Light career hangs in balance

first_img The Aidan O’Brien-trained four-year-old, who also won the St Leger last season, was badly hampered by the eventual winner Forgotten Rules in the British Champions Long Distance Cup, and the result of the incident was injuries to both his front legs. O’Brien feels the setback may be enough to force the son of Montjeu into retirement. Ascot Gold Cup winner Leading Light may have run his last race after picking up a nasty injury at Ascot on Saturday. The Ballydoyle handler said: “It was an unfortunate incident and the unfortunate part was the horse came out of it the wrong side. “He has two very bad injuries to both his front legs and there’s a chance he might never race again. It’s very disappointing.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

UW play-action bewilders NIU

first_imgJames White (center) attempts to slip by two NIU defenders Saturday, something he did often in gaining 126 total yards a score.[/media-credit]CHICAGO – Opposing defenses are going to have to learn not to turn their backs on Wisconsin’s passing game.Time and time again in Wisconsin’s (3-0) 49-7 win over Northern Illinois (1-2) Saturday, quarterback Russell Wilson feigned a handoff and connected downfield to an open teammate, taking advantage of the tendency of Northern Illinois’ safeties to fill the holes against Wisconsin’s well-known run game.Midway through Wisconsin’s second drive of the game, on a handoff to running back James White, wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was flagged for a block in the back when the Northern Illinois defender quickly turned his back on the wide receiver to cover the run.The play caught the eye of UW head coach Bret Bielema and his coaching staff, who then deduced that the play-action should leave targets open downfield.“That first penalty on Abby, the safeties were turning their shoulders right away to fill on the run game and we can’t put our hands on them – Abby did,” Bielema said. “But as soon as they do that, the counter-action to that is, they can’t see what our receivers are doing. Once they started doing that, that’s why I went to the play action.”Easily the best example of that strategy’s success came in the third quarter with the Badgers on the Huskies’ 9-yard line. Wilson faked the hand-off to running back Montee Ball, turned around and tossed a touchdown pass to Jacob Pedersen, who was standing upright and alone in the endzone.Nobody was within five yards of the redshirt sophomore by the time the ball landed in his hands.“That was nice,” Pedersen said. “We’ve been working on that all week. We saw teams bringing that safety down hard and everything and it popped and worked just the way we hoped it would.”Two of Wilson’s three touchdown passes stemmed from the play-action while several other chain-moving throws – including a 38-yard pass to Abbrederis and a 55-yard pass to Pedersen – did, as well.The long passes to Abbrederis and Pedersen were two other examples of the play-action’s effectiveness, as both plays saw the two Badgers slip by all three levels of NIU’s defense before making the grab.In completing 23-of-32 passes for 347 yards (and one interception) Wilson was able to hit seven targets – four of which gained at least 50 yards receiving.Abbrederis led the team in that category, with six catches for 83 yards, while Nick Toon scored two touchdowns on top of his five catches for 75 yards.Pedersen and fullback Bradie Ewing, meanwhile, combined for 115 yards on six receptions.“It’s a positive thing for our football team, that a lot of guys can make a lot of great plays,” Wilson said. “Just giving the ball to the right guy, that’s my job, to just facilitate the ball to the right guy at the right time and make plays when I need to. So that’s a positive thing and we’re doing a great job of doing that right now.”Wilson also combined the play-action with rolling out of the pocket – sometimes appearing by design and other times as improvisation.With Northern Illinois determined to stop Wisconsin’s running backs, Wilson’s ability to expand the game outside of the pocket – to throw or tuck and run – went a long way in helping UW gain a season-best 621 yards of total offense.Wilson gained an additional 37 yards on the ground on five attempts and avoided getting sacked on the day, leading his head coach to come away from Saturday’s win with the highest of praise.“Russell Wilson, he’s a guy that he knows the plan, he knows how to stick to it, but he can adapt very well,” Bielema said. “Very creative. Some of those plays that he got us out of with his feet were extraordinary.“He’s playing at a high, high level, if there’s somebody that’s better out there right now I’d like to see him compete.”last_img read more

Even at 4-6, Steelers hardly out of playoff hunt

first_imgMike Tomlin talks with cornerback Ike Taylor (24) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Pittsburgh, Nov. 17. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH (AP) – The math is tantalizing.The schedule is favorable.The middle of the AFC is a mess.Suddenly, things are looking up for the Pittsburgh Steelers.Consecutive wins over Buffalo and Detroit have Pittsburgh (4-6) in position to play meaningful football into December if not January.“We feel like we have a good team, but when we mention those things, people say ‘Your record says you’re not,” wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. “We’ve just got to continue to fight this thing out and see what happens. We have to keep it going.”Cotchery allows his team’s margin for error is “nonexistent,” though the final six weeks hardly look intimidating.Starting with Sunday’s game at Cleveland (4-6), the Steelers face just one team with a winning record the rest of the way. And even that Dec. 15 showdown with AFC North-leading Cincinnati is at Heinz Field.The other five games include two against the Browns, a Thanksgiving night matchup at struggling Baltimore (4-6) and a visit by the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 8.What was billed as the return of former Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace could take a backseat to something considerably more substantial.Miami and the New York Jets are tied for the sixth and final AFC playoff spot at 5-5. Pittsburgh already owns the tiebreaker over the Jets after picking up a victory on the road last month.It’s not much hope to cling to, but it beats the alternative. The Steelers were reading the obituary on their season after a humbling 55-31 loss to New England dropped them to 2-6 at the midway point and 15th in the 16-team AFC.Two promising weeks later, they’re 10th with plenty of time left.The crossroads may have come in the fourth quarter against Detroit. The Lions had just botched a fake field goal attempt but pinned the Steelers at their own 3 early in the fourth quarter.Facing third-and-9, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for a 16-yard gain. The drive ended in a touchdown and Pittsburgh was on its way to its most significant victory of the season.“I don’t know if it’s a turning point, but hopefully we can look back in 3-4 months and say it was,” tight end Heath Miller said.This isn’t the first time this fall Pittsburgh appeared poised to break out of a rut. The Steelers beat the Jets and the Ravens after an 0-4 start and spark belief that better days were ahead.Pittsburgh then went out and bumbled its way to a 21-18 loss to Oakland before Tom Brady picked the Steelers apart and sent the franchise into full-blown crisis mode.Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau talked about going back to “page one” in the playbook after giving up 610 yards to the Patriots. He vowed to simplify things and his defense has responded with a pair of solid performances.The Steelers overwhelmed Buffalo quarterback E.J. Manuel in a 23-10 romp and shut down the high-powered Lions after surviving a 27-point deluge in the second quarter.Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford completed just 3 of 16 passes after halftime and wide receiver Calvin Johnson never got his hands on the ball in the second half as Pittsburgh rallied.Perhaps just as encouraging as the results were the plays the Steelers were able to produce. Lawrence Timmons recovered a fumble and returned it 30 yards to set up a score.Nose tackle Steve McLendon forced Lions holder Sam Martin to fumble during the fake field goal and safety Will Allen intercepted Stafford in the fourth quarter to put Roethlisberger in position for the game-clinching touchdown.Those were the kind of plays Pittsburgh didn’t make for several weeks early in the season, something that weighed on them in the locker room.“When you’re not getting them, you try to downplay it like it doesn’t matter,” safety Ryan Clark said. “But when you’re getting them you understand they help you win.”A pattern that will have to continue if the Steelers want to avoid missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time this millennium.“We’ve got to be mentally tough,” cornerback Ike Taylor said. “We know it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”NOTES: Coach Mike Tomlin said LB LaMarr Woodley, DE Brett Keisel and G Ramon Foster will have a chance to play against the Browns. All three starters sat out the Lions game because of injury. … The Steelers signed former Pitt running back Ray Graham to the practice squad on Tuesday. Graham rushed for 3,271 yards in four seasons with the Panthers from 2009-2012.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.orglast_img read more

Oly Town Artesian’s JJ Olson Returns From Injury to Win WISL…

first_imgFacebook11Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Oly Town ArtesiansReturning for the first time from an off-season injury, Oly Town Artesians goalkeeper JJ Olson made 26 saves and held the high-powered Bellingham offense to just two goals over the first three quarters on Saturday night, and was voted Western Indoor Soccer League Defensive Player Of The Week for week 10 by league coaches and club operators.The Saint Martin’s grad played a game for the ages. On The Pavilion’s small field that traditionally yields high scores and against the #2 team in the league both in record and in scoring who scored 14 goals on the Artesians earlier in the season, Olson held Bellingham to just one goal at even strength in a 5-4 loss. He made 26 saves despite facing constant pressure while Oly Town’s offense struggled to keep possession in the second half. Eventually, the Hammers took advantage and scored two power play goals and scored once with a man advantage after pulling their goalkeeper to add a sixth attacker.This is Olson’s second WISL Player Of The Week award. The Lakeville, Minnesota native took home the prize last season with a big 7-5 win over the Tacoma Stars Reserves. In his fourth season with the Artesians, Olson has started the most games at goalkeeper and has the most wins of any goalkeeper in club history but was only able to play in one game this season. Injuries beset Oly Town keepers this season. Ryan Perkins and Bradley Hanson both suffered season ending injuries early on. Defender Ryan Fakkema was converted into a keeper and played admirably in five games.This was the third Player Of The Week award for the Artesians this season. Eli Boatright was named Offensive POTW for his game tying goal in a 4-4 week nine draw in Snohomish. And Chris Pugh was also named Offensive POTW last week for his hat trick against the Oly-Pen Force.The Oly Town Artesians wrapped up their league schedule with Olson’s grand performance, but they will host one more game this Saturday night with Austin Kelley Night, an annual celebration of soccer in memory of friend and teammate Austin Kelley. First kick in the friendly between the Artesians and the Oly Legends is set for 6:30 at The Pavilion at The Evergreen State College.Stay up to date with the Artesians during the off-season and heading into the 2019 Evergreen Premier League season by visiting the Oly Town Artesians website, following them on Twitter, and liking them on Facebook.last_img read more