These are the best of times for unbeaten Sidney

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 9:35 PM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 1:58 PM

Sidney football standouts Isaiah Bowser (left) and Andre Gordon were key in a 49-42 Week 7 defeat of visiting Tippecanoe on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

A season of firsts continues to decorate the Sidney High School football program. There are rushing records, kicking records, an undefeated season record and a non-stop buzz around this Shelby County centerpiece that is turning into a championship roar.


And then there’s this: “I don’t think we’ve tail-gated since 2000,” beamed junior quarterback Andre Gordon. “That’s pretty good.”

That good stuff hit a new high on Thursday night, when Sidney outlasted visiting Tippecanoe 49-42 in Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Week 7 showdown. The contest wasn’t settled until Sidney super back Isaiah Bowser bolted 71 yards for the winning touchdown on 4th-and-1 with less than two minutes left.

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Bowser went for 266 yards rushing and scored twice. And Sidney (7-0) needed all that firepower to offset an equally masterful performance by Tipp senior Cole Barhorst. Here are the major highlights in a shootout that Twitter had a hard time keeping up with:

• The area’s rushing leader, Bowser pushed his seven-game total to 1,900 yards and surpassed his own program single-season rushing record he set last year. He also has 24 touchdowns.

• Barhorst rushed for 237 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 90-yard kickoff return that pulled the teams even at 42-all with less than three minutes left. He accounted for more than 300 yards of offense for Tipp (3-4) and had three runs of 50-plus yards.

“(Barhorst) is a home run threat every time we give him the ball,” said Tipp coach Joel Derge.

• Gordon figured in on four touchdowns. He scored twice on runs of 25 and 5 yards and connected with Lathan Jones (39 yards) and Ratez Roberts (13 yards) on TD passes. A gifted junior who also excels in basketball, Gordon also ran for 123 yards.

• Sidney sophomore kicker Hallie Truesdale reset the program’s single-season record for most extra-point kicks. She converted all five attempts, which makes her 37 for 38 overall.

• Sidney is 7-0 for the first time since 1974 when the great Kris Haines was running wild in the Yellow Jackets’ backfield.

• Sidney (2-0) is in contention for a rare conference title with three games remaining.

• Sidney (Division II, Region 8) appears destined to join its 1989 team as the only other squad to qualify for the playoffs. Sidney is No. 4 in the region. Unbeaten Belmont, which beat Ponitz 41-0 also on Thursday, is No. 5.

Memorial Stadium was rocking throughout and reached a partisan peak on Caleb Harris’ interception to clinch the clutch win in the final minute. Sidney students rushed 30-&-0 Field and joined the Yellow Jackets for a long celebration and choreographed calisthenics display.

Overtime seemed inevitable until Bowser blew through the middle of Tipp’s defense.

“We’ve got to make plays,” said Bowser, who’s verbally committed to Northwestern University. “We know that. The community, they’re all behind us. (Making the playoffs) hasn’t been done in forever. That’s what we’re trying to do, show the GWOC and state we’re a good team.”

Tipp (3-4) is likely out of D-III, Region 12 playoff contention.

This is the season Sidney thought it was going to have last year. Injuries and other setbacks postponed the envisioned success. It wasn’t so long ago that Sidney was an easy out in the GWOC. Not now.

“It takes a little bit longer now to go to the grocery story,” Sidney coach Adam Doenges said. “People used to turn and go the other way down the aisle to avoid me. Now, everywhere you go, people want to talk about (Sidney football). There is an excitement, no matter where you go in town. It’s neat. That’s what high school football should be like.”

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Sidney’s Ratez Roberts (left) and Tipp DB Justin Everette. Sidney defeated visiting Tippecanoe 49-42 in a Week 7 GWOC American North high school football game on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Prep football: Carlisle shrugs off rough start, handles Eagles 28-20

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:06 AM

            Carlisle’s Spencer Mays carries the ball through the Eaton defense during Thursday night’s game at Laughlin Field in Carlisle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Carlisle’s Spencer Mays carries the ball through the Eaton defense during Thursday night’s game at Laughlin Field in Carlisle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Mike Brown got the answer he was hoping for Thursday night.

His Carlisle High School football team staggered into an early 13-7 deficit with some self-inflicted wounds, but the Indians rose up and showed their mettle in a 28-20 triumph over visiting Eaton at Laughlin Field.

“We practice to play the perfect game, and I think something we did pretty early on was try to help the team understand that you’re not going to play the perfect game,” Brown said. “And then it comes down to, ‘What are you going to do when it happens?’

“Our kids responded in a positive way, and we played really hard. We’re going to watch film and there’s still going to be a lot of things going into Week 10 that we need to fix, but I think our kids take pride in playing hard every snap.”

Carlisle rolled up 339 rushing yards with a four-headed ground monster: D.J. Chambers (15 carries, 108 yards, two TDs), quarterback Jake Moore (19 carries, 104 yards, TD), Spencer Mays (16 carries, 87 yards, TD) and Dane Flatter (eight carries, 40 yards).

“Our offensive line has really come together for how little experience we had coming into the season,” Brown said. “As a head coach who’s a former offensive lineman, if you can pound the ball a little bit, you’re having fun.”

The Indians improved to 6-3 and kept their Division V, Region 20 playoff hopes alive heading into next Friday’s regular-season finale at home against Dixie.

“We’re not worried about the playoffs. We’ve just got to get the ‘W’ and let God do what he does,” Chambers said. “Coach Brown’s been in the playoffs every year, and we’d kind of feel like we let him down if we didn’t make it. But we know that he loves us at the end of the day. We’ve enjoyed playing this year either way.”

Eaton’s first two touchdowns came with very little offensive effort. Carlisle fumbled the ball away on its first drive, and the Eagles’ Caleb Puckett ran 14 yards for a TD on the next play.

Early in the second period, Chip Parker put the visitors up 13-7 when he scooped up a CHS fumble near midfield and scampered for a touchdown.

“I thought we were kind of beating ourselves,” Mays said. “We were making mistakes we don’t typically make. We just had to find who we are, get in at halftime and pick it back up for the second half.”

The Indians did take a 14-13 edge into the break after a 34-yard scoring run by Chambers with 5:31 left in the second stanza, but it was a first half the hosts couldn’t feel very good about.

Carlisle then scored on its first two possessions of the third quarter, two drives that were all on the ground. Chambers ripped off a 90-yard touchdown run on the opening play on the fourth period, but it turned out to be his second penalty-negated TD of the night.

Chambers also had two touchdowns called back in last week’s game against Milton-Union. Nobody would’ve blamed him for reacting with frustration, but he didn’t.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Chambers said. “The O-line blocks the whole game, so if it happens every once in a while, I’m fine with it. You just go back and hopefully make another play.”

The Eagles (3-6) closed the gap to 28-20 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Venable to Zac Schmidt with 8:36 left. It was a four-play, 30-yard drive.

Eaton got one more possession starting at its own 22 with 5:19 remaining. Two sacks (the first by Mays, the second by Mays and Nathan Berger) and an incomplete pass later, the visitors punted, and the Indians ran out the clock with three first downs.

“I think it’s hard for some of these guys that haven’t been around a lot of success to have that winner’s mentality that we’re trying to preach over and over and over again,” Eagles coach Brad Davis said.

“They played a little harder than us down the stretch, which is a little frustrating. We were concerned with our consistency throughout the year, and I think we saw tonight that we were still inconsistent. We looked like a good football team at some points and looked like not a very good football team at other times.”

Davis said Carlisle showed its will to win by grabbing control of the game when it mattered the most.

“When that’s happening to you, we’ve got to have guys step up and say, ‘That’s not going to happen anymore,’ ” Davis said. “I’m not sure we had a whole lot of that tonight.”

Eaton got outgained 365-114 in yardage. Puckett ran 10 times for 71 yards before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury in the third quarter, and Venable (8 of 12 for 40 yards) and Jordan Lewis (2 of 4 for 8 yards) both saw time at quarterback. Venable was intercepted once by Moore.

Mays matched his career high in rushing attempts and found success with a bulldozing style of running.

“That’s kind of what I do,” Mays said. “It’s just send me up the middle a lot, and I run as hard as I can and give it all I’ve got. That’s all I can do.”

The Eagles will take a three-game losing streak into next Friday’s home game against Valley View.

Eaton 7-6-0-7—20

Carlisle 7-7-14-0—28

E: Caleb Puckett 14 run (Anna Black kick)

C: Jake Moore 16 run (Ande Allison kick)

E: Chip Parker 55 fumble return (Kick failed)

C: D.J. Chambers 34 run (Allison kick)

C: Spencer Mays 7 run (Allison kick)

C: Chambers 4 run (Allison kick)

E: Zac Schmidt 8 pass from Ryan Venable (Black kick)

Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch spotted in stands after ejection

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 1:28 AM

Raiders-Marshawn Lynch-Kansas City Chiefs-stands

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch got ejected from their 31-30 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half.

There were reports that Lynch put on his street clothes and headed for his car. However, he was actually spotted in the stands at Oakland Coliseum, via College Football Reddit.

Marcus Thompson of The Athletic confirmed that Lynch was indeed in the stands during the game.

That is a classic example of Lynch living life his own way. Most players would be in the locker room watching after an ejection, but he decided that it would be more fun to be among the Raiders’ fans for the rest of the night.

Lynch was ejected for making contact with a referee. There was an altercation after Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters hit Raiders quarterback Derek Carr late. His teammates were not happy with Peters and went after him. Also, Peters was flagged on the play.

Lynch sprinted off of the sidelines to try and get Peters out of the skirmish, and in the process moved a referee out of the way.

The Raiders improved to 3-4 on the season with a win over the top team in their division, so the night had a happy ending. However, Lynch will soon be hit with a $30,ooo fine, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.


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Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph has confidence in Bennie Fowler III

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:33 AM

Bennie Fowler III has an excellent opportunity to truly make a name for himself on Sunday afternoon when the Denver Broncos take on the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Broncos will extremely short-handed at wide receiver with Emmanuel Sanders (ankle), Isaiah McKenzie (ankle), and Cody Latimer (knee) already being ruled out for the game against the Chargers. On top of that, two-time All-Pro Demaryius Thomas is dealing with a calf injury that limited his practice availability this week.

Thomas is expected to play on Sunday, but with Sanders out, Fowler will get the start and will serve as Denver’s No. 2 wide receiver. Head coach Vance Joseph is confident the former undrafted free agent can get the job done.

“I think he does,” Joseph said on Thursday when asked if Fowler has the ability to be a legitimate No. 2 wide receiver. “Bennie’s a smart guy, he knows what to do and that’s half the battle as far as being a one or a two. I don’t know what that means, I mean you would know better than I would. He’s a receiver and he’s the next guy up, so he’s the number two. He was the number two last week from time-to-time. That has no relevance as far as who plays. When he’s out there, he’s a one, you can say that also.”

With his increased role, Fowler could be in for a career day on Sunday, which would go a long way in solidifying his place on Denver’s roster going forward.

Oakland Raiders knock off Chiefs after fourth encore on Thursday night

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:13 AM

The Oakland Raiders did not make win that they needed against the Kansas City Chiefs easy on Thursday night.

On a final drive that included a 4th and 11 conversion, the Raiders appeared to have won the game on a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Carr to tight end Jared Cook with 16 seconds remaining, but after review the referees ruled that he was down near the goal line.

The next play was a touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, but that was called back because of offensive pass interference. On the following play the Chiefs appeared to stop the Raiders as the clock expired, but defensive holding was called on safety Ron Parker.

The Raiders got an untimed down for the game, and Carr threw an incomplete pass to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. However, Chiefs cornerback Eric Murray was called for defensive holding.

That gave the Raiders one more untimed down from the two-yard-line and he completed a pass to Crabtree to tie the game at 30. Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio made the extra point to give his team the 31-30 win.