Switzer had three first-round NFL picks (Sims, David Overstreet and Elvis Peacock) and a third-round pick (Kenny King) playing in the same backfield. With Switzer as the master, the halfback position caused some of the most heated recruiting wars in history. “I had to have one,” Switzer said. “I had four picks in my backfield at the same time because we recruited a bevy of them. We were a three-back offense. We ran the football.” At the same time, Switzer recognized how to use one elite runner in an option-based offense. “The wishbone isn’t a place to get the ball to a halfback 30 times a game, but I made sure when Billy Sims went in the ballgame, we had enough predetermined plays where Billy is going to touch it,” Switzer said. Up the road at Oklahoma State, Pat Jones helped architect Tailback U. Jones recruited and coached all-time greats in Thurman Thomas and Sanders, and though Jones said he doesn’t believe the running back position is dying, he does admit it was in greater demand in the days before spread offenses were the norm. “(Running backs) were hard to get, because there’s still not many elite guys,” Jones said. “Now when everybody, the high schools in this state, were running the wishbone, there were more guys who lined up at that position. How good they were is debatable, but there were more guys that lined up at running back.” Schematics or not, there’s no denying running backs dominated the game. A telling fact: A back won the Heisman Trophy every year from 1972-83. Only two (Reggie Bush and Mark Ingram) have won it since 2000 — and one of those was vacated. “In one era, you had Billy Sims, Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson, Thurman Thomas, all about the same period of time,” Jones said. “There’s a bust in Canton of every one of them, but it all goes in cycles as far as elite guys.” TAILBACK DEPRESSION So why are so few of these thoroughbreds left? First, running back is likely the most physically demanding position in football. The average career expectancy for NFL running backs is 3.1 years, and the number continues to shrink. A recent Washington Post study predicts Peterson himself has less than three seasons left in the tank. “No. 1 is more punishment,” Long said. “Defensive players are getting faster, they’re stronger. So something’s got to give.” And of course, there’s the influx of pass-heavy offenses. In 1980, the NFL’s run-pass ratio was nearly 50-50. Since 2000, playoff teams had a combined ratio of 46 percent run and 54 percent pass. Defenses have changed, too. The advent of amoeba eight-man fronts with versatile linebackers and safeties makes it difficult to scheme for the running game. Those reasons alone have caused NFL contract values to gravitate away from running backs. This offseason, the top 10 free-agent running backs signed for an average value of $2.47 million per year. The top 10 receivers signed for an average of $4.8 million. There’s also a continuing shift toward running-back-by-committee approaches in college and the NFL. In the pros, backfield tandems such as Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller with the Buffalo Bills are commonplace. Last season, top-10 college teams had their lead back receive close to 40 percent of the team’s total carries. From a historic scope, that number is a decline, but not radically low. However, OU and OSU are both schools rich with tradition at running back, and both have used committee approaches in recent years. OSU sophomore Rennie Childs said he joined the Cowboys knowing he’d be used in some sort of committee, and sees the benefits of it. “I feel like it just brings different types of running styles to the game and throwing different things at the defense,” Childs said. “Then we can have fresh legs by switching out running backs.” But the old guard contends if elite backs were around, they would be used as such. “When you have Adrian Peterson or Billy Sims or somebody that you need to have touch the ball 30 times a game, they need to play where they can touch it 30 times because they’re difference makers,” Switzer said. “They separate themselves from the committee and they become chairman of the board.” And there’s little basis for the idea that players who once would have become Hall of Fame running backs are now playing other positions. “I ask if you’re going to put Earl Campbell at wideout,” Jones said. “Then I get a bunch of blank stares. Are you going to put Eric Dickerson or Billy Sims and play them at wideout? Hell no you’re not.” Teams at all levels are going away from the idea of using one feature back for a variety of reasons, but in the rare cases like when Peterson walked through the doors at OU, special talent prevails. Feature backs might be an endangered species, but there’s little reason to think they will be extinct anytime soon. “You’re going to have a Marcus Dupree, Emmitt Smith, Adrian Peterson coming down the road,” Long said. “Everybody was talking about Michael Jordan, who’s going to be the next Michael Jordan? Well, LeBron James is pretty good. I still think there’s going to be those guys, those special backs in the future. You could be in that cycle where there’s not right now, but there will be soon.”
Edmond Santa Fe, Norman North, Westmoore and Tulsa Union — four of the best teams in the state — will all be on the turf at Norman's Harve Collins Field.
High school football: Norman North-Edmond Santa Fe highlight scrimmage action
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org | Aug 20, 2014A year ago this week, all eyes were on one high school scrimmage. Edmond Santa Fe and Norman North were set to meet as part of a four-team scrimmage with two of the top quarterbacks in the nation. A year later, Santa Fe's Justice Hansen is fighting for the backup job at Oklahoma and Norman North's David Cornwell is trying to climb the depth chart at Alabama. But the same scrimmage still has fans buzzing. Edmond Santa Fe, Norman North, Westmoore and Tulsa Union — four of the best teams in the state — will all be on the turf at Norman's Harve Collins Field beginning at 3:50 p.m. Thursday. At 6, Westmoore will face Union in a game-like scrimmage, with Edmond Santa Fe and Norman North following at 7. Norman North once again has a Division I quarterback in Oklahoma State commit John Kolar, while Keaton Torre is behind center for Edmond Santa Fe. Only a junior, he already has an offer from Louisville and is expected to be one of the state's top players in the 2016 class. Westmoore, which made its rise toward the top of Class 6A last season, has perhaps the state's best group of wide receivers, led by Louisville commit Dahu Green. Here's a list of notable scrimmages involving Oklahoma City-area teams Thursday and Friday: Thursday Tuttle at Cache McGuinness at Lawton MacArthur Southeast, Bridge Creek at Little Axe Chandler, Western Heights at McLoud Edmond Santa Fe, Westmoore, Tulsa Union at Norman North Millwood, Purcell at Plainview Del City at Putnam City North Edmond North, Deer Creek at Putnam City West Friday Midwest City, Mustang at Muskogee Noble at Ardmore Harrah, Newcastle at Bethany Washington, Crooked Oak, Holdenville at Bethel Southmoore at Carl Albert Christian Heritage, U.S. Grant at Casady Shawnee, Tecumseh, Sand Springs at Choctaw Dibble at Community Christian Destiny Christian at Coyle Thomas at Crescent Rush Springs at Crossings Christian Moore at Edmond Memorial Clinton at El Reno Putnam City at Enid Cashion at Hennessey Holland Hall at Heritage Hall Luther, Summit Christian at Kiefer Douglass, Guthrie, Tulsa Kelley at Langston Jones, Cushing at Meeker Apache at Minco Marlow at Pauls Valley Perkins-Tryon at Perry Kingfisher at Piedmont Mount St. Mary at OCS Yukon, Tulsa Washington, Jenks at Sapulpa Lexington at Wayne