Staff Writer By doug mckenzie VERONICA YANKOWSKI Middletown South’s Tim Traynor tackles Red Bank Regional’s Mike Zadlock during the Eagles’ 26-6 win in Middletown Saturday. Observing the National Day of Prayer last Friday in remembrance of the terrorist attack on America Sept. 11, many of Friday’s scheduled high school football games were rescheduled, or simply postponed until the following day. And for those teams who did play this weekend, many found that returning to the football field was somewhat therapeutic, in that it allowed the coaches and players to, at least, begin to feel normal again, if only for a short time. At a time when winning and losing on the football field seemed somewhat inconsequential, the teams returned to action, with the majority of the local teams registering wins. The Middletown South Eagles proved their impressive opening-day win over a good Matawan team was not a mirage, but simply an indication that they were indeed back as one of the Shore’s top football teams. The Eagles’ game with Red Bank Regional was moved from Friday to Saturday, but the delay didn’t seem to affect the South defense, as South rolled to a 26-6 win over the Bucs, a squad many people believe is one of the Shore Conference’s most improved teams. Once again it was senior quarterback Brandon Kennedy who was the offensive star, throwing for two touchdowns and running for two more. However, all in all, this was probably a game that the Eagles’ offense would like to forget. South turned the ball over a total of six times in the game, including three times deep in their own territory. But each time, it was the Eagle defense which stepped up and kept the team in the game, while stymieing the Red Bank offense for much of the game. In total, the Eagle defense held the Buc offense to 94 yards, including 29 in the first half, allowing only a third-quarter touchdown pass on a fourth-down play. The Eagle defense was relentless, smothering Red Bank ball carriers in the backfield and sacking RBR quarterback Kevin Snyder six times. It was an impressive performance from a team whose defense could lead them back into contention for a state title. On the offensive side of the ball, Kennedy played well once again, orchestrating a 10-play, 71-yard drive in the second quarter that ended in a 2-yard TD pass to Mike McClelland. Later in the second, Kennedy added a 35-yard TD pass to Andre MacCray to give the Eagles a 12-0 lead at the half. And based on the play of the Eagle defense in the first half, that lead appeared to be plenty. Kennedy ended any thoughts of a RBR comeback in the third quarter when he raced 63 yards for a touchdown to pad the lead to 26-6. But it was the Eagles’ defense that was the dominant force on Saturday, which could mean trouble for the rest of the teams on South’s schedule. If the defense continues to play as it has thus far, South may be one of the last teams standing come play-off time. This Saturday, it’s Manchester’s turn to see how good the Eagles really are when they host South. Game time is 1:30 p.m. The Raritan Rockets are another team that got its second win of the young season, posting a 13-7 victory over an improved Pinelands squad. The Rockets now have the fast start they were looking for heading into this weekend’s tough match-up with 2-0 Long Branch, and they have left tackle Michael Niedbala to thank for it. The sophomore made two of the biggest plays of the game Saturday, picking off a pass and blocking a punt, helping the Rockets hold off Pinelands in a true defensive struggle. Pinelands got on the board first with a 36-yard punt return by Chris Murray less than four minutes into the game. But that would be all the points they could muster against a stingy Raritan defense. Raritan countered four minutes later on an 18-yard TD run from junior Michael Fabozzi. The Rockets got the game’s final score just before the half, when QB James Papcun hit Dave May from 33-yards out for the deciding score. The Raritan defense took it from there, extending its streak of not allowing a touchdown to eight quarters, something they are already taking great pride in. However, that streak is likely to be challenged this Friday, when Berkeley Hutchinson and the high-powered Long Branch offense come to town. Game time is 7 p.m. After getting off to an unfamiliar 0-1 start, the Keyport High School football team could not afford another loss at this early juncture of the season. And with a tough Keansburg team next on its schedule, the Red Raiders were in danger of seeing their season’s goals disappear just two weeks in. But sophomore Ken Cattouse wasn’t going to let that happen, as he ran the ball 20 times for 202 yards and two touchdowns in leading Keyport to the dramatic 20-19 win. Keyport got on the board first when Cattouse ran for a pair of touchdowns from 39 and 59 yards out. Up 13-0, Keyport seemed poised to cruise to its first win after dropping the season-opener to Shore Regional. But the Titans stormed back, scoring three touchdowns to take the 19-13 lead. That set up Keyport’s final chance to notch the win. The drive began with Keyport moving 29 yards on five plays to reach the Keansburg 26. After a pair of incomplete passes, quarterback Steve Greggins lofted a beautiful pass to J.J. Bedle in the end zone to tie the game at 19-19. A.J. Youncofski’s extra point gave Keyport the lead and the win. It was a season-saving win for the Red Raiders, and provided them with an early test of will as they look to regain their championship form. Their next step in that process comes Saturday when they face the 0-2 Mater Dei Seraphs. Mater Dei came close to notching its first win of the year Saturday, only to fall to the surprising Garnet Gulls of Point Beach (2-0), 6-5. Mater Dei had a lead in this game following a 23-yard field goal from Mark Beil. But they were unable to score again, as the Point Beach defense continually turned them back, despite several scoring opportunities. In the end, protecting a 6-3 lead, the Gulls chose to take a safety rather than risk punting the ball from their own end zone, and stopped the Seraphs on their final drive of the game to preserve the win. Mater Dei will try once again to notch its first win of the year when it faces Keyport Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m. St. John Vianney was the only other local team in action this weekend, as the Lancers fell to the mighty Knights of Wall 35-14. The loss dropped Vianney to 1-1. The Lancers had a 14-6 lead in this game before Wall responded with two, second-quarter touchdowns to pull away. Shane Kochon gave the Lancers the early lead when he ran 62 yards for a touchdown and followed that with a 15-yard scoring run moments later following a Wall fumble. But the Wall defense stiffened just as the offense took over, and the Lancers were left with their first loss of the year. Vianney will try to bounce back Saturday when they travel to Point Boro. Game time is 7 p.m. Both the Holmdel Hornets and Matawan Huskies were in action Monday, as their games against Freehold and Ocean, respectively, were moved due to the tragic events of Sept. 11. Results from both games were not available by press time for this week’s Independent. Friday night’s Middletown North at Howell game was rescheduled for the off date that each team had. Fortunately, both teams had Nov. 3 as their bye week and will make up last week’s game on that night.
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It’s been a historic season for the Monmouth University men’s basketball team, and December is just beginning. During the month of November, Monmouth stunned national power UCLA on the Bruins’ legendary home floor, Pauley Pavilion.The Hawks followed that up at the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando, Florida, by scoring their first victory over a top-25 team when they beat the University of Notre Dame in the quarterfinals Nov. 27.Monmouth went on to place third in the tournament, defeating the University of Southern California, 83-73, in the third-place consolation game Nov. 29. It was their second win against a Pac- 12 team (after UCLA) this year.Tournament Most Valuable Player Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, New York) scored 27 points and set a tourney scoring record with his 77 total points in the three games. Robinson’s scoring output topped the previous record of 73 points set by former NBA first-round pick Michael Beasley in 2007 while playing for Kansas State University.In addition to being the tournament MVP, Robinson was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Player of the Week and the Lou Jenson National Player of the Week by CollegeInsider.com. Micah Seaborn earned MAAC Rookie of the Week honors. The pair were integral in Monmouth’s third-place finish at the AdvoCare Invitational.Robinson hit the game-winning free throws in Monmouth’s 72- 71 win over No. 17 Notre Dame in the tournament quarterfinals.Against USC, Robinson finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three assists. He shot 9-of-15 from the floor and knocked home five 3-pointers for the second consecutive game.Seaborn netted a career-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, making four threes for the first time in his young career.Deon Jones added his fifth career double-double with 14 points and 10 caroms, shooting 4-of-11 and 6-of-7 from the foul line.Monmouth, now 4-2 on the season, will open MAAC play on the road Dec. 4, visiting Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and then Niagara University Dec. 6.The Hawks’ first home game of the season is Dec. 13 against Wagner College and will be televised on ESPN3. The tipoff is at 2 p.m.Monmouth will not return home to West Long Branch until 2016 when the Hawks host Canisius and Quinnipiac University on Jan. 4 and 9.
By Nemanja BjedovPavlos Kontides earned a silver medal at the 2013 Laser World Championship at Oman’s Al-Mussanah Sports City on Saturday, trailing newly-crowned champion Robert Scheidt of Brazil by 13 points, after finishing the last race of the event in 13th position.“He sailed a perfect race, so well done to him,” said the 23-year-old Cypriot. “But with some consistent training, I will be able to up my game and I know next season I will be much better.“I am still learning and developing and Robert is at the peak of his game.“Age-wise he is 40 and at some stage will start to decline, whereas I am 23 and on the rise, so the odds are against him,” Kontides said.“I really wanted to savour the gold medal, but I will be trying my hardest again next time,” the Cypriot sailor concluded.Kontides became the first Cypriot athlete ever to win an Olympic medal for his country. He secured the silver medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games in the Men’s Laser class.
By Brian HomewoodBorussia Dortmund struck twice in the first five minutes and Robert Lewandowski grabbed a second-half double as last season’s Champions League runners-up won 4-2 at Zenit St Petersburg in their last 16, first-leg tie on Tuesday.Dortmund got off to a flying start when Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus scored two quickfire goals to stun Zenit, who were playing their first competitive game since the two-month winter break.A dramatic second-half spell saw four goals in 14 minutes as Oleg Shatov and Hulk, with a penalty, scored for Zenit and Lewandowski quickly replied each time for the visitors.Zenit, who are trying to reach the quarter-finals for the first time, were left with an almost impossible task of having to score at least three goals in the return on March 19.Zenit were quickly in trouble as Reus burst into the area and, although he stumbled, the ball ran kindly to Mkhitaryan and the Armenian fired the ball past Yuri Lodygin.The Zenit goalkeeper had to pick the ball out of his net again 70 seconds later after Mkhitaryan burst down the right and found Kevin Grosskreutz who laid the ball off for Reus to score with a clinical first-time finish.Zenit were penned back in their own half and their problems mounted when midfielder Andrey Arshavin went off injured and was replaced by Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.Dortmund began the second half on the attack as their Poland striker Lewandowski had a powerful shot turned around the post by Lodygin.The Russians reduced the deficit in the 57th minute with a scrambled goal when Oleg Shatov fired home from the rebound after Jose Salomon Rondon had one effort headed away and then hit the post.Lewandowski restored Dortmund’s two-goal advantage four minutes later after combining with compatriot Lukasz Piszczek in a counter-attack down the right.Hulk pulled another back for the hosts with a controversial penalty in the 69th minute, awarded after Viktor Fayzulin dribbled into the area and collided with Piszczek.But Zenit gifted Dortmund another goal when Tymoshchuk was dispossessed in his own half by Reus, who slipped the ball through for Lewandowski to score with a low, angled shot.
Kompany a worry for Belgium ahead of Russian testBelgium head into today’s World Cup Group H clash with Russia at the Maracana stadium with a worry over the fitness of skipper Vincent Kompany.Kompany missed training for the second straight day on Friday while he gets attention to a groin strain picked up late in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Algeria.“Vincent felt something in the final few minutes and was not able to sprint 100 per cent,” said Belgium coach Marc Wilmots.“He hoped that resting it overnight would resolve the problem, but it wasn’t the case and on Wednesday morning he still had pain in the left groin.“We decided he would work alone from the rest of the squad for two days with the physiotherapist Lieven Maesschalk and the medical staff. All being well, he will be back training with the rest of the squad on Saturday.”Kompany’s importance to the team goes well beyond his accomplished performances at centre half, given he is the well-established leader and defensive organiser.Should the Manchester City defender not make it then Wilmots would have to turn to Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Ciman or Nicolas Lombaerts as cover.Russia drew 1-1 with South Korea in their opening game and coach Fabio Capello is likely to stick with goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev despite his blunder in that game.Akinfeev let a long range Lee Keun-ho shot slip through his body to gift the lead to the Koreans.“Just like some players can miss penalties it can happen that a keeper makes a mistake as well,” said Capello.“You can accept a mistake from a great keeper like Akinfeev. It turned out fine as we were able to make up the difference. I’m very happy with Akinfeev,” he said.Capello, who turned 68 on Wednesday, said he hoped to see his side pick up where they left off with their second half performance against the Koreans.“The way our team played at the end of the second half was the best possible birthday present they could have given me. Ronaldo key to Portugal recovery as US challenge loomsA wounded Portugal, still smarting from a 4-0 defeat by Germany, are fervently hoping that talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo is fit when they take on the United States in their second World Cup Group G game today.The thrashing was the biggest ever loss the Portuguese have suffered at a World Cup and their misery deepened as central defender Pepe was sent off while Ronaldo struggled for form as he battled a knee injury.The world player of the year will need to be back to his best for the clash with the Americans, who surprisingly beat Ghana 2-1 in their opening game.Rumours about Ronaldo’s condition have been swirling across the internet and officials were forced to deny reports that his personal doctor had advised him to quit the tournament.A few days’ rest seem to have helped and his team mate Miguel Veloso said the player appeared to be in good shape.“I’m not a doctor but from what I see, Ronaldo is fine,” Veloso told reporters after a training session in Campinas.“He is training, he is jumping and he is shooting. There is not much else to say.”Ronaldo, who was suffering from tendinosis in his left knee several weeks before the 32-nation tournament, was photographed walking out of Wednesday’s training session early with an ice pack on his left knee.Also of concern to coach Paolo Bento is the need to find the right replacements for the suspended Pepe and injured left back Fabio Coentrao whose involvement in the tournament is over.Goalkeeper Rui Patricio and striker Hugo Almeida were also nursing knocks but have been ruled fit to play, although the latter could be dropped for Helder Postiga after a lacklustre performance against Germany.The United States will hope to reproduce the inspired display from the 2002 World Cup when they beat Portugal 3-2 in the group stage, a win which helped them advance to the last 16 at the expense of their rivals.Coach Juergen Klinsmann, who was in charge of his native Germany when they beat Portugal 3-1 in the 2006 tournament’s third-place match, said he expected Ronaldo to fire on all cylinders in the hot and humid city of Manaus.Klinsmann also hopes that his walking wounded recover, in particular Clint Dempsey who broke his nose after taking a boot to the face against Ghana shortly after scoring inside a minute.“Now (Portugal) are going to come into Manaus pretty angry and I don’t know how Ronaldo is going to perform when he is angry. We need to show Portugal how good we are,” he said. Algeria ready to turn goal trickle into floodAlgeria scored their first World Cup goal in 28 years in their opener and will hope the offensive floodgates have opened in a crucial Group H match against a leaky South Korea today.With dark horse Belgium sitting atop the group standings and Russia and Korea joint second after an opening 1-1 draw, Algeria will be fighting for their World Cup lives on Sunday at Porto Alegre’s Beira Rio stadium.Back in the World Cup for the fourth time, the ‘Desert Foxes’ have never made it past the first round and will need a result against the Koreans if they are to extend their stay in Brazil.The only Arab nation present at the tournament, the Algerians arrive at this gritty port city believing a place in the last 16 is within their reach after going down 2-1 to highly rated Belgium.Confidence and mood, however, will not be as high in the South Korean camp after sloppy play in their back end cost them a victory against Russia.After yielding 11 goals in five World Cup warm-ups, the Koreans again looked vulnerable at the back in their opener and Algeria’s coach Vahid Halilhodzic will be plotting to add to their woes.When Sofiane Feghouli converted a spot kick to give Algeria a 1-0 lead over Belgium, the Arab nation celebrated their World Cup finals goal since 1986 and were on course for a famous upset until the Europeans struck twice in the last 20 minutes.“We could have won,” lamented Halilhodzic. “We were heroic in the first half. At half-time I was sure we would make it. We’ve missed a major opportunity. But I don’t want to blame anyone. You can say I am the one to be blamed, as usual.“Belgium is one of the best teams in Europe. My team gave as much as they could in the present time.”South Korea, fourth place finishers in 2002 on home soil, also see the contest as a must-win with group favourites Belgium looming on the horizon.“We have to defeat them to get to the round of 16,” said Korean midfielder Koo Ja-cheol. “We’ll concentrate on doing whatever it takes to win.”
By Shravanth VijayakumarARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has thanked the English for their show of solidarity following last Friday’s attacks in Paris.The French coach was in the city when at least 129 people were killed in a wave of attacks, which included three suicide bombings outside the stadium where France were playing Germany in a friendly.Wenger said on Thursday that he was due to attend the game but was running late and watched the carnage unfold from his hotel room.He attended the friendly between England and France at Wembley on Tuesday, when the two nations’ football fans united by singing the French national anthem, while the stadium’s famous arch was lit up in the colours of the French flag.“I want to thank the English community who showed great solidarity. It was a huge shock for our country,” Wenger told reporters at a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion.“The arch of Wembley in French colours was very significant.“It showed the class of England,” he added.“Everybody who was in Paris on Friday night was in shock. France is like England – a tolerant and generous country. You have a bit more of a question of security, because it looks like it’s not the end of it.“We have to get on with life and respond in a positive way. We have to get people to focus on something else.“The football world has responded the way you want it to respond – in a big union and togetherness.“You always think after this kind of event, ‘Do you continue to play or do you stop your life?’ For me they (the organisers) made the right decision and the event on Tuesday night has shown it was the right decision,” Wenger said.Turning to Saturday’s game, Wenger said West Brom would prove tough opposition. The Gunners have not lost at the Hawthorns since October 2005, but Wenger praised his opposite number Tony Pulis.“They are an organised team. Tony Pulis is fully committed. You expect a physical and fast game,” the 66-year-old said.Wenger confirmed that injured duo Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would miss the game, but that right-back Hector Bellerin was available.
Sea Eagles1 Brett Stewart2 Jorge Taufua3 Jamie Lyon (c)4 Steve Matai5 Tom Trbojevic6 Dylan Walker 7 Daly Cherry-Evans8 Jake Trbojevic 9 Apisai Koroisau 10 Nate Myles11 Lewis Brown12 Nathan Green13 Martin TaupauInterchange14 Matt Parcell15 Blake Leary16 Darcy Lussick17 Feleti Mateo18 Siosaia VaveCoach: Trent BarrettBulldogs1 Will Hopoate2 Curtis Rona3 Josh Morris4 Chase Stanley5 Sam Perrett6 Josh Reynolds7 Moses Mbye8 Aiden Tolman9 Michael Lichaa10 James Graham (c)11 Josh Jackson12 Tony Williams13 Greg EastwoodInterchange14 Sam Kasiano15 Danny Fualalo16 Tim Browne17 Adam Elliott19 Shaun LaneCoach: Des Hasler
Tkatchenko said this commitment is evident in state-of-the-art sports infrastructure that was built for the 2015 Pacific Games and the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup.He said these facilities will remain a legacy for many sportsmen and women.“As part of the Government’s commitment to give sports in PNG an opportunity to reach greater heights, we must remain a greater stakeholder.“This is to ensure that the interests of our sportsmen and women remain paramount,” Tkatchenko said.He explained that a greater reason why the Government must remain the greater stakeholder is the lack of sufficient resource and funding for sports over the years.That eventually results in the lack of progress or further development in sporting codes.He added that poor administration and management of sporting codes in the country has been of great concern.He said we must make it our business to ensure proper mechanisms and foundations are set.
This time, it took the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to do it, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 at NRG Stadium in Houston in Super Bowl LI.Atlanta had a 28-3 lead midway through the third quarter. But a costly Atlanta fumble by quarterback Matt Ryan with 8:31 left in the fourth quarter helped set up the Patriots to come all the way back.It was the first time the Falcons had turned the ball over in this postseason.The revenge tour is complete, and quarterback Tom Brady, named the game’s MVP, stands alone.All five of those titles have come with Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, but this one had some slightly different circumstances. Brady missed the first four games of the regular season, serving his Deflategate suspension that was imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.Ultimately, Brady’s absence didn’t negatively impact the Patriots, who went on to a 14-2 record and the top spot in the AFC.New England had returned to the Super Bowl for the ninth time, an NFL record, with Belichick and Brady leading seven of those appearances.Sunday’s win gave Brady the most Super Bowl titles by a quarterback and matched Charles Haley for the most Super Bowl titles by a player. Belichick now has the most Super Bowl wins by a head coach, surpassing Chuck Noll. Belichick and Brady also now have the most Super Bowl appearances as a head coach and player duo.This was just Atlanta’s second appearance in its 51-season history. The team first came in the 1998 season, when the Falcons lost Super Bowl XXXIII 34-19 to the Denver Broncos.