MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (April 22) – It was night number two of points racing at Marshalltown Speedway on Friday and the on-track action was nothing short of spectacular.Ronn Lauritzen took the win in the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified feature and while he had breathing room at the finish line, the racing behind him was a shootout to the finish.Lauritzen started sixth and got around early leaders Jon Snyder and Jake Strayer by lap eight. He set sail on the top of turns three and four, then dove low in turn one, keeping his momentum the rest of the way to the checkers.Tim Ward, with a last-second effort, took the runner-up spot, after starting ninth. Brian Irvine started eleventh and took third, while Strayer and Snyder completed the top five.The Class Too Tough to Tame, the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars proved once again why that name sticks. Three-wide racing, sometimes more, was common through most of the 20-lap feature.Dave Atcher claimed the top spot from Todd Reitzler at lap four, and was content to let the cars battle for position behind him. He started sixth and outran a stout field of cars in capturing the win. Steve Meyer came from 10th to finish as the runner up, Donavon Smith started eighth and took third, early leader Reitzler finished fourth and Trent Murphy was fifth.Clint Luellen took top honors in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature but had to hold off some hard charging competition. Luellen grabbed the lead from Jayme Duinink with a handful of laps in the books, and managed to fend off the pack to capture the win.Jake McBirnie was second, just ahead of last week’s winner, Jared VanDeest, who had started 13th. Randy Roberts, the Frostbuster winner, came from ninth starting spot to finish fourth, and Cory Rose rounded out the top five.Eric Stanton made it back-to-back wins in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock division. He started tenth on the field, took command at lap eight, and sailed home to a comfortable win. Dustin Elliott finished second, Nathan Ballard came from ninth starting to third, and Garrett Eilander and David Simpson finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
West Ham ended Newcastle’s winning streak with a 1-0 victory at Upton Park where the visitors had midfielder Moussa Sissoko sent off late on. Both sides took a while to grow into the match, which offered little of note during the opening exchanges. After eight minutes, Stewart Downing, fit again after a knee problem, sent in a low shot from 20 yards which was comfortably gathered by Rob Elliot, who replaced injured Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal. Newcastle threatened on the break when Sissoko fed Ayoze Perez down the left and the Spaniard went on to the edge of the penalty area, but James Tomkins got back to clear. There was a brief stoppage when the same defender – criticised for apparent play-acting in an altercation with Everton’s Kevin Mirallas last weekend – went down after being caught in the face by the outstretched boot of Andy Carroll as the forward blocked a cross from the right. After 37 minutes, a flick at the near post from Perez after a cross from the left went into the side-netting. The West Ham supporters in the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand were screaming for a penalty as former Newcastle man Carroll crashed the ball at Mike Williamson, which looked to hit him on the underside of the upper arm, but referee Mike Dean was not interested. At the start of the second half there was more urgency about the hosts, who had drawn their last home match 0-0 against Aston Villa, with Downing charging down the left before curling a 20-yard effort over. There was a let-off for Newcastle when a deep free-kick from James Collins caused panic in the penalty box, with Elliot completely missing his attempted punch clear, and the ball bounced wide for a corner. The Irons, who had not won since beating Manchester City before the international break, edged a match of few chances with a neat finish from defender Aaron Cresswell, his first goal for the club, after 56 minutes. Newcastle, who had surged into the top five following six successive Barclays Premier League wins, never really got going, and any hope of a comeback went with 15 minutes left when Sissoko received two careless yellow cards in quick succession. West Ham were ahead after 56 minutes. Downing fed Cheikhou Kouyate at the edge of the box. His scuffed shot fell straight into the path of advancing full-back Cresswell, who guided the ball into the bottom corner for his first goal since moving from Ipswich. Newcastle, who had kept four clean sheets going into the match, made a double change on the hour when Papiss Cisse and Remy Cabella replaced Yoan Gouffran and Cheick Tiote. The visitors, though, continued to lack a cutting edge in the final third as West Ham were dangerous on the counter-attack. Newcastle had to play the final 15 minutes with 10 men after Sissoko was ordered off. First the France midfielder kicked the ball away after a foul against him in the West Ham penalty area, and then bundled into Carroll as the referee reached for his pocket once again. In the closing stages, Elliot pushed a curling shot from substitute Mauro Zarate around the post and Downing dragged an effort wide after a surging run down the left. Press Association
VISAKHAPATNAM, India (CMC) – In-form Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran carved out contrasting half-centuries but Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic hat-trick crippled West Indies’ run chase and propelled India to a series-levelling 107-run victory in the second One-Day International here yesterday.Chasing a mammoth 388 at the ACA-VDCA Stadium after openers Rohit Sharma (159) and KL Rahul (102) slammed scintillating hundreds, West Indies were challenging at 192 for three in the 30th over and creating some worry in the Indian ranksBut Kuldeep intervened with his left-arm spin to knock over Hope, Jason Holder (11) and Alzarri Joseph (0) in successive deliveries in the 33rd over as West Indies lost their last seven wickets for 88 runs to be all out for 280 in the 44th.Hope stroked a top score of 78 off 85 deliveries while Pooran unleashed a breathtaking 47-ball 75 but their dismissals ended all hope of pulling off the record run chase.With the game gone, all-rounder Keemo Paul lashed a stroked-filled 46 from 40 balls, in an attempt to take some of the shine off India’s convincing win.Kuldeep finished with three for 52 while seamer Mohammed Shami picked up three for 39, including the key wickets of Pooran and captain Kieron Pollard (0) off successive deliveries in the 30th over.The victory saw India avoid a series defeat to West Indies and turn Sunday’s final game in Cuttack into a series- decider.Sent in, India flourished through Rohit and Rahul, the pair posting an astonishing 227 at the top of the order – a record first-wicket stand for the hosts against West Indies.Man-of-the-Match Rohit Sharma crunched 17 fours and five sixes in his 28th ODI ton.Rohit, a deserving Man-of-the-Match, crunched 17 fours and five sixes in a knock lasting 138 balls while Rahul chipped in with eight fours and three sixes off 104 deliveries.Rahul, though, was first to his fifty off 46 balls in the 16th over and Rohit followed in the 22nd over, bringing up his landmark off 67 balls by pulling seamer Paul to the square boundary.Capitalising on a dropped chance on 70, Rohit raced to his 28th ODI hundred off 107 balls in the 34th over and Rohit joined him three overs later, reaching his fifth one-day century off 103 balls.The stand ended when Rahul was taken at third man off pacer Alzarri Joseph off the final ball of the same over and the Caribbean side struck again in the next over, the 38th, when Pollard removed his opposite number Virat Kohli for a first-ball ‘duck’.However, Shreyas Iyer, who slammed 53 from 32 deliveries, then put on a further 60 for the third wicket with Rohit and 73 for the fourth wicket with Pant (39), to get India up to their second highest-ever total against West Indies and ninth highest total overall.Needing to score at nearly eight runs an over, Hope and Lewis gave West Indies a solid, if not dashing, start to their run chase when they posted 61 off 66 balls to deny India early success.Surviving a chance at slip off the fourth ball of the innings before he had scored, Hope struck seven fours and three sixes while the left-handed Lewis punched five fours in a 35-ball stay at the crease.With the required run rate steadily rising, Lewis holed out to deep square off pacer Shardul Thakur in the 11th over and first-match century-maker Shimron Hetmyer lasted just seven balls before he was run-out for four going for a second run in the 14th over.When left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja squared up Roston Chase (4) and rocked back his off-stump, West Indies were reeling at 86 for three in the 16th over – having lost three wickets for 25 runs in the space of 30 balls.Pooran then entered to unveil a gem of an innings, belting half-dozen fours and sixes in an up tempo 106-run fourth-wicket stand with Hope to give the Windies Hope.While Hope reached his fifty off 58 deliveries, Pooran wasted little time in racing to his – the fourth of a promising career – off 34 balls in the 27th over with disdainful pull to the mid-wicket boundary off pacer Deepak Chahar.Dropped on 22 in the 24th over, Pooran eventually perished in the 30th over, top-edging Shami to Iyer at long leg and off the very next ball, Pollard edged one that left him and was caught at the wicket.Hope was eyeing a third straight ODI hundred when he swung Kuldeep to Kohli at deep mid-wicket. Holder, who had crossed, was then deceived and stumped by Pant and Joseph edged a prod to Kedar Jadhav at slip, to give Kuldeep the second hat-trick of his career.INDIA inningsRohit Sharma c wkp. Hope b Cottrell 159KL Rahul c Chase b Joseph 102V. Kohli c Chase b Pollard 0S. Iyer c wkp. Hope b Cottrell 53R. Pant c Pooran b Paul 39K. Jadhav not out 16R. Jadeja not out 0Extras: (b-1, lb-3, nb-1, w-13) 18Total: (5 wkts, 50 overs) 387Fall of wickets: 1-227, 2-232, 3-292, 4-365, 5-373.Bowling: Cottrell 9-0-83-2 (w-2), Holder 9-0-45-0 (w-1), Pierre 9-0-62-0 (w-2), Paul 7-0-57-1 (w-1), Joseph 9-1-68-1 (w-3), Chase 5-0-48-0 (w-3, nb-1), Pollard 2-0-20-1 (w-1).WEST INDIES inningsE. Lewis c Iyer b Thakur 30S. Hope c Kohli b Yadav 78S. Hetmyer run-out 4R. Chase b Jadeja 4N. Pooran c Kuldeep Yadav b Mohammed Shami 75K. Pollard c wkp. Pant b Mohammed Shami 0J. Holder stp. Pant b Kuldeep Yadav 11K. Paul b Mohammed Shami 46A. Joseph c Jadhav b Kuldeep Yadav 0K. Pierre c Kohli b Jadeja 21S. Cottrell not out 0Extras: (b-1, lb-2, w-8) 11Total: (all out, 43.3 overs) 280Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-73, 3-86, 4-192, 5-192, 6-210, 7-210, 8-210, 9-260.Bowling: Chahar 7-1-44-0 (w-2), Thakur 8-0-55-1 (w-2), Shami 7.3-0-39-3 (w-1), Jadeja 10-0-74-2 (w-1), Yadav 10-0-52-3, Iyer 1-0-13-0 (w-2).Man-of-the-Match: Rohit Sharma.
“I could show you [Pittman’s] stats right now,” Fink said. “The guy’s a monster, you can’t guard him. And that goes with [St. Brown], it goes with [Vaughns], it goes with [freshman]Drake [London]. We’re stacked all across the board and, with weapons like that, you can’t do anything about it.” But there are rare occasions that a skill position group dominates so thoroughly that it overshadows a team’s lack of physicality and subpar coaching. That was the case with USC’s wide receiving corps in its 30-23 victory over No. 10 Utah Friday night. We have to start with senior wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who had a career-high 10 receptions for 232 yards. In a game that featured its fair share of jaw-dropping plays, Pittman’s 77-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter was arguably the most impressive, giving USC a 21-10 advantage. Pittman went up high to haul in the slightly underthrown pass, then held off senior defensive back Tareke Lewis while running 30 yards to the end zone. It was an absolute tour de force. “We’ve got wide receivers that are one of the most special groups I’ve ever seen,” Harrell said. “If they ever get one-on-one opportunities, they’re going to go win them.” USC was down two quarterbacks, had -7 rushing yards for the game at one point in the fourth quarter and lost the time of possession battle by nearly 18 minutes. How did USC put up 30 points and win this game? The answer is that USC’s three starting wide receivers were perhaps among the top five players in the game. USC’s prospects weren’t good entering the game. Utah was undefeated, destroyed a BYU team that beat the Trojans in Week 3 and displayed more of the physicality and discipline that helped them embarrass USC 41-28 last season. Things only got worse when freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis departed the game after taking a hard hit on the second play from scrimmage. Redshirt junior Matt Fink, who entered the season as the third-stringer, was suddenly thrown into the spotlight against the conference’s best defense. However, the most incredible part was that he physically dominated a Utah defensive backfield that features two potential All-American selections in junior cornerback Jaylon Johnson and senior safety Julian Blackmon. USC’s game plan at many times throughout the night seemed to be to throw the ball up and let Pittman go get it. Aidan Berg is a junior writing about sports. He is also an associate managing editor for Daily Trojan. His column, “Berg is the Word,” runs every Monday. USC’s other top wideouts deserve credit too, even if their contributions weren’t as flashy as Pittman’s. After being held to one reception for 4 yards against BYU, sophomore Amon-Ra St. Brown caught three passes for 32 yards on the game’s opening drive. He then beat two defenders for a 31-yard score on another underthrown jump ball on the Trojans’ second drive. “At times we threw it into double coverage, up to [Pittman] twice actually, and he came down with it,” offensive coordinator Graham Harrell said after the game. “That’s just having a special guy.” Redshirt junior Tyler Vaughns beat Johnson down the right sideline for a 29-yard touchdown on USC’s first possession, helping the Trojans to a necessary fast start. He also made an impact at the end of the game, drawing a pass interference penalty on Johnson that set up redshirt freshman running back Markese Stepp’s 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Pittman has showcased all the abilities that make him the best player on one of college football’s best receiving units. His NFL draft stock is rising after posting 19 receptions for 327 yards and three touchdowns in the last two games. Pittman’s route-running is more crisp than in previous years, demonstrated by his ability to gain consistent separation against Utah. Utah’s offense left a lot of points on the table due to penalties and mistakes, and the USC defense made big plays when it needed to. Freshman defensive end Drake Jackson pressured Utah senior quarterback Tyler Huntley in the end zone in the fourth quarter, forcing an intentional grounding and safety. But the receivers played the biggest role in the Trojans’ victory. Much of Fink’s yardage came from the receivers beating Utah’s defensive backs to jump balls, a fair amount of which came in double coverage. Everyone knew USC’s receiving corps entered the season as the team’s best position group, but few anticipated they would be the biggest factor in a win over a team as good as Utah. To consistently win football games, the most important thing to do is to win upfront. No matter what people say about flashy position players, the best college and pro teams throughout history have dictated the line of scrimmage and dominated the point of attack. The receivers were so good that Utah had to change its approach early in the game, switching out of man-to-man coverage because it couldn’t match up with USC’s playmakers. Things won’t get easier for the Trojans as they head to Seattle this week to face No. 17 Washington, who defeated BYU at home 45-19 this past weekend. Washington has a recent history of fielding dominant defenses with elite defensive backs and that hasn’t changed this season. With multiple potential all-conference selections in the secondary, the Huskies’ defensive backfield presents a challenge for these receivers. If the Utah game is any indication, though, it’s a test they can pass with flying colors. The receivers didn’t win the game single-handedly. Fink impressed with several fantastic downfield throws, particularly a 42-yard bomb to Pittman on third down that set the Trojans up for their final touchdown.