www.charlestondailymail.com Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers MEC FOOTBALL: State dedicates game to cancer awareness http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029566 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029566 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:46:44 -0400


The West Virginia State University football program is teaming up with the Tobacco Free Yellow Jackets campus organization to raise funds for the West Virginia affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Members of the Tobacco Free Yellow Jackets will have tables set up at the entrance to Dickerson Stadium during Saturday's 2 p.m. game against UVa-Wise to pass out literature on breast cancer and tobacco cancer prevention as well as accept donations.

"We all know somebody who has been affected by cancer." football coach Jon Anderson said. "I wanted our guys to do more than just wear pink to show support, we want to make sure we are raising awareness and doing our part to give back to support cancer research as well."

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Yellow Jacket football team has been collecting donations throughout the month and will present a check to a representative of the Susan G. Komen West Virginia affiliate at halftime of Saturday's contest.

MEC SOCCER: UC men win regular season conference title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029572 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029572 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:26:46 -0400


WHEELING, W.Va. - The nation's second-ranked team, the University of Charleston, wrapped up the 2014 Mountain East Conference regular-season championship with its 4-0 victory over Wheeling Jesuit on Wednesday.

It also marked the 400th victory in the history of the program, which was establishedc in 1967.

The Golden Eagles are back in action for their last home game at 7 p.m. Saturday against West Virginia Wesleyan.

Royals take first battle of bullpens from Giants http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/ARTICLE/141029607 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/ARTICLE/141029607 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:55:08 -0400


AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The first showdown of brilliant bullpens went to the Kansas City Royals.

After Kansas City took the lead with a five-run sixth inning, the trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and All-Star closer Greg Holland shut down the hot-hitting San Francisco Giants.

Kansas City cruised from there to a 7-2 victory Wednesday night, evening the World Series at a game apiece as it shifts to the Bay Area for the next three games.

"It's a huge luxury for me," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "After the sixth inning, my thinking is done. I don't have to mix and match."

Nope, just call on the gas.

Herrera's blistering 101-mph fastballs kept the free-swinging Giants on their heels, and Davis breezed through a perfect eighth inning with his own heat. The hard-throwing Holland worked around a single in the ninth, punctuating the victory by punching the air.

"We've got a pretty good recipe for success with Herrera, Davis and Holland," Yost said.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco bullpen that had the fifth-best ERA in the majors and had tossed 12 2-3 scoreless innings in its last four games was lit up like the crown-shaped scoreboard in center field.

With the game tied 2-all and Giants starter Jake Peavy in trouble in the sixth, manager Bruce Bochy summoned reliever Jean Marchi to face Billy Butler. The big designated hitter responded with a hard single to left field, giving the Royals a 3-2 lead and igniting a crowd that had been waiting since a 7-1 loss in Game 1 for something to get excited bout.

Playing the matchups, Bochy called on Javier Lopez to face Alex Gordon, and he did his job. The slumping Gordon flied out to left field for the first out of the inning.

"Those are the matchups we were trying to get," Bochy said.

Bochy ambled out to the mound once more, this time asking for Hunter Strickland. This time, the move backfired - Salvador Perez ripped a two-run double into the gap in left field, and Omar Infante sent a pitch soaring into the bullpen in left field to make it 7-2.

"I let the team down," said Strickland, who has allowed five postseason homers after giving up three during the regular season - all at Double-A.

He also let his emotions get the better of him.

Infante was rounding the bases as Perez headed for home, and Strickland got into a shouting match with the Royals' big catcher. Players from both benches streamed onto the field, and a few of the Royals' relievers ran in from the outfield bullpen, before order was restored.

"He started to look at me, so I asked him like, 'Hey, why you look at me?"' Perez said. "So he was telling me, 'Get out of here, whatever.' So I don't know. 'You don't have to treat me like that. Look at Omar. Omar hit a bomb. I didn't hit a bomb. I hit a double."'

Regardless, one thing had become clear: The World Series suddenly had some life.

Now it shifts to AT&T Park, a quirky ballpark that very few Royals have played in. Jeremy Guthrie will be on the mound for them in Game 3 on Friday night, while veteran Tim Hudson makes the first World Series start of his 16-year big league career for San Francisco.

"We battled and played well. We hit the ball hard," Peavy said. "We had good at-bats. I thought we battled. That sixth inning, it was a 2-2 game. Unfortunately, they got going."

And with the combination of hard-throwing rookie Yordano Ventura, who allowed two runs while pitching into the sixth inning, and the Royals' lockdown bullpen, that was enough.

"With their pitching and our pitching, and the way both teams play, we're going to have a fight, I think, every game," Bochy said.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

Even if the teams nearly came to blows Wednesday night.

"Every one of us has been roughed up before," said Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt, who once pitched for Kansas City. "And we've all been part of something that's gotten out of hand. That's what we signed up for. That's our job. We go out there and do good, we still have a short memory.

"It's over," he added. "We move on."

No trick: Across US, Halloween bumped for football http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029608 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029608 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:46:20 -0400


When Halloween falls on a Friday in communities where high school football is king, it's time to reschedule the holiday.

Communities from West Virginia to Texas are saying they're OK with celebrating Halloween on, well, not Halloween. Football is king in many rural areas, especially in the South, and that's a big reason. But everything from homecoming events to Bible studies can push trick-or-treat night to dates other than Oct. 31.

In West Virginia, more than 50 high school football games are scheduled for Oct. 31. Rather than move the games, many communities moved Halloween. In Berkeley County in the far eastern part of the state, trick-or-treating will occur Nov. 1 because three local teams -- Hedgesville, Martinsburg and Spring Mills -- have home games the previous night.

Martinsburg city manager Mark Baldwin said police already committed to staffing football games didn't want to be stretched thin by watching out for trick-or-treaters on the same night.

"It's one of those things where you don't win,'' Baldwin said. "If we held it on Oct. 31, people would have said, `You've got all of Berkeley County attending football games and not being home.'''

The problem? Martinsburg and Hedgesville are having their high school homecoming dances on Nov. 1. That means potentially having hundreds of students driving to dinner and the dance.

"That's one of my concerns, texting and driving,'' said Iris Benn-Miller of Martinsburg.

Benn-Miller also has to figure out how to drop her high school-age son and his girlfriend off at the dance and still take her grandchildren trick-or-treating. She said she probably won't be home to pass out candy.

It's less of a logistical problem for Katelyn Conaway of Martinsburg, who has two young children. But she said the thought of having Halloween in November is "kind of weird.''

"October is considered for Halloween. November is for Thanksgiving. October and Halloween are synonymous,'' she said.

In Lorain County, Ohio, west of Cleveland, a group that coordinates countywide issues recommended that Halloween be moved to Oct. 30 to avoid Friday night football traffic.

"You've got that increased traffic at the same time you've got children and pedestrians walking around in the dark,'' said Virginia Haynes, administrative coordinator of the Lorain County Community Alliance. "The safety of the kids comes first.''

At least one town in Texas, the standard-bearer for Friday night football, is changing plans. Trick-or-treaters will head out on Oct. 30 in Decatur, about 60 miles northwest of Dallas, to make room for the Decatur High School Eagles' last home game on Halloween.

Elsewhere, the holiday isn't budging. The undefeated football team in Allen, Texas, is playing all of its games on the road this season because repairs are being done to its $60 million stadium.

So football fans with kids have a quandary: take them door-to-door, take the short drive to see Allen play at Plano West -- or perhaps take the kids trick-or-treating in Plano before the game.

Football was the reason trick-or-treating in Vineland, N.J., was restored to Oct. 31. Mayor Ruben Bermudez had initially moved it to Oct. 25, but that was the date of the local high school's homecoming game and parade. It got moved back after residents complained.

Moving Halloween is common in the South, where many communities avoid having trick-or-treating conflict with Sunday church services or Wednesday night Bible study.

Some kids will get their candy early for reasons other than football.

Charleston avoids scheduling trick-or-treat times late in the week to cut down on potential hooliganism, said Rod Blackstone, special assistant to Mayor Danny Jones. This year the date is Oct. 30.

Halloween will be celebrated door-to-door Oct. 25 in Round Lake, Illinois, and Haverhill, Massachusetts. Haverhill's trick-or-treat date is set by ordinance for the last Saturday of October.

Some love the weekend witching so they don't have to rush home from work and still find time to help the kids finish their homework. Opponents worry that opportunists from nearby towns will come to Haverhill to double-dip on chocolate and other goodies.

"I get more emails and phone calls about this issue than anything else,'' Mayor James J. Fiorentini said. "This is my 11th year. This is the thing I get complaints about. It's controversial. By and large this community is divided.''

AP-WF-10-22-14 0849GMT

PREP SOCCER: Catholic boys clinch sectional title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029615 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029615 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:46:10 -0400


CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston Catholic scored eight unanswered goals, including seven in the second half, to crush Sissonville 8-1 in the boys Class AA/A Region 4, Section 2 soccer championship Wednesday at Schoenbaum Stadium.

Sissonville actually had a 1-0 for nearly 35 minutes of the first half after Dougie Harding scored the first goal of the game, but the Irish came roaring back beginning with a goal by Michael Gilmore that left the score tied at halftime. From there Roger Burdette netted three second-half goals and Joey Trupo added two goals and an assist to spark the rout.

Catholic (18-1-1) had 17 shots on goal to the Indians' (7-11-2) five, and will move on to the Region 4 championship game Oct. 28 at Ripley High School.

Winfield 8, St. Albans 0 - The Generals raced to a six-goal lead in the first half, overwhelming the visiting Red Dragons in Winfield Wednesday in a Region 4 Section 1 semifinal game. Steven Taylor lead the Generals with five goals, while Nathan Keefe added two more. Jesse Richmond notched three assists in the victory. The Generals advance to face Nitro on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Winfield.

George Washington 2, Capital 1 - Patriots forward Chase Eller scored the opening goal of the Region 3 Section 1 semifinal game off an assist from Jonah Cosby.

After Capital's Tyler Shaffer scored a second half equalizer, the Patriot tandem would reverse roles, with Cosby scoring the game-winning goal off an assist from Eller with 18 minutes remaining in the game. With the win, George Washington advances to play South Charleston Saturday at 4 p.m. in Ripley.

PREP SOCCER: Catholic girls blank St. Joseph http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029619 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029619 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:18:08 -0400 By Chris Wade The Charleston Catholic girls soccer team entered sectional play with losses in their last two games, but both came against Class AAA powers - Hurricane and two-time defending champion Winfield.

The Irish got back to their winning ways, earning a comfortable 5-0 victory over St. Joseph in Class AA/A Region 4, Section 2 semifinal on a chilly Wednesday evening at the Trace Fork Soccer Complex.

Catholic (14-3-2 ) advances to the sectional title game against Scott on Saturday at 11 a.m., also at Trace Fork. The Skyhawks upset No. 2 seed Poca 5-1 in the first semi-final clash.

Catholic coach Amy Mullen hopes a tough schedule, which includes eight Class AAA schools, including the last four and five of the past six Irish contests, has her team ready for postseason play.

"It has got us ready for the postseason," said Mullen, of the schedule. "The last two games were really rough. We were ahead at the half but couldn't pull through. You can't go forward without losses and learning from them."

Catholic played without leading scorer Caroline Dundervill, who was out sick, but junior Sophie Bumgarner more than picked up the slack, finishing with three goals.

"Caroline was sick and it hurt not having her, but we all needed to see we can do other things and have other scoring opportunities," Mullen said. "It was fantastic to see Sophie score three goals, and all of them in the air. It was very nice. There is nothing better than that."

Bumgarner had the first three goals for the Irish, all on headers, in a first half that saw Catholic lead St. Joseph 4-0, with Peyton Mullen adding the other scoring tally.

Bumgarner was happy to get a hat trick, and help her team out in Dundervill's absence.

"It felt great, I have never had one before," Bumgarner said. "I definitely felt like we needed to come together more because Caroline is a major part of our team. We all did great and succeeded."

Despite losses to Winfield and Hurricane in the last week of the regular season, Catholic sees the games as huge positives, considering they led both games at the half, and competed against two of the better teams in any class.

"A lot of teams will hold off and play easy teams but I think it helps better to play tougher competition," Bumgarner said. "We lost but they definitely made us better and I think they will help us."

"Winfield is the best team and are really solid all around," Mullen added. "It was a nice eye opener that we could compete. We needed that."

PREP SOCCER: Nitro boys rout Hurricane 6-0 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029634 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029634 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:52:12 -0400 By Tom Bragg Hurricane had control of its Class AAA boys Region 4, Section 1 semifinal soccer game at Nitro City Park on Wednesday for the first 30 minutes, but once Nitro found the back of the net it did not let up in a 6-0 win against the Redskins.

Hurricane (8-11-2) opened the game by controlling possession for most of the first 30 minutes. Senior Loran Meadows found space in the Nitro defense several times during that span but was turned away by Wildcats' junior goalkeeper Chris Klocke on each occasion.

Late in the half, Nitro grabbed the lead in the 36th minute when senior Chase Kirk found enough space to fire a shot from 35 yards out. Kirk added to the Wildcats lead in the 40th minute when another long shot squirted through the hands of Hurricane goalkeeper Dalton Burch with 54 seconds to play in the half.

"We definitely, I think, outplayed them for 30 minutes," Hurricane coach Coert Vorhees Jr. said. "Then I feel like not getting anything out of that deflated them and then when that goal hit it crashes your morale. But we've been through worse so I thought that was kind of odd."

Nitro added to its lead in the 46th minute when freshman Seth Jordan's pass got behind the Hurricane defense and found the feet of senior Alec Miller, who beat the goalkeeper one on one.

The Wildcats midfield took over control of possession as the second half progressed, with Klocke forced into action just one time in the half after making five saves in the first half.

"(Klocke) does absolutely excellent for us," Nitro coach Ryne Eich said. "He's a leader on our team and he's just an animal back there. Of all the teams we've played this year, I think he's the best keeper in the state just from what I've seen. He gives us everything we need from him."

Vorhees said that while Hurricane had chances to score early in the game, it needed to do more with them against the Wildcats' goalkeeper.

"He's a very good goalkeeper," he said. "You've got to play a lot better than just simple stuff."

The Wildcats (11-4-3) added three goals in the final 20 minutes. Burch turned away shots from Miller and a rebound from Jordan but could not stop a third attempt by sophomore Derek Waugh in the 63rd minute. Burch turned away another chance by Miller in the 68th minute but Jordan followed the rebound again, this time for a goal. With six minutes to play Nitro's Chase Jarrett converted a penalty kick after a Hurricane hand ball inside the penalty area to close the scoring.

"That first part they were definitely dominating us," Eich said. "Sometimes it takes us a little bit to get started, but once we get started we get going like we did. Once we got that first goal we fed off of it."

Nitro advances to play at defending Region 4 champion Winfield in the sectional title game at 3 p.m on Saturday. The Generals defeated St. Albans 8-0 in Wednesday's other sectional semifinal.

Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at tom.bragg@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.

WVU ATHLETICS: Mountaineers, Hokies to play in common sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029646 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029646 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:40:07 -0400


MORGANTOWN - West Virginia University and Virginia Tech have come to a mutual agreement in which the schools will play each other in common varsity sports when schedules permit over the next several years, starting in 2014-15. The series will be called the Black Diamond Challenge, a tribute to the region's history in the coal industry.

West Virginia and Tech will not sign a contract, preferring instead just to make a strong commitment to work with each other to schedule as many of these non-conference games as possible.

"It only makes sense for these two great land grant institutions, with long and rich athletic histories, to be competing against each other in the athletics realm," West Virginia director of athletics Oliver Luck said. "Many of our sports teams have long-standing rivalries with Virginia Tech, the oldest dating back to baseball in 1905. This border rivalry is good for the fans and coaches and it provides great competition for the student-athletes. I applaud the teamwork and cooperation of both schools to get the Black Diamond Challenge finalized. It's a win-win for both institutions and for college athletics in general."

Separated by a four-hour drive, the two border schools have a long history of playing each other in various sports. They first met on the field in 1905 when the two schools' baseball teams faced each other.

"Rivalries are a special part of college athletics," Virginia Tech athletics director Whit Babcock said. "They are enhanced based on frequency of playing each other. We certainly have some great rivalries within our conference, but this has been, and will continue to be, a special one for us outside of the ACC. This unique scheduling arrangement will be exciting for our fans and student-athletes in all of our sports over the next several years."

In 1997, the two schools began competing for the Black Diamond Trophy, which went to the winner of the football game between the two schools. The Black Diamond Trophy will remain a part of the football series and will be on the line when the two schools meet on the field in 2017.

Here is a look at the series in each of the two schools' common varsity sports (in alphabetical order):

Men's basketball - West Virginia and Tech have agreed to a home-and-home series (one game per season) through the 2017-18 season, but both sides have plans of continuing the series even beyond that season. West Virginia will play in Blacksburg on odd-numbered years, while hosting Tech in Morgantown during even-numbered years. The two teams have met each of the past two seasons, and WVU plays host to Tech on Dec. 30 this year, with the Mountaineers returning the trip in 2015.

The Hokies won 87-82 last year in Blacksburg. Prior to the Hokies-Mountaineers' game in 2012, though, the two programs had not met since 2003. They have played 77 games overall against each other, dating back to 1920, and the Mountaineers hold a 47-30 advantage.

Women's basketball - The Mountaineers and Hokies are in preliminary discussions on future dates. The two schools have played just 16 times in the series dating back to 1977 and haven't played since a 2006 tournament in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a game the Hokies won 60-56. The Hokies have won seven of the past eight meetings with the Mountaineers and hold an 11-5 advantage in the series.

BASEBALL - The two schools have agreed to a home-and-home series for the next two seasons. West Virginia will travel to Blacksburg next spring, with the Hokies returning the trip to Morgantown in the spring of 2016.

The Hokies and Mountaineers played in Princeton, West Virginia, last May, a game won 4-3 by the Mountaineers. The two schools have met 85 times in a series that dates back to 1905 and have played three of the past five years. The Hokies own a 52-32-1 advantage in the series.

WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK - The two teams will compete against each other in invitational meets over the course of the next few years.

In cross country, Tech, which started women's cross country and indoor track for the 1982-83 season, last faced West Virginia in competition at the 2003 BIG EAST Championships. That year, the Hokies finished in sixth, while West Virginia finished seventh. In 2002, the Hokies finished in seventh place, while West Virginia came in sixth. In 2001, Virginia Tech finished in sixth place, while the Mountaineer women finished in ninth.

In track, the two programs last met at the 2004 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Mountaineers finished in eighth place, with the Hokies coming in one spot behind them. West Virginia finished ahead of Tech in all four years that the Hokies were in the BIG EAST.

MEN'S GOLF - Tech and West Virginia are striving to play in a common tournament over the course of the next few years. West Virginia dropped men's golf in 1982, but reinstated it in July of last year and will begin competition in the fall of 2015.

The two programs last competed in a dual meet in 1978 and last competed in an invitational in 1980 at Marshall. Tech leads all-time series in dual-meet competition 16-0.

The Hokies and West Virginia also competed against each other 13 times in conference tournaments while members of the Southern Conference. Tech won the Southern five times during that span (1956, 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1965) and finished ahead of the Mountaineers on 10 occasions.

FOOTBALL - The scheduled games between the two schools will remain with no new additions.

The two sides mutually agreed to discontinue their football series following the 2005 season (a 34-17 Virginia Tech win in Morgantown), but recently scheduled a non-conference game to be played at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, on Sept. 2, 2017.

Also, in July of 2013, the two sides agreed to a home-and-home series starting in 2021. Tech will play in Morgantown in 2021, with the Mountaineers returning the trip the following year.

The 2005 meeting between the Hokies and Mountaineers marked the 33rd straight season in which they had played. They have played 51 games overall against each other, dating back to 1912, and West Virginia holds a 28-22-1 advantage.

MEN'S SOCCER - The two schools met on Sept. 4 in Morgantown, with Mountaineers beating the Hokies 3-0. West Virginia will come to Blacksburg next season. The two sides are continuing discussions on future dates beyond next season when schedules permit.

This year's match marked the 10th meeting between the two programs in a series that dates back to 1987. Prior to September's meeting, the two schools hadn't played since 2004. The Hokies hold a 7-3 edge in the series.

WOMEN'S SOCCER - Tech and West Virginia are discussing a home-and-home series and are looking to start it in 2017 because of prior scheduling commitments. The two programs - both of which are nationally ranked - have agreed to remain flexible as far as moving or subtracting dates as needed pending any unforeseen scheduling issues.

Tech and West Virginia have played just five times, but met last year and in 2011 at the NCAA Championship. The Hokies won both games 1-0. Prior to the 2011 meeting, the two teams had not played since 2002. West Virginia holds a 3-2 advantage in the series.

MEN'S AND WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING - Tech and West Virginia coaching staffs are having ongoing discussions about participating in to-be-determined meets in the future.

The two men's teams have met 25 times in competition dating back to 1979, with the Mountaineers holding a 13-12 advantage. The two women's programs have met 27 times dating back to 1977, with Tech holding a 16-11 advantage.

WOMEN'S TENNIS - The two programs are working on dates and locations for future non-conference matches, and both hope to begin a series in the spring of 2016.

The two programs met on the court in 2013, with the Hokies winning 5-2. Tech and West Virginia have met 23 times in the series dating back to the 1983-84 season, and the Hokies hold a 19-4 advantage.

VOLLEYBALL - West Virginia and Tech are continuing preliminary discussions in regards to playing a home-and-home series as part of a four-team tournament with other high-quality RPI programs. This tournament would be played in Blacksburg one year and in Morgantown one year. The dates and teams have not been finalized.

Tech and West Virginia have played seven times dating back to 1979, but the last meeting came in 2003 when the Hokies beat the Mountaineers 3-0. Tech has won four straight in the series and holds a 5-2 advantage.

WRESTLING - Tech and West Virginia have agreed to a four-year series (one match per year), beginning next season. There potentially could be more dates in the future.

The Hokies and Mountaineers have met in dual action on 18 occasions, with West Virginia holding a 12-6 advantage. The two schools haven't met since 2004.

Derek Redd: Herd RB's stiff arm gaining renown http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029689 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029689 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:29:53 -0400 HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall running back Devon Johnson is becoming a Twitter darling.

Well, at least his arm is.

In the grand tradition of Twitter handles like @FauxPelini, the parody account spoofing Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, and @RakeemCato, which is the handle of an account titled "not Rakeem Cato," RockHeads Stiff Arm, with the handle @47sStiffArm, has been born.

"I am an equal opportunity abuser," the account's bio reads. "Linemen, LBs, Dbs, doesn't matter."

The real Devon Johnson has been quite liberal in his distribution of that punishing move. Plenty of opposing defenders have felt the 6-foot-1, 243-pounder's meat hook pistoning into their chests or helmets. It has powered him to 931 rushing yards in seven games, ninth best in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and 11 rushing touchdowns, tied for fifth best in the FBS.

Not bad for a fullback-turned-linebacker-turned-tight-end-turned-tailback.

Johnson, who has his own Twitter handle @devon_johnson47, learned just recently that his stiff arm grew a mind of its own and dipped its toe into social media.

"I'm still shocked," Johnson said with a wide grin in his face. "I got it sent to me early (Monday) morning and I was like, 'What in the world?'"

That Twitter account surprised him as much as he has surprised opponents, or at least he did until a few games in, when they realized the yards he was churning out weren't a fluke. Now they know they must account for him as much as they do any other aspect of the Marshall offense.

Florida Atlantic University coach Charlie Partridge compared Johnson to John Clay, a 6-1, 255-pound back that was Big Ten offensive player of the year and a Doak Walker Award finalist at Wisconsin when Partridge was an assistant there under Bret Bielema.

Yet opposing coaches are quick to point out Johnson isn't just a one-move back. Sure, that stiff arm is devastating, but Florida International coach Ron Turner said Johnson has plenty of weapons in his arsenal.

"He's big, but I wouldn't say he just barrels in there and runs people over," Turner said. "He has outstanding vision. He has really good vision and quick feet, the vision to see the hole and the quick feet to hit it. He's more than just a big back that pounds it up in there."

Turner offered that assessment before Johnson recorded his fourth-straight 100-yard rushing game and ninth overall against the Panthers, then added three catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns in Marshall's 45-13 win. That included a 71-yard sprint where Johnson exhibited the vision and speed Turner mentioned, then threw in some power, throwing one of those patented stiff arms at Jeremiah McKinnon and dragging a trio of FIU defenders to the Panthers 3.

He wasn't done. Davison Colimon, a 6-1, 217-pound linebacker, tried to stop Johnson on his 46-yard catch and run for a touchdown, but the diving junior simply bounced off Johnson's trunk as he dashed away.

"I felt him a little bit," Johnson said after the game, with that same grin on his face.

That grin shows up a lot. It's there when he lauds the rest of the offense - especially the linemen, who he always makes sure to call the best in the country, and Cato, whose decision making he says allows him the opportunities to rumble for big yards. It's there when he mentions how much pleasure he takes in contributing in whatever fashion is needed.

But the grin doesn't have its own Twitter feed. Nor do the vision and the quick feet. That honor belongs to the stiff arm. It's a growing following for that stiff arm, with 298 Twitter followers as of Wednesday afternoon. Chances are if Johnson throws a few more on his way past 1,000 rushing yards for the season, those numbers will grow.

Johnson laughed off the revelation that his arm now owns real estate in the Twitter-verse, and his hopes for the account are rather simple.

"Hopefully, he don't put nothin' stupid on there," Johnson said.

No worries on that end, RockHeads Stiff Arm, said.

"Don't worry Devon, I won't put anything stupid on Twitter," he wrote. "You complete me."

And he means that in both the figurative and literal sense.

Mike Casazza: Clay proves his worth for Mountaineers http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029692 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029692 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:26:37 -0400 MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - More and more it seems that West Virginia turns to Cody Clay when the opposition knows what's coming. And more it more things turn out all right for the Mountaineers, even when it's not necessarily what they had in mind.

Take the scene at Texas Tech two weeks ago.

"They knew all our checks and they knew I couldn't go to the line and check anything," quarterback Clint Trickett said. "I was going to have to stand back there and do it with my words."

Trickett stared at the Red Raiders defense, saw something he didn't like and then checked into a new call using words instead of signals the defense would recognize.

"Dude," said Cody Clay, who was standing next to his quarterback in the shotgun, "do you realize what you called?"

Trickett realize he'd made a mistake, but he knew the play clock was ticking toward zero. He quickly answered Clay.

"You're going to have to run this one, bud," he said.

The first career carry for the junior from Alum Creek gained 5 yards.

"I'm not going to lie," Trickett said. "I was laughing the whole time."

Clay has had a serious impact on WVU's evolving offense all season long, but especially lately. He's a wrecking ball that swings through, clears a path and knocks people over so this burgeoning running game can do what it's designed to do.

The Mountaineers (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) visit Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and coach Dana Holgorsen will return to the place where he served as offensive coordinator in 2010 and show off an offense that ought to look familiar.

In the past two games, WVU has handed the ball off 93 times and lost yards on only two plays - and one was a jet sweep to a receiver.

"We're equipped to do that because of recruiting, because of coaching, because of scheme and because of mentality," Holgorsen said." We've got some older kids up front. We were very physical. We were as physical on Saturday as we've been in the four years that I've been here. I'd like to think we started heading in the direction due to the fact that I was at Oklahoma State, and that was the mentality that existed there."

WVU runs the ball more than it throws it, and opponents know it but cannot stop it, frequently because of Clay. He's a tight end, a slot receiver, an H-back and a fullback and he's in a zone.

"I thought he had his best game two weeks ago against Kansas, but now I think he had his best game to date Saturday against Baylor," Holgorsen said. "He's just consistent. Hard-working. High effort. Great motor. Great leader. He does everything the right way."

That last part has been a key. As Holgorsen went to work on his offense years ago and molded it in a certain image, he knew he had someone he could use and maneuver so it would work, even if took a couple years. The Mountaineers have trusted Clay for some time now, including the team's trip to Stillwater, Okla., two seasons ago.

Clay played 60 or so snaps and the Mountaineers finished with 78 yards rushing while never getting things going the way they wanted to on offense. He remembers it as the worst game of his career.

"I was not ready for that at that point in time," he said.

He was north of 260 pounds and merely early in the process of redesigning his body and redefining his skill set. He's 260 pounds now and muscle has replaced mass. In the spring, he was given the Iron Mountaineer award for his performance in the offseason conditioning program.

It was a fitting award for a unique role.

"They expect me to lift as much as a lineman," he said, "and run as fast as a receiver."

He's only slightly kidding. His responsibilities require him to be a little of each. Clay is sometimes a sixth offensive lineman who has to handle defensive linemen up front or linebackers taking a head start into the backfield.

Other times he's lining up behind the line or to its side and he's on the run when the ball is snapped. He's going after a quicker defender out in space, but he has to put his hands on someone so they don't get their hands on the running back.

He's cutting a defender on one play and knocking him over on the next. He's backing up in pass protection to keep his quarterback safe on first down and then pushing forward to create a lane for a running back on second down.

The Mountaineers ask for more from Clay than anyone else, but they're constantly rewarded.

"I expect a lot out of Cody and I challenge him every week to be the most physical guy on the field at the point of attack," running backs coach JaJuan Seider said.

"He's a 260-pound guy and most of the time he's blocking a 240-pound linebacker. When he gets that matchup, I want him to win it because most of the time they're overmatched, just like Cody is when he's blocking a big defensive end. But that's part of the game and he's one guy who's got to help us find a way to scrape out a win."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

WVU FOOTBALL: Banged up Mountaineers reach into depth chart http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029693 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029693 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:26:08 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The time has come for West Virginia's football team when it won't be practicing the day after a game. The Mountaineers need that break so they can recuperate quicker, if only from the minor things that accumulate during the season.

WVU also figures to keep dipping into the depth chart to replace players and replenish parts of the team that need some help. Two weeks ago, WVU played nose guard Darrien Howard even though he was on track to redshirt. The defensive line was without the starting defensive end and a backup nose guard against Texas Tech.

Last week, nose guard Christian Brown returned from a one-game suspension and defensive end Dontrill Hyman played after missing two games with a knee injury. WVU still needed cornerback Nana Kyeremeh to play some snaps in his second game of the season.

Cornerbacks Terrell Chestnut (concussion) and Daryl Worley (rib) were knocked out of the win against Baylor. Starting running back Rushel Shell (foot) didn't make it out of the first quarter but was ably replaced by Wendell Smallwood, Andrew Buie and Dreamius Smith.

"It was a very physical game, one of the more physical games that I've seen since I've been here," coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We had a lot of guys banged up and beat up, but that's part of going into the eighth game."

The Mountaineers (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) play at Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) and could have all three of the players they lost against the Bears or none of them when they take the field at Boone Pickens Stadium. They could be with or without other players who have been hurt along the way this season.

"There are probably going to be a few that play. There are probably going to be a few that don't," said Holgorsen, who figured to have five or six players go through non-contact practice Tuesday and ideally progress to full-scale practice later in the week.

"That's the best I've got for you at this point. Nobody has been ruled out. Nobody is long term."

Worley said on Twitter he'll play against the Cowboys. Holgorsen said the Mountaineers are likely to travel with cornerback Keishawn Richardson, a junior college transfer who hasn't played yet this season.

* * *

Special teams coordinator Joe DeForest, who was an Oklahoma State assistant for 11 seasons, said the punt return formation with no punt returner remains "an option."

After Worley was injured when he lost a fumble return fielding a punt, the Mountaineers twice lined up in the second quarter without a returner.

"Just wanted to give a different look and make other people prepare for it," DeForest said.

Worley has had issues in his two games as the punt returner. He misjudged an attempt against Texas Tech and ran into a defender when he hurried forward to catch the ball, though that was ruled kick catch interference. He fumbled out of bounds later in the game. DeForest said he has a plan if Worley can't play or isn't the returner, but he wouldn't share the name of the replacement.

* * *

Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said the Mountaineers blitzed on 48 of 79 plays against Baylor and 19 blitzes were Cover Zero calls with no safety back to help defensive backs.

The Mountaineers were only beaten twice. The first was a 63-yard touchdown pass against Chestnut, which was also the play that forced him out of the game. With Worley and Chestnut out of the game, Gibson had to trust his safeties to hold up in pass coverage. It backfired just once when safety K.J. Dillon was beat on a 43-yard pass on a touchdown drive.

Dillon, though, broke up two passes in one-on-one coverage later in the game.

"If you're going to leave a kid in zero coverage or in Cover 1 40-some times a game, (getting beat) is going to happen," Gibson said. "I thought he played a tremendous game with a couple big plays at the end of the game. In the fourth quarter, they tried him and he knocked two balls down. He's finally getting healthy. As crazy as it sounds, he's still not 100 percent after that (preseason) ankle injury."

* * *

Gibson called Oklahoma State running back/receiver/return man Tyrek "the fastest kid in college football." He's actually one of the fastest kids in the world.

Hill, a junior college transfer, ran the second-fastest 200 meters (20.14 seconds) in high school history as a senior in 2012, and the time would have been the sixth-fastest time at the Olympics that summer. His 2012 time in the 100 (10.19) was the fastest in all high school competitions that season.

The 5-10, 185-pound Hill has a two kickoff return touchdowns and averages 5.1 yards per rush and 9.9 yards per reception, most of which are designed for him and his skill.

"Coming in, you heard he was the fastest kid you've ever seen, but it's the truth," Oklahoma State linebacker Ryan Simmons said. "He's fast. He's very, very fast. Your angles have to change with a guy like him. If you mess up on one run fit, if you let him get to the edge, he's gone. Nobody's going to touch him. Everyone has to be basically in perfect position to stop a guy like him."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

MARSHALL FOOTBALL: FAU rebounding from rough start http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029694 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029694 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:25:22 -0400 By Derek Redd CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Few college football teams in the country experienced the dizzying highs and dreadful lows that Florida Atlantic University's did in the span of a few months in 2013.

The Owls started the season 2-6. Then the players watched head coach Carl Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis amid drug use allegations. Then those players rallied to win their last four games and finish the season at 6-6, only to stay home during bowl season despite being eligible.

The topsy-turviness has continued in a less drastic form this season, but new FAU coach Charlie Partridge feels the team is rallying as it prepares for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at No. 23 Marshall (Fox Sports 1).

The 3-4 Owls have yet to put together a winning streak this season, but they're 2-1 in Conference USA, and Partridge feels the adjustments he's made in the program since he arrived in December have paid off.

"What I'm certainly encouraged by is ... one of our goals this year was to make some foundation-level changes," Partridge said, "from the way we recruit to the behavior that's expected of our kids on and off the field and we're seeing great signs that we're moving in the right direction that way.

"My experience has been that all those things correlate," he added, "and when you make good decisions in all parts of your life, it will lead to more victories, so I'm encouraged by the overall direction of our program, which is what we're working to build here."

FAU's win streak stayed firmly in 2013 after a pair of rough non-conference games to begin this season. The Owls visited Nebraska - then ranked 22nd, now ranked 16th - and Alabama - then ranked second, now ranked fourth - in back-to-back weeks and lost by a combined score of 96-7.

"They came off of Alabama and Nebraska and I think they were staggering off the ropes," Marshall defensive coordinator Chuck Heater said. "Now it looks like they're starting to get themselves together."

The Owls thumped former C-USA foe Tulsa, then lost at Wyoming, rebounded to beat the University of Texas at San Antonio, then gave up four turnovers in a four-touchdown loss to Florida International. It looked like things would go further south when the Owls trailed Western Kentucky by three touchdowns last Saturday, but FAU rallied in the second half to pull out a 45-38 win.

FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson keyed that victory, throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns, and running for 95 yards and two more scores. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior did well as a dual threat last season when the Thundering Herd needed a last-second field goal to beat the Owls in Boca Raton. He's done the same this season, leading the team in passing (1,323 yards, 10 touchdowns, one interception) and ranking second in rushing (277 yards, five touchdowns), but Partridge said his greatest strides have come in becoming a more complete quarterback.

"We had 10 guys catch the ball last Saturday, and that's a testament to the decisions he's making," Partridge said. "And even more prominent are the things he's showing from a leadership standpoint. He's becoming more vocal. He's an encourager. He's a guy our players look to, and that's what you want out of a quarterback. With his growth in all aspect, I'm excited about his progress."

Johnson isn't the only talent on the roster. Senior receiver Lucky Whitehead leads Conference USA with 6.3 catches per game and all-purpose yards at 170.6 per game. Freshman running back Greg Howell got his first playing time of the season versus WKU and rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Senior linebacker Andrae Kirk is second in the conference to Marshall's Darryl Roberts in passes defended. None of these things surprise Marshall head coach Doc Holliday.

"I have said many times, anytime you're located in Boca or Miami and all the players around them, they are going to have really good players," Holliday said. "They are athletic and can run. We are going to have our hands full."

Partridge said there is no surprise as to what the talent on Marshall's roster has been able to accomplish. In facing a Herd team at 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference, mistake-free football is a must.

"There's not a lot of weaknesses that have been exposed on their football team," Partridge said. "When you're going against a team that doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, what you have to do is perform at your best. You've got to execute. Florida Atlantic cannot beat Florida Atlantic on Saturday."

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Hurricane girls seek regional title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029695 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029695 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:24:42 -0400



CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Atop the Class AAA rankings and fresh from capturing the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship, the Hurricane girls cross country team enters its regional championship as the favorite in quest of the program's seventh consecutive title.

The Redskins, ranked No. 1 according to www.runwv.com, list annually among West Virginia's top girls squads and this year's team continues the trend. Hurricane will host the AAA Region 4 championship Thursday, while other area runners will compete in the AAA Region 3 and AA/A Region 4 meets to be hosted by Greenbrier East and Charleston Catholic respectively.

"For us, everything is about our championship season and I felt like we got the ball rolling really well on the girls side last week," Redskins coach Jason Henley said. "We had a very strong performance at our conference championships placing four girls in the top five and our fifth girl in the top 10. We feel like we're on track for what we want to do."

The Redskins' "core of four" in returners Joie Johnston, Abbie Short and 2013 All-State honoree Anna Gordon, as well as freshman Jenna Crouch will look to lead the Hurricane effort again. The quartet finished in positions two through five consecutively at the MSAC meet and each ranks among the state's top 13 runners.

In addition to Hurricane, two other Region 4 girls teams are expected to advance to the state meet, with fifth-ranked Winfield and No. 9 Cabell Midland likely to claim those spots. Junior Rachael Englund lists 10th statewide, with freshman Alexis Imperial 17th for the Generals.

Individually, St. Albans sophomore Rachel Beck, 25th-ranked, is expected to contend for a state qualifying spot, also.

On the boys' side, the same trio of teams is expected to advance, with No. 2 Midland the top regional squad, as the Knights list one point behind University in statewide ratings.

Like the Hurricane girls, the Midland boys, winners of 15 straight regional championships, lead with talent and depth. Junior Nick Salmons ranks highest among Knights runners at ninth in the state, though eight different Midland harriers rate among the state's top 30.

Third-ranked Hurricane boasts four athletes among the state's top 26, with senior Jake Henley and sophomore Alex Hughes leading the squad at 13th and 14th respectively. Should Hurricane advance to the state meet, it will mark just the program's third-ever trip as a team, with the Redskins previously qualifying in both 2012 and 2013.

At Winfield, junior R.J. Weiford, ranked 8th in the state, is expected to lead the No. 9 Generals.

With a solid top-to-bottom effort, St. Albans could also threaten to advance, with the Red Dragons led by junior Jon Sandy (22nd) and sophomore Josh Endres (29th).

Class AAA Region 3

Capital senior Peyton Panger represents the class of Region 3, in addition to the state, as she has maintained her No. 1 ranking throughout the season.

Woodrow Wilson's Emily Fedders, ranked fourth, poses Panger's best competition, though Panger has won with comfortable margins in multiple meetings this season.

While Panger paces the Cougars, the team's talent doesn't end with her.

"We have two juniors, Riley Simmerman and Mary Keeton Lane, that are really strong up front," coach Jared Smith said. "They really give Peyton a lot of support. They work well together and they're very strong."

The Cougars girls, ranked 10th in the state, and boys teams expect to contend for the regional titles in what could be a banner day for Capital. Greenbrier East will provide Capital tough competition on the girls side, with George Washington and Ripley vying as the third team to advance, Smith said.

Senior Michael Ruhnke leads the Capital boys after finishing fourth at the MSAC title meet.

"All the work is paying off finally and he really shocked everybody at conference and beat some of the best in the state," Smith said of Ruhnke. "I really feel Michael - Lord's willing - if he makes it to the state meet, he's a possible All-State contender."

Ruhnke, ranked 20th in AAA, is expected to battle Oak Hill's Cody Gillespie, 12th-best in the state, for the individual regional crown. Tenth-ranked Ripley and Oak Hill are expected to contest Capital as the top boys squads.

Class AA/A Region 4

Buffalo junior Hayden Harrison highlights the region as the top returning runner after finishing third at the 2013 state meet. Harrison ranks as the best AA/A boys runner statewide.

Harrison will be challenged by ninth-ranked Glenn McMillan of Wirt County, Roane County senior Caleb Pell (13th), Nicholas County's Matt Christiansen (14th) and Herbert Hoover senior Josh McClung (19th).

At the team level, the No. 4 Charleston Catholic girls represent the top local squad competing.

The defending state runner-up Irish ran strong this season despite the early season loss of one of the squad's top runners in Payton Mullen.

"They're doing pretty well," Catholic coach Scott Welch said. "I was hoping we would be a little bit further advanced than we are."

Sophomores Hannah Gacek and Lia Preston and junior Peyton Keener each rank among the top 27 statewide.

Though Ravenswood does not maintain enough runners to qualify a full team, seniors Hailey Miller and Taylor Treadway each rank among the state's top 10.

Catholic and Nicholas County represent the two girls teams expected to advance, Welch said. For the boys, fourth-ranked Nicholas County and No. 8 Wirt County will fight for the top position. As many as four boys teams could advance, Welch said, with Buffalo, Catholic and Roane County battling for the final two team positions.

WORLD SERIES: Giants jump on Royals to take Game 1 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/ARTICLE/141029738 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/ARTICLE/141029738 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:06:15 -0400


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants put a sudden stop to the Kansas City Royals' perfect postseason roll.

Bumgarner pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, Hunter Pence homered early and the Giants showed off their October poise, shutting down the Royals 7-1 Tuesday night in the World Series opener.

From the get-go, the Giants simply did everything right to win their seventh straight World Series game. There's a reason Bumgarner and these guys in black and orange are trying for their third title in five years.

The Royals, meanwhile, looked nothing like the fresh team that had become baseball's darlings by starting the playoffs with eight wins in a row - pitching, hitting and fielding all deserted them.

The fates seemed to change from the very first batter, in fact. Gregor Blanco led off with a soft line drive to center field and AL Championship Series MVP Lorenzo Cain charged, then backed off as the ball fell for a single. It would've taken a near miracle to catch it, but that's the kind of play the Royals had been making on a routine basis.

Moments later, Pence's two-run homer highlighted a three-run burst in the first inning against James Shields. Nicknamed "Big Game James," he once again failed to live up to that billing and left in the fourth when the Giants made it 5-0.

By then, Royals fans who had waited since 1985 for the Series to come to town had gone silent. Or, worse, they were booing while small "Let's go, Giants!" chants echoed through Kauffman Stadium.

Just like that, what many figured would be a tight matchup had turned into a mismatch. And it was a good omen for the Giants - the Game 1 winner has won 15 of the last 17 World Series.

The Royals will try to get even in Game 2 on Wednesday night when rookie Yordano Ventura starts against veteran Jake Peavy.

Bumgarner added to his sparkling World Series resume, improving to 3-0 and extending his scoreless streak to 21 innings before Salvador Perez homered with two outs in the seventh.

"He's special. He's got that flair for the spectacular," Pence said. "He never makes it bigger than it is. He just gets out there and competes."

The 25-year-old called MadBum by his teammates was in trouble only once. Down 3-0 in the third, the Royals loaded the bases with a two-out walk and cleanup man Eric Hosmer stepped to the plate, but grounded out on the first pitch.

Bumgarner went on to stretch his road postseason scoreless streak to a record 32 2-3 innings as the Giants cruised. He pitched three-hit ball for seven innings, struck out five and walked one.

"He was dynamite. I mean, man, was he good tonight," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We had an opportunity in the third, and I was really impressed with the way he fed off our aggressiveness and just worked up the ladder to get out of that jam. But he was nails tonight."

Michael Morse, getting to play as the designated hitter in the AL park, had an RBI single that finished Shields, and reliever Danny Duffy walked Blanco with the bases loaded.

Rookie Joe Panik hit an RBI triple that bounced past usually reliable right fielder Nori Aoki in the seventh and scored on a single by October force Pablo Sandoval. The MVP of the 2012 World Series triumph, Sandoval also had an RBI double in the first that extended his postseason streak of reaching base to 24 straight games.

Pence also doubled and walked.

Before the game, the mood at the ballpark was positively giddy. Ushers greeted fans with "Welcome to the World Series!" and some hot-dog vendors high-fived each other behind the counter.

Yet the Giants wrecked that fun, and won for the 16th time in their last 18 postseason games.

"We didn't expect to come in here and sweep the San Francisco Giants," Yost said. "We knew that this was a series that was going to go deep. We know how tough they are. They swung the bats really well."

The Royals had won 11 straight in the postseason dating to their 1985 championship run, one short of the record held by a pair of New York Yankees clubs.

But it was clear from the start that this would not be their night, and not even the little things went well.

Early in the game, Kansas City third base coach Mike Jirschele retrieved a foul ball and tried to flip it into the stands. Instead, his toss fell well short of reaching the seats.


Giants: Peavy lost 12 straight decisions this season, spanning his July trade from Boston to the Giants. ... The 33-year-old is 1-3 with a 7.03 ERA in seven postseason starts, including an outing for the Red Sox in last year's World Series. He beat Washington in the NL Division Series and was pulled after four innings vs. St. Louis in the NL Championship Series. ... Royals DH Billy Butler is 14 for 33 (.424) with three HRs off Peavy.

Royals: The 23-year-old Ventura will become the first rookie to start a World Series game at any position for the Royals. No Giants hitter has ever faced the right-hander with a 100 mph heater. ... Ventura pitched well in a start vs. the Angels in the ALDS and struggled vs. Baltimore in an ALCS start.


The first Series game in the expanded replay era didn't require a single video review. But all six umpires quickly huddled to discuss a foul ball that glanced off Perez's bat on a bounce, and got it right.

PREP SOCCER PLAYOFFS: Sissonville, Charleston Catholic boys advance http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029743 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029743 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:41:12 -0400 By Michael Dailey CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It's put up or shut up time for high school soccer teams across the state.

Sectional tournament play began this week, where a loss means the end of the season.

That's what the four remaining Class AA/A Region 4, Section 2 boys teams faced Tuesday evening at soggy and chilly Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium.

When the last whistle blew, it was Sissonville and Charleston Catholic that emerged with wins and a subsequent matchup in the sectional title game at 5:30 p.m. today.

No. 16 Sissonville (7-10-2) opened the evening with a 3-1 win over No. 11 Scott (13-5-3), while third-ranked Catholic (16-1-1) took the nightcap by a 7-0 score over No. 18 St. Joseph (8-10-3).

The Indians, who entered the contest with a 1-6-1 record in its final eight games, began to turn things around with 21:49 left in the first half when Chase McVey scored the first of two goals to give Sissonville a 1-0 lead.

"That was huge," Sissonville coach Chuck Gary said. "We'd been playing from behind most of this season and the boys tend to get down when they come from behind.

"Getting that first goal was tremendous."

The Indians took that lead into the half before the Skyhawks knotted the score in the second half on a Nick Raby goal at the 35:41 mark.

Raby's goal was the first goal Scott scored in three matches against Sissonville this season.

The two teams played to a scoreless tie, before Sissonville earned a 5-0 win in mid-September.

"They've kind of been that monkey on the back for the last four years," Scott coach Zack Boyd said. "It's a team that we've never beaten. I thought we had a better shot than we did coming into it, but we just didn't play up to par to where we needed to be today."

The tie lasted just 21 seconds as McVey answered with an unassisted goal at 35:20.

"Getting that first goal was tremendous," Gary said. "But answering their goal right back, just put the icing on the cake."

Sissonville's Dougie Harding closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal with 25:10 remaining.

Gary was particularly pleased with the Indians' defensive effort, in limiting Scott to just two shots on goal.

"Our defense played very well," Gary said. "We've given up a lot of goals this season, but tonight they really stepped up at the right time."

In the nightcap, the Irish continued their quest for five state titles in the last six years behind five goals from Joey Trupo.

Trupo's goals, four of which came in the second half, gives him a school-record 104 goals, besting the 102 goals his brother Tommy scored for the Irish.

Trupo scored the only goal of the first half with 19:10 to play, before the Irish erupted for six goals in the final 40 minutes.

"It was a great first half and a not so great second," St. Joe coach Chuck Karnes said. "We didn't tackle very well in the back and they had some really nice looks.

"We kind of had a feeling it was just a matter of time. They possessed the ball well the entire game and they were getting opportunities. They came to play the second half and we backed off."

Roger Burdette and Anthony Cipollone added single goals for Catholic, while keeper Patrick Kline recorded the shutout.

PREP SOCCER: Hoover girls fall in sectional; Sissonville victorious http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029744 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029744 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:12:28 -0400


Sydney Hill fed Lauren Petty with the only goal of the second half on Tuesday to lift Williamstown to a 3-2 girls soccer victory over Herbert Hoover (16-5) in the Class AA Region 4, Section 1 tournament at Ravenswood.

Hill was responsible for all of the goals for Williamstown (13-5-0), scoring two and assisting on the game-winner as the Yellowjackets advance to play Sissonville Thursday evening, also at Ravenswood. The Indians defeated Ravenswood 7-1.

In ending one its best seasons in school history, Hannah Schoolcraft and Taylor Bailey scored the two Hoover (16-5) goals and Bailey Aab made 13 saves.

Sissonville 7, Ravenswood 1 - Karli Pinkerton scored four goals and Madison Jones added three as the defending Class AA/A state champion Indians (19-0-2) rolled in the other Region 4 Section 1 semifinal.

Chuck McGill: Heisman buzz builds around WVU's White http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029745 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029745 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:52:12 -0400 By Chuck McGill MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University receiver Kevin White is adept at separation, so could it be that he is distancing himself from the field as the top pass-catching threat in college football?

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior is the nation's only player with more than 1,000 receiving yards, and now he is popping up on NFL first-round draft boards and Heisman lists. But here is the scary proposition for the five remaining teams on the Mountaineers' Big 12 schedule: White may not be at his peak yet.

"He ain't even close yet," said WVU running backs coach JaJuan Seider, a college quarterback who would've loved to have a behemoth like White terrorizing defensive backs downfield. "You're still talkin' about a young kid. He's a kid that you'd be crazy to think he would even stick around another year if he had another year. In this state, there haven't been too many like him.

"Maybe one down the road."

That "one down the road" would be Randy Gene Moss, who spent two years torturing defenders at Marshall University before taking his game to the pros. That comparison by Seider makes one wonder: Is White a legitimate Heisman candidate?

Moss finished the 1997 season with 96 receptions and 1,820 receiving yards in 13 games, earned an invitation to the Heisman ceremony and finished fourth in the balloting behind Charles Woodson, Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf.

White has 69 receptions for 1,020 yards in seven games, putting him on pace for 128 catches and 1,894 yards - projections that would set school records in both categories and top the totals Moss produced against a Mid-American Conference schedule.

"I've never been around a guy who's got a thousand yards this fast," Seider said. "I guess the only guy in the state of West Virginia who has been close is Randy Moss, and you're talking about a future Hall of Famer."

White had 143 yards against Alabama, the only receiver to top 100 yards against the Crimson Tide defense this season. He torched Oklahoma for 173, far away the best output against the Sooners' defense in 2014. If White finishes near his 1,900-yard pace, it would rank as the fifth-best single-season receiving output in college football history, besting names like Michael Crabtree and Justin Blackmon. Crabtree blossomed under WVU coach Dana Holgorsen at Texas Tech and finished fifth in Heisman balloting in 2008, while Blackmon worked under Holgorsen at Oklahoma State and also finished fifth for the Heisman in 2010.

"His play on the field is unmatched," WVU cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell said. "It's been a while since I've seen a receiver like that, to be that productive and that grounded. We were with Crabtree for three years at Texas Tech and (White is) on track to be one of the best."

A wide receiver hasn't won the Heisman since 1991 (Desmond Howard at Michigan) and only 11 receivers have finished in the top 10 of Heisman voting since 2000, so the odds are obviously against White climbing to the top of any voter's Heisman ballot. The discussion, however, is beginning after White's school-record seventh consecutive 100-yard game.

NFL.com and SI.com put White at No. 10 on their Heisman Watch List for this week, while The Sporting News listed White at No. 5. The pro buzz is getting louder, too, as White appeared at No. 24 on SI.com's draft board and as the fourth-ranked wide receiver on Mel Kiper's draft list.

"The kid's special," WVU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Shannon Dawson said. "He's a physical kid; he's playing with a lot of confidence right now."

White would have to average 173.3 yards per game to target the all-time single-season receiving record of 2,060 yards, held by Nevada's Trevor Insley. The WVU single-season records could fall before the bowl game, though, as Bailey's 1,622 yards in 2012 and the 114 receptions Bailey and Tavon Austin had that same season are in jeopardy.

White's first seven games have been so dominant, he already ranks seventh on the school's single-season receiving yards list. Only Bailey (twice), Austin (twice), David Saunders (1996) and Chris Henry (2003) have had more productive seasons, but White is over 1,000 yards and it's not even Halloween.

That is scary. This, too might spook Big 12 defenses.

After last Saturday's 41-27 win over No. 4 Baylor, a game in which White had his first multi-touchdown game of the season, drew six pass interference penalties and had a one-handed grab in the end zone while drawing a defensive pass interference penalty for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, Holgorsen had this to say about his go-to receiver:

"He keeps getting better," the WVU coach said. "He keeps getting better and I think his best football is ahead of him."

WVU FOOTBALL: Trickett's father on mend after heart attack http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029746 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029746 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:46:00 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Tara Trickett's phone rang early Saturday morning, a few hours before she'd be at Mountaineer Field to watch her son Clint pass for 322 yards and three touchdowns to lead West Virginia to a 41-27 victory over then-No. 4 Baylor.

The celebration should have been longer and happier than it was, but Tara could no longer keep her son in the dark. His father, former Mountaineers offensive line coach Rick Trickett, had a heart attack around 5 a.m. in Tallahassee, Fla.

"She was prepared when she told me," Trickett said Tuesday. "She calmed me down after five, 10, 15 minutes and after I'd talked to him. But the first time you hear that your dad had a heart attack, it's like, 'What?'"

Rick has been the offensive line coach at Florida State since 2007 and he would sit out his chance to get the family another win against a top-five team. Trickett did not coach the second-ranked Seminoles that night as they defeated then-No. 5 Notre Dame.

"When he said he wanted to coach and he was upset about not coaching, it was just like, 'Retire. I'm going to be done after this year. Come watch me play in Canada next year,'" Clint said.

"I want him to live forever, obviously. Everybody wants their parents to live forever. I love my dad."

Clint said his father is fine now.

"He's good, and that's the most important thing," Trickett said. "He's back at work."

Rick was a WVU assistant from 2001-06 and Clint was around the football program at practices and in the locker room a whole lot in that time, experiences he and his coach, Dana Holgorsen, believe stick with him today and help him lead the Mountaineers (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) into Saturday's 3:30 p.m. ESPN game at Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1).

The family moved to Florida after WVU defeated Georgia Tech in the 2007 Gator Bowl and Rich was reunited with Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher, who had been a friend of the family long before he and Trickett worked on Nick Saban's staff at LSU in 2000. Fisher was the offensive coordinator then and would succeed Bobby Bowden in 2010.

Clint made the moves from one job to another, but seemed set in Florida. He was a star quarterback at North Florida Christian and pursued a dream of playing with his dad when he decided to go to college at Florida State. He graduated after three years and transferred to WVU, but the distance didn't diminish the bond he had with his father.

"It's strong. It's a lot stronger and a lot different than most father-son bonds because there are so many similarities between me and him and our love for this game and our work ethic, but also because he wasn't there a lot," Clint said. "I'm not saying he was an absent father, because he wasn't, but it was his job and he was a very busy guy, especially with him being overly competitive and spending more time on it than he had to, which was already a lot of time."

The two made sure to stay in touch Saturday night as the Seminoles beat Notre Dame and dedicated the win their offensive line coach afterward.

"I was texting him during it," Clint said. "He wished he could have been there and he felt like he let his guys down. He wanted to be there for them and they missed him, but his health comes first. I'm just glad he's good now."

n n n

The quarterback is healthy, too. His eighth-straight 300-yard passing game, which extended his school record, was the first one he'd played with a nasty hit-and-run virus.

"He was fine," Holgorsen said. "He had a 24-hour bug. I told him Michael Jordan did it. He can do it. He was sick, but he got out there and played well. It was no big deal."

Trickett downplayed it, too, but it hit him hard Friday and bothered him Saturday.

"It was a rough day," he said. "The day before was rough. I don't know what happened, but it kind of just came up on me, and it was rough. I had a lot of sleep and my body felt drained, just exhausted. I had to get an IV at halftime, and that helped, but it was rough.

"It was about all the adversity I could take in a game."

As news of his illness and his dad's scare spread, Trickett said friends, family members and strangers reached out to congratulate and console him.

"I received so much support from everyone - teammates, coaches, fans, fake Twitter accounts," he said. "That's not me, by the way."

Holgorsen made Trickett get rid of his Twitter account in the preseason after Trickett tweeted something he thought was funny and others thought was sexist. Trickett apologized and his account disappeared.

After Saturday's game, an account that claimed to be Trickett's appeared. The first tweet said he was back on Twitter and subsequent ones made veiled references to his dad's situation before it the public knew. One of those had a family photo of father and son. The fake account as since vanished, too.

"That guy got a picture off my brother's Twitter," Trickett said. "I was like, 'Wow, this guy is serious.'"

n n n

Florida State's win was defined by an offensive pass interference penalty that took away Notre Dame's game-winning touchdown. The Fighting Irish tried one of the pick plays where receivers slow, stall or reroute defensive backs so a teammate can get open. What happened on the play was a little too egregious.

Trickett couldn't have been more torn over the call. The Seminoles are still special to him, but he's also a quarterback who tends to cheer for offenses. He struggled for a few seconds Tuesday before conceding it was a penalty.

"It's a call that never gets made and you hate to see it, but (the receiver) tackled the guy," Trickett said. "You have to call it. If he keeps his feet still or moved his feet and doesn't put his hands on him, it's a touchdown and that's the end of the game. But the guy went out there and sumo-wrestled him. You've got to call it."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

WVU FOOTBALL: Oklahoma State linebacker has plenty of motivation http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029747 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029747 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:44:21 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - As he was growing up central Texas, the young Ryan Simmons was a lot like the running backs and receivers that encounter the older Ryan Simmons today.

He never had a chance.

Oklahoma State's middle linebacker is from an athletic family. His older sister, Meighan, was one of the best basketball players ever at the University of Tennessee. The 2014 SEC player of the year who was drafted by the New York Liberty is one of only five Volunteers to score 2,000 points in her career.

But basketball was never the choice. The ball was too round. The distaste for contact was too much to stomach.

It was always going to be football for Simmons, just like it was for his older brothers who played in college and his uncle and cousins who would do the same and go to the NFL.

"I've played since I was 5 years old, so their presence always benefited me because they've all showed interest in me and helping me reach the same level ever since I was a little bitty boy," Simmons said.

His uncle, Reggie Pinkney, was a defensive back at East Carolina and then in the NFL. Pinkney's son Patrick was a quarterback at ECU and Patrick's half-brother Aaron Curry was a star linebacker at Wake Forest who the Seattle Seahawks drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft. Aaron's older brother, Chris, played receiver at North Carolina. Another cousin, Eric Barton, played linebacker at Maryland and then for 11 seasons in the NFL.

Their successes served as constant reminders of what Simmons needed to do and who he had to emulate to be just as good, though they'd never let him settle for that. The junior seems well on his way as he leads the Cowboys defense into Saturday's homecoming game at Boone Pickens Stadium against No. 22 West Virginia (5-2, 3-1 Big 12).

The 3:30 p.m. game will be televised on ESPN.

"It was definitely motivation for me," Simmons said. "My cousin Aaron was the No. 4 pick in the draft. When you're a young player, that's a big deal. I used to talk to him all the time to see what I had to do. But we're all family and they want to see me be better than that, so now I'm pushing myself to where I can be just like him in the sense I can be drafted high and have a great college career and win the Butkus Award like he did."

While the extended family had the most recognizable success, it was the immediate family that gave Simmons the most intimate sense of competition. His father, Wayne, was in the Army and Simmons just happened to be one of seven kids under the same roof.

Dad was the disciplinarian who'd let Ryan seek the outside advice and soak in the congratulatory words from his cousins and his uncle, but wouldn't let his son live on praise alone.

"My dad was always more of the, 'Why aren't you doing more? You can always do more. You can always get better,'" Simmons said. "Everyone else was always congratulating me and supporting me, but my dad knew what it was going to be like in college and that I needed to be focused the right way. But he was always supportive of me. He made sure I was doing things the way I needed to."

That started at a young age, too. The family moved to Fort Sam Houston in Texas when Simmons was a little kid, and they grew up there playing sports with and against one another. The brothers and the sisters mixed it up in football and basketball games. They'd foul hard and tackle harder, knowing they were helping when they were harming.

Simmons turned into a tackling machine at Steele High, in Cibolo, Texas, not long after changing jersey numbers. He'd worn No. 40 because he was a fullback and he wanted to be the next Mike Alstott, but then a middle school coach saw how Simmons could dart and tackle and convinced him he'd be better at middle linebacker.

Now he wears No. 52.

"I started watching Ray Lewis videos on YouTube all the time trying to find ways to replicate his game," he said.

He had 151 tackles as a junior and 179 as a senior when he led the Knights to a Class 5A state championship. Simmons was first-team all-state and the defensive MVP of the championship game and was recognized around the country as a top-20 high school linebacker recruit.

The scholarship offers rolled in, as his family members assured him they would as long as he followed their advice, and Simmons picked the Cowboys over Stanford, Oregon and others. Stillwater, Okla., was somewhat close to home and Simmons enjoyed the bond he'd made during the recruiting process with assistant coach Glenn Spencer, who is now the defensive coordinator.

The 6-foot, 235-pound Simmons leads the team with 55 tackles - all but nine of which came with no help from others - in his first season as the starting middle linebacker. He started all 13 games as an outside linebacker as a sophomore last season and finished with 67 tackles, nine tackles for a loss and an interception.

The Cowboys (5-2, 3-1) have first-year starters to either side of Simmons, two more up front on the defensive line and two more in the secondary. Oklahoma State and Tulane led the country with 32 freshmen and sophomores on their opening day depth chart, and 12 freshmen have played on Simmons' defense this season.

"Moving back to the middle linebacker position puts me in a leadership role in the sense I have to make sure the calls are perfect and the line is adjusted right and everyone knows the adjustments we make to certain things," said Simmons, who was a reserve middle linebacker and made 23 tackles in 2012. "It's a lot of responsibility controlling so many things with a young team."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

MARSHALL FOOTBALL: DL Samuel feels benefit of better conditioning http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029748 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029748 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:42:09 -0400 By Derek Redd HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - An extraordinary circumstance put Marshall defensive lineman Jarquez Samuel in the spotlight.

On the first play of the fourth quarter against Florida International, the redshirt junior plucked the Arnold Blackmon deflection of an Alex McGough pass out of the air at the Marshall 46-yard line, cradled the football and barreled 27 yards to the Panthers 27.

"I was tired after that," Samuel admitted. "I was a little winded."

That fatigue comes less and less often these days. That comes from Samuel's desire to improve his mental and physical toughness, both of which he'll need when the No. 23 Thundering Herd hosts Florida Atlantic University at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium (Fox Sports 1).

Samuel was an occasional starter as a redshirt sophomore, running out with the first team in four of 11 games in 2013. The Valdosta, Ga., native battled Steve Dillon for the starting nose tackle spot throughout preseason camp, winning the job for the Miami (Ohio) game and never relinquishing it. He's started all seven games for the Herd (7-0, 3-0 Conference USA) this season alongside Conference USA preseason defensive player of the year James Rouse. And Rouse has an up-close look at Samuel's improvement from last season.

"He's come a long way," Rouse said. "Going back and watching film from last year, it's 100 times better from last year, 100 times difference."

Samuel has climbed steadily since he first took the field for the Herd. After nine tackles in 11 games of reserve work in 2012, he bumped that up to 24 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, last season. This season, he already has 14 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, plus his interception return.

Marshall coach Doc Holliday said Samuel's slow build isn't uncommon for players at his position.

"Sometimes defensive linemen take a little longer to develop," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. "He started to really come around last year and he just continues to get better and better and he's playing at a really high level right now."

Offensive tackle Clint Van Horn could see Samuel's growth from the other side of the line. The key to that improvement, he said, simply was Samuel's ability to play harder for longer stretches.

"It's effort and being in shape," Van Horn said. "It really got important to him. He had a really good spring and his camp was phenomenal. He really didn't put forth as much effort. I don't think he did that on purpose. He just couldn't because he wasn't in shape.

"For him to come out this year and be a guy who plays a considerable amount of downs for us, it's huge because of his athletic ability," he added. "He's an athletic freak."

Samuel credits Marshall strength and conditioning coach Scott Sinclair for that transformation. When Sinclair arrived in Huntington in 2013, he drove Samuel to improve his physique and stamina. That motivation made the difference.

"It's a whole lot," Samuel said. "Coach Sinclair helped me out a lot. It was a big step. At first it was rough. I had to get used to the way he was running his program and the weight room and, after that, he just kept pushing me and kept pushing me, and I love it."

Holliday feels Samuel has started to shine because the 6-foot-4, 273-pounder is mentally tougher. He's embraced the challenge of excelling in a physically taxing role.

"Defensive line's not a whole lot of fun," Holliday said. "You get beat up every day in practice and you're constantly pounding on each other. It's fun on game day, when you get a chance to go in there and play, but there's a lot of work that goes into it during the week. Those guys have got to be mentally tough. His mental toughness, he practices every day and goes to work every day and it's paying off."

Samuel agreed that his improved mindset has been as important to his game as his improved body.

"I'm not going to feel healthy every play," Samuel said. "If I feel healthy every play and every game, I'm not doing something right. It's just mental. I have to just push through it and fight through it."

Holliday said that interception actually was a repeat of a play Samuel made during practice earlier in the week preceding the FIU game. Samuel wants more of those plays to transfer from the practice field to the game field. With his added energy and the cast around him - the defensive line's depth allows Samuel to play just 30 to 35 snaps per game - he feels he's on his way.

"I just have to keep my head on straight, not get cocky or nothing," Samuel said. "I have to keep on the path of being great. I have room to get better, so I'll just take the coaching, do it to the best of my ability and keep moving forward."

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.