Friday, September 30, 2016

Houston Dynamo drop heartbreaker to New York City FC, 2-0

David Villa (7) scored both of New York's goals
against the Houston Dynamo.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 30, 2016) In a must-win game, with the MLS regular season winding down, the Houston Dynamo could not find the offensive punch to get the ball into the net, and dropped a 2-0 decision to New York City FC at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Friday, September 30, 2016.  The match was the first meeting between the two teams. The loss drops Houston to 7-12-11 (32 points) for the season with four games remaining on their schedule. New York, on the other hand, goes to 14-9-9 (51 points) and jumped into first place in the Eastern Conference. Houston remains in the cellar Western Conference; nine points back from a possible playoff berth. Mathematically, the Dynamo remain in the hunt for the playoffs, but with the loss to New York, their chanced diminished significantly. 

After a uneventful first half, which saw multiple turnovers from both team, Houston and New York headed to the locker rooms without a score to their credit. New York got on the scoreboard in the 52nd minute when captain David Villa received a corner kick on the ground and turned to the endline. He connected with the ball, and from a tough angle, drilled it past Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis. In the final 38 minutes, Houston continued to play give-and-take ball, but still found the back of the net elusive. New York added an insurance goal in added time of the second half when Tony Taylor found Villa at the box of the box for the final score.

Houston interim head coach Wade Barrett discussed the loss with the press after the game.

“It was a tough one for us. I think we, everybody in our group, could have done better tonight. They’re a good opponent, they do a few things different, things that weren’t a surprise to us but we still didn’t deal with them as well as I had hoped that we would. I hoped we’d have been a little more on the front foot as well, I thought we were still just a little bit off with our passing. Field doesn’t help but both teams are out there. We didn’t take care of the ball very well. You know, we were just off tonight. It’s hard to explain, we had a good week of training. It felt like, coming into the game, the guys were pretty confident. For whatever reason, we were kind of flat tonight, in a lot of different ways. I feel like we all kind of got knocked down tonight, myself included, and now we have the weekend. We have the weekend to think about it, to think about how we’re going to come back, what our response is going to be, when we come back in on Monday. We’ll come back in with a little bit of renewed attitude, a little bit of renewed vigor, and we’ll be back to fighting on Monday.”

On October 8, Houston will host the Chicago Fire before hitting the road to play Seattle on October 12. They return to the confines of  BBVA Compass Stadium on October 16 to face Los Angeles. The Dynamo will close out the regular season against Colorado at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver.

Prairie View Volleyball splits home openers

PRAIRIE VIEW, TEXAS (September 30, 2016) The Prairie View A&M University volleyball team split its home openers this week in the William J. Nicks Building.

PVAMU defeated St. Thomas 3-0 Tuesday in the Pediatric Cancer Awareness Game. Wednesday, the Lady Panthers lost a hard-fought 3-1 game to Incarnate Word.

The Lady Panthers swept St. Thomas 25-19, 25-13, 25-20. Taylor Goudeau had 14 kills to lead the attack. Erica Jimenez had 16 assists, and Mykaeli Franklin added 13 assists and seven digs. Christen Augustine added 11 digs in the match.

PVAMU fell in Wednesday’s match 17-25, 24-26, 25-22, 21-25 in four highly competitive games. Goudeau had a career-high 19 kills and added seven assists, Jimenez added a career-high 19 assists, and Augustine had 17 digs.

After losing set one, the Lady Panthers (4-10) were serving on match point but could not close the deal in set two. However, Prairie View rebounded in set three to earn a win. Consecutive kills by Larissa Martinez, Goudeau, Mokeysha Shanklin, and Goudeau gave the Lady Panthers an early 7-1 lead they would not relinquish.

In set four, Prairie View A&M rallied back from a six-point deficit to tie the match four times. A kill by Martinez off an Jimenez assist tied the set for the final time at 19-19.

Prairie View A&M returns to SWAC play at Texas Southern Friday at 7 p.m.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

No. 6/7 Houston Cougars go to 5-0 in 2016 by downing UConn 42-14

Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 29, 2016) The No. 6/7 Houston Cougars avenged their 2015 loss to the Connecticut Huskies with a 42-14 win over their American Athletic Conference rival at TDECU Stadium in Houston on Thursday, September 29, 2016. With the win, the Cougars move to 5-0 on the season, and 2-0 in conference play as the Huskies drop to 2-3, with a 0-2 conference mark.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Cougars exploded for 28 points in the second quarter to take 28-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. Houston quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. threw for two of the first half touchdowns and rushing of a third. Forty seconds into the second half, the senior for Tyler, Texas, kept the ball and beat a 30-yard path for the end zone to put Houston on the board. He followed that up nine minutes later with a three-yard pass to Tyler McCloskey for the Cougars' third touchdown. He added the fourth Houston TD with a short 15-yard pass to Steven Dunbar with 1:37 remaining in the half. Dillon Birden go in on the scoring assault with a one-yard run at the 9:11 mark. The Huskies lone score came in the first half  on 62-yard pass from Bryant Shirreffs to Noel Thomas. The Huskies added a second touchdown late in the game to close out scoring/

Ward added to Houston's score three minutes, thirteen minutes into the third quarter with a 10-yard run to cap a nine-play, 74-yard drive. He added TD number six seven minutes later on a four-yard pass to Linell Bonner, and left the game early in the fourth quarter with a career-high 389 yards passing; completing 32-of-38 passes for three touchdowns.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved

Last season, the Cougars fell to the Huskies by the score of 20-17 in Hartford. The loss was the only blemish on the Cougars, and head coach Tom Herman's, record in 2015. Houston had won 19 of their last 20 games and are riding an eight-game winning streak dating back to November 27, 2015 where they downed No. 16 Navy by the score of 52-31. After the game, Herman discussed the game with the press. 

"I’m proud of our team for responding. I really thought the first couple drives on offense we tried to get our feet wet. There were a couple first downs, nothing really to speak of. We got it rolling in the second quarter. The defense showed up very stout against the run. Obviously in situations where our offense scores 25 to 38 points and a team has to live throwing the football, we have to do a better job. I was disappointed in that. Part of that is on the secondary, but as always part of that is on the pass rush as well. We could’ve done a better job there. The offense though, no turnovers, 5-for-5 in the red zone and 8-for-16 on third down was a good night. We have to do a better job as we get our twos and threes in, especially against really good people like Connecticut, and especially on defense we have to do a better job of not looking so sloppy and silly out there. But overall, I’m very proud of the way our guys responded. It’s the fourth game in 19 days and to come out with that kind of energy and juice was good to see.” 

The Cougars own the longest winning streak by a non-power 5 team against power 5 opponents with five consecutive wins over the last the seasons. Houston now owns wins over OKlahoma, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Louisville and Pittsburgh in its last five power 5 matchups. The Cougars will look to extend their streak to to six when they host Louisville on November 17. Nest up for Houston is a Saturday, October 8 matchup against Navy at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.

Monday, September 26, 2016

HBU Men’s Golf Opens in 3rd at Mark Simpson CU Invite

Junior Val Almendarez tied for 2nd, one stroke off lead.

ERIE, COLORADO (September 26, 2016)   HBU junior Val Almendarez posted back-to-back rounds under par and is only one stroke behind the leader, as the Huskies are in third after two rounds Monday at the Mark Simpson Colorado Invite at the 7,745-yard, par-72 Colorado National Golf Club.

Almendarez opened with a 70, then followed with a scorching 5-under par 67 to total 7-under par 137. He carded six birdies in the second round, five in the first, had a bogey in each round and a double-bogey in the first. Freshman Nicko Martinez held the lead after the first round with a 6-under par 66, but followed with a 73 and is tied for eighth at 139. He holed seven birdies in the first round, then three in the second. Sophomore Daniel Dimaculangon carded 73 in the first, but bounced back with a 69 to move up to a tie for 23rd at 2-under par 142. Freshman Patricio Guerra is tied for 60th at 3-over par 147, while freshman Colin Mulligan is tied for 75th at 5-over par 149 with rounds of 74 and 75.

Host Colorado shot 12-under par 558 to lead Utah by six and HBU by seven. The Huskies are only one stroke ahead of Wyoming and Campbell, which are tied for fourth.

CU’s Morten Toft Hansen shot 71 in the first round, but tied with one other for the best round of the day with a 7-under 65 in the second to lead at 8-under par 136. Almendarez is tied with Air Force’s Sunwoo Choi, who had rounds of 69 and 68. Four other players are tied for fourth at 6-under par 138.

The tournament concludes with the third round Tuesday morning.

HBU Women’s Golf Stands 4th at ORU Bob Hurley Shootout

Sophomore Lexi Brooks tied for 7th to lead Huskies

TULSA, OKLAHOMA (September 26, 2016) The HBU women’s golf team opened with rounds of 307 and 308 and are fourth after 36 holes at the ORU Bob Hurley Shootout Monday at the 6,013-yard, par-71 Meadowbrook Country Club.

Sophomore Lexi Brooks shot 78 in the first round, but answered by firing a 72, one of only three players to shoot that score or better in the round, to move up to a tie for seventh at 8-over par 150. Junior Giorgia Carletti was among the top-seven after her first-round 74, but followed with a 77 and is tied for 11th at 151. Sophomore Kaity Cummings is tied for 28th at 156, carding 77 and 79, senior Charlotte Hartshorn is tied for 48th at 160 with rounds of 78 and 82 and freshman Caylee Senn is tied for 66th at 164 with 84 and 80.

Lamar was the only team to break 600 for the day, taking the lead at 31-over par 599, six strokes ahead of host Oral Roberts, 14 ahead of Stephen F. Austin and 16 ahead of the Huskies. HBU is six strokes ahead of fifth-place Wichita State.

Lamar’s Olvereen Le Roux leads by one stroke at 5-over par 147, with Oral Roberts’ Kennedy Ishee, Lamar’s Elodie Chapelet and SFA’s Erica Lautensack each tied for second at 148.

The tournament concludes with the third round Tuesday morning.


PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (September 26, 2016)The American Athletic Conference has announced the winners of the league’s weekly football honors for the fourth week of the 2016 college football season.

Riley Ferguson • Jr. • QB • Memphis • Matthews, N.C.
Ferguson tied the American Athletic Conference single-game record for touchdown responsibility in the first half of the Tigers’ 77-3 win against Bowling Green. He staked the Tigers to a 35-3 first-quarter lead and a 56-3 halftime lead by completing 20 of 27 passes for 359 yards and six touchdowns and added a 1-yard rushing TD before exiting the game. Ferguson leads The American with 11 touchdown passes through three games.

Jeremy Brady • Sr. • S • Tulsa • North Little Rock, Ark.
Brady came up with two key turnovers in the second half, helping Tulsa overcome a 31-0 deficit and take a 48-41 double-overtime win at Fresno State. He had an interception in the end zone as Fresno State threatened to build a two-touchdown lead, and he had a forced fumble and fumble recovery in the first overtime period to prevent the Bulldogs from scoring first.

Andrew DiRocco • Jr. • K • Tulane • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
DiRocco made a career-high four field goals and scored 15 points to help Tulane to a 41-39 win against Louisiana in four overtimes. He forced a fourth OT period with a do-or-die 48-yard field goal in the third overtime and also had field goals of 22, 35 and 20 yards.

Shaquem Griffin • Jr. • LB • UCF • St. Petersburg, Fla.
Had five tackles, 2.0 sacks, 3.0 tackles for loss and a pass breakup in a 53-14 win at Florida International.

D’Eriq King • Fr. • WR • Houston • Marvel, Texas
Had 234 all-purpose yards and figured in three touchdowns (one receiving, one passing, one kickoff return) in a 64-3 win at Texas State.

Jahad Thomas • Sr. • RB • Temple • Elizabeth, N.J.
Had 143 all-purpose yards and scored two rushing touchdowns in a 48-20 win against Charlotte.

Terren Encalade • So. • WR • Tulane • East Point à la Hache, La.
Had seven receptions for 103 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-39 four-overtime win against Louisiana.

D’Angelo Brewer • Jr. • RB • Tulsa • Tulsa, Okla.
Rushed for 252 yards on a conference-record 46 carries in a 48-41 double-OT win at Fresno State.

Southland Conference Announces Football Players of the Week

UCA takes two weekly honors after win over Arkansas State

FRISCO, TEXAS (September 26, 2017) Stephen F. Austin senior quarterback Hunter Taylor, Central Arkansas junior rover George Odum and UCA junior cornerback Tremon Smith earned Southland Conference Football Player of the Week honors presented by, the league office announced Monday. Taylor took offensive honors while Odum was named defensive player of the week and Smith was tabbed the top special teams player.

Offensive Player of the Week:  Hunter Taylor, Stephen F. Austin
Taylor set careers highs with 376 passing yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in Stephen F. Austin’s 41-30 win over Abilene Christian. The senior from Whitehouse, Texas (Whitehouse H.S.), completed 31 of 46 passes and had touchdowns of 37, 18, seven and three yards. Taylor also rushed for 16 yards to give him 392 yards of total offense on the night. This marks the third consecutive game in which Taylor entered the contest and led the Lumberjacks to a win.

Honorable Mention: Hayden Hildebrand, Central Arkansas; Justin Alo, Southeastern Louisiana; Dontrell Taylor, Nicholls.

Defensive Player of the Week:  George Odum, Central Arkansas
Odum was an integral part of the Central Arkansas defense that limited Arkansas State to just 45 rushing yards on 34 attempts in the Bears’ 28-23 win over the Red Wolves. The junior from Millington, Tenn. (Millington Central H.S.), did it all with 11 total tackles, including three for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbled. Odum forced a fumble on Arkansas State’s next-to-last possession that allowed the Bears to hold on for the win.

Honorable Mention:  B.T. Sanders, Nicholls; P.J. Hall, Sam Houston State; Price Sanders, Stephen F. Austin.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Tremon Smith, Central Arkansas
Smith, a junior from Anniston, Ala. (Saks H.S.), returned a punt 47 yards for a first-quarter touchdown in UCA’s 28-23 win over FBS-foe Arkansas State. The punt return gave the Bears an early 7-3 lead in the contest. Smith also had an interception and 121 total return years in the victory.

Honorable Mention: Khalil Harris, McNeese; Stefano Guarisco, Nicholls; Jaylen Harris, Sam Houston State.

Each school’s sports information director nominates and votes for the players of the week, though is not permitted to vote for his own player. To receive honorable mention, a player must receive votes from 25 percent of the Southland sports information directors.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Texas Southern Tigers overcome Alabama State, 31-27

Averion Hurts passed for 222 yards and two
touchdowns against Alabama State.
Photo by Kristina Gager
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
From Texas Southern University Sports Information Department Press Release

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA (September 24, 2016) Averion Hurts threw a 41-yard touchdown to Austin Watts late in the fourth quarter for the win as Texas Southern rallied to beat Alabama State 31-27 on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

Hurts had 222 yards passing and two touchdowns for the Tigers (2-2, 2-). Watts finished with 103 receiving yards and two scores and Eric Medina connected on three field goals as the Tigers snapped a five game losing streak to the Hornets.
The Hornets (0-4, 0-3) dominated the first half, amassing 280 offensive yards while holding Texas Southern to just 104 yards as they led 17-6 at intermission
But the Tigers rallied in the second half as Watts returned the second half kickoff for a score to cut ASU's lead to 17-13.
Then, following a field goal by the Hornets that made it 20-13, Medina kicked a 49-yard field goal to tighten the score again, 20-16 with 5:42 left in the third quarter.
"We fought through a lot of adversity tonight," said TSU head coach Michael Haywood. "We made some mistakes during the game but we're extremely pleased with how we responded when we had to make the plays."
Texas Southern will return home this upcoming weekend as they get set to host Alabama A&M at BBVA Compass Stadium.

HBU head football coach Vic Shealy after HBU vs. Sam Houston on 9-24-2016

Houston downs Texas State 64-3 on the road

Houston head coach Tom Herman have the Cougars 4-0 in 2016.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS (September 25, 2016) The No. 6 Houston Cougars used a solid effort on both offense and defense to beat the Texas State Bobcats by the score 64-3 at Bobcat Stadium in front of 33,133 fans on Saturday, September 24, 2016. Houston went up 29-0 before the Bobcats could get on the scoreboard. The Cougars score 16 points in the first quarter, 27 in the second, 14 in the third and seven in the fourth. Quarterback Greg Ward, Jr, completed 20 passes on 26 attempts for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Steven Dunbar caught five passes for 79 yards and one touchdown while Duke catalon carried the ball 10 times for 70 yards and one touchdown.

Houston improved to 4-0 on the year and marks the second consecutive season the Cougars have started 4-0. Freshman quarterback and wide receiver scored three different types of touchdowns in the contest, including one passing, on receiving, and one kick return. Sophomore cornerback Howard intercepted a pass in the third quarter, giving him three interceptions in the last two games.

Next up for Houston is a Thursday, September 29, 2016 matchup against Connecticut with a scheduled 7 p.m. CDT kickoff.

HBU comes up short against Sam Houston; falls to 2-2 on the season

Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 24, 2016) The Houston Baptist University Huskies dropped to 2-2 for the season with a 45-16 loss to the No. 2 Sam Houston State University Bearkats at Dunham Field on the campus of HBU in Saturday, September 24, 2016. The loss was the Huskies' third straight to the Bearkats dating back to 2014.

The Bearkats drew blood first at the 13:04 mark in the first quarter when running back Javin Webb (Shreveport, Louisiana) carried the ball the final yard to cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 1:56. They added two additional touchdowns in the first quarter on a 48-yard pass from Jeremiah Briscoe (Houston, Texas) to Louis Yedidah (New Orleans, Louisiana) with 5:23 left in the quarter, and a 13-yard run by Webb at the 2:42 mark. The Huskies began the second half with possession of ball and after one-play, they punted to the Bearkats, who drove 51 yards in 41 seconds to add another six points to the scoreboard. Briscoe found wide receiver Nathan Stewart (Dallas, Texas) open and lobbed him a eighty yard pass for the game’s, and Bearkats, fourth touchdown. The Huskies finally got on the scoreboard with a 21-yard Alec Chadwick (Valencia, California) field goal with 10:07 remaining in the first half. Sam Houston countered the Huskies’ field goal with one of their own; a 29 yarder by Luc Swimburghe (Natchitoches, Louisiana). Chadwick added another three-pointer with 2:13 left in the half; a 46-yard effort that closed out the score at 31-6 at halftime.

Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
In the second half, Chadwick again added three points to the Huskies total, with a 24-yard field goal with 2:34 gone in the third quarter. HBU got their first six-point play with 5:46 left in the quarter when quarterback Tony Dawson (Palmdale, California) saw halfback Mev Adjin (Allen, Texas)  open on the right side of the end zone, and connected with him on a 12-yard wide out pass for the touchdown. Chadwick added the extra point to cut the Bearkats lead to 15 points. Sam Houston responded with a 22-second, two-play drive that ended with a 17-yard pass from Briscoe to wide receiver Davion Davis (Hutto, Texas) for the Bearkats' fifth touchdown of the game.

Thirty-eight seconds into the fourth quarter, Sam Houston added to their scoring assault with another Briscoe to Yedidah pass for six points. After review, Yedidah was called down on the one-yard line. On the very next play, running back Remus Bulmer (MIssouri City, Texas) carried the ball the final yard for the score. SHSU added an insurance touchdown 4:56 later when Bulmer rushing from 13 yards out for another six points. In addition to his field goal, Swimburghe kicked all seven of the Bobkats extra points.

HBU running back Terrance Peters (Houston, Texas) carried the ball 18 times for 104 yards, while wide receiver Ricardo Barnett (Houston, Texas) caught five passes for 60 yards. Dawson completed 15-of-34 passes for 153 yards. For Sam Houston, Bulmer rushed for 126 yards on 19 carried and two touchdowns. Louis caught six passes for 111 yards and one touchdown. Briscoe completed 26-of-47 passes for 369 yards

The Huskies dropped a 76-0 decision in their first-ever official meeting against Sam Houston on November 11, 2014 in 2015, they loss to the No. 12 Bearkats 63-14. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Devils' Gonzalez Leads Pac-12 in All-Time Points, Scores Big In Win Over Roadrunners

Zane Gonzales has 424 career points, Leads Pac-12 All Time.

By Mike Stockman

Phoenix Area Sports
Special for TexSport Publications
San Antonio, Texas (September 16, 2016) Arizona State University Sun Devils overcame University of Texas at San Antonio's Roadrunners behind the leg of senior kicker Zane Gonzalez (Deer Park, TX) who scored 14 points of the 32-28 victory at the Alamodome, San Antonio, TX on Friday, September 16, 2016.

Zane Gonzalez, the Pac-12 All Time Leader in points, was two for two from 54 yards in the first half for the Devils. He finished the game with four field goals (distances of 54, 54, 45, and 26) and two extra points. This is the sixth time in his college career to make four field goals in a game.

For the Roadrunners, junior quarterback Dalton Sturm, from Goliad, Texas, led the offense with one rushing touchdown and three passing touchdowns. Sturm had 82 yards rushing, his longest was a 34 yard scamper for a touchdown in the beginning of the third quarter. He threw for 229 yards, completed 19 of 37, with three touchdown passes. His first touchdown pass was a 10 yard pass to JaBryce Taylor in the first quarter. At the end of the first quarter, he connected with Jalen Rhodes for 11 yard touchdown. His last touchdown pass came mid-way through the third quarter, after Devils' dropped a punt, which gave the Roadrunners perfect field position at the 24 yard line. On the next play, Sturm hits Shaq Williams for the 24 yard TD that put them ahead 28-12, but it wasn't enough to outscore the Devils. 

The Devils would put up 20 unanswered points: a field goal at the end of the third quarter, a 45 yard touchdown pass from Manny Wilkins to Frederick Gammage III, and a late fourth quarter, two yard bone crushing run up the middle by Kalen Ballage, giving the Devils the go-ahead score of 32-28.

When asked how the mood was in the locker room after such a close loss, Roadrunners' Coach Frank Wilson stated "
Heartbreaking, disappointed. Pointed out to the guys that we're not quite there yet. We're making leaps and bounds by the day. Great teams know how to finish. We're a work in progress. We're not a great team yet, but certainly we're heading in the right direction."

The Devils' Coach Todd Graham, from Mesquite, TX, now has a 37-19 record as head coach in his fifth season. He is 86-48 overall in his 11 seasons as a head coach. After the victory, Graham stated "“Just really proud of our guys. Proud of the leadership. Again, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you win and we figured out a way to do it. I was gratified as I’ve been to win that game because that game was really, really difficult. It showed a lot a heart to come back.”

The Roadrunners travel to Norfolk, VA to play Old Dominion on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 2:30 p.m ET. The game will be available on TV: KMYS-CW 35 & RADIO: TICKET 760.

The Devils host the California Golden Bears (2-1) on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at Sun Devil Stadium.  Game time is TBD.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Houston Texans use four field goals to down Kansas City Chiefs

Nick Novak (8) kicked four field goals to lead the Houston Texans
to a 19-12 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved.
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 18, 2016) The Houston Texans used four field goals by Nick Novak and a single touchdown to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs by the score of 19-12 at NRG Stadium on Sunday, September 18, 2016. With the win, the Texans move to 2-0 for the season and the Chiefs fell to 1-1. The victory gave the Texans their fifth straight regular season win dating back to Week 15 during the 2015 season. In addition, it was the first win over the Chiefs since October 17, 2010, where they downed Kansas City by the score of 35-31.

After one possession of give-and-take football between the Texans and the Chiefs in the first quarter, Houston received the ball on the 27-yard line after quarterback Alex Smith fumbles at their own 38-yard line. J.J. Watt quickly recovered for the Texans and gives Houston the ball at the Chiefs’ 27-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage in that set of downs, Brock Osweiler connected with Deandre Hopkins for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Nick Novak converted the kicking extra point to give Houston an early 7-0 lead. Kansas City came back five seconds into the second quarter to kick a 53-yard field goal to cut the Houston lead to 7-3. Ten minutes later, Houston added a field goal to the score, along with a 24-yard effort with 1:21 remaining in the half. Novak booted the first field goal from 32-yards out, and added three additional point to the Texans’ tally off a 24-yarder with 1:21 remaining in the first half.

With half of the game completed, the Texans took a 13-3 lead into the locker room. The score remaining 13-3 through the third quarter, however Kansas City started the fourth quarter with a 43-yard field goal by Cario Santos to cut the Texans’ lead to 13-6. Houston took back their 10-point lead at the 9:34 mark in the fourth quarter when Novak booted a 31-yard field goal to take the score to 16-6. Kansas City added another field goal to their scoring record with a 35-yard attempt with 7:34 remaining in the game to make the score 16-9. Novak added an additional field goal in the 2:56 mark in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs countered with 30-yarder with 49 seconds left in the game.

Osweiler completed 19-of-29 passes for 268 yards and one touchdown. DeAndre Hopkins caught seven of those passes for 113 yards and the single Texans’ touchdown. Will Fuller caught four passes for 104 yards, while Lamar Miller carried the ball 25 yards for 83 yards. Smith completed 20 passes for 186 yards with Spencer Ware carried the ball 10 times for 57 yards.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Texas Southern downs Mississippi Valley State 31-0 for first win of season

By Kristina Gager
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

Photo by Kristina Gager
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 18, 2016) On Saturday September 17, 2016, Texas Southern University took on Mississippi Valley State at BBVA Compass Stadium, their third game and first home game of the season. The Tigers moved to 1-2 on the season by downing the Delta Devils by the score of 31-0 in front of 1,524 fans.

Photo by Kristina Gager
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
Quarterback Averion Hurts had 273 yards passing with a career-high three touchdowns, as compared to MVSU’s quarterback Austin Bray, who completed 16 out of 34 passes for 170 yards. The Tigers scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, one in the second and fourth quarter, and a field goal in the third quarter. The touchdowns came from Tylor Cook on a one-yard run at the 10:09 mark in the first quarter and a 50-yard pass from Hurts to Cook two and one-half minutes later.

Tracy Johnson got in on the scoring assault in the second quarter on a 12-yard pass from Hurts and Tony Upchurch tacked on the final touchdown with 6:11 left in the game, on a 21 yard pass from Hurts. Kicker Eric Medina added a 39-yard field goal at the 5:59 mark in the third quarter, in addition to four extra points after each TSU touchdown.

Photo by Kristina Gager
Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved
The Tigers tallied 347 total yards as opposed to MVSU’s 160; 16 first downs to Delta Devils 11, and a single turnover. Mississippi Valley turned the ball over twice. Next up for the Tigers is a September 24 match-up against Alabama State with a 6 p.m. kickoff in Montgomery, Alabama. They will return home on October 1 to face Alabama A&M at BBVA Compass Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with the game televised on the Root Sports Network.

Overtime touchdown gives HBU Huskies 27-24 win over Abilene Christian

Wesley Lewis (81) scored the game winning touchdown in overtime as the
HBU Huskies beat the Abilene Christian Wildcats by the score of 27-24.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXANS (September 17, 2016) With the game tied at 21 after 60-minutes of play, Houston Baptist University and Abilene Christian University went to overtime, with the Huskies pulling out a 27-24 win for their second straight win of 2016 and a first ever win over the Wildcats. Saturday’s game was the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools dating back to 2013. In the three previous matchups, the Wildcats downed the Huskies 69-12 in 2013, 59-14 in 2014, and 49-21 in 2015.

After some heated play early in the game, the Huskies make their first assault on the end zone at the 5:21 mark of the first quarter. HBU quarterback Tony Dawson connected with wide receiver Wesley Lewis on a 69-yard first-and-ten play; giving the Huskies a first down on the ACU 14-yard line. HBU completed the drive three plays later with a Terrance Peters seven-yard rush for the touchdown. Alec Chadwick converted the kicking extra point to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead with 3:22 left in the first quarter. The Wildcats came right back after the kickoff and marched 75 yards in seven plays; ending in a 23-yard pass from quarterback Dallas Sealey to wide receiver D.J. Fuller for the score. Parker McKenzie lobbed a pass to Dylan Douglass over the right side for the two-point conversion; to give ACU an 807 lead after 15 minutes of play. With 61 seconds remaining in the first half, Sealey carrying the ball on a quarterback keeper, rushed to the right and found himself bottled up. He quickly reversed direction and went to the left. He picked up some blockers and carried the ball 39 yards to the ACU four-yard line. Five seconds later, on first-and-ten, he carried the ball up the middle for the second Husky TD of the game. Chadwick added his usual kicking extra point to put HBU up 14-8 with 55 second to go in the half. After an ACU set of downs, where they advanced the ball deep into HBU territory, Nik Grau kicked a 42-yard field goal to send both teams to the locker room at halftime with HBU leading by the score of 14-11.

HBU Cheerleaders
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
The Huskies began the second half with the ball and after a short series of downs, took back the lead at the 1:08 mark in the third quarter on a two-yard run by Peters. The run was set up after a 43-yard pass play from Dawson to halfback Mev Adjin, for a first and goal from the ACU two-yard line. With 7:08 to go in the ball game, Sealey ran the final 12 yards of their 83-yard drive for another ACU touchdown. Grau added the kicking extra point to tie the score at 21. After some heated back-and-forth play, the game ended in regulation in a 21-all tie; forcing the game to go to overtime.

HBU won the overtime coin flip and head coach Vic Shealy elected to defend. ACU took possession of the ball on the 25-yard line. In three down, they advanced the ball four yards. On fourth down, Grau kicked a 38-yard field goal to give the Wildcats aa 24-21 lead. HBU then took possession on the ACU 25-yard line, and on the first play from scrimmage, Dawson hit Lewis on a wide-out pattern to the right side end zone. The 6-6 wide receiver out leaped is defender, brought the ball down in-bound sin the end zone for six points and the win.

Junior linebacker Garrett Dolan accounted for 17 tackles against the Wildcats, with 12 coming in the first half. Prior to the game, Dolan, who played his prep ball at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, led the Southland Conference, with 12.5 tackles a game. The post game interview with Dolan can be viewed by clicking here. In additon, the post game interview with Wesly Lewis can be viewed by clicking here, along with head coach Vic Shealy's interview here.

Friday, September 16, 2016

USA Gymnastics names Valeri Liukin as women’s national team coordinator

Photo by John Cheng, USA Gymnastics,, Copyright 2016
Used with permission via USA Gymnastics
Communications Department
From USA Gymnastics Press Release

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (September 16, 2016) Two-time Olympic champion Valeri Liukin of Parker, Texas, has been named the U.S. Women’s National Team coordinator, USA Gymnastics announced today.  Liukin, who has served as the elite developmental coordinator since 2013, is perhaps best-known as the personal coach for Nastia Liukin, who won the 2008 Olympic all-around title and has five Olympic and nine World career medals. Liukin, who will remain based in Texas, will report to Rhonda Faehn, senior vice president of women’s program for USA Gymnastics.

“Valeri has excelled as a personal coach, and he has demonstrated his ability to lead and guide other coaches through his efforts as the elite developmental coordinator,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.  “He will provide a smooth transition from the program that has been created, and Valeri is recognized as a capable and talented coach.”

Faehn said, “Valeri already has been working with future national team members for 2020 and 2024 as the elite developmental coordinator.  He is known for his coaching techniques and his willingness to share that knowledge with upcoming coaches.  As a personal coach and developmental coordinator, Valeri has been involved in the semi-centralized system that has achieved the USA’s greatest international results and already has a strong working relationship with the country’s top coaches on the senior, junior and developmental levels. Valeri and I share a vision for the continued success of USA Gymnastics.”

“I am very honored to accept the position of national team coordinator,” said Liukin. “I'm ready to put all of my knowledge and passion into leading the women's national team to continued success.”

As the U.S. Women’s National Team coordinator, Liukin will develop the strategic plan and training program for all members of the U.S. Women’s National Team, including conducting national team training camps; attending national and international competitions as needed; overseeing international competition assignments for athletes, coaches and judges; coordinating scheduling and activities for the developmental program and the Talent Opportunity Program (TOPs); and working with the national coaching staff. He is just the third person to serve as the U.S. women’s national team coordinator, following Martha Karolyi (2001-16) and Bela Karolyi (1999-2000). 

Most recently, Liukin directed the women's athlete developmental program as the elite developmental coordinator.

Photo by John Cheng, USA Gymnastics,, Copyright 2016
Used with permission via USA Gymnastics
Communications Department
Liukin is a co-founder and owner of the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA), which has produced more than 30 national team members and 35 World and Olympic medals, including Olympic all-around champions Carly Patterson in 2004 and Nastia Liukin in 2008 and 2016 Olympic team gold and uneven bars silver medalist Madison Kocian. He was the personal coach for Nastia Liukin, who won the 2008 Olympic all-around title and has five Olympic and nine World medals to her credit; Rebecca Bross, who has six World medals; Ivana Hong, 2009 World balance beam bronze medalist; and Katelyn Ohashi, 2013 AT&T American Cup champion and 2011 U.S. junior all-around gold medalist. His coaching accomplishments and accolades include: U.S. National Team coach, 1998-2011; International Coach of the Year, 2002, 2004; International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, 2005; USA Gymnastics Coach of the Year, 2006; U.S. Team head coach, 2007 Pan American Games; 2008 U.S. Olympic Team coach; 2009 International Gymnastics Coach of the Year; and USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame (2016).

As an athlete, Liukin was a member of the Soviet National Team from 1985-92. During his career, he won two gold and two silver medals at the 1988 Olympic Games; five gold medals at the 1990 Goodwill Games; two gold medals and one silver at the 1987-91 World Championships; and four gold, one silver and one bronze at the European Championships. He was the first gymnast to perform a triple back flip on floor and has a horizontal bar skill named after him.

Liukin earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Kazakh Academy of Sport and Tourism in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

HBU's Caleb Crayton signs pro contract with Mgzavrebi-Armia in the Georgian Superleague

Caleb Crayton (11) will be heading to the country of Georgia to
continue his basketball career as a professional.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
From HBU Media Relations Press Release

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 15, 2016) Caleb Crayton, who finished his HBU career in March, has signed to play professional basketball with Mgzavrebi-Armia in the Georgian Superleague.

A strong, 6-3 wing from Oklahoma City’s Northeast High School, Crayton posted career averages of 5.8 and 2.5 rebounds per game over his four seasons with the Huskies.

"We are thrilled at this opportunity that Caleb has earned,” HBU head men’s basketball coach Ron Cottrell said. “He helped us transition from the Great West Conference into the Southland Conference and his hard work and effort rubbed off on everyone around him. Our program would not be where it is today without Caleb's contributions over the past four years.  Everyone involved with HBU Basketball is happy for Caleb and we look forward to following his professional career."

He averaged 6.4 ppg and 4.1 rebounds as a freshman to help lead HBU to the finals of the Great West tournament and was an honorable mention all-conference selection. Crayton then averaged 7.1 points and 4.1 rebounds as a sophomore during HBU’s first season in the Southland.

As a senior, Crayton posted 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while leading the Huskies to its best season since returning to Division I. The Huskies advanced to the SLC Tournament for the first time, earning the four seed with a 10-8 league record. HBU finished finished 17-17 overall and made its first Division I postseason appearance since 1984 with a berth in the College Basketball Invitational.”

“I’d like to thank the coaching staff for four great years of Division I basketball,” Crayton said. “I’m grateful for the chance to have met people that I now consider family and it has been a blessing to have had an impact on a program with such a strong history. I'm extremely excited for the opportunity to play professionally. This has been a dream of mine since I was young. It really hasn't settled in just yet that my dream has come true. I am very thankful to my family and friends that have been with me throughout this journey. Once a Husky…always a Husky.”

Crayton starts training camp with Mgzavrebi-Armia on Sept. 15 and league play begins in October.