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Cards power Weaver with 3 homers in 9-2 win over Reds

Dexter Fowler homered for the third straight game while Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong also homered as St. Louis gained ground in their National League playoff push.
Tommy Pham finished with two doubles, a single and two RBIs and Yadier Molina added a two-run double as the third-place Cardinals (79-72) gained a game on first-place Chicago and second-place Milwaukee in the Central Division and on Colorado in the wild-card race.
Rookie right-hander Luke Weaver retired 10 straight batters in one stretch on the way to his seventh straight winning start, the major leagues' longest active streak.
According to post-game notes provided by the Reds, Weaver is the first Cardinals starting pitcher to have seven consecutive wins in a season since Matt Morris in 2001 and the first St. Louis rookie to do so since Ted Walks in 1944.
The 24-year-old rookie allowed five hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in five innings. He credited his curveball with helping make up for an inconsistent changeup.
Weaver (7-1) has fanned seven or more batters in each of his last seven starts.
Relievers Zach Duke, Seung Hwan Oh, Sandy Alcantara and Sam Tuivailala teamed up to retire the 12 of the final 13 Reds batters.
Carpenter led off the game with his 21st homer. Fowler followed Pham's RBI double in the third with a two-run shot into the right field seats. It was his career-high 18th homer of the season. DeJong added his team-high 24th, the Cardinals' second set of back-to-back homers in two nights.
The Reds broke up Weaver's shutout bid with a two-run fifth. Patrick Kivlehan's drove in Jose Peraza from first with a double and scored on Jesse Winker's single.
Rookie Davis (1-3) gave up all three homers and five runs on five hits with three strikeouts in three innings.
RHP Carlos Martinez, who turns 26 on Thursday, is 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA in two starts against the Reds this season, including a 4-2 loss in Cincinnati on June 5 when he allowed four hits and four runs with two walks and eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.


Peacock, Gurriel lead Astros over White Sox 4-3

Yuli Gurriel had three hits, including a two-run double, Brad Peacock threw six solid innings and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to six games with a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
Peacock (12-2) allowed two runs on one hit with six strikeouts. The right-hander continues to throw well, allowing two runs or fewer in each of his last five starts.
After Yoan Moncada put the White Sox up 2-1 in the top of the fourth with a two-run homer, Gurriel answered with his two-run hit in the bottom half of the inning.
Jose Altuve upped Houston's lead to 4-2 with an RBI single in the seventh, but Yolmer Sanchez cut the lead to one with an RBI double in the eighth.
Joe Musgrove struck out Moncada with the tying run on second to end the eighth and struck out Omar Narvaez with the tying run on second to end the game for his second save.
James Shields (4-7) allowed three runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Shields has given up at least three runs in five of his last six starts.


Rays, Snell end Cubs' 7-game winning streak

Blake Snell gave up two hits in seven shutout innings and the Tampa Bay Rays ended the Chicago Cubs' season-best seven-game winning streak 8-1 on Wednesday night.
The Cubs, who had not lost since being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series in Chicago on Sept. 8-10, are scheduled to open a four-game series in Milwaukee on Thursday night. They held a 3 1/2-game lead over the Brewers entering Wednesday.
Steven Souza Jr. hit his 30th home run in the first inning and the Rays added three more runs in the second off Jon Lester.
Wilson Ramos, who had three of Tampa Bay's 10 hits, made it 7-0 with a two-run single in the fifth that knocked Lester (11-8) out of the game.
Lester, who had won three starts since coming off the disabled list on Sept. 2, gave up seven runs and eight hits with three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He had no strikeouts.
Snell (4-6) gave up singles to John Jay in the third and Addison Russell in the fifth. He walked three and struck out five in seven innings. Snell is 4-0 in 10 starts since July 24.


Cardinals, Cubs Win; White Sox Lose

>>Cardinals Outlast Reds
Dexter Fowler hit a tying homer in the eighth inning and a go-ahead double in the 10th, helping the Cardinals knock off the Cincinnati Reds 8-7 on Tuesday night.
Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong also connected for St. Louis, which was swept by NL Central-leading Chicago over the weekend and had dropped four of five overall. Juan Nicasio (4-5) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win and Tyler Lyons got two outs for his third save.
The third-place Cardinals (78-72) remained six games back of the Cubs in the division. St. Louis also is in the mix for a wild card after missing the playoffs last season.
The Cardinals' winning rally began when Tim Adelman (5-11) hit Kolten Wong with a pitch leading off the 10th. Tommy Pham flied out to right field, but Fowler lined a double into the right-field corner. DeJong added a two-out RBI single.
Cincinnati got one back on Scooter Gennett's 26th homer. But Adam Duvall flied out to center before Lyons retired Scott Schebler and Patrick Kivlehan to end the game.
Cardinals rookie Jack Flaherty lasted just two innings in his fourth major league start. Joey Votto hit an RBI single in the first, Kivlehan added a sacrifice fly in the second and Zack Cozart hit a two-run shot off John Gant in the third, helping the Reds to a 4-0 lead.
It was Cozart's fourth homer in his last seven games and No. 23 on the season.
Reds rookie Jackson Stephens was charged with five runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings.
The teams combined to use 16 pitchers, eight for each team.
Luke Weaver gets the ball when the series resumes on Wednesday night. The rookie is 6-0 with a 1.36 ERA in his last seven games.
Reds RHP Rookie Davis (1-2) pitches for Cincinnati. He worked two innings in relief against St. Louis last Tuesday and allowed two runs and four hits.
>>Cubs Edge Rays in Maddon's Return To Tampa
Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit his 28th home run and the Cubs extended their winning streak to a season-high seven by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Tuesday night.
Maddon managed the Rays from 2006-14, then left to manage Chicago and last year led the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. Chicago is closing in on its third straight postseason berth, holding a 3 1/2-game lead over second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Tampa Bay remained five games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card with 11 to play.
A crowd of 25,046, the largest at the Trop since opening day, gave Maddon a standing ovation after a scoreboard tribute in the middle of the first inning.
Montgomery (7-8) allowed one hit in six innings, a one-out homer in the sixth by Brad Miller. Montgomery struck out six and walked none after pitching just two innings in his previous start 10 days earlier.
Wade Davis threw an inning of perfect relief to complete the one-hitter. Davis struck out the side and remained perfect in 32 save chances.
Chris Archer struck out six for Tampa.
Jon Lester (11-7) will pitch for the Cubs on Wednesday night against LHP Blake Snell (3-6). Lester, who lost to the Rays on July 4, has won three straight starts.
>>Astros Down White Sox
Collin McHugh pitched five steady innings in his return from a detached fingernail, and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to five games Tuesday night with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Jose Altuve homered and Alex Bregman hit an RBI double for the AL West champions. McHugh (3-2) allowed one run and five hits with five strikeouts, an encouraging sign as the Astros prepare for the playoffs.
Will Harris, Luke Gregerson and Chris Devenski each threw a scoreless inning before Ken Giles pitched the ninth for his 32nd save.
Altuve went the other way for his 24th home run, a solo shot to right field in the fourth. Bregman knocked in Marwin Gonzalez later in the inning to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.
George Springer made it 3-1 in the eighth, just getting his fingertips on home plate and avoiding Kevan Smith's tag.
Jose Abreu hit an RBI double in the third to put the White Sox up 1-0. Yoan Moncada had three singles for the White Sox.
Lucas Giolito (2-3) threw well for a second straight start, giving up two runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings for Chicago.
James Shields (4-6) goes for his third straight win Wednesday. 
Brad Peacock (11-2) makes his 20th start of the season, looking for another strong outing after allowing one run in six innings Thursday against the Angels.


Former Bears CB Charles Tillman Training For FBI According to Report

According to the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs, Former Bears and Panthers cornerback, Charles 'Peanut' Tillman is training to join the FBI.
The FBI, though, wouldn't confirm the report.
"We don't speak about personnel matters," special agent Garrett Croon, a spokesman for the Chicago bureau, told the Tribune.
Tillman graduated from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. His dad served in the military. And Tillman won the NFL's Salute to Service award after the 2012 season.
Tillman is 36 years old. According to the Tribune, the FBI requires special agents to be younger than 37 at the time of appointment. 
Tillman, drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft, spent the first 12 years of his career in Chicago, racking up 36 picks, eight defensive touchdowns, and an insane 42 forced fumbles. He played for the Panthers in 2015 and added two interceptions and two forced fumbles to his resume. He's a sneaky Hall of Fame candidate. 


PGA Tour Releases 2018 Schedule

Golfers on the PGA Tour will compete for $363 million over 49 events in the 2017-18 PGA Tour season. The full schedule was released on Tuesday, and it includes two additional events from the 2016-17 season. Those two tournaments are the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in the fall and the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, which will be played opposite the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in the spring.
Other than those two events, the schedule looks more or less like it did in 2016-17. There will be a couple of new golf courses used (Trinity Forest for the Byron Nelson, Ridgewood Country Club for The Northern Trust and Aronimink Golf Club for the BMW Championship), but everything else remains the same.
In terms of weeks off, there won't be many. The fall series runs from Oct. 5 to Nov. 19 before a break until the Tournament of Champions starts on Jan. 4, 2018. Then it's every week until the FedEx Cup playoffs, three playoff events, an off week and then the Tour Championship.
The bigger changes won't take place until 2019 when The Players Championship moves back to March and the PGA Championship goes to May. That year, FedEx Cup Playoffs could be shortened and more events could be taken from the spring and summer and thrown into the fall wraparound schedule to try to get away from the season ending at the beginning of football.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational will be March 15-18 while the first major of the season, the Masters, falls on April 5-8. 
The US Open will play June 14-18 while The Open Championship will be July 19-22.
The Major schedule rounds out with the PGA Championship August 19-22.


Bears Sticking With Glennon; Packers on the Mend

>>Bears Sticking With Glennon
Mike Glennon remains the Chicago Bears' starting quarterback for now.
Coach John Fox says Glennon will start against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend despite a rough outing at Tampa Bay that fueled more calls for No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky.
He says the Bears "still feel pretty good" with the fifth-year pro and insists the problems in Sunday's 29-7 loss at Tampa Bay go beyond the quarterback.
Even so, Glennon flopped in his return to the city where he spent his first four years. Signed by Chicago in the offseason, he threw two interceptions with one getting returned for a touchdown. He also lost a fumble on a sack, leading to another TD for Tampa Bay.
>>Packers Hit Hard By Injuries in Loss To Falcons
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday the team's medical staff was still "trying to get their hands around" the avalanche of injuries that occurred during the team's 34-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night, although none of the injuries appear to be season-ending.
Already forced to play without starting offensive tackles David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bryan Bulaga (ankle), the Packers lost standout defensive tackle Mike Daniels to a hamstring injury on the Falcons' first offensive possession. Then wide receiver Jordy Nelson, Aaron Rodgers' top offensive weapon, sustained a quadriceps injury on the Packers' first possession. Neither player returned to the game.
After that, the Packers lost wide receiver Randall Cobb (shoulder), safety Kentrell Brice (groin) and cornerback Davon House (quadriceps). Veteran right guard Jahri Evans suffered a groin injury but finished the game without missing a snap.
The Packers have to play two games in a 12-day span, facing the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and then hosting the Chicago Bears in a Thursday night game on Sept. 28.
Without Bulaga and Bakhtiari, the Packers started second-year tackle Kyle Murphy on the left side, one week after he'd made his first career NFL start on the right side. Justin McCray, who had never played a regular-season offensive snap in the NFL, started on the right side.
McCarthy had no update on the severity of Nelson's quadriceps injury, which was to his right leg. Nelson tore the ACL in his right knee in 2015. Cobb said he injured his shoulder early on and then hurt it later in the game and had to come out. Cobb played through two shoulder injuries in 2015.
>>Lions Dominate Giants
Matthew Stafford threw for two touchdowns, rookie Jamal Agnew broke the game open with an 88-yard punt return and the Lions beat the Giants 24-10 on Monday night.
The Lions (2-0) sacked Eli Manning five times and Stafford put together another big game while sending the Giants (0-2) to a second straight disappointing performance. Star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. returned from a sprained left ankle, but New York still struggled offensively.
Stafford found Marvin Jones for a 27-yard touchdown in the first quarter and passed to Eric Ebron for a go-ahead 7-yarder in the second. Matt Prater added a 56-yard field goal just before halftime that bounced off the upright, helping the Lions to a 17-7 lead at the break.
Ezekiel Ansah had three sacks as Detroit joined Atlanta and Carolina as the only unbeaten teams in the NFC through Week 2.
Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowler who missed the season opener, had four catches for 36 yards in limited action.
Manning threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Evan Engram on the first play of the second quarter, but the rookie tight end was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for a seemingly obscene gesture.
New York closed to 17-10 on Aldrick Rosas' 25-yard field goal early in the second half, but it wasted a chance for a TD. The Giants had first-and-goal at the 1 and then got pushed back to the 11 on a holding penalty on a first-down run.
Manning was 22 for 32 for 239 yards for New York, while Stafford was 15 for 21 for 122 yards. The NFL's highest-paid player threw for four touchdowns in Detroit's season-opening victory against Arizona.


Brewers Blank Pirates, Pull Closer To Cubs

Brent Suter pitched five efficient innings, Ryan Braun homered and Milwaukee beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 to gain ground in its playoff chase.
Milwaukee pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Cubs in the NL Central and two games behind the Rockies for the final NL wild card. Chicago and Colorado were both off Monday.
Suter allowed five hits and struck out four, throwing just 64 pitches before handing off to the bullpen.
Five relievers split the final four innings, with Corey Knebel pitching the ninth for his 36th save in 41 tries.
Braun's solo shot, his 17th of the season, came in the fourth inning off starter Jameson Taillon (7-7).
Travis Shaw hit an RBI single in the eighth. It was Shaw's team-leading 96th RBI this year.


Illinois State Drops Eastern Illinois; Northern Illinois Stuns Nebraska

>>Illinois State Topples Eastern Illinois
James Robinson rushed for 89 yards with a pair of touchdowns and Illinois State took care of longtime in-state rival Eastern Illinois 44-13 on Saturday in the 106th Mid-America Classic.
Robinson had a 22-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 1-yard plunge in the second as the Redbirds (2-0) built a 27-6 lead at intermission. Markel Smith added a 57-yard scoring run with just under six minutes before halftime.
Eastern Illinois (1-2) used a 14-play, 80-yard drive, culminated in Scotty Gilkey Jr.'s 3-yard touchdown run, to trim its deficit to 27-13. But ISU responded with Jake Kolbe's 80-yard touchdown pass to Robert Gillum to re-establish a three-touchdown advantage.
Julian Hess blocked a punt in the first quarter for Eastern Illinois and Mack Weaver took it 15 yards for a touchdown.
Illinois State has won 11 of the last 16 games in the series.
>>Northern Illinois Stuns Nebraska
Jordan Huff scored the winning touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, and Northern Illinois made two big defensive stops to finish a 21-17 upset of Nebraska on Saturday.
The Huskies (2-1) became the first non-Power Five conference member or major independent to win in Lincoln since Southern Mississippi knocked off the Cornhuskers in 2004. Northern Illinois is now 4-1 against Big Ten teams under fifth-year coach Rod Carey.
Nebraska had two chances with the ball after Northern Illinois went ahead. But Mycial Allen broke up a pass on fourth-and-7, and Tanner Lee threw his third interception of the game, allowing the Huskies to go into victory formation with 1:36 left.
Drew Brown's 36-yard field goal made it a four-point game entering the fourth quarter, and Lee reached the ball over the goal line to put the Huskers up 17-14. The Huskies then went 75 yards in six plays to take the lead for good.


Bears, Packers Lose Sunday

>>Tampa Bay Pounces Early, Routs Bears
Jameis Winston and Co. played like a team with heightened expectations in winning their season opener 29-7 on Sunday.
Winston threw for 204 yards and one touchdown, the Bucs' defense stymied former teammate Mike Glennon with four turnovers, and the sloppy Bears (0-2) didn't get into the zone until Deonte Thompson scored on a 14-yard reception with 1:43 remaining.
Winston completed 18 of 30 passes without an interception. He threw a 13-yard TD pass to Mike Evans, who had seven catches for 93 yards.
Glennon, who signed with Chicago as a free agent last winter, was 31 of 45 for 301 yards and two interceptions in his return to the city where he played for the first four years of his career . The Bears finished with 310 yards total offense, 1 yard less than a Bucs offense that hasn't had much work in the past month.
After opening the season with a solid performance in a 23-17 loss to defending NFC champion Atlanta , the Bears turned over the ball four times in the opening half, helping Winston build a 26-0 halftime lead.
The Bears return home to face Pittsburgh.
>>Falcons Hold Off Packers
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons picked up where they left off against the Green Bay Packers, building a big halftime lead on the way to a dominating 34-23 victory Sunday night. 
The rematch of last season's NFC championship game was essentially a repeat: Ryan threw for 252 yards and a touchdown, Devonta Freeman had a couple of scoring runs, and Desmond Trufant darted to the end zone off an attempted pass by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers that was ruled a fumble.
Ryan threw for 201 yards in the first half, getting Jones involved in the offense. Freeman rushed for 84 yards, and Tevin Coleman chipped in with 42 on the ground plus a touchdown catch. Trufant not only scored a defensive touchdown, he came up with a crucial interception near the end of the first half.
Green Bay returns to Lambeau Field to face the Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) next Sunday.


Cubs Sweep Cardinals; White Sox Avoid Being No-Hit

>>Cubs Hold Off Cardinals
Jason Heyward hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh, Dexter Fowler's bid for another big homer came up just short and the Cubs swept the St. Louis Cardinals with a 4-3 victory on Sunday.
Ben Zobrist drove in two runs and Kyle Schwarber hit his 27th homer as the NL Central-leading Cubs closed out a 6-3 homestand with their sixth consecutive victory. They stayed four games ahead of Milwaukee and increased their advantage over third-place St. Louis to six games.
Pedro Strop (5-4) worked a rocky seventh for the win and Davis got his 31st save in 31 chances. The right-hander also saved Saturday's 4-1 win.
St. Louis went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base in its fourth loss in five games, damaging its chances of making the playoffs. Lance Lynn lasted just four innings, allowing five hits and three runs.
The Cubs' winning rally began when Anthony Rizzo was grazed on his sleeve by a pitch from Tyler Lyons (4-1). The play was originally ruled a ball, but then was overturned by a replay review.
Rizzo advanced to second on Javier Baez's pinch-hit single and took third when Ian Happ beat out a potential double-play grounder. Heyward then hit a two-out liner into left field against Matt Bowman, making it 4-3.
St. Louis put runners on second and third with two out in the sixth, but Carl Edwards Jr. struck out Randal Grichuk to end the inning. Brian Duensing fanned Carpenter with the bases loaded for the final out of the eighth.
>>Tigers Rout White Sox
Matthew Boyd calmly retired Yoan Moncada to finish his first professional shutout in the Detroit Tigers' 12-0 rout of the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
After retiring Adam Engel and pinch-hitter Kevan Smith to start the ninth, Boyd fell behind Anderson 2-0, then threw a changeup low on the outside corner. Anderson sliced it to the opposite field, and it landed just short of the wall as right fielder Nicholas Castellanos gave chase.
Boyd (6-10) allowed only two runners - a walk to Rob Brantly in the third and Anderson's double. He struck out five and threw 121 pitches - his big-league high.
Chicago starter Dylan Covey (0-6) allowed five runs, seven hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Castellanos extended his hitting streak to a career-long 14 games with a two-run double in the third, and Mikie Mahtook's two-run homer off Chris Beck made it 7-0 in the fifth, leaving the focus squarely on Boyd.
Chicago is off Monday before a three-game series in Houston. Lucas Giolito (2-2, 2.56) is scheduled to start for the White Sox.
Castellanos kept Detroit's offense rolling in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run homer, and Candelario's three-run shot in the eighth made it 12-0.



>>Truex Opens NASCAR Playoffs With Win
Martin Truex Jr. backed up his regular-season dominance with a victory Sunday in NASCAR's playoff opener at Chicagoland Speedway.
Truex again proved he'll be the driver to beat over the final nine races as he chases his first Cup championship. Truex raced to his fifth victory of the season and earned an automatic berth in the second round of the playoffs, earning even more points in his bid to compete for the title in the finale at Homestead.
Truex had a nearly 7-second lead over Chase Elliott in the final laps and won at Chicagoland for the second straight season.
Elliott was second, followed by Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.
Truex's No. 78 Toyota needed four tries through pre-race inspection before the car was cleared. By the end, there was no doubt the path to the NASCAR championship goes through Truex.
>>Allgaier Wins XFinity Series Race Saturday
Justin Allgaier pulled away off the final restart and won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Allgaier, from nearby Riverton, won for the second time this season in NASCAR's second-tier series. JR Motorsports had a banner day with Allgaier's win and the official coronation of Elliott Sadler's regular-season championship.
Xfinity opens its postseason next week at Kentucky Speedway.
Sadler and Allgaier were locked into the playoff field. Jeremy Clements, Cole Custer, Matt Tifft, William Byron, Ryan Reed, Brennan Poole, Daniel Hemric, Michael Annett, Blake Koch and Brendan Gaughan are the rest of the playoff drivers.
Cup regular Kyle Larson was second at Chicagoland.
Byron, who will replace Kasey Kahne in the No. 5 car next year at Hendrick Motorsports, enters the postseason as the points leader.


Leishman Takes BMW Championship

Given another opportunity to win, Marc Leishman didn't give anyone much of a chance in the BMW Championship.
Staked to a five-shot lead, Leishman made back-to-back birdies late in the final round Sunday to put away the final challenge, then closed with a birdie for a 4-under 67 to set the tournament record.
The five-shot victory sends him to East Lake next week for the Tour Championship with a clear shot at winning the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus.
Leishman finished at 23-under 261, breaking the 72-hole tournament record previously set by Tiger Woods in 2007.
The drama was in the race for the top 30 in the FedEx Cup. PGA Tour rookies Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay made key birdies late to get to East Lake.


Clemson Closing in On Alabama in AP, Coaches Polls

Alabama remains the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 , but Clemson has overtaken the No. 2 spot from Oklahoma and picked up more than a dozen first-place votes after beating Louisville and Lamar Jackson on Saturday night. 
The AP Top 25 voters has not given up on LSU. The Tigers fell 13 spots from the No. 12 ranking from a week ago but held on in the new poll at No. 25, while Mississippi State showed up in the rankings for the first time this season at No. 17. 
Ranked teams losing on the road was a theme this week, and it's possible that LSU's standing in the poll was helped by other results that changed up the order in spots 15-25, like Kansas State losing at Vanderbilt, Stanford losing at San Diego State, and Tennessee losing at Florida on Feleipe Franks' absurd Hail Mary. 
Those upset wins were impressive enough to not only put the Bulldogs in the top 25 but also San Diego State, making its 2017 poll debut at No. 22. Utah and Oregon also broke into the rankings this week.   
The first updated college football rankings after the action from Week 3 still pegs Alabama as the No. 1 team in the country, followed by Clemson and Oklahoma to round out the top three. USC and Michigan each moved down just one spot, to No. 5 and No. 8 respectively, after close wins but for the most part, the top of the poll featured no major changes. 
LSU took a dive in the rankings from No. 11 to No. 23 after losing at Mississippi State, and the upset win has propelled the Bulldogs into the top 25 at No. 19. Oregon and San Diego State also moved up into the top 25 at No. 24 and No. 25, replacing Kansas State, Stanford and Tennessee. 


Week 4 Football Scores

Central Illinois Conference:


Decatur St. Teresa 58, Meridian 28, F

Sullivan-Okaw Valley 6, Warrensburg-Latham 66, F

Tuscola 47, Shelbyville 44, F


Illini Praire:


Champaign St. Thomas More 6, Illinois Valley Central 41, F

Prairie Central 24, Pontiac 34, F

St. Joseph-Ogden 0, Unity 41, F

Olympia 12, Bloomington Central Catholic 49, F




Charleston 24, Mattoon 41, F

Lincoln 14, Effingham 63, F

Mahomet-Seymour 12, Taylorville 31, F


Big Twelve:


Champaign Centennial 6, Champaign Central 42, F

Normal Community 50, Normal West 16, F

Peoria Manual 20, Peoria Richwoods 60, F

Peoria Notre Dame 80, Peoria 52, F-OT

Urbana 6, Danville 44, F


Central State Eight:


Decatur MacArthur 49, Jacksonville 13, F

Rochester 44, Normal U-High 7, F

Springfield Lanphier 34, Decatur Eisenhower 33, F

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 42, Chatham Glenwood 0, F

Springfield Southeast 0, Springfield 42,F


Heart of Illinois Large:


Tri-Valley 49, Ridgeview 8, F

Dee-Mack 42, El Paso-Gridley 28, F

Fieldcrest 13, Eureka 21, F


Heart of Illinois Small:


Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 8, Fisher 40, F

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 47, LeRoy 0, F

Tremont 40, Heyworth 24, F


Little Okaw Valley (Northwest):


Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 0, Decatur LSA 45, F

Sangamon Valley 6, Cerro Gordo-Bement 31, F


Little Okaw Valley (Southeast):


Oblong 15, Palestine 6, F

Toledo Cumberland 48, Martinsville 6, F

Villa Grove-Heritage 44, Oakland Tri-County 12, F




Limestone 6, Morton 63, F

Canton 7, Pekin 31, F

Dunlap 47, East Peoria 0, F

Metamora 7, Washington 26, F




Auburn 21, Athens 56, F

Maroa-Forsyth 21, Pleasant Plains 13, F

New Berlin 50, Pittsfield 30, F

Riverton 7, Petersburg PORTA 30, F

Williamsville 56, Virden North Mac 12, F




Kankakee 16, Bloomington 22, F



Illinois St tops E Illinois in 106th Mid-America Classic

James Robinson rushed for 89 yards with a pair of touchdowns and Illinois State took care of longtime in-state rival Eastern Illinois 44-13 on Saturday in the 106th Mid-America Classic.
Robinson had a 22-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 1-yard plunge in the second as the Redbirds (2-0) built a 27-6 lead at intermission. Markel Smith added a 57-yard scoring run with just under six minutes before halftime.
Eastern Illinois (1-2) used a 14-play, 80-yard drive, culminated in Scotty Gilkey Jr.'s 3-yard touchdown run, to trim its deficit to 27-13. But ISU responded with Jake Kolbe's 80-yard touchdown pass to Robert Gillum to re-establish a three-touchdown advantage.
Julian Hess blocked a punt in the first quarter for Eastern Illinois and Mack Weaver took it 15 yards for a touchdown.
Illinois State has won 11 of the last 16 games in the series.


No. 22 USF starts slowly before rolling over Illinois 47-23

Quinton Flowers threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns and No. 22 South Florida returned from a Hurricane Irma-imposed layoff to rout Illinois 47-23 on Friday night.
Flowers moved ahead of Matt Grothe and B.J. Daniels into second place on USF's career touchdown pass list with 53. The 2016 American Athletic Conference offensive player of the year also scored his 32nd rushing touchdown, tying Marlon Mack's school record.
The Bulls (3-0) beat a Big Ten opponent for the first time on a night USF honored first responders who worked the past week to help victims of the massive storm that impacted the entire state of Florida.
Illinois (2-1) stumbled in what also was a homecoming of sorts for coach Lovie Smith, who returned to the stadium where he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons before being fired and accepting the challenge of rebuilding the Illini.
Illini freshman Mike Epstein scored on a 46-yard run and a 21-yard pass from Jeff George Jr., who replaced starter Chayce Crouch in the second half.
Flowers completed 15 of 25 passes, including TD throws of 39 yards to Deangelo Antoine, 17 yards to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 17 yards to D'Ernest Johnson and 13 yards to Tyre McCants. Flowers also scored on a 6-yard run on the last play of the first half and finished with a team-best 106 of USF's 376 yards rushing.
Johnson and Darius Tice joined Flowers in topping 100 yards rushing, with USF amassing 680 yards total offense to Illinois' 354.


Monticello Drops Rantoul

As heard on WEZC and dewittdailynews.com Friday night, Braden Snyder accounted for five touchdowns and over 300 yards of total offense as the Monticello Sages defeated Rantoul 50-13 in Rantoul in Illini Prairie Conference football action.

Snyder threw three touchdowns for 276 yards and ran for 43 more yards and two scores.


Asher Bradd caught two touchdowns and Alek Bundy caught the other score. Dylan Thomas caught a 60 yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Nic Tackels.


Eric Cole and Dillion Harper ran for touchdowns for the Eagles who drop to 1-3 on the season.


The Sages are now 4-0 on the year and host Bloomington Central Catholic next Friday night.


Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.



Clinton Fall to Central A&M

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Central A&M Raiders by a score of 28-18 on homecomng. The Clinton Maroons were led by Bryson Carson who had 20 carries for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Ty Berter was 9 of 16 passing for 117 yards and a touchdown. Clayton Welch had five carries for 63 yards. Garrett Hayden was named the Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game. Hayden had two sacks and contributed to Carson's good game.


The Raiders were led by Riley Black with 22 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown. Jamison Smith was 9 of 14 passing for 198 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Jacob Paradee had eight catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.


With the loss the Maroons fall to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the Central Illinois Conference. Central A&M improve to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference action.


Tune in Friday, September 22, as the Maroons take on the St. Teresa Bulldogs. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.


Monticello vs Rantoul

The final score of tonight's game is Sages 50, Eagles 12.


Maroons Host Central A&M For Homecoming

The Clinton Maroons are home for Homecoming week as they welcome the Central A&M Raiders to Sprague Field for a Central Illinois Conference matchup tonight.
The Maroons are off a 46-0 loss last Friday night at second ranked Tuscola. 
The Maroons enter action 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the CIC.
A&M is 3-0 after a 40-20 win over Meridian last week.
Game time tonight is 7 pm. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Central Illinois matchups tonight....
Decatur St. Teresa at Meridian
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Warrensburg-Latham
Tuscola at Shelbyville


Monticello At Rantoul

A stretch of three of four to start the season on the road this week as Monticello heads to Rantoul to take on the Eages in Illini Prairie football action.
The Sages routed Champaign St. Thomas More 46-0 last Friday in their home opener.
The Sages, who play just four home games in 2017 will wrap up a stretch where their opponents record is a combined 2-7.
Rantoul beat Olympia last week in Stanford, 40-20.
Hear tonight's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com starting at 7 pm.
Illini Prairie action tonight....
Champaign St. Thomas More at Illinois Valley Central
Prairie Central at Pontiac
St. Joseph-Ogden at Unity
Olympia at Bloomington Central Catholic
Week 3 matchups in central Illinois....
Charleston at Mattoon
Lincoln at Effingham
Mahomet-Seymour at Taylorville
Big Twelve
Champaign Centennial at Champaign Central
Normal Community at Normal West
Peoria Manual at Peoria Richwoods
Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria
Urbana at Danville
Central State Eight
Decatur MacArthur at Jacksonville
Rochester at Normal U-High
Springfield Lanphier at Decatur Eisenhower
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Chatham Glenwood
Springfield Southeast at Springfield 
Heart of Illinois Large
Tri-Valley at Ridgeview
Dee-Mack at El Paso-Gridley
Fieldcrest at Eureka
Heart of Illinois (Small)
Flanagan-Cornell-Cornell-Woodland at Fisher
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley) at LeRoy
Tremont at Heyworth
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest)
Arcola at Argenta-Oreana (Sat.)
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Decatur LSA 
Sangamon Valley at Cerro Gordo-Bement
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast)
Oblong at Palestine
Toledo Cumberland at Martinsville
Villa Grove-Heritage at Oakland Tri-County
Limestone at Morton
Canton at Pekin
Dunlap at East Peoria
Metamora at Washington
Auburn at Athens
Maroa-Forsyth at Pleasant Plains
New Berlin at Pittsfield
Riverton at Petersburg PORTA
Williamsville at Virden North Mac
Non-conference action....
Kankakee at Bloomington


Illinois At South Florida Tonight

The Fighting Illini will travel to No. 22 South Florida for a Friday night matchup on ESPN. 
Illinois (2-0) is looking for its first 3-0 start since 2011.
Florida is home to 14 current Illini and the former home of head coach Lovie Smith. Smith returns to Raymond James Stadium, his old home stadium when he was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Freshman runningback Mike Epstein had 21 carries for 111 yards against Western Kentucky last week in a 20-7 victory. 
South Florida had their matchup with UConn cancled last Saturday due to Hurricane Irma. 
Game time tonight is 6 pm central.


Illinois State, Eastern Illinois Square Off Saturday

Coming off a bye week following a dominant 45-0 win in the season-opener against Butler, No. 14 Illinois State travels to Charleston, Illinois, to face longtime in-state rival Eastern Illinois in the 106th Mid-America Classic at O'Brien Field.
Transfer running back Markel Smith made an immediate impact for the Redbirds in his first game in an ISU uniform. The St. Louis native carried the ball 10 times for 88 yards and scored his first touchdown for the Redbirds in the 45-0 rout over Butler.
Mitch Kimble hit six straight passes during the Panthers final drive including a 15-yard touchdown to Dennis Turner with three seconds remaining that gave EIU the 22-20 win at Indiana State.
The Panthers lost at Northern Illinois last Saturday afternoon.
Hear Saturday's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW starting at 1 pm. 


Cardinals Top Reds

Luke Weaver threw six innings of two-hit ball, Tommy Pham drove in two runs and stole two bases, and the Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 on Thursday.
The Cardinals, who are chasing the first-place Cubs in the NL Central and the Rockies in the wild-card standings, have won five of their last six and nine of 12.
Weaver (6-1), a rookie right-hander, allowed one unearned run, struck out six and didn't walk a batter.
Rookie left-hander Amir Garrett (3-8) was charged with four runs in four innings. He struck out seven and walked five.
The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the second when Scott Schebler hit a double and scored with two outs when shortstop Paul DeJong mishandled Phillip Ervin's grounder.
Garrett struck out four consecutive batters before running into trouble with back-to-back, full-count walks with two outs in the third.
After a stolen base by Pham and a double steal by Pham and DeJong, Jose Martinez came through with a full-count, two-run single to left to put St. Louis ahead.
Pham hit a two-run homer in the fifth, his 20th of the season. With 21 stolen bases, he became the first Cardinals player to record a 20/20 season since Reggie Sanders in 2004.
Carlos Martinez (11-10, 3.33) opens a three-game series against the Cubs in Chicago opposite RHP John Lackey (11-11, 4.65). Martinez is 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA in four career starts at Wrigley Field.


White Sox Overpower Tigers

Yoan Moncada had  four hits, including a homer, walked twice and scored five runs as the White Sox pounded out 25 hits and routed the Detroit Tigers 17-7.
Moncada is 10 for 19 in his last four games after switching to using Jose Abreu's bats.
Avisail Garcia also homered as part of a big game, setting career highs with five hits and seven RBIs in the ballpark where he started his career.
Jose Abreu added four hits for Chicago, which has won five of six.
Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Nicholas Castellanos and Jeimer Canderlario homered for Detroit. The Tigers got six extra-base hits to Chicago's four, but lost their sixth in a row.
James Shields (4-6) won for the first time on the road since May 12, 2016, a span of 18 starts.
Chad Bell (0-3) allowed six runs on nine hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings. 
Tim Anderson, who had three hits, had a two-run single in the fourth that put Chicago ahead 4-2. Garcia hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run sixth that made it 10-2.
The Tigers used eight pitchers, and six of them gave up runs.
The teams continue their four-game series on Friday night, with Detroit's Anibal Sanchez (3-4, 7.43) facing Carson Fulmer (2-1, 6.00).


Bears in Tampa Sunday

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers scheduled opener at Miami was moved to November because of Irma's approach toward South Florida, and many players fled the state to protect their families. Now they will begin the franchise's 42nd NFL season with plenty of fascinating unanswered questions when the Bears (0-1) visit Raymond James Stadium after a 23-17 home loss against the Atlanta Falcons.
Bears coach John Fox said he believes the Bucs gained a strategic advantage. He has mostly seen vanilla film of his opponent, while the Bucs already have carefully dissected Chicago's opener.
Third-year Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, who didn't play in the team's final preseason game, is the only player in NFL history with 4,000-yard passing performances in each of his first two seasons. He has a new target in 10-year veteran DeSean Jackson, who will team with Mike Evans (96 catches for 1,321 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2016).
Glennon, who was 26 of 40 for 213 yards against the Falcons, started 18 games for the Bucs in 2013-14. After Winston's arrival as the draft's No. 1 overall pick, Glennon didn't play at all in 2015 and attempted just 11 passes in the 2016 regular season.


Rizzo, Heyward lead surging Cubs to sweep of Mets, 14-6

Anthony Rizzo homered and had three hits, Jason Heyward went deep and drove in four and the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 14-6 on Thursday night.
Chicago's offense helped overcome a shaky debut by pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng to complete a three-game sweep.
The Cubs outscored the Mets 39-14 this week after being outscored 20-3 in a weekend three-game sweep by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Kris Bryant added two RBIs as the Cubs extended their NL Central lead to three games over Milwaukee and St. Louis, with the Cardinals coming to Wrigley Field for three games this weekend.
Tseng allowed five runs in three innings. Mike Montgomery (6-8) and Brian Duensing followed Tseng with two scoreless innings each.
Seth Lugo (6-5) was charged with eight runs, seven earned, with nine hits and a walk over three innings.


Chicago Bulls sign center Diamond Stone

The Chicago Bulls have signed center Diamond Stone.
Taken in the second round by New Orleans and traded to the Clippers on draft night in 2016, the 6-foot-11 Stone appeared in seven games for the Clippers. He played one season at Maryland, averaging 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds.


Packers in Atlanta for Sunday Night Football

Eight months ago, the Green Bay Packers took an eight-game winning streak to Atlanta for the NFC Championship Game against the Falcons.
It was a massacre. The Falcons held a 24-point lead at halftime and coasted to a 44-21 victory.
Reigning MVP Matt Ryan finished with 392 passing yards and four touchdowns (plus one rushing score), with 271 yards and three total TDs in the first half alone. Jones caught nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns, including a 73-yarder to start the second half.
ith free-agent addition Davon House added to the starting lineup and Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins past last year's groin injuries, Green Bay limited Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson to 14-of-27 passing and 158 yards in last week's 17-9 victory.
The Packers' defense will face a much bigger challenge against the Falcons' high-flying attack. With Ryan throwing for almost 5,000 yards and posting the fourth-best passer rating in NFL history, the Falcons piled up 540 points last season -- tied for the eighth-most of all-time.
That unit got off to somewhat of a slow start in last week's 23-17 victory at Chicago. While Ryan threw for 321 yards -- including an 88-yard touchdown by tight end Austin Hooper -- the Falcons' longest running play (other than a Ryan scramble) went for just seven yards.
While the Packers earned an impressive victory against a fellow NFC powerhouse last week, the Falcons needed Brooks Reed's fourth-and-goal sack to hold off the rebuilding Bears. 
The game will be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium -- the first regular-season game to be played in the retractable-roof stadium.


Leishman opens with a 62 to lead BMW Championship

Marc Leishman left his clubs in the garage during his week break from the FedEx Cup playoffs and it didn't make a difference. He had 10 birdies in his opening round of 9-under 62 and built a two-shot lead in the BMW Championship.
Leishman finished third two weeks ago at the TPC Boston and moved to No. 7 in the FedEx Cup. His goal is to get into the top five going into the final event at the Tour Championship.
Jason Day, playing for the first time using a high school friend as his caddie, was 7 under for his last 11 holes and shot 64. Jamie Lovemark and Charley Hoffman also opened at 64.
Jordan Spieth had a bogey-free 65, while Phil Mickelson shot 66.


Illinois To Play in Tampa Friday; Big Ten Adding Opening Week Matchups

>>Buccaneers, USF will host games in Tampa this weekend
There will be football in Tampa this weekend, and the Buccaneers will finally get to start a season delayed by Hurricane Irma's wrath.
The Bucs announced that they will be able to host the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay couldn't play at Miami as scheduled in Week 1 because of the storm.
Buccaneers CEO Brian Ford says "hosting the game is important to us, as Tampa Bay has been through a lot over the past few days.
Also, No. 22 South Florida is resuming practice Tuesday and will play host to Illinois on Friday, also at Raymond James.
USF athletic director Mark Harlan says "we are confident that Friday's game can proceed safely as scheduled without impacting the recovery efforts."
>>Big Ten will increase Week 1 conference games in 2020, '21
The Big Ten will increase its number of conference football games in the opening weeks of the season in 2020 and 2021.
There also is a change in rivalry week in schedules announced Tuesday. Iowa will meet Wisconsin and Nebraska will play Minnesota the last week of the regular season in 2020 and 2021. Iowa and Nebraska have closed the regular season against each other since the Cornhuskers joined the conference in 2011.
East Division teams will have five home conference games and West teams will have four in 2020. The split will be reversed in 2021.
The 2020 season opens Sept. 5 with Indiana at Wisconsin, Northwestern at Michigan State and Purdue at Nebraska. The 2021 season opens Sept. 4 with Indiana at Iowa, Michigan State at Northwestern, Ohio State at Minnesota and Penn State at Wisconsin.


Cubs, Cardinals Win; White Sox Lose

>>Bryant homers as Cubs beat Mets 8-3
Kris Bryant hit a three-run homer, Jose Quintana pitched seven effective innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 8-3 on Tuesday night for a sorely needed victory.
Quintana (10-11) also helped himself at the plate with a pair of sacrifices, including a perfectly placed safety squeeze that drove in Kyle Schwarber in the fourth. Quintana got another bunt down in the sixth, sending Javier Baez to third ahead of Ben Zobrist's RBI single.
Chicago had lost three in a row and six of eight, making for a crowded race at the top of the NL Central. St. Louis and Milwaukee also won Tuesday night, so the Cubs remained two games ahead of the Cardinals and 2 1/2 games better than the third-place Brewers.
>>Brandon Moss grand slam lifts Royals over White Sox 4-3
Moss hit a grand slam in the first Tuesday for his third consecutive game with a homer, leading the Royals to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Alexander worked out of a ninth-inning jam for his fourth save in six chances. He yielded a double to Adam Engel and a single to Yolmer Sanchez to lead off the inning. He struck out Yoan Moncada, retired Jose Abreu on a pop to Whit Merrifield and got pinch hitter Matt Davidson on a grounder to end the game.
White Sox rookie Dylan Covey (0-5) walked the bases loaded in the opening inning before Moss drove a full-count fastball to right-center
Covey allowed just one more hit, a double to Eric Hosmer to lead off the sixth, before leaving after 5 2/3 innings. He threw 34 of his 83 pitches in the first inning and walked only one, Moss in the fourth, after the first.
Sam Gaviglio (4-5) picked up his first Royals victory in his second start after being picked up on waivers Sept. 1 from Seattle. He yielded two runs on seven hits over five innings.
Sanchez's double in the third scored Rymer Liriano, who had singled and stole second, for the first White Sox run.
Delmonico and Avisail Garcia led off the White Sox fourth with singles. Tim Anderson's one-out single scored Delmonico and advanced Garcia to third. Anderson swiped second, his 10th stolen base in 11 attempts. Gaviglio prevented further damage by striking out Lirano and retiring Engel on a grounder.
The White Sox trimmed the lead to one run in the eighth when Rob Brantly's double off Peter Moylan scored Delmonico.
White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito was ejected by plate umpire Gabe Morales in the sixth inning in his Friday start for arguing balls and strikes. He gets the ball tonight opposite Royals LHP Eric Skoglund. He has not pitched since Sept. 2 when he threw 81 pitches in three innings of relief against the Twins, giving up a three-run homer to Brian Dozier.
>>DeJong, Molina power Cardinals to a 13-4 rout of Reds
DeJong homered, Yadier Molina drove in three runs and the streaking Cardinals outslugged the Cincinnati Reds 13-4 on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals have won four straight and six of their last seven to stay two games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
DeJong's drive to center, his first homer since Sept. 3, gave the Cardinals a 9-4 lead in the sixth. His team-leading 22 homers are the most in a season by a Cardinals shortstop, bettering Jhonny Peralta's 21 in 2014.
DeJong was a triple away from a cycle when he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh.
Molina's two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the first gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. He drove in his 10th run over his past three games with a single in the sixth. Molina leads the team with 75 RBIs.
Matt Carpenter walked a career-best four times, doubled in a run and scored twice.
Lance Lynn (11-7) allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits in five innings.
Robert Stephenson (4-5) was pulled after three innings, the shortest career outing for the Reds rookie. He allowed six runs, four earned, and all three of his walks scored. Cincinnati walked nine batters and lost its third of four.


Bears place linebacker Jerrell Freeman on injured reserve

The Chicago Bears have placed inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman on injured reserve, another hit for a team coming off a three-win season.
A sixth-year pro, Freeman suffered a pectoral injury and concussion in a season-opening loss to Atlanta on Sunday.
Freeman led Chicago with 110 tackles - a team-high 86 solo - last season. He was with the Colts from 2012-2015.
The Bears also placed receiver Kevin White on injured reserve for the third straight season Tuesday because of a broken shoulder. Receiver Tanner Gentry and linebacker Jonathan Anderson were promoted from the practice squad.
Nick Kwiatkoski figures to replace Freeman in the lineup.
The Bears - last in the NFC North in 2016 - visit Tampa Bay this week.


Lewis, Moss, Urlacher among first-year nominees for HOF

Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher are among 11 first-year eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Also part of the 108 early nominees who are eligible for the first time, having been retired for five years when the class is chosen next February, are Ronde Barber, Donald Driver, Steve Smith (former Giant, Eagle and Ram), Steve Hutchinson, Matt Birk, Jeff Saturday, Richard Seymour and Kyle Vanden Bosch.
The roster of nominees consists of 53 offensive players, 38 defensive players, five special teams players and 12 coaches. Modern era nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and, from there, to 15 finalists in January.
During Super Bowl week, voters will discuss the finalists, plus senior nominees Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributors nominee Bobby Beathard. There is no set number for any class of enshrinees, though between four and eight new members will be selected.


Abreu Powers Sox Past Royals

Jose Abreu had four hits, Adam Engel hit a three-run homer and the Chicago White Sox pounded out an 11-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Abreu, who hit for the cycle Saturday and had two home runs Sunday, drove in two and scored once while raising his average to .306. He drew a ninth-inning walk and was a homer shy of another cycle.
Engel went deep off Brandon Maurer during a six-run sixth.
Yolmer Sanchez, Yoan Moncada and Abreu, the first three White Sox hitters, combined to go 9 for 16 with six runs and four RBIs. Moncada had his first career three-hit game.
Reynaldo Lopez (1-3) gave up three runs and eight hits in six-plus innings to pick up his first victory since Sept. 29, 2016.
The loss dropped the Royals three games behind the Minnesota Twins with 19 games left for the second AL wild card.
Jason Hammel (8-11) was pulled after giving up five runs in 3 1/3 innings.
The White Sox have outscored the Royals and San Francisco Giants 32-5 during a three-game winning streak.
Dylan Covey will make his first start since May 23. He is 0-4 with an 8.12 ERA in eight starts this season.
Royals RHP Sam Gaviglio will make his second start after being obtained on waivers Sept. 1 from the Mariners.


Bears WR White Out With Broken Collar Bone

Wide receiver Kevin White suffered a broken collarbone against the Atlanta Falcons and will go on injured reserve for the third straight season.
The Bears are not calling it a season-ending injury because they have the option of activating players on injured reserve later if they've healed.
The seventh pick of the 2015 draft out of West Virginia, White was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday's season-opening loss after his second catch for no gain. He came off the field, favoring the shoulder slightly, and later went to the locker room. The team confirmed the severity of the injury Monday.
White went on injured reserve last year after suffering a spiral fracture to his left fibula in the fourth game. White missed all of 2015 with a stress fracture to his left tibia.
In three seasons, White has played five games and has 21 receptions for 193 yards without a touchdown.
The injury means the Bears are now without both the starting receivers they began with at training camp. Cameron Meredith suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in the third preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.


Oklahoma Jumps in Latest CFB Polls

The newest Associated Press Top 25 poll was released and results from Saturday's action were evident. 
Following the trend set by the USA Today Coaches Poll, Ohio State fell six spots, from No. 2 to No. 8, following its loss to Oklahoma in Week 2. 
The Sooners picked up two first-place votes and jumped to No. 2 while Alabama remained an overwhelming No. 1 with 58 first-place votes. No. 3 Clemson also received a first-place vote while USC and Penn State rounded out the top five. 
Oklahoma State entered the top 10 after starting 2-0 with wins over Tulsa and South Alabama. 
Stanford was another team that slipped. The Cardinal fell from No. 14 to No. 19 after losing to USC while the Trojans' cross-town rival UCLA entered the top 25 for the first time this year. 
Thanks to some big games in Week 2, the new Coaches Poll has been shaken up at the top. 
Specifically, Oklahoma has entered the top five after a statement win over Ohio State. The Sooners rose three spots to No. 3, while the Buckeyes plummeted seven spots to No. 9 following the 31-16 game. 
Alabama remains at the top of the coaches poll and received 58 of 60 possible first-place votes. Clemson, coming off a 14-6 win over Auburn, has the other two first-place votes and moved up one spot to No. 2. 
Auburn dropped four spots to No. 17 and Stanford fell five spots to No. 19 after a double-digit loss to USC. Notre Dame dropped out of the top 25 after losing 20-19 at home to Georgia. 


Illinois, Western Illinois Win; Northern Illinois Beats Eastern Illinois

>>Illinois Downs Western Kentucky
Illinois' young defense held Western Kentucky's high-powered attack in check Saturday and freshman running back Mike Epstein rushed for 111 yards on the way to a 20-7 win.
The Illini (2-0) scored their first touchdown of the night on an interception return, and held the Hilltoppers (1-1) to 244 yards of offense. Western Kentucky didn't score until the fourth quarter.
Hilltopper quarterback Mike White averaged 311.6 yards a game last season, but Saturday heavy Illini pressure limited him to 28 of 43 pasing for 238 yards and an interception. He also ran for a score.
Illinois' defense opened the gap on Western Kentucky late in the second quarter with an interception returned for a touchdown.
White, trying to throw form his own end zone, was hit hard by defense end Bobby Roundtree. The ball floated to the 10-yard line where linebacker Julian Jones pulled it down and ran to the end zone untouched. What had been a fragile six-point Illinois edge was suddenly 13-0 just before the half.
Illinois followed that up with a crushing 84-yard drive to open the second half. Quarterback Chayce Crouch capped it with a nine-yard run, finishing with a leap into the end zone for a 20-0 lead.
Illinois kept White under pressure much of the night. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound redshirt senior was sacked twice and hurried four times.
Crouch finished 14 of 25 for 107 yards and an interception for Illinois.
>>Western Illinois Beats Northern Arizona
Sean McGuire threw for one touchdown and ran for another as Western Illinois led all the way to a 38-20 victory over Northern Arizona on Saturday night.
McGuire threw for 210 yards for the Leathernecks (2-0). Max Norris ran for 103 yards and a score. Jaelon Acklin ran for 65 yards and a touchdown and had 101 receiving yards and another score.
Acklin scored on a 63-yard run two plays into the Leathernecks' first drive. Sam Crosa kicked a 27-yard field goal with 9:12 left in the second quarter and Norris scored from the 1 to lift Western Illinois to a 17-7 lead at halftime.
In the third, Eric Carrera recovered a Case Cookus fumble and ran it in for another Leathernecks score to make it 24-7. McGuire hit Acklin for a 38-yard touchdown, stretching it to 31-13 with 5:50 left in the third.
Cookus was 18-of-35 for 221 yards and two touchdowns for the Lumberjacks (0-2).
>>Northern Illinois Rolls Western Illinois
Daniel Santacaterina threw for 252 yards and three touchdowns to lead Northern Illinois to a 38-10 win over Eastern Illinois on Saturday.
Marcus Jones ran in two more scores, both set up by first-half interceptions, as Northern Illinois (1-1) dominated on defense, holding its in-state FCS rival to just 60 yards rushing and 187 overall.
Santacaterina finished 23 of 34 with one interception. He connected with Spencer Tears on a 39-yard touchdown throw for the first points of the game and later found Christian Blake for an 18-yard TD pass and then Shane Wimann on a 1-yard scoring toss.
Eastern Illinois (1-1) got a short field goal from Nick Wilson in the first quarter and a touchdown from Sotty Gilkey Jr. on a 1-yard run midway through the fourth.
Two key Panther drives in the first half were halted by interceptions that the Huskies quickly turned into points. Mycial Allen picked off EIU's Mitch Kimble and returned it 17 yards to the Eastern Illinois 11 at the end of the first and Mykelti Williams intercepted a Kimble pass late in the second, returning it 10 yards to EIU 30.


Packers Win; Bears Lose Sunday

>>Green Bay Survives Against Seattle
Green Bay defensive lineman Mike Daniels' strip sack of Russell Wilson deep in Seattle territory in the third quarter set up Ty Montgomery's 6-yard touchdown run on the next play to spark the Packers' 17-9 win on Sunday.
The Packers' Aaron Rodgers was 28 of 42 for 311 yards and added a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson to make it an eight-point game late in the third quarter. The Packers went deep to his favorite receiver on a free play that was extended after Seattle was flagged for having too many men on the field.
Rodgers' regular-season streak of passes without an interception ended at a career-high 251. The Seahawks defense reinforced by the return of safety Earl Thomas bottled up receivers from making many big plays and put plenty of pressure on Rodgers.
A 12-play, 53-yard drive that took up more than five minutes ended with Mason Crosby's 40-yard field goal with 8:01 left to make it a two-score game.
Seattle managed just three field goals. Wilson was held to 14 of 27 for 158 yards. The Packers held decisive edges in total yardage (370-225) and first downs (26-12). Green Bay held the ball for 39 minutes.
The Packers visit Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.
>>Falcons Hold On Against Chicago
Matt Ryan connected with Austin Hooper on an 88-yard TD and led two fourth-quarter scoring drives, and the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons held on to beat the Chicago Bears 23-17 on Sunday.
The butt of jokes following their epic Super Bowl collapse against New England, the Falcons survived as the Bears missed several chances to score a touchdown in the final seconds.
The Bears had a first down at the Atlanta 5 in the closing minute. Glennon's pass to a lunging Josh Bellamy on first down hit off the receiver's hands, and Jordan Howard then dropped a simple catch at the 1.
After another incompletion on third down, Glennon got sacked by Brooks Reed to end the drive.
Atlanta was clinging to a 13-10 lead early in the fourth when a scrambling Ryan fired to a wide-open Hooper near midfield. The second-year tight end from Stanford raced up the right side and stiff-armed Quintin Demps on the way to the end zone to make it a 10-point game.
The Bears then went 75 yards, with Glennon hitting rookie Tarik Cohen for a 19-yard TD midway through the fourth to cut it to 20-17. Earlier Cohen had a 46-yard run on a toss that he turned back the opposite direction.
Atlanta's Matt Bryant answered with a 37-yard field goal, making it 23-17 with 3:24 left.
Ryan was 21 of 30 for 321 yards and a touchdown.
Hooper had two catches for 128 yards. Julio Jones added four receptions for 66 yards receiving and Bryant kicked three field goals.
Glennon was 26 of 40 for 213 yards and a TD.
Cohen absorbed several big hits in an impressive debut, finishing with 66 yards rushing and 47 receiving.
The Bears visit Tampa Bay next week.


White Sox, Cardinals Win; Cubs Lose

>>White Sox Pound Giants
Jose Abreu connected for two home runs a day after hitting for the cycle and Fulmer earned his first major league win as a starter as the White Sox beat the San Francisco Giants 8-1 on Sunday in an interleague matchup of last-place teams.
Carson Fulmer (2-1) allowed one run on three hits with nine strikeouts and three walks in the second start of his career. A first-round draft pick in 2015, he was tagged for six earned runs in 1 1/3 innings by Minnesota on Aug. 21 in his other start.
A day after hitting for the cycle in a 13-1 victory over the Giants, Abreu recorded his fourth multihomer game of the season and 10th of his four-year major league career.
Abreu had 18 total bases the last two games; the Giants had 14.
Tim Anderson, who was a double shy of joining Abreu as the only pair of teammates ever to hit for the cycle in the same game on Saturday, got three more hits. The 24-year-old shortstop is batting .520 (13 for 25) in the last six games.
Bumgarner (3-8) gave up six earned runs and 10 hits in five innings - the most runs and hits he's allowed in a game this season.
Jarrett Parker hit his third home run of the season in the second inning for the Giants.
Reynaldo Lopez (0-3, 4.84 ERA) will attempt to make his third straight quality start as the White Sox open a three-game series against Kansas City Royals RHP Jason Hammel (8-10, 4.73 ERA) on Monday. Lopez pitched six innings of one-run ball in a 3-0 loss to the red-hot Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
>>Cardinals Blank Pirates, Inch Closer To Cubs
After taking a fastball from Ivan Nova high and tight, Yadier Molina hit the next pitch for a three-run homer to help the St. Louis Cardinal beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-0 on Sunday.
St. Louis, which has won three in a row and seven of eight, moved two games behind Chicago in the NL Central. The Cardinals are 2 1/2 behind Colorado for the second NL wild card.
Michael Wacha tossed eight scoreless innings and Randal Grichuk added a solo homer for St. Louis, which improved to 8-2 in September and moved to a season-high seven games over .500.
Molina tied a career-high with five RBI. He also drove in five runs on Sept. 17, 2010 against San Diego.
Wacha (12-7) allowed five hits while striking out seven and did not walk a batter in getting his third win in three starts.
The Cardinals' two-game deficit in the NL Central is the closest they've been since Aug. 18 when they were 1 1/2 back.
Lance Lynn (10-7, 2.94) will start on Tuesday in the first of a three-game series against Cincinnati. He will face RHP Robert Stephenson (4-4, 5.15). Lynn has allowed one earned run in his last 14 innings.
>>Brewers Beat Cubs
Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer, Zach Davies earned his major league-best 17th win and the Brewers beat Chicago 3-1 Sunday to close within two games of the NL Central leaders.
Chicago entered the series with a five-game division lead, a season high, but the defending World Series champions totaled three runs in the series. Milwaukee is tied for second in the NL Central with St. Louis.
Davies (17-8) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, Anthony Swarzak pitched a hitless eighth and Corey Knebel finished for his 34th save in 39 chances.
Kyle Hendricks (6-5) gave up three runs and four hits in six innings.
Rene Rivera put the Cubs ahead with a two-out RBI double in the second. Right fielder Hernan Perez didn't break back at first, and the ball hit off his glove.
Stephen Vogt hit an RBI grounder in the fourth, and Shaw homered in the sixth - despite a stiff wind blowing in from right field.
After a string of 20 straight games, Chicago is off Monday, then starts LHP Jose Quintana (5-3, 4.03 ERA) on Tuesday against the visiting New York Mets and RHP Robert Gsellman (6-6, 5.44).


HS FB: Monticello Dominate Champaign St. Thomas More

The Monticello Sages scored early and often in a 46-0 victory over Champaign St. Thomas More in Friday night Illini Prairie Conference football action from Monticello High School.
Doing most of the damage in the first 18 minutes of the game, the Sages jumped the Sabres early thanks to two turnovers on the first three plays from scrimmage and forced five first half turnovers total.
Braden Snyder threw four more touchdowns Friday on 8-of-11 passing for 138 yards.
He connected on scores to Dylan Thomas, Nathan Harman, Alek Bundy and Devin Graham.
Thomas led the Sages receivers with three catches for 32 yards. Graham had two catches for 28 yards while Bundy had his only catch for 39 yards, Harman one catch for 30 yards and Asher Bradd had an 11 yard reception.
Senior tailback Lucas Lieb had two scores and finished with 72 yards on seven carries.
Sages coach Cully Welter says his team could have had a big letdown coming into the game but did not. The Sabres football program has only 21 players and one senior.
The Sabres drop to 1-2 overall and are also 1-2 in the Illini Prairie.
Monticello is 3-0 and will travel to Rantoul next Friday night for a matchup with the Eagles.
Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 


Week 3 Football Scores

Central Illinois Conference Matchups:
Meridian 20, Central A&M 40, F
Shelbyville 58, Sullivan-Okaw Valley 0, F
Warrensburg-Latham 30, Decatur St. Teresa 36, F
Illini Prairie:
Bloomington Central Catholic 59, St. Joseph-Ogden 39, F
Illinois Valley Central 0, Pontiac 35, F
Rantoul 40, Olympia 20, F
Unity 28, Prairie Central 20, F
Effingham 37, Mt. Zion 19, F
Mattoon 34, Lincoln 27, F
Taylorville 55, Charleston 20, F
Big Twelve:
Champaign Central 35, Bloomington 56, F
Danville 62, Peoria Manual 7, F
Normal West 48, Champaign Centennial 7, F
Normal Community 48, Peoria Notre Dame 22, F
Peoria 58, Urbana 0, F
Central State Eight:
Chatham Glenwood 54, Springfield Lanphier, 38, F
Decatur MacArthur at Springfield(Sat.)
Jacksonville 15, Decatur Eisenhower 24, F
Normal U-High 7, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 41, F
Springfield Southeast 7, Rochester 51, F
East Peoria 22, Limestone 6, F
Morton 56, Metamora 35, F
Pekin 21, Dunlap 37, F
Washington 24, Canton 13, F
Athens 40, Riverton 7, F
Maroa-Forsyth 6, Williamsville 47, F
Petersburg PORTA 0, New Berlin 24, F
Pittsfield 16, Virden North Mac 57, F
Pleasant Plains 43, Auburn 40, F
Non-conference action:
Tri-Valley 49, LeRoy 0, F
Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 6, Ridgeview 59, F
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 45, El Paso-Gridley 18, F
Dee-Mack 55, Heyworth 7, F
Macomb 34, Blue Ridge 7, F
Martinsville 26, Argenta-Oreana 46, F
Mascoutah 21, Mahomet-Seymour 22, F
Fieldcrest 40, Fisher 28, F
Oakland Tri-County 6, Decatur LSA 49, F
Oblong 15, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 48, F
Palestine 6, Arcola 62, F
Peoria Richwoods at Rock Island
Toledo Cumberland 44, Sangamon Valley 6, F
Tremont 0, Eureka 55, F
Villa Grove-Heritage 26, Cerro Gordo-Bement 42, F


Maroons fall to Tuscola Warriors

As heard on WHOW, the Tuscola Warriors defeated the Clinton Maroons by a score of 46-0.
The Maroons were led by Bryson Carson who had 18 carries for 55 yards. Ty Burter had 4 carries for 40 yards, throwing the ball 4 of 13 for 28 yards.
Country Financial Brad James' Maroons Player of the Game was Keshon Rucker who had an interception and at least 1 touchdown saving tackle.
The Warriors were led by Luke Sluzer. The quarterback had 10 of 17 for 186 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. He also carried the ball 8 times for 52 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Clinton falls to 1 and 2.
Tune in next week for Homecoming as Clinton takes on Central A&M at 7 pm on The Bif 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.


Clinton vs Tuscola

Tuscola 46, Clinton 0 is the final score.


Clinton At Tuscola

After the first win in the Nick Blackburn coaching era at Clinton High School over Braidwood Reed-Custer 19-7, the Maroons hit the road to Tuscola tonight for the Central Illinois Conference opener.
Blackburn says the Warriors mix things up offensively and have a lot of size up front, including 6-foot-6 lineman, Hunter Woodward who is committed to Oklahoma State University as a three-star recruit. 
The Warriors are 2-0 on the season having scored 91 points through their first two matchups. 
Clinton enters action 1-1.
Hear all tonight's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
Central Illinois Conference matchups tonight:
Meridian at Central A & M
Shelbyville at Sullivan-Okaw Valley
Warrensburg-Latham at Decatur St. Teresa


Monticello Hosts St. Thomas More in 2017 Home Opener

The Monticello Sages are at home for the first time in the 2017 season tonight as they welcome Champaign St. Thomas More to Monticello High School for an Illini Prairie matchup.
The Sages off a convincing 55-7 win at Illinois Valley Central last Friday nigh, improved to 2-0 in the early going. 
The Sages defense stood up again as the Grey Ghosts could only break one big play that went for a touchdown early in the first quarter. 
Quarterback Braden Snyder accounted for five touchdowns, three through the air and two on the ground. 
Asher Bradd caught two scores and Devin Graham added hauled in the other. 
St. Thomas More blanked Olympia 14-0 last Friday night to improve to 1-1 on the season.
Tonight's game kicks at 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Illini Prairie matchups tonight:
Bloomington Central Catholic at St. Joseph-Ogden
Illinois Valley Central at Pontiac
Rantoul at Olympia
Unity at Prairie Central
Effingham at Mt. Zion
Mattoon at Lincoln
Taylorville at Charleston
Big Twelve
Champaign Central at Bloomington
Danville at Peoria Manual
Normal West at Champaign Centennial
Normal Community at Peoria Notre Dame
Peoria at Urbana
Central State Eight
Chatham Glenwood at Springfield Lanphier
Decatur MacArthur at Springfield(Sat.)
Jacksonville at Decatur Eisenhower
Normal U-High at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
Springfield Southeast at Rochester
East Peoria at Limestone
Morton at Metamora
Pekin at Dunlap
Washington at Canton
Athens at Riverton
Maroa-Forsyth at Williamsville
Petersburg PORTA at New Berlin
Pittsfield at Virden North Mac
Pleasant Plains at Auburn
Non-conference action tonight:
Tri-Valley at LeRoy
Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland at Ridgeview
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at El Paso-Gridley
Dee-Mack at Heyworth
Macomb at Blue Ridge
Martinsville at Argenta-Oreana
Mascoutah at Mahomet-Seymour
Fieldcrest at Fisher
Oakland Tri-County at Decatur LSA
Oblong at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Palestine at Arcola
Peoria Richwoods at Rock Island
Toledo Cumberland at Sangamon Valley
Tremont at Eureka
Villa Grove-Heritage at Cerro Gordo-Bement


Illinois Hosts Western Kentucky; Eastern at Northern Illinois; ISU On Bye

The Fighting Illini begin a string of three straight prime time games when Western Kentucky comes to Memorial Stadium Saturday night for a 7 p.m. opening kick.
Illinois opened the season with a 24-21 win over Ball State on Saturday thanks to a walk-off blocked field goal.
Freshman RB Mike Epstein  had a team-high 105 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in his Illini debut, including the go-ahead one-yard plunge with 2:06 left in the game.
Mike Dudek caught four passes for 55 yards and a touchdown and WR Malik Turner caught six passes for 56 yards against WKU in a matchup in 2014. Dudek, Turner and OL Christian DiLauro are the only current Illini that appeared against WKU in 2014. 
Catch all the action Saturday night on The Big Ten Network. 
>>Illinois State on Bye This Week
After a season opening 45-0 over Butler last Saturday, the Illinois State Redbirds are on bye as they prepare for their in-state rivalry meeting with Eastern Illinois a week from Saturday in Charleston.
Game time next Saturday is 2 pm.
>>Eastern Illinois At Northern Illinois
Eastern Illinois plays its second straight game on the road facing FBS member Northern Illinois after last week's 22-20 win over Indiana State.
Northern Illinois lost to Boston College 23-20 last Saturday in DeKalb.
Hear this week's action at 2 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

Ian Happ had three hits, including two doubles, and threw out a runner at the plate from center field to help the Chicago Cubs to an 8-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cubs had 13 hits, including eight for extra bases, as the offense broke out after totaling four runs in the first three games of the series.
Happ singled and scored to lead off the game and doubled in the third and eighth innings.
Javier Baez doubled and scored in the second. Jason Heyward singled and was driven in by pitcher Jon Lester's double in the fourth. Baez and Heyward then drove in Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist with back-to-back singles in the fifth as the Cubs piled on against Taillon.
Albert Almora Jr. later added on with a two-run shot in the seventh off receiver Angel Sanchez.
Lester (10-7) worked around traffic in his first four innings but settled down to go six innings with one run and five hits allowed. He struck out five and walked four.
Taillon (7-6) lasted just 4 2/3 innings while giving up six runs and 11 hits. He struck out three and walked just one.
Rookies Josh Bell and Jordan Luplow each had RBIs for the Pirates, who had eight hits but left 11 men on base.
John Lackey (11-10, 4.74 ERA) will begin a three-game series with Milwaukee. He's 6-1 with a 3.83 ERA since the All-Star break.
>>Indians Win 15th Straight
Cleveland jumped all over emergency starter Mike Pelfrey for seven runs in the first three innings and Corey Kluber struck out 13 in seven innings of three-hit ball on Thursday night, helping the Indians win their franchise-record 15th consecutive game, 11-2 over the Chicago White Sox.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Cleveland went deep five times in becoming the first major league team to win 15 straight since the 2002 Oakland A's.
Yolmer Sanchez and Jose Abreu homered in the first for Chicago, but Kluber allowed only one more hit - a fifth-inning single for Omar Narvaez.
The right-hander retired 20 of his last 22 batters on his way to double-digit strikeouts for the 14th time this season and 38th of his career.
Erik Gonzalez hit two home runs and Francisco Lindor and Greg Allen hit one apiece for the Indians. It was the first homer of Allen's career.
The White Sox turned to Pelfrey (3-11), who threw 40 pitches in 2 1/3 innings of relief Tuesday, when Carlos Rodon (shoulder stiffness) was scratched about 15 minutes before game time. Pelfrey allowed seven runs and eight hits in four innings.
Rodon will have his shoulder examined Friday.
Rookie RHP Lucas Giolito (2-1, 2.25 ERA) and Giants LHP Matt Moore (4-13, 5.42 ERA) will square off in the opener of a three-game series on Friday in Chicago. 
Giolito won his past two starts, allowing a total of one run and seven hits in 14 innings. 
>>Cardinals Blank Padres
Dexter Fowler struck out against BradHand with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, capping the San Diego Padres' 3-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
Hand allowed singles by Stephen Piscotty, Randal Grichuk and Carson Kelly to load the bases in the ninth inning before getting Fowler to whiff on a slider in the dirt. Hand got his 16th save.
Jose Pirela had a run-scoring infield single in the first inning, and that was all the cushion Richard and relievers Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates and Hand needed. Clayton Richard got 11 groundball outs while allowing five hits and striking out five in six innings.
Wil Myers added his 25th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh.
Lance Lynn (10-7) tiptoed around trouble in the first, allowing a run on three infield hits, an error by Alex Mejia and a walk. Pirela's slow roller to third scored Margot after he opened the inning with a hit.
Lynn lasted through the sixth, giving up six hits and three walks, with three strikeouts on 118 pitches.
Luke Weaver (4-1, 2.50) faces the Pirates as St. Louis kicks off a six-game homestand. Weaver is one of five rookies to have double-digit strikeout games this season. His 90 strikeouts through his first 17 career games are the most ever by a Cardinal.


Bears Host Falcons Sunday

The Chicago Bears are looking to bounce back from a miserable 3-13 season when they host the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons Sunday from Soldier Field in Chicago. 
The club retained coach John Fox but parted ways with lightning-rod quarterback Jay Cutler and backup Brian Hoyer. To replace them, general manager Ryan Pace signed Mike Glennon to a lucrative free-agent contract and traded up to draft Mitch Trubisky from North Carolina with the No. 2 overall pick.
Glennon has the edge as the starting quarterback -- for now -- and will make his team debut in front of a curious home crowd. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound signal-caller posted a 5-13 record in 18 career starts with Tampa Bay, and threw only 11 passes last season as the backup to Jameis Winston.
The Bears' offense will feature a different look without Cutler and Pro Bowl wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Glennon leads a passing attack that includes 2015 first-round pick Kevin White and veteran Kendall Wright, who spent the past five seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
Partly because of a thin receiving corps, look for Fox and his coaching staff to emphasize the running game. That could mean another heavy workload for second-year running back Jordan Howard, who turned heads as a rookie with 1,313 rushing yards and six touchdowns.


Packers Host Seahawks Sunday

Led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers finished third in scoring last season in the NFL. That unit should be even stronger with the offseason addition of tight end Martellus Bennett as the Packers host the Seattle Seahawks in the 2017-18 season opener Sunday afternoon from Lambeau Field.
After leading the league in scoring defense in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Seahawks finished third in that category last season. Eight of the 11 starters have been selected for at least one Pro Bowl, including defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who was acquired in a trade with the New York Jets last week.
Rodgers and Co. demolished that defense in a 38-10 victory on Dec. 11 at Lambeau, but Seattle was without injured safety Earl Thomas in that game. Thomas is back, teaming with Kam Chancellor for perhaps the best safety combo in the NFL, and Richard Sherman returns at cornerback after being part of offseason trade speculation.
Green Bay's revamped defense will be tested right out of the gate by Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense. The Seahawks have major questions on the offensive line but signed former Packers standout Eddie Lacy at running back to pair with Thomas Rawls.
After getting shredded for 44 points by Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game, Green Bay added cornerback Davon House and defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois in free agency and used its first four picks in the draft on defensive players, including cornerback Kevin King with the top pick.
The tinkering has continued, with veteran outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks, rookie outside linebacker Chris Odom and veteran defensive lineman Quinton Dial signed since Saturday's league-wide roster cutdown.
Any lack of continuity from that group could be exploited by Seattle's new up-tempo attack.
Both teams are healthy.


Bears Notes

The Chicago Bears have released oft-injured linebacker Lamarr Houston.
Houston was placed on injured reserve after hurting his knee in the final preseason game and was let go Wednesday.
Houston was limited to 26 games in three years with the Bears because of injuries to both knees. His first season in Chicago ended when he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament celebrating a meaningless sack in a blowout loss at New England. Houston rebounded with eight sacks while playing in 16 games in 2015. But a torn ACL in his left knee last season limited him to two games.
Houston played for Oakland from 2010-13.
No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky will open the season as the Chicago Bears' No. 2 quarterback.
Coach John Fox says Trubisky will back up Mike Glennon when the Bears host the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
The Bears had said they would treat this as sort of a redshirt season with Trubisky behind Glennon and veteran Mark Sanchez. But after starting 13 games at North Carolina and working primarily out of the shotgun, the rookie has come along quicker than anticipated.
Fox says "everybody was pretty impressed" with how he is adjusting to the pro game. Trubisky dazzled at times in the preseason and sparked a debate in Chicago over who should start.


Cardinals, Cubs Win; White Sox Lose

>>Quintana Outduels Cole For Cubs Win
Alex Avila flared an RBI triple in the ninth inning, capping a duel between Jose Quintana and Gerrit Cole and lifting Chicago over the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 on Wednesday.
Avila's hit against Daniel Hudson (2-6) left the bat at just 75 mph, but with Pittsburgh's outfielders shifting the other way, pinch-runner Leonys Martin had plenty of time to score from second base.
It was Chicago's third hit of the game after Cole limited Chicago to two knocks over eight innings, one of which was an infield single. Cole struck out eight and walked four while turning in his second scoreless outing in three starts.
The Pirates had runners aboard in all six innings against Quintana, but were unable to come through with a big hit. In the fifth inning, third baseman Kris Bryant made a leaping stab of Jordy Mercer's line drive with two men on to save a run. Then in the sixth, the Pirates had two men on with no outs before Quintana got Jose Osuna to ground into a double play and a grounder from Sean Rodriguez to end the inning.
Quintana finished with six strikeouts and had to scramble to keep pace with Cole.
Wade Davis struck out two during a perfect ninth for his 29th save, preserving a win for Pedro Strop (4-4) and ending Pittsburgh's four-game winning streak.
Jon Lester (9-7, 4.46 ERA) will make his second start since returning from shoulder soreness on Sept. 2. He lasted five innings and allowed four runs and eight hits in that outing.
Jameson Taillon (7-5, 4.50) will look to build off a strong outing, when he pitched six scoreless innings.
>>Cardinals Down Padres
Jack Flaherty threw five innings of one-run ball in his second career start, Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run homer and the streaking Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Wednesday night.
St. Louis has won four straight and six of seven. Piscotty hit his ninth homer in the seventh - only the Cardinals' third hit to that point - and St. Louis tacked on an unearned run in the eighth on Harrison Bader's sacrifice fly.
Three Cardinals relievers blanked the Padres over four innings, with Tyler Lyons pitching a wobbly ninth for his second save. The Padres had the tying runs aboard with no outs before Lyons retired three straight. Ryan Sherriff (1-1) got the win.
Dinelson Lamet (7-7), who lost a pitching duel to the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw in his previous outing, stymied the Cardinals through six innings, giving up just one hit. Then Jose Martinez led off the seventh with a sharp single, and Piscotty followed with his two-run blast. When Lamet then walked Greg Garcia, his night was done and he was charged with two runs and four walks. He struck out eight.
Lance Lynn (10-6, 2.99) was sensational his last time out despite not getting a decision when throwing eight scoreless innings and allowing a hit to the Dodgers. Lynn leads the majors with 21 starts in which he's allowed two earned runs or fewer.
Clayton Richard (6-13, 4.94) has made 13 career appearances against the Cardinals, with six starts. In those starts, he's 3-0 with a 3.53 ERA and 24 strikeouts.
>>Carrasco Deals As Indians Win 14th Straight
Carlos Carrasco was the latest Indians starter to shine with a complete game dismantling of the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night, and the 5-1 victory was Cleveland's 14th straight win.
The streak is MLB's longest this season and the Indians have a chance to set a franchise record with 15 straight on Thursday in Chicago, which would top last season's run of 14 by the eventual American League champions who lost the World Series in Game 7 to the Chicago Cubs.
The win also was the team's 10th straight on the road and would have been a shutout if not for Adam Engel's line drive home run with two outs in the ninth inning.
Carrasco (14-6) allowed three hits, facing 28 batters with 97 pitches in his eighth career complete game. The right-hander said all five of his pitches were working, as he threw 76 strikes.
Carrasco struck out nine and did not allow a walk.
Carlos Santana hit a two-run home run to cap a three-hit night as Cleveland added three runs in the eighth inning to break open a 1-0 game.
Rookie right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (0-3) stranded eight runners in six innings, and allowed a run on Tyler Naquin's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
Left fielder Nicky Delmonico robbed Francisco Lindor of a home run in the seventh inning.
The four-game series concludes Thursday as Cleveland sends RHP Corey Kluber (14-4, 2.56 ERA) against LHP Carlos Rodon (2-5, 4.15).


Cardinals Win; Cubs, White Sox Lose

>>Martinez Leads Cardinals Past Padres
Carlos Martinez threw a three-hitter and struck out 10 to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 2-0 victory Monday over the San Diego Padres.
Yadier Molina hit a two-run, bases-loaded single in the fourth.
It was the second career shutout and complete game for Martinez (11-10). He got his first of each on June 10 when he threw a four-hitter and struck out 11 in a 7-0 victory against Philadelphia. He also pitched nine scoreless innings against San Francisco on May 20 in a game the Cardinals lost 3-1 in the 13th.
Luis Perdomo (7-9) pitched well except for the fourth, when the first four Cardinals reached base. Tommy Pham singled, Paul DeJong walked and Jose Martinez singled to load the bases. Molina hit a fly ball to left-center field that bounced off the glove of left fielder Jose Pirela after a long run.
Perdomo allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out six and walked three.
Michael Wacha (10-7, 4.20) is scheduled to start Tuesday night's game. He's 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts against San Diego.
Travis Wood (3-4, 5.47) is 6-6 with a 5.37 ERA in 31 career games, including 18 starts, against St. Louis.
>>Indians Top White Sox
Trevor Bauer won his eighth decision in a row, and the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 on Monday for their 12th straight victory.
Bauer (15-8) gave up two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts and one walk over 6 1/3 innings. A day after tying the major league record with five extra-base hits, including two homers, Jose Ramirez homered again for the Indians, his 23rd of the year .
Carlos Santana added his 22nd home run for the AL Central-leading Indians, who are two shy of the team-record 14 consecutive wins set last season.
James Shields (2-6) kept the White Sox in the game before taking a line drive by Francisco Mejia off the knee in the top of the seventh. Shields limped off the field and is considered day-to-day.
The veteran right-hander allowed four runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, extending his streak to 11 starts without a win.
The 21-year-old Mejia, a top catching prospect, had a run-scoring single in the fourth for his first hit and RBI in his first career start for the Indians.
The White Sox also received a shot in the arm from newcomer Rymer Liriano, who drove in all three runs with a two-run homer in the fifth - his first hit with Chicago - and a run-scoring double in the seventh.
Danny Salazar (5-6, 4.30 ERA) will face White Sox LHP David Holmberg (2-3, 3.55 ERA) in the second game of the four-game series. Holmberg will make his first start since June 26. He's 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA as a starter. Salazar was tagged for six runs on 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings in his last start on Aug. 20 against Kansas City.
>>Pirates Pound Cubs
Jake Arrieta gave up home runs to Pittsburgh rookies Josh Bell and Max Moroff before exiting in the third inning with a cramp in his right hamstring and the Pirates piled on late in a 12-0 victory over Chicago on Monday.
Arrieta (14-9) was already trailing 3-0 with one out in the third when his first pitch to Bell sailed up and in. The 2015 Cy Young Award winner clutched his leg in obvious pain . He attempted to stretch it out during a visit by manager Joe Maddon and Chicago's trainers but a test pitch ended with Arrieta unable to let go of the ball and in obvious pain.
Despite the loss, the Cubs maintained a 3 1/2-game lead over the Brewers, who lost to Cincinnati.
Long before the pain arrived, Arrieta's usual crispness was missing and Bell pounced.
Chad Kuhl (7-10) allowed four hits in seven innings for the Pirates, striking out a career-high eight. Pittsburgh has won three straight following a four-game losing streak.
Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 3.32 ERA) goes for his third consecutive win on Tuesday.
Steven Brault (0-0, 5.93) will make his first start of the season in the place of Ivan Nova.


Bears Waive RB Langford

The Chicago Bears have waived running back Jeremy Langford.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2015, Langford ran for 537 yards as a rookie.
He came into last season as the starter, but ankle injuries early on and in training camp this year along with the emergence of Jordan Howard helped make him expendable. Howard ran for 1,313 yards as a rookie in 2016.
Chicago waived tight end Ben Braunecker and long snapper Jeff Overbaugh on Sunday. The Bears also acquired running back Taquan Mizzell, Tre McBride and long snapper Andrew DePaola off waivers.


Justin Thomas Takes Dell Technologies Open

Justin Thomas started Round 4 on Monday tied with Marc Leishman at 12 under, having Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and others in hot pursuit. After Leishman and Spieth played the front nine in a combined 60 on Monday, Thomas looked like he was going to be left in their wake, even after shooting a 32 of his own. But those two cooled off, and Thomas shut things down with a strong 34 on the back nine to clear Spieth by three for his fifth PGA Tour win of the season.
Thomas got it done this week with every club except the one in his bag that is most lethal -- his driver. Thomas was outside the top 15 in strokes gained with the driver at TPC Boston, but made up for it with his putting, where he finished inside the top five. He also only made two bogeys in 72 holes en route to the victory.
The dagger on Monday, if there was one, came on the 15th hole when he stuck his approach from 137 yards and made birdie to go two clear of Spieth. He saved par on No. 16, parred the last two and held a trophy for the fifth time on the season.
It also helped that Spieth and Leishman faded after electric starts. Spieth stumbled to a 37 on the back with a bogey at the last, and Leishman unfurled an ugly 40. Thomas cruised just as he's done all season.
The win for Thomas is bigger than just his fifth on the season. He's No. 2 in the FedEx Cup and likely sealed the PGA Tour Player of the Year race with this victory.
With two playoff events still to play, Thomas has left an indelible print on the 2016-17 season and has just one more mountain left to climb. 
Two straight playoff events, two straight runner-up finishes for Spieth.


Giolito pitches White Sox past Rays 6-2

Rookie Lucas Giolito struck out 10 in seven sharp innings, Jose Abreu homered in his return to the lineup and the Chicago White Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 on Sunday.
A key piece of Chicago's rebuilding project, the 23-year-old Giolito (2-1) allowed a run and three hits in his third start since being called up from the minor leagues last month. He pitched seven scoreless innings in his previous start against Detroit for his first major league win.
Tim Anderson added three hits, including his 15th homer, and drove in three runs as the lowly White Sox handed the Rays a setback in the AL wild-card race by taking two of three in the weekend series.


Fried, bullpen help Braves end Cubs' 6-game win streak, 5-1

Max Fried combined with four relievers on a five-hitter in his first major league start, and the Atlanta Braves ended the Chicago Cubs' six-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory Sunday.
The NL Central-leading Cubs had matched their longest winning string of the season. Rookie Ian Happ hit his 21st homer, but Chicago couldn't get much going coming off a 14-12 victory.
The Cubs also lost Javier Baez after he got shaken up diving into second base in the second inning. Chicago's electrifying star trotted out to shortstop in the third but exited the game with one out.
Recalled from Triple-A on Friday, Fried (1-0) gave up a run and four hits in five innings. The bullpen held Chicago to one hit, helping the Braves avoid the weekend sweep.
Mike Montgomery (5-7) gave up three runs and five hits in five innings.


Bears waive running back Jeremy Langford

The Chicago Bears have waived running back Jeremy Langford.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2015, Langford ran for 537 yards as a rookie.
He came into last season as the starter, but ankle injuries early on and in training camp this year along with the emergence of Jordan Howard helped make him expendable. Howard ran for 1,313 yards as a rookie in 2016.
Chicago waived tight end Ben Braunecker and long snapper Jeff Overbaugh on Sunday. The Bears also acquired running back Taquan Mizzell, Tre McBride and long snapper Andrew DePaola off waivers.


Cards power past Giants on homers by Bader, DeJong, Martinez

Harrison Bader hit a tiebreaking homer leading off the sixth after Madison Bumgarner homered in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 7-3 Sunday to gain ground again in the wild-card race.
Paul DeJong hit a solo homer in the fourth for the first St. Louis hit and Martinez followed with a drive to nearly the same spot over the left-field fence. It was the seventh time the Cardinals hit consecutive homers this year.
Luke Weaver (4-1) struck out nine over seven innings to just miss a third straight start with double-digit Ks, helping St. Louis move within three games of Colorado in the race for the NL's second wild card.
Bumgarner retired his first 11 batters before DeJong's 21st homer. The 2014 World Series MVP, who was scratched Thursday night with the flu, allowed five runs and five hits in six innings.
The Giants dropped their first series at home in the last seven, having won or split six in a row.


Week 2 Football Scores

Central Illinois Conference:
Argenta-Oreana 42,  Central A & M 48, F
Cerro Gordo-Bement 12, Shelbyville 52, F
Nokomis 0, Decatur St. Teresa 48, F
Toledo Cumberland 43, Sullivan-Okaw Valley 7, F
Villa Grove-Heritage 8, Tuscola 58, F
Kincaid South Fork 0, Warrensburg-Latham 58, F
Decatur LSA 30, Meridian 13, F
Illini Prairie:
Prairie Central 6, Bloomington Central Catholic 20, F
Pontiac 14, Tolono Unity 38, F
St. Joseph-Ogden 35, Rantoul 20, F
Olympia 0, Champaign St. Thomas More 14, F
Effingham (H.S.) 50, Taylorville 37, F
Mahomet (M.-Seymour) 24, Charleston 12, F
Mt. Zion 34, Lincoln 13, F
Big Twelve:
Bloomington 30, Normal Community 54, F
Champaign Central 7, Danville 35, F
Peoria 69, Peoria Richwoods 70, F
Peoria Notre Dame 72, Peoria Manual 7, F
Urbana 6, Champaign Centennial 20, F
Central State Eight:
Decatur Eisenhower 20, Normal U-High 28, F
Rochester 63, Chatham Glenwood 20, F
Springfield 48, Jacksonville 0, F
Springfield Lanphier 12, Springfield Southeast 44, F
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 32, Decatur MacArthur 34, F
Heart of Illinois (Large):
Ridgeview 22, Dee-Mack 56, F
El Paso-Gridley 14, Fieldcrest 26, F
Eureka 7, Tri-Valley 14, F
Heart of Illinois (Small):
Fisher 6, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 48, F
Heyworth 47, Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland 26, F
LeRoy 30, Tremont 6, F
Maroa-Forsyth 41, Pittsfield 0, F
Petersburg PORTA 0, Athens 48, F
Pleasant Plains 34, Riverton 0, F
North Mac 28, New Berlin 21, F
Williamsville 49, Auburn 7, F
Arcola 41, Oakland Tri-County 0, F
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 45, Palestine 12, F
Limestone 12, LaSalle-Peru 35, F
Centralia 42, Morton 50, F
East Moline United 6, East Peoria 13, F
Blue Ridge 6, Bunker Hill 53, F
Macomb 0, Canton 61, F
Metamora 27, Jerseyville 21, F
Morris 21, Washington 10, F
Sangamon Valley 22, Oblong 15, F
O'Fallon 7, Normal West 41, F
Pekin 7, Sterling 49, F
Westville 22, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 16, F


Clinton Maroons Defeat Reed Custer Comets

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Braidwood Reed Custer Comets by a score of 19-7 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by senior Bryson Carson who had 21 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Carson was named the Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game. Sophomore Ty Berter was five of six passing for 61 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Clayton Welch had a 40 yard touchdown catch. The Maroons' defense held Reed Custer to negative four total rushing yards.


The Comets were led by junior quarterback Josh Loomis was 11 of 18 for 147 yards with a touchdown and an interception by the Maroons' Jacob Hospelhorn.


Clinton improves to 1-1 overall and Reed Custer falls to 0-2 on the season.


Tune in next Friday, September 8, as the Maroons take on Tuscola on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app. Kickoff is set for 7pm.


Monticello at IVC

In a game heard on WEZC, the Monitcello Sages came out on top against IVC with a 55-7 final score.



Clinton Travel Baseball Hosting Pancake Breakfast Saturday

Clinton's travel baseball league, The Central Illinois Revolution are asking for your support this weekend.
A pancake breakfast fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday morning at the American Legion Building in Clinton from 7 am to 10:30 am.
The breakfast is sponsored by the Central Illinois Baseball Club and Crang-Bennett Post #103 and includes pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage and scrambled eggs.
Tickets are $7 apiece and can be purchased at the door at the facility at 219 North Elizabeth Street in Clinton. 


Clinton Hosts Braidwood Reed-Custer

After a tough road loss to Villa Grove 20-15 in week 1, the Clinton Maroons will try to make the comforts of home enough for their first win when they host Braidwood Reed-Custer.
The Maroons led 15-14 with a minute left in the game before Villa Grove connected on a 51 yard pass and then got a 9 yard touchdown run from sophomore Chase Burwell to win the game.
The Maroons were able to bottle up the Blue Devils run game but quarterback Codie Baker threw for 225 yards. 
Bryson Carson was the standout for the Maroons last week, carrying three times for 27 yards and had five receptions for 41 yards. 
The Comets were shut out by Coal City 40-0 last Friday night on the road. Braidwood Reed-Custer, out of the Interstate 8 Small Conference, starts the year with three of their first four games on the road, this marking their second road game in a row.
Hear tonight's game on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and live online at dewittdailynews.com.
Other non-conference Central Illinois Conference games tonight:
Argenta-Oreana at Central A & M
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Shelbyville
Nokomis at Decatur St. Teresa
Toledo Cumberland at Sullivan-Okaw Valley
Villa Grove-Heritage at Tuscola
Kincaid South Fork at Warrensburg-Latham
Decatur LSA at Meridian


Illinois Hosts Ball State in Opener of Season Two of Lovie Smith Era

Year two of the Lovie Smith era at Illinois begins Saturday as Ball State comes to Memorial Stadium for an 11 a.m. kickoff.
An extremely young and inexperienced Illini squad will take the field in 2017. Out of 101 total players on the roster there are just nine total seniors, tied for the second-least in FBS – Georgia Southern (8) and Wake Forest (9). Only 25 total upperclassmen are on the roster – 9 seniors, 16 juniors.
Out of 101 players on the 2017 roster, 41 are newcomers.
WR Mike Dudek, a 2014 Freshman All-American returns after missing all of 2015 and 2016 seasons due to injury. 
QB Chayce Crouch leads the Illini offense in 2017. He led the Fighting Illini to road win at Rutgers in first career start last season before missing the rest of the season due to injury. He was named this year's opening-day starter during spring ball. 
His top target figures to be senior WR Malik Turner, who led all Illini receivers in 2016 with 48 catches for 712 yards (14.8 ypc) and six TDs, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades. 
Senior RB Kendrick Foster had a breakout season on the ground in the return game in 2016. He led the team with 1,328 all-purpose yards (748 rush, 54 rec, 554 KR) and nine total TDs.
Illinois freshman DB James Knight will face off against his brother, Kenny Knight Jr., who is a redshirt sophomore DT for Ball State. The duo starred at East St. Louis HS. 
Only five college football teams will play against more 2016 bowl teams during the 2017 season. Illinois' nine bowl opponents are tied for sixth in the nation behind Notre Dame (11), Syracuse (11), Duke (10), Ole Miss (10) and South Carolina (10). 
Opening kick is at 11 a.m. on the Big Ten Network. 
Information Courtesy of FightingIllini.com


Monticello At IVC After Big Opening Week

The Monticello Sages offense did not miss a beat in filling big spots in their offense in a week one 42-0 rout of Olympia last week in Stanford.
The Sages will look to keep the momentum going tonight when they hit the road again, this time the northern suburbs of Peoria, when they take on Illinois Valley Central in Chillicothe.
Junior quarterback Brayden Snyder threw two touchdowns, one each to Asher Bradd and Dylan Thomas, while finishing with 193 yards. 
Senior tailback Lucas Lieb finished with 28 yards on the ground but scored twice.
Bradd also had two picks and senior linebacker Nathan Harman added a pick-six.
The Grey Ghosts were at Tolono Unity last Friday night, suffering a 41-8 loss. 
The Sages, who play three of their first four games on the road in 2017, play their second road game in a row tonight.
Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and live online at dewittdailynews.com.
Illini Prairie matchups tonight:
Prairie Central at Bloomington Central Catholic
Pontiac at Tolono Unity
St. Joseph-Ogden at Rantoul
Olympia at Champaign St. Thomas More
Effingham (H.S.) at Taylorville
Mahomet (M.-Seymour) at Charleston
Mt. Zion at Lincoln
Big Twelve
Bloomington at Normal Community
Champaign Central at Danville
Peoria at Peoria Richwoods
Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Manual
Urbana at Champaign Centennial
Central State Eight
Central State Eight
Decatur Eisenhower at Normal U-High
Rochester at Chatham Glenwood
Springfield at Jacksonville
Springfield Lanphier at Springfield Southeast (Sat.)
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Decatur MacArthur
Heart of Illinois (Large)
Ridgeview at Dee-Mack
El Paso-Gridley at Fieldcrest
Eureka at Tri-Valley
Heart of Illinois (Small)
Fisher at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
Heyworth vs. Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland
LeRoy at Tremont
Maroa-Forsyth at Pittsfield
Petersburg PORTA at Athens
Pleasant Plains at Riverton
North Mac at New Berlin
Williamsville at Auburn
Non-Conference Action tonight:
Arcola at Oakland Tri-County
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Palestine
Limestone at LaSalle-Peru
Centralia at Morton
East Moline United at East Peoria
Blue Ridge at Bunker Hill 
Macomb at Canton
Metamora at Jerseyville
Morris at Washington
Sangamon Valley at Oblong
O'Fallon at Normal West
Pekin at Sterling
Peoria Heights at Princeville
Westville at Paxton-Buckley-Loda


Illinois State Opens Hosting Butler

The Illinois State Redbirds head into the 2017 season ranked No. 18 in the preseason national top 25 poll. The Redbirds will look to extend their playoff appearance streak to four years in a row and that journey starts Saturday in the season-opener against Pioneer Football League opponent Butler at Hancock Stadium.   
When Illinois State heard its name called on the NCAA FCS selection show in 2016, the Redbirds punched their third-straight ticket to the FCS playoffs for the first time in program history. ISU made its seventh playoff appearance overall, and had previously advanced to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 1998-99. The four playoff appearances in the last five years for the Redbirds is also unprecedented for the ISU football program, but one streak the team hopes to continue in the future.
Coming off a third-straight FCS playoff appearance, Illinois State was picked to finish fifth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll, voted on by the league's head coaches, media members and sports information directors.  The last time the Redbirds were picked fifth or lower was in 2014, when ISU was picked sixth before going on to finish the season 13-2 and advance to the FCS National Championship.
In just his first full season as the starting quarterback at Illinois State, Jake Kolbe has had to battle injury, adversity and setbacks in order to become a leader for his team in 2016.
Action from Hancock Stadium gets underway at 6:30 pm.
Information courtesy of goredbirds.com.


Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois Win in Season Openers

>>Eastern Holds Off Indiana State
Mitch Kimble fired a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Turner with 3 seconds left to give Eastern Illinois a 22-20 win over Indiana State in the season opener Thursday night, spoiling Curt Mallory's debut as the Sycamore's coach in the first night game at Memorial Stadium since 2010.
LeMonte Booker scored his second touchdown of the game after missing all of 2016 due to injury, giving Indiana State a 20-16 lead with just under five minutes to play. Jerry Nunez missed a 48-yard field goal attempt to pad the lead with 2:14 left.
Kimble drove the Panthers 69 yards in 11 plays for the game-winner, finishing 27 of 44 passing for 204 yards.
Mark Williams gave Eastern Illinois the lead in the first quarter, picking off an Isaac Harker pass and returning it 75 yards for a touchdown.
Booker finished with 154 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.
>>Western Routs Tennessee Tech
Jaelon Acklin had a touchdown rushing and receiving in the second half and Western Illinois opened the season with a 41-14 win over Tennessee Tech on Thursday night.
Defensive end Khalen Saunders added a 1-yard touchdown and Mike Viti returned an interception 45 yards for a score as the Leathernecks led 34-0 after three quarters.
Saunders bulled his way into the end zone in the second quarter and Sam Crosa added two field goals to make it 13-0.
Acklin scored on a 21-yard end around and Vic Johnson added a 16-yard run before the interception return in the third.
Andrew Sale threw TD passes of 61 and 52 yards in the fourth quarter for the Golden Eagles.
Max Norris had 133 yards on 19 carries for Western Illinois, which piled up 298 yards on the ground and 443 overall. The defense forced three turnovers and Quentin Moon had 3½ tackles for loss and a forced fumble among his 10 tackles.
Tech had 252 yards, all in the air. Elliot Normand had 18 tackles.


White Sox Trade RHP Gonzalez To Texas

The Texas Rangers have acquired right-handed starter Miguel Gonzalez from the Chicago White Sox for a minor league infielder.
Texas made the deal Thursday night, adding a veteran starter to bolster the staff. The Rangers (66-67) were four games behind the second wild card spot with 29 games left.
Gonzalez is 7-10 with a 4.31 ERA in 22 starts this season. The 33-year-old righty was 2-0 with a 1.85 ERA in last five Chicago starts, including a no-decision earlier Thursday when he allowed three runs over six innings in the White Sox's 5-4 loss to Minnesota.
The Rangers sent minor league infielder Ti'Quan Forbes to Chicago, and made room on their 40-man roster when right-hander Anthony Bass was designated for assignment.


Cardinals, Cubs Win; White Sox Lose

>>Cardinals Beat Giants
Wacha pitched six strong innings and Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2.
The Giants were without staff ace Madison Bumgarner, a late scratch with flu symptoms, as they lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Wacha (10-7) gave up one run, four hits and two walks as he bounced back from a tough stretch. In his three previous starts he was 0-3 with a 10.22 ERA.
Tommy Pham was 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs for St. Louis.
Matt Cain gave up two runs on seven hits in five innings after a disastrous outing in his last game. 
Five Cardinals relievers combined to allow one run over the final three innings with Seung Hwan Oh getting his 20th save.
Jack Flaherty will make his major league debut for the Cardinals on Friday. The 21-year-old prospect was a combined 14-4 with a 2.18 ERA in 25 starts this year at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. San Francisco RHP Johnny Cueto (6-7, 4.59) will pitch for the first time since going on the disabled list with a flexor strain on July 15.
>>Cubs Jump Braves
Kyle Hendricks turned in his fourth straight quality start and the Cubs ran their winning streak to four with a 6-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.
Hendricks (6-4) allowed one earned run on five hits while striking out five and walking three in 6 2/3 innings as the reigning World Series champs maintained their 3 1/2-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.
Hendricks felt so out-of-whack that he found himself simulating his pitching motion between pitches early on.
Despite a laundry list of things that felt wrong, Hendricks and the Chicago Cubs continued to do most everything right.
Jon Jay had four hits and Kris Bryant homered to lead the Cubs offense.
Bryant's two-run blast through a stiff wind in the sixth inning made him the first Cubs player to begin his career with three straight 25-homer seasons.
Hendricks was backed by Brian Duensing, Carl Edwards and Justin Wilson, who combined on 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Rookie left-hander Sean Newcomb (2-8) took the loss, allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out seven and walking three in five innings.
Jon Lackey (10-10, 4.98 ERA) will oppose fellow RHP Mike Foltynewicz (10-10, 4.84) in the second game of the four-game series on Friday. 
>>Twins Top White Sox
Max Kepler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Twins rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 Thursday for their fourth straight victory.
Trailing 4-3 entering their final at-bat at Target Field, the Twins came back and held their slim lead for the second AL wild-card spot. They completed a three-game sweep with their first game-ending HBP since current Minnesota manager Paul Molitor was plunked in the 10th at the Metrodome in 1996 to beat Kansas City.
Pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza opened the ninth with a single to right off closer Juan Minaya (2-2). After a one-out walk, Eddie Rosario hit a tying single.
Joe Mauer then walked to load the bases and Jorge Polanco lined back to Minaya.
With the crowd on its feet, Minaya's first pitch hit Kepler in the shin for the winning run. Knocked to the ground, Kepler got up quickly and trotted to first.
Closer Matt Belisle (1-2) got the win despite giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.
Alen Hanson homered earlier to put the White Sox ahead 4-3.
Both starters - Chicago's Miguel Gonzalez and Minnesota's Bartolo Colon - allowed three earned runs in six innings. Colon gave up 10 hits and struck out eight; Gonzalez gave up seven hits and fanned five.
Chicago, 4-19 in its last 23 road games, scored three runs on nine hits between the second and fourth innings, but left two runners on in each frame.
An RBI single by Rob Brantly and RBI double by Adam Engel gave Chicago a 2-0 lead in the second. Yolmer Sanchez singled home a run in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.
Polanco and Kepler had RBI doubles in the fifth to tie it at 3.
Reynaldo Lopez (0-1, 6.97) is expected to come off the 10-day disabled list (back strain) when Chicago opens a 10-game homestand Friday against Tampa Bay. Blake Snell will start for the Rays (2-6, 4.29).


Packers Win, Bears Lose in Preseason Finale

>>Hundley Shines As Packers Wrap Up Preseason With Win
Brett Hundley, the backup to Aaron Rodgers, ran and threw for a score to lead the Packers to a 24-10 win Thursday night over the Los Angeles Rams in the preseason finale.
The Packers (3-1) look set at quarterback with Hundley backing up two-time NFL MVP Rodgers. The defense had its moments, too, albeit against a Rams offense that started third-stringer Dan Orlovsky at quarterback.
Both teams played mostly backups for most of the night. But the Packers' defense will surely get a shot of confidence after forcing two first-half turnovers to set up scores.
Green Bay also got what could be its starting cornerback group on the field for the first time in a preseason game. Davon House returned from a hamstring injury, joining Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins on the first series.
Justin Davis played most of the game for the Rams, rushing for 55 yards on 17 carries. With Lance Dunbar out with a knee injury, Davis appears to be in line for the third-string running back job behind Gurley and Malcolm Brown.
Starting RB Ty Montgomery was one of 28 players who sat out for Green Bay, though McCarthy committed to the run in the second half. The Packers took three running backs in the draft this year, and Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays each had their moments. Green Bay rushed for 105 yards on 23 carries in the second half.
Taysom Hill, in a competition for the Packers' third-string quarterback spot with Joe Callahan, led an impressive nine-play, 58-yard scoring drive capped by a 25-yard pass to Aaron Peck early in the fourth quarter for a 24-3 lead. Hill finished 4 of 4 for 31 yards and flashed his mobility with 19 yards on two carries.
Callahan followed Hill in the fourth quarter, going 2 of 2 for 9 yards.
Packers receiver Geronimo Allison and Rams safety Isaiah Johnson both left with 56 seconds left in the second quarter after a hard collision on Allison's 10-yard reception to the Rams 1. Allison got up but went to the locker room anyway, and the team said he had a concussion. Johnson stayed down on the field for about a minute in the end zone, then walked back to the locker room with an undisclosed injury.
>>Browns Blank Bears in Preseason Finale
Mitchell Trubisky got an opportunity to start and little chance to show what he can do, completing just two passes for the Chicago Bears in a 25-0 preseason-ending loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.
Trubisky started with Mike Glennon and veteran Mark Sanchez resting for the opener against Atlanta next week. But after dazzling at times with his play in the preseason and sparking a quarterback controversy in Chicago, he simply didn't get to make many throws in this game.
The No. 2 overall pick and Cleveland-area product completed 2 of 5 passes for 10 yards against the team that drafted defensive end Myles Garrett first. Both completions and four attempts came on his fourth possession, early in the second quarter, before giving way to Connor Shaw.
Trubisky did nothing but hand off as Chicago went three-and-out on its first three drives, drawing boos from restless fans. He re-entered the game twice in the closing minutes, first coming in for two plays when Shaw briefly returned to the sideline.
A scrambling Shaw then appeared to twist his left leg while being tackled near the sideline on his second play back, forcing the Bears to bring in Trubisky again.
Cody Kessler had a solid first half with the Browns holding out second-round pick DeShone Kizer and Brock Osweiler, completing 11 of 19 passes for 144 yards despite steady pressure. He was sacked three times but threw a 27-yard touchdown to Rannell Hall in the second quarter.
Kevin Hogan started the third period and went 13 of 18 for 180 yards and two touchdowns. 
The Bears host Atlanta on next Sunday.


Bulls Acquire F Pondexter

A person familiar with the situation says the Pelicans have agreed to trade veteran forward Quincy Pondexter and second-round draft choice to the Chicago Bulls - a move that will give New Orleans more financial flexibility to round out their roster with a small forward after Solomon Hill's offseason hamstring tear.
The person also says rookie Frank Jackson, acquired with the first pick in the second round of this summer's draft, needs surgery on the same foot he broke this year and previously had surgery on in May.
The person says what the Pelicans' compensation in the Chicago trade is still being determined.
The trade and Jackson's injury were first reported by ESPN.


Cubs Win; Cardinals, White Sox Lose

Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs, Ian Happ and Anthony Rizzo also went deep to back Jose Quintana, and the Cubs pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 17-3 on Wednesday night.
Chicago tied a season high for runs set against Philadelphia on Saturday and banged out 20 hits to match its highest total since May 12, 2014, at St. Louis. The Cubs (72-60) outscored the Pirates 27-5 in a three-game sweep and moved 12 games above .500 for the first time this year. They also remained 3 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead.
Happ helped stake Chicago to a 5-2 lead with an RBI single in the first and two-run drive off Ivan Nova in the third. Happ also had an RBI double.
Rizzo hit his 31st homer, scored three runs and drove in two. Schwarber came through with his second multihomer game of the season, with two-run drives in the fifth and seventh.
Javier Baez became the first Cubs player in seven years to steal home .
Quintana (5-3) held Pittsburgh to three runs and four hits in six innings. He retired 14 in a row after giving up two runs in the first and also had an RBI single.
Nova (11-12) lasted just three innings in his shortest outing of the year, allowing five runs (four earned) and three hits after getting roughed up in Cincinnati last week.
Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.45 ERA) goes to the mound as Chicago opens a four-game series against Atlanta. LHP Sean Newcomb (2-7, 4.36) starts for the Braves.
>>Brewers Outlast Cardinals
Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar homered in the sixth inning, and Keon Broxton made a leaping catch over the wall for the final out in the Milwaukee Brewers' 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his 30th save. He allowed a leadoff single to Yadier Molina, struck out the next two batters, and then watched Broxton snag Randal Grichuk's deep blast to end the game.
Chase Anderson (8-3) gave up two hits - both homers - in six innings, three earned runs, struck out six and walked two to improve to 4-0 in nine starts at Miller Park this season.
Santana hit his 22nd homer of the season and Villar's was his 10th, giving Milwaukee a franchise-record nine players with at least 10 homers in a season.
St. Louis fell 2 1/2 games behind the second-place Brewers in the NL Central despite two home runs from Tommy Pham, who has 19 on the season.
Carlos Martinez (10-10), who entered the game 3-0 in his past four starts, allowed 10 hits, six runs - three earned - and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings.
Milwaukee won for the 10th time in its past 15 games by scoring three times in the sixth. 
Grichuk hit his 17th homer in the fifth.
Michael Wacha (9-7) takes a three-game losing streak into his start at San Francisco.
>>Twins Power Past White Sox
Jose Berrios pitched seven scoreless innings, Brian Dozier had four hits and Eddie Rosario homered twice as the Twins defeated the Chicago White Sox 11-1 on Wednesday night.
Berrios (12-6) tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, including seven of the last nine batters he faced. He walked one and gave up just four hits to win his seventh straight start at Target Field.
Chicago's only real threat came in the fourth, when Berrios hit Jose Abreu with a pitch, gave up a broken-bat single to Avisail Garcia and walked Omar Narvaez to load the bases with two outs. Berrios struck out Tim Anderson on three pitches, the last a 96-mph fastball, to escape the jam.
Mitch Garver and Ehire Adrianza each had three hits for the Twins. Adrianza tripled twice and drove in four runs, while Garver scored three runs and was a home run short of the cycle.
Miguel Gonzalez (7-10, 4.30) has given up just four earned runs in his last 28 innings, cutting his ERA by nearly a full run. In his only start against the Twins this year he held them to two runs in six innings in a White Sox victory on April 8.
Twins RHP Bartolo Colon (6-10, 6.35) is 4-1 with a 3.21 ERA in five August starts.


Cubs SS Russel Has Setback On Rehab Assignment

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was called back to Chicago to be examined after experiencing a setback in his recovery from a right foot injury.
Russell was scratched from a rehab game with Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday after experiencing soreness. The 2016 All-Star has been sidelined since early August after straining the foot.
"Tough one," manager Joe Maddon said. "You look at the shortstop position. Of course, Javy (Javier Baez) is doing a wonderful job. But after that, it becomes different. We were counting on this to happen, Addy to get back quickly. Hopefully, it's not going to be anything prolonged. That's such an important position."
The news on ace Jon Lester (left lat tightness and shoulder fatigue) was more encouraging. He is scheduled to pitch Saturday against Atlanta after his 50-pitch bullpen session Wednesday went well.


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