Pro Hockey News

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Moeller: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens Come to Town Sunday

By Jeff Moeller

JACKSONVILLE (Florida Sports Wire) - When the Jaguars take the field Sunday, it will be two weeks until they last played.

We’ll see if it was two weeks too long when they host Baltimore Sunday at TIAA Field. They last met the Chiefs in Kansas City on Oct. 13 and managed to stay with them in the opening half before Patrick Mahomes again did his magic in a 27-17 Chiefs’ victory.

It was another one of their seven losses in which they couldn’t finish.

If the Jaguars truly have begun to turn the corner, they should be in a tight game with Baltimore.

We’ll see what they have been working on for the past two weeks. Keep it close.

This will be a true test of where they are against a team that is generally underrated. It will also come down to putting the clamps on another instantaneous game changer. And they have to be ready against a Baltimore team that many have overlooked.

The resurgence of Mahomes and the Chiefs and the Bills’ latest Thanksgiving Day win have shifted the focus of the AFC back on them. There’s also the quiet rise of Bill Belichick and his Patriots, who have shown they can be there, and also the rise of Tua and the Dolphins to the South.

But these 7-3 Ravens have the league’s longest win streak at four and have won five of their last six.

After trying to corral Mahomes, the Jags’ defense now has to stop another one-man show in Lamar Jackson, who has primarily generated the league’s second-best rushing offense (162.1) per game.

He has rushed for 699 yards for a 6.7 clip per rush and thrown for 1,977 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Yet, he has fumbled four times.

Defensively, many also believe the Ravens’ unit has seen its better days. Still, the defense has the NFL-best streak of 12 games with at least one takeaway. It ranks second in total takeaways (19) and turnover margin (+9) through 11 weeks.

For the Jags, they have had a steady run defense all season long, one that once was as low as third in the league and currently is ranked 11th. The Jags have been consistently burned by their pass defense that is currently 24th.

The Jags have established a running game with the emergence of Travis Etienne, and it is now in his hands with the trade of James Robinson.

Trevor Lawrence has thrown for 2,998 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions.

He is well on track to surpass last year’s yardage total of 3,641 yards when he threw 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The improvement has been there.

The Jags now have a receiver complement for Lawrence with Christian Kirk, Marvin Jones, Evan Engram, and Zay Jones. Etienne also is surfacing as a pass-catching threat.

Rookie linebackers Devon Lloyd and Travis Walker have enhanced the defense with their play and fellow linebacker/edge rusher Foyesade Oluokun is having a Pro Bowl- type year with his 95 tackles.

At this point of the season with seven games to go, it is about winning or staying within striking range.  Aside from the Kansas City defeat, the Jags’ previous four losses have been by eight or less points.

The wins may be few. If the Jags can stay close and contain Jackson Sunday, they may be able to pull the upset. They have to travel to Detroit next Sunday, and the Lions are suddenly playing the role of big-game hunters instead of being hunted.

From there, the Jags have two dates with Tennessee and a trip to Houston left in their divisional play along with a trip to the Jets and a home date with Dallas. You can figure out how they may do.

Sunday against the Ravens will be another test. The Jags are a better team, but they have to continue to prove themselves.

Avoid the blowouts and keep it close. That’s all we ask for at this point.

(Columnist Jeff Moeller covers the Jaguars, the NFL and other sports for SportDay and the Florida Sports Network. 

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars Host Baltimore Ravens Sunday Following Bye Week


JACKSONVILLE (Florida Sports Wire) – After a week off the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) host the Baltimore Ravens Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.

“You don’t spend a lot of time prepping for this game,” said Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson. “You spend more time looking at the first 10 and really evaluating that and trying to come away with some solutions, some answers, maybe some different things that we haven’t show or could possibly show here in the next seven games. It’s more about that and sort of the self-scout than it is kind of prepping for your next opponent.”

The Jaguars are coming off a loss to Kansas City.

Baltimore (7-3) is riding a four-game winning streak and has a one-game lead over Cincinnati in the AFC North. Jacksonville was off Week 11 while the Ravens won a physical game against Carolina.

The Jaguars lead the all-time series, 12-10, but Baltimore has a 4-3 edge under head coach John Harbaugh.

The two teams last met in 2020 when the Ravens rolled to a 40-14 victory in Baltimore.

Lamar Jackson completed 17 of 22 passes for 243 yards, throwing touchdown passes to Mark Andrews, J.K. Dobbins and Miles Boykin. Marlon Humphrey (seven tackles) and Patrick Queen (six tackles) led the defensive charge.

“He’s (Jackson) a great player. Listen, you’ve just got to go play and trust your instinct, trust your technique, trust how you’ve been coached during the week and try to corral the guy. He’s a tremendous athlete, both with his legs and throwing the football. You’ve just got to go execute your game plan,” added Pederson.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has played two straight games without an interception and has only thrown six picks all year, compared to 17 interceptions as a rookie.

Jacksonville wide receiver Christian Kirk (52 catches, 679 yards) is tied for third in the NFL with seven touchdown catches and is on pace for his first 1,000-yard season.

Kickoff is 1 p.m. Sunday.

Recap: Florida State Outlasts Florida, 45-38

TALLAHASSEE (Florida Sports Wire) – Florida State scored 17 unanswered points early in the third quarter to build a 38-24 lead and then held on to beat rival Florida 45-38 Friday night in Doak Campbell Stadium.

Trey Benson’s 17-yard touchdown run with 4:06 left in the game broke a 38-38 tie and Florida’s last-minute drive to send the game into overtime died when Anthony Richardson’s pass on fourth and long fell harmlessly into the end zone.

While Seminoles quarterback Travis Jordan’s passing numbers were modest, he was nearly unstoppable running the ball. Jordan finished 13 of 30 through the air for 270 yards and a touchdown and gained 83 yards on 15 carries with a pair of touchdowns.

FSU’s defense gave up some big plays through the air, but limited UF’s Richardson to just nine completions on 27 attempts for 198 yards but three of those were for touchdowns. Travis Etienne led UF’s running game with 129 yards on 17 carries.

Florida State finishes the regular season with a 9-3 record and await the announcement of the bowl parings, while Florida dropped to 6-6 on the season.

The start was a bit ominous for FSU as a perfect pass from Travis to Ontaria Wilson for a 29-yard gain and a sure first down turned into a turnover when Wilson fumbled going to the turf. On the ensuing possession, Florida left their offense on the field on fourth-and-two and FSU took back the momentum with a great defensive play.

FSU magnified the impact of the defensive stand by scoring on their next possession. Benson weaved through the UF defense for a 45-yard gain to the Gator 9-yard line then scored from there on the next play to give FSU a 7-0 lead.

Florida tied it on its next play from scrimmage when Richardson connected with a streaking Ricky Pearsall for a 52-yard touchdown to make it 7-7 with 4:06 left in the first quarter.

The Gators made it 14-7 when Richardson found an uncovered Jonathan Odom in the right flat who lumbered untouched from 12 yards out for the touchdown with 4:06 left in the first.

Travis tied the game at 14 on a spectacular 29-yard touchdown run with under two minutes left in the initial stanza. The score capped a 6-play, 75-yard scoring drive.

Richardson’s third touchdown pass of the half put the Gators up 21-14 in the second quarter. Richardson set up the score by hitting Ricky Pearsall on a crossing route for 32 yards and on the next play found him racing up the right hash for a 43-yard touchdown with 9:25 left in the second quarter.

Another phenomenal run by Travis on a scramble set up the Noles’ tying score with 5:44 left before the half. On third-and-10, Travis looked like he was going to be sacked for a big loss, but he outraced the Florida defense for a 10-yard run to the one. He took it in himself on the next play to make it 21-21.

Florida took a 24-21 lead into the locker room after hitting a 41-yard field goal with :42 left on the clock.

FSU came out of the second half hitting on all cylinders, particularly defensively, forcing the Gators into three straight three-and-outs and scoring on its first three drives.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who missed a 38-yarder field goal attempt earlier in the game, drilled a 46-yarder with 8:53 left in the third to knot the score at 24-24.

After forcing a three-and-out for the Gators on the next drive, FSU mounted an 8-play, 66-yard drive with Benson carrying it over from the 1-yard line for a 31-24 lead with 4:21 left in the third.

Another outstanding defensive series set up FSU’s offense with great field position at the UF 44 after a personal foul for a hit out of bounds was assessed on the punt return. It took Florida State just two plays to score going up 38-24 on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Travis to Kentron Poitier with 2:28 remaining in the third.

Florida cut the Seminoles’ lead to seven with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a one-yard Montrell Johnson touchdown run with 10:35 left after a slew of penalties gave UF eight snaps from inside FSU’s 5-yard line.

Etienne tied it up again 38-38 with 7:41 left with a 45-yard touchdown run through the middle of the Seminole defense on a third-and-five.

FSU bounced back with what would prove to be the game-winning drive. Travis methodically marched the offense 65 yards on seven plays the last two were Benson runs. Benson ripped off 16 yards to set the Seminoles up with a first down on the UF 17 and then scored the game-winner on a slashing 17-yard run with 4:06 left to play for the 45-38 final margin.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

ACC: Florida State Cruises By Louisiana 49-17

TALLAHASSEE -   Florida State scored on seven of its first eight possessions and starting quarterback Jordan Travis was able to sit out the entire second half as the 20th-ranked Seminoles cruised to a 49-17 win over the Ragin’ Cajuns in Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Travis completed 9-of-14 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown and rushed for two more scores as FSU mounted a 35-3 halftime lead.

Trey Benson led a group of five running backs who gained 30 yards or more with 80 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.  Ten different FSU receivers caught a pass.

FSU’s defense stifled Louisiana for most of the game limiting the visitors to just 4-of-14 on third downs.  The Seminoles recorded four quarterbacks sacks and six tackles-for-loss in the lopsided win.

Louisiana quarterback Chandler Fields finished with 19 completions on 36 attempts for 159 yards and a touchdown.  The Ragin’ Cajuns’ top rusher Dre’lyn Washington managed just 57 yards on 10 carries, while Michael Jefferson led their receivers with six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown

The win moved FSU to 8-3 on the season while Louisiana dropped to 5-6 on the year

Florida State came into the game as the nation’s second-best team at scoring on the opening drives of a half.  They kept that trend alive driving 75 yards on their first eight plays and scoring when Treshaun Ward lined up at quarterback and raced 36 yards up the middle for a touchdown.  Ryan Fitzpatrick’s extra point made it 7-0 FSU with 12:29 left in the first quarter.

After holding Louisiana to its second straight three-and-out, FSU made it two straight touchdown drives on a quarterback keeper around the right side by Travis for a 3-yard touchdown. The 8- play, 65-yard drive made it 14-0 FSU with 7:37 left in the first.

FSU went up 21-0 late in the first quarter on a 13-yard touchdown run by Travis that capped a 7-play, 53-yard drive.

Midway through the second quarter, Ward shifted into the wildcat quarterback spot again and scored from a yard out making it 28-0 Seminoles with 6:59 left.

Malik McClain’s acrobatic catch of a 9-yard touchdown pass from Travis increased the Noles’ lead to 35-0 with 3:14 left in the half.  The big play on the drive was a 32-yard reception by tight end Camren McDonald.

Louisiana’s only drive of any length of the half came on their last possession.  Starting at their own 25 following a touch back, they drove to the Seminole 2-yard line before being forced to settle for a 24-yard field goal as the clock expired.

Florida State’s defense allowed the Ragin’ Cajuns a total of just 75 yards in the half and just 34 rushing yards.  The Seminoles’ offense was extremely efficient converting on 4-of-5 third down opportunities and punting just once.

Tate Rodemaker checked in at quarterback on FSU’s first possession of the second half and led the Seminoles on a 4-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard Trey Benson touchdown run.  The big play on the drive was a 45-yard pass from Rodemaker to Kentron Poitier.

On the ensuing possession, Fabian Lovett ripped the ball away from the ballcarrier and Shyheim Brown pounced on the fumble at the Ragin’s Cajuns’ 18.  True freshman A.J. Duffy came in at quarterback and kept up the offensive fireworks connecting with tight end Markeston Douglas for a touchdown from 16 yards out for a 49-3 score with 8:22 left in the third quarter.  It was the first career touchdown pass for Duffy and the first career TD reception for Douglas.

Louisiana scored their first touchdown of the game with 11:07 left to play.  Driving 64-yards on 12-plays, the Ragin’ Cajuns went for it on fourth down from the 5-yard line and Fields found Michael Jefferson in the back corner of the end zone with a touchdown pass to make it 49-10.

The last score came with 5:16 left on a short TD run that capped an 8-play, 64-yard drive against FSU’s reserves making the final score 49-17.

SEC: Gators Fall in Music City to Vanderbilt, 31-24

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mike Wright threw for three scores and Ray Davis added 122 yards on the ground to lift Vanderbilt to a 31-24 SEC victory over Florida Saturday at FirstBank Stadium.

Up 14-12 late in the third quarter, Wright found Gavin Schoenwald from 10 yards out and Ben Bresnahan for a 28-yard score in a 77-second span to break open the game. 

The Commodores (5-6, 2-5 SEC) then held off a Gator rally, with Anthony Richardson finding Daejon Reynolds for touchdown passes covering 74 and 16 yards in the final period, to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Wright finished the day 10 of 16 passing for 108 yards, while Davis carried 30 times in recording his third straight 100-yard effort. CJ Taylor led the Lady defense—which allowed just 45 net yards rushing—with 10 stops and a pass break up, with Anfernee Orji contributing eight tackles and Jeremy Lucien seven.

Ventral Miller and Amari Burney paced the Gators (6-5, 3-5 SEC) with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively. Richardson was 25 of 42 passing for 400 yards with three touchdowns as both Reynold (eight catches for 165 yards) and Justin Shorter (eight for 106) surpassed 100 yards receiving.

The Dores were trailing 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, but responded with a 10-yard Jayden McGowan touchdown catch and Wesley Schelling’s fumble recovery in the end zone of a muffed punt return to lead 14-6 at the break.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

ECHL: Power Play Goals Propel Jacksonville to 5-2 Win

(SportsDay photo by Nancy Beecher/Florida Sports Wire)

JACKSONVILLE – Derek Lodermeier and Cristiano DiGiacinto each scored twice to give Jacksonville (5-5-0) a 5-2 win over Trois-Rivières (2-6-1) Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Lions came into the game with just two wins this season. The Icemen were 3 of 4 on the power play.
Ara Nazarian added his club leading fifth goal as the Icemen scored twice in six seconds to pull away from Trois-Rivières.
Lodermeier’s power play goal in the opening minute of the third period gave Jacksonville a 2-1 lead. They were his first two goals of the season.
Trois-Rivières’ tied it up on Colin Bilek’s fifth goal of the season.
The clubs traded power play goals in the first period. DiGiacinto made it 1-0. Alex Breton skated in on goaltender Olaf Lindbom and tied the game with 15 seconds to play.
The Icemen killed a 5 of 3 power play in the scoreless second.
Lindbom made 16 saves. Joe Vrbetic stopped 22 shots for the visitors.
The Icemen travel to South Carolina for their second meeting with the Stingrays on Friday.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Moeller: Jaguars Travel to Kansas City with Momentum from Raiders Win

(SportsDay photo by Nancy Beecher/Florida Sports Wire)
By Jeff Moeller

It’s time to pull out the measuring stick again for the Jaguars. And it likely won’t be the last time.

Their recent victory over the Raiders reignited the embers back to a steady flame of having a respectable football team again this season. 

They had been saddled in a five-game losing streak.

Now, the Jags have life again. Unfortunately for them, they will travel to Kansas City Sunday to meet the upstart Chiefs, who appear to be back on track with two straight wins and four in their last five.

This is another example of the Jags’ roller-coaster season. Yet, this has been a year that already has exceeded expectations. There has been progress beneath the surface.

It appeared fate may have been on the Jags’ side at the start of the season when they won two of their first three games, losing a tight game to the Commanders, and then posting an impressive shutout over the Colts and a thrashing of the Chargers. 

This appeared to be the quick evaluation of quarterback Trevor Lawrence, head coach Doug Pederson, running back Travis Etienne, and a resurgent defense.

Those elements are still evolving, and they have planted their roots in the team’s 3-6 season. Against the 9.5-point favorite Chiefs Sunday, the Jags are expected to make it respectable.

Anything less would be a disappointment. The problem that has been there all season has been finishing.

At this moment, that’s where this team is.The 3-6 Jags are still within striking distance of the AFC South -leading 5-3 Tennessee Titans. They still have two meetings left this season with them.

The Chiefs have been vulnerable this season, and they can be beaten at home. However, the Jags will need to play a complete game, which means Lawrence has to avoid the turnover, and the secondary needs to avoid the big play. 

Both of those factors have flipped winnable games into frustrating losses. Ironically, though, the Jags’ passing yardage allowed is 22nd and the Chiefs is 24th.

Their losses to Texans, Colts, Giants, and Broncos were all with a scoring drive. Even in the eight-point Eagles’ defeat, the Jags were there in the end. 

If the Jags somehow find themselves in contention for the division, all of those losses can come back to haunt them in the end.

With their bye week in the offing after Sunday and more than half the season behind them, it’s time to face the reality of the Jaguars.

Looking at their remaining eight games, the Jags possibly could win two of those. That would result in a 5-12 mark, two more wins than last year’s 3-14 record. The important takeaway is the club has matured despite the three wins.

Still, it will be an improvement with Lawrence and Etienne pacing the offense along with wide receiver Chrisitan Kirk and tight end Evan Engram. 

Rookie linebacker Devin Lloyd was worth the first round pick at linebacker, and top pick edge rusher Travon Walker has shown that he has potential.

So, don’t worry about the final score in Kansas City this weekend. It’s about staying close enough to a seven-point threshold to make it interesting at the end. That’s the way to evaluate the measuring stick.

Finishing would be the proverbial cherry on the sundae. A lopsided blowout would be a severe

(Columnist Jeff Moeller covers the Jacksonville Jaguars and other sports for SportsDay and the Florida Sports Wire.)

Golf: Palencia Golf Club Wins its first JAGA/NFPGA Club Team Championship

 JACKSONVILLE (Florida Sports Wire) – Palencia Golf Club won its first JAGA/NFPGA Club Team Championship on Monday, November 7th by three shots, besting a field of 24 other teams at the King and Bear at The World Golf Village in the two best balls of four, net format. 

This year’s tournament was the 25th playing of the championship, which is conducted by the Jacksonville Area Golf Association and the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA Section.

The winning Palencia team posted an 18-under-par score of 126. Team members included Northern Chapter PGA member and Flagler College men’s and women’s golf coach Santiago Cavanagh and amateurs Larry Baker, Tom Cassady and Dannie Wilson.

Three strokes back at 129 was the Deerwood Country Club team of pro Mitchell Haley, Sal Randisi, Melissa Heaton and Mat Nemeth.

A trio of teams shared third place at 130. They were Palatka Golf Club – Andy Heartz (pro), Jeff Elledge, Ron Jerin and Ron Mullis, Sawgrass Country Club – Leonard Thompson (pro), John Caden, Bob Long and Chuck Smith, and WGV/Slammer and Squire – Jake Etherton (pro), Rich Regan, Henry Chambliss and Max Norgart.

Deerwood Country Club assistant professional Mitchell Haley took home low professional honors firing a 6-under-par 66 on his own ball. World Golf Village host professional Etherton recorded a 69 to finish runner-up, with Jennifer Borocz of the North Florida Section claiming third with a 70. Also posting sub-par scores were Sean McGauley (71) of the Golf Club at Fleming Island and Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth (71) of San Jose Country Club.

The tournament featured 25 four-player teams from JAGA member clubs comprised of one PGA member and three amateurs representing the club.

For results of all 25 teams, click this link:


ECHL: School Day Game Goes to Icemen over Stingrays, 5-4

(Sports Day photo by Jim Brady/Florida Sports Wire)
JACKSONVILLE (SportsTicker) – The South Carolina Stingrays (5-2-0-0) dropped their second game of the season on Tuesday to the Jacksonville Icemen (3-4-0-0) by a final score of 5-4 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Stingrays’ power play converted on their second opportunity of the day as Carter Turnbull gave the Stingrays an early lead in the contest. Jacksonville’s Parker Gahagen kicked Andrew Cherniwchan’s pass to the tape of Turnbull where the rookie forward flipped the rebound into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the year.

Jacksonville retaliated under four minutes later with Brendan Harris’ first marker of the season. South Carolina blocked an initial shot that settled in front of Harris where the forward sent a puck top shelf past Clay Stevenson to tie the game at one apiece.

Luke Martin gave the Icemen their first lead of the game with his first goal of the season 40 seconds later. The blueliner fired a shot from the point that beat Stevenson’s blocker for the 2-1 advantage.

South Carolina knotted the game at two with just under five minutes remaining in the opening period on Turnbull’s second of the match. Ryan Scarfo won a faceoff knocking the puck directly to Turnbull who wasted no time and sniped a shot past Gahagen.

Ara Nazarian’s second tally of the season regained the Jacksonville lead five and a half minutes into the middle frame. Nazarian received a pass with his back to the net where the forward slid a backhanded shot through the five-hole of the Stingrays' netminder for the 3-2 lead.

The Stingrays returned the favor under three and a half minutes later with Josh Wilkins’ third goal of the season. Wilkins set up on the left post where he cleaned up an initial shot from Jonny Evans to tie the game yet again.

The Icemen struck back on Martin’s second marker of the day just over halfway through the contest. Martin fired a shot from the point through traffic and past a screened netminder for the 4-3 lead at 11:10 of the second period.

Jacksonville took advantage of a missed opportunity from South Carolina as Harris slid a pass to Nazarian on the doorstep for his second goal of the contest. Nazarian’s insurance goal expanded the Icemen lead to two and proved to be just enough for the win.

With time winding down, the Stingrays pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker which paid off on Bear Hughes’ fourth goal in the last two games. Hughes set up in the slot and received a perfect pass from Evans to cut the deficit back to one before time ran out.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

NFL Recap: Jacksonville 27 Las Vegas 20 (Final)

SportsDay Photo by Nancy Beecher/Florida Sports Wire
By Mike Bonts
Florida Sports Wire

JACKSONVILLE (Florida Sports Wire) - The Jacksonville Jaguars rallied from a 17-point deficit to defeat the Las Vegas Raiders 27-20 at TIAA Bank Field Sunday afternoon.

The win snapped a five game losing streak.

Travis Etienne ran for two touchdowns. His four yarder at the beginning of the fourth quarter gave Jacksonville their first lead. Etienne ran for 109 yards on 28 carries.

The second half comeback began with a seven yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trevor Lawrence to Christian Kirk that cut the Raiders lead to three points.

Lawrence was 25 of 31 for 235 yards. Kirk has eight catches for 78 yards.

The Raiders (2-6) led the Jaguars (3-6) 20-10 at the half. Las Vegas was looking for their first road win.

Etienne scored on a one-yard run to cut the Las Vegas lead to 17-7 with 4:50 to play in the first half. Riley Patterson made it 20-10 with a 40-yard field goal. He added a 48-yarder with a minute to play.

The Raiders were shut out last week against New Orleans, 24-0. They weren't about to repeat against the Jaguars jumping off to an early17-0 advantage.

QB David Carr threw touchdown passes of 25 and 38 yards to Davante Adams. Carr was 21 of 36 passing for 259 yards. The Raiders' Daniel Carlson made two field goals of 38-yards.

The Jaguars opened the game driving to the Las Vegas 26. Lawrence fumbled. The turnover was recovered by Maxx Crosby and led to the Raiders first score.

The Jaguars visit Kansas City next Sunday. The Raiders host Indianapolis.