Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Devils Take the Territorial Cup Back to Tempe in 52-37 Victory Over the Wildcats

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports
(Photos by Jacob M Cutler)

TEMPE, ARIZONA (November 21, 2015) The Territorial Cup, first played on Thanksgiving Day in 1899, is the nation’s oldest collegiate rivalry trophy and it is heading back to Tempe, AZ  after the Arizona State University Sun Devils defeated their rival Arizona Wildcats by a score of 52-37 at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday November 21, 2015.

This was the 89th meeting between these schools. The Wildcats lead the series 48-40-1.

Carrington skirts the sideline for a pick-six to seal the game.
Last year, the Wildcats won the Pac-12 South when they hosted and defeated the Devils in Tucson. This year, a win for the Devils makes them bowl eligible for the fourth straight season under Coach Todd Graham.

Even though the score sounds like a blow-out, it was a much closer 38-30 game with less than seven minutes left, until two interceptions were run back for touchdowns by freshman Kareem Orr (Chattanooga, Tenn) and red-shirt senior Lloyd Carrington (Dallas, TX),  giving the Devils 16 defensive touchdowns under Coach Graham, which is the most in the FBS since 2012.

The Player of the Game Award was given to senior WR Devin Lucien (Encino, CA). He caught nine passes for 190 yards and one touchdown.

Other notable performances came from sophomore Kalen Ballage (Peyton, CO) who rushed for a total of 110 yards.  In the second quarter, a 65 yard run set up a one yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Mike Bercovici. Bercovici led the Devils with 315 yards passing, two touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown.

Foster extends his streak to 51 games - Pac-12 record
Scottsdale native DJ Foster rushed for 33 yards, one touchdown, and 14 yards receiving.  This extends his streak of at least one reception to 51 games – a Pac-12 record. Foster is the only active FBS player to rush for over 2,000 yards and over 1,500 receiving in a career.

Sophomore Demario Richard (Palmdale, CA) rushed for 105 yards and one touchdown for the Devils before leaving the game due to injuring his ankle.

Red-shirt freshman Jalen Harvey caught the first pass of his collegiate career for the Devils which went for a 41 yard touchdown.

Zane Gonzales became the second All-Time leader in scoring for the Devils when he surpassed Thomas Weber’s 340 points by racking up a total of 10 points on the day giving him 348 in his career.

The Wildcats leading performances included an interception returned 21 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter by sophomore Cam Denson (Tucson, AZ). Red-shirt freshman quarterback Brandon Dawkins (Oxnard, CA) passed for 305 yards, 78 yards rushing, one touchdown run and two touchdown passes.

21 yard pick-six by Denson puts Wildcats on board in Q2.
The longest play of the year for the Wildcats came on a 95 yard touchdown pass to red-shirt junior Trey Griffey.

Senior kicker Casey Skowron (Phoenix, AZ) became the seventh All-Time Leading Scorer for the Wildcats, adding 13 points to his career total.

The Wildcats were bowl eligible coming into this game. It is the fourth-straight season under Coach Rich Rodriguez and the seventh time in the last eight years that the Wildcats will play in a bowl game.

This was the final regular season game for the Wildcats who are off next week prior to the bowl games.

The Devils travel to Berkely, CA to play the California Golden Bears on Saturday, Nov 28 for the final game of the regular season.  The game time has been set to 8p.m. AZ time and will be covered by FoxSports1.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Devils Win Homecoming Game 27-17 Over Huskies

Mike Stockman
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports
(Photography by Jacob M Cutler)

TEMPE, AZ (November 14, 2015) The Arizona State University Sun Devils came from behind after being down 17-3 at the half, to defeat the Washington Huskies by a final score of 27-17 on Homecoming Saturday, November 14 at Sun Devil Stadium.

Mike Bercovici has thrown for over 4,000 yards as a Devil
In the first quarter, the Huskies chewed up the Devils’ defense with a total of 205 yards offense. Missed tackles and broken assignments allowed the Huskies to jump to a 10 - 0 lead.

In the second quarter, the Huskies extended their lead when quarterback Jake Browning threw a 29 yard touchdown pass to a wide open Darrell Daniels who strolled in easily with 8:20 left in the half.

The Devils would not get on the board until Zack Gonzales, now 3rd all-time in scoring for the Devils, hit a 40 yard field goal with less than 2:30 left in the half.

At the half, the Huskies led 17-3 with a total of 341 yards on offense to the Devils’ 133 yards.

After halftime, a different team came out of the locker room for the Devils.  The Huskies continued to pile on the yards, but were unable to score the rest of the game.

In the second half, the Devils scored 7 points in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth.  The defense forced four turnovers, three interceptions and one forced fumble, to tame the Huskies.

The Devils finished the game with 397 yards total offense to the Huskies’ 547 total yards.

Matt Haack - 11 punts averaged over 46 yards
The Devils’ junior punter Matt Haack (Des Moines, Iowa) played a major role in pinning the Huskies back deep all game. He punted eleven times for a total of 507 yards, his average yards per punt was just over 46.

After the game, one reporter asked what happened in the locker room during the halftime intermission. Antonio Longino said “We said to each other - when we come out, we gotta come together. Don’t just play for the seniors. We have to play for everybody because tomorrow is not promised to anyone“.

In other postgame interviews, Kalen Ballage talked about the heart of the team when he stated “It’s how you finish, not how you start”.

Mike Bercovici, with over 4,000 yards passing as a Sun Devil, talked about what it felt like to put on the Devil uniform for over 90 games. He said “It feels incredible …We will never take it for granted”. “If you want to put a pitchfork on your helmet, you gotta wake up bright-eyed no matter the situation”.

As the players left the postgame interview, one could see the focus in the eyes of each of them as they begin to mentally prepare for their next game – the Arizona Wildcats.

Bercovici, Longino, Ballage in postgame interview.
The Huskies (4-6) travel to Oregon State to play the Beavers next week in a Pac12 Conference game on Saturday, November 21.

The Devils (5-5), needing  to win the next game to be bowl eligible,  host in-state rival and nemesis Arizona Wildcats on Saturday, November 21, at Sun Devil Stadium. The annual Territorial Cup showdown can be seen on local channels. Game time is 1:30 p.m. MST.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Team USA Ties Canada 2-2 in Game 1

Mike Stockman
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports

GLENDALE, ARIZONA (October 31, 2015) The 2015 USA Baseball Premier12™ Team pitching staff combined for a total of 14 strike outs to hold back Canada in game 1 of 3 that ended in a 2-2 tie on Saturday afternoon, October 31 on Hank Aaron Field at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Team USA’s RHP Seth Simmons (Arizona Diamondbacks) led the pitching staff with five strike outs using only 39 pitches.

Canada scored their two runs in the second inning.  The first run came when Brock Kjeldgaard scored on a bases loaded walk. Taylor Green scored the second run on a sacrifice grounder.  Canada’s bats were held to a total of five hits for the game. Pete Orr led Canada’s batting with two hits in the game giving him a .500 slugging percentage.

Team USA’s first run came in the third inning when Jacob May crosses the plate on a Tyler Pastornicky RBI single to right field. The tying run came in the seventh inning when May singled up the middle allowing Brett Phillips to score on the play.

After the game, Team USA’s Manager Willie Randolph, an MLB veteran, stated “I was impressed with our pitching.” He also stated “today was a good day and I saw a lot of good things”.  When asked about tomorrow’s match up, his response was “I want them to be a little more aggressive. Tomorrow we will stretch out, probably doing more running and stealing bases.”

Team USA Baseball host Canada on Sunday at 1 p.m. AZ Time for game 2 at Maryvale Baseball Park. To follow the USA Baseball Premier™ Team, visit For game updates, follow @USABaseball on Twitter.