Cats fade in second half, lose by three to #14 Michigan

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—Northwestern dominated the first half, but disappeared after halftime on offense.Facing a large early deficit on the road and struggling on both sides of the ball, Michigan appeared headed for a frustrating loss.The players, though, said they never doubted they would rally.Karan Higdon ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns, Shea Patterson threw 196 yards and No. 14 Michigan overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Northwestern 20-17 in Saturday night.Higdon gave the Wolverines (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) the lead with a 5-yard run with 4:06 remaining. Higdon averaged 3.8 yards on 30 carries, and Patterson completed 15 of 24 passes to help Michigan win its fourth straight.Michigan held Northwestern to 97 yards of total offense in the final three quarters and had six sacks for the game. Defensive end Chase Winovich had a team-high eight solo tackles and a sack.

It was Michigan’s biggest comeback since 2011 against Notre Dame (also 17 points) and Jim Harbaugh’s largest comeback as a college coach.

”I talked about it at halftime. We are being tested and it’s time to find out what we’re made of,”’ Harbaugh said. ”Our guys really responded.”

Clayton Thorson completed 16 of 27 passes for 174 yards for Northwestern (1-3, 1-1) in the Wildcats’ third straight loss.John Moten IV had 36 yards on 13 rushes and a touchdown in his first start for Northwestern. He took over for Jeremy Larkin after Larkin retired this week because of a spinal condition.Michigan has won seven straight games at Ryan Field.A 14 1/2-point underdog, NU jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter on short TD runs by Thorson and Moten and a career-high 45-yard field goal by Charlie Kuhbander.Michigan, which had minus-2 yards on its first two possessions, pulled to 17-7 on Higdon’s 4-yard run in the second quarter. The Wolverines made it 17-13 in the third on Quinn Nordin’s two field goals.Neither team could generate much offense in the fourth until Hidgon’s second TD capped an 11-play, 67-yard drive. The key play in the drive was a 22-yard pass from Patterson to Zach Gentry for first-and-goal at the 6.

”Offensively, it just seemed like the plays we made in the first half, we went 0-fer in the second half,” Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ”I thought Michigan’s front dominated the second half, and that was the difference in the game.”
The Wolverines might have grabbed the lead earlier, but a 28-yard run by Patterson on the previous possession was called back because of a holding penalty on Higdon. After Patterson faked the handoff on a run-pass option, Higdon ran straight ahead into the line and was wrapped up by a Northwestern player.
”The whole stadium saw that the linebacker tackled our running back,” Harbaugh said. ”Phantom call.”
The sellout crowd was 47,330.

Bears used late field goal to edge Big Red 16-14

GLENDALE—Another opportunistic day by the Bears defense has them at 2-1 and alone in first place in the NFC North for the first time since late in the 2013 season.The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, have joined the parade of teams with a rookie quarterback on the field.Cody Parkey kicked his third field goal of the game, a 43-yarder with 4:31 to remaining, to rally the Bears to a 16-14 victory over the winless Cardinals on Sunday.

”It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize we are winning games because of our defense,” Chicago coach Matt Nagy said. ”They are playing fast right now.”

The Bears forced four turnovers on four consecutive Arizona possessions in the second half.Sam Bradford threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to put the Cardinals up 14-0, but was replaced by rookie Josh Rosen after fumbling the ball away deep in Bears territory late in the game.Rosen, the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft out of UCLA, drew a standing ovation from the Cardinals crowd as he jogged on the field.

”I just told him to go get the win,” Bradford said, ”be him, go out there and do what he is capable of, lead this team.”

Rosen drove Arizona past midfield, but on fourth-and-5 from the Bears 45, his pass was intercepted by Bryce Callahan with 1:10 to play.Arizona got the ball back one more time. The Bears picked off Rosen again, this time returning it for a touchdown, but an offside penalty negated the play and the game ended with Rosen sacked by Sherrick McManis, who also had one of two of Bradford’s interceptions.

”I threw a pick and almost a second pick-6,” Rosen said, ”so I’ve got a lot to work on.”
Clinging to a 14-13 lead, the Cardinals drove to the Bears 21 early in the fourth quarter but the scrambling Bradford was tackled by Khalil Mack. Bradford fumbled and Danny Trevathan recovered at the Bears 16.
”I knew he was going to have the ball in his right hand, got my head out of the way because that’s a big part of the rules nowadays, and tried to make a play,” Mack said. ”It was what we worked on all week.”

The Bears, with the help of an unnecessary roughness penalty on Tre Boston, drove downfield and got the go-ahead field goal.With a good share of the crowd cheering them on, the Bears (2-1) intercepted three passes and recovered one fumble. Arizona is 0-3 for the first time since 2004.But it was the Cardinals getting off to a fast start.Arizona’s offense, which had scored a total of six points in two lopsided losses entering the game, took the opening kickoff and went 75 yards in just five plays.On third-and-4 from the Cardinals 29-yard line, Bradford connected with rookie Christian Kirk on a 30-yard play. Two plays later, Bradford found tight end Ricky Seals-Jones wide open for a 35-yard touchdown.The Bears responded with a run-oriented drive to the Arizona 13. But on third down, Bene Benwikere and Budda Baker, blitzing from each side, dropped Mitchell Trubisky for a 15-yard loss and Parkey’s 46-yard field-goal try was wide right.Arizona went three-and-out but on the next series, Robert Nkemdiche stripped the ball from Trubisky and Corey Peters recovered at the Bears 21.On the next play, Bradford threw 21 yards to David Johnson in the end zone to make it 14-0.The Bears used 5:27 on an 11-play drive that stalled on the Arizona 2 and the Visitors settled for a 20-yard field goal by Parkey to cut the lead to 14-3. The driving included roughing-the-passer calls against Nkemdiche and Markus Golden that had Wilks livid on the sideline.The Bears finally got in the end zone on Howard’s 1-yard run that cut Arizona’s lead to 14-10 with 6:16 left in the third quarter.The Bears went for it on fourth-and-1 at the Cardinals 19 and barely converted on a 1-yard shovel pass to Allen Robinson II.Tarik Cohen’s 17-yard run set up the score.Mack had another impressive day for the Bears with two sacks, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and three quarterback hits.Prince Amukamara left the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury.The Bears are home against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Irish overpower Wake 56-27

WINSTON-SALEM—No. 8 Notre Dame threw the Book at Wake Forest.Ian Book rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more in his first start of the season, leading the Fighting Irish past Wake Forest 56-27 on Saturday.Book replaced Brandon Wimbush in the starting lineup and was 25 of 34 for 325 yards with touchdown passes covering 3 yards to Brock Wright and 7 yards to Chase Claypool, along with three short scoring runs.

”Every week, I’ve tried to prepare like I’m the starter, and when my name’s called, I need to go in there and play at my best and make sure the offense can succeed,” Book said.

He helped the Fighting Irish (4-0) more than double their previous season high for scoring and roll up a season-best 566 total yards, surpassing the previous high midway through the third quarter.Before this one, Notre Dame hadn’t scored more than 24 in a game , and its wins over Michigan, Ball State and Vanderbilt came by a total of 20 points.Coach Brian Kelly said he made the switch because he was concerned that the offense’s struggles were starting to weigh on the other parts of the team.Jafar Armstrong had touchdown runs of 1 and 30 yards, and Tony Jones Jr. added a short scoring run for the Irish, who will ride their best start since 2015 into next week’s showdown with No. 7 Stanford.Matt Colburn had a 2-yard touchdown run and Nick Sciba kicked two field goals for Wake Forest (2-2), which has lost two straight. Freshman Sam Hartman was 12 of 24 for 110 yards before he exited after taking a hard hit midway through the third.Notre Dame: So much for that quarterback controversy . It sure looks like the job belongs to Book, whose only previous start came last season in a rout of North Carolina and who led the rally that led to a victory over LSU in the Citrus Bowl. Kelly played it coy in the days before the game, saying both of his QBs would play. But as the points and yards kept piling up for the Irish, Wimbush never saw the field and never even took off his baseball cap.

Penn State takes over in second half to blow out Illini

Illinois Fighting Illini

CHAMPAIGN—Miles Sanders burst through the hole, bounced off a defender trying to grab his ankles and sped up the right side for the go-ahead touchdown.That’s when No. 10 Penn State started to hit its stride, too.Sanders set career highs by rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns, Trace McSorley threw for three TDs and ran for a personal-best 92 yards, and the Nittany Lions scored 35 points in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 63-24 victory over Illinois on Friday night.Penn State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) scored the final 42 points after Illinois went up by three early in the third quarter, breaking it open after getting all it could handle from a team showing signs of a turnaround in coach Lovie Smith’s third season.Illinois (2-2, 0-1) opened the second half with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Sanders answered with a 48-yard scoring run , and Penn State put this one away with two TDs in the opening minute of the fourth. It was the Nittany Lions’ third straight game with more than 50 points.McSorley threw a 16-yard TD to Juwan Johnson on the first play of the quarter. Jan Johnson intercepted Illinois’ M.J. Rivers, and McSorley hit KJ Hamler with a 21-yarder on the next play, making it 42-24.Sanders easily surpassed his previous highs of 118 yards and two TDs. He had 113 yards and two scores in the first half alone.McSorley showed why he is a Heisman Trophy hopeful, eclipsing his previous rushing high of 81 yards against Maryland in 2016. The senior also completed 12 of 19 passes for 160 yards with an interception.Ricky Slade added a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and the Nittany Lions racked up 591 yards.Rivers, a true freshman, was 17 of 28 for 149 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his second start with AJ Bush nursing a hamstring injury.Reggie Corbin ran for 87 yards. Mike Epstein finished with 73 after back-to-back 100-yard rushing games.Sanders broke a tackle and plowed through three defenders near the goal line for a 14-yard touchdown that gave Penn State a 7-0 lead.Illinois tied it on a 2-yard run by Corbin. Then the Nittany Lions scored back-to-back touchdowns and looked ready to blow it open.Sanders scored from the 2 after the Illini’s Sydney Brown got flagged for interference on an overthrown pass intended for Hamler in the end zone. McSorley then threw a 5-yard TD to Pat Freiermuth, who skidded into the end zone as he lost his footing, to make it 21-7.But a 51-yard run by Corbin set up a 6-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Ricky Smalling, after the Illini’s Daniel Barker fumbled a reception near the goal line, to make it a seven-point game midway through the second quarter.Illinois’ Delano Ware intercepted a deep pass by McSorley into double coverage with about 30 seconds left in the half when Penn State could have opted to run out the clock. That led to a 42-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin as time expired, making it 21-17.Rivers is showing he could be a major contributor for the Illini even though Smith indicated Bush will return to the lineup once he’s ready.

GROBBER’S NFL WEEK THREE PICKS

AFC: Den over BALT/JAX over Tenn, MIA over Oak
NFC:ATL over N.orl/Dal over SEAT
INT-CONF GAMES: CAR over Cin/KC over S.fran/PHIL over iNDY/NYGiants over HOUST/ LAR over LA C
THURS NIGHT:CLEV over NY Jets
MON NIGHT: TB over Pitt
NFC NORTH GAMES: G.Bay over WASH/MINN over BuffNY Giants over DET/ Bears over ARIZ
Teams in ALL CAPS are HOME TEAMS

Hawks drop Pre Season opener to Jackets 4-1

The Blackhawks started the Pre Season with a 4-1 loss to the Blue Jackets in Columbus. They struck first just 53 seconds into the game when Alexandre Fortin took a pass from Dominik Kahun and fired a wrister through the five-hole of JF Berube. From there, the Blue Jackets took over.Columbus scored the next two goals of the opening period with Zac Dalpe redirecting a Ryan Murray slap shot at 12:13 for the equalizer. Cam Ward was screened by Boone Jenner on a power play later in the period and Alexander Wennberg’s shot fired through traffic and past the goalie’s blocker for the 2-1 lead.The fast-paced game stayed relatively even through a scoreless middle frame, but in the third, the Blue Jackets built on their lead. Cam Atkinson pulled the puck away from Philipp Kurashev in the high slot and rifled a shot past Collin Delia just 36 seconds into the third.The Blue Jackets made it 4-1 late in the third with some good work down low followed by a shot from the left-wing circle by Liam Foudy.The Blackhawks clearly wanted a good look at their 2018 eighth-overall pick because Adam Boqvist jumped right into things, leading all players – from both teams – with 7:32 time on ice in his first NHL exhibition period. There was no wading into the water in this one for the 18-year-old defenseman. He’d finish the game with more than 18 minutes of ice time. In similar news, 2017 first-round pick Henri Jokiharju was a bit of a workhorse, playing 23:03, which led all Blackhawks skaters. In the second period, Blake Hillman broke his stick on an attempted slap shot, which resulted in a rush the other way. Ward made a huge point-blank save on Murray to prevent the Blackhawks from going down by two. The veteran netminder finished his night with 13 saves on 15 shots in just under 30 minutes of action.The Hawks leader in shots came from the blueline. Erik Gustafsson fired the puck on net seven times through three periods. His defensive partner Brandon Davidson, who is in camp on a PTO, drew some praise from Joel Quenneville and some players in the dressing room.
The Hawks have their second of three Pre Season games Thursday night against the Red Wings in Detroit.

Bears OK in 4th quarter- beat Seahawks.

Khalil Mack once again put on the sort of havoc-wreaking show the Bears envisioned when they traded for the superstar pass rusher.Even better for them, they came away with the victory this time.Mack had one of six sacks against Russell Wilson, Prince Amukamara returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown and the Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-17 Monday night to give coach Matt Nagy his first career victory.Mack sprinted out of the tunnel to a neat ovation prior to his first appearance at Soldier Field since a blockbuster trade from Oakland just over two weeks ago. That deal happened after he held out the entire offseason and preseason seeking a contract extension from the Raiders rather than play under the final year of his rookie contract. The Bears gave him a six-year, $141 million extension that guarantees $90 million – the richest deal ever for an NFL defensive player.Mack also had the crowd roaring with a strip-sack in the first half, smacking the ball out of Wilson’s hand as he wound up to pass, and he consistently pressured the quarterback. It was more of the same from last week, when he had a strip-sack and interception return for a TD at Green Bay, except there was one key difference.The Bears came out on top after blowing a 20-point lead against a hobbled Aaron Rodgers in a loss to the Packers.

”That’s a great feeling,” Mack said. ”We took it over the top.”

Amukamara jumped the route on a pass intended for Rashaad Penny near midfield for his first career touchdown, making it 24-10 with 6:37 left. It was his first interception since 2015 with the New York Giants.Danny Trevathan then stripped Wilson with his second sack of the game. The Bears’ Leonard Floyd recovered the fumble, and the Bears hung on after blowing a 20-point lead in a season-opening loss to a hobbled Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

”I’m just really looking forward to the future of this team and seeing how we respond not only to tough losses like Green Bay, but how do we respond to a good win for us,” said Nagy, who replaced the fired John Fox. ”Sometimes those are just as hard.”

The Seahawks (0-2) lost for just the second time in nine Monday night games under coach Pete Carroll.Wilson has been sacked six times in each game this season. With the Bears applying constant pressure and his receivers struggling to get open, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback completed 22 of 36 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.Mitchell Trubisky was 25 of 34 for 200 yards. The No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, Trubisky threw touchdown passes to Trey Burton on the Bears first possession and rookie Anthony Miller early in the fourth quarter. But he was also intercepted two times by Shaquill Griffin – on a deep ball that was underthrown and on another throw tipped at the line.The Bears presented longtime linebacker Brian Urlacher with his Ring of Excellence for being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Cats blow big halftime lead, lose to Akron

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—Entering the game, Terry Bowden was confident his players believed they could win.Kato Nelson tossed two touchdown passes, Alvin Davis returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and Akron rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 39-34 victory over Northwestern on Saturday night.Nelson was 17 for 28 for 277 yards and added 37 yards rushing. Kwadarrius Smith had six receptions for 90 yards and Andrew Williams had 85 yards on three catches for Akron (2-0).Clayton Thorson completed 33 of 52 passes for a career-high 383 yards with three TDs for Northwestern (1-2), but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble on a strip-sack in the second half that resulted in Akron scores.Jeremy Larkin added 82 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 22 carries for the Wildcats.

”We shot ourselves in the foot,” Thorson said. ”I was responsible for three of their TDs. You can’t have that.

”I think everyone on our team played well enough to win and I didn’t.”

The win was Akron’s first over a Big Ten team since the program moved up to 1-A (FBS) in 1987. The last win over a Big Ten opponent was a 12-6 win over Ohio St. in 1894.The Zips charged out of the locker room to score 23 points in the third quarter – including Davis’ 97-yard interception return for a TD – to pull within 28-26 entering the fourth.

”We always talk about hitting the nearest sideline when you catch an INT,” Davis said of his first interception. ”I was already headed that way and I saw all my blockers in front of me and I knew they would lead me to the promise land.”

Ulysees Gilbert III’s recovery of Thorson’s fumble in the end zone gave the Zips a 32-28 lead, their first of the game. A two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.Akron put the game away when Davis hauled in a tipped pass from Thorson and returned it 50 yards for a TD and a 39-28 lead.

”I want to tip my hat to coach Bowden and his staff,” NU coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ”He had his guys ready to play.

With a 21-yard TD pass to Cameron Green with seven seconds left in the first half, Thorson became NU’s all-time leader in TD passes with 45. He had been tied with Brett Basanez (2002-05) and Len Williams (1990-93).The Zips rallied for the win despite a slew of mistakes – a poor snap on a punt and 15 penalties – to set up NU scores. But three defensive scores in the second half will make up for a lot of mistakes. ”We made enough mistakes in the first half not to win the game,” Bowden said, ”but we came through.”

The Wildcats have dropped two straight following a nine-game winning streak and looked awful in both, especially in the second half on Saturday. The offense remains inconsistent and the defense struggled in the second half. They have an open date next week to work out the kinks before a big test against Michigan

Illini see fourth quarter collapse at Soldier Field

Illinois Fighting Illini

For the second straight week, South Florida found a way to erase a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit against a Power Five school.Blake Barnett threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to Darnell Salomon and South Florida rallied from 12 points down to defeat Illinois 25-19 on Saturday.Barnett was 23 of 40 for 411 yards passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and Jordan Cronkrite ran for 136 yards and a score for the Bulls (3-0).Trailing 19-7 early in the fourth quarter, Barnett cut the Illinois lead with a 14-yard pass to Salomon to make it 19-14. Two possessions later, Barnett found a leaping Randall St. Felix for a 55-yard catch, which set up a 22-yard field goal from Coby Weiss with 7:47 left. After another South Florida stop, Barnett connected with Salomon from 50 yards to score with 2:24 left to give the Bulls a 25-19 lead.Last week, the Bulls scored 21 unanswered in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech.South Florida coach Charlie Strong wasn’t thrilled with the way the Bulls began the game.The Illini couldn’t score on its final drive thanks to a sack by Tyrone Barber at the South Florida 25 with six seconds left. Freshman quarterback M.J. Rivers II threw the ball out of the end zone as time expired.Illinois coach Love Smith was impressed with his team despite the loss. Last season, they suffered a 47-23 defeat at the hands of the Bulls.

”We’ve come a long way. Last year we played South Florida, we weren’t really competitive,” Smith said. ”This year is completely different game. I thought the guys came out strong. … We had some critical mistakes that allowed them to win the football game.”

Chase McLaughlin converted a field goal from 52 yards to give Illinois a 16-7 halftime lead.After a shaky first possession, Mike Epstein scored on a 43-yard touchdown run on Illinois’ third play from scrimmage. Epstein rushed for 113 yards on 19 carries.South Florida, which scored 49 points in a win against Georgia Tech last, week, answered with a 75-yard drive. Cronkrite went in from the 3 to tie it at 7, but the Illini defense held for the rest of the half and forced interceptions by Jartavius Martin and Del’Shawn Phillips, which set up field goals by McLaughlin.McLaughlin connected again from 41 yards, banging off the right upright, capping a 10-play, 53-yard drive late in the third quarter to extend the lead to 19-7.Rivers, in his first career start as quarterback, was 20 of 29 for 168 yards passing for Illinois (2-1). Rivers relieved A.J. Bush Jr., who was injured in the win against Western Illinois.The Illini played a home game at Soldier Field for the fourth time in school history. The game attracted a small crowd with empty seats in the west side upper level.

”When you go on the road, you’ll never know what the crowd will be,” Smith said. ”We didn’t play at Memorial Stadium today for a home game. I know that the fans that showed up, we heard them.”

Smith was back in a familiar place, returning to the sideline where he guided the Bears to a 2006 NFC Championship. Smith was also backed by his former player and newly inducted Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, who was in attendance. It was like old times for Smith, who saw his team thoroughly dominate South Florida on defense and special teams in the first half, a staple of his mid-2000 Bears teams.

Irish still flat, but hold off Vandy

SOUTH BEND—On a day when No. 8 Notre Dame’s offense remained a work in progress, the Fighting Irish got another big play from its defense to hold off upset-minded Vanderbilt in a 22-17 victory Saturday.Safety Jalen Elliott knocked the ball loose from Vanderbilt receiver Kalija Lipscomb with 1:07 remaining to give Notre Dame a fourth-down stop against the Commodores. Last week, Elliott had a pair of interceptions in 3-0 Notre Dame’s win over Ball State.

”I’m proud of the effort and the way we competed,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. ”We’re trying to find our identity on offense. We’re far from where we want to be on the offensive line and as an offense. Our defense is good but not a great defense yet. But there are a lot of positives to take from this.”

Kyle Shurmur threw for 326 yards and one touchdown for Vanderbilt (2-1), rallying his team back from a 16-3 halftime deficit. His fourth-and-4 pass from the Notre Dame 31 to Lipscomb, who caught a game-high 11 passes for 89 yards, was grabbed by the receiver at the Irish 11.Vandy managed just a last-play field goal in the first half by Ryley Guay to go into the locker room trailing 16-3.Vanderbilt finished with 420 yards to 380 for the Irish, who forced three turnovers. Notre Dame, which entered the game 104th in rushing offense at 124.5 yards per game, finished with 245 on the ground.

”That’s an SEC team and we ran well today,” Kelly added.

Tony Jones Jr. finished with 118 yards on 17 carries for Notre Dame (3-0). He also caught two passes for 56 yards.

”I feel like I’m in high school again, getting a lot of carries,” Jones said.

Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush, who had 297 passing yards but three interceptions in the 24-16 victory against 34 1/2-point underdog Ball State, threw for 122 yards and added 84 yards on the ground, including a 13-yard scramble for a touchdown.Wimbush was not sacked and did not commit a turnover.

”I think we’re still trying to find our identity,” Wimbush said of offense. ”We fought play in and play out.”

Notre Dame got a 2-yard TD pass from backup quarterback Ian Book to tight end Nic Weishar early in the fourth quarter for a 22-10 lead.

”We have to keep our foot on the pedal for all four quarters,” Wimbush added.

The Commodores couldn’t get anything on the ground early against the defense coordinated by Clark Lea, a former Vanderbilt fullback. They finished with 27 yards on 11 carries in the first half and trailed 16-3. For the game, Vandy had 94 yards rushing.After a strong start with 161 total yards while taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the Irish struggled over the next two, totaling 111 with just 25 yards in the third quarter as Vanderbilt closed the deficit to 16-10.With Notre Dame leading 13-0 midway through the second quarter, Vanderbilt had its first good drive of the first half ended on a weird play that resulted with Irish corner Justin Love recovering the football in the end zone.Justin Yoon, who started his football career as an eighth-grader at Nashville’s Harding Academy, kicked three first-half field goals (26, 33 and 46 yards) to pass Craig Hentrich (1989-92) and become the school’s all-time leading placekicking scorer with 297 points. He did miss a short field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter that would have made the lead eight.