Pro Hockey News

Saturday, October 31, 2015

AFL: Five teams to play in American Conference

LAS VEGAS – The Arena Football League has announced its alignment for the 2016 AFL season, featuring two conferences – American and National – based on geographic relationships and historic rivalries.

The five-team American Conference will feature the Cleveland Gladiators, Jacksonville Sharks, Orlando Predators, Philadelphia Soul, and Tampa Bay Storm. 

The National Conference will consist of four teams, including the Arizona Rattlers, Los Angeles KISS, Portland Thunder, and defending ArenaBowl champion San Jose SaberCats.

The League has also announced that free agency will begin on Thursday, November 5. Players who have not been assigned to a team roster, street free agents, or rookies who did not have their options exercised may then sign a contract with any AFL team.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Seminoles Named As Top Five Recruiting Class by D1Baseball

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — For the second time this month the Florida State baseball team earned national attention for its 2015-16 recruiting class when it ranked fifth in’s rankings.

This comes after a sixth place ranking by Baseball America that was released on Oct. 13.

It also marks the second time in as many seasons that has ranked the Seminoles recruiting class in the top 20, after tying for 20th in the 2014-15 rankings.

The Noles’ 2015-16 class includes nine freshmen, two junior college transfers and two collegiate transfers. The four-year transfers were not considered by Baseball America, except when players are leaving programs that have been eliminated.

The Florida State signees for 2015 include Dillon Brown (RHP, Mosley HS); Bryan Bussey (C, Walters State Community College); Chase Haney (RHP, Windermere Prep); Matt Henderson (INF, Santa Barbara City College); Tyler Holton (LHP, Lincoln HS); Matt Kinney (LHP, Belmont University); Jackson Lueck (OF, Orangewood Christian Academy); Jared Middleton (LHP, George W. Jenkins HS); Donovan Petrey (OF, Port Charlotte HS); Cal Raleigh (C, Smoky Mountain HS); Ronnie Ramirez (RHP, Tampa Jesuit HS); Cole Sands (RHP, North Florida Christian HS); Tyler Warmoth (LHP, Stetson College).

“The credit goes to recruiting coordinator Mike Martin, Jr., along with associate head coach Mike Bell who are out there constantly combing the country for the best players,” said head coach Mike Martin. “We certainly are proud of each and every one of our recruits as well as the young men that are returning.”

“We are excited to get started in January and certainly the start of the season in February,” added Martin. “We do have a very good group of young men and a key for them is continuing to work hard in the offseason to get stronger and certainly we will continue to work on agility.
“I like this club because we have improved from last year. We have more speed, depth and pitching than we’ve had in the past. So many times a guy gets hurt and you are wondering why you don’t have don’t have enough pitching. Hopefully no one gets hurt, but if we were to lose someone it would definitely be a situation of the next man up.” Top 10 Recruiting Rankings

1. Vanderbilt
2. Florida
4. Georgia Tech
5. Florida State
6. Mississippi State
7. South Florida
8. Louisville
9. Oregon State
10. TCU
11. LSU
12. South Carolina
13. North Carolina
14. Virginia
15. UL-Lafayette
16. Oklahoma
17. Maryland
18. Washington
19. Mississippi
20. Arizona
21. Texas
22. Texas A&M
23. Connecticut
24. Arizona State
25. California

Sunday, October 25, 2015

NASL: Stoppage Time Goal Robs Armada of First Road Win, Forces 1-1 Draw

EDMONTON, Alberta – A hard-attacking Jacksonville Armada FC appeared on the way to its first road win in club history on Sunday, but a second half stoppage-time goal by FC Edmonton forced the Armada to settle for a 1-1 draw in its final away contest of 2015.

The Armada (5W-4D-10L North American Soccer League Fall, 8-7-14 Combined) had a tight hold on possession and created dominating routes to keep the Eddies on their toes for the entire 90 minutes. Forward Jemal Johnson was responsible for Jacksonville’s goal.

With goalkeeper David Sierra making his first start since he got the nod Sept. 12  against the New York Cosmos, the Armada came out soaring, keeping the match locked in a stalemate. Eddies’ backup goalkeeper Tyson Farago, who made just his second start of the season, had his hands full with a barrage of shots from the Armada and was forced into some spectacular saves.

A visibly frustrated Edmonton dropped down to 10 men when midfielder Ritchie Jones was sent off following a hard foul on Armada forward Akeil Barrett to receive his second yellow of the match in the 67th minute. With an opportunity in front of it, the Armada capitalized.

Within 10 minutes, Johnson charged downfield and fired a cross that was deflected by FC Edmonton defender Albert Watson into the net for an own goal, giving the Armada a 1-0 lead in the 77th minute.

Jacksonville’s defense remained strong until the dying minutes when the Eddies’ Mallan Roderts headed in a corner to draw the game level. Within seconds after the kickoff, the whistle blew and both teams walked away with a goal apiece.

The Armada will wrap up its inaugural season at 4 p.m. next Sunday at Community First Park against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. A limited number of tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 1.844.2.ARMADA or visiting

AFL: Ross back with Jacksonville Sharks for second season

The Jacksonville Sharks announced that fullback Derrick Ross will return to the team, as Ross has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a two-year contract.

“Our offensive line play was excellent, and nobody can replace 30-plus rushing touchdowns in an Arena Football League season,” Sharks head coach Les Moss said. “Derrick has set the standard of excellence at the fullback position, and we look forward to winning a championship with him. Now we just need to get our offensive line set.”

Ross continued to stake his claim as the top rusher in AFL history in 2015, his first season with the Sharks. Starting all 18 regular season games, 

Ross led the League with 586 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns on his 147 rushing attempts. Ross scored a touchdown in 15 of the Sharks’ 18 regular season games, and put together 11 multi-score performances.

Wide receivers Joe Hills and Tiger Jones will also be back.

Hills earned Second Team All-Arena honors during the 2015 season, his first with Jacksonville. Starting all 18 games, Hills established a new franchise record with 150 receptions, breaking the mark of 146 set by Jeron Harvey in 2013. Hills led the Sharks and finished fourth in the League with 42 touchdown receptions during the regular season, and ranked second on the team with 1,597 receiving yards.

Jones joined the Sharks prior to the start of the 2015 season, and quickly became a major piece of the team’s offense. Starting each of the team’s 18 regular-season games, Jones led all Arena Football League players with 2,087 receiving yards in what was his fourth career 2,000-yard season. Jones finished second among Sharks with 148 receptions and 38 touchdown catches, adding a pair of scores on the ground as well. As a result of his spectacular performance, Jones earned a spot on the All-Arena First Team, his fifth career All-Arena honor.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Drake Rallies to Give Jacksonville Its First Loss

DES MOINES, Iowa. – Drake scored 14 unanswered fourth quarter points and handed Jacksonville its first loss of the season with a 28-24 score at Drake Stadium.

“We didn’t play winning football in a tough environment on the road,” said Head Coach Kerwin Bell. “These guys (Drake) played a really solid football game. Our big issues were turnovers and third downs.”

Drake (4-4, 3-2), led by quarterback Andy Rice, amassed 380 yards of offense to Jacksonville’s (6-1, 3-1) 336. The Bulldogs went 11-18 on third down and forced one more turnover than Jacksonville.

The winning score for Drake, set up by a Ulysses Bryant fumble, was a 19-yard pass from Rice to Andrew Yarwood with 03:14 remaining in the game. The Dolphins were forced to punt on offense and Rice rushed for a first down on the ensuing possession to give the hosts an upset win.

Rice went 24-39 for 267 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was tight end Eric Saubert, who hauled in three of his scoring passes and totaled 118 yards receiving.

The Dolphins came out on fire in the third quarter and scored touchdowns on their first two drives. Quarterback Kade Bell engineered an eight play, 57-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Orlando Thomas. On the following drive, Bryant hit pay dirt on a three-yard touchdown. Bell finished the day 22-38 for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Bryant was the leading rusher with 21 carries for 104 yards. Damien Strange led the Dolphin receivers with five catches for 70 yards.

Jacksonville scored first with a 47-yard field goal from Brandon Behr to cap Jacksonville’s opening drive. That would be all the scoring in the first quarter as both teams had combined for four turnovers, with two Bulldog fumble recoveries and two Dolphin picks.

In the second quarter, Drake converted on a pair of third down opportunities in the red zone with Rice finding Saubert for 13 and nine-yard touchdown passes on back-to-back drives.

The Dolphins answered before the end of the half with a 33-yard pass from Bell to Brian Burnett. Bell finished the first half 13-20 for 133 yards.

Jacksonville is on the road again next week to take on unbeaten Dayton with a 1 p.m. kickoff at Welcome Stadium.

VOLLEYBALL: Dolphins Get Revenge in Round Two of River City Rumble

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Though it took five sets, the Jacksonville University volleyball team was able to get revenge on rival North Florida in the second round of the River City Rumble.

The first set was close throughout, but North Florida was able to take control of the game at 10-9, holding JU off just long enough to win 25-22. There were eight ties and three lead changes in the second set, including when JU took the lead at 21-20, winning the set 25-22. The Dolphins dominated in the third set, winning the first point and never surrendering the lead. 

JU took the third set 25-15 to go up 2-1 on the Ospreys. In the fourth UNF got back on track, battling with the Dolphins through seven ties to win the fourth 25-23 with a tandem block by Tessa Alyman and Morgan Van Alstine. The fifth set was reflective of the entire series, tense and close throughout. JU and UNF each took the lead in the final set, but Jacksonville got on a role at 8-8, winning seven of the final eight points to take the set 15-9 and the match 3-2.

“They had a lot of fans here tonight, so it didn’t exactly feel like homecourt,” said JU coach Julie Darty. “But this is such a great rivalry, and it’s so great that they’re only ten minutes away. It’s always going to be a great rivalry, no matter where we’re playing them. We went five at their place and we went five here, so I think that no matter where we play it’s going to be a long, gritty match between these schools. It got feisty at the net and it got heated in the stands, and even I got caught up in it a couple times because we’re all in and it’s such a high-stress environment. Thankfully it’s also always a lot of fun.”

Emily Laskelle led in kills for the Dolphins with 16, and also had 12 digs. Both middles had terrific matches, with Ana Gabriella Nieto-Gomez swinging her way to 15 kills, and Jessica Armstrong hitting 12 kills and eight total blocks. Kelly Koop had another double-double with 10 kills and 14 digs, Jizzyan Gesualdo had 48 assists and 14 digs, and Mayara Prestes had 19 digs.

The Dolphins will be on the road for the next two weeks, traveling to Stetson, FGCU, Lipscomb, and NJIT before returning home to close the regular season with USC Upstate and Kennesaw State.

SOCCER: UNF Women Fall to JU 2-1 in Final Regular Season Match

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The North Florida Women's Soccer team fell 2-1 in a nail-biting edition of the annual River City Rumble Friday night at Southern Oak Stadium.

The Ospreys (4-11-1, 2-4-1 A-Sun) will now wait and see the results from tomorrow's conference matches to determine where they'll potentially play in the conference tournament.

Despite holding the overall shot advantage by a margin of 16-11 and the on-target margin by 8-5, as well as creating multiple chances from set pieces, North Florida dropped a heartbreaker in the annual rivalry match.

"I am heartbroken for these kids and they deserved a result tonight. We knew what was at stake and they did everything we asked of them," said coach Robin Confer. "We knew JU was going to be organized and in the second half we were all over them and couldn't equalize. I'm so proud of the effort this team has given and they deserve more."

The Dolphins (6-7-2, 4-2-1 A-Sun) opened up with a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute, when Cassie Elmore found Bailey Dotsikas with a cross into midfield, where she was able to re-direct it into the back of the net.

In the 52nd minute, JU took a 2-0 lead from a Marie Weckhurst goal, who put it in from inside the six-yard box after Cassie Elmore had her shot deflected by a diving Victoria Ekeli.

The Ospreys were able to get one goal back in the 60th minute, when senior Lanie Keating drove a free kick into the box, causing a goal-mouth scramble. Junior Gabrielle Liguori found the back of the net after punching it in from inside the box.

The Ospreys had their shots at the equalizer but couldn't find the net. In the 77th minute, junior Alexis Bredeau got a good long shot in from about 25 yards out, but the Dolphin keeper made a diving save to push the ball right of the net.

In the 86th minute, sophomore Katy Mixon got a chance just inside the box, but her low rip was halted by the diving Jacksonville keeper.

Friday, October 23, 2015

VOLLEYBALL: Dolphins Host Round Two of River City Rumble

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University’s volleyball team will host Round Two of the River City Rumble in the Historic Swisher Gym on Friday, hoping to even up the season series between JU and North Florida before leaving Jacksonville for a two-week road trip.

“Every time we’re at home it’s such an exciting time for us to play in Swisher Gym,” said Head Coach Julie Darty. “It’s the gym we practice in every week, and it’s really nice getting to sleep in our own beds and play in our own gym. We were on the road all preseason, so going back on the road is nothing new for us. But it’s a bonus when we are at home and get to spend some time in our gym.”

Despite five players (Emily Laskelle, Jizzyan Gesualdo, Mayara Prestes, Kelly Koop, and Cristina Finan) each recording a double-double, a JU record for most double-doubles in a match, the Dolphins couldn’t quite beat FGCU, losing in five sets to the Eagles on Saturday. The loss came after a four-set win over Stetson on Friday in which Laskelle had 24 kills, Gesualdo had 33 assists and 10 digs, and Prestes had 21 digs.

“I think that the JU record is a testament to how hard our team is working, and how hard each player works when they’re on the court," said Darty. “They’re all just trying their hardest to do their jobs and do all they can for our team to have a win. It’s really awesome to set that kind of record considering that Emily had 93 attempts, and other people were still able to step up in ways that I didn’t know about until we got the stats, and that was really cool to see." 

JU traveled to North Florida for the first round of the River City Rumble, which the Ospreys won 3-2. Courtney Miller (17), Carina Hoff (14), and Tessa Alyman (14) each had double-digit kills for UNF, and Abby Fesl (24) and Alyman (27) each had double-digit assists. Miller, Fesl, and Morgan Van Alstine each had two service aces, and four Ospreys had double-digit digs. The Dolphins were led by Laskelle, who had 24 kills, 13 digs, and one service ace. Gesualdo had 42 assists and 16 digs, and Prestes had 27 digs.

Coach Darty’s Analysis: “Obviously this rivalry is a very fun and exciting one,” said Darty. “It’s really cool that it can be such a big deal considering we’re so close to them in Jacksonville. I think it’s an awesome opportunity for us to get a second chance at them in our gym. Last time we went to their place and it was a crazy atmosphere with a lot of energy, and it was a battle in five sets. I’m hopeful we’ll be a little bit healthier this time around.”

Friday’s game is also #PackSwish night. The first 100 Dolphin fans that walk through the door will receive a free neon green fanny pack.

“We are giving away 100 fanny packs to the first 100 JU fans in Swisher as a promo to pack Swisher Gym,” said Darty. “It seems like fanny packs are coming back because everything that is retro is cool and back in style, so it seemed like a great promotion. The fanny packs will be bright neon green and say ‘JU Volleyball’ and ‘Dolphin Strong’”.

The Dolphins, currently 4-3 in conference play, are tied for third in the Atlantic Sun with Kennesaw State, who the Dolphins beat in straight sets in Kennesaw, Ga. earlier in the season. FGCU and Lipscomb are tied for first in the A-Sun with 6-1 records.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

NASL: Ottawa Fury FC Clinches Fall Season Title With 3-1 Win In Jacksonville

NEW YORK - Ottawa Fury FC traveled south to Florida on Wednesday night and captured its first silverware when the club defeated Jacksonville Armada FC, 3-1, to clinch the Fall Season Championship with a game to spare in the regular season. Ottawa has lost only once in its last 24 matches dating to May; the loss at home was Jacksonville's first of the Fall Season.

In South Florida, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers picked up a precious point in their pursuit of the fourth and final spot in The Championship after a 0-0 draw against the San Antonio Scorpions. 

The draw, coupled with Ottawa's victory eliminates FC Edmonton, San Antonio, and Jacksonville from postseason contention. Indy Eleven was eliminated after last weekend's action. Now Carolina, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay are still in the fight for their postseason lives in matches on Saturday in more Week 17 action.

With the victory - on second-half goals by Rafael Alves (59th minute), Sinisa Ubiparipovic (62nd) and Andrew Weideman (90th) that erased a 1-0 deficit - Fury FC is also assured of playing a semifinal match at TD Place in The Championship, the league's four-team postseason tournament. 

Ottawa can clinch the No. 1 seed if the New York Cosmos lose at San Antonio on Saturday night or with a win in its regular-season finale at Atlanta on Oct. 31. Fury FC's win means that Minnesota United will be the No. 3 seed in The Championship.

The win also enabled Ottawa to open a five-point bulge over the Cosmos in the Combined Standings. A first-place finish in the Combined Standings would mean Fury FC could host The Championship Final should it advance. The Cosmos can be seeded no worse than No. 2 in The Championship by virtue of having won the league's Spring Season title.

The Strikers' draw upped their lead to two points over the Rowdies in the race for the final spot in The Championship. The teams are now even in games played (28). Both teams play on Saturday - Fort Lauderdale is at Indy Eleven and Tampa Bay hosts Carolina. The Strikers would clinch the final berth with a victory and a Rowdies tie or loss.

Monday, October 19, 2015

MONDAY MEMO: Dolphins’ Third Consecutive Shutout Clinches a Spot in A-Sun Tournament

KENNESAW, Ga. – Jacksonville University's women's soccer team recorded its third consecutive shutout victory Sunday afternoon with a 1-0 decision at Kennesaw State. With 10 points in conference play, Jacksonville (5-7-2, 3-2-1 A-Sun) has clinched a spot in the upcoming Atlantic Sun Championship.

First-half opportunities were tough to come by as Kennesaw State outshot the Dolphins, 10-2, in the opening frame. The Owls were in active pursuit of a score but opposition from Jacksonville's backline and keeper Sara Wicks limited the home team to just two attempts on goal.

On the other side of the break, the Dolphins' first shot on target resulted in the 1-0 advantage (47:52). Met by a pair of Owl defenders, Marie Weckhurst found Joëlle d'Entremont, playing in the middle, for a quick pass. The speedy senior continued her run down the left flank, d'Entremont made a precise pass through the defense and Weckhurst took a few steps before sending her shot to the right of the net.

Cheyenne Gulick looked to stretch JU's edge at the 77:31 mark, the Dolphins' final shot on frame, but it ended in the hands of KSU's keeper.

Wicks concluded the affair with five saves while Gulick and Weckhurst led the team with two shots each.

Jacksonville returns to Southern Oak Stadium Friday for its final match of the regular season - a River City Rumble versus North Florida. The outing, also serving as Senior Night, begins at 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

NASL: Only One Team Out of Postseason Contention With Two Weeks To Play

NEW YORK -- The Fort Lauderdale Strikers leapfrogged over the Tampa Bay Rowdies and into fourth place in the North American Soccer League (NASL) Combined Standings on Saturday night, erupting for four unanswered goals to defeat the visiting Carolina RailHawks in Week 16 action.

FC Edmonton, the only team in the league with only one game to play in the regular season, most likely has seen its window of opportunity close after it failed to overcome 10-man Jacksonville in a game that featured a flurry of second-half goals by both teams. The match ended the Eddies' three-game road swing in which they failed to pick up a single point, probably dooming any postseason aspirations.

The Armada FC continued its mastery at home (5-3-0) in the Fall Season. With three games left, Jacksonville has a mathematical chance of taking the final postseason berth, with two of its three remaining games to be played at Community First Park. Jacksonville closes with games against Ottawa, at FC Edmonton and against the Strikers. But Jacksonville, an expansion team, is winless in its 14 road games this year.

The Strikers served notice that they are the team to beat in the race for the last remaining berth in The Championship, the league's four-team postseason tournament. After the completion of games this weekend, Fort Lauderdale will be one of only three teams with three regular-season games remaining. The New York Cosmos, Ottawa Fury FC and Minnesota United FC have clinched the three other postseason berths.

Fort Lauderdale improves position in The Championship Race

The Cosmos will host one semifinal, but the final seeding will only be determined at the conclusion of what is sure to be an exciting final two weeks. Ottawa and Minnesota trail New York, which is idle this week, by a single point in the Combined Standings as all three teams pursue the No. 1 overall seed and potential home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Minnesota's Fall Season title hopes were dealt a blow when it traveled to Indianapolis but ran into a determined Indy Eleven side that came away with a 3-1 victory. Indy's win snapped the Loons' 11-game unbeaten streak, but even the full three points could not help the Eleven, who were eliminated from postseason contention. Indy (30 points) has only two games remaining with six points on the table, making it impossible for the side to match Fort Lauderdale (37 points). United remains three points behind Ottawa, which hosts San Antonio on Sunday, in the battle for first place in the Fall Season table and the semifinal home game that goes with it.

Tampa Bay, now in fifth place in the Combined Standings, picked up a point at Atlanta to stay in the race, but the Rowdies have only two games to play (vs. Carolina and at New York) and need help if they have any hope of overhauling their intrastate rival Strikers.

Carolina and Atlanta are hanging by a thin thread, but remain alive. Both teams have two games remaining with six points at stake. Fort Lauderdale, with a superior goal differential, would need only one point to eliminate both the RailHawks and the Silverbacks.

Jacksonville Armada FC 3, FC Edmonton 2

Jacksonville (5-3-9, 18 Fall; 8-6-13, 30 Combined) received a goal from Alhassane Keita in the 31st minute, his seventh of the year, before 6,503 at Community First Park in Jacksonville, Fla. He and Jemal Johnson exchanged passes before Keita tucked a left-footed shot under FC Edmonton (7-4-8, 25 Fall; 9-7-13, 34 Combined) goalkeeper Matt VanOekel. The Eddies tied the game in the 62nd minute, 11 minutes after Keita was ejected, when Daryl Fordyce scored his seventh goal of the year. Frank Jonke's shot was tipped off the goalpost by goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo and fell to Fordyce, who tapped the ball into the open net. Edmonton took the lead three minutes later when a pass from Dustin Corea split the Jacksonville defense.

Sainey Nyassi collected the ball, executed a nifty fake and put a shot past Gallardo in the 65th minute. Only minutes later, Jacksonville's Akeil Barrett was taken down by Johann Smith in the penalty area and Haitian international Pascal Millien leveled the scored in the 67th minute. Barrett then gave 10-man Armada FC the lead when he scored the game's fourth goal in eight minutes. The Eddies played all three recent road matches without Lance Laing, the club's leading scorer who traveled to South Korea with Jamaica's national team for a midweek friendly match. It was the eighth game this year Edmonton played while Laing was on international duty. The club has taken only five points from those games without Laing in the lineup.

Atlanta Silverbacks 0, Tampa Bay Rowdies 0

Tampa Bay (4-5-9, 17 Fall; 9-9-10, 36 Combined) and Atlanta (6-6-6, 24 Fall; 7-11-10, 32 Combined) kept their hopes of advancing to the postseason alive before 4,111 at Silverbacks Park in Atlanta, Ga., though neither team can be entirely happy.

The Rowdies played the match without Darnell King and Juan Guerra, suspended due to a red card and yellow card accumulation, respectively. The Silverbacks had perhaps the best scoring chance in the match when a free kick by the dead-ball specialist Junior Burgos was pushed wide at the last second by Tampa Bay goalkeeper Matt Pickens, who was making his 11th consecutive start for the Rowdies.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers 4, Carolina RailHawks 0

Fort Lauderdale (7-5-5, 26 Fall; 10-7-10, 37 Combined) took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when Stefano Pinho, the league's leading goalscorer, hit a diagonal cross from the right that found the head of Frankie Sanfilippo. He nodded it back across the face of the goal, over Carolina (5-3-10, 18 Fall; 8-8-12, 32 Combined) 'keeper Akira Fitzgerald and into the far corner for his first of the year.

Jonathan Borrajo became the second Strikers defender to score a goal when he doubled the lead in the 30th minute. Borrajo and PC played a neat 1-2 combination that sent the native of Clifton, N.J., to the end line where his shot from an extreme angle went high over Fitzgerald. Marlon Freitas made it 3-0 early in the second half, converting a pass from Pinho. After serving as provider earlier in the match, Pinho scored his 16th of the year, in the 56th minute.

Indy Eleven 3, Minnesota United FC 1

Dylan Mares and Daniel Keller combined for an opening goal in the 39th minute by Indy Eleven (4-5-9, 17 Fall; 7-9-12, 30 Combined) before 9,085 at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. Mares carried the ball to the top of the Minnesota (10-5-3, 35 Fall; 13-10-5, 49 Combined) penalty area and slid a pass to Keller on the left. His one-touch pass was side-footed by Mares past Loons' goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock. Indy was the more dangerous team on offense in the first half, playing against a Minnesota defense that was missing defenders Justin Davis and Tiago Calvano, both of whom were suspended for yellow card accumulation.

Indy doubled the lead in the 56th minute on a quick counterattack that began when Zach Steinberger stole the ball in midfield. He passed to Don Smart, whose perfect cross found Brian Brown, who first-timed it past Ndjock. Brad Ring capped the scoring for the hosts when his blast from about 25 yards out beat Ndjock in the 82nd minute. The Loons managed to pull one back with less than five minutes to play when Brent Kallman headed Kevin Venegas' corner kick past Kristian Nicht.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JU Defeats Edward Waters 49-28

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Quarterback Kade Bell tied his career mark with six touchdown passes and running back Ulysses Bryant scored two times to lead Jacksonville (6-0) to a 49-28 win over Edward Waters College (2-6) in the Jacksonville Classic.

“Give them (Edward Waters) all the credit. Their coach got their team more ready to play. They were zoned in and focused with a will to win. We sort of took a week off and that’s on me. We got the win, it was an ugly one. We’ve now got to go five weeks and sure we focus in one the opponent no matter who it is and where we are at,” said Head Coach Kerwin Bell.

Bryant caught seven passes for 119 yards, tying his career mark in receiving yards, including the game’s final score with 02:01 remaining to seal the victory. He was also the leading rusher with 11 carries for 75 yards. Bell finished the game by going 27-for-46 for 359 yards. 

Ray Dukes led the second half comeback attempt for Edward Waters with 121 yards rushing and 47 yards receiving. Quarterback Taron Williams went 9-for-21 with 151 yards and two interceptions and one touchdown. The Tigers scored twice in the third quarter and threatened in the fourth but Terrance Bryant forced and recovered a fumble in his own end zone to halt EWC’s final threat. 

Edward Waters scored the first points of the day on Bell’s only interception. On first-and-goal on Jacksonville’s opening drive, Shaquille Stoudemire stepped in front of a Bell pass and raced 100 yards to put the Tigers ahead with 11:36 remaining in the first quarter.

Jacksonville then went on a 28-0 run when the Dolphins turned an Armani Sampson interception into its first touchdown after Bell found Jamal Adjamah for a three-yard pass. With 1:34 remaining in the first quarter facing fourth-and-two from the Tiger 23-yard line, Bell found fullback Matthew Passegiata who rumbled in for the score.

The Dolphins again converted a turnover into a score after Josh Celerin recovered a Dukes fumble and later Bell hit Andy Jones for a 12-yard score to put the Dolphins ahead 21-7.

Jacksonville hit the same scoring tune again following a 37-yard interception return by Dallas Jackson. Bell threw a swing pass to Bryant who ran in for a 28-yard score to put the Dolphins ahead 28-7 with 4:09 left in the half.

After Edward Waters amounted a three-play, 89-yard drive, Emoni Williams returned the kickoff 88 yards for a score to give Jacksonville a 35-14 lead at the half.

D.J. Howard totaled seven tackles to lead the Dolphins while T.J. Jenkins had three tackles-for-a-loss.

Jacksonville heads to Drake next week for a Pioneer Football League game set for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Friday, October 16, 2015

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Dolphins Have Classic Approach This Week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Looking to build on its best start ever, Jacksonville Head Coach Kerwin Bell wants his team to follow a simple plan- get better each week.

“We’re trying to make sure we get better each week and follow the process of how to become a great football team and that is the desire every week to go out Tuesday through Thursday and be the best program in the country in preparation,” said Bell. “If you do that you’ll get better each week. We’re making sure this week that we have that attitude. I really believe that we will be a much better team this Saturday than we were the last five.”

Bell has seen that progression each week and is planning on seeing the Dolphins (5-0, 3-0) take their next step Saturday. This week’s opponent, Edward Waters College, brings a 2-5 record and a five-game losing streak to D.B. Milne Field for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

“The new guys on the offensive line and young receivers are starting to mature and they aren’t making silly mistakes. Week two to week three we were having all these pre-snap penalties,” said Bell. “We’re not getting that anymore and now we are starting to execute within the play at a much higher level and that’s showing in our running and passing game.”

There’s truth to Bell’s statements. Jacksonville has rushed for an average of 181.7 yards over its last three games compared to 130.4 in its first two. The passing average has risen from 308.6 to 326 yards per game.

“They’re a very athletic group. They have some guys can really run and play well, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They’re very physical and on offense they show a lot of different looks going from the triple option to the spread. We’ve got to line up properly on the defensive side of the ball,” said Bell on the Tigers.

Bell and the rest of the Dolphins are hoping for another great turnout following last week’s record crowd of 6,324 fans.

“Jacksonville is a great football city and in a great football state of Florida. You have two schools in the city and the opportunity to showcase our student-athletes on the gridiron,” said Bell. “Hopefully we will get a lot of the Jacksonville football fans that are interested in the two programs.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

AFL: Jacksonville Sharks assigned six players via the Offseason Assignment Process

The Jacksonville Sharks and Arena Football League announced Thursday that Jacksonville will be assigned six players via the Offseason Assignment Process. The team will add wide receivers Shay Hodge, LaDon Hudson, Roger Jackson and A.C. Leonard, defensive lineman Mark Weivoda, and quarterback Sean Brackett.

Leonard is currently on the AFL’s Other League Exempt list, as he had been assigned to the New Orleans VooDoo before signing with the Canadian Football League’s B.C. Lions. A native of Palatka, Florida, Leonard attended University Christian School in Jacksonville before finishing his collegiate career at Tennessee State.  Hudson has caught 17 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns during his first season in the CFL.

Jackson put together a strong rookie season with the New Orleans VooDoo in 2015. Starting all 11 games in which he played, Jackson racked up 74 receptions for 924 yards and 16 touchdowns, ranking second on his team in all three categories.

Brackett spent his rookie season with the Las Vegas Outlaws in 2015. Beginning the season as the team’s backup quarterback, Brackett went on to make three starts in 12 games played, completing 80 of his 154 pass attempts for 1,114 yards and 23 touchdowns against seven interceptions. 

Hudson also spent the 2015 season with the Las Vegas Outlaws as an AFL rookie. Appearing in 12 games, Hudson totaled 14 receptions for 143 yards and four touchdowns. A versatile player who also contributed on defense and special teams, Hudson added 18.5 total tackles, two pass breakups and three fumble recoveries. Hudson attended Mid America Nazarene prior to the start of his professional career.

Weivoda is a six-year AFL veteran who most recently spent the 2015 season with the Las Vegas Outlaws. During his one season in Las Vegas, Weivoda totaled 6.5 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks while also recovering a fumble and blocking a kick.

Hodge is currently on the AFL’s Other League Exempt list. He last played in the AFL with the Kansas City Command in 2012. That season, he totaled 53 receptions for 595 yards and 10 touchdowns as an AFL rookie.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SEC: Spurrier stepping down at South Carolina

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is retiring, effective immediately, and an interim head coach will be named Tuesday, The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C., reported Monday. 

The 70-year-old Spurrier informed his team of his decision Monday, and quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus is expected to be named the interim head coach, a source told The State. 
Spurrier is in his 11th season with the Gamecocks after returning to college football following a stint as a head coach in the NFL. 

Spurrier built South Carolina into a national power, and the Gamecocks had three consecutive 11-win seasons from 2011 to 2013. 

However, South Carolina won just seven games last year and it is 2-4 this season, including 0-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Spurrier was in danger of having his first losing season since 1987. 

Spurrier won the 1996 national championship and six SEC championships during his 12-year stint at Florida. 

He left Florida to coach the Washington Redskins but went 12-20 in two seasons before taking the job at South Carolina. 

Spurrier was an outstanding college quarterback, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1966 while at Florida. He played nine seasons in the NFL. 

Spurrier made a name for himself as a head coach when he turned around the program at Duke. After going 5-6 in Spurrier's first year, the Blue Devils went 7-3-1 in his second season and 8-4 in his third season in 1989. 

That enabled him to land the job at his alma mater

Monday, October 12, 2015

JU Hosts Jacksonville Classic Press Conference

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University held a press conference today at the River House on-campus to preview the Jacksonville Classic. Both presidents, athletic directors, head coaches, athletic staff members, local media, and even state representatives were in attendance. Jacksonville and Edward Waters College will play for the second time ever and first time since 2002, a 44-31 JU win, this Saturday at 1 p.m. at D.B. Milne Field.

“This city is a beautiful city and is a football town in a football state. There’s no better way to bring two universities and the city together than to play on the gridiron and to showcase our student-athletes. It’s going to be exciting,” said Jacksonville Head Coach Kerwin Bell.

Jacksonville accomplished the best start in its program’s history Saturday night with a 41-14 victory over Stetson to improve its record to 5-0 on the season.

“This is a wonderful event for our city. We’re delighted this is happening for a whole host of reasons. There is more than just competition just on the football field. Our softball teams are playing Friday night at seven o’clock and the two bands are playing at halftime,” said Jacksonville Director of Athletics Dr. Donnie Horner

“We’re very glad to be here and very excited for this Saturday and hope this will be a continued classic in Jacksonville between both institutions,” said Stanley Cromartie, Edward Waters Director of Athletics.

Edward Waters is 2-5 on the season and has dropped its last five games.

“The student-athletes at Edward Waters College show a fighting spirit to make a difference from this day forward. It’s going to be a heck of an opportunity to showcase our talents,” said Edward Waters Head Coach Alvin Wyatt, Sr.

For ticket information, visit Gates will open at 11 a.m. Saturday and there will be a $5 charge for parking on-campus.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

NASL: Armada Fall 3-0 to RailHawks On the Road

CARY, N.C. – The Jacksonville Armada FC had a few stellar scoring chances on Saturday night but could not consistently break through and fell 3-0 to the Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park.

The Armada (4-3-9 Fall, 7-6-13 Combined) found it too difficult to penetrate a staunch Carolina RailHawks (4-3-9, 7-8-11) desperate for a win, led by its goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, who had four key saves. Carolina appeared to take control from the beginning of the match, applying pressure coming straight out of the gate, leaving the Armada to drop back and defend the attack.

Despite the loss, the Armada are still in the hunt for the fourth NASL Championship playoff spot. With four matches remaining, Jacksonville’s optimal shot would be to win its remaining four matches to finish with 39 points in the Combined Standings and get help from other clubs.

The Armada returns to Community First Park to take on FC Edmonton at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17. Tickets, starting at $12, are still available by calling 1.844.2.Armada or visiting

Saturday, October 10, 2015

JAGUARS RECAP: Colts defeat Jaguars in OT behind backup QB

Missed field goals, too many penalties in 16-13 loss

The Jacksonville Jaguars have to be kicking themselves after dropping a close overtime game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium. They probably have better luck kicking themselves than winning field goals in the 16-13 loss.

The Jaguars (1-3) had a chance to win with one second remaining in the fourth quarter, but rookie Jeff Myers' 53-yard field goal try went wide right, forcing overtime. Then Myers was wide left on a 48-yarder with 8:13 left in OT.

In fairness to Myers he was responsible for almost half of the Jaguars scoring against their AFC South rivals. He connected to give Jacksonville a 13-10 halftime lead on a 32-yard kick with four seconds remaining in the second quarter. And was good from 20 yards out in the opening quarter.

It was not a good day league wide for kickers. NFL kickers missed 11 field-goal attempts just during the afternoon games alone.

"That was unbelievable game ... a good, hard-fought game, but we're just not there yet," said Jaguars coach Gus Bradley. "We just didn't make enough plays, and the penalties just killed us. But we will learn from this and move on."

Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles was 28 of 50 for 298 yards with one touchdown. Allen Hurns continued his banner season catching a career high 11 passes for a season-high 116 yards and one TD. Rookie T.J. Yeldon ran for 105 yards on 22 carries.

The Colts’ oldest player at 42, Adam Vinatieri kicked the winning 27-yard field goal with 4:36 remaining in overtime to give the hosts the victory.  Colts backup QB Matt Hasselbeck started in place of Andrew Luck and completed 30 of 47 passes for 282 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

"It's hard, because if you make one of those field goals, we're in the locker room talking about the tremendous effort, the competitiveness, getting turnovers, scoring off the sudden change," Bradley said. "We're talking about all these things that led to that. They're still there. But we're not quite there yet. We're close."

PENALTY BOX – The Jaguars were penalized 13 times for 92 yards. The Colts’ 13-play, 80-yard TD drive was aided by five Jaguars' penalties -- two pass interference calls, a roughing the passer, a personal foul and an illegal substitution. The Jaguars were penalized six times for 47 during the opening half. “These penalties … good teams, consistently, don’t have even a series like that,” Bradley said. “Far too many penalties in that situation.”

COLTS GAME NOTES - The Jaguars produced 421 yards, but managed only 13 points – none came after halftime…. A right shoulder injury sidelined Luck, snapping his streak of 57 consecutive starts…. Vinatieri broke Mike Vanderjagt's franchise scoring record with his first field goal, a 54-yarder, then became the first player in NFL history to top 1,000 points with two different teams on his second field goal….The Colts now are 11-5 all-time against Jacksonville in Indianapolis and tied the NFL record for consecutive wins against one division (15), which was set by the 1972-73 Miami Dolphins,,,, Hurns had eight receptions in the first half, surpassing his previous career best in just two quarters. 

DEFENSIVE GEMS – Colts’ running back Frank Gore fumbled at the Jaguars' 5-yard line. Defensive tackle Abry Jones recovered in the end zone. The fumble was forced by safety Josh Evans. Safety Johnathan Cyprien recovered a fumble by Indianapolis running back Josh Robinson.  The fumble was caused by linebacker Dan Skuta.

INJURY UPDATE - Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny, who made five first-half tackles, left the game with an ankle sprain in the third quarter. Two other players did not finish the game, cornerback Aaron Colvin (shoulder) and safety James Sample (shoulder). Jacksonville placed right guard Brandon Linder on injured reserve Monday and linebacker James-Michael Johnson was added to the active roster. Rookie A.J. Cann started in place of Linder against the Colts Sunday and is expected to remain the starter.  Linebacker John Lotulelei sustained a concussion against the Colts.

GIVING BACK – The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation pledged $500,000 to name the gymnasium in the new Winston Family YMCA in Riverside and continue its support of the Willie Galimore Community Center pool in St. Augustine. “The team’s investment in the new Winston YMCA and recommitment to the Galimore pool is part of a wider partnership the Jaguars organization has with the First Coast YMCA to support the health and wellbeing of our community, particularly for children and families,” said Peter Racine, President of the Jaguars Foundation. The new Winston Family YMCA is scheduled to be complete in August 2016.

AROUND THE AFC SOUTH – The good news for the Jaguars heading into week five. They play in the weakest division in the NFL. Indianapolis is the only team in the AFC South with more than one win. The Houston Texans are 1-4 and Jaguars are 1-3. The Tennessee Titans—who were on a bye this week—are 1-2. The Colts (3-2) beat the Texans Thursday night. Tennessee hosts the Buffalo Bills (2-2) Sunday.

UP NEXT – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) and Jaguars meet for just the sixth time in the regular season Sunday at 1 p.m. in Raymond James Stadium. Jacksonville leads the series 4-1, with the Bucs winning the inaugural meeting between the clubs with a 17-16 victory in Tampa in 1995. Jacksonville claimed each of the last four contests, winning three in Jacksonville along with a 24-23 win in Tampa in 2007.The Bucs signed kicker Connor Barth. The move comes after the team released rookie Kyle Brindza, who had been the team’ starter through their first four games.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Atlantic Sun Preseason Honors, Poll Released Thursday

MACON, Ga. – The Dolphins' Kori Babineaux was named to the Preseason All-Conference team and Jacksonville University was picked to finish fifth and sixth in the conference in the annual preseason release published by the Atlantic Sun on Thursday.

“It’s a great honor for Kori,” said Head Coach Tony Jasick. “He did a great job in his first year for us. We’re excited about him and what he can bring to our team as a senior. Hopefully he’ll continue to help us make progress.”

Julian DeBose (FGCU), Josh Williams (Lipscomb), Damon Lynn (NJIT), Beau Beech (North Florida), Dallas Moore (North Florida), Yonel Brown (Kennesaw State), Winfield Willis (NJIT), Demarcus Daniels (North Florida), and Chris Davenport (North Florida) joined Babineaux on the preseason All A-Sun squad.

The Dolphins were picked to finish fifth in the conference in the coaches poll, and sixth in the media poll. North Florida was picked first in both polls, and FGCU finished second in both polls. From there the polls diverged.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tour hands out 50 PGA TOUR cards for upcoming 2015-16 season

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Emiliano Grillo and Chez Reavie were deadlocked at 13-under-par heading into the 72nd hole of the Tour Championship. Both hit the par-4 finishing hole in regulation with Grillo set to putt first. 

The 23-year-old from Resistencia, Argentina drained a 25-footer for birdie, carded a final-round 69 and finished at 14-under-par 266. 

Reavie stepped up, missed his bid to send the tournament into extra holes and tapped in for par making Grillo the second-youngest winner in Tour Championship history.

“I knew that I needed to win,” said Grillo of his clutch effort. “I gave my best out there, and I think the best thing I did all day was making that putt on 18.”

Grillo’s first Tour victory was worth $180,000. The first-place check moved him to No. 4 in the final priority rankings.

“It's great,” said Grillo, who is set to start his quest for a FedExCup in at the Open in California in a little more than a week when the PGA TOUR’s 2015-16 wraparound season kicks off. “It's been a great week. I'm on the PGA TOUR and it feels great.”

Sam Saunders (67) posted 12-under-par, good for solo third, while Austrlalia’s Rhein Gibson (65) finished fourth after stumbling with a bogey on the closing hole at TPC Sawgrass – Dye’s Valley Course.

The Tour Championship was the season-ending event and 50 players were awarded their 2015-16 PGA TOUR cards on Sunday evening after the tournament.

The drama on Sunday at the Tour Championship was as good as advertised. Grillo and Reavie went back and forth most of the afternoon. Grillo led early on before a bogey at No. 8 left him tied with Reavie. Reavie then birdied the par-4, ninth hole to take a one-stroke lead into the final nine.

Grillo answered on the very next hole with a birdie of his own to regain a share of the lead. Reavie then dropped a shot on the par-3, 11th to fall one behind Grillo.

Grillo rattled off seven straight pars and arrived to the 18th hole tied with Reavie after the TOUR veteran birdied the par-5, 16th. With the tournament on the line, Grillo rose to the occasion and ended Reavie’s campaign for a second win in The Finals with a three at the last.

“It was a great feeling making that putt,” said Grillo. “I was hoping to get it done before that, but it took that putt on the last hole and I'm really glad it went in.”

Reavie came up a shot shy of a playoff but his second-place performance secured him the top spot in The Finals and fully exempt status on TOUR.

“It's everything,” said the 33-year-old Scottsdale, Arizona resident about becoming fully exempt on TOUR once again. “A couple of years ago I was hurt and didn't know where I was going to end up and here I am playing the best golf of my life and I've got a spot back on TOUR.”

Two weeks ago, Reavie won the Small Business Connection Championship at River Run. The former RBC Canadian Open champion‘s stellar play during the four-event series also rewarded him with a spot in THE PLAYERS Championship next season.

“I'm just excited,” said Reavie about competing on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course in May of 2016. “I haven't played THE PLAYERS now in a couple years and am really excited to get back.”

Patton Kizzire concluded his Tour season with a birdie on his final hole, posted 67 and finished 10-under par in a tie for fifth. Kizzire, who had a Tour-leading 12 top 10s this season, also earned fully exempt status by winning the Tour’s season-long money title.

“It's hard to believe,” said the 29-year-old Sea Island resident. “I've always believed in myself but it's hard to believe that I came out on top. I don't like to think about what I've done, I just like to keep going and try to do better.”