Thursday, December 27, 2018

QB Daniel Jones leads Duke to 56-27 win over Temple at Independence Bowl

Photo by Darla S Tamuitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA (December 27, 2019) Duke quarterback Daniel Jones (shown right and below) continued his banner year and picked up his second consecutive bowl game Most Valuable Player award in leading the Blue Devils to a 56-27 win over the Temple Owls at the 2018 Walk-On's Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. The junior redshirt completed 30-of-41 passes for 423 yards and five touchdowns,. He carried the ball six times for one touchdown. His touchdowns established  a new Independence Bowl record, breaking the record held by four others, the last being Florida State’s James Blackman in 2017. The five touchdown passes breaks the single-game Independence Bowl record set by Florida State’s James Blackman in 2017 against Southern Mississippi. His 30 completions are third-most in Independence Bowl history, trailing Oklahoma’s Josh Heupel (39, 1999 vs. Ole Miss) and Ole Miss’ Mark Young (31, 1986 vs. Texas Tech).

Photo by Darla S Tamuitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
   His 73.2 completion percentage (30-for-41) is third-best in Independence Bowl history behind Texas A&M’s Gary Kubiak (75 percent vs. Oklahoma State, 1981) and Oklahoma’s Josh Heupel (73.6 percent vs. Ole Miss, 1999) for passers with a minimum of 15 completions. 

    In addition, the 85-yard pass to T.J. Rahming in the third quarter is the longest in Duke’s bowl history (14 games). Previous long: Jones to Rahming for 62 yards in the first quarter. Prior to the game, Anthony Boone’s 59-yard pass to Jamison Crowder in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl was the longest. Jones spoke to the press after the win, explaining what woke up the Duke offense as the game progressed.

“We had a lot of good stuff going into the game. We were prepared. We hit on that first drive then, like you said, we hit a lull. I don’t think we lost confidence. We knew we could catch a few breaks, catch some momentum and keep it rolling. What happened toward the end of the first half and in the second half was we caught our groove and had enough good stuff to keep it going. The big thing there was not losing our confidence.”

He went on to talk about the offense's second half performance.

“They’re primarily a man team, playing a lot of many coverage. We liked our matchups was one thing. I’m not sure it was necessarily what they were doing. We knew we had enough stuff and it would work against a whole lot of looks. We prepared to use what we had against any of their looks. It worked out for us.”

He also discussed about catching his own deflected pass.

“I guess so (feeling like it was his day). It was an interesting play, kinda fell right to me. We caught some breaks in the second half. That was a product of our momentum and our confidence and us doing a lot of things right.”

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Army totally dismantles Houston with 70-14 win in Armed Forces Bowl.

Story and Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

FT. WORTH, TEXAS (December 22, 2018) In a game that saw the Cougars suffer their worst defeat in a bowl game in their long-storied history, Houston dropped a 70-14 decision to the No. 22 Army Black Knights in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Ft. Worth, Texas. The loss was the third-in-a-row in post-season play for the Cougars, who dropped to 8-5 for the season.

The Black Knight took control of the game in the first quarter, when quarterback Kelvin Hopkins, Jr. scored twice, with rushes of one and 77 yards, in the final 3:58 of the quarter. The 5-10, 205-pound junior, carried the ball 11 times for 170 yards and five touchdowns in route to Army's third win in the Armed Forces Bowl. Their previous wins came in 2010, where they downed SMU 16-14, and last year; beating San Diego State, 42-35. The Black Knights became the first team to win three-total Armed Forces Bowls. Hopkins, was three-of-three for 70 yards in the air, and was honored, as a result of his performance, as the game's Most Valuable Player.

Houston could do little to contain Army, and Houston head coach Major Applewhite had little to say after the game. While speaking to the press, he stated:

“Not much to say, just disappointed in the way we coached and played today. Give credit to Army. Coach (Jeff) Monken and his players were well-prepared and outplayed us, outcoached us.”

In fact, Hopkins had more rushing yardage (170) than the entire Houston offense (87 yards on 41 carries). The Cougars managed only 14 first downs, while Army tallied 70. Hopkins 170 yards on the ground was just a small part of the Black Knight's total (570 yards).

To add insult to injury, immediately after the game, it was reported that Houston offensive coordinator and quarterback Coach Kendal Briles was leaving the program to take a similar position at Florida State. It was also reported by numerous outlets, that run-game coordinator/offensive line coach Randy Clements and two graduate assistants would be leaving Houston to join Briles at FSU.

The Cougars will now begin to prepare for the 2019 season. They will have 252 days to prepare for their first game of 2019, against the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

North Shore blasts Lake Travis 51-10 to advance to state title game

Photo by
Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 15, 2018) With the 51-10 domination of the Lake Travis Cavaliers at Houston's NRG Stadium on Saturday, the North Shore Mustangs punched their ticket to the UIL Class 6A, Division 1 football championship game next Saturday (December 22) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The No. 1 Mustangs will face the No. 4 Duncanville Panthers, who downed No. 2 Allen by the score of 44-35 on Saturday. 

In a related game, Beaumont West Brook defeated Westlake 35-30 to advance to the Class 6A, Division 2 championship. The Bruins will play the winner of the Longview vs. Tascosa game. One interesting fact is that North Shore and West Brook are members of UIL District 21-6A, with the Mustangs talking the district title and the Bruins finishing in second place. North Shore goes into their title game with a 15-0 record, while West Brook posts a 13-2 record. The two Bruin loses came at the hands of North Shore (55-7 on October 26) and Strake Jesuit (55-40 on September 7). Duncanville brings a 15-0 record to the match up against North Shore. 2018 will make Duncanville's second appearace in the title game, having won the championship in 1998. The Mustangs have previously won two state titles in two appearances (2003, 2015) and made 24 playoff appearances.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Mary Hardin-Baylor wins Stagg Bowl XLVI with 24-16 win over Mount Union

Photo by
Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

SHENANDOAH, TEXAS (December 14, 2018) The No 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders came back from a 10-0 deficit in the first quarter to down the No. 1 Mount Union Purple Raiders by the score of 24-16 to win the NCAA Division 3 Football Championship at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah, Texas. The win was the second national title for the Cru in the past three years; having won the Stagg Bowl in 2016.

After a missed field goal by the Crusaders in the first quarter, Mount Union drove the ball 55 yards, on their second possession, to enable kicker Cory Barnett to boot a 55-yarder for the first score of the game. The Purple Raiders used 11 plays and 3:58 to score. Beginning on their own 23-yard line, after the ensuring kickoff, UMHB quarterback Jase Hammack fumbled the ball on a second and 10 play, with safety Austin White recovering on the 23-yard line. Five plays later, D'Angelo Fulford carried the ball the final yard for the touchdown. Barnett tacked on the extra point; giving Mount Union a 10-3 lead with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter.

Photo by
Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
A bit over two minutes later, the Cru drove 62 yards in four plays to cut Mount Union's lead tofourth play of the  three. On the series, Hammack connected with T.J. Josey with a 36 yard pass for the score. Anthony Avila recovered from missing the earlier field, booting the extra point to cut the Union lead to 10-7. Josey (shown left) finished the game with five catches for 78 yards and one TD. As a result, he was selected as the Outstanding Player of the Game, by a vote of the sports writers.

Early in the second quarter, the Purple Raiders responded with another Barnett field goal; this time a 22-yarder, to push their lead to 13-7. After a good deal of back-and-forth, the Cru saw momentum swing their way as they used seven plays to cover 60 yards in 2:34 to take the lead in the game. Thirty-eight second reminded on the clock when Markeith Miller rushed the final two yards for the score. Avila tacked on the extra point to give MHB a 14-13 lead at halftime.

The Cru increased their lead to 17-13 at the 11:01 mark in the third quarter when Avila again split the uprights with a 30-yard field goal. They increased their lead to 24-13 at the 9:46 mark in the fourth quarter with a Hammack pass to K.J. Miller for another six points. Avila again added the kicking conversion. Barnett added a 21-yard field goal with 7:06 left in the game to close out scoring.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

HBU dominates Howard Payne 93-60

Story and photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 21, 2018) With four players scoring in double-figures, including a double-double, the HBU Huskies dominated Howard Payne by the score of 93-60 at Sharp Gymnasium on the campus of Houston Baptist University. In pushing their season record to 3-1, head coach Donna Finnie saw her Huskies pull down a season high 58 rebounds and score a season high 93 points.

Amanda Johnson (Georgetown HS, Georgetown, Texas) came of the bench to tally a season high 23 points, while Megan Valdez-Crader (Crosby HS, Crosby, Texas) scored 12 in her fourth consecutive game in double figures. Taylor Kollmorgan (Second Baptist HS, Houston, Texas) added 12 in the effort. That, along with her 12 rebounds, gave the senior her third double-double of the season. Sophie Taylor (Westwood HS, Austin, Texas) contributed 16 points to the Husky total. Howard Payne, who fell to 1-3 in the season, was led by Chelsey Harris (Midway HS, Waco, Texas) who scored a season-high 30 points.  

The Huskies will head to Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, November 24 to take on 3-1 Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are averaging 78 points and 50.8 rebounds per game. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. CST.

Lamar & Northern Iowa have met once before in 1964 Pecan Bowl

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

BEAUMONT, TEXAS (November 21, 2018) When the Lamar Cardinals (7-4, 6-3 Southland Conference) takes the field on Saturday in Cedar Falls, Iowa against the Northern Iowa Panthers (6-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley Football Conference), it will not be the first time the two schools have faced off.

On December 12, 1964, Lamar Tech, (as Lamar University was known at the time) played State College of Iowa (former name of Northern Iowa University) at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene, Texas in the Pecan Bowl. The game was contested as the NCAA Midwest Football Championship, and ended with the Panthers edging out the Cardinals, 19-17. 

Mike Allman scored first for Lamar with a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter. He also added two extra points after each of the Cardinals' two touchdowns/ The first of the two touchdowns came in the third quarter on a 80-yard pass reception from Phillip Primm to Frazier Dealy. The second touchdown came in the fourth quarter when Primm connected with Gary Casey on a seven-yard pass.

Prim was 8-of-16 for 171 yards in the air, with one interception. Dealy caught four passes for 114 yards while Casey only reception was for the score.

Saturday's game will be televised on ESPN3 with a scheduled kickoff  time of 4 p.m. CST.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Rice outlasts TSU, 76-71 for second win of season

Story and photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 20, 2018) Trailing by 14 points in the third quarter, the Rice Owls outscored the Texas Southern Tigers 25-8 in the final seven and one-half minutes to take a 76-71 win in front of 529 fans at Tudor Fieldhouse on Tuesday evening.

TSU jumped out tp a 63-49 lead with 7:49 remaining in the game, but the Owls recovered from their third quarter slump and battled back to take their second win of the season The 2-2 Owls, whose two losses came against ranked teams, will look for their third win of the season on Friday afternoon (November 23) when they host Georgia State with a 2 p.m. tip off.

Erica Ogwumike (Cypress Woods HS, Cypress, Texas) led Rice with 20 points, followed by Jasmine Smith (The Kinkaid School, Cypress, Texas) and Lauren Grigsby (Dekaney HS, Spring, Texas), each with 16. Ogwumike was 11-of-12 from the freethrow line, with Smith shooting 7-of-8. Grisby was 4-of-5 from three-point range. Those stats contributed to 30 of Rice's 76 points. The Owls tallied 11 from behind the arc, to add to theor score.

The Tigers had three players in double figures; Marquia Turner (Hoover HS, Canton, Ohio) with 21 points, followed by Brenae Andrews (Grosse Pointe South HS, Detroit, Michigan) with 16, and Olivia Cunningham (Horn Lake HS, Horn Lake, Mississippi) with 15.

Next up for the 1-2 Tigers is a Friday, November 23 game against McNeese State in El Paso.  

Guidry out as McNeese State head football coach

Photo courtesy of McNeese State University
Sports Information Department
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Chris Price
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (November 20, 2018) It is being reported by KPLC TV in Lake Charles that McNeese State University has decided not to renew the contract of head football coach Lance Guidry (shown right). The announcement was made by Bruce Hemphill, who is the Director of Athletics at McNeese.

Guidry has been with the athletic department as a coach since 2013 when he was hired as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach; a role he held until 2015. He was elevated to head coach in 2016, and previously was employed by McNeese from 2000 to 2004 as defensive coordinator. He returned to campus in 2008 as the defensive backs coach. The 47-year-old Guidry was a four-year letterman for McNeese from 1990 to 1993. He was an all-conference defensive back for the Cowboys and part of two conference championship teams (1991, 1993). 

In his three-plus years as head coach, he posted a 22-13 record, including a 6-5 record this season. In conference play, the Cowboys were 5-4 in 2018, with the four losses coming in the final five gam3s of the season. 

Hemphill also announced a national search for Guildy's replacement will begin immediately.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Three Southland Conference teams selected for FCS Championship

The 2018 FCS championship game will
be played January 5, 2019 at
Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

FRISCO, TEXAS (November 19, 2018)

Three Southland Conference schools have qualified or been selected for the 2018 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision tournament with all three football teams beginning play on Saturday, November 24, 2018. 

Nicholls State (8-3), who won the conference championship with a 7-2 record, received the automatic bid and will host San Diego at John L. Guidry Stadium in Thibodeau, Louisiana with a 3 p.m. CST kickoff. The Toreros won the 2018 Pioneer Football League with a 8-0 record (9-2 season). The winner will face No.3 seed Eastern Washington (9-2) on December 1 in Cheney, Washington. The winner will face No.3 seed Eastern Washington (9-2) on December 1 in Cheney, Washington.

Incarnate Word (6-4) will take on Montana State (7-4) on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman, Montana. The Bobcats finished in fourth place in the Big Sky Conference with a 5-3 record. Kickoff is schedules for 2 p.m. CST. The winner will take on No. 1 North Dakota State (11-0) the following Saturday. The Bison won the Missouri Valley Football Conference and are the 2018 NCAA FCS National Champions.

The Lamar Cardinals (7-4) will round out the SLC playoff teams with a Saturday match up against the Northern Iowa Panthers (6-5), who finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference. The game will be played at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa with a 4 p.m. CST start. The winner will take on No. 6 UC Davis on December 1 in Davis, California.

All first and second round games can be viewed on ESPN3.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Five field goals leads Arkansas-Pine Bluff to 15-10 win over Texas Southern

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 17, 2018) Texas Southern could not overcome the fleet foot of kicker Jamie Gillan (Leonardtown HS, Leonardtown, Maryland) as he booted five field goals to lead the Arkansas-Pine Bluffs Golden Lions to a 15-10 win over the Tigers at BBVA Compass Stadium. The 2,045 fans in attendance, with the vast majority supporting the Tigers, witnessed Gillan kick field goals of 24, 37, 29, 46, and 37 yards and dash their hopes of TSU winning their second conference game of the season. TSU downed Mississippi Valley State by the score of 42-14 for the only conference win on October 27. 

The Tigers and Golden Lions traded scores in the first quarter, with TSU getting on the scoreboard first on a 24-yard kick by Aaron Cuevas (North Shore HS, Houston, Texas). That was followed by the first of Gillan's scores, a 37-yarder. He added the 39-yard field goal in the second quarter before Glen Cuiellette (Manderville HS, Manderville,Louisiana) romped 21 yards for the only touchdown of the game. Cuevas added the kicking conversion to give the Tigers a 10-6 lead at the half. Gill10 an's 46-yard and 27-yard field goals came in the third quarter, with the 22 yard field goal coming with 1:48 left in the game.

Texas Southern will conclude the season with a Saturday, November 24 match up against long-time rival Prairie View A&M. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at New Panther Stadium in Prairie View, Texas.

HBU Huskies fall to Sam Houston State 42-20 in final game of season

Story and photos by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 17, 2018) After jumping out to a 28-10 lead after 30 minutes of play, the Sam Houston State Bearkats went on to down the HBU Huskies by the score of 42-20 at Husky Field in Houston. The contest, which was the final game of the season for both teams, saw the Bearkats complete the 2018 season with a 6-5 record; 5-4 in Southland Conference action, while HBU posted a 1-10 record, with a 0-9 record in conference.

The game was much tighter than the score indicated. Both squads recorded over 400 yards of total offense (SHSU: 401 yards and HBU: 490 yards). One key factor was in the HBU loss third-down conversions, along with fumbles. The Huskies fumbled the ball three times; losing possession to the Bearkats on two of them. In third-down conversions, HBU could manage only four on 18 attempts (22%) while the Beatkats conferred on half their attempts (8-of-16, 50%).

Sophomore quarterback Bailey Zappe (Victoria East HS, Victoria, Texas), who completed the final game of his historic sophomore season, was 17-of-34 in the air for 219 yards. He also carried the ball 11 times for 25 net yards, with the longest run being 15 yards. Sophomore LaDarius Dickins (Rowlett HS, Rowlett, Texas) carried the ball 15 times for 121 yards, while sophomore teammate Dreshawn Minnieweather had 16 carries for 105 yards and one touchdown.

Kicker David Dominguez (Mortan Ranch HS, Katy, Texas) booted two field goals of 44 and 33 yards, along with a two extra points. The final touchdown of the game was a one-yard run by sophomore wide receiver Gamar Girdy Brito  (Victoria West HS, Victoria, Texas).

Tigres upend Pumas in International Friendly

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 17, 2018) Under clear skies and a brisk 71 degress, hard-core and passionate soccer fans filled Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday afternoon  to witness two historic and storied Mexican programs battle each other in an international exhibition game.

The friendy match saw Tigres UANL score one goal in each of the two halves to down UNAM Pumas by the score of 2-0. The first half saw forward Eduardo Vargas (shown below, #9 in blue) take a pass from fellow forward Andre Gignac (shown above, #10 in blue) and slip it past goalkeeper Miguel Fraga in the 21st minute for the first goal of the game.

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
They added their second goal 46 minutes later, in the 67th minute, when Gignac got in on the receiving end of a pass for the Tigres' second goal. Midfielder Raul Torres send the ball to Gignac, who again drilled it past Fraga for the score.

Tigres took eight shots in the match, with two of them on goal, while Pumas had seven shots, with two also on goal. Nine yellow flags were issued; five to Pumas and four to Tigres; for various and assorted infractions.

As soon as the game was completed, the grounds crew quicky coverted the soccer pitch to a football field, for the second game of the double header at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Texas Southern Tigers had a 7:30 p.m. CST match up against SWAC rival Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

The next international friendly soccer match at BBVA Compass Stadium is set for Saturday, December 29 where Club America will face Santos Laguna with a scheduled 4:30 p.m. start.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

HBU to face Fordham in first home game of season.

Photo by
Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loco Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 10, 2018) The HBU Huskies men's basketball team kicks off their 2018-19 home schedule with a 7 p.m. CST game against the Fordham Rams on Saturday evening. The Huskies will be looking for their first win of the season, after dropping a 90-60 decision against Arizona at the McKale Center in Tucson on Wednesday night.

Junior guard Jalon Gates (Clemens HS, Sugar Land, TX) led the way for the Huskies with 15 points against Arizona, followed by Oliver Lynch-Daniels (Oak Hill Academy, Chapel Hill, NC) with 10.

Head coach Ron Cottrell, in his 27th season of leading the Huskies, returns nine players from a 5-25 season in 2017-18; in which they failed to qualify for the Southland Conference Tournament. With an influx of three transfer players and three high school recruits, The Huskies will be working towards returning to the conference tournament and the NCAA playoffs.

Fordham won its opener at home against City College of New York by a score of 106-58. The Rams finished the 2017-18 season with a 9-22 record and posted a single win (1-10 record) on the road. Saturday’s game marks the first ever meeting between the two programs and is the Huskies’ first game against an Atlantic 10 opponent since the 2011-12 season when HBU visited Duquesne. 

The game can be heard on the DNA Husky Sports Network broadcast with Chase Hernandez, available at

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Houston Dyanmo fall short to Seattle on last home game of season.

A "minor" disagreement occured between the Houston Dynamo
and Seattle Sounders in the second half.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 21, 2018) The 19,000-plus fans at BBVA Compass Stadium was hoping for a comeback late in the game, but their wishes went unanswered as the Houston Dynamo dropped a close 3-2 decision to the Seattle Sounders on Sunday evening. The Sounders went up 2-0 by halftime, courtesy of goals by Chad Marshall and Gustav Svensson, with Houston cutting their lead to 2-1 14 minutes into the second half. Defender Kevin Garcia scored his first goal of the season for Houston, with an assist by Oscar Boniek Garcia. The Honduran posted his seventh assist of 2018. 

Fourteen minutes later, Seattle regained a two-goal lead, in the 87th minute, when Raul Ruidiaz drilled the ball past Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric. The Dynamo added their second goal in the 89th minute, when Mauro Manotas slipped the ball into the goal past Seattle's Stefan Frei, to close out scoring for the evening.

The loss dropped the Dynamo to 9-16-8 on the season and denied head coach Wilmer Cabrera his 32nd victory in Major League Soccer. He talked about the the match after the game:

“I think we played well. We played well against a very good team. It was a good game of soccer, today – where we had the ball, we created options, we attacked. They didn't create too many options to be honest with you, but the difference was set pieces and mistakes. That team didn’t make any mistakes and on the set pieces – we suffered. They had two and we had one. (DF Chad) Marshall is wonderful—for me the best in set pieces in MLS. So, I expect that but in the second half he fixed it, (DF) Kevin (Garcia) fixed that but (MF) (Gustav) Svensson was totally free —that’s concentration and the third goal that’s a sad mistake and an unusual mistake that happened. But that’s why we needed to put (GK) Tyler Deric after one year. ‘What are we going to do. We’re not going to play him?’ We have to play him. He has to go through that. We are not in the playoffs, this is the moment for him just to go and he is back, but it’s going to help him to recover and it’s going to help him to just get that fire in him for the next season.”

In the 38 games this season, Manotas leads the Dynamo with 23 goals. Tomas Martinez and Romell Quioto lead the team in assists, both with 11. Houston currently has a 1-3-0 record in October and dropped their home record to 8-6-3.

The Dynamo close out the season on Sunday, October 28 with a road match against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

HBU falls to SFA, 42-14 in hard-fought Southland Conference contest

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 20, 2018) After battling to a seven-seven tie at the end of the first quarter, the Houston Baptist University Huskies could not maintain their offensive momentum; dropping a 42-14 decision to the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Husky Stadium in Houston. In the five seasons the Huskies and SFA have faced off, the Lumberjacks raised their record against the Huskies to 4-1. HBU's lone win over SFA came on November 12, 2016, with a 31-24 final score at Husky Stadium. After HBU tied the score at the 10:10 mark of the first quarter, the Lumberjacks put 21 unanswered points on the scoreboard. With 1:32 left in the third quarter, Quarterback Bailey Zappe connected with Terry Tillmon on an eight-yard pass to cap a three play, 15-yard drive. The touchdown was the third of the season for the junior wide receiver who hails from Dolton, Illinois. The first score for HBU; a 40-yard pass from Zappe to Jerreth Sterns (Waxahachie HS, Midlothhian, Texas) was the his fourth touchdown of the year.

Zappe, who is have a record-setting season, has completed 18 touchdown passes to date, with the 40-yard pass to Sterns being his longest of the year. The sophomore, who played his prep ball at Victoria East (Texas) High School, was 15-of-34 for 143 yards and two touchdowns. LaDarius Dickens caught 20 passes for 95 yards while Sterns caught six passes for 74 yards.

One major highlight of the game was kicker Tyler Blanchard booting an 80-yard punt late in the second quarter. He has punted 21 times in 2018, for 829 yards and averaging 29.5 yards-per-punt. with four of 50 yards or more and seven inside the 20-yard line.

Next up for the Huskies is a October 27 road contest against Northwestern State on Saturday, October 27. The Lumberjacks will take on the Lamar Cardinals at home on the same date. 

Lamar Cardinals send shockwave through Southland Conference

Photo and story courtsey of Lamar Athletics Press Release and Collegiate Atheltic News

BEAUMONT, TEXAS (October 20, 2018) Lamar University rushed for 435 yards, including 168 yards and two touchdowns from sophomore Myles Wanza, to upset No. 14 Sam Houston State, 41-23, Saturday night at Provost Umphrey Stadium. The Cardinals (3-4/2-3 Southland) took the lead with 2:55 remaining in the first half and never looked back.

"I'm very proud of our guys today," said LU head coach Mike Schultz. "This is probably the most complete game we've played since I've been at Lamar. We did a very good job offensively. I must give credit to Dan Dodd and the offensive staff for coming up with a great game plan and executing that plan.

"Sam Houston has a fast group of kids, and I think everyone saw that. You have to give credit to our defensive staff too. Troy Douglass and company did a phenomenal job getting our guys ready to play and they went out and executed. I felt like we played well in all three phases of the game," added Schultz.

The Cardinals finished the day with 566 yards of total offense and were led by two players who rushed for more than 100. In addition to Wanza (who averaged 11.2 yards per carry), junior A.J. Walker added 23 carries for 121 yards. Senior Darrel Colbert, Jr., had 12 carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns, but was pulled from the game late after scrambling for his second score. Junior Jordan Hoy came on in relief completing 2-of-3 passes for 90 yards and carried the ball six times for 33 yards.

"We felt coming into the game that we had a chance to run the football," said Schultz. "Our kids did a really nice job blocking down the field and taking advantage of some opportunities. We know Myles is capable of nights like this, but he just has not been healthy this season. He and A.J. are a good compliment to each other."

Big Red's defense held Sam Houston State to 382 yards of offense and less than 100 rushing (79). The Cardinals' defensive effort was led by senior Davon Jernigan who ended the night with a team-high 16 tackles, including one for a loss. Classmate Rodney Randle ended the night with nine stops and three pass breakups, and last week's hero, Lane Taylor, added eight solo tackles and a PBU.

For the Cardinals, it was their first win over a nationally ranked opponent since 2015 when it also defeated Sam Houston State, who was ranked third that year. It's also the first time LU has won back-to-back games since the 2016 season. For the Bearkat defense, the 41 points that LU hung on the scoreboard Saturday is the most surrendered by SHSU all season.

After giving up the game's first score, the Cardinals rallied to score 17 of the next 24 points. Sophomore Elvin Martinez pulled LU within three with his 26-yard field goal less than two minutes after Sam Houston's game-opening score. Sam Houston pushed it's lead to 10, 13-3, after Colbert was stripped while passing the ball, and recovered by the Bearkats on the LU nine. Two plays later SHSU was in the end zone following a nine-yard pass from Ty Brock to Davion Davis.

The Cardinals closed out the opening quarter with a six-play, 42-yard drive that ended with a 17-yard run from Wanza with 45 seconds remaining in the first. The score pulled LU back within three, 13-10.

The score remained unchanged until under the three-minute mark when Big Red was back on the march. Colbert guided a seven-play 80-yard drive that ended with him scrambling for a 14-yard run for the score. It gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game, 17-13, which they took into the locker room.

The Cardinals went into halftime with 248 yards of total offense, including 234 on the ground. Big Red's defense held Sam Houston State to 218 yards. Wanza ended the half with seven carries for 86 yards and a touchdown, while Walker had 13 for 79 yards.

The Cardinals didn't waste any time picking up in the second half where it left off in the first. Colbert drove the Cardinals down the field in 2:09 and added to the lead with an eight-yard scoring run. The score pushed Big Red's lead to 11, 24-13. After a Martinez 25-yard field goal gave the Cards a 14-point advantage, Sam Houston surged back with 10-straight to cut the deficit to four, 27-23, with 1:51 remaining in the third.

Hoy, who entered the game following the Cardinals' last score, answered the Bearkat run with another Cardinal drive. Hoy moved the Cardinals 75 yards down the field on three plays and ended with a 35-yard run from Wanza right down the middle of the field. The score gave LU a 34-23 lead with 57 seconds remaining in the third. The TD run was set up by a 38-yard pass to senior Isaiah Howard on the previous play.

The Bearkats moved the ball deep into LU territory midway through the fourth quarter but the LU defense denied Sam on third down. On fourth, the Bearkats tried to quick snap the ball but got flagged for a false start and the Cardinals got the ball back.

The Red and White put the game on ice with another score at the 4:55 mark. Hoy led the Cardinals on a 5-play, 65-yard drive that took 3:05 off the clock and eliminated any ideas of Sam Houston comeback.

The Cardinals will go in search of its third-straight victory Saturday when they travel to Nacogdoches, Texas to take on Stephen F. Austin. It marks the Cardinals first trip to Nacogdoches since the 2012 season. The game against SFA will kick off at 3 p.m. from Homer Bryce Stadium. It can be heard live on Newstalk 560 KLVI. It can also will be televised on ESPN+.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Week Seven Rankings: UIL Class 6A Football

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

PASADENA-DEER PARK, TEXAS (October 14, 2018) Below is our 
Week Seven (for games played October 11-13, 2018) Top 10 Rankings for Texas UIL Class 6A Football.  

1. Allen Eagles (6-0) 54-14 WIN over Plano East (Last Week: #1)
2. North Shore Mustangs (6-0) 75-13 WIN over Deer Park (Last Week: #2)
3. Converse Judson Rockets (6-0) 37-11 WIN over New Braunfels (Last Week: #4)
4. Duncanville Panthers (5-0) 76-0 WIN over Richardson Lake Highlands (Last Week: #5)
5. Longview Lobos (6-0) 50-3 WIN over Mesquite Horn (Last Week: #6)
6. Klein Collins Tigers (7-0) 56-14 WIN over Klein Cain (Last Week: #7)
7. Southlake Carroll Dragons (6-0) 41-17 WIN over Byron Nelson (Last Week: #8)
8. Katy Tigers (5-1) 44-7 WIN over Katy Morton Ranch (Last Week: #9)
9. Cypress Ranch Mustangs (7-0) 56-14 WIN over Cypress Springs (Last Week: Not Ranked #11)
     10. Temple Wildcats (6-0) 35-13 WIN over Killeen (Last Week: #10)

Friday, October 12, 2018

North Shore tallies 723 yards of offense in 75-13 rout of Deer Park

North Shore's Roger Hagen (15) dives for
a few extra yards versus Deer Park.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis,
La Vita Loca Photography,
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 12, 2018) The No. 2 North Shore Mustangs continued their run to an eventual district championship with a 75-13 win over the Deer Park Deer at Galena Park ISD Stadium on Friday evening. Their 75 points was the most this season over any opponent and put them in the driver’s seat of UIL District 21-6A with four regular season games to go. 

The Mustangs have outscored their opponents in their first six games, 302-46; averaging just over 50 points a game. In their past twelve meetings dating back to 2004, North Shore has posted a 12-0 record against Deer Park. Their 75-13 win was the most points scored against the Deer since their 51-10 win on October 21, 2004. 

Against the Deer, Mustang quarterback Dematrius Davis completed 9-of-11 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Zach Evans carried the ball nine times for 141 yards while Shadrach Banks caught four passes for 77 yards and one touchdown. The Mustangs tallied 723 yards of total offense against the Deer, the most of the season; pushing their average-per-game to 456 yards. 

With four games to go in the regular season, Deer Park fell to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in district play. The Mustangs are a perfect 6-0 and facing an October 19 match up against Baytown Sterling (2-4 season, 0-3 district). After playing Sterling, the Deer will close out the regular season against Baytown Sterling (October 19), Beaumont Westbrook (October 26), Beaumont United (November 3), and Channelview (November 9).

Monday, October 08, 2018

Week Six Rankings: UIL Class 6A Football

By Robert H Kelly

Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

PASADENA-DEER PARK, TEXAS (October 8, 2018) Below 
is our Week Six (for games played October 4-6, 2018) 
Top 10 Rankings for UIL Class 6A Football. Their previous 
rank is listed behind the school's name.

1. Allen Eagles (1)
2. North Shore Mustangs (2)
3. Lake Travis Cavaliers (3)
4. Converse Judson Rockets (4)
5. Duncanville Panthes (5)
6. Longview Lobos (8)
7.  Klein Collins Tigers (6)
8. Southlake Carroll (7)
9. Katy Tigers (10)
10. Temple Wildcats (NR)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Houston comes from behind to down San Jose Earthquakes

Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 29, 2018) Trailing 2-0 at halftime, the Houston Dynamo scored three unanswered points in the second half to down the San Jose Earthquakes by the score of 3-2 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Saturday evening. The win improved Houston's record to 9-13-8 on the season and improved their record against San Jose to 12-8-3 overall ad 8-2-1 in Houston.

The come-from-behind win, after being down 0-2, was the first time in club history. It was the fourth time in team history that they came back from a two-goal deficit to earn a positive result and the second time this season. They rallied from down 0-2 to tie Los Angeles FC 2-2 on July 3, 2018.

Forward Mauro Manotas established a new club single-season scoring record with his 15th of the year when he scored on a right-footed blast in the 57th minute. Midfielder Tomás Martínez scored his fifth goal of the season when he hit the back of the net to equalize the match in the 68th minute. Forward Romell Quioto scored his fifth goal of the season when he tapped home the game-winning goal in the 87th minute. It was his third career game-winning goal for the Dynamo and his first of this season. He stared after the game:

“I am very happy that we won and this was a game that was almost out of reach. I’m glad that I scored and was able to help this team. I want to acknowledge Mauro’s (Manotas) effort and he knew he could find me inside the box and he found did. I was there ready to score and glory to God I scored.”

With four games to play in the regular season, Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera was stated in the post-game press conference.

“Yes, we didn’t start slow. We started off good with the ball and moving the ball, but we weren’t as dangerous as usual. We made two changes up front— (FW) Memo (Rodriguez) and (FW) Ronaldo (Pena). I have to sacrifice Ronaldo and I put him on the right. He has played on the right side but he’s more comfortable in the center, but it wasn’t that we were playing bad the only thing is we made two mistakes, two mistakes and they capitalized on those two mistakes. So, at halftime I came over and we made the decision to change a little bit to give us energy and to move forward - be more dangerous and throughout the 45 minutes it paid off for us and coming from 2-0 to win the game 3-2 is very rewarding for a team who just played three days ago. We had to perform well. So, that shows that we have, we have that fire in us. The players were suffering at halftime down 2-0. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t good. So, they reacted well and I’m happy, I’m proud of their reactions, of their desire to come back and despite that we won, we scored three goals in the second half – the mentality, the intensity and the passion were how the guys came in, it was very good. I was pleased with that change of attitude and at the end the guys are right now, their confident and we enjoyed the outcome and we could reward the fans that came tonight and give them three more points and we’re still fighting for the playoffs.”

The Dynamo will travel Seattle on Monday, October 8 to face the Sounders.