Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ASU Swim and Dive lose to Stanford on Senior Day

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports

TEMPE, ARIZONA (January 24) The Sun Devils Swim and Dive team owned the 200 yard breast and the 200 yard free relays but were unable to capture enough points to defeat Stanford on Senior Day at Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex on Saturday, January 24.

Photo by Mike Stockman

ASU's Jan Kutnik beat out Stanford's Drew Cosgarea by .06 seconds in the men's 500 yard free, a race that had the spectators jumping and screaming to the finish. Kutnik placed second in the men's 1000 yard free behind Liam Egan from Stanford.

Stanford qualified four swimmers for NCAAs in three events. In the men's 200 yard individual medley, Gray Umbach took first while teammate Max Williamson touched less than a half second behind. Both swimmers were able to beat the NCAA "B" qualify time. Janet Hu qualified in the women's 200 yard back while David Nolan qualified in men's 200 yard back.

ASU's women diver Mara Aiacoboae won the 3 meter competition while Hailey Casper won the women's 1 meter event. David Hoffer won the men's 3 meter event and Hunter Atha took second place.

Stanford women scored 131 to ASU's 100 and the Stanford men defeated ASU 134 - 96.

This was ASU's last home meet of the season. ASU will be traveling to University of Arizona for their final dual meet of the year on February 7, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. AZ time.

ASU falls to PAC-12 Rival Cal in Dual Meet

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports

TEMPE, ARIZONA (January 23) Arizona State University’s Hailey Casper and David Hoffer combine for four first places in Men and Women’s 1 meter and 3 meter diving on Friday, January 23 at Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex.

ASU's David Hoffer takes first in 1 meter and 3 meter
ASU’s Diving team had the best performance of the year but it wasn’t enough to defeat the University of California Golden Bears who were able to qualify for NCAAs in five events.

ASU’s Mara Aiacoboae received two third places in diving, one in the women’s 1 meter and the other in the 3 meter. While teammate Hunter Atha finished second in the men’s 3 meter, and third in the 1 meter competitions.

California’s Missy Franklin qualified for NCAA in the women’s 100 yard back. Josh Prenot qualified in the men’s 100 yard breast. Elizabeth Pelton qualified in the women’s 200 yard back and 100 yard fly. Ryan Murphy qualified in the men’s 200 Individual Medley.

There was a tie for second in the women’s 50 yard free. Rachel Bootsma, from California won first while Rachael Acker from Cal tied with ASU’s Marina Spadoni.

ASU’s men were able to finish the meet taking first and second in the men’s 400 yard free relay.

ASU women scored 102.5 to Cal’s 197.5 and the men scored 130 to Cal’s 163.

ASU’s next home appearance at Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex is against PAC-12 rival Stanford on Saturday, January 24 at 12 P.M. AZ Time.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

USA Water Polo National League Season Starts

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports

National League begins Inaugural Season (Photo by Mark Pierson)
SANTA ANA, CA (January 12, 2015) On a rainy and cloudy weekend with temperatures in the mid 60’s, the USA Water Polo’s National League began its inaugural season at Segerstrom High School, January 11-12, 2015.

The weather did not deter fans who were ready for exciting performances from the seven teams that make up the new league. The teams are comprised of the top college and high school water polo players in the country.

The goal of the newly established National League is to gain experience and become a world powerhouse in an Olympic sport that has been dominated by European countries since the 1900 Summer Olympics.

The first of four weekends ended with the following results:

USA Red 8 vs. USA White 10
NYAC 6 vs. Olympic Club 10
USA Blue 7 vs. Alumni 10
International 5 vs. USA Red 10
USA White 11 vs. NYAC 10
Olympic Club 12 vs. USA Blue 11
Alumni 17 vs. International 8
USA Red 13 vs. NYAC 10
USA White 7 vs. Olympic Club 16
USA Blue 11 vs. International 6
Alumni 7 vs. USA Red 9

National League Standings after Week 1
USA Red (3-1) 13 pts
Olympic Club (3-0) 12 pts
USA White (2-1) 9 pts
Alumni (2-1) 9 pts
USA Blue (1-2) 5 pts
New York Athletic Club (0-3)

The National League will play at Miramonte High School in Orinda, CA for Week 2 on February 7-8. Admission is free.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Boise State Uses Statue of Liberty in Victory at Fiesta Bowl - Again!

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports

Glendale, Arizona (December 31, 2014) Boise State’s quarterback Grant Hedrick used the “Statue of Liberty” in a 38-30 win over the Arizona Wildcats at University of Phoenix Stadium in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

This was not the first time Boise State executed the childhood favorite “Statue of Liberty” play to perfection. In the 2007 Fiesta Bowl game, the Broncos defeat the Oklahoma Sooners in overtime using the play by the score of 43-42. Earlier this year, the Broncos used it in a win against Wyoming.

Jay Ajayi rushed for 134 yards and scored three touchdowns, which makes him the all-time rushing TD leader at Boise State. Chaz Anderson had 80 yards receiving and one touchdown reception while sophomore wide-receiver Thomas Sperbeck is named offensive MVP for his 199 yard performance.

Field goal kicker Dan Goodale made a 36 yard field goal at the end of the first half and was 5-5 on extra points.

The Broncos defense helped score when an interception caught by Donte Deayon was returned for a 16 yard touchdown.

Hedrick finished the game with 309 yards passing and one touchdown pass.

The Arizona Wildcats, after falling behind 21-0 in the first quarter, were able to “bear down” and score 30 points. In the fourth quarter with 3:01 left, Arizona had an opportunity to tie the game. After completing a deep pass to the Broncos’ eight yard line with less than 25 seconds left, Solomon was unable to escape a sack allowing time to run out.

For the Wildcats, Anu Solomon (redshirt freshman) threw for 335 yards, one touchdown pass, and had one rushing TD. Nick Wilson scores a touchdown from one yard out and carries for a total of 86 yards. Sammajie Grant scored on a 51 yard reception and Cayleb Jones caught eight passes for 117 yards. Casey Skowron made three field goals (42, 32, and 24 yards) and was 3-3 on extra points.

Arizona is now 1-2 in the Fiesta Bowl. In 1979 Arizona lost to Pittsburgh 16-10. In 1993 Arizona shuts out Miami 29-0. This brings Arizona’s bowl record to 9-10-1.

Cotton Bowl Comeback Led by Connor Cook

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent 
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports

 Arlington, Texas (Thursday, Jan. 1) After throwing two interceptions and being behind by twenty points in the fourth quarter, Michigan State's quarterback Connor Cook ties the game with 17 seconds left on a 10 yard touchdown pass to Keith Mumphery, allowing the field goal kicker Michael Geiger to win it with the extra point 42-41 against the Baylor Bears at AT&T Stadium in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic on January 1, 2015.

Before the fourth quarter comeback, the Baylor Bears were being masterly driven by QB Bryce Petty, who is awarded the game's MVP. Petty threw for a Cotton Bowl record 550 yards, three TDs, and scored on a quarterback sneak from the one yard line.
Petty connected eight times with KD Cannon for a total of 197 yards and two touchdowns.

Baylor was not afraid to use gadget plays to score. In the first quarter, Petty throws a backward pass to Jay Lee who then throws a perfect strike to Corey Coleman for 53 yards. In the third quarter, Petty throws a touchdown to LaQuan McGowan, one of Baylor's biggest linemen lined up as an eligible tight end, for 18 yards.

In the fourth quarter, Michigan State's Cook starts the comeback with an eight yard touchdown pass to Josiah Price. After a key scramble by Cook to the one yard line, Jeremy Langford falls forward for the touchdown, his third rushing touchdown of the game and 22nd rushing touchdown on the year, a school record.
With 1:05 left, Baylor, leading 41 - 35, attempts a 43 yard field goal which gets blocked and run back to Baylor's 45 yard line.

Michigan State, with no time outs, drives down the field to Baylor's 10 yard line. On third and goal with 17 seconds left, Cook passes for a touchdown to Keith Mumphery to tie up the game. The extra point by Michael Geiger is good and the Spartans win 42 - 41.

The Baylor Bears are now 0 - 3 at the Cotton Bowl. The first loss occured in 1975 against Penn State 41 - 20. In 1981, they lost to Alabama 30 - 2. The Bears bowl record is 10-11.
Michigan State has won four consecutive bowl games, a school record. In bowl appearances, the Spartans are now 11-14.

ASU Women Defeat Utah in Swimming and Diving

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports

TEMPE, ARIZONA (January 9, 2015) ASU’s sophomore Ingibjorg Jonsdottir qualifies for NCAA  “B” cut time by winning the 100 Back and helps team defeat Utah’s Women in Swimming and Diving 191 – 108 on Friday, January 9, 2015 at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex.

Jonsdottir wins 100 back (photo by Mike Stockman)
On a sunny winter’s day, which posted 75 degree temperature, ASU’s Women Swimming and Diving dominated Utah by winning 12 out of 16 events.

Utah’s Men, ranked 24th in NCAA, were unstoppable.  They are undefeated on the season with a 7-0 record.

ASU’s Juhan Hong posted a personal best time in the 1000 yard free where he placed second behind Utah’s Brandon Shreeve.

The fastest race of the day was the Men’s 50 yard free. Utah’s Nick Soedel qualifies for NCAA “B” cut by taking first place with a 19.87. There was a tie for second between ASU’s Patrick Park and Utah’s Alex Fernandes with a 20.74.

ASU will host BYU at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 12:00pm AZ Time.

ASU Men Win Meet in Final Race against BYU 151 - 148

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports

Men's 400 Free Relay (Photograph by Mike Stockman)
TEMPE, ARIZONA (January 10, 2015) Arizona State University’s Men Swimming and Diving team squeeze out a victory by taking first and second place in the final event of the meet, the 400 Free Relay, against Brigham Young University Cougars for a final score 151 -148 at Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex on Saturday, January 10, 2015.

Going into the final event, the 400 Free Relay, ASU’s Men were down by 10 points. ASU had two relay teams and BYU fielded three. It would take a stellar performance by both relay teams, requiring them to place first and second to take the meet.

ASU’s “A” team, consisting of Patrick Park, Tadas Duskinas, Sean Kao, and Joe Worrick, took the lead and never looked back.

ASU’s “B” team, consisting of Thomaz Martins, Cole Miller, Juhan Hong, and Narkley Perry, was on “A” teams’ heels but were never able to gain ground, finishing a comfortable lead in front of BYU’s “B” team, consisting of Seth Russell, Levi Jensen, Matt Abernethy, and Michael King.
Men's 3 meter warm-ups (photo by Mike Stockman) 

ASU Men’s Diving contributed to the team’s comeback victory against BYU when David Hoffer placed third in one meter diving and first place in the three meter diving. Hunter Atha placed third in the three meter event bringing the total diving contribution to 15 points.

ASU’s Women defeated BYU by a score of 182 – 111. Key performances by the women included first place finishes in 200 yard medley relay, 1000 yard free, 200 yard free, 100 yard back, 100 yard breast, 200 yard fly, 50 yard free, 100 yard free, 200 yard back, 200 yard breast, 500 yard free, 100 yard fly, 1 meter diving, 200 yard Individual Medley, and the 400 yard free relay.

The Cougars will be hosting Denver on Saturday January 24 at the Richards Building Pool in Provo.

ASU’s next home appearance is against PAC-12 rivals Cal and Stanford on Jan 23 and 24 at 12 P.M. AZ Time.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Liberty Bowl: Kyle Allen from Scottsdale, AZ named MVP

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (December 29, 2014) Texas A&M’s freshman quarterback Kyle Allen from Scottsdale, AZ threw for 294 yards, had four touchdown passes, and scrambled for a 14 yard touchdown to lead the Aggies in a 45 – 37 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2014 Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee on December 29, 2014.

This was the first meeting between Texas A&M and West Virginia in football. However, both schools have experience in the Liberty Bowl, which has been around since 1959.  In 1964, West Virginia lost to Utah 32 – 6. In 1975, the Aggies were shut out by the USC Trojans 20 – 0.

The head coaches Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) and Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia) worked together at the University of Houston earlier in their careers. Sumlin was the head coach for University of Houston from 2007 to 2011. In 2008 and 2009, Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. During these two years, the Cougars were ranked in the NCAA as No.3 and No.1 in total offense.

This set the stage for what would be the second highest scoring Liberty Bowl game ever. In all, there were seven touchdown passes (four touchdown passes over 40 yards), two running touchdowns, an interception run back for a touchdown, four field goals, and – of course – 10 extra points made.

Total offense was just over 1000 yards, the Aggies had 529 yards while the Mountaineers had 472 yards.

The Aggies’ Josh Reynolds began the scoring early in the first quarter on a 44 yard touchdown reception from Allen. Malcome Kennedy had two touchdown receptions, one for 11 yards and the other for 9 yards. Trey Williams had a 40 yard touchdown reception and a running touchdown of 18 yards. Josh Lambo kicked a field goal from 26 yards out and was 6 – 6 on extra point attempts.

The West Virginia Mountaineers’ quarterback Skyler Howard (Sophomore), from Ft. Worth, TX threw for 346 yards and three touchdown passes. The longest touchdown pass of the day was to Kevin White for 49 yards. Mario Alford scored on a 45 yard reception. The final touchdown pass was to Elijah Wellman for 4 yards.

The Mountaineers’ defense contributed to the scoring when freshman KJ Dillon picked off an interception and ran it back for a 35 yard touchdown. Josh Lambert scored three field goals (32, 40, and 31 yards out) and was 4-4 on extra points to finish out West Virginia’s 37 points.

This loss brings West Virginia’s bowl record to 14 – 19. For Texas A&M, this is the fourth straight bowl win, the best consecutive record in the school’s history. The Aggies are now 17 – 19 in bowl games.

2014 Sun Bowl: Arizona State's Demario Richard scores four TDs in victory over Duke

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

EL PASO, TEXAS (December 27, 2014) It was a battle of the devils at University of Texas at El Paso’s football stadium where the Arizona State Sun Devils intercepted a game winning  touchdown pass over the Duke Blue Devils with less than 45 seconds left on the clock to hold take a 36-31 win in the 81st Sun Bowl on December 27, 2014.

What started out as a 20 – 3 lead early in the second quarter by ASU, ended in a thrilling back and forth game that went down to who ever made the last big play. 

ASU’s Freshman running back Demario Richard tied the Sun Bowl record of most touchdowns by collecting four; two on the ground and two in the air.

Sun Devil field goal kicker Zane Gonzales, of Deer Park, TX, was successful on attempts from 28, 38, and 47 yards with three extra points to complete ASU’s scoring.

Other notable performances for ASU include Kalan Ballage’s  96 yard kick-off return after Duke took the lead 31-30 in the 4th Quarter with 5:03 left. This set up Demario Richard’s second running touchdown to put the Sun Devils ahead for good.

The final notable performance from ASU came when defensive back Kweishi Brown snatched the ball out of the air for a critical interception in the corner of the end zone with 45 seconds left on the clock. This sealed the game for the Sun Devils.

Duke’s running back Shaquille Powell had over 160 yards while wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who could have been named MVP if Duke had won, had seven catches for 102 yards, 68 yard TD punt return, and a left-handed pass for a touchdown to Isaac Blakeney late in the game to put Duke ahead  31-30.

For the third year in a row, a Duke bowl game is plucked from their grasp, leaving seniors empty-handed after setting all-time Duke performance records.

ASU finishes 2014 with second straight 10-win season, and 28th win in three years. This bumps Arizona State's  Sun Bowl record to 3-1-1.

2014 Hawai'i Bowl: Rice Owls soar past Fresno State Bulldogs; 30-6

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent 
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

HONOLULU, HAWAII (December 24, 2014) The Rice Owls offense soars past the Fresno State Bulldogs while the defense keeps the Bulldogs caged for a controlling 30 – 6 victory at Aloha Stadium in the 2014 Hawai’i Bowl on December 24, 2014.
The Owls’ junior quarterback Driphus Jackson, who was selected the Player of the Game, led the offense with 318 yards passing and three touchdowns. Dennis Parks caught five passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, while Mario Hull and Jordon Taylor scored the other two passing TDs’.

After a 58 yard screen to sophomore running back DarikDillard from San Antonio, TX, Dillard punches it in for a one yard touchdown.

Rice’s senior kicker James Hairston completed the scoring by connecting with a 21 yard field goal in the first quarter and three extra-points.

The Owls’ defense closed down the Bulldogs by blocking field goals, catching interceptions, and allowing only 93 yards passing.

Before this matchup, Fresno State and Rice have met six times with the Bulldogs leading the series 6 – 0.

This is the second time Fresno State has played in the Hawaii Bowl in three years. Two years ago, the Bulldogs lost to the SMU Mustangs 43 – 10.
The Owls have been in three consecutive bowl games, winning twice. Their bowl record going back to 1938 is now 7 – 5.