Sunday, November 26, 2017

Territorial Cup Travels Back to Tempe After 42-30 Devil Victory

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

TEMPE, AZ (November 25, 2017) - On a beautiful Arizona fall afternoon with the temperature hitting 84 degrees, the Arizona State University Sun Devils came from behind in an exciting, high scoring, hard hitting rival game to defeat the Arizona Wildcats 42-30 in what is recognized as the nation's oldest rivalry trophy game, the Territorial Cup, on Saturday, November 25, at Sun Devil Stadium. 
N'Keal Harry had two touchdown catches in the win. 

59,385 fans from all over the state filled the stadium and would not leave until the

last play was finished and the 00's filled the clock, knowing that for the last five years the precious trophy went to the home team.  

This was also Seniors Day in which 19 Devils were recognized with their families and close friends for the contribution, hard work, and perseverance they endured for the last few seasons. 

Once the game started, fans were treated to four full quarters. The Wildcats got off to a 14 point lead on back to back drives that ended on one yard touchdown runs in the first quarter.

With just over 4 minutes left in the first quarter, the Devils' Kyle Williams scored on an 18 yard pass reception making the score 14-7.

After first quarter, the Wildcats had 111 total offense to the Sun Devils' 91.  The Wildcats' QB Tate was 6-6-0 for 62 yards to Wilkins' 4-3-0 65 yards.

The second quarter started with the Devils sacking Tate for a loss. However, the next play he scrambled for 17 yards and the first down. With 9:36 left in the half, Arizona kicked a 24 yard field goal, extending the lead to 17-7 over the hosting Devils.

On the following drive, the Devils scampered down the field and finished on the Devils' Kalan Ballage flight over the line for a one yard touchdown, making the score 17-14.

Just before the end of the half, the Wildcats' JJ Taylor sprinted 15 yards up the middle for a touchdown, extending the lead 24-14.

The Wildcats had 251 yards on 40 plays to Devils' 167 yards on 30 plays in the first half. The Devils' QB Wilkins was sacked three times to Tate's one.

After the Devils block a punt early in the third quarter, Richard scored on a pounding one yard run. The Wildcats lead was cut to 24-21.

Demario Richard (Sr) became the fifth Sun Devil to reach 3,000 yards on the ground at ASU. He finished the night with 165 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

With Tate injured on the last plays of the second quarter, the backup QB Dawkins threw an interception his first series, allowing Devils to drive inside the 20 yard line. A spectacular catch in the corner of end zone by NKeal Harry gave the Devils their first lead of the game 28-24.

Before the third quarter was over, Richard scored his second touchdown on a 6 yard run, giving a lead 35-24 over the Wildcats.

Not a seat was empty as the fourth quarter got underway. Backup QB for the Wildcats' Dawkins made up for his interception when he scrambled 50 yards for a TD, cutting the Devils' lead and quieting the student sections until the extra point attempt in which the fans in the south end zone helped out the defense with extra noise causing the two conversion to fail.

With less than five minutes left, the Devils receiver Harry showed his toe tapping skills once more in the corner of the end zone with a catch that put the Devils up 42-30, the final score.

After the game, Coach Todd Graham spoke highly of the seniors, the staff, and would not take any question on the future of his position as the head coach of the Devils. Sunday morning Coach was released.

The Wildcats end their season with a 7-5, 5-4 Pac12 record. They will be heading to the Las Vegas Holiday Bowl.
The Devils, 7-5, 6-3 finished the season 2nd in the Pac12 South, have an invitation to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas on Dec 29, 2017.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Devils Leash the Huskies in Hall of Fame Game Upset 13-7

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

TEMPE, AZ (October 14, 2017) The Arizona State University Sun Devils' defense put a leash on the #5 Washington Huskies at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday, October 14, in the Hall of Fame Game, upsetting the Pac-12 rival by  a score of 13-7.

ASU's defense sacked Huskies Browning six times.
The Devils welcomed eight new members into the Sun Devils Athletics Hall of Fame during Saturday's game. Alejandro Canizares (Men's Golf), Amy Hastings-Cragg (Track and Field/Cross Country), Emily Westerberg (Women's Basketball), Aaron Aguayo (Track and Field/Cross Country), Andrew Walter (Football), Jim Newman (Men's Basketball, posthumously), Ron Davini (Baseball), and Adria Engel (Women's Tennis) were honored at halftime.

Having the Hall of Famers honored before and during the game must have inspired the Devils whose offense scored first on a one yard touchdown run by Kalen Ballage. The offense produced six first downs, 82 total yards offense in the first quarter to the Huskies' 17 yards.

Brandon Ruiz connected on a career long 52 yard field goal and a 25 yard field goal making the score 13-0 mid-way through the second quarter.

By halftime, the Devils offense had 163 total yards, with Manny Wilkins completing 17-22 passes for 125 yards.  The defense played at a level not seen for quite some time, sacking Jake Browning three times, and holding the #5 Huskies to 42 total yards offense. The Devils led 13-0.

Huskies' QB needed more than his sideline's help.
In the third quarter, the Devils intensity continued as the defense kept the Huskies scoreless, adding another sack and shutting out the Huskies high powered offense for the third straight quarter.

It was not a good night for the Huskies' kicker who missed two field goals in the fourth quarter. The Devils defense added two more sacks.

With less than six minutes left in the game, the Huskies' QB Browning finally gets them on the board when he scored on a one yard sneak.

With 2 minutes left, the Devils had the ball and went for the win on a fourth down gamble pass which put the Devils on the Huskies' seven yard line where they ran out the clock for the upset.

In the post game press conference, Coach Todd Graham said "This was the best overall performance from every aspect of our team. I'm proud of our coaches and our players." He also mentioned his pleasure in seeing the fans rush the field after the victory. "That was awesome, that was the best atmosphere tonight since I've been here." He very confidently stated "We whooped them - we outplayed them.". He finished with "That was old school defense tonight".

The Huskies (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) have a bye week before hosting Pac-12 rival UCLA on October 28.

The Devils (3-3, 2-1 Pac-12) travel to Salt Lake City, Utah on Oct 21 to play the Utah Utes. Game time is TBD.

Monday, September 11, 2017

San Diego State Aztecs Stun the Devils on Frank Kush Day

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

ASU Coach Frank Kush (HC '58-'79)
TEMPE, ARIZONA (September 9, 2017) On Saturday evening, the Arizona State University Sun Devils honored former Coach Frank Kush (head coach '58-'79, .764, 176-54-1). It was not an honorable showing on the field when the San Diego State University Aztecs stunned and controlled the Devils in an embarrassing 30-20 defeat on September 9, at Sun Devil Stadium.

Coming into the game, the Devils led the series 10-0-1. This was another tough game for the Devils who have problems against rushing teams. This week the Aztecs were able to produce 281 yards rushing, averaging 6.7 yards per carry.

In the first quarter, the Devils defense got two sacks to end the first drive of the Aztecs and force a punt. The Devils were unable to move the ball but were able to pin the Aztecs inside their one yard line on a perfectly placed punt by Michael Sleep-Dalton (redshirt-sophomore).

Fans were treated with halftime show honoring Frank Kush
On third down from the five yard line, Aztecs' running back Rashaad Penny sprinted 95 yards up the middle for a touchdown, giving the Aztecs an early lead and quieting the crowd. This was the third longest rush in Aztec school history. The Aztecs led 7-0.

On the last play of the first quarter, the Devils' Kalen Ballage scored on a one yard TD run, his third TD of the season. The score was tied 7-7.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Devils kick off to Penny who flew past Devils for a 99 yard kickoff return touchdown. This was Penny's sixth career kickoff return for touchdown, a school record and his second TD of the game, now 14-7.

The Aztecs were able to hold off the Devils and in the middle of the second quarter were able to add a 30 yard field goal to increase the score to 17-7 over the Devils.

With less than five minutes in the half, the Devils drove down field and scored on a five yard touchdown pass from Manny Wilkins to N'Keal Harry, making the score 17-14.

After holding the Devils deep in their territory, the Aztecs got the ball back and scored another field goal with :11 left in the half, 20-14.

Aztecs' Rashaad Penny scored 3 touchdowns in 30-20 win.
By half time, the Aztecs compiled 198 yards rushing, but only 28 yards passing due to the Devils' defense producing three sacks.

In the third quarter,  the Aztecs increase the lead when Penny added to his touchdown count by receiving a 22 yard touchdown pass making the score 27-14.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Aztecs extend the lead with a 32 yard field goal by John Baron, 30-14.

With 8:34 left in the game, the Devils were faced with a third down and 37.  Wilkins scrambled and chased out of pocket but was able to hit Frank Darby on a deep throw for a 53 yard touchdown, the biggest play of the night for the struggling Devil offense. The extra point attempt was missed making the final score 30-20.

After the game, Coach Todd Graham, with his head low, stated "this was not how we wanted to honor Frank Kush".

The Aztecs will host the Stanford Cardinal on September 16, at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on CBSSN.

The Devils travel to Lubbock for their first road game of the season to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders on September 16, at 5p.m. The game will be broadcasted on FSN.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Ballage Scores Twice in Home Opener Win Over New Mexico State Aggies

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

TEMPE, AZ (August 31, 2017) - The Arizona State University Sun Devils had just enough air left in their sails to pull out a victory over the New Mexico State Aggies on Thursday evening, August 31, at Sun Devil Stadium, winning by a score of 37-31.

Fans experience new screen and other renovations.
This was the first time these teams have met since 1999. In that game on September 18, 1999, the Aggies won 35-7. The Devils lead the series against the Aggies 22-7-1.

The Aggies, currently playing in the Sun Belt Conference, stepped on the field Thursday evening looking like an underdog against the Pac-12 South Devils who boasts an Opening Day home record of 77-27-2.

Within the first few minutes of the game, it appeared it could become a blow out.  In the first quarter, Kalen Ballage scored the first touchdown of the season on a seven yard run off the right tackle. Freshman kicker Brandon Ruiz made the extra point.

On the Devils' next possession, Manny Wilkins hits TE Jalen Harvey down the middle for a 53 yd TD pass. Ruiz makes the extra point, making the score 14-0 with over 8 minutes left in the first quarter.

At that point, the Aggies buckled down and began to hold back the onslaught. In the second quarter, the Aggies' QB Tyler Rogers found Jaleel Scott for a 15 yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked. Rogers finished the night 40-57-2 for 398 yards, and three TDs.

Just before the end of the first half, Tyler Rogers scored on a 1 yard run, silencing Sun Devil Stadium and making the score 14-13.

In the third quarter, the Devils got to experience the strength of their new kicker's leg when he cleared the uprights on a 52 yard field goal. The scor
e didn't stay still for long. Within a minute, the Devils got the ball back and Wilkins connected with John Humphrey on a 60 yard TD reception.

Going into the fourth quarter, it appeared the Devils would walk away with the scoring when Ballage scored his second TD of the game on a 20 yard run, followed by the defense getting their first score of the season when Kobe Williams intercepted Rogers and ran it back 50 yards for a pick six. The score was now 37-13.

Kalen Ballage scores 2 TDs
That would not discourage the Aggies who were putting up better numbers on both sides of the ball minus the two turn-overs.

With less than 9 minutes left, the Aggies' HB Jason Huntley shoots up the middle faster than a speeding bullet for a 50 yard touchdown run.

With just over 5 minutes left, Rogers hits Huntley for a 23 yard TD pass, making the score 37-25.

At this point, it appeared the Devils could barely keep up and seemed out of breath, not producing much giving the ball back to the Aggies who scored on the final play of the game on a jump ball TD for 29 yards from Rogers to Scott - his second of the game. The score - 37-31.

The Aggies will be at New Mexico for their next game on September 9. Game time is 6 p.m.

The Devils host San Diego State on September 9 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ. Game time is 8 p.m. and will be broadcasted on Pac-12 Network.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Devils Fall to Bruins in Weekend Series

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

PHOENIX, AZ (March 31, 2017) The Arizona State Sun Devils lost a Pac-12 conference weekend series against the UCLA Bruins, March 31 thru April 2 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Bruins hit 6 doubles in 17-4 win over the Devils
Going into this weekend, the Bruins were 72-117 against the Devils.

In game one on Friday night, the Bruins had a 4-3 lead going into the top of the ninth inning. They extended the lead with five runs in the top of the ninth to win 9-3 over the stunned Sun Devils.

On Saturday night, the Devils took game two in front of 2613 fans after scoring three in the bottom of the seventh inning. The final score was 5-4.

Devils unable to outrun the Bruins defense
Game three was a hit fest for the Bruins who had a total of 17 hits, six were doubles, and one home run by freshman Jeremy Ydens, the first of his UCLA career.

For the Devils, Andrew Shaps hit a home run over right center field fence in the bottom of the first.

After five innings, the Bruins led by a score of 14-1.

In the bottom of the sxth, senior Zach Cerbo hit a home run over right field fence making the score 14-2.

Senior Zach Cerbo hits home run in loss to Bruins
Bruins add three more runs in the top of the ninth while the Devils add two in the bottom of the ninth for a final score of 17-4.

The Bruins head to San Diego State for a one game match up on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m.

The Devils travel to Tuscon on Tuesday to take on the Arizona Wildcats for the first match-up of the season. Game time is 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Devils Lose Two Game Series Against #7 Titans

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

PHOENIX, AZ (March 8, 2017) After a heart breaking three game series loss this past weekend to Loyola Marymount Lions, the Arizona State University Sun Devils baseball team fell to #7 ranked Cal State Fullerton Titans in a two game series at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 7th and 8th. The Devils are now below 500, with an unusual record of 6 wins and 7 losses on the season.

In game one on Tuesday evening, the Devils took a 4-1 lead going into the fifth inning but were unable to hold on as the Titans scored nine unanswered runs on a total of 11 hits. The Titans won by a final score of 10-4.

In game two, the Titans took an early 7-0 lead, scoring five runs in the second inning.
The Titans got 18 hits against the struggling Devils.

In the bottom of the second inning, Gage Canning got two RBI on a stand-up double to right field. It was shortly followed by a shot to the opposite corner in left field by Ryan Lillard which scored two more, giving the Devils' 2100+ fans hope as the gap closed to 7-4.

In the top of the third, the Titans poured on more runs, expanding the lead by a score of 9-4. By the end of this inning the Titans had a total of 12 hits, highlighting the struggle the Devils have faced this year with a young, inexperienced pitching staff.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Titans extended the lead to 13-4, emptying half the stadium.

The Titans would go on to win in a big fashion, by a score of 13-4 on 18 hits over the Devil's struggling 5 hits.

The Titans scored 13 runs in game two, sweeping the series.
After the game, Coach Tracey Smith responded to questions stating "We're not going to panic. We're a good baseball team". He went on to say "we're going to have to get more consistent on the mound". When asked how his leaders are communicating in the locker room to the younger players, he started his response with "It was good". His response was a positive message, stating "we addressed this as a team...last night was a bad loss because of maybe how we handled some of the internal things and how we were handling a little bit of a bad stretch. Whether it's our immaturity...whatever the case is, that was a really big focal point with us today".      

After this series, the Titans (7-4) head back home to host Gonzaga in Fullerton, CA for a three game series starting Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m.

The Devils (6-7) are hosting Long Beach State in a three game series with first game on Friday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. This game can be viewed on Pac-12 Live Stream.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Devils' 2017 Opening Weekend Showers Northwestern

Mike Stockman
Phoenix Area Sports

Weather didn't stop fans from attending Devils opening weekend.

February 19, 2017 - The Arizona State University Sun Devil Baseball team hosted the Northwestern University Wildcats on a rare, rainy weekend in a three game series to start the 2017 season at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, AZ. 

Due to the weather forecast, a double header was played on Friday, February 17, in hopes to beat the showers expected to hit the valley of the sun throughout the weekend.

In game one, the Devils' junior pitcher Eli Lingos from Temecula,CA earned his first win of the season in a 3-1 victory over the Wildcats, throwing six strike outs and only allowing three hits in his 6.2 innings on the mound. 

Game two started with the Wildcats taking an early 3-0 lead and finished on Sebastian Zawada's walk-off RBI single, which gave the Devils' their second win of the season, closing the double header day 2-0.

Saturday's game three went two full innings before being postponed to Sunday due to rain.
In the top of the first inning, Northwestern took the lead 1-0 on a Connor Lind RBI single up the middle, scoring Jack Dunn.

In the bottom of the second inning, Devils' Jeremy McCuin hit a triple to the wall between left and center field. Myles Denson followed with a shot up the middle, allowing McCuin to score, tying the game 1-1.

At the top of the third, the rain picked up making fans scurry for the top of the stands under cover or for their umbrellas as the teams left the field and the tarp pulled promptly.

Due to the ongoing weather delay, the game was moved to Sunday where it was scheduled to start at 12:30 pm.

The Devils tied it up 1-1 before the weather delay.

After a two hour delay, game three commenced, the skies cleared, and fans poured in to watch for free as the Devils' Lyle Lin (Taipei, Taiwan), a  true freshman connected for 3 hits. The last time that occurred on opening week-end was in 2004 by Colin Curtis.

In the bottom of the eighth with the score tied 2-2, McCuin hit a double, scoring 2 RBI. A few batters later, Sam Ferri hit a 2 RBI double to deep right corner, scoring two more for the Devils for a final score of 6-2.

The Wildcats (0-3) travel to Nashville, Tenn. for their next game to take on Middle Tennessee at 3 pm on Friday, February 24.

The Devils (3-0) will host Oklahoma State Cowboys at 1pm on Tuesday, February 21 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The game can be heard on 100.7 KSLX/TUNEIN.