Don’t be this OTHER guy – By Bob Ryan

the other guy logoAs Baseball winds down, we’ll take a look at some of the 2nd half stars, best rookies, surprises and inter-mingle in a few “spots”….

The highest 10 NL hitters for the 2nd half with over 100 AB have a few surprising names..

….At the top is Joey Votto with a .374. He’s been criticized for looking for walks and not swinging often enough….it turns out he’s doing both…hitting .374, drawing 75 walks so his OB% is .558 (that means he’s getting on base more than HALF of his AB), his slugging is .665, OPS(on base + slugging) is 1.223. Votto is leads the NL in ALL FOUR CATEGORIES!

…..2nd in Average for the 2nd half is little noticed David Peralta of Arizona .354

Buster Posey is 3rd in NL average at .350…btw…Posey has 70 hits (2nd in NL)

…..Another Arizona OF AJ Pollock has been terrific..he’s at .340. It appears the Diamondbacks have a strong nucleus for the middle of their lineup for the future.

….Bryce Harper (Wash) hit .337 but led the NL in HR with 14 in 2nd half

….None of you would have guessed…at least I wouldn’t… the #6 hitter for 2nd half in NL—Oduble Herrara—OF from the hapless Phillies hit .333 raising his season average to .296 !

….The Cards Jayson Heyward is 7th for 2nd half (do you hear the clanging of coins in the background as Heyward approaches Free Agency?) with a .326 mark

At 8-9-10 come three middle-infielders

…#8 Consistent Washington SS, Yunel Escobar, hit .321 in 2nd half and holds a .317 season average

…#9 Speedy Dee Gordon (Miami 2b) continued hitting well in 2nd half after sizzling in the 1st half…Gordon is hitting .321 in 2nd half and causing havoc on the bases for several teams

…#10 Tied for this spot at .319 were Brendan Phillips (Cincy)…many thought he was “over the hill” …also at #10 Ryan Braun…who has lost some power since he lost his pills but he still can hit

 

Now for a short break….

Hi…I’m Matt Carpenter….I’m the slugging 3B of the StL Cardinals…I can rake with the best of them but best of all…I’m over 20 HR…

….I’m the other Matt Carpenter….I was the 2B of the Cardinals, batted 1st in the lineup with the goal of drawing walks, hitting singles & doubles and scoring runs but I didn’t go for the long ball..

…..Matt#1, “Don’t be like the other Matt Carpenter….go for that big contract…heck I’m 29 I only have one more big contract”

 

Hi…..….I’m OJ Simpson I was the superstar running back of the USC Trojans where I led the nation in rushing during my Jr & Sr years. In the pros, I was drafted and played most my career for the Buffalo Bills. I was the only runner in NFL history to rush for 2000+ yards in a 14 game season. I was in six Pro Bowls and voted into NFL HOF in my 1st year of eligibility in 1985.

I’m the other OJ Simpson…after my football career I was used for many commercials and am most remembered for my Hertz commercials as I ran through the airports….I ran…oops …my bad….I moved into areas that caused much trouble with the law and have been incarcerated.

OJ#1….don’t be like that OJ….stop running in airports!

 

….Hi…I’m the 2015 Maty Mauk…I’ve led my teams to 3 very lacklulster wins over cupcakes to start the season…my leading receivers from last year are now in the NFL…these new guys couldn’t catch a fish out of a fish pond….I’ve passed for 329 yards and have a rating after 2 games of 114….I’m worried for a couple reasons….our Mizzou fans are spoiled…they now expect us to win the SEC East and win most games convincingly AND since my backup …Drew Lock….has NFL written all over him….ya never know…

Hi….I’m the other Maty Mauk…the Mizzou QB of 2014…..I led the Tigers to an 11-3 record as I passed for 2648 yards, 26 TD won the SEC East before losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Then I led the Tigers to a win over Minnesota in the Crap…oops… Citrus Bowl. I had a 53.4% completion rate and QB rating….don‘t ask me to explain that…of 120.8

….Maty #1…don’t be like him….just let me scramble, run around and heave it…my only returning running back is already injured …and Coach Pinkel has ALWAYS chosen a QB in soph/jr year and stuck with him until graduation….I’m like Eliot Ness…I’m an untouchable as a starter

 

Now the top 10 AL hitters for AVG in the 2nd half…#1 is a shocker…a young rookie whose name has probably never come off your lips….this guy was just picked up in our Family Fantasy league in the last 2 weeks so….who’s heard of the guy?

……At #1 is SS Francisco Lindor who banged out a .361 avg this half and now holds a .319 season average for the Indians…is OPS is .959

……Toronto slugger Edwin Encarcion is 2nd in AL for 2nd half at .355….this guy has taken off as a hitter since he doesn’t have to go into the field where he committed multiple miscues….he can just think about hitting…he has 14 dingers and an OPS over 1.1 !

……Cleveland has a 2nd player in the top 3 of the AL…OF Michael Brantley hitting .352…any surprise that the Indians crawled back into the WC race..long shot but at least there was a chance for the Indians.

….At #4 is Xavier Bogoerts the SS of the BoSox….he’s about the only star of this lowly team…X hit .345 in the 2nd half.

….Jose Altuve (Houston) is putting together another fine season as a lead-off hitter for the Astros..he checks in with a .342 average…one of the few high average hitters in this lineup

….Mizzou-grad, Ian Kinsler comes in at #6 and continues to perform at a .339 clip although the Tigers have lost their bite and linger in the mid-section of the division.

….causing some…maybe just me….to wonder….the venerable David Ortiz is hitting unbelievably for an old-timer (20 HR and .339 average)…once found to have used drugs….I’m just saying…

…in the #8 spot is Tampa Bay’s SS-Asdrubal Cabrera….pushed aside in Cleveland with Lindor (see #1) rising out of the farm system, Cabrera’s .338 average is really robust on the mild hitting Rays team.

…Ben Revere arrives in the #9 spot with a .329 mark….in the powerful Toronto lineup, maybe he’s ignored because he doesn’t hit many round-trippers…his speed is a real asset to this #1 division leader

…rounding out the top 10 in the AL is Tx OF Sin-So Choo…god bless you…his .328 2nd half comes after a dismal 1st half

 

Hi…I’m Jaime Garcia…I’m in the final year of my contract….I’ve really had injury problems since I signed my 4 year $26 mil contract…it’s just been too painful….yea…I had surgery…but that’s expected, right?….heck I’ve racked up 24 wins for $26 mil…a mil a win…that’s plenty good…I don’t want to push it too hard

Hi…I’m the other Jaime Garcia of 2015…I hold a 9-5 record with a 2.82 ERA..I’m on the way to pitching my most innings since 2011..which means I’ll have exceeded the massive total of 121 innings in 2012, 2013, and 2014…I’m in my final year of this contract with the club having an #11.5 mil option for 2016 and a $12 mil contract for 2017

….Jaime #1…don’t be like other Jaime…..pitch just good enough to sign another big one…heck…if the Cards buy me out for $500,000…some other chump…I mean team will gladly open up their wallets….my arm might hurt but not enough to cash in those checks.

 

Hi…I’m Jack Clark…I was a tremendous power hitter back in the pre-steriod days…I earned $20 mil for my career for the SF Giants and Cards

Hi…I’m the other Jack Clark….I earned $20 mil in my career…I declared bankruptcy on listed debts of $11.4 mil with assets of $4.8 mil…I had some hobbies….kinda expensive hobbies…I owned 18 automobiles, including a 1990 Ferrari that cost $717,000 alone…my three customized Mercades were $125,000 each…all in all I owe on 17 of these cars and on the race track that I was going to race them on..

Jack#1…don’t be like that jack Clark…go into radio….oops…can’t do that I’m too blunt and get sued….so be a “power” man and step up…sell those darn cars by opening up a Auto Dealership or a restaurant with your buddy, Ozzie!

 

A quick look at some of the excitement/news surrounding HS football…

….Ladue scored 2 TD’s in last 5 minutes to rally for a 38-35 win over Cape Central

….Occasionally when a successful coach departs from a school, it’s because he sees the cupboard is bare for future teams…..Not so in this case…Coach Ferrell Shelton compiled a dazzling record of 130-37 @ Eureka in his 15 seasons there. He moved to Kirkwood for that prestigious job….he’s led the Pioneers to a 4-0 mark this year while Eureka is still winning…they’re 5-0….win-win for both teams

….best thing that ever happened to Pattonville was the breaking up of the Suburban North into 2 conferences…Pattonville still has tough teams (Kirkwood, Summit, Webster, Pk North and Ritenour) but the Pirates are 4-1 after crunching Webster Groves 40-0 …sometimes removing teams that have beat you year after year elevates the approach and attitude of players & coaches alike

…one of wildest games this weekend was the O’Fallon Christian 50-35 win over DuBourg…Christian trailed 35-27 but scored 3 TD’s in the last 8:51 seconds for the win.

 

Hi…I’m Sam Bradford that was drafted with lots of anticipation by the Rammies….many thought that I had a gun for an arm…that my personality was squeaky clean…others knew that I had an aptitude for the game…I had the OU pedigree…I was the whole package..

Hi…I’m the other Sam Bradford…the one that has been out for 3 seasons with the Rams…I was a brittle as a frozen limb of a dead tree….my signing bonus became an issue – especially with the fans…I spent more time on the sideline than the X-pt kickers…I was everything that nobody wanted..

Sam#1…don’t be that Sam….my new coach has me releasing the ball quickly….calling plays at the LOS so that I can use my analytical skills…I actually have a line that can block for more than a mini-second….this is the year for me…I’m in Philly

 

Hi….I’m Peter Stasny …I was acquired last year by the St Louis Blues…I had much anticipation…I was coming home and to a good team….I finished with 16 goals and most fans seemed frustrated with me

Hi…I’m the other Peter Stasny…I played 8 years in the prime of my career with the Denver Avalanche….I averaged 20 goals a season during that time…I was voted #2 in the Rookie of the Year voting….generally chalked up several assists in the playoffs….after that, I was injured on a few occasions and often missed games but most appreciated my skills

….Peter #1….don’t be like that Peter….I’ll continue to slide since I’ll be 30 in December…the quick skating Blues don’t fit my finesse style…and my salary will still rile up the Blues faithful

 

Hi….I’m Bob Ryan….no..Not the Boston Globe Bob Ryan….I write sports blogs trying to elicit emotion from the readers…my thrill is that people will actually take their time to read this “stuff”

Hi…I’m the other Bob Ryan…I taught HS math 40 years…how can I write anything with those credentials? The only thing I wrote was my name on the bottom of a check.

Bob#1….don’t be like that Bob…..read this silly stuff mixed in with some facts and some quasi-facts covered with lots of Irish malarkey covering in on the top….:)

 

Your thoughts ? Respond on the Prepcasts site or send me an email…..

 

If you’re a real glutton for punishment and have missed these blogs…give em a try

Sep 14 Sliding into 2ndhttp://www.prepcasts.com/sliding-into-second-by-bob-ryan/

Sep 6..the official start of fall…. http://www.prepcasts.com/fall-is-officially-here-by-bob-ryan/

Aug 31…Red vs Blue M&M … http://www.prepcasts.com/red-vs-blue-mm-by-bob-ryan/

Aug 27…looking in rear view mirror…http://www.prepcasts.com/bob-ryan-looks-into-the-rear-view-mirror/

And if you really like this silly stuff…like this one….

Aug 20…Bob Ryan goes to Judge Roy Beans Court http://www.prepcasts.com/bob-ryan-goes-to-judge-roy-beans-court-by-bob-ryan/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Week 1 Was a Hint of What’s In Store, You Don’t Want to Miss Week 2!!

IMG_1687If Week 1 Was a Hint of What’s In Store, You Don’t Want to Miss Week 2!!

By Kevin O’Connell
It’s only the 2nd week of the season, but given the way it started off, this will be a year to remember. Last Friday night we had 2 scoring leaders, Cade Brister of Fort Zumwalt North and Cody Shrader of Lutheran South score 4 TDs each, not to mention the 22 others with 3 each. We saw Quarterback Kaleb Eleby of Pattonville throw for 6 TDs while Jake Bridges of Park Hills Central and Damian Cagle of Winfield threw for 5 TDs each. Two Running Backs, Hassan Haskins of Eureka and Cody Shrader of Lutheran South each rushed for 275 yards apiece. Haskins carried the ball 41 times and accounted for total offense of 316 yards. Right behind Haskins at 316 total yards was Cody Shrader of Lutheran South with 286.Two receivers, Tristan Campbell of Park Hills Central and Sam Walden of Fort Zumwalt East caught passes for over 160 yards each.
Offense wasn’t all we saw. 2 players had a pair of interceptions each, Turner Cook of Marquette and Cade Grimes of Orchard Farm. 3 players, 2 from the same school, had 2 fumble recoveries each.  Will Bacon and A’Ron Washington of Lutheran South and Brian Hutten of Brentwood each had 2. Branton McCain of Liberty had 15 solo tackles, 3 assists followed closely by Nathan Lane of Francis Howell Central with 12 solo and 7 assists, and Cameron Turner of Hazelwood East with 11 solo and 6 assists. Mike Simon of Hazelwood Central had 4 solo sacks. There was plenty of offense and defense to go around.
Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything accomplished by these young men playing High School football. Take a Friday night out and go to a game near you. They’re fun, exciting, and always something to root for. If you can’t get to a game, check www.prepcasts.com for a game near you and listen to our great coverage of the game. Only on Prepcasts can you listen to more than one game and follow much more action at the same time.

Not the roaring 20’s by Bob Ryan

roaring 20's imageThe 20’s….no..not the roaring 20’s …a forerunner to the 60’s….but the 20’s of August…when they arrive it means lots of things….school has started (or will soon)….summer swimming is seeing its waning days….the “routine” is starting again for many…..in baseball it also means….all the bloom is off the season’s flower by now….the season is stale and repetitious unless you’re a contender…it’s the final days until all the “promising’ players are called up on Sept 1 and ur playing time will be reduced…players on non-contending teams are now focused on personal achievements despite a body that is slower, bruised and aches far more than the glorious days of March spring training…so let’s take a look at what’s going on in these 20’s …

 

…Recently, Michael Wacha had a very unusual AB…he was assigned to bunt…as he squared, bent his knees, the pitch ran right in on him—right at this face….he DID get the bunt down…as the pitcher mishandled his bunt, Wacha no doubt was considering, as he jogged to 1B, how close he really came to being struck right between the eyes

 …does anyone still have any doubts that $silent $tan is moving to LA? I don’t. Our hopes…as I said months ago is the Oakland team….I’m really afraid that the StL committee (which has worked very hard and very well) will have worked in vain….btw…one of my friends, a non-sports person, said to me recently,” well learn to be without it and anyway it’s our tax money and not everyone goes”….well, our tax money already goes to many pleasurable activities—zoo, library, art museum…not everyone goes to those wonderful areas either..I’m not saying that we should lessen or remove our fiscal support of those areas only that a stadium provides enjoyment for a sizable segment of our society –just as these other activities do for others…unfortunately in the “me 1st and me only” society that we function in now….supporting verbally & fiscally the interest of others ..and accepting that we’re all different….doesn’t gain much traction

 …clearly the two best hitters in the MLB are Bryce Harper & Paul Goldschmidt (at least by the numbers)….Harper has these credentials as of today—BA-.328,OBP .452 OPS-1.089; Goldschmidt’s numbers are BA-.334, OBP-.447 and OPS 1.017..they are the only two MLB hitters over 1.00 in OPS

 …so …part of the Grichuk package was the history of Grichuk having been on DL frequently in the minor leagues…I always wondered why LAA gave him to us so cheaply

 …one of my friends emailed me a copy of a survey taken of our college students being quizzed…it was so sad…most could not name the vice-president, from which country we claimed independence, who won the Civil War but…they all knew about some rock star’s (can’t remember her name) husband and former husband…couldn’t we give a competency test (which would change every year so teachers don’t just teach the test) to receive a HS diploma? Forget about those “gimme” grades….they often mean very little is some schools

 …we’ve had some dismal QB tandems in StL over the past couple years…here’s another one that seems to be of the same ilk….it’s in Buffalo…the fight for the QB spot is between Tyrod Taylor, Matt Cassel and EJ Manual (who once was thought the be “the chosen one” but now sits at #3 on the depth chart). The fleet-footed Taylor leads this threesome as we head into week 2 of NFL pre-season.

 ….is Maty Mauk causing some worries at Mizzou after his dismal showing at the intra-squad game? 50% passing completion, considering the many short passes in this offense, is really unacceptable and won’t win many SEC games

….the Angels are still battling for a playoff spot with Trout hitting .295 and Albert trudging along at .252 (albeit 33 HR) …btw not ONE batter is hitting .300 in LAA lineup..does LAA sound like an airport to you too?

…I tend to agree with James Harrison…participation trophies are really superfluous….just because you play on a team, it doesn’t merit a reward…participation ITSELF should be the reward—the fun, enjoyment, satisfaction of learning, developing, mastering skills and then moving upward to tougher skills and learning how to interact with others both as teammates and as players subordinate to coaches while learning that you may not always be the star…or even good…. but the importance of working towards a team goal (like you’ll do in the workplace) is important..on a personal note…my youngest son who lived through the participation trophy stage…would line up his trophies in two rows….the front row was the achievement trophies and the back row the participation trophies…I rest my case

 …a tip of the hat to a HS football coach who demonstrated by his actions…not only his words…some good sportsmanship….Farrell Shelton took over the prestigious Kirkwood football job after 14 terrific seasons at Eureka…leading Lindbergh 35-0 at half in Friday night’s opening game and probably being tempted to please everyone by scoring more points….he took the high road….final score Kirkwood 35 Lindbergh 7…great job Coach! Other coaches, I’m sure, also displayed good sportsmanship by easing up also… but this one is a real obvious one to notice.

 …the Steelers have lost long-time (10 years) d-coordinator, Dick LeBeau…he’s moved to Tennessee to become Asst head Coach. Keith Butler assumes the duties of the d-coordinator and promises more flexibility in his alignments…LeBeau was simple but innovative.. he trained his players to do the basics—keeping it simple enough that the players could Play w/o thinking and yet was the inventor of the zone blitz package now commonly used by NFL, college & HS teams…btw…LeBeau is 7th in NFL History in Interceptions!

 …will the SI Cover Jinx haunt the Cardinals now? The story on the depth, training and success of Birds is followed by an article on the Pirates…guess what, Clint Hurdle (Pirate MGR) is now reading Manifesto Mike’s book—the Manifesto!

…seldom mentioned, Josh Donaldson has really been terrific this year–.296, 33 HR, 94 RBI, 90 runs, OPS .939—since the trading deadline, Toronto has been on a tear (don’t know if it actually is Tulo or the sign from Toronto mgmt. that we’re “all in”

….Pirates,who are 55-1 when leading after 7 innings, tried shoring up their bullpen with the acquisition of Joakim Soria but the starting staff may be starting to crumble…..AJ Bartnett is on DL, Gerrit Cole has now lost his last 3 starts. The Pirates have the 3rd best record in baseball (behind Cards & KC)…btw….I think that those 3 teams all play tremendous defense—which really supports their pitchers and keep them in just about every game

 …the Rams brawl with the Cowboys in a “scrimmage” is typical….very typical…of scrimmages between pro teams…trash talk, hard hits, late hits…bingo…we got ourselves a brawl…I’m sure that the toughness, intensity, quickness of a team is elevated at those scrimmages..in fact, they are probably better to watch than the ho-hum pre-season games where meaningless players occupy the playing time while the starters sit on the sidelines joking, gawking at cheerleaders, pretending that they’re drinking water (what do you really think is in that bottle?), and occasionally taking glimpses at the game

….OK …World Series could now extend to Nov 4th…well…I guess the fans could treat it like a football game…tail-gate, get fortified with some anti-freeze prior to the game, watch through blurry eyes as the temp drops throughout the evening and you keep trying to stay warm with libations, then wake up next day wondering who won J-…

…while the Lou is justifiably excited about rookie Randall Grichuk….the Astros SS, Carlos Correa really has the Houston area buzzing…hitting .278, 15 HR ,OPS .871 with 10 SB…some have compared him to a young (and uncorrupted) A-Rod

 …sad NFL stat—1 in 6 players go bankrupt during their life…pls don’t blame that on concussions.

 …Thx to Thomas Williams for catching me on Superfly Jimmy Snuka…the Superfly HAS NOT PASSED but it was discovered this month that he has stomach cancer. He had his lymph nodes, part of his stomach and all apparent cancer removed. Keep on Splashing Superfly!

 …33 year old, Mizzou grad, Ian Kinsler (Detroit) is still holding his head above the .300 water level..he’s in his 10th year of MLB with over 5300 AB

 …recent publication predicts 5 things about Mizzou football—1) Kentrell Brothers will lead league in tackles; 2) Russell Hansbrough will rush for 1200 yards; 3) Evan Boehm -will become SEC’s best center (he’s son of Lee Summit West HS coach); 4) after winning it 2 consecutive years, Mizzou will NOT have the SEC Def Player of the Year; 5) Mizzou’s unbeaten streak in the last 2 Novembers will come to an end…interesting…seems to me like if #1 comes true, #4 will likely be wrong…hmmmm… Mizzou’s Nov schedule includes Miss State, Ark, Tenn, BYU, (in that order of skill level)…tough ending…

 …puzzles me why Tom Brady is listed around #5-9 in QB ratings in most Pre-Season Fantasy QB…who else would YOU rather have on a final drive down the field?

 ….which teams have most/best records in one-run games to this point of the season? Sitting down?…The Cubbies are 27-17, Cards 27-19, Atlanta 23-16, KC Royals 19-11

 …the defensive OF of Grichuk, Heyward and Piscotty is clearly out best OF defensively (not counting the weak hitting Bourjos as an everyday player)…that would leave us Holliday & Adams for one starting spot….hmmmm…on the other hand….how often are all five of these guys healthy at one time?

 …having a strong 2015 for the Yanks is A-Rod (24 dingers, 63 ribbies) but I think the long layoff in 2013 and 2014 is catching up to him now in the hot, long 20’s as he’s hitting .212 in the last 30 days…interesting…just learned that A-Rod missed only ONE game (total) in the 3 year stretch of 2001-2002-2003 for Texas (I guess steroids were providing the stamina)

 ….watch which players “get hot” during the 20’s….wanna bet that they’re in the final year of their contract?

Coach Shelton – “It’s all about the process.”

Tyler PosloskyClick here for the REPlay …

Nine weeks into the season, Eureka sports a 6-1 overall mark, including a perfect record in a lightweight conference. Yet, head coach Farrell Shelton’s message hasn’t changed.

It’s all about the process.

Pick any of the unusual circumstances leading up to Eureka’s eventual 40-0 rout over Lindbergh and you could make a case for the multitude of penalties and mental lapses made by the Wildcats. Hours before kickoff the game was moved to Parkway Central because of unplayable field conditions. To top it off, it was Eureka’s Homecoming.

And despite recording its third shutout of the season, Eureka made far too many senseless mistakes that to Shelton’s liking.

Without pausing, Shelton said he wasn’t surprised by the penalty-marked performance.

“It’s the team, it’s Week 9, and I could see it coming,” Shelton said. “It was just a little bit and a little bit and then tonight … it just won’t stop. It’s the same penalties that we made tonight that [we’ve made before].”

Brett Geisz rushed for a season-high 203 yards, passed for 151 and scored three total touchdowns. Halfback Stephen Erutti was a factor when his name was called. Most important to the naked eye, the Wildcats hung 40 on their opponent.

However, the Flyers were no juggernaut. They went winless in the conference and allowed nearly 31 points per game in their four conference tilts.

“I think we’re talented [offensively], but you never know,” Shelton said. “When you play teams that you’re more talented [than] you can get away with that stuff.”

That was the case against the Flyers.

The Wildcats scored on their opening drive on Geisz’s one-yard quarterback keeper.

Then the penalty flags started flying.

Eureka’s next drive began on their own 25, but was spoiled by a chop block. A fake punt failed and the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs.

Trailing by a touchdown, it looked as if Lindbergh was going to tie the game. But on third-and-7, linebacker Zach Seiler intercepted Logan Offner’s pass. It was Seiler’s first interception of the season.

The turnover gave the Wildcats’ offense a chance to redeem themselves.

But to no avail.

The mishaps continued on Eureka’s next drive. A pair of false starts and one of a handful of passes that grazed off the fingertips of Cam Nisbet kept the offense out of the end zone. However, Bo Highfill extended the lead to 10-0 with a 27-yard field goal.

Shelton addressed the first-half penalties at halftime, but little changed in the second half even though Eureka scored 14 points in the fourth quarter.

“What was disappointing was it was seniors and it was [guys] making the same mistakes,” Shelton said. “I never preach that. I preach the process, not the end result.

“The teams that move into the championship understand that. I’ve got a group of kids that don’t. I’ve got a great [defense] of seniors. But in Class 6, you’ve gotta have a large number of people that are all playing together.”

An emotional win for Eureka last Sat.

Tyler PosloskyWeek 6 Gamer | Eureka 31, Marquette 7 – Click here for the REPlay …

Eureka could’ve laid down against Marquette last Saturday night.

 After everything this team, school and community had been through over the past week, no one would’ve blamed them.

 As Marquette glided through Eureka’s defense for a touchdown on its opening drive, the game was heading in an ugly direction. And it appeared Eureka had no answers.

 Then, something special—almost surreal—happened. Driven by raw emotion, the Wildcats came together, rallied from an early seven-point deficit and scored 31 unanswered points to cap the win.

 It was more than a team win, according to Eureka head coach Farrell Shelton. It wasn’t all about football.

 “It’s what makes Eureka such a classic community school,” Shelton said following his team’s third straight win. “I was very proud.”

 Eureka’s first possession was spoiled by two penalties. An illegal block in the back and an illegal procedure forced the Wildcats to punt from deep inside their own territory.

 Brett Geisz’s rugby-style punt took a Marquette bounce and settled at the Eureka 48 yard line, where the Mustangs took over. Jack Whitworth’s 25-yard rush set up Demarko Johnson’s 29-yard touchdown run to give the Mustangs the early lead and the momentum.

 On Eureka’s ensuing drive, Geisz threw an ill-advised pass near the Marquette sideline. Mustangs’ defensive back John Jackson jumped the route and intercepted Geisz to halt the drive.

 With a chance to go up two scores, the Mustangs were unable to pull through when Charlie Kreh’s 35-yard field goal attempt was blocked at the line of scrimmage.

 Just when the Wildcats appeared to find their offensive rhythm, running back Stephen Erutti coughed up the ball at the Marquette 31 with 2:55 remaining in the first quarter.

 The Mustangs took over, but to no avail. The Wildcats stood on their heads against a potent rushing attack from the Mustangs. It was only a mater of time before Geisz and the rest of the Wildcats’ offense got going—their next drive to be exact.

 On fourth down near midfield, Shelton called for a fake punt. It worked to perfection. Geisz—positioned a few yards deeper than normal—took the snap and fired a dart to Daniel Shelton, who ran it all the way down to the Marquette 31 for a new set of downs.

 It was Eureka’s second fake punt in as many games, and the trickery eventually set up Cameron Nisbet’s 10-yard touchdown run to tie it 7-7.

 The score tilted the game for good.

 The Wildcats took the lead on Geisz’ one-yard rush to make it 14-7. Geisz avenged his first-quarter interception with a quarterback keeper on another fourth-down conversion to keep the drive alive.

 Later in the quarter, Erutti made up for his earlier fumble with a four-yard run to give the Wildcats a 14-point cushion.

 “We were off 15 days, we had the bye [week], you could tell in the first half we came out a little rusty,” Shelton said. “I think all of us, players and coaches, we were trying to get in the swing of things.”

 Marquette never recovered.

 Bo Highfill added a 37-yard field goal to make it 24-7 with less than five minutes to play in the third, and Erutti recorded his second rushing touchdown of the night, this time from seven yards out to seal the win.

 After the game, Shelton awarded the game ball to the Eureka Golden Line in memory of Natalie Timm, who was tragically killed in a car accident not two weeks ago.

 “I told [the team] we’ve got 2 1/2 hours to maybe forget things, but then the reality is going to hit with the Timm’s family, the Golden Line family and the whole Eureka community.”

 

Eureka Football Continues to Roll

Tyler PosloskyFarrell Shelton’s game plan heading into Fort Zumwalt East was more about defense than offense. The head coach of Eureka was worried about his defense matching up against the Lions’ offense fueled by quarterback Andy Barrett and receiver Daniel Morris.

 After all, both Barrett and Morris are two of the area’s top players four games in.

 “Their offensive firepower was what really worried us,” Shelton said following his team’s 38-0 thumping over the Lions. “Could we keep up with them? Could the back end of our defense stay with them?”

 Yes to both.

 The Wildcats’ senior-driven defense erased every concern their coach had following another stout performance. In fact, they held Barrett in check all night. When the Wildcats weren’t crashing through the Lions’ offensive line, they were flushing Barrett out of the pocket, forcing him to beat them on the perimeter.

 Barrett, who threw for 205 yards in Week 2, managed just 47 yards against the Wildcats. Morris was held to one catch for 7 yards. For perspective, Morris set a state record for yards per catch in a single game in the season opener against Francis Howell Central.

 The Wildcats scored on their first play from scrimmage to jump to an early lead. Senior quarterback Brett Geisz heaved a pass down the far sideline into the hands of junior receiver Cameron Nisbet for the score.

 Down by a touchdown, the Lions were still very much alive. However, their next series proved devastating.

 The Lions had the ball near midfield when running back Devon Dillon took the handoff from Barrett but was hit hard near the line of scrimmage. The ball was jarred loose, and linebacker Cole Reat scooped it and rumbled 48 yards for the touchdown.

 Eureka’s sideline erupted with high fives and fist pumps. The touchdown was a bit ironic. Reat started the first three games on the offensive line. However, last week, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound junior made the switch to linebacker. The move paid off.

 To his own admission, Reat was a bit surprised when he saw the ball bouncing on the turf.

 “I was thinking don’t drop on it, don’t fall on it, don’t fumble it … all the things you can imagine running through your head,” Reat said.

 The Lions were dumbfounded. Any momentum that would have been was gone in the blink of an eye.

 With a 14-0 edge, the Wildcats kept their foot on the throttle.

 A 10-yard score by Stephen Erutti and a 31-yard touchdown pass from Andy Coulter to Dylan Brems ended the first quarter.

 The second stanza was much the same as the first. Eureka dominated on both sides of the ball. Coulter threw his second touchdown pass of the night, this time a 13-yard strike to Nisbet.

 “You got seniors that cherish the opportunity to be out there and that’s what I’m proud of,” Shelton said. Our entire starting defense, they understand the clock’s ticking on ‘em. We only have so many of these Friday night’s left, so let’s make it special.”

Click here for the replay …

 

Hazelwood Central – Eureka Football Epic

Tyler PosloskyHawks Edge Wildcats in Epic Game

Click here for the REplay …

If you like thrillers, last weekend’s tilt between Hazelwood Central and Eureka provided just that, and more.

With less than a minute remaining in the game, Eureka called on senior place kicker Bo Highfill for a 30-yard field goal try that would have capped a remarkable game for the Wildcats. However, the Hawks blitzed everyone, blocked the kick, and triumphed 23-21.

Hawks head coach Van Vanatta had seen this game-ending scenario before. Against Kirkwood in 2010, his team blocked a field goal to seal a victory. Though, Vanatta said this trumps the one four years ago.

“This is probably the most epic game that we’ve won that I’ve been a part of,” Vanatta said following the game.

Wildcats head coach Farrell Shelton echoed his counterpart’s sentiments.

“The way both teams battled there, you hate seeing a high school team lose, especially yours,” Shelton said. “I thought we battled. It [the game] literally went down to the last play.”

More than 24 hours passed between kickoff and the final play. Inclement weather caused the game to be suspended on Friday night. Shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday, play resumed.

Despite the lengthy delay, both teams picked up right where they left off, trading punches on both sides of the ball.

The Wildcats’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Hawks’ opening possession of the game to grab early momentum. However, the Wildcats couldn’t capitalize on their first drive when Highfill missed a 47-yard field goal.

Another defensive stand by the Wildcats gave the offense a chance to cash in. To no avail, the Wildcats couldn’t crack the Hawks’ stingy front seven, turning the ball over on downs after going for it on fourth down.

The Hawks finally broke through on their next possession. Senior quarterback Mike Glass found his groove. Slot receiver Jordan Croft broke free and Glass threw a dart to his wideout for a 51-yard gain. The big play set up a one-yard touchdown run by Glass.

“[Glass] makes it go,” Shelton said. “They got a senior offensive line. But when you [have] a triggerman like [him], he’s gonna always put you in a good [place]. He’s a gamer.”

No matter, Eureka return man Shaun Smith took the ensuing kick 85 yards for a touchdown to tie the game, 7-7.

A blocked punt by Hazelwood Central led to a 31-yard field goal from Brendan Kocurek, who hadn’t kicked a field goal in two years, according to Vanatta.

With a chance to tie the game, Highfill missed his second 47-yard field goal of the night.

The first half ended with the Hawks sporting a 10-7 edge.

Eureka took its first lead when senior gunslinger Andy Coulter fired a dart to Bobby Saunders, who outran the Hawks’ secondary for a 25-yard touchdown.

Back came the Hawks. Glass galloped 23 yards to regain the lead and the momentum. Kocurek padded the lead with a 32-yard field goal.

Once more, the Wildcats’ seniors took over. A 46-yard pass from quarterback Brett Geisz led to a seven-yard touchdown run by Cam Nisbet. The 6-foot-4 junior receiver came in motion as the ball was snapped. Geisz handed it to Nisbet who darted around the right side for the score.

A 33-yard field goal from Kocurek made it 23-21 in favor of the Hawks.

In the waning moments, the Wildcats were in good position to end it. Despite missing his first two tries, Highfill’s third field goal attempt didn’t make it past the line of scrimmage before being blocked.

“It happens,” Shelton said of Highfill’s rough outing. “He’s a first-team, all-state kicker.”

Hazelwood Central 23, Eureka 21.

Click here for the REplay …

Check out other NEWS articles by Tyler … just scroll down.

Week 3 Preview: Hazelwood Central (2-0) at Eureka (2-0)

Tyler PosloskyWeek 3 Preview: Hazelwood Central (2-0) at Eureka (2-0) – Click here for the game …

 

Eureka will be revved up for its home opener tonight against Class 6 powerhouse Hazelwood Central. Both teams reached the state semifinals last season with Eureka losing to Blue Springs and Hazelwood Central falling to Rock Bridge.  

Both teams enter the tilt with identical 2-0 records on the season. However, the Hawks will be without STL Top 30 and senior running back Kevin Batt, who suffered a broken foot in the second half of last week’s game against Lafayette and will be out for the season.  

“It hurts because [Kevin] was a heck of a football player,” Hawks’ head coach Van Vanatta said. “We’re going to find out where we’re at this week.” 

Batt, who stands 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, was the staple of Central’s offense last season as a junior. He was on his way to another promising season before going down. Over the last two weeks, Batt rushed for a combined 347 yards and four touchdowns, an average of over 10 yards per carry.  

Despite the devastating blow, Vanatta will stay the course. Changing offensive philosophy isn’t in the fold.  

“Even without Kevin it’s 60 percent run, 40 percent pass,” Vanatta said. “It’s not going to change up what we do. We’re going to continue to move forward.” 

Senior Jordan Moody, who transferred from Francis Howell North, will replace Batt in the backfield. Moody has 20 carries for 160 yards to his credit this season. Vanatta is more than confident Moody can get the job done.  

“He knows the playbook,” Vanatta said. “We’re really not missing a beat. It’s just going to be can we continue to keep doing the other things we do and keep our production up right now.” 

Central, perhaps one of the most dangerous offenses in the state, utilizes its other weapons by spreading the ball all over the field.  

Senior quarterback Mike Glass has thrown four touchdowns and rushed for two. Receivers Xavier Sneed, Jordan Croft and Dominique Johnson are also capable of making big plays.  

By the same token, this bout will be no cakewalk for the Hawks. The Wildcats are poised, physical and downright tough to play against.  

Headed by their 11 senior starters on defense, the Wildcats get after the quarterback and fly to the ball. They held Oakville to less than 100 total offensive yards last week.  

Senior quarterback Brett Geisz is hard to bring down. He extends plays and has good speed when he decides to tuck it and run. Geisz threw four touchdowns last week and rushed for 59 yards. Receivers Bobby Saunders and Cam Nesbet always seem to shake off defenders and create space in the open field.  

“They’re a good football team all the way around,” Vanatta said of this week’s opponent. “They fly to the football defensively … they tackle well. They’ve got a spread offense … they’re wide open. They’re very good at attacking defenses, hitting you where you’re not.”  

Eureka High School will be packed come kickoff, which is scheduled for 7 p.m.  Click here for all the action … 

Vanatta said it will be a fight to the final whistle.  

“It’s a fun place to play,” he said. “They’re gonna have a huge crowd, home opener. They’re capable of hurting you. It’s going to be a hard-nosed battle. It’s going to be the team that makes the least mistakes [that wins].”

 

 

 

Eureka goes 2-0, Moves up in the Top 10

Tyler PosloskyOn the heels of an ugly showing against Lafayette last week, the Eureka offense exploded, the defense was unbreakable, and the visitors coasted to a 46-6 victory against Oakville Friday night.

The Oakville Tigers were revved up for their Senior Night, an early-season tradition for the black and gold. However, the celebration was spoiled by a stout effort from the Eureka Wildcats’ senior-led defense, which proved too much for the Tigers to handle.

“We knew offensively they had some firepower,” Eureka head coach Farrell Shelton said following his team’s second consecutive road victory. “They’ve got some athletes we don’t have on defense. I was just glad the way our defense was able to play in the first half.”

At halftime the Wildcats enjoyed a 35-0 lead. The Wildcats were pressing the gas. The Tigers were on empty.

The stingy defensive effort from the Wildcats was perhaps overshadowed by the pure dominance provided by the offense.

Senior quarterback Brett Geisz threw for 141 yards and four touchdowns, including a three-yard strike to Bobby Saunders on the opening drive of the game to begin the route.

After three consecutive punts, senior running back Stephen Erutti set the Wildcats up with a first-and-goal on a nifty run before Geisz tossed his second touchdown pass of the game, this time a five-yard flip to senior tight end Liam Mannecke.

The Wildcats would not be stopped.

Geisz connected with Cam Nesbitt for another score, the first of two touchdown catches for the 6-foot-4 receiver.

Shelton wasn’t surprised with Geisz’s final stat line, which was noted as one of the area’s top performances for Week 2.

“Brett’s Brett,” Shelton said. “You don’t think he has anything and you look up and three or four touchdowns.”

When the final horn sounded, Shelton was more than pleased with his team.

“[I’m] very proud of that senior defense,” he said. “We’re starting 11 seniors on that defense over there, and those guys take a lot of pride in their senior leadership.”

Click here for the replay …

Check out the New Football Show – Prepcasts LLI – Week 2

prepcasts facebook profilePrepcasts is proud to announce the continuation of our addition to our Friday night high school football coverage.  This Friday night at 6:30, we will continue the Prepcasts Live Listen In (LLI) show. Prepcasts will continue to bring you our featured Friday night games, but the Prepcasts LLI show will only enhance the coverage. Hosted this week by Tim Miller, the Prepcasts LLI show will run until around 10:00, and it will provide coverage of all of our featured games in addition to updated scores from high school football contests across the St. Louis area and from our affiliates in Ste. Gen and KCMW. In addition, we will bring you pre-game and post-game analysis of all our featured games from our Prepcasts broadcast crews.
 
So remember, the Prepcasts LLI show will air live every Friday night from 6:30 – 10:00 and, as an added bonus, all shows will be archived for on-demand listening at your convenience, free of charge. Click here for that show …