Saturday, November 30, 2013

Penguins Pound Panthers

     The Pittsburgh Penguins made their second and final appearance this season in Sunrise on Saturday night and easily handled the Florida Panthers 5-1 at BB&T Center. The Cats defeated them in their home opener 6-3 back on October 11. Florida(7-15-5) have now lost four of their last five games.
     Pittsburgh(18-9-1) were outshot 7-1 in the first eight minutes of this contest. They scored on their first power play in an unusual way. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck on net from the left corner which was saved by Tim Thomas. Chris Kunitz was in the low slot area and softly snapped a shot that seemed to be in slow-motion when it went past the goal line at 10:45 of the first period. It was the 14th goal for Kunitz who moved ahead of Sidney Crosby for the team-high in scoring this year.
     Joe Vitale would add on to the Penguins margin just 32 seconds later when he scored from point-blank range in the crease area to make it 2-0.
     The Pens increased their lead to 3-0 at 7:23 of the second period. Olli Maatta was on the left-wing wall and connected with a streaking Malkin in the left circle. He skated in on net and switched to a backhand shot in the high crease area.
     Things were not going the Cats way when Sean Bergenheim had a goal disallowed when he was on the edge of the crease at 10:15 of the second and Florida remained three goals behind.
     Florida got back that goal and broke the shutout with a power-play goal at 17:53. Brian Campbell carried the puck up of his own zone and sent an outlet pass to Jonathan Huberdeau. He moved it to Upshall who skated through the left circle and put a backhand shot over the left shoulder of Jeff Zatkoff. Upshall has a point in six of his last seven games.
     The Penguins bounced back 29 seconds later when Malkin controlled the puck on the end wall,  spinned away from a defender and waited behind the Panthers cage. He sent it to James Neal in the low right circle and he nailed a one-time slapshot. Scott Clemmensen came into to relieve Thomas following the end of the second period.
    Jussi Jokinen compiled another goal for the Pens and extended their lead to 5-1 at 6:10 of the third. Malkin, who picked up his third assist and fourth point of the game on that play, fed Jokinen in the slot area where he ripped a snapshot.
     Thomas was pulled from net after two periods by head coach Peter Horachek after he surrendered four goals on only 13 shots and dropped his record to 6-9-1. After losing to the Cats during their home opener back in October, Zatkoff stopped 39 of 40 shots and raised his mark to 4-2-0. Both squads scored on the power play as Pittsburgh went a perfect 1-for-1 while Florida were 1-for-4.     

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dwyer Upends St Thomas Aquinas

     The Dwyer Panthers remained unbeaten as they dethroned the defending Class 7A champion St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders 35-28 on Friday night in a regional final at Blum Stadium. It was the second time in three years where the Raiders championship reign was halted by the same school on the same field.
     The Panthers advanced to the state semifinals for the fifth time in six years. After winning four consecutive regional finals between 2008 until 2011, they fell in a regional semifinal at home last year to Boyd Anderson. Dwyer is two games away from winning their second state championship and play at East Lake in a state semifinal next week.
     The Raiders missed the state semifinals for just the second time in the last ten seasons. They had won a regional final every year from 2004 to 2010 and also in 2012. Aquinas will not capture their eighth FHSAA title in school history this season.
     Both teams came out strong during the first quarter. Wide receiver Johnnie Dixon caught a 42-yard touchdown reception on a post pattern from quarterback Daniel Parr at 4:52 for a Dwyer 7-0 lead.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(10-3) responded quickly on their next possession as wide receiver Jawuan Harris finished the drive with an eight-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Wade Freebeck on the right side of the end zone at 2:32 to tie the game 7-7.
    Dwyer(13-0) would retake just prior to the end of the first quarter. Fullback Gerald Hearns busted in from one yard out as he went off-right guard for a Panthers 14-7 lead with 4.6 seconds left.
    On the final play of the first, Raiders wide receiver Corey Holmes caught a 48-yard screen pass and brought the ball deep into Dwyer territory. Running back Madre London received a swing pass to the right on the first play of the second quarter, raced in untouched from 20 yards away and tied it at 14-14 just 15 seconds in.
     Panthers kicker Peyton Shapiro extended Dwyer's margin to 20-14 by halftime. He nailed a 40-yard field goal at 3:05 and booted a 25-yard field goal with 4.6 seconds to go in the first half.
     Aquinas wasted no time to begin the second half as they scored on their first drive. They took their first lead of the game 21-20 at 10:20 when Freebeck connected with Devante Peete on 36-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline.
     On the Panthers next drive, Dixon concluded it with a 66-yard TD reception on a fly pattern at 7:18. They took a chance as they went for a two-point conversion and Parr found Dixon in the middle of the end zone to increase their margin back to seven points 28-21.
     STA came back to tie the game for the third time at 28-28 with 5:20 remaining in the third quarter. Running back Deltron Sands went around the left end on a rushing attempt, sprinted down the left sideline and scored from 15 yards away.
     The game was not decided until the final minute of the fourth quarter as Dwyer slowed marched down the field with the ball during their final possession. The key play of the drive was a 4th-and-10 at the Raiders 26-yard line where wide receiver Ezra Saffold caught a 15-yard pass on a crossing route for a first down with just over one minute to go. Three plays later, Parr scored on a one-year quarterback sneak with 40.5 seconds left as he followed center Jordan Sylvestre through the line of scrimmage for a 35-28 lead.     

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cocoa At Booker T Washington Preview

     The Booker T. Washington Tornadoes look to stay undefeated as they host the Cocoa Tigers in a Class 4A state semifinal on Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium. It is a rematch from last year when the Tornadoes won 41-13. The winner will advance to the Class 4A state championship game in Orlando next week.
     Cocoa(11-1) has consistently been a state champion contender and it has shown as they have appeared in the last seven state semifinals. They have won 11 consecutive games following a loss on opening week to Gonzaga in College Park, Maryland. They wiped out LaBelle with a 70-0 shutout in a regional semifinal and took the Clewiston Tigers 49-35 in a regional final.
     The Tigers seem to be deep in the running back position with Jamel Dean, Lorenzo Pratt and Chauncey Gardner. It has been a battle for the quarterback spot throughout the season between Zack Armour and Kevin Troutman. Both are capable of dictating the pace for the Cocoa offense.
     Booker T. Washington(12-0) are the defending FHSAA Class 4A state champions and won every game this season by at least 11 points. They have scored at least 40 points in their last five games and outscored their opponents 229-56 during that time span. They blasted Glades Central 40-18 in the regional semifinal and got a road victory over University School 45-18 in the regional final.
     The Tornadoes can attack their opponent in many different ways on offense. Quarterback Treon Harris is expected to execute plays out of the option along with running backs Mark Walton and Krondis Larry to carry the ball from the backfield. Wide receivers Deltron Hopkins and Lamar Parker have the speed to catch long receptions.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rangers Shoot Down Panthers

     The Florida Panthers fell to the New York Rangers 5-2 on Wednesday night at BB&T Center. They have lost three of their last four games and are 3-10-2 at home this season. The Rangers are now 12-1-0 when they score first, 7-0-0 leading after one period and 9-0-0 leading after two.
     The Rangers scored on their first power play of the game at 12:13 of the first period. Derek Stepan was in the left circle when he sent a cross-ice pass to Mats Zuccarello in the top right circle. He slap passed the puck to the slot area where Derick Brassard redirected it by Tim Thomas.
     New York(13-12-0) scored again with 1:07 left in the second period and extended their lead to 2-0. Brad Richards brought the puck into the Panthers zone, pivoted to the right side and snapped a shot from the top right circle with a screen in front.
     Florida(7-14-5) tried to mount a comeback during the third period, but the deficit increased. Tom Gilbert attempted to clear the zone with a pass from the slot area. It was intercepted by Rick Nash and he ripped a wrist shot at 5:32 for his second goal this season.
     The Panthers capitalized on a clearing pass by Zuccarello from his own right corner at 12:28. Brad Boyes stopped the puck in the left circle, angled a pass ahead to Scottie Upshall and he lifted a backhand shot over the left shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist. It was Upshall's fifth goal this year and he has picked up a point in five of the last six games.
     There was an avalanche of goals in the last four minutes of the contest. Nick Bjudstad closed the gap to 3-2 with 3:43 remaining in the third with his third tally this season. He picked up a loose puck at center ice, carried it into the Rangers zone, went around Ryan McDonagh and stuffed a shot on the short side from the low slot area.
     The Blueshirts got breathing room on the ensuing power play to make it 4-2. John Moore shot the puck from the blue line that bounced off the back wall to Chris Kreider at the left of the crease. Zuccarello followed the puck in the slot and scored with 1:28 to go.
     Carl Hagelin capped the game with an empty-net goal with 23.1 seconds left. He received a pass just over the red line from McDonagh in his own left corner of the Rangers zone.
     Lundqvist stopped 31 of 33 shots and improved to 8-10-0 while Thomas fell to 6-8-1 as he made 17 saves. New York was 2-for-3 on the man advantage and Florida went scoreless at 0-for-2.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Miami Ratings November 2013

     It has remained the same during the fall when 104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM ended up as the top sports station for the third consecutive month in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region. They slightly increased their margin over Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM.
     104.3 The Ticket went to an upward trend for the third straight month from a 1.1 to a 1.2 in November. They got a bump based on the social buzz at the start of the season for the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat. News that the station lost the radio rights to the Miami Marlins this month will not dent their ratings. It was the final ratings period for their program director Tod Castleberry who was let go. In his 20-month reign his sports stations finished first ten times, tied for first seven times and finished second three times.
     560 WQAM remained the same in the month of November as they stayed flat at a 0.8. The not so good start by the Florida Panthers along with a losing stretch by the University of Miami football team did not help. The audience is now use to the change of personnel from several months ago in the stations new programs.
     940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM saw a drop in their ratings for the first time since June. They fell from a 0.5 to a 0.4 in November. The momentum that the Miami Dolphins had at the beginning of the NFL season is gone. The station did pick up the Miami Marlins radio rights and should find an audience with the lost of Fox Sports Radio during evening hours as of April 2014.   

Hardee At American Heritage Preview

     In a Class 5A regional final, the Hardee Wildcats travel down to Plantation and face the American Heritage Patriots at Heritage Field on Friday night. Both teams had similar 2013 season as they lost one of their first games before stringing out a long winning streak prior to this matchup.
     American Heritage(11-1) lost to local and national powerhouse Miami Central during the first week then rolled over tough competition with 11 straight victories over the last three months. The Patriots have scored 48 or more points in five of their last six games. They defeated Lely 51-13 in the regional quarterfinal and Immokalee in the regional semifinal 49-34.
     The Patriots are very balanced in their offensive attack. Running back Sony Michel is expected to get the majority of handoffs and quarterback Torrance Gibson can run plays out of the option. Wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Brandon Johnson can receive the ball anywhere on the field from Gibson.
     Hardee(11-1) enters this game on a ten-game win streak after they fell to longtime state contender Fort Meade. The Wildcats have not given up more than 20 points in a game this season. They played two home playoff games and were victorious over Dunbar 37-20 in the regional quarterfinal along with a 20-7 win in the regional semifinal against Booker.
     The Wildcats will constantly run the ball while on offense. All three members of the backfield can be dangerous when they carry the ball. Quarterback Keyonte Holley will call the signals and give the football off to running backs James Greene and Keyone Brown.

Heritage At Miami Central Preview

     The Miami Central Rockets look to continue their path for a third state title in the last four years as they host Heritage Panthers at Traz Powell Stadium in a Class 6A regional final on Saturday night. The Rockets will be at home for their third consecutive game while Heritage has to make a long road trip of 160 miles down I-95 from Palm Bay to Miami.
     With the exception of a second week loss to Booker T. Washington, Miami Central(11-1) have rolled through opponents this season. The Rockets, defending FHSAA Class 6A champions, enter this game on a ten-game winning streak and all their margin of victories this year have been by at least 17 points. They took Boynton Beach 55-37 in a regional quarterfinal and bashed Dillard 59-14 in a regional semifinal.
     The first thing that gets your attention is the talented backfield that the Rockets have. Running backs Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook definitely impact a game any time they get their hands on the football. The secondary option for them is their passing game. Quaterback Keith Reed can swing screen passes to his running backs and look for wide receiver Da'vante Phillips on route patterns.
     Heritage(12-0) has cruised by during the 2013 playoffs as they hosted two games. They walloped Estero 49-3 in a regional quarterfinal and edged Naples 27-19 in a regional semifinal. The Panthers have compiled six shutouts this year and outscored their opponents 497-89. They have scored at least 27 points in all of their games this season and allowed more than 23 points only once.
     The Panthers look to attack with their running game as they will use the option on offense. Quarterback Clinton Moxam can keep the ball or give it off to running back Josh Gaines. Wide receiver Terrance Spivey is the main target for receptions from Moxam.

Miramar At Palm Beach Gardens Preview

     The undefeated Miramar Patriots go on the road for the first time in the 2013 FHSAA playoffs as they head to Palm Beach Gardens and take on the Gators on Friday night in a Class 8A regional final.
Rarely do you see two teams that have a large win difference this deep into the postseason. The Patriots defeated the Gators 35-7 back in the 2011 regional final.
     Miramar(12-0) has not won a state title since 2009 and lost in the Class 8A state title game in 2011 to the Plant Panthers. The Patriots have outscored their last eight opponents 337-42. They got by Monarch 31-21 in the regional quarterfinal and pounded Deerfield Beach 43-6. Miramar has not allowed more than 21 points in a game this year.
     The Patriots have received great publicity with their dark side defense. Running back Eric Pittman will get most the carries to generate offense along with Cameron Rigby. Look for quarterback Nick Jeanty to throw middle-range passes to wide receivers Kwasim West, Tyler Williams, Keygon Dunnings and Khalil Lewis.
     Palm Beach Gardens(8-4) has not advanced beyond this round since 2005 when they captured the Class 6A title over the Deerfield Beach Bucks in Miami. The Gators traveled to Palm Beach Central last week and beat them 45-28 in a regional semifinal. They downed Park Vista 34-31 at home in a regional quarterfinal. Gardens lost to both these two schools during the regular season.
     The Gators will advance the ball with running back Tommy Monday in the backfield and quarterback J.P. Caruso as an occasional option. Wide receivers Caleb Perez, Mario Brown and Andrew Prince look to get open for passes from Caruso.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Panthers Stop Flyers

     The press box at the BB&T Center was dedicated to Roger Neilson earlier in the day as the Florida Panthers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Monday night. Neilson was the first head coach in Panthers history and led them in their first two campaigns in the NHL. He also coached almost three seasons with the Flyers after his tenure with the Cats.
     Neither team scored in the first period, however it was all Florida(7-13-5) during the second. They stopped a five-on-three power play for the Flyers that lasted 1:23 in the first couple of minutes of the second period.
     After they killed off the second penalty, the Panthers scored 29 seconds later at 3:35 when Sean Bergenheim came from behind the Philly cage and stuffed in a backhand shot by Steve Mason. It was his first goal since March 20, 2012 which he also got against the Flyers.
     Bergenheim made it 2-0 at 13:59 as he redirected the puck in the slot following a Marcel Goc slapshot from the top left circle during the Panthers second power play of the game.
     Philadelphia(10-11-2) fought back in the third period to close the gap to 2-1 at 7:06. They were on the power play when Claude Giroux passed the puck from the left circle to Scott Hartnell in the slot area. He snapped a one-time shot that was saved by Tim Thomas, but Wayne Simmonds pounced on the rebound and put it in the net from the edge of the crease. It was his fifth tally of the season and Giroux extended his point streak to five games.
     Erik Gudbranson picked up an insurance goal, his first this season, with 4:08 left in the third period to give the Cats some breathing room down the stretch. He fired a slapshot from the top of the zone that hit Mason's left shoulder, went up into the air and rolled into the net.
     Thomas started his ninth consecutive game in goal for Florida as he made 37 saves and improved his record to 6-7-1. Mason fell to 7-8-2 as he stopped 28 shots in the loss. The Panthers went 1-for-2 on the power play while Philadelphia was 1-for-4.

St Thomas Aquinas At Dwyer Preview

     The defending FHSAA Class 7A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders face the Dwyer Panthers at Blum Stadium on Friday night in a regional final for the second time in three years. The Raiders were also the defending Class 5A state champions back in 2011 and lost to the Panthers 6-3 in a defensive battle on the same field. Aquinas won their other playoff matchup between both schools during 2004 in a Class 5A game with the Raiders victorious 10-7.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(10-2) have won eight of the their last games and were hampered earlier this season with defeats to Miramar and Deerfield Beach. Their two playoff  games have been home at Brian Piccolo Stadium where they beat Miami Springs 56-0 in the regional quarterfinal and the Plantation Colonels in the regional semifinal 20-6.
     The Raiders will use their ground attack of running backs Madre London, Deltron Sands and Johnnie Gaines to set up their passing game. Quarterback Wade Freebeck has a bunch of wide receivers to pass the ball to that includes Devante Peete, Jawuan Harris, Corey Holmes, Sean Bender and Damon Arnette.
     Dwyer(12-0) is undefeated with their best start in school history and have outscored their opponents 521-75. They have hosted two playoff games and have blown away two Broward County opponents. They defeated the Boyd Anderson Cobras 35-8 in the regional quarterfinal and the Blanche Ely Tigers 49-7 in a regional semifinal.
     The Panthers are strong in their backfield with quarterback Daniel Parr calling the signals along with running backs Alonso Smith and Gerald Hearns rushing the football. Parr will look for wide receivers Ezra Saffold, Johnnie Dixon, Shawun Lurry and Clint Stephens down the field for receptions.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Flames Burn Panthers In Shootout

     The Florida Panthers ended a Western Conference road trip on Friday night and lost to the Calgary Flames 4-3 in a shootout at The Saddledome. The Cats finished the five-game road swing with a 2-2-1 record. They head home and begin a five-game homestand on Monday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
     Tom Gilbert scored his first goal as a Florida Panther at 15:14 of the first period to give Florida(6-13-5) a 1-0 lead.
     Calgary(8-11-4) scored two goals during the second period to take the lead 2-1. Joe Colborne had an even-strength goal nine minutes into the period and Sven Baertschi following with a power-play goal at 12:04
     Blair Jones would give the Flames a two-goal cushion at 5:40 of the third period with his first tally this season.
     The Panthers again climbed out of the hole in the third like they have for several games this year. Jimmy Hayes, who was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks for Kris Versteeg last week, scored his first goal with his new team at 7:02. Marcel Goc tied the game at 3-3 with 5:59 left in regulation with his sixth goal this season.
     In the shootout, Jiri Hudler converted for the Flames on their second attempt while Brad Boyes matched it for the Cats on their third attempt. Both teams scored on their fourth attempt as Mike Cammalleri(Calgary) and Tomas Fleischmann(Florida) scored. Sean Monahan gave the Flames the victory with a goal in their sixth attempt.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dwyer Routs Blanche Ely

     The Dwyer Panthers scored 28 unanswered points in the first 28 minutes of the game as they pounded the Blanche Ely Tigers 49-7 on Friday night at Blum Stadium in a Class 7A regional semifinal. The Tigers lost a regional quarterfinal 28-0 on the same field back in 2011. The Panthers will host the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders next week in a regional final rematch from two years ago.
     Dwyer(12-0) waited until late in the first quarter to take the lead. Running back Alonso Smith rumbled up the middle from 22 yards away for a 7-0 lead at 1:19.
     The Panthers added two more touchdowns during the second quarter and had a 21-0 margin at halftime. Wide receiver Shawun Lurry caught a 10-yard pass on the right side of the end zone from quarterback Shawn Parr at 10:29. Smith would get his second touchdown run of the game on a three-yard dash off-left tackle with 5:21 remaining.
     Panthers running back Gerald Hearns scored on their first possession of the second half as he drove through the right side of the line from two yards out at 8:46 of the third and increased their lead to 28-0.
     Blanche Ely(6-6) responded with their only scoring drive of the game at 7:15 when quarterback Nelson Ervin connected with wide receiver Edward Walker with a 40-yard touchdown reception down the right sideline to cut the gap down to 28-7.
     The Tigers would surrender two more touchdowns to Dwyer by the end of the third quarter. Running back Cornelius Smith broke through a tackle after the line of scrimmage and rushed up the middle for a 20-yard score at 4:51. Lurry scored his second touchdown at 3:18 on a punt return as he raced forward for a bouncing ball and sprinted down the left sideline 26 yards into the end zone for a 42-7 lead.
     A running clock began at the start of the fourth quarter due to the 35-point margin. The Panthers executed a pass on the first play when wide receiver Ezra Saffold hauled in a 38-yard touchdown pass on the left sideline 12 seconds into the fourth.   

Hochman and Castleberry Leave The Ticket

     Several moves have occurred at 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM and 104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM this week that will have an impact on them over the next couple of months. Marc Hochman is leaving his morning co-host spot with The Ticket to join Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM. In addition, program director Tod Castleberry has been let go from his position at Lincoln Financial Media.
     Hochman, a University of Miami grad, worked as a disc jockey at 95.5 The Shark and 98.7 The Gator WGTR-FM in Palm Beach County during the 1990's and early 2000's. He became the afternoon producer of the Dan LeBatard Show when 790 The Ticket flipped to a sports format in August 2004.     
     He would later pick up the title of executive producer of that show and added duties as the program director at WAXY from September 2009 until December 2011. Hochman was given the opportunity to co-host the morning show on an interim basis with Jon Weiner, a.k.a Stugotz, from early May 2012 until July 2012. He left the Dan LeBatard Show in August 2012 when he began to co-host the morning show on a permanent basis with Jonathan Zaslow.
     Castleberry joined 790 The Ticket in late March 2012. They were the top-rated sports station in Miami with him in charge from April to July 2012 even with the loss of Jorge Sedano and an interim lineup during that summer. They would finish second in the market for three months from September to November 2012 when Sedano became the program director and afternoon host at WQAM. 790 The Ticket would return on to the top spot for six consecutive months from January until June 2013. After both stations tied in the ratings for the next two months, sister-station 104.3 The Ticket became the top station over the last two months.
     He was based in Washington D.C. during his broadcasting career prior to his move to Miami. Castleberry was vice president of operations and programming at WTEM-AM and Red Zebra Broadcasting. He was once the vice president of operations for Clear Channel Washington D.C. Prior to taking the program director position at Lincoln Financial Media in Miami, he was the executive producer of the John Riggins Show on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network(MASN) and WTOP HD-3.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Oilers Bust Panthers

     The Florida Panthers visited the old Northlands Coliseum, a.k.a. the house that Gretzky built, and fell to the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Thursday night at Rexall Place. The defeat snapped the Cats two-game win streak as they are now 2-2-0 on this five-game road swing.
     Edmonton(7-15-2) wasted to little time as they got on the scoreboard during their first power play 57 seconds into the game for a 1-0 lead. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put a wrist shot from the top of the zone on net and Jordan Eberle knocked in the rebound from the left side of the net for his seventh goal this season.
     Sam Gagner, whose father Dave once played for the Panthers, scored his first goal of the year from the slot area at 6:10 of the second period and increased their margin to 2-0. Nail Yakupov made a pass from the left circle to him for the tally.
     The Oilers, who came into this game with the worst record in the Western Conference, added another power-play goal with 9:06 left in the second to make it a three-goal lead. David Perron tipped in a slapshot that Justin Schultz made from the top left circle.
     Florida(6-13-4) broke the shutout with 3:26 remaining in the period. Aleksander Barkov was behind the Oilers cage, kicked the puck to Scottie Upshall who came from behind the net and snapped a shot in from the right of the crease. It was Upshall's fourth goal this season along with his 10th point in the last 11 games.
     Eberle scored his second goal of the game with 1:11 to go in the third period with an empty-net goal. Taylor Hall got the primary assist as he brought the puck to the red line.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Heat Erase Magic

     Even with Dwyane Wade sitting out a second straight game, the Miami Heat came out on top with a 120-92 victory over the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on Wednesday night. It was the most points scored by the Heat in a game this season. Rashard Lewis participated in his 1,000th NBA game. LeBron James made his 5.000th career free throw and became the fastest ever to reach that milestone in NBA history.
     Miami(9-3) began the game with 16 consecutive points and were up 16-0 until Orlando(4-7) went on a 20-9 spurt to close the gap down to 25-20 after one quarter. The Magic would get their first lead of the game at 32-31 with 7:54 left in the second quarter. The Heat then hit a 22-13 run late in the second and were up 54-44 with 1:34 to go.
     The Magic was down 54-49 at halftime and it would get worse for them. The Heat scored nine unanswered points to go up 84-64 with 1:57 remaining in the third quarter. Miami outscored Orlando 36-22 during the third and extended their margin to 20 points. The Heat brought in the reserves for the entire final quarter and they still drove the gap up to 30 points. It was the fifth time this season that Miami scored at least 110 points in a game.
     James had a team-high 21 points with seven assists and six rebounds in 29 minutes of play for the Heat while Chris Bosh added 18 points. James Jones got a start when Wade was held out and compiled 17 points in 20 minutes. Mario Chalmers contributed nine points and eight assists for Miami.

Booker T Washington at University School Preview

     It is a battle between two defending FHSAA champions and two of the top teams in Class 4A as the Booker T. Washington Tornadoes play at the University School Suns on Friday night in a regional final. Both teams won state championships last year in Orlando as the Tornadoes captured the Class 4A title while the Suns won the Class 3A title.
     Booker T. Washington(11-0) is undefeated and have been on a roll since their win during the second week of the regular season over Miami Central. The Tornadoes have won every game this year by at least 11 points. They have outscored their last four opponents 184-39. They routed the Glades Central Raiders 40-18 last week in a regional semifinal at Traz Powell Stadium.
     The Tornadoes offense will run plays out of the option with quarterback Treon Harris. He can pitch the ball out to running backs Mark Walton and Krondis Larry for them to get by the line of scrimmage. Look for Harris to fire passes to wide receivers Deltron Hopkins and Lamar Parker down the field.
     University School(9-2), who began the year with seven consecutive victories, lost two road games during the regular season to powerful schools in Manatee and Miami Central. They blew away Gulliver Prep 47-7 in a regional semifinal at home last week.
     The Suns have a balanced rushing attack with running backs Jordan Scarlett and Lajuan Hunt in the backfield. They will use the passing game as a second option as quarterback Sean White looks to find wide receivers Chris Taylor and Sam Bruce for receptions.   

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Panthers Edge Canucks

     The Florida Panthers came back during the third period to beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena. It was the first time that the Cats have won in Vancouver since their first NHL season in 1993-94. In addition, it was the first time this season that the Panthers have won two straight games.
     Florida(6-12-4) took the action to the home team early in the first period. They scored on their first power play of the game when Alekander Barkov hit the left post on a backhand shot from the right of the crease and Brad Boyes followed with a wrist shot in the crease area by Roberto Luongo for a 1-0 lead at 3:43. It was the eighth goal this season for Boyes who has scored in three of the last four games. The Panther are now 4-2-1 when he scores for them in a game this year.
     Vancouver(11-8-4) tied the game at 3:26 of the second period as several former Panthers were involved on the play. Mike Santorelli took the initial snap shot from the right of the crease which was saved by Tim Thomas. Chris Higgins knocked in the rebound from the low slot area for his seventh goal this season.
     Jannik Hansen broke the tie for the Canucks with 17:45 left in the third period as he converted on a shorthanded goal.
     The Canucks were unable to hold the lead when Shawn Matthias scored his third goal this season on a one-time slapshot from the slot. It was a great no-look feed by Nick Bjudstad from the left-wing wall with 11:26 remaining in the third. Bjudstad compiled his sixth point in the last seven games. The Cats outshot the Canucks 11-4 in the third period. The game went into overtime and a shootout.
      After Santorelli missed the Canucks first attempt, Jonathan Huberdeau went with the forehand on a double fake move. Alex Burrows and Barkov missed on their second attempts. Higgins failed to convert on Vancouver's third attempt to give the Panthers the shootout victory.
     Luongo, another former Florida Panther playing with Vancouver, made 34 saves and moved his record down to 9-6-4. Thomas, who won Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final on the same ice surface, stopped 27 shots and is now 5-6-0 this season. The Panthers went 1-for-3 on the power play while the Canucks were held scoreless on two chances.

American Heritage At Immokalee Preview

     The American Heritage Patriots head through Alligator Alley to Immokalee and take on the Indians in a Class 5A regional semifinal on Friday night.  The Indians fell two points short of a state championship last year and want to get back to Orlando while the Patriots have underachieved in the FHSAA playoffs over the last several years. 
     Prior to the start of the 2013 regular season, it looked like the American Heritage(10-1) schedule was the toughest in Broward County and stacked with playoff teams from the previous year. With the exception of a 41-20 home loss during the second week to Miami Central, the Patriots conquered every team they met. They are riding a ten-game win streak into this game and have outscored their  opponents 263-78 in the last five games. Heritage beat Lely easily 55-13 last week in a regional quarterfinal.
     Running back Sony Michel has dominated the running back position in Broward County over the last five years on the varsity squad. He will get his allotment of carries along with Fillon Dyer in the backfield. Quarterback Torrance Gibson can run out of the option for another way of the Patriots offensive attack. They have speed in their passing game with wide receivers Isaiah McKenizie and Brandon Johnson for Gibson to connect with.  
     Immokalee(9-2) lost their first two games of the regular season and turned it around with nine consecutive victories. Their latest win was over Cardinal Gibbons 25-23 in a regional quarterfinal last week.
     They look toward running back D'Ernest Johnson and quarterback Louinelson Celian with their power rushing attack through the line of scrimmage. Celian will try and pass the ball to wide receivers Ralph Martinez and J.C. Jackson for the Indians to get down the field. 

Palm Beach Gardens At Palm Beach Central Preview

     The Palm Beach Central Broncos play at home against the Palm Beach Gardens Gators on Friday night in a Class 8A regional semifinal. Both teams met each other two weeks ago in the final game of the regular season and the Broncos were victorious 20-13. The winner of this matchup will travel to Broward County next week and play the winner of the Deerfield Beach-Miramar game in a Section 3 regional final.
     Palm Beach Central(8-3) are currently on a seven-game winning streak after they began the regular season losing two of their first three games. They won at home last week with a 35-20 victory over Seminole Ridge in a regional quarterfinal last week.
     Running back Tommy McDonald is the focal point of the Broncos offense. He is the leading rusher in Palm Beach County and can break away from defenders should he get by the line of scrimmage. Langston Canady will also get his handful of carries from the backfield. The team can use two different quarterbacks depending on the situation with Kemar Downer and Kevin Bramhall.
     Palm Beach Gardens(7-4) has a record of 2-2 in their last four games after they had won four consecutive wins. They barely beat Park Vista 34-31 last week at home in a regional quarterfinal.
     The Gators will be led by quarterback J.P. Caruso who can pass the ball along with running with it if necessary. Tommy Monday is one of the top running backs in Palm Beach County and he is expected to make a lot of rushing attempts in this game. Caruso will look to connect with wide receivers Caleb Perez, Mario Brown and Andrew Prince for completions.

Panthers Name Roger Neilson Press Box

     The Florida Panthers announced on Tuesday that the press box at the top of the BB&T Center would be renamed the Roger Neilson Memorial Press Box. A ceremony will take place on Monday prior to the game between the Florida Panthers and the Philadelphia Flyers.
     Neilson was the first head coach in Florida Panthers history and held the position for two seasons. He had a 33-44-17 record during his first season as they came close to making the NHL playoffs finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference. The .493 winning percentage is still the highest ever for a first-year expansion franchise. The team was also in contention for a playoff spot during their second season as they went 20-22-6 and again ended up ninth in the conference standings.
     He was let go by the Cats after the shortened 1994-95 season and then he joined the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach. Neilson later was hired as the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1998 and stayed there for almost three seasons. He made the Stanley Cup playoffs on 11 occasions, coached 1,000 NHL games and had a 460-378-162 career record.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dillard At Miami Central Preview

     The Dillard Panthers go on the road and take on the Miami Central Rockets in a Class 6A regional semifinal at Traz Powell Stadium on Friday night. The Rockets are looking to win their third state title in the last four years. The winner of this game will host the Section 4 regional final next week against the Heritage-Naples winner.
     Dillard(8-3) won their regional quarterfinal at home against the Carol City Chiefs 28-19 last week. The Panthers bounced back after they routed in their season finale by Blanche Ely 50-0 at the Soul Bowl. They have won eight of their last nine games.
     Bud Martin calls the signals at quarterback for the team and usually stays in the pocket. He will look at wide receivers Dennis Turner and Elijah Johnson for receptions. Running backs Eddie Roberts IV is expected to be the primary ball carrier for the offense.
     Miami Central(10-1), the defending FHSAA Class 6A champions, have won every game this season by at least 17 points. Since their second week loss to Booker T. Washington, the Rockets have won nine straight games. They cruised by Boynton Beach 55-37 last week in a regional quarterfinal.
     The team has the dangerous backfield of running backs Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook who can make an impact on any play. Look for quarterback Keith Reed to find wide receiver Da'vante Phillips down the field on passes.  

Deerfield Beach At Miramar Preview

     Two undefeated teams play on Friday night as the Deerfield Beach Bucks travel to Miramar to take on the Patriots in a Class 8A regional semifinal. The winner of this game will host the Palm Beach Gardens-Palm Beach Central winner in a Section 3 regional final next week.
     Both teams faced each other previously in the 2008 FHSAA playoffs as Geno Smith's Patriots beat Denard Robinson's Bucks 34-30 in a Class 6A regional final matchup. They also met in a 2010 6A regional quarterfinal which Miramar won 24-21.
     Deerfield Beach(11-0) won by the skin of their teeth with a 14-7 overtime victory over Flanagan last week in a regional quarterfinal. They have played two of their three closest games this season over the last two weeks. The Bucks upended St. Thomas Aquinas 22-7 in the final game of the regular season for their first victory over the Raiders since 2007.
     The first thing you look at is the backfield of the Bucks with running backs Brandon Powell, Aaron McNeal and Alex Pierre. All three players can break through the line of scrimmage on any running play. Quarterback Danarious Graham can throw the ball as he usually scrambles around the pocket. Graham will try to connect with wide receivers Justin Morgan and Jamal Patterson in the passing game.
     Miramar(11-0) shut out five of their ten opponents during the regular season this year. The Patriots outscored their opponents 412-56 in ten games of the regular season. They allowed the most points in a game with their 31-21 victory over Monarch last week in a regional quarterfinal.
     The Patriots have Nick Jeanty at quarterback and he will hand the ball off plenty of times to running backs Eric Pittman and Cameron Rigby to gain yardage. Wide receivers Kwasim West, Tyler Williams, Keygon Dunnings and Khalil Lewis look to get open downfield for receptions.

Blanche Ely At Dwyer Preview

     The Dwyer Panthers hosts the Blanche Ely Tigers in a Class 7A regional semifinal at Blum Stadium in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday night. Both schools met each other in a regional quarterfinal back in 2011 as the Panthers shut out the Tigers 28-0. The winner of this game will host the Section 4 regional final against the winner of the Plantation-St. Thomas Aquinas game next week.
     Dwyer(11-0) comes into this game undefeated as they have won 11 straight since they lost a kickoff classic preseason game against the Miami Central Rockets. The Panthers have outscored their opponents 472-68 in their 11 games this season. They easily handled the Boyd Anderson Cobras 35-8 last week in a regional quarterfinal. They have won all of their games by at least 24 points this season.
     The Panthers have the most talented core of wide receivers in Palm Beach County with Johnnie Dixon, Clint Stephens and Ezra Saffold who can pick up a reception at any time. Quarterback Daniel Parr looks to connect with all three of them on passing plays. Alonso Smith is their main running back who will get most of the carries along with Gerald Hearns. Kickoff/punt returner Shawun Lurry is a threat on every occasion with the ball and has scored several touchdowns this year.
     Blanche Ely(6-5) has a winning record for the first this season after a 44-20 victory over the West Boca Raton Bulls at Richard L. Williams Stadium in a regional quarterfinal last week. They began the year with four consecutive wins, however the Tigers have turned it around and are currently on a five-game winning streak. The Tigers have outscored their last three opponents 139-32 and their defense has made nine interceptions in the last two games.
     Nelson Ervin leads the Tigers on offense as their quarterback. Expect to see plenty of passing from him along with occasional running should he be pushed out of the pocket. Running back Terrance Blands, Brodric James and James Jean will be used for running attempts. Ely has numerous wide receivers who can advance the ball that includes Laderrick Smith, Kenneth Rawls, Edward Walker and Chazton McKenzie.

Plantation At St Thomas Aquinas Preview

     The Plantation Colonels and the St. Thomas Aquinas will face each other for the fourth time in two seasons on Friday night. This time the two District 15-7A foes will play in the regional semifinals at Brian Piccolo Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. The winner of this game will go on the road and play the Blanche Ely-Dwyer winner in the Section 4 regional final next week.
     The Raiders has won the last three meetings over the last two years. They met earlier this year in Plantation at PAL Field where the Colonels fell 16-6. Aquinas swept them at home last year with a 24-20 win during the regular season and a 38-7 victory in the 2012 regional semifinals.
     Plantation(8-2) have two defeats this season among two top Broward County teams in Miramar and St. Thomas Aquinas. They traveled to Miami last week and beat the American Patriots 26-15 in the regional quarterfinals for the second year in a row.
     Quarterback Chris Lammons will lead the Colonels on offense. He was injured in the second half during their close game with the Raiders on November 1. They have two running backs with Antwuan Haynes and Clint Sills Jr. who will get their share of carries from the backfield. Targets for Lammons to throw to includes wide receivers Jewison Dawkins, Kendan Davis and Ravion Pierce.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(9-2) lost twice to two eventual Class 8A district champions in Broward County this regular season against Miramar and Deerfield Beach. The defending FHSAA Class 7A state champions routed Miami Springs 56-0 in a regional quarterfinal.
     Running backs Madre London is expected to get a load of carries for the Raiders in order to set up the passing game. Look also for Deltron Sands and Johnnie Gaines to carry the ball. Quarterback Wade Freebeck has many options downfield to pass to which includes wide receivers Devante Peete, Jawuan Harris, Corey Holmes and Sean Bender.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Keli Fulton Leaving WPTV

     Keli Fulton will soon leave her newscaster position at WPTV-TV Channel 5 and WFLX-TV Channel 29  in West Palm Beach. She will join Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area as a sports anchor and sports reporter in January.
     Fulton came to South Florida after a stint at WDSU-TV in New Orleans as a sportscaster. When she moved on to WPTV, she became a news anchor instead of joining the sports department. Fulton added duties as a morning traffic anchor when Captain Julie retired this past January.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blanche Ely Beats West Boca Raton

     The Blanche Ely Tigers pulled away from the West Boca Raton Bulls with 35 unanswered points at one point of the game for a 44-20 victory in a Class 7A regional quarterfinal at Richard L. Williams Stadium on Friday night. The Tigers will play next week against the Dwyer Panthers in a regional semifinal. The Bulls were eliminated in the first round of the FHSAA playoffs for their fourth consecutive appearance.
     West Boca Raton(7-4), who were well rested because they had a bye last week, waited over 11 minutes into the game to score. Following a 19-yard reception by running back Jerrod Ferguson deep in Tigers territory, quarterback Paul Columbo rushed off-left tackle for a one-yard touchdown run with 53.5 seconds left in the first quarter. The extra point failed when kicker Billy Jaffe lost his footing on the wet ground as he attempted to make the kick and the score remained 6-0.
     After the Bulls ensuing on-side kick did not work, Blanche Ely(6-5) struck on the first play of their possession as quarterback Nelson Ervin threw a 30-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline to wide receiver Chazton McKenzie with 44.4 seconds to go in the first. Ely kicker Jamal Capobianco made it 7-6 with the extra point as they would never relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
     On the Tigers first drive of the second quarter, Teddrick Moffet Jr. pulled down a 33-yard catch at the Bulls 12-yard line. McKenzie would catch a 14-yard pass in the middle of the end of zone for his second touchdown reception from Ervin and a 13-6 lead at 7:39. Ely added a safety on a bad punt snap at 2:49.
     The Tigers extended their lead to 22-6 with 12.6 remaining in the first half as linebacker Tyquan Fields returned an interception from 45 yards away.
     Ely continued to pile on the points on their first drive of the second half as Ervin found wide receiver Laderrick Smith on a crossing pattern for a 20-yard touchdown at 11:09 of the third for a 29-6 margin. On their following possession, running back James Jean rammed through the middle for a one-yard touchdown run at 7:37 and made it 35-6.
     The Bulls closed the gap to 35-13 at 6:19 on their next march down the field as Columbo fired a 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Gerald Ferguson on the right side of the end zone. The drive was created on an interception by defensive back Antoine Lee Jr. as he brought the ball back to the Ely 28-yard line.
     The Tigers capitalized on a turnover when defensive end Terry McCray intercepted a ball and pitched it back to Fields for him to advance it to the Bulls 20-yard line. Capobianco finished the drive with a 32-yard field goal at 1:41 of the third.
     Blanche Ely wide receiver Kenneth Rawls made it 44-13 with 11:27 left in the fourth quarter as he was wide open on the right side of the end zone with a 35-yard grab. West Boca Raton cut the deficit down to 44-20 with 1:42 remaining as running back Keano Grice bounced off some tackles and busted up the middle for a touchdown dash from 22 yards out.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wild Halt Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played their first game since they traded away Kris Versteeg and lost to the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Friday night at Xcel Energy Center. Nick Bjudstad played in his first NHL game in his home state where he grew up and went to the University of Minnesota.
     Minnesota(12-4-4) got the quick breakout with two goals in the first period to take the lead. Zach Parise scored on the power play at 4:59 followed by an even-strength goal by a Panther killer Jason Pominville at 13:38.
     Florida(4-12-4), who have lost 10 of their last 11 games, climbed out of the deficit as they scored two goals to tie the game in the third period. Tomas Kopecky put in his first tally this season at 3:31 and Jonathan Huberdeau struck with his fourth goal this year at 8:59.
     The Wild regained the lead with 9:22 remaining in the third when Charlie Coyle broke the 2-2 tie and got the game-winning goal.
     Tim Thomas dropped his record to 3-6-0 this season as he made 17 saves. Josh Harding moved to 11-2-2 as he stopped 22 shots.

Peter Bolger In Chicago

     Peter Bolger has accepted a position as the program director and operations manager at WLS-AM in Chicago. He was the program director for AM radio stations at Clear Channel San Antonio from late 2007 until November 2013.
     Bolger was the program director at Paxson Communications radio stations in Miami. They would later sell their stations to Clear Channel Communications. He was the program director at News Radio 610 WIOD-AM until early 2007. Bolger also held the program director post at 940 WINZ-AM when it broadcast Air America Radio as a news/talk format and prior to that with Fox Sports Radio 940.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Flanagan At Deerfield Beach Preview

     The Deerfield Beach Bucks host the Flanagan Falcons at Butler Stadium on Friday night in a Class 8A regional quarterfinal. It is a matchup with the Bucks who has constantly appeared in the FHSAA playoffs over the past decade against the Falcons who has been in a tough district with Miramar and Cypress Bay over the past four years.
     Deerfield Beach(10-0) completed an undefeated season and won the District 11-8A title. The Bucks capped the campaign with a 22-7 home victory over St. Thomas Aquinas last week, their first win against them since 2007. This may possibly be their strongest squad since 2007 when Denard Robinson led them to the Class 6A state semifinals and lost to the Northwestern Bulls at the Orange Bowl.
     The Bucks bring a tremendous talented backfield which has running backs Brandon Powell, Aaron McNeal and Alex Pierre being involved. All three players are able to advance the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. Danarious Graham can scramble around the pocket and find open wide receivers Justin Morgan and Jamal Patterson with a long pass.
     Flanagan(9-1) finished as the District 12-8A runner-up with their only loss during the regular season to district foe Miramar. They won their first seven games of the season. The Falcons are led by quarterback Ryan Stanley who will hand the ball off to running back Christopher Nealy and pass the ball to wide receivers Emonee Spence and Devin Gil.

Carol City at Dillard Preview

     The Dillard Panthers host the Carol City Chiefs in a Class 6A regional quarterfinal at Otis Gray Jr. Memorial Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Friday night. The Panthers were promoted from Class 5A this year while the Chiefs returned back to the FHSAA playoffs for the first time in four years.
     Dillard(7-3) was embarrassed last week as they were blown out 50-0 against Blanche Ely in the 50th annual Soul Bowl that was held at Lockhart Stadium. The Panthers lost their first two games in the regular season and followed it with seven consecutive wins against district opponents to capture the District 15-6A crown.
     They look to rebound with quarterback Bud Martin calling the signals and running back Eddie Roberts IV to bust through the line of scrimmage. Martin is expected to fire the ball toward wide receivers Dennis Turner and Elijah Johnson for traction on offense. Defensive back Randy Ramsey and linebacker Arthur Kennedy leads the Panthers defense.
     Carol City(7-3) had the same record last season, however this year they ended with the District 16-6A runner-up spot. The Chiefs enter this game on a roll as they have won six of their last seven games along with recent victories over Norland and American.
     Quarterback Trayon Gray plans to control the offense on his running along with his passing and will look for wide receivers Edward Loveland, Shay'quan Kendrick and Theo Hammonds on pass patterns. Running back Ronneldon Ellington can be expected to get some carrries during the game.

Cardinal Gibbons At Immokalee Preview

     The Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs have to travel far away and face the Immokalee Indians in a Class 5A regional quarterfinal on Friday night. This is a game that has one team that was two points away from a state championship against another that is a consistent playoff contender.
     Cardinal Gibbons(8-2) missed the FHSAA playoffs last year when they lost at home in a three-way tiebreaker. The Chiefs return to the postseason as the District 16-5A runner-up and will try to avoid their usual first-round exit which has been on a regular basis over the last five years. They won their first seven games of the season until they were defeated in consecutive weeks by Blanche Ely and American Heritage.
     The Chiefs have experienced players in skilled positions on offense. They are loaded with wide receiver depth that can make an impact downfield which includes George Rushing, Trevon Lee and Christian Blake. Quarterback Peyton Bender is expected to rifle the ball toward any part of the field for them.
     Immokalee(8-2), who are the District 15-5A champions, comes into this game on an eight-game winning streak after they lost their first two games of the regular season. The Indians had a long playoff run in 2012 as they fell to Godby 21-20 in the Class 5A championship in Orlando.
     The Indians hopes to emphasize their ground attack with running back D'Ernest Johnson and quarterback Louinelson Cellan. Wide receivers Ralph Martinez and J.C. Jackson look to receive several passes in this game.

Guy Rawlings Moves To Dallas

     Former local Miami television sportscaster Guy Rawlings has joined KTVT-TV and KTXA-TV in Dallas as a sports anchor/sports reporter. He was a news anchor at WGCL-TV in Atlanta from early January 2012 until November 2012. He also held the sports anchor position at WESH-TV in Orlando from 2007 until November 2011.
     Rawlings, a University of Florida grad, was known in South Florida as a sports anchor at WTVJ-TV Channel 6 from 1997 to 2007. He replaced Karie Ross, wife of Detroit Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, in that position. Rawlings had previous stops as a sportscaster in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Charleston and Baltimore.

Park Vista At Palm Beach Gardens Preview

     The Park Vista Cobras will visit the Palm Beach Gardens Gators for the second time this season on Friday night. This time it will be in a Class 8A regional quarterfinal between both schools. They met during the second week of the season as the Cobras were victorious 28-19.
     Park Vista(8-2) lost their road opener to Colerain in Cincinnati and then beat Palm Beach Gardens which began a seven-game win streak. Their winning streak ended two weeks ago as they were defeated in a road game by Palm Beach Central 40-13 for the District 10-8A title.
     The Cobras have Qwad Martin as quarterback and he can run the ball along with throwing passes to his receivers. They have many options to use at running back with Emmanuel Smith, Jametrius Bentley, Chauncey Mason and Dalton Barkman as they will run out of the backfield on sweep plays and screen passes. Wide receivers Renard Cheren, Marques Gayot, Anthony Milanese and Ellison Young are expected to catch receptions from Martin.
     Palm Beach Gardens(6-4) captured the District 9-8A championship as they had a 3-0 record in their district. It is not a good sign when you go 1-4 during the regular season against teams that made the FHSAA playoffs this year from outside of your district. They did have a four-game winning streak in the middle of the season.
     Quarterback J.P. Caruso will dictate the pace for the Gators as running back Tommy Monday will get the bulk of the carries for the team. Wide receiver Andrew Prince will be the primary target for Caruso to throw the ball to. Running back A.J. Shipman could also get a few rushing attempts for them.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Miami Springs At St. Thomas Aquinas Preview

     The defending FHSAA Class 7A champion St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders begin their path toward another state title with a regional quarterfinal on Friday night as they host the Miami Springs Golden Hawks at Brian Piccolo Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(8-2) won the District 15-7A title two weeks ago with a 16-6 road win over the Plantation Colonels. It was their 16th district title in the last 17 years. They were defeated by the Deerfield Beach Bucks last week by the score of 22-7 and broke their six-game winning streak. STA has outscored their last seven opponents 289-47.
     The Raiders have a strong running game with Madre London, Deltron Sands and Johnnie Gaines in the backfield. Quarterback Wade Freebeck will pass the ball down the field to wide receivers Devante Peete, Juwuan Harris, Corey Holmes. Damon Arnette and Sean Bender.
     Miami Springs(7-3), who missed the FHSAA playoffs last year, finished second in District 16-7A behind American. After they lost their season opener at home, they rebounded with a five-game winning streak.
     The Golden Hawks use a balanced attack on offense. Quarterback Gerald Anderson looks to hand the ball off numerous times to running back Malik Thomas. Anderson will also pass the ball out to a bunch of wide receivers which includes Johnny Rembrick, Keauvntra Floyd and Franklin Barohana.

Glades Central At Booker T Washington Preview

     The Glades Central Raiders will have a tough task as they face the Booker T. Washington Tornadoes in a Class 4A regional semifinal on Saturday night at Traz Powell Stadium in Miami. Booker T. Washington is the defending FHSAA Class 4A defending champions.
     Glades Central(5-5) had a rough regular season with their best win streak being only two games. The Raiders have momentum at the right time as they came back from a 21-point deficit at home against the Pahokee Blue Devils in the Muck Bowl and won 23-21. They still won two district games to finish as the District 7-4A runner-up.
     The Raiders will be led by quarterback Giovanni Lugo as he mounts the offensive attack. They can get good rushing attempts from running backs Jerry Jones and Keith Clemones. Numerous targets that Lugo can throw the ball to includes wide receivers Ronquivion Tarver, Jamarius Way, Jonathan Istache and Isiah Johnson.
     Booker T. Washington(10-0) is the top team in Dade County, Florida and in some national polls the number-one ranked school in the United States. The Tornadoes ran the table during the regular season. remained undefeated and won the District 8-4A title. The highlight of their season was in their second game of the season with a 28-17 victory over the Miami Central Rockets, who were considered the top team in the nation, the state of Florida and in Dade County at the time.
     Quarterback Treon Harris can set things up on offense for their team and he will run plays out of the option. Wide receivers Deltron Hopkins and Lamar Parker can be threats downfield for the passing game of Harris. Running backs Mark Walton and Krondis Larry can make rushing attempts when necessary.

Boynton Beach At Miami Central Preview

    The Boynton Beach Tigers make a long trip to Miami and take on the Central Rockets in a Class 6A regional quarterfinal on Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium. Both teams come in with the same identical record during the regular season.
     Boynton Beach(9-1) had their best regular season ever in 2013. They came very close to an undefeated season, however they fell on the road to district opponent Dillard 41-14 and finished as the District 15-6A runner-up. The Tigers won their first six games this season and ride into this game with a three-game winning streak.
     Lamar Jackson will have a major impact on the Tigers offense as quarterback. He can either run out of the pocket or throw the ball on any occasion. Running back Curtis Rolle will be their other option in the backfield to rush with the ball while wide receiver Donte Sylenceux can bring in receptions down the field.
     Miami Central(9-1), who are the defending Class 6A state champions, entered the regular season as the top-rated team in the United States, Florida and Dade County. The Rockets were stopped by another Dade County powerhouse Booker T. Washington 28-17 in their second game. They have won eight consecutive games since that stunning defeat and captured the District 16-6A title. All their nine victories this season have been won by at least 17 points. Central will have the opportunity to host their first three FHSAA playoff games based on the bracket being skewed to the south this year.
     The Rockets may have the most dominant running back tandem in the nation. Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook both have power and speed plus they can break through the line of scrimmage and score on any rushing attempt. Wide receiver Da'vante Phillips will be the deep threat for passes from quarterback Keith Reed.

Boyd Anderson At Dwyer Preview

     The Dwyer Panthers will host the Boyd Anderson Cobras in a Class 7A regional quarterfinal at Blum Stadium in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday night. This is a rematch from last year when they met each other as district runner-ups in the regional semifinals at the same venue. The Cobras upended the Panthers 6-3 in that game.
     Dwyer(10-0) enters this game undefeated as they rolled through every team to win the District 13-7A championship. The Panthers won the title two weeks ago as they beat West Boca Raton 41-17 in their closest margin of victory this year. They have outscored their opponents 437-60 in the regular season and won all their games by at least 24 points.
     Quarterback Daniel Parr, who is first with 29 touchdown passes and third with 1,679 passing yards in Palm Beach County, will dictate the pace on offense for the Panthers. Running back Alonso Smith, currently third in Palm Beach County with 865 rushing yards, is expected to get the bulk of the carries along with Gerald Hearns. Parr has a slew of wide receivers that can produce at anytime which includes Johnnie Dixon, Ezra Saffold and Clint Stephens. They have a special teams threat in Shawun Lurry who has scored on several kickoff and punt returns.
     Boyd Anderson(2-8) slipped into the FHSAA playoffs as the District 14-7A runner-up with their only victories this season over district opponents Northeast and Fort Lauderdale. They began the regular season with five consecutive losses and enter this contest on two straight defeats.
     The Cobras lost many impact players to graduation last year such as Gregory Hankerson and Eddie Jackson and it has been a struggle for them in 2013. Their squad will put emphasis in the passing game with the running game being a secondary option. Quarterback Nathaniel Watson looks to connect with wide receivers Osner Valmeus and Rodney Simeon with short passes. Running back Tevin Hyatt will get some rushing attempts from the backfield.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Panthers Quiet Ducks

     It was a battle between two teams that were celebrating their 20th NHL campaigns as the Florida Panthers came from behind to beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Tuesday night at BB&T Center. Teemu Selanne made his final appearance in South Florida as he will retire at the end of the 2013-14 season.
     The Ducks, who lead the NHL standings with 31 points, had won five of the last six meetings between both clubs prior to this game. The Panthers ended a nine-game winless streak and got their first win under new head coach Peter Horachek.
     Anaheim(15-4-1) put the puck in the net on their first shift. It happened 40 seconds into the first period as Andrew Cogliano lifted a wrist shot from the left of the crease over the body of Panther goalie Tim Thomas. He got the feed from Daniel Winnik in the right corner.
     The Ducks extended their margin to 2-0 at 14:26 of the first. Hampus Lindholm fired a wrist shot from top left circle by the glove of Thomas after he received a pass from Nick Bonino from the right circle. It was his second goal ever in the NHL.
     Florida(4-11-4) picked up two goals within 50 seconds during the second period. Brian Campbell sent a pass from the left point to Shawn Matthias in the slot area and spun around with a backhand shot by Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen at 13:28. It was his second goal this season and first in seven games since October 27 against Tampa Bay.
     The Cats tied it up at 2-2 at 14:38 when Scottie Upshall threw a shot on net from the right point that bounced off a defender in the crease area and into the cage for his third tally this year.
     The Panthers took their first lead of the contest with 15:31 remaining in the third period. Bryan Allen gave the puck away on a cross-ice pass from his own left corner. Upshall carried it across the low slot and flipped a pass ahead to Brad Boyes at the edge of the crease where he scored for his sixth goal this season.
     Neither team converted on the power play as the Cats were 0-for-4 and the Ducks were 0-for-3. Thomas moved his record to 3-5-0 as he made 32 saves while Andersen, who stopped 22 shots, chalked up his first loss in the NHL after he began the season with six consecutive wins.

West Boca Raton At Blanche Ely Preview

     The Blanche Ely Tigers host the West Boca Raton Bulls on Friday night in a Class 7A regional quarterfinal. Both teams last meet in 2010 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale for a regional quarterfinal as the Tigers prevailed 32-30. It was the last time the Bulls played in the FHSAA playoffs.
     West Boca Raton(7-3) comes into this game as the District 13-7A runner-up after they fell to the Dwyer Panthers two weeks ago in Palm Beach Gardens for the district crown. The loss snapped their six-game winning streak which were all against district opponents. They should be refreshed due to having a bye last week.
     Jerrod Ferguson is the lone running back that the Bulls will use as he gets all the carries from the backfield unless quarterback Paul Columbo is flushed from the pocket. Columbo will throw medium-range passes to his wide receivers which includes Antonio Cartagena, John Parisi, Aaron Ferguson and Alexander Astorga.
     After being out of the playoffs last year, Blanche Ely(5-5) returns with a vengeance from their District 14-7A title. They have four consecutive victories and five of their last six games. They crushed their longtime rivals the Dillard Panthers 50-0 in the 50th annual Soul Bowl last week at Lockhart Stadium. It was the only high school football game played there during the 2013 season.
     Quarterback Nelson Ervin will lead the Tigers offense as he can run out of the pocket at anytime along with throwing the ball. Tyquan Fields can be called upon in case for the need of a backup quarterback. Running backs James Jean and Terrance Blands will get most of the rushing attempts for the team. Laderrick Smith, Teddrick Moffet Jr., Edward Walker, Kenneth Rawls and Chazton McKenzie make up the arsenal of wide receivers that Ervin can throw the ball to.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rangers Hold Panthers

     The New York Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. The Panthers lost all three games on their recent road trip and are winless in the past nine games.
     They have won two games in their last 17 games prior to their lone home game against the Anaheim Ducks this Tuesday night. It will be the final appearance of right wing Teemu Selanne who plans to retire after this season.
     J.T. Miller got New York(9-8-0) on the scoreboard at 9:49 of the first period. Aleksander Barkov evened the game for Florida(3-11-4) on a power-play goal with 27 seconds in the first.
     Brian Campbell gave the Cats their only lead of the contest at 11:20 of the second period with his first goal of the season. Derek Dorsett tied the game less than three minutes later for the Blueshirts.
     The Rangers retook the lead 3-2 just 46 seconds into the third period when Brad Richards scored. Mats Zuccarello extended the lead for New York at 6:16 on the power play. Campbell scored his second goal of the game with 7:03 remaining and closed the margin to 4-3.
     Tim Thomas fell to 2-5-0 as he stopped 25 shots while Hedrik Lundqvist upped his record to 6-6-0 as he made 24 saves. Both teams went 1-for-3 on the power play.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Blanche Ely Pounds Dillard, Wins 50th Soul Bowl

     The 50th annual Soul Bowl was played between longtime Broward County rivals the Blanche Ely Tigers and Dillard Panthers at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night. The Tigers dominated the game from the beginning and blew away the Panthers 50-0.
    The avalanche of scoring for Blanche Ely(5-5) started on the opening kickoff as Laderrick Smith returned the ball 99 yards for a touchdown and a Tigers 7-0 lead 15 seconds in. Later in the first quarter, wide receiver Edward Walker received an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nelson Ervin at 5:35 and they had a 14-point margin.
     In the second quarter, Dillard(7-3) lost the ball on a fumble at the Tigers 20-yard line during their best drive of the first half at 8:33. The Tigers drove the ball down on their next possession as running back James Jean finished with a touchdown run up the middle from eight yards out at 6:46 for a 21-0 lead.
     Panthers quarterback Bud Martin threw an interception toward the right sideline and the ball was returned by Gary Bright 41 yards for a score as Blanche Ely moved ahead 27-0 with 5:54 remaining in the first half. It was part of a bad performance by the Dillard offense and they had five passes intercepted and turned the ball over twice on fumbles.
     Tigers defensive back Jamar Battle intercepted a ball at the Panthers 33-yard line with 3:18 left to set up another Blanche Ely scoring opportunity. Jamal Capobianco kicked a 33-yard field goal with 27 seconds to go in the first half and increased their lead to 30-0.
     The first drive for Dillard in the second half did not turn out well when defensive back Zacchaeus Jackson intercepted the ball and returned it 20 yards to the Panthers 20 at 11:06 of the third quarter. Several plays later, Ervin lobbed a pass to the right side of the end zone where wide receiver Teddrick Moffet Jr. jumped up in double coverage and brought in an 11-yard reception for a touchdown at 10:22 as the Tigers led 37-0.
     Blanche Ely extended the gap to 44-0 with 5:49 left in the third when they blocked a Dillard punt and Terry McCray returned the ball 30 yards for a score.
     The Panthers followed with their best possession of the second half when backup quarterback Jason Collins fired a pass to wide receiver Dennis Turner and he raced down the right sideline until he was taken down at the Tigers two-yard line on a 56-yard gain. Jackson would make his second interception of the game on the next play at 1:30. Both teams then agreed to a running clock for the remainder of the game.
     Dillard would turn the ball over one more time during the fourth quarter as Collins fumbled the ball away on a blindside hit at 8:20. Two plays later, Tigers backup quarterback Tyquan Fields sprinted around the right end and scored from 15 yards away with 7:20 remaining to make it 50-0.  

Panthers Fall To Senators

     Peter Horachek made his NHL head coaching debut with the Florida Panthers as they lost to the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday at Canadian Tire Centre. The Panthers lost their eighth straight game and 14 of their last 16 games. The Cats have not won in Ottawa since 2010.
     It was a wild start in this game as both teams combined for three goals in the first five minutes. Ottawa(7-6-4) jumped on the Cats with a 2-0 lead in a 19 second span. The goals by the Senators were by Kyle Turris at 1:45 and Mika Zibanejad at 2:04.
     Nick Bjudstad scored his second goal of the season for Florida(3-10-4) at the 4:04 mark to narrow the gap. Tomas Kopecky picked up the only assist on the play.
     Clarke MacArthur extended the Sens lead to 3-1 with a two-man advantage at 5:52 of the second period.
     Marcel Goc tallied his fifth goal this year with 9:52 remaining in the third period to pull within one goal again, however the Cats were unable to take the lead. Matt Gilroy compiled his first assist in a Panthers uniform on the Goc goal.
     Tim Thomas was in goal for Florida in his first appearance since October 22 against the Chicago Blackhawks and he stopped 29 shots. His record dropped to 2-4-0 this season. Robin Lehner moved to 3-2-2 he as he made 26 saves. The Panthers were 0-for-5 on the power play while the Senators were 1-for-3.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Panthers Fire Kevin Dineen

     Head coach Kevin Dineen along with assistant coaches Craig Ramsay and Gord Murphy have been let go by the Florida Panthers. Dineen was 16 games into his third season as the head coach for the Cats. He led the team in 2011-12 to their first division title in franchise history and ended the longest playoff drought in NHL history as the Panthers went to the postseason for the first time in 12 years.
     Ramsay and Murphy were both hired as assistant coached prior to the 2011-12 season and had previous ties to the club. Ramsay was an assistant coach with the team from their inaugural season in 1993-94 until 1994-95. Murphy joined the Panthers as a defenseman in 1993-94 and played there until 1998-99. He was part of the organization when they won the Eastern Conference title in 1995-96.
     Peter Horachek has been named the Panthers interim head coach. He was promoted from the Panthers AHL club in San Antonio where he was the head coach. Horachek was previously the assistant coach and associate coach with the Nashville Predators.
     Former Florida players Brian Skrudland and John Madden have been named assistant coaches and will work with Horachek. Skrudland was the first captain in Florida Panthers history and played for the club in their first four seasons. Madden played one season with Florida in 2011-12.

Deerfield Beach Beats St Thomas Aquinas

    The Deerfield Beach Bucks completed an undefeated regular season with a 22-7 victory over the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders on Friday night at Butler Stadium. It was the first time that the Bucks won their annual meeting with STA since 2007.
    The Bucks will host Flanagan in a Class 8A regional quarterfinal next week while the Raiders will began to defend their 7A crown as they host Miami Springs for a regional quarterfinal next week in Fort Lauderdale.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(8-2), who had their six-game winning streak snapped, got off to the lead with 4:57 left in the first quarter as running back Madre London scored on a 17-yard touchdown run and made it 7-0.
    Deerfield Beach(10-0) came back as they scored 22 unanswered points the rest of the way. They scored on a 30-yard touchdown run by running back Brandon Powell at 11:27 of the second quarter, however they missed the attempt on the extra point due to a bad snap and were still down 7-6.
    The Bucks got deep into Aquinas territory early in the third quarter, but they were stopped on a 4th-and-1 from outside of the Raiders one-yard line.  They picked up a safety moments later and had their first lead of the game 8-7 with 8:05 left in the third.
    Deerfield Beach took advantage upon the ensuing kickoff with good field position as Powell capped the next drive with a 51-yard touchdown catch on the left side from quarterback Denarious Graham at 7:39 for a 15-7 margin.
    The Raiders were unable to generate a scoring opportunity in the second half. Bucks defensive back Michael Greene put the game away with 1:53 remaining in the fourth quarter as he intercepted a pass from Raiders quarterback Wade Freebeck and returned it for a touchdown and a 22-7 lead.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bruins Bury Panthers

    The Florida Panthers fell to the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Thursday night at TD Garden. This was the first game of a three-game road string for the Cats. The Panthers extended their losing streak to seven games(0-3-4) and have won two of their last 15 games.
    Boston(9-5-1) took the lead during the second period at 7:17. David Krejci did a back-and-forth pass with Zdeno Chara at the Panthers blue line until he blasted a slapshot by goalie Scott Clemmensen for a 1-0 lead.
    The B's increased their lead to 2-0 at 4:09 of the third period as Brad Marchand put in a rebound on a wrist shot in the crease following a Loui Eriksson shot on net. They made it a three-goal gap at 8:57 when Chris Kelly sent a cross-ice pass from the right corner to a trailing Torey Krug in the slot area and he put in a wrist shot.
    Florida(3-9-4) broke the shutout with 5:35 left in regulation. Jonathan Huberdeau made a pass to Nick Bjugstad in the left circle and he fired a shot off the mask of goalie Tuukka Rask. Jesse Winchester then backhanded the puck in for his fourth goal of the season.
    Reilly Smith wrapped the game up with 1:47 left when he intercepted a clearing pass in the slot area and ripped a wrist shot into the net. It was his second goal this season with both of them against the Panthers. He scored the game-winning goal during the final minute of regulation in Sunrise back on October 17.
    Clemmensen dropped his record to 0-1-1 as he stopped 26 of 30 shots. Rask improved his career record to 8-0-0 against the Cats and to 8-4-1 this season as he made 23 saves. Both teams were scoreless on the power play as the Cats were 0-for-4 while the B's were 0-for-1.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Soul Bowl 2013 Preview

    The Dillard Panthers and the Blanche Ely Tigers will meet at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale for the regular season finale Soul Bowl on Saturday night. Both schools won their district titles prior to their annual contest held in Broward County. The Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak in this rivalry last year with a 22-6 victory over the Tigers.
    Dillard(7-2) captured the District 15-6A title and will host Carol City at Otis Gray Jr. Memorial Stadium in a regional quarterfinal on November 15. The Panthers enter this game with a seven-game winning streak after they lost their first two games of the regular season to Plantation and Stephenville.
    Quarterback Bud Martin will dictate the pace for the Panthers offense and running back Eddie Roberts is needed for numerous carries from the backfield. Wide receivers Dennis Turner and Elijah Johnson should spread the field and are expected to bring in many catches.
    Blanche Ely(4-5) returned back to the FHSAA playoffs this year as they won the District 14-7A crown. The Tigers lost their first four games of the regular season and bounced back as they were victorious in four of their five games, which includes a current three-game winning streak. They will play a home game on November 15 against the West Boca Raton Bulls in a regional quarterfinal.
    Passing the ball will be the main emphasis for the Tigers with Nelson Ervin as quarterback. Among the players to look for to make receptions are wide receivers Laderrick Smith, Chazton McKenzie, Kenneth Rawls and Edward Walker. Running back Terrance Blands will get his share rushing attempts.

Muck Bowl 2013 Preview

    The Glades Central Raiders and the Pahokee Blue Devils face each other in the annual Muck Bowl on Saturday afternoon at Effie C. Grear Field in Belle Glade. This is considered the most historic high school football rivalry in Palm Beach County. The Raiders have won the last five meetings as the Blue Devils were last victorious in 2007.
    Pahokee(6-3) had to play a three-way tiebreaker for the District 7-3A this past Monday night in West Palm Beach. They did the impossible as they came back from a 14-point deficit to defeat the American Heritage 15-14 in a one-quarter tiebreaker.
    The Blue Devils then played the Cardinal Newman Crusaders in a scoreless one-quarter tiebreaker. Pahokee would fall 6-0 in the Kansas tiebreaker that followed, however they picked up the district runner-up spot and will make an appearance in the FHSAA playoffs for the first time since 2009.
    Quarterback Rashaun Croney can run out of the pocket at any time and can also throw the ball. Look for running back Jay Hopson to sprint with the ball many times during the game. Wide receiver Dontrell Johnson will be the main target down the field for Croney to throw to along with Malik Thornton and Khalil Patrick.
    Glades Central(4-5) finished as the District 7-4A runner-up to University School and will play Booker T. Washington, who are the top-ranked high school football program in the state and the country, in a regional semifinal on November 15 at Miami. The Raiders played one of the toughest schedules for a Palm Beach County school as four of their nine opponents eventually won a district title. They were unable to gain any momentum this season only to get a string of two straight wins.
    Running back Jerry Jones leads the offensive attack for the Raiders and will get most of the carries from the backfield. There has been a quarterback controversy with the team throughout the season whether to use Giovanni Lugo or Jonathan Istache. They have many options in the wide receiver position with Ronquivion Tarver, Jamarius Way, Isiah Johnson and Istache should Lugo play at quarterback.   

St Thomas Aquinas At Deerfield Beach Preview

    The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders will finish the regular season as they travel to Deerfield Beach and face the Bucks at Butler Stadium on Friday night. Both schools won district titles this season and will play at home in the FHSAA regional quarterfinals. The Raiders blew out the Bucks 45-0 when they met last year.
    St. Thomas Aquinas(8-1), who enter this game on a six-game winning streak, captured the District 15-7A title last week with a 16-6 road win over the Plantation Colonels. The Raiders will host Miami Springs in a regional quarterfinal at Brian Piccolo Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on November 15. They have outscored their opponents 282-25 in their last six regular season games.
    The Raiders will come out with a moving attack with running backs Madre London, Deltron Sands and Johnnie Gaines carrying the ball from the backfield. They have a slew of wide receivers for quarterback Wade Freebeck to throw to which includes Devante Peete, Jawuan Harris, Corey Holmes, Sean Bender and Damon Arnette.
    Deerfield Beach(9-0) are undefeated and rolled through their eight-team district to win the District 11-8A title. The Bucks are home against Flanagan on November 15 in a regional quarterfinal. They have scored at least 26 points every game this season.
    The Bucks may have the most depth in their backfield than in school in Broward County. Running backs Brandon Powell, Aaren McNeal and Alex Pierre can break into the open field at anytime on a rushing attempt. Quarterback Denarious Graham, who transferred from Blanche Ely along with Pierre after last season, has great mobility in the pocket. He will fling screen passes to his running backs and also throw long passes to wide receiver Justin Morgan.

Heat Freeze Raptors

    LeBron James became the fifth player in NBA history to score double digits in 500 consecutive games as the Miami Heat beat the Toronto Raptors 104-95 on Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre. James joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone to accomplish that milestone.
    The Heat won their first road game this season after they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets last week. Miami improved to 3-2 this season and have an over .500 percentage record for the first time since they won their home opener against the Chicago Bulls.
    James had a team-high 35 points and eight rebounds in 36 minutes of play. Dwyane Wade compiled 20 points, five assists and six rebounds in 34 minutes. The only other Heat player that scored in double digits was Ray Allen with 14 points.
    Toronto(2-2) had balanced scoring in there lineup as four starters had at least ten points. DeMar Derozan led the way with 21 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points. Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry both poured in 13 points for the Raptors.

Miami Marlins Move To 940 WINZ

    The Miami Marlins radio broadcasts will move to 940 The Sports Animal WINZ-AM as of the 2014 season. The team had been on 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM for the last six seasons from 2008 until 2013 and simulcast on 104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM during the 2013 season. The Marlins original radio home was at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM from 1993 until 2007.
    It is expected that play-by-play announcers Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner will return to the Marlins radio broadcasts. The Marlins broadcasters are decided by the baseball club and not by the radio rights holder.
    Miami Marlins broadcasts will be mostly be on the air during weeknights on 940 WINZ as Petros Papadakis and Matt "Money" Smith who are piped in from Fox Sports Radio will now be rarely heard on the station as of April 2014.
    790 The Ticket and 104.3 The Ticket will likely add a show during their night hours now that they do not have the Marlins rights. The likely candidates at the station to become the new evening host could be late night host Brian "The Beast" London, morning producer/sports anchor/Sunday morning host Brendan Tobin, fill-in host Zack Duarte and sports reporter Josh Friedman.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oilers Drill Panthers

    The Florida Panthers extended their losing streak to six games as they lost to the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday night at BB&T Center. The Cats have won two of their last 14 games. They will play eight of their next nine games on the road with the exception of a home game against the Anaheim Ducks next Tuesday. The Oilers were able to snap a five-game losing streak in the first game of a four-game road trip.
    Florida(3-8-4) scored first at 10:35 of the first period. Tomas Fleischmann brought the puck into the Oilers zone on the right side then fell as he passed to Jonathan Huberdeau on the right-wing wall. He sent the puck to Marcel Goc in the top slot and he put a wrist shot by goalie Devin Dubnyk for a Cats 1-0 lead. It was Goc's fourth tally of the season and his first goal in eight games since October 15 in Nashville.
    Edmonton(4-10-2), who were shut out at home in their previous two games, compiled a goal and tie the game at 1-1 with 3:01 left in the first. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins broke down the left side into the Panthers zone, shuffled a backhand pass to Philip Larsen by himself in the slot area and he snapped a shot over the left glove of Panthers goalie Jacob Markstom.
    Two Oiler rookies picked up their first career NHL goals during the second period in a span of 33 seconds as Edmonton moved up to a 3-1 lead. Mark Arcobello received a pass down the left side from Boyd Gordon and fired a shot from the low left circle on an acute angle that hit the top shelf of the net at 2:06.
    Taylor Fedun, who was making his NHL debut tonight, extended their margin to 3-1 at 2:39. Jordan Eberle had the puck at the left point and angled a pass into the slot to Nugent-Hopkins. He dished it near his right to Fedun who put in a wrist shot from the inner right circle.
    The Panthers narrowed the gap to 3-2 midway through the third period at 10:04. Scottie Upshall stopped a clearing pass at the left point and feed the puck ahead to Brian Campbell. He moved it to Jesse Winchester who tipped it to Upshall and he scored from the slot area for his first goal this year.
     The Cats waited until they had to pull the goalie for an extra skater late in the third period. They succeded as Upshall tied the game at 3-3 with 57.6 seconds left in regulation when he ripped a wrist shot from the top left circle. Dmitry Kulikov and Goc got the assists on the play.
    In overtime, Upshall took a tripping penalty 32 seconds into the extra session. The Oilers capitalized on this as they scored on the power play at 1:55 when Arcobello blasted in a one-time slapshot from the left face-off circle on a feed at the top of the zone by Ales Hemsky.
    The Oilers went 1-for-3 on the power play while the Panthers were 0-for-1. Dubnyk improved to 3-5-1 as he made 20 saves while Markstrom dropped to 1-6-2 as he stopped 23 shots.      

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pahokee Takes Tiebreaker Over American Heritage

    The Pahokee Blue Devils came back from a 14-point deficit and won the first one-quarter tiebreaker game over the American Heritage Stallions 15-14 on Monday night at Sam Budnyk Field in West Palm Beach. In the game that followed to decide the District 7-3A championship, they fell to the Cardinal Newman Crusaders 6-0 in a Kansas tiebreaker following a second session one-quarter tiebreaker that was scoreless.
    The Blue Devils captured the district runner-up spot and will make their first playoff appearance since 2009. The Stallions will miss the FHSAA playoffs for the first time since 2000. Cardinal Newman(6-3, 2-1) picked up their first district title since 2005.
    Sha'corey Foster returned the opening kickoff for American Heritage(5-3, 2-1) 40 yards to the Stallions 45-yard line. Running back Devin Singletary followed with a 25-yard run into Pahokee territory. He would finish the Stallions first possession with a seven-yard touchdown run up the middle for a 7-0 lead at 8:25.
    On the Blue Devils initial play of their first drive of the game, quarterback Rashaun Croney raced toward the left sideline for a 14-yard gain and a first down. They later had a Croney 38-yard run on a 3rd-and-30 negated on a holding penalty down the field and had to punt.
    American Heritage got good field position on a bad punt and started their second drive at the Pahokee 45-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Singletary rumbled through the line and down the right sideline for a score from 45 yards out to make it 14-0 with 6:41 remaining.
    Pahokee(6-3, 2-1) began to stage a major comeback when they had their second possession. Wide receiver Dontrell Johnson caught a 37-yard pass on the right sideline and brought it to the Stallions 13-yard line. Running back Jay Hopson scattered through the right side with a 13-yard touchdown run on the next play and closed the margin to 14-7 with 5:29 to go.
    Foster returned the ensuing kickoff 25 yards to start the Stallions next drive at the 35-yard line, but American Heritage went three-and-out and had to punt the ball.
    The Blue Devils regained the ball on their own 28-yard line at 3:34. During the drive, Croney had a 23-yard run on a 3rd-and-3 and moved it to the Stallions 35. American Heritage had a chance to end the possession on a Croney pass downfield, however defensive back Greg Jackson stepped in front of Johnson at the goal line and could not hold on to an interception. On the following play, Johnson hauled in a 30-yard touchdown reception with 1:10 left and Pahokee was down 14-13.
    Pahokee head coach Blaze Thompson made the risky decision to attempt the two-point conversion and go for the win. Hopson sprinted toward the right sideline on the handoff from Croney and got into the front right corner of the end zone for a 15-14 lead.
    The Stallions had one final chance to win the game as they began their final drive at their 35-yard line. They were able to compile one first down, but they loss the ball on downs at their own 49-yard line.