Wednesday, October 30, 2013

76ers Surprise Heat

    No one expected a strong performance by the Philadelphia 76ers in their home opener as the Miami Heat lost 104-100 at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night. The 76ers held a retirement ceremony for former point guard Allen Iverson several hours prior to the game. Dwyane Wade did not dress for the Heat due to his soar knees.
    Philadelphia(1-0) blasted out at the beginning of the game as they scored the first 19 points until the Heat put in their first basket at 7:07. The Sixers extended their lead to 21 points and were up 33-14 after one quarter.
    Miami(1-1) cut the margin dramatically during the second quarter as they outscored the 76ers 35-18 and were behind 51-49 at halftime.
    The Heat took their first lead in the game 60-59 at 8:33 of the third quarter. They would stay ahead through the rest of the period and led 94-85 after three quarters. It would be their largest lead of the game.
    In the fourth quarter, Miami was up 107-99 with 4:54 to go. They would score just more three points for the remainder of the game. Philadelphia went on a 13-1 run for the next four minutes and put the game away.
    LeBron James led the Heat with a team-high 25 points and 13 assists in 37 minutes while Chris Bosh added a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes. Ray Allen knocked down 19 points as a non-starter and Mario Chalmers dropped in 16 points.
    Three Philadelphia players scored at least 20 points in the victory. Evan Turner had 26, Spencer Hawes had 24 along with nine rebounds and Michael Carter-Williams compiled a double-double in his NBA debut with 22 points, 12 assists and nine steals.

FAU Head Coach Carl Pelini Resigns

    Carl Pelini resigned as the head coach of the Florida Atlantic University football program on Wednesday due to the use of illegal drugs. FAU athletic director Pat Chun also announced that defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis was no longer with the football team.
    Offensive coordinator Brian Wright has been promoted to the interim head coach position for the rest of the regular season. He becomes the third head coach, even though he was handed the interim tag, of the football program in FAU history behind Howard Schnellenberger and Pelini.
    Pelini joined FAU after the 2011 season and had an overall record of 5-15 in two seasons with the school. The Owls have a record of 2-6 and 1-4 in Conference USA in 2013.

940 WINZ Adds TMZ Sports

    940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM has added TMZ Sports to their station. The program will be on for one hour during the evening shift. It will cut one hour from the Petros and Money show with Petros Papadakis and Matt Smith from Fox Sports Radio.
    TMZ, an organization with a website that has been associated with digging up celebrity gossip, added more emphasis recently to personalities and personnel in the field of sports. TMZ has a nationally syndicated 30-minute daily television show that appears on WFLX-TV Channel 29 in West Palm Beach.

Miami Ratings October 2013

    104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM was the top sports talk station for the second straight month in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region. Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM was slightly behind in second while 940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM closed the gap and finished third.
    Lincoln Financial Media had put more emphasis on 104.3 The Ticket along with its FM frequency and it has paid off in the last two ratings periods. The station went from a 1.0 to a 1.1 in the month of October. The bump was due to the start of national syndication for the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz on ESPN Radio. A platform for a national show will certainly create a social buzz.
    WQAM slightly dropped from a 0.9 to a 0.8 in October. It was very unusual for the fall with the success of the University of Miami football team at the start of the season. They were unable to hold on to ratings from the previous period as the audience continued to adjust with new personnel on the afternoon show and early afternoon show.
    The major surprise during the ratings period was the large increase of 940 The Sports Animal. They went from a 0.3 to a 0.5 during October and more than doubled their audience from the summer months. Give credit to the great start that the Miami Dolphins had at the beginning of the NFL season. The simulcast of The Finsiders with Jesse Agler on Fox Sports Florida has also been noticed by the audience.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Heat Win Home Opener Over Bulls

    The Miami Heat raised their third championship banner, received their championship rings prior to the game and then pounded the Chicago Bulls 107-95 at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday night. The Heat are now 2-1 in their home opener after capturing an NBA title.
    Chicago(0-1) started out the game on a 9-2 spurt in the first five minutes. The Heat would respond with ten straight points at the end of the first quarter and led 20-15.
    Miami(1-0) continued to roll at the beginning of the second quarter on a 25-9 run and were up 45-24 with three minutes remaining in the first half. It was a 35-9 scoring span for the Heat over the two periods. Miami would still hold a margin of over 20 points by halftime at 54-33.
    The Bulls were able to cut the lead late in the third quarter and came within 16 points at 72-56 with 2:31 left. They were way behind 78-58 at the end of the quarter.
    The Heat moved the gap back up by 25 points early in the final quarter. Chicago made one last run midway through the period with a 14-4 run and were down 87-72 with 7:16 left. The Bulls pulled within eight points at 2:18 and trailed 95-87.
    LeBron James had a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds for the Heat in 38 minutes of play. Chris Bosh contributed 16 points and six rebounds while Mario Chalmers dropped in 13 points along with a team-high five steals in the victory. Dwyane Wade added 13 points and Shane Battier drained in 14.
     Carlos Boozer nailed 31 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes for Chicago. Jimmy Butler put in 20 points and Derrick Rose made his return to the NBA and knocked in 12 points.   

Cardinal Newman At American Heritage Preview

    The fight continues for the District 7-3A crown as the American Heritage Stallions host the Cardinal Newman Crusaders at The Corral in Delray Beach on Friday night. The Crusaders are in first place in the district while the Stallions are tied for second in the four-team district. Both schools represented District 7 in the FHSAA playoffs last year and they lost to University School.
    American Heritage(4-3, 1-1), who are the defending district champions, have played one of the toughest schedules in Palm Beach County and it has shown. They have alternated wins and losses every week this season and not been able to get momentum. Heritage took a bye last week and had two weeks to prepare for this matchup.
    The Stallions made a change at quarterback several weeks ago as they shifted Warren Robinson from his running back spot. Along with Robinson, Devin Singletary and Shacorey Foster will get a load of carries from the backfield. They have numerous options to receive the ball that include wide receivers Desmond Cain and Trenard Davis.
    Cardinal Newman(6-2, 2-0) has the inside track to win the district title with a victory in this game. They lost their first two games of the regular season and then pulled off a six-game winning streak.
    Crusaders wide receiver Travis Rudolph is a scoring threat every time he touches the ball. He leads all of Palm Beach County in receptions and receiving yards. Running back Erick Hartnett will get most of the rushes for them on offense and some carries will be made by Thomas Talenti, Arrian Parham and Jeramey Worthen. Daniel Cole should dictate the pace for the Crusaders as quarterback.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Park Vista At Palm Beach Central Preview

    The Park Vista Cobras visit the Palm Beach Central Broncos in Wellington on Friday night for the District 10-8A title. Both schools represented District 10 in the FHSAA playoffs last year and lost in the regional quarterfinals.
    Park Vista(7-1, 4-0) have won seven consecutive times since they lost their road opener in Cincinnati against Colerain. They are in first place in the district and clinched a playoff spot last week with a 27-8 road win over the Boca Raton Bobcats. The Cobras have outscored their district opponents 149-29
    Quarterback Qwad Martin will set things up on offense with their running and passing attack. They will use running backs Emmanuel Smith, Jametrius Bentley, Dalton Barkman and Chauncey Mason in a variety of ways which include power sweeps and screen passes. Look for Martin to throw passes to receivers Renard Cheren, Anthony Milanese, Marques Gayot and Ellison Young.
    Palm Beach Central(5-3, 3-1) began the regular season losing their first two games along with falling in three of their first four contests. The Broncos, presently second place in the district, are currently on a four-game winning streak heading into this critical matchup.
    They have running back Tommy McDonald, who is the leading rusher in Palm Beach County, along with Langston Canady in the backfield. The Broncos will use two different quarterbacks to run their plays with Kemar Downer and Kevin Bramhall.

Will Manso New Miami Heat Studio Host

    Will Manso will replace Jorge Sedano as the Miami Heat studio host for road broadcasts on Sun Sports this season. His first broadcast will be this Wednesday night when the Heat play at the Philadelphia 76ers. Manso will remain the sports director and lead sports anchor at WPLG-TV Channel 10 in Miami. Jason Jackson will again have the studio host role for home games and work as a sideline reporter for Heat road games. He has been the Heat studio host since the 2003-04 season.
    Sedano held the studio host role on away games for one season from August 2012 until this past July. He left that position along with his program director duties and afternoon host shift at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM for an evening co-host position on ESPN Radio which began in September.
    Manso, a University of Miami grad, has been with WPLG-TV since 1999 as a sports anchor. He was elevated to the sports director position in 2007 when longtime sportscaster Jimmy Cefalo left that station.

St. Thomas Aquinas At Plantation Preview

    The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders will visit the Plantation Colonels at PAL Field for the District 15-7A championship on Friday night. Both teams are undefeated in the district as they head into this game.
    They met two times last year at Brian Piccolo Stadium with the Raiders victorious in both games. The Colonels lost in the regular season 24-20 and in the regional semifinal 38-7. The Raiders would go on a capture the FHSAA Class 7A championship in Orlando.
    Plantation(7-1, 3-0) is riding a five-game winning streak. They began the season with a road win at Dillard 33-6 and lost two weeks later on the road against Miramar 28-14. The Colonels have outscored their district opponents 143-26.
    Quarterback Chris Lammons will lead the Colonels offense as he can run and pass the ball anytime. They have a balanced rushing attack with running backs Antwuan Hayes and Clint Sills Jr. in the backfield. Lammons has numerous players to throw the ball to which includes wide receivers Jewison Dawkins, Kendan Davis and Ravion Peevis.
    St. Thomas Aquinas(7-1, 3-0) also enters this game with a five-game winning streak. They began the regular season with a 38-3 victory over Northwestern at Sun Life Stadium and defeated the defending national champions John Curtis 27-13 at the Superdome in New Orleans. They would then loss their home opener to Miramar 22-20. The Raiders have outscored their district opponents 171-13 and got a 266-19 scoring advantage in their last five regular season games.
    Aquinas will generate their offensive attack on the speed of running back Mardre London through the line of scrimmage. The Raiders have a good passing game as quarterback Wade Freebeck will look to connect with wide receivers Devante Peete, Corey Holmes and Jawuan Harris down the field.

Dino Costa Out At Sirius XM Radio

    Former local sports host Dino Costa has been let go by Sirius XM Radio. He was the morning host on Sports Nation from early September until the middle of last week. Costa hosted the evening show on Mad Dog Radio for several years until September 3. He joined Sirius XM Radio back in January 2010.
    Costa worked at 1400 The Fan WFLL-AM in Fort Lauderdale when the station launched into a new sports format in April 2004. He was the afternoon host there until July 2004 when he was fired because he would not accept Bruce Warner as a new co-host to his show.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lightning Stop Panthers

    The Florida Panthers lost their third straight game as they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday at BB&T Center. The Cats, who have been on the winning side two of their last 11 games, are now 1-2-2 on the current six-game homestand. They finish the string of home games against the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
    Tampa Bay(8-3-0) jumped out quickly to a 2-0 lead five minutes into the game. Martin St. Louis picked up his seventh goal this season at 41 seconds followed by a goal by Steven Stamkos at 4:35, his eighth goal this year.
    Shawn Matthias broke up of his scoring slump for Florida(3-7-2) with his first goal of the season with 6:12 remaining in the first to cut the lead down to 2-1.
    Radko Gudas extended the Tampa Bay lead to 3-1 with a power-play goal midway through the second period at 9:58.
    The Panthers came back in this game during the third period with two goals to tie it at 3-3. Nick Bjugstad scored his first tally this season at 5:39 and Brad Boyes put in his fifth goal for the Cats at 8:51.
    In the shootout, Valtteri Filppula lit the lamp on the Bolts first attempt while Boyes matched it on the Panthers third attempt. Stamkos scored on the fourth attempt for Tampa Bay and Dmitry Kulikov missed for the Panthers.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

West Boca Raton at Dwyer Preview

    The District 13-7A title is on the line Friday night as the Dwyer Panthers host the West Boca Raton Bulls at Blum Stadium in Palm Beach Gardens. Both teams come into this game undefeated at 6-0 in the district. The winner of District 13-7A will host the first three rounds of the FHSAA playoffs through the regional finals in Section 4.
    Dwyer(9-0, 6-0) will have several pieces of extra incentive to drive them against the Bulls. The Panthers look to complete an undefeated regular season and reclaim the district championship after they finished as the district runner-up behind the Atlantic Eagles last year. Prior to 2012, Dwyer opened the FHSAA playoffs on the road for the first time since 2002. Last season the Panthers beat Northeast 25-3 in Oakland Park in the regional quarterfinal before they fell at home to Boyd Anderson 6-3 in the regional semifinal.
    The Panthers have outscored their opponents 393-43 this season. They got revenge last week with a 42-6 blowout of defending district champion Atlantic. Quarterback Daniel Parr leads Palm Beach County in pass completions and passing yards this season. He will throw the ball to one of the most talented wide receiver factions in the state of Florida that includes Johnnie Dixon, Ezra Saffold and Clint Stephens. The rushing attack is impressive with Alonso Smith, who is second in Palm Beach County rushing yards, in the backfield along with Gerald Hearns. Special teams return specialist Shawun Lurry is a threat and has scored several touchdowns this season.
    After losing two of their first three games against non-district opponents, West Boca Raton(7-2, 6-0) won six consecutive games against teams inside their district. They got by the Lake Worth Trojans 37-12 last week at home. The Bulls will enter the FHSAA playoffs for the first time since 2010 when they lost in the regional quarterfinal to Blanche Ely 32-30 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
    Bulls quarterback Paul Columbo will dictate what they run on offense. He will occasionally run the ball and pass the ball to a bunch of targets that include wide receivers Antonio Cartagena, Aaron Robinson, John Parisi, and Alexander Astorga. Running back Jerrod Ferguson will get a load of carries from the backfield for West Boca Raton.

Friday, October 25, 2013

West Boca Raton Outlasts Lake Worth

    The West Boca Raton Bulls took the second-to-last step to capture the District 13-7A championship with a 37-12 home win against the Lake Worth Trojans on Friday night. The Bulls, who have won six consecutive district games, will get their shot for the district title next week as they travel to take on the Dwyer Panthers.
    The first quarter was dominated by West Boca Raton(7-2, 6-0) as they opened up a 23-0 lead. On their first possession, Michael Jaffe kicked a 37-yard field goal at 7:48. Their next drive went five plays for 55 yards as quarterback Paul Columbo fired an eight-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Parisi on the right sideline with 3:24 left to make it 10-0.
    The Bulls recovered an on-side kick to begin their following possession at the Trojans 34-yard line. Two plays later, Columbo found wide receiver Alexander Astorga in the right side of the end zone on a 15-yard touchdown strike with 2:31 to go. The extra point was no good and the Bulls were up 16-0.
    One minute later, Trojans wide receiver Jeremy Kennedy fumbled the ball following a catch at his 35-yard line. The ball was returned 32 yards for a touchdown by Antonio Cartagena with 1:27 left in the first.
    Lake Worth(3-6, 2-4) tried to chip away at the lead in the final eight minutes of the second quarter. They finished a 79-yard drive with a 47-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Craig Wells to wide receiver James Jones at 6:11 and narrowed the gap to 23-6.
    The Trojans scored again on their next possession which started at their own two-yard line following an interception by safety Raekwon Bureau. Jones caught a 42-yard catch up the middle during the drive and brought it to the Bulls 25. Several plays later, Wells connected with Jones on a 14-yard fly pattern for a touchdown to cut the lead down to 23-12 with 1:02 remaining in the first half.
    The Bulls would pull ahead in the second half with two more touchdowns. Columbo dashed up the middle with a three-yard run with 54 seconds left in the third. Running back Jerrod Ferguson capped the victory for his team on a 15-yard run around the left tackle at 5:06 of the fourth quarter and extended their lead to 37-12.

Sabres Cut Panthers

    The Buffalo Sabres came out with a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Friday night. The Cats have lost two straight games and are now 1-2-1 on the current six-game homestand. They have won two of their last ten games.
    Florida(3-7-1) ended up with a season-high 18 shots in the first period and 45 shots overall in the game. The Panthers took a 1-0 lead at 13:58 of the first as Jesse Winchester tipped in a shot for his second goal of the season. Sean Bergenheim, who made his first appearance for the team since the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the New Jersey Devils, and Erik Gudbranson got the assists on the play.
    The final two periods of the game belonged to Buffalo(2-9-1). Rasmus Ristolanien scored his first NHL goal at 13:32 of the second period on a snap shot to even it up 1-1. Steve Ott gave the Sabres their first lead in the third period with his first goal of the season at 12:42. Cody Hodgson wrapped up the victory with an empty-net goal with 47 seconds remaining in regulation.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Marc Benarzyk Expands Show

    Former local sports host Marc Benarzyk had his afternoon show on WFNZ-AM in Charlotte expanded one extra hour on Monday. He has co-hosted the program with Taylor Zarzour since 2011.
    Benarzyk, who now goes by the name Marc James, worked as a sports host at 1400 The Fan WFLL-AM from April 2004 until May 2006. He began at that station as a midday host and was shifted to afternoon drive in the fall of 2004 following the short stints of Dino Costa and Bob Page. He became the morning show host in early 2006 until the station flipped from a sports talk format in May 2006. He recently filled in as a weekend host on the CBS Sports Radio Network during several holiday weekends earlier this year.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Miramar At Cypress Bay Preview

    The Miramar Patriots will try to remain undefeated as they visit the Cypress Bay Lightning in a District 12-8A game on Friday night. Both schools have been the main contenders in this district over the last several years. Miramar is in first place and can claim the district title with a victory while Cypress Bay is in third place and can inch their way toward the runner-up spot with a win.
    Both schools have been the main contenders in this district over the last several years. They have faced each other in the regional semifinals in the previous two years with the winner losing the FHSAA Class 8A championship game in Orlando.
    Cypress Bay(4-3, 3-1) had won three consecutive district games until they were crushed 33-0 at St. Thomas Aquinas last week. After losing their opening district game to Flanagan, they have compiled victories over Everglades, Cooper City and Western.
    Miramar(8-0, 4-0) have been seen as one of the top teams in Broward County since the beginning of the regular season. The Patriots picked up non-district wins over South Plantation, Northeast, Plantation and St. Thomas Aquinas. They later got district wins against Western, McArthur, Everglades and Flanagan.
    Nick Jeanty will control the Patriots offense as quarterback and give the ball off to running back Eric Pittman many times. Cameron Rigby will also contribute some runs from the backfield. Miramar have several wide receiver options which include Kwasim West, Tyler Williams, Keygon Dunnings and Kahlil Lewis.

Lake Worth At West Boca Raton Preview

    The West Boca Raton Bulls look to continue their winning ways as they host the Lake Worth Trojans on Friday night in a District 13-7A game. The Bulls have been the surprise team in south Palm Beach County this season with new head coach Alphonso Moran at the helm.
    West Boca Raton(6-2, 5-0) lost two of their first three games this season before they won five straight district games and clinched a postseason spot. The Bulls had district victories over Royal Palm Beach 20-6, Forest Hill 34-0, Palm Beach Lakes 44-15, Olympic Heights 33-0 and defending District 13-7A champion Atlantic 45-13. They have outscored their opponents 176-34 in the last five weeks and will visit the Dwyer Panthers for the district title next week.
    The Bulls has a balanced attack on offense with quarterback Paul Columbo as the centerpiece. Running back Jerrod Ferguson will see some of the carries from the backfield for the team. Columbo will seek wide receivers Antonio Cartagena and Aaron Robinson for receptions.
    Lake Worth(3-5, 2-3) have been in the middle of the pack throughout the regular season. The Trojans have lost three of their last four games which included a home loss last week to Dwyer 54-3.
    Quarterback Craig Wells can be a threat any time in the backfield for the Trojans. In Palm Beach County, he is second in passing yards and pass completions along with being first in pass attempts. James Jones, one of the top wide receivers in the region, will be the primary target downfield along with Malik Williams. Running back Donte Fils-Aime, who is in the top five locally with rushing yards and rushing attempts, will get most of the handoffs for Lake Worth.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blackhawks Get By Panthers

    The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks made their annual visit to South Florida and defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a shootout at BB&T Center on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks didn't make an appearance here last season due to the NHL lockout. The Panthers tried to come back for the third consecutive game after being behind following two periods of play, however they lost in the shootout.
    Chicago(6-1-2) compiled two goals during the second period to get a considerable lead. Duncan Keith took a top left circle shot that was redirected by Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in the crease area at 5:18 for a 1-0 lead.
    Florida(3-6-1) was awarded a penalty shot with 10:36 left in the second when Jonathan Huberdeau was tripped up by Michal Handzus when he got an extra step on him through the slot area. Huberdeau was eventually stoned on a forehand attempt by a right leg save of Corey Crawford.
    The Blackhawks extended their lead to 2-0 at 16:49 in a rush up the ice. Niklas Hjalmarsson passed the puck from his own right corner to Andrew Shaw and he carried it out of the Chicago zone. Bryan Bickell received a lead pass in the neutral zone and crossed the Panthers blue line. His initial shot from the high slot was blocked, but he fired a wrist shot from the left circle that sailed over the left shoulder of Tim Thomas and into the cage.
    The third period belonged to the Cats as they put in two goals to tie the game and send it into overtime. Tomas Fleischmann blasted a one-time slap shot from the inner right circle on a feed from Aleksander Barkov in the left circle at 9:04.
    Dmitry Kulikov evened it at 2-2 for the Panthers with 8:09 remaining in regulation. Keith sent a clearing cross-ice pass across that was stopped by Kulikov and he rifled a snap shot in from just above the left circle. Thomas had to leave the game because of a lower-body injury with 2:59 to go and was replaced by Jacob Markstrom.
    The defending champs dominated in the shootout phase. Toews went first for Chicago and put in a wrist shot between the legs of Markstrom. Huberdeau was stopped on a forehand shot on another leg save by Crawford. On both clubs second attempts, Patrick Kane delayed his shot and missed with the backhand while Brad Boyes faired no better on his forehand shot. Patrick Sharp clinched the victory on a forehand shot on the third attempt by the Blackhawks.
    The Cats were outshot 22-14 after two periods and 29-22 in the entire game. There were a limited amount of power plays as Chicago went 1-for-2 and Florida went 0-for-1. Crawford improved to 5-1-2 for the Blackhawks, who are now 5-0-1 in their last six games. The Panthers have lost seven of their last nine games as Markstrom was credited for the loss and dropped to 1-3-1.  

University Of Miami NCAA Decision

    The NCAA held a conference call on Tuesday morning to announce their decision on the University of Miami athletic program. The Hurricanes will not get a bowl ban, however they will have to surrender nine athletic scholarships over the next three years.
    The NCAA investigation into the University of Miami was initiated because of Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro and his influence on the athletic program. The school waited almost three years for a decision by the NCAA on this matter.
    An item by the University of Miami that had an impact on the NCAA report of 107 pages was their self-imposed bowl ban of the last two years along with the decision not to participate in the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference championship game after winning the Coastal Division. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Jose Fernandez Rookie Of The Year

    Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has been named the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year. He becomes the fourth player in franchise history to win the honor. Florida Marlins players who have received the award includes Dontrelle Willis in 2003, Hanley Ramirez in 2006 and Chris Coghlan in 2009.
    Fernandez finished the 2013 season with a 12-6 record, 187 strikeouts and a 2.19 earned runs average. He made 28 starts and pitched 172 2/3 innings for the team this season before Marlins baseball operations decided to shut him down in mid-September.

Bryant McKinnie To Dolphins

    The Miami Dolphins have acquired offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie from the Baltimore Ravens. He was with the Ravens since 2011 where he picked a Super Bowl title when they won Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans against the San Francisco 49ers back in February.
    He was the seventh overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft and the first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings. He was with that club for nine seasons as an offensive left tackle.
    McKinnie played for the University of Miami Hurricanes from 1999 until 2001. He won a national championship with that school in 2001 over the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He was given the Outland Trophy and the Jim Parker Award for his play in the 2001 season. He finished eighth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy that year.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Panthers Tame Wild With Comeback Win

    The Florida Panthers played a game beyond regulation for the first time this season and snapped their three-game losing streak with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers came into the contest 0-6-0 when they allowed the first goal of the game and 0-5-0 when they were behind after two periods.
    Minnesota(3-4-2) scored on the power play at 4:05 of the second period as Jonas Brodin took a slap shot from above the high slot that was deflected by Jesse Winchester in the slot area and between the legs of his teammate Tim Thomas.
    Florida(3-6-0) evened the game at 1-1 during their fifth power play of the game with 13:11 left in the third period. Dmitry Kulikov played the puck from the left-wing boards to Brian Campbell at the top of the Wild zone. He passed it to Tomas Fleischmann at the top right circle where he fired a slap shot that was redirected by Aleksander Barkov in the slot by goalie Josh Harding. The Panthers scored on the power play for the first time in four games and Barkov put in his third tally of the season.
    Neither team scored during overtime and the game went to a shootout. Zach Parise tried the first attempt for the Wild and failed to stuff in a forehand shot. Jonathan Huberdeau did some puck moving as he approached the crease with a forehand and backhand fake before putting in the forehand by Harding. Mikko Koivu missed in the second round for Minnesota as he let go a backhand shot that Thomas caught in his glove. Brad Boyes capped off the Panthers comeback win as he scored on his backhand shot.
    Thomas improved to 2-3-0 with his first home victory as a Florida Panther as he stopped 30 of 31 shots. Harding fell to 3-3-0 this season as he made 21 saves for his team. Both teams finished 1-for-5 on the power play.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Royal Palm Beach Slams Forest Hill

    It was a case of one team dominating the other as the Royal Palm Beach Wildcats blanked the Forest Hill Falcons 52-0 at Bobby Riggs Stadium on Friday night. RPB had 310 rushing yards and 135 passing yards in offense during this District 13-7A game. Forest Hill was held to just 40 yards on offense and only one first down, which happened late in the third quarter, by the Wildcats defense.  
    The Wildcats scored on their first three possessions of the first quarter. They scored on a four-play, 58-yard drive at 9:45 as Shamar Jackson went around the right end for a 12-yard touchdown.
    On the third play of the Falcons next drive, Derick Python intercepted a pass from Forest Hill(2-5, 1-4) quarterback Shannon Patrick at midfield and returned to the Falcons 30. Six plays later, Demarcus Holloway rushed through the middle for a four-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 with 6:12 to go.
    Royal Palm Beach(5-2, 3-2) would get the ball back again just one minute later as Patrick was picked off by Cody Taylor. Charles Perry would score on the third play of the Wildcats next possession as he went around the left end from two yards away at 4:09 and extended their lead to 21-0.
    RPB compiled 17 more points during the second quarter and began to turn this game into a rout. The margin increased to 24-0 as Devin Wallace kicked a 36-yard field goal on the first play of the quarter.
    The Wildcats would have their worst field position midway through the second as they started at their own eight-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Toddy Centeio connected with D'vonte Burden with a 50-yard pass. Jackson would sprint through the right side two plays later and score on a 22-yard run with 6:05 remaining in the first half.
    The gap increased to 38-0 with 2:16 left as Perry pulled off a 71-yard touchdown run when he rushed down the right side for fifty yards and then cut toward the middle as he avoided several tacklers along with losing one of his shoes.
    Jackson scored his third touchdown of the game on a short three-yard run around the right side at 5:34 of the third quarter. Both teams then agreed to a running clock for the remainder of the game.
    Holloway made it 52-0 at 9:20 of the fourth quarter when he went untouched on a run down the left sideline and scored from 28 yards away. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bruins Buzz Panthers

    The Florida Panthers began a season-high six-game homestand in Sunrise on Thursday night and lost to the Boston Bruins 3-2 at BB&T Center. The Cats have lost six of their last seven games and are now 1-2-0 at home this season.
    Boston(4-2-0) scored with their third shot on former teammate and Panthers goalie Tim Thomas at 3:45 of the first period. Daniel Seidenberg gave a lead pass in the neutral zone to Daniel Paille. He put on the jets at the Panthers blue line, went around Erik Gudbranson and flipped a shot from the inner left circle over the head of Thomas.
    The Bruins added a goal on their first power play at 12:47 to make it 2-0. Dougie Hamilton took a slap shot from the top of the zone that went through traffic and into the net. David Krejci and Zdeno Chara got the assists on the play.
    Florida(2-6-0) closed the margin to 2-1 with 7:28 left in the second period. Tom Gilbert passed the puck from the right point to Jonathan Huberdeau on the right-wing wall. He placed a pass to a streaking Kris Versteeg in the right circle and he fired a snap shot by Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask for the goal.
    The Panthers were able to tie the game with six minutes remaining in the third period when Jesse Winchester scored from his knees on a second-chance rebound at the edge of the crease. Nick Bjudstad put the loose puck in that area from the left face-off circle draw. It was Winchester's first goal as a Florida Panther.
    With 58.7 seconds to go in regulation, Reilly Smith of the B's shoveled a backhand shot from the low left circle by Thomas for the game-winning goal. Patrice Bergeron was able to corral the puck to him from the slot area.
    Not many power plays in this game as the Bruins went 1-for-3 while the Cats were 0-for-1. Rask took the win as he improved to 4-2-0 and Thomas fell to 1-3-0 this year as he stopped 37 shots.

Cypress Bay At St. Thomas Aquinas Preview

    The Cypress Bay Lightning travel to Brian Piccolo Stadium and face the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders on Friday night in Fort Lauderdale. Both schools are trying to keep up to their standards from last year. Cypress Bay lost to Apopka in the FHSAA Class 8A championship game while St. Thomas Aquinas won the Class 7A title over Tallahassee-Lincoln.
    Cypress Bay have been rolling in the last three weeks with wins over Everglades 25-13, Cooper City 24-13 and Western 32-7. Their top running back Dylan Rupert left their previous game last week against Western with a leg injury after he got three touchdown runs for them. He may not play against STA this week.
    St. Thomas Aquinas have blitzed through their last three opponents following a home loss to the Miramar Patriots. The Raiders beat Nova 58-6, South Broward 66-0 and Northeast 60-6 in the past three weeks. They have outscored their opponents 184-12 in their last three games.
    Raiders running back Mardre London will get most of the carries for the team along with Deltron Sands. Quarterback Wade Freebeck looks to pace the team on offense and will throw the ball to his primary target wide receiver Devante Peete.

Spanish River At Park Vista Preview

    The Park Vista Cobras host the Spanish River Sharks on Thursday night at GL Homes Stadium in a District 10-8A game. Both schools are on the opposite ends of the standings in the district.
    Park Vista(5-1, 2-0) has rumbled through opponents in Palm Beach County since their opening week loss to Colerain in Cincinnati. The Cobras have been on a roll as they picked up victories over Palm Beach Gardens, Seminole Ridge, John I. Leonard and last week against Jupiter.
    Qwad Martin returned as starting quarterback last week and had four touchdown passes along with one touchdown run against Jupiter in a 49-7 rout. The team is loaded in the backfield with several running backs that can advance the ball which includes Emmanuel Smith, Jametrius Bentley, Dalton Barkman and Chauncey Mason. Look for wide receivers Renard Cheren and Anthony Milanese to execute sideline patterns to receive the ball.
    Spanish River(0-6, 0-2) are winless this season and are unlikely to be victorious against this mighty foe after having a bye last week. They have been outscored 86-13 in their last three games as they lost to the John I. Leonard Lancers 38-7, Wellington Wolverines 27-6 and Boca Raton Bobcats 21-0.
    The Sharks have Ben Romer at quarterback and he will try to find his favorite receiver Nigel Caesar for receptions along with wide receiver Michael Lorenz. Running back Jordan Henry will get the bulk of carries from the backfield.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Royal Palm Beach At Forest Hill Preview

    The Forest Hill Falcons will host the Royal Palm Beach Wildcats in a District 13-7A game on Friday night. Both schools are currently longshots to get into the FHSAA playoffs.
    Royal Palm Beach(4-2, 2-2) are in the middle of the pack in their district. The Wildcats have been unable to gain momentum over the last four weeks. They were upset on the road by the West Boca Raton Bulls 20-6, easily beat the Lake Worth Trojans 41-7 in a home game, lost to the visiting Dwyer Panthers 40-14 and victorious over the Atlantic Eagles 30-12 when they were away last week.
    The Wildcats offense will run the ball most of the time and rarely pass. Quarterback Toddy Centeio will be the point man as he will implement the option play on most occasions. He will pitch to several running backs which includes Demarcus Holloway, Shamar Jackson, Jimmy Moreland and Charles Perry.
    Forest Hill(2-4, 1-3) have already been eliminated from postseason contention. The Falcons met the top contenders in the district and lost. They were defeated by the West Boca Raton Bulls 34-0 three weeks ago and fell last week on the road to the Dwyer Panthers 49-0. Sandwiched between both games was a 48-28 victory over Lake Worth for their only district win.
    Falcons quarterback Shannon Patrick will lead their offense and hand the ball off to running back Calvary Pugh. Wide receiver Antonio Burns plans to get open down the field.

Dwyer At Lake Worth Preview

    The Dwyer Panthers travel to Lake Worth and take on the Trojans on Friday night in a District 13-7A game. It is possible that Dwyer could clinch a playoff spot with a win in this game and losses by Royal Palm Beach and Atlantic this week.
    Dwyer(7-0, 4-0) remains undefeated and come off a 49-0 rout of the Forest Hill Falcons at Blum Stadium last week. In their previous two district road games, the Panthers had no trouble as they defeated the Royal Palm Beach Wildcats 40-14 and walloped the Olympic Heights Lions 41-7. They have outscored their opponents 297-34 this season.
    The Panthers have three wide receivers that can score a touchdown at anytime with Ezra Saffold, Johnnie Dixon and Clint Stephens going downfield. Quarterback Daniel Parr, who is second in Palm Beach County with 1,280 passing yards, will be able to get them the ball. Running back Alonso Smith, second in the county with 775 rushing yards, will get a load of carries from the backfield.
    Lake Worth(3-4, 2-2) may not currently have a winning record, but a win on Friday could get them closer to the district runner-up position. In the last four weeks, they won at home against the Olympic Heights Lions 34-14, lost on the road to the Royal Palm Beach Wildcats 41-7 along with the Forest Hill Falcons 48-28 and beat Palm Beach Lakes 21-20 last week at home.
    Trojans quarterback Craig Wells has put up big statistics for the team on offense. He leads Palm Beach County in passing yards with 1,348 and is second throwing interceptions with eight. His main target for long passes will be wide receiver James Jones, who is second in Palm Beach County large schools with 540 receiving yards. This may be the best combination that Lake Worth has had since quarterback Evan Moore and receiver Brad Pierre over five years ago.
    Other impact players on offense will include running back Donte Fils-Amie who is first in Palm Beach County with eight touchdown runs and in the top ten in rushing yards with 491. Look for Jeremy Kennedy, who is fourth in Palm Beach County big schools with 394 receiving yards, and Malik Williams to compile additional receptions for the Trojans.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Panthers Fall To Predators

    The Florida Panthers made a one-game road stop in Nashville and lost to the Predators 4-3 on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. The Cats have not won in Nashville since 1999 and are now 1-4-0 away from Sunrise this season. They return home to face the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
    Nashville(3-3-0), who never trailed during the game and have a 7-0-1 record against the Cats in their last eight meetings in Tennessee, picked up the only goal of the first period as Shea Weber put in the puck at 9:23.
    Florida(2-5-0) evened the game early in the second period at 1:16 as Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau scored his third goal of the season. The Predators regained the lead when Mike Fisher got a tally at 12:48. Less than one minute later, Marcel Goc tied the game at 2-2 just 42 seconds later as he placed his third goal this year.
    The Predators slowly pulled away from the Cats during the third period as they compiled a Craig Smith goal at 1:22 and a power-play goal at 5:13 by Patric Hornqvist. Florida newcomer Matt Gilroy recorded his first goal as a Panther when his cross-ice pass to Alekander Barkov in the crease was redirected into the Preds cage by David Legwand with 8:23 left in the game.
    Markstrom dropped to 1-3-0 this season as he stopped 26 shots while Pekka Rinne made 22 saves and moved to 3-3-0. For the second consecutive game involving the Panthers, there was a limited amount of power plays as Florida went 0-for-1 and Nashville ended up 1-for-2.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Kings Crown Panthers

    The Florida Panthers hosted the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday afternoon and came out with the losing end of a shutout 3-0 at BB&T Center. The Cats have lost four of their last five games while the Kings captured their third straight game.
    Los Angeles(4-2-0) was able to get two goals in the second period to go ahead. Daniel Carcillo scored his first goal in a Kings uniform at 8:46 as he snapped a shot from the low right circle. He got the feed from Mike Richards who was behind the Panthers cage as the former Flyers connected on the play.
    The Kings extended their lead at 14:55 when Justin Williams put in a wrist shot from the slot area after Anze Kopitar passed to him from the right side of the crease.
    L.A. added another goal at 12:28 of the third period as Jared Stoll sent a pass from the right wing to the low slot where Jordan Nolan redirected the puck in with the backhand by Florida(2-4-0)Jacob Markstrom.
    Ben Scrivens, who is now a perfect 3-0-0 against the Cats, made his first start for the Kings and picked up his first victory as he stopped all 20 shots. His previous shutout was in Sunrise against the Panthers back on February 18 last season. Markstrom fell to 1-2-0 as he made 26 saves. There were not many chances on the power play as Florida went 0-for-2 while Los Angeles went 0-for-1.

Rowdies Take Strikers And Coastal Cup

    The defending NASL champion Tampa Bay Rowdies beat the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-1 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Pertersburg on Saturday night. They captured the Coastal Cup for the fourth consecutive year and won the annual Florida Derby between both clubs.
    Tampa Bay got the early lead in the 14th minute as forward Lucky Mksoana made a run down the side beyond the Strikers defense and dribbled around Strikers goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Forward Eitenne Barbara made the lead pass to him.
    Fort Lauderdale tied the game at 1-1 during the 38th minute as forward Martin Nunez scored the equalizer by Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo with an assist by forward Yaikel Perez.  
    In the 75th minute, the Rowdies got the game-winning goal on a penalty kick by midfielder Luke Mulholland as he placed the shot into the low left corner of the net. Midfielder Keith Savage was tripped up in the penalty area to set up the play.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Frank Forte Out As Panthers Studio Host

    It was a bit of a surprise on Friday night during the home opener of the Florida Panthers that Frank Forte would no longer be the studio host or rinkside reporter for Panthers home games on Fox Sports Florida. Forte will likely remain as a producer and host of Panthers Weekly. Allison Williams previously revealed on October 1 that she was leaving her studio host position after five seasons of covering the team.
    Drew Goldfarb, who recently left WTPA-TV in Tupelo on September 22, will be the only Fox Sports Florida studio host for home games this season as he will work with play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein and game analyst Bill Lindsay. Goldstein has done the telecasts since 2007-08 while Lindsay joined prior to the 2009-10 season.

Panthers Celebrate 20th Anniversary With Win

    The Florida Panthers celebrated their 20th anniversary as an NHL franchise on Friday night as they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 in the home opener at BB&T Center. Among the former players from the 1993-94 Panthers team in attendance tonight were Brian Skrudland, Bill Lindsay, Gord Murphy and Rob Niedermeyer. The Panthers snapped their three-game losing streak while the Penguins lost for the first time this season.
    Florida(2-3-0) took the lead just 1:55 into the game when Brad Boyes scored his third goal of the season as he snapped a shot from the right circle by Pens goalie Jeff Zatkoff, who was making his first NHL start. Tomas Fleischmann stole the puck from Sidney Crosby at the top of the Pittsburgh zone and sent a lead pass to Boyes on the right side. It was the first lead the Cats had in a game since their road opener in Dallas.
    Pittsburgh(3-1-0) responded back to tied the game 1-1 at 5:38 of the first period. Marcel Goc was stripped of the puck at his own blue line by Beau Bennett which set up a 2-on-1 break on net. Bennett passed across to Evgeni Malkin and he ripped a snap shot from the inner left circle by Cats goalie Jacob Markstrom.
    The Panthers, who won their fourth straight home opener, regained the lead at 2-1 at 9:10 of the first. Shawn Matthias brought the puck into the left corner and passed it to Scott Gomez behind the Penguins net. Kris Versteeg got the pass from him at the right face-off circle dot and blasted a one-timer for his first goal of the year.
    Once again the Penguins tied it up at 2-2 with 3:11 left in the first period as Craig Adams poked in a shot inside the crease area after Tanner Glass tried to make a wraparound shot coming out from behind the Panthers cage.
    The Cats capitalized on two Pittsburgh penalties midway through the second period to make it 4-2. On a 5-on-3 power play, Jonathan Huberdeau batted in a puck by the goal mouth at 7:08 after Versteeg wristed a shot from the low right circle off Zatkoff and the right post. They would follow with another goal with the man advantage 66 seconds later as Aleksander Barkov picked up his second career goal as he backhanded a pass from the side of the net that bounced off Paul Martin's right leg and into the Penguins cage.
    The Pens cut the margin to 4-3 as Crosby dropped a pass from the low left circle to Pascal Dupuis and he buried in a wrist shot at 12:13.
    Tomas Fleischmann scored his first goal of the season at 6:27 of the third period and extended the Panthers lead to 5-3. Barkov knocked a loose puck in the neutral zone ahead to Fleischmann across the Penguins line and he took two straight shots before the puck went into the net.
    Florida wrapped things up one second after a Crosby interference penalty ended with 33.8 seconds to go as Boyes got his second goal of the game when he put the puck into the net from the left of the crease after a cross-ice pass by Barkov.
    Markstrom upped his record to 1-1-0 as he made 36 saves on 39 Penguins shots while Zatkoff took the loss in his NHL debut as he stopped 24 shots. The Cats went 2-for-4 on the power play and the Pens were 0-for-3.

Jupiter At Park Vista Preview

    The Park Vista Cobras will host the Jupiter Warriors in a non-district game on Friday night at GL Homes Stadium in Boynton Beach. Both teams are in contention in their separate Class 8A districts in Palm Beach County for the FHSAA playoffs.
    Park Vista(4-1), who are tied with the Boca Raton Bobcats for first place in District 10-8A, has won four consecutive games which included a victory last week at home against the John I. Leonard Lancers 34-0. Defensive back Marques Gayot had two interceptions in that game and backup quarterback Brandon Sharpe took most of the snaps on offense for an ailing Qwad Martin who had the flu.
    The Cobras will be at full strength as Martin is expected to run and throw the ball to his receivers. A slew of running backs will lead the way which includes Emmanuel Smith, Jametrius Bentley, Barkman and Chauncey Mason. Look for any one of them from the backfield to receive short screen passes for long gains and wide receiver Renard Cheren as their deep threat. Their special teams unit have scored four touchdowns this season and included a return on a blocked punt by Mason versus John I. Leonard in the last game.
    Jupiter(3-3) is currently tied for first place in District 9-8A with the Palm Beach Gardens Gators. They won their first district game last week with a road win over the Wellington Wolverines 17-14. Running back Jerome Davis led the offense with 123 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns in that contest. He is expected to get the bulk of the handoffs on offense for the Warriors.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sun-Sentinel Hires Ryan S. Clark

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has hired Ryan S. Clark as their new Broward County high school sports reporter and will begin October 28. He will replace Christy C. Chirinos who was promoted to the University of Miami Hurricanes beat back on August 28. Clark comes from the Lansing State Journal in Michigan where he was a reporter.

Lightning Strike Panthers

    The Florida Panthers finished a four-game road string as they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-2 at St. Pete Times Forum on Thursday night. It was the first game that the Cats played against a new Atlantic Division opponent since league realignment during the off-season. The Panthers will have their home opener Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins and celebrate their 20th anniversary as an NHL franchise.
    Tampa Bay(3-1-0) got out to a 2-0 lead after one period. New Lightning captain Martin St. Louis scored one second after their power play ended at 8:13. Teddy Purcell passed the puck from behind the Panthers cage to Steven Stamkos to the left of the crease. He snapped a pass across to the right side of the crease where St. Louis put in a wrist shot for a 1-0 lead.
    The Lightning extended their lead to 2-0 on a shorthanded goal at 13:54. St. Louis fired a shot from the left-wing boards that was redirected by Stamkos in the low slot area.
    After starting the season 0-for-17 on the power play, Florida(1-3-0) finally scored on the man advantage as Brad Boyes tallied his second goal this season 59 seconds into the second period. He poked in a loose puck in the crease area after Brian Campbell shot the puck into the back wall.
    Stamkos increased the margin for the Lightning to 3-1 with his second goal of the game 8:21 left in the period. Tampa Bay added on to their lead with 4:09 to go in the second when Alex Killorn stole the puck from Mike Weaver in the top left circle, passed across to Ondrej Palat in the right circle and he fired a slapshot by Jacob Markstrom off the post and in.
    The Panthers closed the gap to 4-2 with 16:12 remaining in the third period as Jonathan Huberdeau compiled his first goal of the season with assists from Scott Gomez and Kris Versteeg.
    Tampa Bay would follow with three goals to make it 7-2. Valtteli Filppula got an even-strength goal at 6:38 and a power-play goal at 9:14. Stamkos would follow with his third goal of the game for the hat trick as he rifled a slapshot during the power play from the left side at 12:25.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Abby Wambach Marries Teammate

    Abby Wambach married longtime partner and teammate Sarah Huffman on October 5 in Hawaii. The two players were part of the Majicjack franchise in South Florida during the 2011 season of  Women's Professional Soccer(WPS). They played for the Western New York Flash of the National Women's Soccer League in 2013. Both were with the Washington Freedom from 2009 to 2010 until the team was sold and moved to Boca Raton.
    Wambach has been on the national team since 2003 and she is the United States all-time leader for women in career goals with 161. She was a forward with the Majicjack in 2011 and scored nine goals in 11 appearances. Wambach was named player-coach that July after she played in the Women's World Cup.
    Huffman was a midfielder for the team that year and had one goal in 18 games. Her best game was in a first-round playoff game at FAU in a 3-1 win over the Boston Breakers where she had one assist and set up a penalty kick goal when she was tripped up in the penalty area. Wambach was able to convert on the penalty kick for the go-ahead goal and a 2-1 lead.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jeff Greer Leaves Palm Beach Post

    Palm Beach Post high school sports reporter Jeff Greer will leave the newspaper on October 19 and join the Louisville Courier-Journal as the University of Louisville beat reporter. He will mainly cover the basketball and football programs at that school.
    Greer, a University of Pittsburgh grad, worked for the U.S. News and World Report as a blogger, web producer and copy editor from the summer of 2008 until June 2010. During that same time period, he was employed by the Washington Post as a correspondent, copy editor and clerk. Greer joined the Palm Beach Post in July 2010 along with Matt Porter when they replaced Jason Leiser, who is now the University of Florida beat writer for that newspaper.

Flyers Beat Panthers

    After losing their first three games this season and firing head coach Peter Laviolette, the Philadelphia Flyers held on to defeat the Florida Panthers 2-1 at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night. The Panthers will finish a four-game road trip in Tampa Bay on Thursday night before they play their home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.
    Philadelphia(1-3-0) jumped out to a 2-0 lead during the first period. Brayden Schenn put in a goal off a rebound from the end wall on a wrist shot from the slot area at 4:49 and Braydon Coburn added a tally on a wrist shot from the right wing at 7:31. Panthers goalie Tim Thomas then had to leave the game because of a lower-body injury after he dove for the shot and had to replaced by Jacob Markstrom. It was the second straight game Markstrom had to relieve Thomas in net.
    Florida(1-2-0) climbed back into the game with 6.7 seconds left in the second period as Brad Boyes scored his first goal as a Panther to make it 2-1. Aleksander Barkov sent a pass from the left circle to defenseman Brian Campbell in the high slot, he fired a shot that deflected off a Flyers defenseman and Boyes ripped a wrist shot from the low left circle for the goal. The Cats got the puck by Flyers goalie Steve Mason on their 25th shot as Barkov picked up his first NHL assist.
    The Panthers had their best chance to tie the game on a double-minor power play early in the third period as they blasted five shots on Mason.

Boynton Beach At Dillard Preview

    The Boynton Beach Tigers will travel to Fort Lauderdale and take on the Dillard Panthers at Otis Gray Jr. Memorial Stadium on Friday night for first place in District 15-6A. They are both tied with the Hallandale Chargers for the top spot in the district.
    Boynton Beach(6-0, 3-0) have played their last three games against schools in the district and outscored them 137-12. They crushed Archbishop McCarthy 48-0, routed Stranahan 47-12 and shut out Pembroke Pines Charter 42-0 in the last three weeks.
    The focal point for the Tigers on offense will be quarterback Lamar Jackson. He leads the team in rushing with 427 yards which in fourth among Palm Beach County big schools. Jackson will also impact with his passing as he is 32-for-71 for 488 yards and ten touchdowns. Running back Curtis Rolle will get some of the carries from the backfield while wide receiver Donte Sylenceux is expected to make catches down the field.
    Dillard(3-2, 3-0) began with two tough non-district opponents as they lost at home to Plantation and fell to Stephenville in Dallas, Texas. They bounced back with three straight district victories over Coconut Creek 37-25, Pembroke Pines Charter 36-13 and Stranahan 26-16.
    Panthers quarterback Lee "Bud" Martin will take charge of the offense and will give running back Eddie Roberts IV many carries during the game. They have two explosive wide receivers in Dennis Turner and Elijah Johnson that can create havoc on the defensive secondary.

Heat Win Preseason Opener

    The Miami Heat played their first preseason game as beat the Atlanta Hawks 92=87 on Monday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat, who led the game from wire-to-wire, returned to South Florida after having their training camp in The Bahamas for one week.
    Many of the Heat regular starters saw limited time in this game with the exception of Dwyane Wade who did not participate in the contest. Chris Bosh led with a team-high 21 points along with five rebounds in 20 minutes while LeBron James added nine points, five assists and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Roger Mason Jr. led all Miami(1-0) bench scorers with 14 points and a team-high six rebounds in 27 minutes of play. Rashard Lewis dropped down 11 points in 19 minutes.
    Paul Millsap was the leading scorer among starters for Atlanta(0-1) with 12 points in 24 minutes. Al Horford barely fell short of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes while Mike Scott came off the bench and drained in 13 points.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blues Blow Away Panthers

    The Florida Panthers were manhandled by the St. Louis Blues 7-0 at Scottrade Arena on Saturday night. Florida(1-1-0) pulled goalie Tim Thomas after he allowed five goals in the first two periods and was replaced by Jacob Markstrom for the final period.
    Blues newcomer Brenden Morrow scored the first goal for St. Louis(2-0-0) on the power play at 13:58 of the first period. An avalanche of four goals would come during the second period as they got tallies in a time span of 6:32 from Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Derek Roy and Alexander Steen. The Panthers were held to just 12 shots after two periods.
    The Blues added two more goals in the third period by Ryan Reaves at 2:44 and Patrik Berglund at 4:09. The Panthers were outshot 34-19 in the game and held scoreless on the power play as they went 0-for-7. St. Louis was 1-for-4 on the power play and had the faceoff edge at 33-24.
    St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak set a club record with his 17th shutout with the team as he passed Glen Hall for that honor. The Blues now have an all-time record of 10-3-1 at home when they host the Panthers.

Strikers Edge Rowdies

    The Fort Lauderdale Strikers pulled off a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night. Both teams will not have to wait long to see each other again in The Florida Derby as they play next Saturday at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.
    The Strikers had the wind to their back in the first half as they shot toward the west end of the stadium. They scored on their second shot of the game during the 22nd minute. Midfielder Carlos Salazar crossed the ball from the right side and forward Martin Nunez put in a header from seven yards away for a 1-0 lead.
    Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo kept his team in the game as he made the best save of the match in the 29th minute when he stopped a lone breakaway by forward Paulo Jr. who shot from ten yards out. Fort Lauderdale dominated the first half as they had longer time of ball possession, an 8-1 shot advantage and a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.
    Things changed after halftime as Tampa Bay took advantage of the windy conditions. They had seven corner kicks in the first 25 minutes in the second half. Their best attempt to tie the game happened in 71st minute off a corner kick as an eight-yard header by forward Lucky Mkosana was caught and saved by Strikers goalkeeper Richard Sanchez.
    Fort Lauderdale stopped the Rowdies momentum during the 84th minute when they scored and extended their lead to 2-0. Paulo Jr. made a square pass toward his left to forward Bradlee Baladez and he blasted a 15-yard shot with the left foot.
    The Rowdies broke the shutout three minutes into extra time and closed the margin to 2-1. Forward Carl Cort rocketed a 14-yard shot from the left side with the right foot past Sanchez and into the far side of the net. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Panthers Win Road Opener

    The Florida Panthers began their 20th season in the National Hockey League on Thursday night with a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. It is the first game of a four-game trip for the Cats as they move on to St. Louis, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. They will commemorate their 20th anniversary of the franchise as they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in their home opener on October 11 at BB&T Center.

Park Vista Blanks John I Leonard

    The Park Vista Cobras remained undefeated in Florida on Friday night as they shut out the John I. Leonard Lancers 34-0 in a District 10-8A game at GL Homes Stadium outside of Boynton Beach. The Cobras have won their last four games after a first-week loss at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati against Colerain. The Lancers lost by at least 27 points for the fourth time this season.
    Park Vista(4-1, 2-0) began the onslaught as Chauncy Mason returned a blocked punt for a 30-yard touchdown at 6:21 of the first quarter to make it 6-0. The extra point was missed by kicker Gabe Montes.
    On the first play of the Cobras next drive, backup quarterback Brandon Sharpe found wide receiver Renard Cheren dashing down the right sideline for a 54-yard touchdown reception to move their lead up to 13-0 with 4:40 to go in the first quarter.
    Mason give the Cobras great field position for their next possession with a 23-yard punt return to the John I. Leonard(1-5, 1-1) 25-yard line. They scored on the first play for their second straight drive as running back Emmanuel Smith rushed around the right end and had to cut across to the other side of the field for a score with 2:08 left in the first and increased the gap to 20-0.
    Defense led the way for Park Vista during the second quarter. Linebacker C.J. Armstrong had 38-yard interception for a touchdown negated due to a penalty at 4:32. Several plays later, defensive back Marques Gayot made his second interception of the period and returned it to midfield with 2:29 left. Their first-string quarterback Qwad Martin entered the game for the first time to begin the next drive which was capped by a Jametrius Bentley touchdown run up the middle from three yards out with 27 seconds left in the first half for a 27-0 Cobras lead.
    Park Vista would set off fireworks at the beginning of the second half as Smith returned the kickoff 90 yards for a score just 20 seconds into the third quarter and extended the Cobras margin to 34-0. They would have another touchdown negated midway through the third because of an offensive pass interference penalty when Cheren received a 12-yard pass on the right side of the end zone.

Dwyer Dismantles Royal Palm Beach

    The Dwyer Panthers scored 26 unanswered points in the first 32 minutes of the game as they cruised by the Royal Palm Beach Panthers 40-14 in a District 13-7A game on Thursday night at Palms West Hospital Stadium. Dwyer stayed undefeated at 6-0 along with a 3-0 record in the district while Royal Palm Beach fell to 1-2 in the district and 3-2 overall.
    The Panthers scored in their first possession of the game as running back Alonso Smith rumbled in with a four-yard touchdown run at 2:33 of the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.
    Dwyer quarterback Daniel Parr would score on a one-yard dash to make it 14-0 with 2:47 left in the second quarter. They extended their lead to 20-0 in the final minute of the first half as wide receiver Ezra Saffold caught a 15-yard pass from Parr for a score.
    The onslaught continued against the Wildcats as wide receiver Shawun Lurry dashed around the right end for a 29-yard touchdown at 8:19 of the third quarter as the Panthers held a 26-point margin.
    Royal Palm Beach broke the shutout late in the third as running back Demarcus Holloway scooted in from three yards away with 3:07 to make it 26-7.
    Dwyer responded quickly as Saffold got into the end zone on a six-yard reception in the final minute of the third quarter as the gap was extended to 33-7. It was his second touchdown catch in the game and his fifth touchdown of the season which tied the team-high with Johnnie Dixon and Clint Stephens.
    Wildcats quarterback Jimmy Moreland added a one-yard touchdown run at 10:24 of the final quarter and closed the margin to 33-14.
    Parr threw his third touchdown pass of the game later in the fourth quarter which was caught by wide receiver Eddie Giles from 18 yards out for a 40-14 lead.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

John I Leonard At Park Vista Preview

    The Park Vista Cobras will host the John I. Leonard Lancers on Friday night at G.L. Homes Stadium in a District 10-8A matchup. Both schools have gone in different directions so far this year.
    Park Vista(3-1, 1-0) have won their last three games after they lost their opening game to Corlerain in Cincinnati, Ohio. They followed that with victories over the Palm Beach Gardens Gators, Seminole Ridge Hawks and Santaluces Chiefs.
    The Cobras will be led by quarterback Qwad Martin who can run the ball and throw screen passes for long gains. He has not thrown an interception since the first game of the season. They have a bunch of options from the backfield which includes running backs Emmanuel Smith, Jamerius Bentley and Dalton Barkman. Park Vista has returned three touchdowns on special teams this season so look out for Chauncy Mason, who is the younger brother of Auburn University running back Tre Mason.
    John I. Leonard(1-4, 1-0) began the season with a tough out-of-district schedule against several possible playoff teams. They lost by at least 27 points to the Palm Beach Gardens Gators, Pahokee Blue Devils and Cardinal Newman Crusaders. On the positive side, they defeated district opponent Spanish River 38-7 two weeks ago at home.
    The Lancers are a dangerous team on special teams as they have made three touchdown returns in 2013. Tavaras Martin leads the team on offense as quarterback and he will get most of the carries along with running back Wisen Juste. They will get occasional receptions from wide receivers Kaian Duvenger and Larry Dunnon.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Miami Ratings September 2013

    It is a new era in South Florida sports talk radio as 104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM captured the top spot in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region for the month of September. Their sister-station 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM which they simulcast with will no longer be considered a separate entity in terms of monthly ratings.
    Lincoln Financial Media purchased the 104.3 FM frequency back in late August 2012 and began to simulcast 790 The Ticket on it even though the transmitter was located south of Wellington in Palm Beach County. The signal was eventually moved to a Miramar transmitter during this past summer.
    104.3 The Ticket rocketed from a 0.4 to a 1.0 during the month of September. The station received top status during station identification over 790 The Ticket as Lincoln Financial Media put more emphasis toward it in order to get a larger audience share. The return of live programs from the Dan Le Batard Show certainly did help.
    Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM finished in second place for the first time since June as they improved from a 0.7 to a 0.9 in September. The station made a shift in the lineup as Jorge Sedano left for ESPN Radio in August. They seemed not to falter with the afternoon show comprised of former evening show co-host and afternoon sidekick Brandon Guzio along with former Miami Dolphins player and early afternoon co-host Channing Crowder. They did not loss any ground with Adam Kuperstein now joined on the early afternoon program by Curtis Stevenson. WQAM also got a bump in the ratings with the great start by the University of Miami Hurricanes football team.
    940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM improved for the first time in four months as they rose from a 0.2 to a 0.3 for September. The Miami Dolphins began the regular season on the upside during the ratings period. Their local programs showed improvement as The Finsiders show with Jesse Agler began to simulcast on Fox Sports Florida and the combination of Steve Goldstein along with Jeff DeForrest guided the morning show. Phil Domanic and Troy Stradford succeeded with the use of just two voices on their mid-afternoon show after the departure of The Amigo Larry Milian.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Allison Williams Exits Panthers Role

    Allison Williams will no longer be on Florida Panthers telecasts after five seasons. It was mentioned in the 2014 NHL Official Guide & Record Book that she would share studio host and rinkside report duties with Frank Forte on Fox Sports Florida for the upcoming hockey season. Drew Goldfarb has left WTPA-TV in Tupelo, Mississippi and will take over her position.
    She joined Fox Sports Net Florida in 2008 as a sideline reporter for the Florida Marlins and rinkside reporter for the Florida Panthers. She increased her duties entering the 2011-12 NHL season as she got studio host work for Florida Panthers home telecasts while Craig Minervini appeared on less than ten games during the Cats Southeast Division championship run. He had held that position since September 2003. She was the studio host for most Florida Panthers home games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season when she was not on assignment as a college basketball sideline reporter for ESPN.
    Williams, a 2006 University of Miami grad, was employed as a college football sideline reporter for Comcast Sports Southeast. She joined Fox Sports Net Florida and was part of Miccosukee Sports Rap as a sports reporter. Williams would later work as an ACC college football sideline reporter for them before joining ESPNU as a college football sideline reporter.

Dwyer At Royal Palm Beach Preview

    The Dwyer Panthers visit the Royal Palm Beach Wildcats in a District 13-7A matchup on Thursday night. Both schools had high expectations prior to the season to make the FHSAA playoffs this year.
    Dwyer(5-0, 2-0) remains undefeated as they have outscored their opponents 208-20 halfway through the regular season. They came away with a 41-7 victory at the Olympic Heights Lions last week as the Panthers had a 34-0 lead at halftime.    
    Quarterback Daniel Parr, who threw five touchdown passes against OH, leads Palm Beach County with 1,034 passing yards and 17 touchdown passes this season. He will hand the ball off to running back Alonso Smith who is second in Palm Beach County rushing with 530 yards rushing. Smith had two touchdowns catches of 20 and 33 yards in the previous game versus the Lions. The Panthers receiving core of Johnnie Dixon, Clint Stephens and Ezra Saffold have a combined 802 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions this year.
    Royal Palm Beach(3-1, 1-1) had a situation similar to Dwyer last week as they handled the Lake Worth Trojans 41-7. They also had a 34-0 halftime lead and got their first district win. Prior to this game, the Wildcats had scored 34 points on offense in their first three games of the season. Royal Palm Beach were upset in their first district game two weeks ago as they fell in Boca Raton to the West Boca Raton Bulls 20-6.
    The Wildcats will mainly run the ball on offense and they will rarely throw the ball in the air. Demarcus Holloway will lead the running attack as he is fifth in Palm Beach County large schools with 52 carries for 376 yards. He had a 52-yard touchdown run against Lake Worth last week. Quarterback Toddy Centeio will also run option plays to confuse the defense. He is second on the team with 20 carries for 178 and scored on touchdown runs of 28 and 43 yards against the Trojans in the previous game. Royal Palm Beach have additional threats in the backfield which include Shamar Jackson and Charles Perry. Jimmy Moreland will be the only deep receiving threat for the Wildcats.