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Ravens edge out Drovers in home opener

Benedictine women’s basketball earned a hard fought victory over University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma 69-65 on the first night of the Holiday Inn Express Basketball Classic at Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.

The win was senior guard LaRanda Thomas’ first game of the season after missing the first three with injury and she delivered with a team-high 20 points, which included six three pointers.

“Having her back was huge,” Coach Chad Folsom said. “She’s got the ability to hit shots when she’s open.”

Thomas banked in the three pointer that actually put the Ravens up 66-65 in the final minute of play.

“I think God was on my side with that last one,” Thomas said with a smile. “We’ll take it and it was for sure fun to be back.”

Folsom said getting a win over a USAO that is one of the few teams who will have a height advantage over the Ravens (4-0) was huge.

“They’re a big athletic team,” Folsom said. “It was an opportunity to win on our home court and we did.”

Benedictine enters this season with just as much depth as the previous season but with sharpened experience with a total of ten players who had valuable minutes throughout the season.

“I feel like we’re already much more seasoned at this point in the year,” Folsom said. “It showed tonight as well with how well we were able to take care of the ball.”

The Ravens only had nine turnovers and kept their composure down the stretch to seal the win in a game where they trailed for much of regulation.

“I think we just settled down,” Thomas said. “Sometimes we were getting sped up and shot bad shots but that last ninety seconds we really just slowed down and took what they gave us.”

Sophomore Skylar Washington was second on Benedictine with 11 points and senior Kayla Staley was third with 10 on the night.

The Ravens will finish up the holiday basketball classic at 3 p.m. against York College.


Submitted  

Fireball 10U had a good Fall Season going 6-3. Not many of these girls had played together, but they mingled together and built a solid team.

Coached by Mike Williams, Beau Burkitt and Sherri Nelson.

Back Row: Alex Burkitt, Brynlee Wolfe, Mykal Novotny, Emma Vice, Mya Mendez-Hollamon, Maria Mendez, and Reagan Priebe.

Front Row: Ella Barber, Kinley Nelson, Michaela Williams, Kylie Nelson and Saige Stover.


No. 20 Kansas State rolling into matchup with reeling Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — Kansas State is on a roll and making noise in the chase for the Big 12 championship. Texas is reeling and just trying to hang on to its title hopes.

That’s quite the role reversal from the expectations for both teams when the season began.

Texas ended 2018’s 10-win season with a “We’re back” declaration from quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Two losses in the last three games have Texas (5-3, 3-2) now needing to beat the No. 20 Wildcats (6-2, 3-2) on Sunday just to have a chance to get back to the Big 12 title game.

“We’ve left the margin of error very slim, and that’s okay,” Longhorns coach Tom Herman said. “We’re on the ropes. You can do one of two things. You can fight your way off the ropes or you can tell your trainer to throw in the towel. And from all accounts, everybody is pushing in the same direction saying, we want to fight our way off the ropes.”

Texas had a week off to regroup after a loss at TCU. Kansas State, meanwhile, has been on a tear of three straight wins under first-year coach Chris Klieman. None was bigger than a 48-41 stunner over conference favorite No. 9 Oklahoma two weeks ago. The Wildcats followed that by crushing rival Kansas, the team that took Texas to the final play in a shootout.

The Wildcats haven’t been bowl-eligible this early in the season since 2014. They even showed up in the season’s first College Football Playoff rankings at No. 16. That makes the drive for the Big 12 title game even more important.

The Texas defense has been severely depleted by injuries and gets a key player back this week in sophomore safety Caden Sterns. An All-Big 12 player last year, Sterns has missed four games with a leg injury and his absence left gaping holes in coverage and run support.

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is still on a tear through the school’s single-season passing records, but his last few games have been kind of rough.

He’s completing less than 60% of his passes the last four games and has six interceptions to eight touchdowns. Herman, however, says he has “no issues” about Ehlinger’s play and that only one of the turnovers against TCU was his fault.

“Everybody wants to look at sacks and say the O-line stinks,” Herman said. “Everybody wants to look at interceptions and say the quarterback stinks or had a bad game. He made one bad decision.”

Kansas State’s rise can be traced to quarterback Skylar Thompson’s mastery of the new offense. Thompson has seven of Kansas State’s 11 rushing touchdowns the last two games in a throwback to what Collin Klein did for the Wildcats years ago. Klein is now the Kansas State quarterbacks coach.

Thompson needs just 30 rushing yards to become just the fourth Kansas State quarterback to have more than 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a career.

“We’re not an option offense, so we don’t practice that much more than a few handful of times a week,” Klieman said.

Both starting quarterbacks have led game-winning drives in the fourth quarter this season. Thompson did it against TCU and Mississippi State. He accounted for 91 of 95 yards in an 11-play drive and in the winning touchdown against TCU. Ehlinger drove Texas to the winning field against Kansas, competing six passes and running for a first down to set up the final kick on the last play.

Longhorns special teams never fail to deliver highlights and lowlights. Kicker Cameron Dicker booted the game-winner against Kansas, then shanked a 26-yarder against TCU. Then Texas punter Ryan Bujcevski broke his collarbone against TCU, leaving backup Chris Naggar to handle punts and holding duties on extra points and field goals. And Texas ranks dead last nationally in punt return yards with minus-12.


Benedictine
No. 4 Mustangs run over No. 9 Ravens

It certainly wasn’t the regular season home opener No. 9 Benedictine was hoping for coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history.

The Ravens took one on the chin in their 93-63 loss to Morningside Friday in the Holiday Inn Basketball Classic.

The Mustangs dominated the first half and only allowed Benedictine to shoot 17 percent from the field.

The game was essentially over at halftime with Ravens facing a staggering 40-12 deficit

Coach Ryan Moody said his team didn’t have an answer for the smothering defense No. 4 Morningside came out with.

“I think they came out and blitzed us,” Moody said. “They put tons of pressure on us, denied passing lanes and made everything hard on offense.”

Moody said the defense of the Ravens hung tough early on but just couldn’t overcome the misfires of the offense.

“We weren’t really even getting clean looks and you put pressure on your defense when you just keep missing,” Moody said. “You can’t continue to get stops and stay in the game.”

Moody also admitted his team didn’t seem to have the same fight early in the game they’ve had in the past year.

“I was disappointed in our team in general in the first half with our will too,” Moody said. “I think we gave in when we got down, our body language got bad and I’m not sure our effort was sustained.”

Moody didn’t sugar coat the loss but said there is plenty to learn from.

“I’m not going to say there were a lot of positives in this game but there is a lot to learn from,” Moody said. “It’s only game three but we have a lot of things that have nothing to do with X’s and O’s that we have to work on.”

Moody did give credit to the caliber of team Benedictine played on the night and said he’d be stunned if the Mustangs weren’t competing for a title at the NAIA Division II level in March.

“I’ll be shocked if that team isn’t in the final four at the Divison II level,” Moody said. “That team is loaded.”

Junior Guard Jaiden Bristol led the team with 15 on the night and senior guard Colby Nickels was second with 10.

The Ravens will look to bounce back Saturday at 5 p.m. against No. 15 John Brown University.


Chiefs' Mahomes to start against Titans, barring setbacks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes will start for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, just over two weeks after the quarterback’s season was jeopardized by a dislocated kneecap.

Mahomes never missed a practice after hurting his knee on a Thursday night against Denver, even though some thought the seriousness of the injury could sideline the league MVP for months.

But it turned out there was no structural damage, and it became a waiting game to see when Mahomes would return. He practiced on a limited basis the first week before being ruled out against Green Bay, then was limited again last week before being inactive against Minnesota.

“We knew how we’ve been doing the whole process of the injury,” Mahomes said after Friday’s practice. “I knew I had a chance once I talked to all those doctors, and they said that as long as I was functioning well, moving well, that I could play this week.”

Matt Moore started the past two games for Kansas City. The journeyman had been coaching high school football when the Chiefs lost backup Chad Henne to a broken ankle in the preseason and gave him a call. Moore wound up playing solidly in losing to the Packers and beating the Vikings.

His performances, along with improved play from the defensed, helped to keep the Chiefs (6-3) atop the AFC West and in the hunt for a first-round playoff bye while Mahomes was out.

“Unless something happens here, he’ll be the guy that plays,” Reid said of Mahomes, who had been eager to play. “You can go whatever direction you want to go with it. I’m going to see after this practice, but right now, that’s what it looks like.”

Mahomes has thrown for 2,180 yards with 15 touchdowns and one interception through six-plus games, building on his record-setting debut as the starter. Even after missing more than two games, Mahomes is tied for seventh in the league in TD passes and is second in quarterback rating.

His injury occurred on the most innocuous of plays.

The Chiefs were deep in Denver territory and facing fourth-and-short, and Reid called for a sneak. Mahomes plunged forward and easily picked up the first down, but as body after body came off the pile, the young quarterback was left on the turf clutching his right knee.

Doctors and trainers rushed onto the field, and television cameras showed one of the physicians jerk the kneecap back into place. Mahomes then limped off the field and straight to the locker room.

“I just knew I couldn’t straighten my leg,” Mahomes said. “The doctors came out and put it back in, and I took those first few steps. I was gingerly walking, but then I realized I didn’t really have much pain at all, if any, so I walked off the field and got the exams.”

Mahomes had X-rays taken at the field that confirmed the dislocation. But the Chiefs didn’t know Mahomes had escaped potentially serious damage to tendons and ligaments until the following day in Kansas City. Head trainer Rick Burkholder said an MRI exam was “as good as we can possibly imagine,” and Chiefs officials hoped Mahomes would return before their bye week.

After visiting Tennessee on Sunday, they head to Mexico City to face the Chargers the following week, before finally getting their bye. That would give Mahomes two weeks to test out his knee, then a much-needed week off to rest and recover before the final stretch.

“It was kind of a fluke thing,” said Mahomes, who will be wearing a brace on the right knee. “I guess I’ll always be a tad higher (risk of dislocating it) than the regular person, but whenever you’re on that football field, there’s always a chance of injury. As long as I’m functioning, I’m moving around the right way, I can go out and play.”

The Chiefs are poised to be as healthy as they’ve been since Week 1 on Sunday. Left tackle Eric Fisher (groin) and defensive end Alex Okafor (ankle) are the only players ruled out.

Top pass rusher Frank Clark, who had missed a couple of games with a neck injury, is expected back after practicing on a limited basis this week. Also expected back are right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle) and cornerback Kendall Fuller (thumb), both of whom practiced all week.

“It’s a long season. We still have a lot to go,” Mahomes said. “But every single day it seems like we’re getting better in every aspect of the game. You want to do that. Obviously, we went through a stretch where we lost games that we didn’t want to, but we now see that everyone is pulling together and building together and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”