[ {"id":"49c760dc-5ace-5eaf-8a42-39c77dce6154","type":"article","starttime":"1542348360","starttime_iso8601":"2018-11-16T00:06:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1542368556","sections":[{"doxsie":"sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/doxsie"},{"iowa":"sports/college/big-10/iowa"}],"flags":{"alert":"true","top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Doxsie's after-thoughts from Iowa-Oregon","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/doxsie/article_49c760dc-5ace-5eaf-8a42-39c77dce6154.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/doxsie/doxsie-s-after-thoughts-from-iowa-oregon/article_49c760dc-5ace-5eaf-8a42-39c77dce6154.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/doxsie/doxsie-s-after-thoughts-from-iowa-oregon/article_49c760dc-5ace-5eaf-8a42-39c77dce6154.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":1,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"After-thoughts from Iowa\u2019s 77-69 victory over No. 13 Oregon: --If Iowa\u2019s defense can play like this all season, the Hawkeyes are going to do very well. Oregon allegedly one of the best point guards in the country and a 7-foot-2 center who is one of the top freshmen around, but the Ducks struggled all night to find quality shots. Other than graduate transfer guard Ehab Amin, none of them ever really got rolling. Iowa\u2019s zone defense was especially good but it looked solid in the man-to-man as well.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["field goal","sport","basketball","hawkeyes","rebound","ryan kriener","luka garza","tyler cook","iowa"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e892b197-1768-505c-a920-97ba7561cf0f","description":"Iowa forward Ryan Kriener (15) shoots over Oregon center Bol Bol (1) and guard Ehab Amin (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the 2K Empire Classic, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)","byline":"AP","hireswidth":4025,"hiresheight":2683,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/89/e892b197-1768-505c-a920-97ba7561cf0f/5bee60a71ecb0.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/89/e892b197-1768-505c-a920-97ba7561cf0f/5bee60a6f3aff.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/89/e892b197-1768-505c-a920-97ba7561cf0f/5bee60a6f3aff.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/89/e892b197-1768-505c-a920-97ba7561cf0f/5bee60a6f3aff.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/89/e892b197-1768-505c-a920-97ba7561cf0f/5bee60a6f3aff.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"49c760dc-5ace-5eaf-8a42-39c77dce6154","body":"

After-thoughts from Iowa\u2019s 77-69 victory over No. 13 Oregon:

--If Iowa\u2019s defense can play like this all season, the Hawkeyes are going to do very well. Oregon allegedly one of the best point guards in the country and a 7-foot-2 center who is one of the top freshmen around, but the Ducks struggled all night to find quality shots. Other than graduate transfer guard Ehab Amin, none of them ever really got rolling. Iowa\u2019s zone defense was especially good but it looked solid in the man-to-man as well.

--That being said, it\u2019s hard to believe Oregon is anywhere close to the 13th best team in the country. That point guard, Payton Pritchard, looked horrible. It\u2019s a team with some size and length but it didn\u2019t appear to have much firepower at all.

--Backup center Ryan Kriener continues to make really big plays for the Hawkeyes. After 7-foot-2 Bol Bol blocked four Iowa shots early in the game, Kriener came and gave a clinic on how to get off shots inside against a guy with a 7-8 wingspan. He also hit a 3-pointer and was tremendous on the boards. He brings an element of toughness that this team needs.

--When someone asked one of Iowa\u2019s veterans at media day, which player they felt could succeed Nicholas Baer as the team\u2019s \u201cenergy guy\u2019\u2019 off the bench. He said Riley Till and the reporters present had to stifle their laughter. On Thursday, it stopped being a joke. With his high school teammate, Cordell Pemsl, out with an injury, Till came in to play some significant minutes in the first half. The walk-on played great defense, grabbed three offensive rebounds and did not look at all like a walk-on who\u2019s hardly played. The kid is going to help this team as the season goes on.

--Tyler Cook again committed a handful of silly turnovers, but he still had a decent game: 9 points, 10 rebounds. It wasn\u2019t the superstar performance he undoubtedly hoped for on the big stage but he helped the Hawkeyes win the game.

--The Hawkeyes generally did a very nice job against the fullcourt press when Oregon began using it consistently in an attempt to get back in the game in the second half. Jordan Bohannon, Baer and Connor McCaffery, in particular, remained calm and made very good decisions. The Hawkeyes again had too many turnovers (14) but very few of those came against the press.

--Luka Garza didn\u2019t fare quite as well inside against Bol, but he made several clutch plays down the stretch. His 3-point field goal from the top of the key with 3:35 remaining was Iowa\u2019s only field goal in the final 12 minutes.

--In fact, Iowa made only four field goals in the entire second half: Dunks by Cook and Kriener and 3-pointers by Garza and Joe Wieskamp. You can do that when you go 28 for 30 at the foul line.

--For the second straight game, Fran McCaffery removed his entire starting five in the first few minutes of the second half because he was angry at the way they were playing.

"}, {"id":"b1b92035-5717-5f15-8426-85ee7af4afa9","type":"article","starttime":"1542340140","starttime_iso8601":"2018-11-15T21:49:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1542342850","sections":[{"girls":"sports/high-school/basketball/girls"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Beal leads new-look Rocks to hard-fought victory in season opener","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/basketball/girls/article_b1b92035-5717-5f15-8426-85ee7af4afa9.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/basketball/girls/beal-leads-new-look-rocks-to-hard-fought-victory-in/article_b1b92035-5717-5f15-8426-85ee7af4afa9.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/basketball/girls/beal-leads-new-look-rocks-to-hard-fought-victory-in/article_b1b92035-5717-5f15-8426-85ee7af4afa9.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jeff Wendland\nLee News Network","prologue":"ROCK ISLAND \u2014 With seven members of his 10-player rotation making their varsity debut, Rock Island got quite the test in the season opener. A Peoria High team that played the style veteran prep basketball players will remember from the 1980s by the Peoria Manual and Peoria High teams \u2014 fast, athletic and in your face the entire length of the court.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"bb1395b7-2389-5e92-b912-fb61487d3ab4","description":"Rock Island's Brea Beal (1) goes up for a shot against Peoria High's Keara Benjamin (12) during the Lady Rocks' home opener Thursday at Rock Island High School.","byline":"Meg McLaughlin, Lee News Network","hireswidth":1661,"hiresheight":2000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b1/bb1395b7-2389-5e92-b912-fb61487d3ab4/5bee3fd46378c.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1312","height":"1579","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b1/bb1395b7-2389-5e92-b912-fb61487d3ab4/5bee3fd443ea5.image.jpg?resize=1312%2C1579"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"120","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b1/bb1395b7-2389-5e92-b912-fb61487d3ab4/5bee3fd443ea5.image.jpg?resize=100%2C120"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"361","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b1/bb1395b7-2389-5e92-b912-fb61487d3ab4/5bee3fd443ea5.image.jpg?resize=300%2C361"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1232","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/b1/bb1395b7-2389-5e92-b912-fb61487d3ab4/5bee3fd443ea5.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1232"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"b1b92035-5717-5f15-8426-85ee7af4afa9","body":"

ROCK ISLAND \u2014 With seven members of his 10-player rotation making their varsity debut, Rock Island got quite the test in the season opener.

A Peoria High team that played the style veteran prep basketball players will remember from the 1980s by the Peoria Manual and Peoria High teams \u2014 fast, athletic and in your face the entire length of the court.

That style never allowed the Rocks to get into a flow but they still held on for a 69-60 win over the Lions.

\"That's no fun to play against,\" RI coach Henry Hall said after his first varsity win. \"They are physical and right in your face. It's hard to move and cut but it is good for us. We will have some film to watch and see what we did.

\"Not only did we have those seven girls in their first varsity action, we also had Carlee Camlin who had limited minutes last year. We found a way get through it and get the 'W.'''

Of course, it never hurts to have the two-time Illinois Ms. Basketball on your team.

Brea Beal struggled early with her shot but still found a way to do plenty of damage. She finished with 26 points, 20 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.

\"I didn't get my shot going so I decided to use my size and take advantage of that,\" Beal said.

Beal wasn't exactly thrilled with the Peoria style that had two players all over her. When she got the ball, often times there were three or even four defenders clawing away at her.

With the Rocks up 19-14, things got a little ugly. On a rebound, Beal was fouled hard and she pushed a Peoria player. Two other Lions came in and shoved Beal before officials broke up the battle. Peoria was called for a foul and two technicals and the Rocks went on a 10-0 run that made it 29-14.

\"I realized early how it was going to be where they want to push you to the edge,\" Beal said. \"I am surprised I didn't get a technical as well. I shouldn't have allowed myself to get into that but after that incident I just had to get back under control.

\"It was at that point that we realized, as a team, that we were stronger and more competitive.\"

Hall knows Beal will be tested in many ways this season.

\"She was probably guarded as hard as she has been in a long while,\" he said. \"That's what she is going to see every game. She battled all the way and you saw she can dominate even when she is being hounded for 32 minutes.\"

It wasn't as if Beal was alone. Junior guard Bre Williams and freshman guard Imari McDuffy each had 11 points, and Camlin (six points) and Hannah Simmer (four points) each had seven rebounds.

\"That's the type of team we are going to be,\" Hall said. \"We will have Brea but I like the group we have around her.\"

The Rocks probably could have won the game much more handily if they made 3-pointers. RI finished the night 1-for-18 from beyond the arc, most of them wide-open shots.

\"We got what we wanted out of the offense and everyone was doing the right things,\" Beal said. \"We are going to make those shots most nights. We have trust in each other and we have players who can make those 3s.\"

Peoria's Jenna Beck did make five triples and led the Lions with 18. Shooria Metts added 16 points and nine rebounds.

"}, {"id":"bb673036-644f-5388-a983-89d5792efe5d","type":"article","starttime":"1542339240","starttime_iso8601":"2018-11-15T21:34:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1542348967","sections":[{"iowa":"sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa"},{"iowa":"sports/college/big-10/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Hawkeyes use defense, foul shooting to stun No. 13 Oregon","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/article_bb673036-644f-5388-a983-89d5792efe5d.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/hawkeyes-use-defense-foul-shooting-to-stun-no-oregon/article_bb673036-644f-5388-a983-89d5792efe5d.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/hawkeyes-use-defense-foul-shooting-to-stun-no-oregon/article_bb673036-644f-5388-a983-89d5792efe5d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Staff report","prologue":"NEW YORK \u2014 If someone had told Fran McCaffery that his Iowa basketball team was going to shoot 35.2 percent from the field Thursday night and make only one field goal in the final 12 minutes, he would have been, well \u2026 worried. But it\u2019s amazing what vastly improved defense and superb free throws shooting can do for a team.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"d04f18c5-7d3a-5ed3-b383-e3406f6d1bdc","description":"Iowa forward Tyler Cook (25) dunks past Oregon guard Victor Bailey Jr. (10) during the first half Thursday in the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.","byline":"AP","hireswidth":2944,"hiresheight":1963,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/04/d04f18c5-7d3a-5ed3-b383-e3406f6d1bdc/5bee50f5ed948.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/04/d04f18c5-7d3a-5ed3-b383-e3406f6d1bdc/5bee50f5cc499.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/04/d04f18c5-7d3a-5ed3-b383-e3406f6d1bdc/5bee50f5cc499.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/04/d04f18c5-7d3a-5ed3-b383-e3406f6d1bdc/5bee50f5cc499.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/04/d04f18c5-7d3a-5ed3-b383-e3406f6d1bdc/5bee50f5cc499.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"bb673036-644f-5388-a983-89d5792efe5d","body":"

NEW YORK \u2014 If someone had told Fran McCaffery that his Iowa basketball team was going to shoot 35.2 percent from the field Thursday night and make only one field goal in the final 12 minutes, he would have been, well \u2026 worried.

But it\u2019s amazing what vastly improved defense and superb free throws shooting can do for a team.

The Hawkeyes played the sort of hard-nosed defense that was missing most of last season and made 28 of 30 shots from the foul line in the second half to upset No. 13 Oregon 77-69 in the semifinals of the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Iowa (3-0) will take on UConn in the championship game Friday at 6 p.m. The Huskies sprung an upset of their own earlier Thursday evening, taking down No. 15 Syracuse 83-76.

The Hawkeyes did not shoot well in the game, especially in the second half, but they held Oregon to 37.1-percent shooting and dominated the boards, outrebounding the taller Ducks 46-34.

\"I think what you saw tonight was a team that really fought together and shared the ball ...'' McCaffery said. \"I thought it was really an unselfish group tonight.''

Iowa grabbed control of the game from the opening tip, which 6-foot-9 Tyler Cook was able to win from 7-2 freshman phenom Bol Bol.

It opened an early 8-0 lead and never looked back. In the second half, the Hawkeyes' lead never dropped below seven points.

The Ducks (2-1) came out for the second half determined to get back in the game but the Iowa defense forced them to miss their first five shots of the half.

\"We could start to see the frustration in them then,'' Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon said. \"That's when we knew we had them.''

Bohannon led a very balanced attack with 16 points with Luka Garza adding 12 and Ryan Kriener 11. Cook finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.

The Hawkeyes even got a lift from walk-on Riley Till, who came in to grab three rebounds while playing significant minutes in the first half.

\"I'm really proud of Riley Till,'' McCaffery said. \"He really came in and fought. We're down Cordell (Pemsl) so I told him yesterday 'You're No. 10. You're going to be in there.' He did a great job.''

Ehab Amin led Oregon with 25 points and Bol added 14 but the towering son of former NBA player Manute Bol wasn\u2019t that big a factor in the contest. He blocked four shots within the first few minutes of the game, then never swatted another and appeared to have problems with cramps in the second half.

\"I know me personally and I think our entire team, we were looking forward to the challenge of defending Bol and the rest of their team,'' Cook said.

Kriener made some of the biggest plays of the game. After Oregon whittled Iowa\u2019s lead to four points late in the first half, he led an 11-0 scoring run. Kriener scored inside over Bol and Jordan Bohannon, Kriener and Maishe Dailey followed with 3-pointers to make it 39-24.

Kriener scored Iowa\u2019s next-to-last field goal with 12 minutes, 19 seconds remaining in the game, slipping past Bol for a dunk off a great entry pass from Bohannon.

Iowa held on from there by consistently making free throws. Seven different players combined to sink 22 of 24 foul shots after that.

The only Iowa field goal in those final 12 minutes was a 3-pointer by Garza with 3:35 remaining.

In Connecticut, the Hawkeyes will be facing a once-great program that is rebuilding under new head coach Dan Hurley.

\"It's a great challenge,'' McCaffery said. \"It's a storied program with a great coach. We need to be ready.''

"}, {"id":"2a5ef8c4-c36f-56da-bd11-a4bba585ebbf","type":"article","starttime":"1542338640","starttime_iso8601":"2018-11-15T21:24:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1542345422","sections":[{"minor":"sports/hockey/professional/minor"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Storm drop sixth straight game","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/hockey/professional/minor/article_2a5ef8c4-c36f-56da-bd11-a4bba585ebbf.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/hockey/professional/minor/storm-drop-sixth-straight-game/article_2a5ef8c4-c36f-56da-bd11-a4bba585ebbf.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/hockey/professional/minor/storm-drop-sixth-straight-game/article_2a5ef8c4-c36f-56da-bd11-a4bba585ebbf.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Staff report","prologue":"PELHAM, Ala.\u00a0\u2014 Another tight game ended with another loss for the Quad-City Storm. The Storm gave up two goals in the third period to fall 4-2 to the Birmingham Bulls, Quad-City's sixth straight loss after winning the season opener. Garrett Schmitz scored the game-winner at the 13-minute, 14-second mark of the third period, burying a one-timer past Storm goaltender Peter Di Salvo for a power-play goal at the Pelham Civic Center.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"commentID":"2a5ef8c4-c36f-56da-bd11-a4bba585ebbf","body":"

PELHAM, Ala.\u00a0\u2014 Another tight game ended with another loss for the Quad-City Storm.

The Storm gave up two goals in the third period to fall 4-2 to the Birmingham Bulls, Quad-City's sixth straight loss after winning the season opener.

Garrett Schmitz scored the game-winner at the 13-minute, 14-second mark of the third period, burying a one-timer past Storm goaltender Peter Di Salvo for a power-play goal at the Pelham Civic Center.

Mike Davis scored an empty net goal in the closing minute to ice the game after the Storm pulled Di Salvo for an extra attacker.

Di Salvo made 32 saves as the Storm were outshot by the Bulls 36-21. Mavric Parks made 19 saves for the Bulls, who won their seventh straight game to start the season, the lone undefeated team in the Southern Professional Hockey League.

Sean Kacerosky, who was claimed off of waivers by the Storm on Wednesday, scored the first goal of his career, burying a slap shot past Mavric Parks just before the end of a power play to put the Storm up 1-0 at 2:31 in the game.

The Bulls countered with a pair of goals in the second period to take a 2-1 lead as Josh Harris and Justin Larson scored in a 36-second span.

Taylor McCloy tied the game up at 12:46, his first goal since the season opener.

Don Olivieri had two assists for the Storm, who were 1-of-5 on the power play and 3-of-4 on the penalty kill.

The Storm head to Pensacola, Florida, to take on the Ice Flyers today at 7:35 p.m.

"}, {"id":"06cd34f8-62af-543c-8c4d-9b6a57226fa3","type":"article","starttime":"1542333600","starttime_iso8601":"2018-11-15T20:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1542342850","sections":[{"cross-country":"sports/high-school/cross-country"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Spartans rule All-Metro boys, girls cross country teams","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/cross-country/article_06cd34f8-62af-543c-8c4d-9b6a57226fa3.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/cross-country/spartans-rule-all-metro-boys-girls-cross-country-teams/article_06cd34f8-62af-543c-8c4d-9b6a57226fa3.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/cross-country/spartans-rule-all-metro-boys-girls-cross-country-teams/article_06cd34f8-62af-543c-8c4d-9b6a57226fa3.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Matt Coss\nmcoss@qctimes.com","prologue":"Pleasant Valley swept the Mississippi Athletic Conference boys and girls cross country titles this season. Both teams qualified for state and finished in the upper half in Fort Dodge. Those two squads are at the center of this year's Quad-City Times All-Metro cross country teams. Coach Erik Belby's boys squad has four of the seven first-team selections in conference champion Max Murphy, all-stater Kent Nichols, senior Gavin Smith and junior Ian Kaffenberger.\u00a0","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"e0501c0b-c274-5e85-805c-2b2491b72c64","description":"Pleasant Valley's Kent Nichols runs ahead of Dubuque Hempstead's Mason Suarez during the state-qualifying cross country meet at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf on Oct. 18. Nichols earned all-state honors with a 14th-place finish at the Class 4A state meet.\u00a0","byline":"Andy Abeyta Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1947,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/05/e0501c0b-c274-5e85-805c-2b2491b72c64/5bc9236450805.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1787","height":"1159","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/05/e0501c0b-c274-5e85-805c-2b2491b72c64/5bc92364379b2.image.jpg?resize=1787%2C1159"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"65","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/05/e0501c0b-c274-5e85-805c-2b2491b72c64/5bc92364379b2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C65"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"195","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/05/e0501c0b-c274-5e85-805c-2b2491b72c64/5bc92364379b2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C195"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"664","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/05/e0501c0b-c274-5e85-805c-2b2491b72c64/5bc92364379b2.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C664"}}},{"id":"59b81606-9543-5223-a0c3-2c9794b0dfef","description":"Maddy Minard led the Pleasant Valley girls cross country team with a 22nd-place finish last month at the state meet in Fort Dodge. Minard is a repeat selection on the Quad-City Times All-Metro team.\u00a0","byline":"CHRIS ZOELLER, The Globe Gazette","hireswidth":1507,"hiresheight":2370,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9b/59b81606-9543-5223-a0c3-2c9794b0dfef/5bd4f9721271c.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1148","height":"1805","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9b/59b81606-9543-5223-a0c3-2c9794b0dfef/5bd4f971ebdc6.image.jpg?resize=1148%2C1805"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"157","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9b/59b81606-9543-5223-a0c3-2c9794b0dfef/5bd4f971ebdc6.image.jpg?resize=100%2C157"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"472","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9b/59b81606-9543-5223-a0c3-2c9794b0dfef/5bd4f971ebdc6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C472"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1610","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/9b/59b81606-9543-5223-a0c3-2c9794b0dfef/5bd4f971ebdc6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1610"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"06cd34f8-62af-543c-8c4d-9b6a57226fa3","body":"

Pleasant Valley swept the Mississippi Athletic Conference boys and girls cross country titles this season. Both teams qualified for state and finished in the upper half in Fort Dodge.

Those two squads are at the center of this year's Quad-City Times All-Metro cross country teams.

Coach Erik Belby's boys squad has four of the seven first-team selections in conference champion Max Murphy, all-stater Kent Nichols, senior Gavin Smith and junior Ian Kaffenberger.\u00a0

Davenport West's Kameron Morgan, Moline's Jackson McClellan and Assumption's Chris Guise also were selected to the first team.\u00a0

The PV girls team, coached by Jane Wheeler, has three runners on the top team in seniors Mallory Lafever, Maddy Minard and Abby Riley.\u00a0

Western Big Six champion Lylia Gomez of Moline and runner-up Alexandra Cajigal of Alleman are on the top team along with Assumption's Taylor Quick and Bettendorf's Madison Temple.\u00a0

Boys

First team

Chris Guise, jr., Davenport Assumption: Three-time state qualifier placed fifth at conference meet (16:46), third at 3A district in Fairfield (16:48) and 26th at state meet (17:05).

Ian Kaffenberger, jr., Pleasant Valley: Finished as the MAC runner-up at Emma Young Park in Clinton (16:40), 12th at districts (16:52) and was PV's fourth finisher at state meet in 27th place (16:29).

Jackson McClellan, so., Moline: Collected a second-place finish at Big Six meet (15:49 for 3 miles), placed sixth at a 3A regional (16:03) and closed with a top-30 finish at sectionals (16:16).

Kameron Morgan, sr., Davenport West: Secured his first trip to the state meet with an eighth-place finish at the 4A state qualifier (16:45). He was fourth at MAC meet (16:44) and 24th at state meet (16:27).

Max Murphy, jr., Pleasant Valley: In first season on varsity, Murphy won the conference title (16:29) in leading PV to an 11th straight title. He took fourth at districts (16:31) and was the Spartans' third finisher at state (16:23).

Kent Nichols, jr., Pleasant Valley: Came home with all-state honors after placing 14th in 4A in 16:09. He was third at the conference meet (16:42) and sixth at districts (16:42) after logging more than 500 miles in the offseason.

Gavin Smith, sr., Pleasant Valley: The lone returning first team all-metro selection, Smith was seventh at MAC (16:56), fifth at 4A state qualifier (16:31) and PV's second finisher at state (16:18).\u00a0

Honorable mention

Alleman: Aaron Mickelson, sr.; Bettendorf: James Baker, sr.; Nick Moore, so.; Brendan Scott, sr.; Davenport West: Jordan Gravert, sr.;\u00a0Moline: Tim Wolf, jr.; Nikola Stojanovic, sr.;\u00a0North Scott: Jackson Schrock, sr.;\u00a0Pleasant Valley: Parker Huhn, sr.; Eric Zabel, jr.; Kole Sommer, so.; Rock Island: Tony Vandewalle, jr.;\u00a0United Township: James Wright, jr.; Roberto Munoz, jr.

Girls

First team

Alexandra Cajigal, sr., Alleman: Runner-up at the Big Six meet in 19:24, she was third at 2A Galesburg regional (20:02) and 14th at East Peoria sectional (18:51). At state, she ran 18:44 to place 63rd out of 216 runners.

Lylia Gomez, so., Moline: Ran an 18:54 at the Big Six meet to win the three-mile race by 30 seconds. She was 13th at the Normal regional (18:54) and advanced to state with 18th-place finish at Quincy sectional (18:43).\u00a0

Mallory Lafever, sr., Pleasant Valley:\u00a0Despite a sub-par showing at state, she was team's top runner for most of the season. She won her first MAC title (19:54) and was runner-up at 4A state qualifier at Crow Creek (19:49).

Maddy Minard, sr., Pleasant Valley: Took second behind Lafever at the conference meet (20:10), sixth at 4A state qualifier (20:15) and was PV's top finisher at state meet in 22nd place (19:37).

Taylor Quick, jr., Davenport Assumption: After taking sixth place at MAC, she responded with a third-place finish at the Fairfield state qualifier and broke 20 minutes at state meet to place 22nd in 3A.\u00a0

Abby Riley, sr., Pleasant Valley: Seventh at MAC (20:39) and 10th at the 4A state qualifier (20:27), Riley delivered the Spartans at state. She was the team's second finisher in 30th place overall (19:47).

Madison Temple, jr., Bettendorf: Was first team all-MAC with a fourth-place finish in Clinton (20:28), qualified for 4A state meet taking 13th at regionals (20:28) and crossed in 38th at state meet in Fort Dodge (19:55).\u00a0

Honorable mention

Assumption: Laney Fitzpatrick, so.; Morgan Jennings, fr.; Bettendorf: Hannah Bientema, fr.; Sarah Schmidt, so.; Ella Schmit, fr.;\u00a0Davenport West: Kaitlyn Powell, fr.;\u00a0Moline: Emily Lopez, jr.; Muscatine: Rylee Blake, jr.; North Scott: Abbi Lafrenz, jr.; Chloe Engelkes, sr.;\u00a0Pleasant Valley: Lauren Buechel, jr.; Chloe Greig, sr.;\u00a0United Township: Maddie Miller, fr.; Brinley Rodgers, jr.

"}, {"id":"e7d8edff-e68b-5326-a67c-bdcec1cf4616","type":"article","starttime":"1542332700","starttime_iso8601":"2018-11-15T19:45:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1542342850","sections":[{"cross-country":"sports/high-school/cross-country"}],"application":"editorial","title":"State champion Tipton highlights all-area team","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/cross-country/article_e7d8edff-e68b-5326-a67c-bdcec1cf4616.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/cross-country/state-champion-tipton-highlights-all-area-team/article_e7d8edff-e68b-5326-a67c-bdcec1cf4616.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/cross-country/state-champion-tipton-highlights-all-area-team/article_e7d8edff-e68b-5326-a67c-bdcec1cf4616.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"The Tipton boys cross country team dominated the local scene this season. It was ranked No. 1 for most of the year, rolled to a district title and claimed the program's first state championship since 1975. The Tigers have two of the seven first-team selections on this year's Quad-City Times All-Area team. Caleb Shumaker, fourth at the Class 2A state meet, and all-stater Ben Ellis represent Tipton on the first team.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"d5d66a21-bf2f-5d57-a31c-10b3d4a634b9","description":"Tipton's Caleb Shumaker runs in the state cross country championships Saturday last month in Fort Dodge. Shumaker placed fourth in 16 minutes, 33 seconds to lead Tipton to its first state title in 43 years.","byline":"CHRIS ZOELLER, The Globe Gazette","hireswidth":2565,"hiresheight":2232,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/5d/d5d66a21-bf2f-5d57-a31c-10b3d4a634b9/5bd4fe6414116.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1543","height":"1342","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/5d/d5d66a21-bf2f-5d57-a31c-10b3d4a634b9/5bd4fe63ea056.image.jpg?resize=1543%2C1342"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"87","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/5d/d5d66a21-bf2f-5d57-a31c-10b3d4a634b9/5bd4fe63ea056.image.jpg?resize=100%2C87"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"261","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/5d/d5d66a21-bf2f-5d57-a31c-10b3d4a634b9/5bd4fe63ea056.image.jpg?resize=300%2C261"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"891","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/5d/d5d66a21-bf2f-5d57-a31c-10b3d4a634b9/5bd4fe63ea056.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C891"}}},{"id":"9f9a2219-3f76-534d-bcf0-3c9fe1c91d52","description":"Geneseo's Josie Brown runs to 28th in Class 2A at this year's Illinois High School Association's state cross country meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria.","byline":"Lee News Network","hireswidth":1175,"hiresheight":1762,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/f9/9f9a2219-3f76-534d-bcf0-3c9fe1c91d52/5bee12d522a13.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1175","height":"1762","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/f9/9f9a2219-3f76-534d-bcf0-3c9fe1c91d52/5bee12d50912a.image.jpg?resize=1175%2C1762"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/f9/9f9a2219-3f76-534d-bcf0-3c9fe1c91d52/5bee12d50912a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/f9/9f9a2219-3f76-534d-bcf0-3c9fe1c91d52/5bee12d50912a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/f9/9f9a2219-3f76-534d-bcf0-3c9fe1c91d52/5bee12d50912a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1536"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"e7d8edff-e68b-5326-a67c-bdcec1cf4616","body":"

The Tipton boys cross country team dominated the local scene this season. It was ranked No. 1 for most of the year, rolled to a district title and claimed the program's first state championship since 1975.

The Tigers have two of the seven first-team selections on this year's Quad-City Times All-Area team. Caleb Shumaker, fourth at the Class 2A state meet, and all-stater Ben Ellis represent Tipton on the first team.

Bellevue's Brady Griebel, Camanche's Dylan Darsidan and Calamus-Wheatland's Hunter Rickels are on the top team. Griebel and Darsidan were top-10 finishers at state in 2A, and Rickels led the Warriors to a runner-up finish at the 1A state meet.

Geneseo's Josie Brown and Tipton all-stater Kallie Wallick lead the girls teams. Brown was a regional champion and just missed all-state honors in Class 2A with a 28th-place finish at state. Wallick was 14th at the Iowa 2A state meet.

Boys

First team

Dylan Darsidan, so., Camanche: The Indians' top runner earned all-state honors in Class 2A with a seventh-place finish in 16 minutes, 39 seconds. Took third at state qualifier in Monticello (16:40).\u00a0

Ben Ellis, sr., Tipton:\u00a0The Tigers won their first state championship since 1975. Ellis was the team's No. 2 runner, placing fourth at the state qualifier (16:57) and 11th at the state meet (16:55).

Caelin Foley, sr., Mid-County: Won three invitationals in over a week's span at beginning of season. Finished seventh at regionals (16:32), sixth at sectionals (16:47) and 22nd at the Illinois 1A state meet (15:31).

Brady Griebel, so., Bellevue: Repeat selection spurred the Comets to a state runner-up finish in 2A. He won the state qualifier at Monticello by 25 seconds in 16:07, and was sixth at 2A state meet in 16:39.\u00a0

Tyler Kibling, jr., Rockridge: Despite missing time with appendicitis, he became school's first state qualifier in 21 years. He was eighth at regionals (17:08), 10th at sectionals (17:08) and 54th at 1A state meet (15:56).

Hunter Rickels, sr., Calamus-Wheatland:\u00a0He won a third Tri-Rivers Conference individual title, captured the state qualifier in Iowa City (17:10) and was 21st at state meet (17:09) to power Warriors to team runner-up finish.

Caleb Shumaker, so., Tipton: Claimed the individual title at the 2A state qualifier in Tipton by 11 seconds (16:10) and placed fourth at state meet (16:33) to power Tigers to first state championship in 43 years.

Honorable mention

Bellevue: Kyle Guenther, sr.; Alex Reed, sr.; Jack Sieverding, sr.; Calamus-Wheatland: Chandler Gannon, jr.; Chase Knoche, so.; Magnus Sands, so.; Camanche: Dodson Melchiori, jr.; Jim Sbertoli, sr.; Central DeWitt: Noah Mullins, sr.; Durant: Easton Botkins, sr.; Jack Voss, sr.; Erie-Prophetstown: Cameron Abell, jr.; Ben DeNeve, sr.; Chris Link, jr.; Max Weidel, sr.; Geneseo: Justin Johnson, jr.; Lucas Nicke, so.; William Pumley, so.; Mercer County: Riley Coulter, jr.; Mid-County: Loren Peterson, jr.; Midland: Trent Rickels, fr.; Morrison: Kobe Brackemeyer, jr.; Northeast: Andrew Hilgendorf, jr.; Orion: Andrew Wampler, sr.; Ryan Wegerer, sr.; Tipton: Landan Hill, jr.; Andrew Olseen, jr.; Trent Pelzer, jr.; Wapello: Aiden Housman, jr.; West Carroll: Briar Nevills, so. Wilton: Buddy Darting, jr.; Zach Hein, jr.

Girls\u00a0

First team

Maryn Bollinger, so., Orion: Earned first team all-Three Rivers Conference for league champions with third-place finish (21:57), was 13th at the 1A regional meet (20:38) and 22nd at sectionals (21:02).

Josie Brown, sr., Geneseo: The Northern Illinois All-Big 12 competitor won the Class 2A regional at Galesburg (19:25), placed fourth at the East Peoria sectional (18:25) and was 28th at the state meet (18:11).

Kiley Chapman, so., North Cedar: Placed ninth at the 2A state qualifier in Monticello (20:26) and 43rd at state meet (21:10). She was third at Bellevue Invitational in September.

Rachel Gomez, sr., Annawan-Wethersfield: Qualified for the 1A state meet after placing fourth at the regional meet (19:27) and 13th at sectionals (20:22). She ran 19:27 at the state meet.

Halle Kilburg, jr., Bellevue Marquette: Finished third at the Tri-Rivers meet (20:22), sixth at the Cedar Rapids state qualifier (20:32) and 38th at 1A state meet (21:17).

Kallie Wallick, so., Tipton: The team's No. 1 earned all-state honors in Class 2A with a 14th-place finish for 5,000 meters (20:04). She was ninth at the state qualifier on her home course (20:06).

Gabby Williamson, fr., Bellevue: Performed well late in the season. Was 12th at the 2A state qualifier in Monticello (20:44) and placed 28th at state meet (20:42).

Honorable mention

Annawan-Wethersfield: Crystal Musgrave, fr.; Whitney Johnson, sr.; Rachel Cook, sr.; Bellevue: Kailey Miller, sr.; Bellevue Marquette: Kaylee Koos, fr.; Holly Beauchamp, fr.; Camanche: Markee Low, jr.; Central DeWitt: Carly Small, jr.; Hannah Payne, jr.; Clinton Prince of Peace: Sophie Griffin, so.; Kaelyn Goodsman, fr.; Durant: Eliana Berry, sr.; Geneseo: Julia Poel, sr.; Lacey Laxton, fr.; Erie-Prophetstown: Jorden Robinson, so.; North Cedar: Carly Montz, sr.; Tipton: Rachel Bierman, so.; Alyssa Mente, fr.; West Liberty: Jimena Fierro, jr.; Wilton: Lindsey Ford, sr.; Emmy Drake, jr.

"}, {"id":"fbe2041d-31a5-573a-95b8-42c2a5b9ab0d","type":"article","starttime":"1542331800","starttime_iso8601":"2018-11-15T19:30:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1542342428","sections":[{"iowa":"sports/college/big-10/iowa"},{"iowa":"sports/wrestling/college/big-10/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"DeSanto brings new energy to Hawkeye lineup","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/college/big-10/iowa/article_fbe2041d-31a5-573a-95b8-42c2a5b9ab0d.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/college/big-10/iowa/desanto-brings-new-energy-to-hawkeye-lineup/article_fbe2041d-31a5-573a-95b8-42c2a5b9ab0d.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/college/big-10/iowa/desanto-brings-new-energy-to-hawkeye-lineup/article_fbe2041d-31a5-573a-95b8-42c2a5b9ab0d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Steve Batterson\nsbatterson@qctimes.com","prologue":"IOWA CITY\u00a0\u2014 Austin DeSanto brings his own unique brand of energy to the Iowa wrestling room. His attacking style helped the Drexel transfer earn a spot in the Hawkeye lineup at 133 pounds, where he won a preseason wrestle-off by winning back-to-back matches against Bettendorf\u2019s Paul Glynn. He carried that over into Iowa\u2019s season opener, recording a technical fall over 18th-rated Sean Nickell of Cal State-Bakersfield in his first match as a Hawkeye last Friday.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["iowa wrestling","hawkeyes","austin desanto","spencer lee","tom brands","paul glynn"],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"399acf6b-3b1c-548a-b314-3cb07cb7a731","description":"Iowa volunteer assistant coach Bobby Telford tangles with Iowa wrestler Austin DeSanto prior to a practice earlier this month. DeSanto was an NCAA qualifier last season as a true freshman, posting a 29-7 record during his one season at Drexel.","byline":"Andy Abeyta, Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1879,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/99/399acf6b-3b1c-548a-b314-3cb07cb7a731/5be0d00c55a18.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1819","height":"1139","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/99/399acf6b-3b1c-548a-b314-3cb07cb7a731/5be0d00c3db07.image.jpg?resize=1819%2C1139"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"63","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/99/399acf6b-3b1c-548a-b314-3cb07cb7a731/5be0d00c3db07.image.jpg?resize=100%2C63"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"188","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/99/399acf6b-3b1c-548a-b314-3cb07cb7a731/5be0d00c3db07.image.jpg?resize=300%2C188"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"641","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/99/399acf6b-3b1c-548a-b314-3cb07cb7a731/5be0d00c3db07.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C641"}}},{"id":"e2a95675-257a-56ce-b3df-299b33d87beb","description":"DeSanto","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"400","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/2a/e2a95675-257a-56ce-b3df-299b33d87beb/5bee1b4406ee2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C400"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"133","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/2a/e2a95675-257a-56ce-b3df-299b33d87beb/5bee1b4406ee2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C133"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"400","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/2a/e2a95675-257a-56ce-b3df-299b33d87beb/5bee1b4406ee2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C400"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1365","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/2a/e2a95675-257a-56ce-b3df-299b33d87beb/5bee1b4406ee2.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"fbe2041d-31a5-573a-95b8-42c2a5b9ab0d","body":"

IOWA CITY\u00a0\u2014 Austin DeSanto brings his own unique brand of energy to the Iowa wrestling room.

His attacking style helped the Drexel transfer earn a spot in the Hawkeye lineup at 133 pounds, where he won a preseason wrestle-off by winning back-to-back matches against Bettendorf\u2019s Paul Glynn.

He carried that over into Iowa\u2019s season opener, recording a technical fall over 18th-rated Sean Nickell of Cal State-Bakersfield in his first match as a Hawkeye last Friday.

DeSanto followed that up with an 8-7 win in his second match of the day against Raphael Rodriguez of Kent State and now finds himself preparing for the Hawkeyes\u2019 7 p.m. home opener today against Princeton.

\u201cIt\u2019s going to be crazy, I can\u2019t wait,\u2019\u2019 DeSanto said at the Hawkeyes\u2019 preseason media day last week.

Offense is at the core of what DeSanto is all about.

He was an NCAA qualifier last season as a true freshman, posting a 29-7 record during his one season at Drexel. His work there included earning bonus points in 18 of his victories including 11 wins by technical fall.

\u201cI like to score points and I\u2019ve heard people here like to see guys put points on the board, so that will be a good thing,\u2019\u2019 DeSanto said. \u201cIowa is the perfect spot for me. Everybody has that same mindset.\u2019\u2019

Coach Tom Brands can\u2019t wait either to see just what DeSanto brings to the Iowa program over time.

\u201cThe way that he competes, sometimes he takes it overboard a little bit, so we have to temper that. At the same time, we\u2019re going to temper that without taking anything away from him edge-wise,\u2019\u2019 Brands said. \u201cWe want him to have that edge. We want him to have that competitive fire.\u2019\u2019

That fire caught the eye of Iowa assistant coach Terry Brands as he watched DeSanto compete at the high school level in Pennsylvania.

It was there in the 2017 state championship match where DeSanto, already signed to begin his career at Drexel, showed the world what type of competitor he was.

He had lost to current Iowa 125-pounder Spencer Lee in the state finals by a 15-0 score in 2016.

The following year, DeSanto spent the majority of the season at 132 pounds, but dropped to 126 for the postseason with hopes of getting another chance to step on the mat with Lee.

That\u2019s how it played out and DeSanto stunned Lee and the crowd, using a late takedown to collect a 6-5 victory over the Hawkeyes\u2019 2018 NCAA champ who is now his teammate.

\u201cHe brings a lot of energy and a fire to everything he does,\u2019\u2019 Lee said. \u201cIf you\u2019re working as hard as Austin DeSanto, you\u2019re working pretty dang hard.\u2019\u2019

Brands wants the energy and competitive approach that Lee and DeSanto bring to training to be replicated throughout the wrestling room.

\u201cThe hope is that it\u2019s contagious,\u2019\u2019 Brands said. \u201cThere\u2019s a lot out there about how there\u2019s maybe only one program from him, that\u2019s this program.\u2019\u2019

DeSanto doesn\u2019t shy away from thinking big.

\u201cI want to do the same thing (Lee) did last year,\u2019\u2019 he said, referencing the NCAA title won by the Hawkeye at 125 pounds. \u201cThat should be everybody\u2019s goal, right?\u2019\u2019

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For Iowa wide receiver Nick Easley and his 2016 teammate at Iowa Western Community College, Illinois quarterback AJ Bush, time spent at the junior-college level provided a launching pad toward future opportunities. Feeling he was under-recruited during his Iowa high school career at Newton in central Iowa, Easley opted for junior-college competition to showcase his skills for coaches at the next level.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["iowa football","illinois football","hawkeyes","fighting illini","nick easley","aj bush","lovie smith","iowa western football"],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"668b654b-7f47-5da1-b82f-c6fed40441d7","description":"Iowa's Nick Easley straight arms Northwestern defender Cameron Ruiz, during first-half action last Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.","byline":"John Schultz, Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1755,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/68/668b654b-7f47-5da1-b82f-c6fed40441d7/5be78a2712eaf.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1882","height":"1100","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/68/668b654b-7f47-5da1-b82f-c6fed40441d7/5be78a26ed6ad.image.jpg?resize=1882%2C1100"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"58","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/68/668b654b-7f47-5da1-b82f-c6fed40441d7/5be78a26ed6ad.image.jpg?resize=100%2C58"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/68/668b654b-7f47-5da1-b82f-c6fed40441d7/5be78a26ed6ad.image.jpg?resize=300%2C175"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"599","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/68/668b654b-7f47-5da1-b82f-c6fed40441d7/5be78a26ed6ad.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C599"}}},{"id":"778623dc-f9e6-576e-99c2-64011d70cacc","description":"Illinois quarterback AJ Bush finds a hole to run through against Kent State during his first collegiate start earlier this season at Memorial Stadium.","byline":"AP","hireswidth":3300,"hiresheight":2956,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/778623dc-f9e6-576e-99c2-64011d70cacc/5bee18b49e8e5.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1521","height":"1362","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/778623dc-f9e6-576e-99c2-64011d70cacc/5bee18b4772b0.image.jpg?resize=1521%2C1362"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"90","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/778623dc-f9e6-576e-99c2-64011d70cacc/5bee18b4772b0.image.jpg?resize=100%2C90"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"269","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/778623dc-f9e6-576e-99c2-64011d70cacc/5bee18b4772b0.image.jpg?resize=300%2C269"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"917","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/778623dc-f9e6-576e-99c2-64011d70cacc/5bee18b4772b0.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C917"}}},{"id":"08677f50-325e-53c4-85b4-1cd0fabf501a","description":"Bush","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"182","height":"250","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/86/08677f50-325e-53c4-85b4-1cd0fabf501a/5bee18b50e644.image.jpg?resize=182%2C250"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"137","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/86/08677f50-325e-53c4-85b4-1cd0fabf501a/5bee18b50e644.image.jpg?resize=100%2C137"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"412","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/86/08677f50-325e-53c4-85b4-1cd0fabf501a/5bee18b50e644.image.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1407","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/86/08677f50-325e-53c4-85b4-1cd0fabf501a/5bee18b50e644.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"d4cce95e-8693-52c6-814b-f00e66a1766f","body":"

IOWA CITY\u00a0\u2014 Last Chance U?

Not quite.

For Iowa wide receiver Nick Easley and his 2016 teammate at Iowa Western Community College, Illinois quarterback AJ Bush, time spent at the junior-college level provided a launching pad toward future opportunities.

Feeling he was under-recruited during his Iowa high school career at Newton in central Iowa, Easley opted for junior-college competition to showcase his skills for coaches at the next level.

For Bush, it provided playing time after spending two years buried on the depth chart at Nebraska.

\u201cHe came in late in camp, but you see right away that he was an athletic kid with a big arm and he was there to work. He was pretty motivated,\u2019\u2019 Easley said of Bush. \u201cHe shared the job that year, but he was a good player, a good leader, a good teammate.\u2019\u2019

As Easley piled up 954 receiving yards as a sophomore at Iowa Western, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Bush rushed for 285 yards and passed for 602 that season.

Easley signed with Iowa shortly after that season ended while Bush picked Virginia Tech, where he filled a reserve role before joining the Illinois program this fall as a graduate transfer.

Iowa\u2019s leader with 51 receptions a year ago, an eight-catch game last weekend against Northwestern moved Easley into second on Iowa\u2019s receiving charts this season with 39 catches for 351 yards.

Bush has completed 82-of-150 passes for 1,050 yards and five touchdowns in seven starts this season for Illinois and has rushed for 659 yards and eight scores on 110 carries.

\u201cIt doesn\u2019t surprise me that he\u2019s doing what he\u2019s doing,\u2019\u2019 Easley said. \u201cHe\u2019s a pretty talented player who loves to compete, a real good guy. We still keep in touch.\u2019\u2019

Bush, who couldn\u2019t get past Tommy Armstrong and Ryker Fyfe on a crowded depth chart at Nebraska, has finally made the most of his opportunities.

\u201cIowa Western gave me a chance to regroup and put myself in a position to be where I\u2019m at now,\u2019\u2019 Bush said. \u201cIt\u2019s been a long journey, but I feel like I\u2019ve grown and learned every step of the way.\u2019\u2019

Among a group of 18 players from that 2016 Iowa Western team to sign with NCAA Division I programs, their careers intersect again Saturday when Iowa visits Illinois for a 2:30 p.m. game at Memorial Stadium.

It will be the final home game for Bush, who returned to Nebraska last weekend and rushed for three touchdowns against the Cornhuskers while piling up 187 yards, 13 better than the previous Fighting Illini single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback established by Juice Williams in 2008.

As has been the case with Easley helping an otherwise young group of Hawkeyes grow into their roles, Bush has helped other young quarterbacks on the Fighting Illini adjust to the routine needed to compete at the collegiate level.

\u201cAJ has had such a big impact in the short time he has been with us on campus,\u2019\u2019 Illinois coach Lovie Smith said. \u201cHe\u2019s shown a good deal of leadership that will impact our program moving forward.\u2019\u2019

Easley has found the lessons learned during his time at Iowa Western to be beneficial as he has worked to help grow the consistency in an Iowa receiving corps built around sophomores and freshmen.

\u201cAt the juco level, it\u2019s about being able to adjust and take your game to the next level,\u2019\u2019 Easley said. \u201cGuys who try to get by with what they were doing in high school, they don\u2019t make it. It\u2019s a tough route to go, but if you\u2019re willing to work and open to learn, it can lead to good things.\u2019\u2019

Easley initially found the competition level to be challenging, but something he could handle by pushing himself to improve.

That willingness to work helped him then, and has continued to help him once he arrived at Iowa in time for the spring semester in 2017.

\u201cSo much of it is mindset and a willingness to do what it takes to get better and give yourself a chance,\u2019\u2019 Easley said. \u201cIt\u2019s hard. There isn\u2019t anything easy about playing Big Ten football. But, it\u2019s something I always wanted to do and I was willing to commit myself to doing what it took to make it happen.\u2019\u2019

In many ways, Bush has traveled the same path.

\u201cIt takes some patience and perseverance and a lot of sweat, but when you keep the faith, keep believing in yourself, it can happen,\u2019\u2019 Bush said.

As their careers intersect once again, Easley understands.

\u201cWhen you invest a lot into something, you want to get the most out of it as you can. We only have a couple of games left in the season and for all of us, the idea is to finish the year as strong as we can,\u2019\u2019 Easley said.

\u201cThe last couple of weeks have been tough. Things haven\u2019t always gone our way, but how we finish, that\u2019s important to all of us. That\u2019s all we can control right now, how we finish. We go into this week\u2019s game wanting to make the most of it.\u2019\u2019

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Reynolds","description":"","byline":"","video_id":"btLCEpVpnoo"},{"id":"90132163-ae11-5929-9709-85efd78f67b0","starttime":"1542154080","starttime_iso8601":"2018-11-13T18:08:00-06:00","title":"Hawkeye RB Mekhi Sargent","description":"","byline":"","video_id":"7N-G_EJOPTk"}],"revision":3,"commentID":"efb75596-e8df-11e8-a111-4b784103e164","body":"

Ihmir Smith-Marsette\u2019s eye on the end zone, running back by committee and Illinois\u2019 big-play offense are all part of today\u2019s Hawkeye 10 @ 10.

Your daily dose of Iowa football news and notes is delivered each weekday at 10 a.m. at Hawkmania.com, your home for all things Iowa.

Here is today\u2019s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:

1. One of few constants for the Iowa football team during its 6-4 start has been the work of Ihmir Smith-Marsette and the Hawkeye kickoff return unit.

Smith-Marsette averages 31.9 yards on returns, ranking second in the country after 15 returns this season.

As a group, Iowa ranks third nationally with an average of 28.5 yards per return and Smith-Marsette believes that success is a result of keeping his eye on the prize.

\u201cWhat I think about is it could potentially go to the house,\u2019\u2019 he said. \u201cI always thank everybody that blocks, and before we go out there, I tell them, \u2018Hey, listen, this one could go to the house. Let\u2019s go get it.\u2019\u2019\u2019

That hasn\u2019t happened yet, but Smith-Marsette and the kick return unit is giving Iowa an edge in field position.

\u201cGo out there and attack each and every drive,\u2019\u2019 Smith-Marsette said. \u201cOnce I cross the 30, I\u2019m confident the offense is going to do what they have to do to put the ball in the end zone.\u2019\u2019

Illinois has allowed one kick to be returned for a touchdown this season.

2. Offensive guard Ross Reynolds said the little things are separating the Hawkeye offense from achieving its objectives on the ground, where the goal is to average 4.5 yards per carry.

\u201cIt\u2019s the detail things. I know that\u2019s cliche, but it is the truth,\u2019\u2019 Reynolds said. \u201cWe have to keep focused on the details because they do make a difference.\u2019\u2019

Illinois has the Big Ten\u2019s most porous run defense, allowing 247.9 yards per game on the ground.

3. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz does not believe that Iowa\u2019s running backs by committee approach is impacting performance.

The Hawkeyes plan to continue to rotate Mekhi Sargent, Ivory Kelly-Martin and Toren Young at the position, where the three have combined to rush for 1,275 yards through 10 games.

\u201cI think it\u2019s a matter of us being a little more cohesive and trying to push this thing through,\u2019\u2019 Ferentz said. \u201cIt\u2019s kind of like our team overall. We\u2019ve got to push this thing through and do things a little better.\u2019\u2019

4. Reggie Corbin became Illinois\u2019 first 1,000-yard rusher since 2010 last week when he topped that plateau with a 59-yard game on nine carries at Nebraska before exiting with a foot injury.

\"Minnesota

Illinois running back Reggie Corbin (2) is ushered into the end zone by teammate AJ Bush, Jr. in the second half of Saturday's game against Minnesota in Champaign, Ill.

Coach Lovie Smith said he is \u201chopeful\u2019\u2019 that Corbin will be available to play against the Hawkeyes.

Before the junior reached 1,000 yards the last Illini back to top that mark was Mikel Leshoure who ran for a school-record 1,697 yards in 2010.

5. Receiver Tyrone Tracy saw action in his third game for Iowa last week and coaches have said the hope is for the freshman to still redshirt this season if at all possible.

That would limit Tracy to action in one more game for the Hawkeyes.

It\u2019s part of the juggling act that is occurring as coaches work with changes made to redshirt rule.

Coach Kirk Ferentz has said Iowa\u2019s objective remains to preserve potential redshirt candidates wherever possible, but position needs will ultimately dictate how that plays out.

6. Illinois quarterback A.J. Bush ran for 187 yards at Nebraska last week, breaking Juice Williams\u2019 school record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a sing game but 13 yards.

\"New
New Illini logo

\u201cHe\u2019s a threat to run with it any time he has the ball in his hands,\u2019\u2019 Iowa defensive end Parker Hesse said. \u201cHe\u2019s someone we\u2019re going to have to be aware of and do what we can to take him off of his game.\u2019\u2019

7. Coach Kirk Ferentz said it is possible that sophomore punter Ryan Gersonde could see some action for Iowa moving forward, while still preserving a redshirt year.

\"081018-media-day-013\"

Iowa punter Ryan Gersonde poses for a picture, Friday, August 10, 2018, during Hawkeye football media day held at the practice facility in Iowa City.

Gersonde has not appeared in a game yet this season, but would still be able to redshirt if he were to punt in any of the Hawkeyes\u2019 remaining games.

\u201cRyan is in a spot where we can play him without being penalized now, which is really nice,\u2019\u2019 Ferentz said. \u201cThere are probably a couple of other guys, too, that we\u2019re looking at who might be able to help us in some way, maybe small roles, that type of thing, to help us win games.\u2019\u2019

Starting punter Colten Rastetter averaged 34.9 yards on seven punts last week.

8. From the perspective of NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., three Hawkeye underclassmen rank among the top-10 draft picks at their respective positions if as draft-eligible players they were to leave college early and put their name into consideration for the 2019 NFL draft.

\"Iowa

Iowa tight end Noah Fant runs from the defense of Purdue safety Jacob Thieneman in the first half of Saturday's game in West Lafayette, Ind.

Updating his \u201cbig board\u2019\u2019 of prospects on Wednesday, Kiper lists Noah Fant as the No. 1 draft-eligible tight end and has T.J. Hockenson as the fifth-best draft-eligible tight end.

Kiper also has Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley listed at number nine among quarterback prospects.

9. The Illinois offense Iowa is preparing for is one of the most explosive in the nation.

\"New
New Illini logo

The Fighting Illini rank fifth nationally with an average of 6.29 yards per carry and trail only Pittsburgh (7.63) and Clemson (7.07) with an average of 6.93 yards per carry in conference games at the FBS level.

Illinois leads the FBS with 30 runs of 30 or more yards this season, a collection that includes eight runs that have gone for 50 or more yards.

10. The National I-Club will host a Hawkeye Huddle on Saturday prior to the game at Illinois.

\"Iowa
Iowa Hawkeyes logo

The free, pregame reception is scheduled to run from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Illinois Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody St., in Champaign and is open to the public.

The huddle will include cash refreshments, snacks, door prizes and appearances by Herky and the Iowa cheerleaders.

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IOWA CITY \u2014 Mekhi Sargent may miss the warm temperatures and sandy beaches he enjoyed growing up in Key West, but in a lesson-filled first season at Iowa, the sophomore running back has found football paradise.

\"It hasn\u2019t always been easy, but this is where I want to be,\" Sargent said. \"To be playing in the Big Ten, it\u2019s everything I always wanted. It\u2019s what I dreamed of growing up.\"

Sargent made the first start of his career for the Hawkeyes last week against Northwestern and tops the depth chart at running back again as Iowa works toward Saturday\u2019s 2:30 p.m. game at Illinois.

He\u2019s earned that opportunity with his work as part of a three-player rotation at running back, and Sargent continues to split time with Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin.

Sargent brings a level of elusiveness to the position, using his 5-foot-10, 210-pound body to effectively work inside and out in the run game in addition to providing quarterback Nate Stanley with an effective option as a receiver.

Through 10 games, Sargent has carried the ball a team-leading 109 times for 454 yards, second on the team to the 480 yards Young has gained in 101 rushes.

He has also caught 12 passes for 142 yards and is currently Iowa\u2019s fifth-leading receiver.

Sargent earned his starting opportunity after leading Iowa with 91 rushing yards at Penn State and collecting two of his team-leading six rushing touchdowns the following week at Purdue.

He also led Iowa with 27 rushing yards last week as the Hawkeye ground game was limited to 64 yards by Northwestern.

He also had the first of Iowa\u2019s two fourth-quarter fumbles, the first lost by an Hawkeye back in 490 carries dating to a James Butler fumble in the second quarter of a late-October game in 2017 against Minnesota.

\"All you can do is try to learn from those situations and make certain that the next time you\u2019re in that position that you do your job, take care of the football and keep things moving in the right direction,\" Sargent said.

For the most part, Sargent has helped the Hawkeye offense more forward.

He arrived at Iowa in June following an all-American redshirt freshman season at Iowa Western Community College, where he rushed for 1,449 yards on 205 carries last season.

Sargent arrived in Council Bluffs having never visited the campus before enrolling at the junior college but knowing how highly coach Scott Strohmeier\u2019s program was regarded in helping players get to the next level.

\"It turned out to be a great decision,\" Sargent said. \"Growing up in Key West, it\u2019s not a place that a lot of recruiters get to. Our road games in high school, they were all pretty much a three-hour bus ride. It\u2019s hard to get noticed when you play high school ball there.\"

That didn\u2019t deter Sargent from competing. His playing weight has been over 200 since his sophomore year of high school, and he\u2019s learned how to use that size to complement his quickness.

A first-team all-state selection as a senior at the high-school level in Florida, Sargent made the most of his time at Iowa Western, including adjusting to a different climate.

\"The cold, it was something new for me. I continued to compete but there were a couple of days that first winter, it almost chased me back home,\" Sargent said.

Both Sargent and the Hawkeyes are glad that didn\u2019t happen.

Coach Kirk Ferentz said beyond the team-wide struggles offensively against Northwestern, Sargent has been showing the type of growth Iowa coaches hoped to see from him this season.

\"Nobody had a great night the other night, but the two weeks prior to that, I really thought he was playing really well and doing a lot of great things. But, we\u2019ve got to get him started,\" Ferentz said.

\"It\u2019s not fair to hand a back a ball and expect him to go do it. We didn\u2019t give him enough opportunity or give any of the guys carrying the ball the other night enough opportunity. That\u2019s what we\u2019re going to try to get going a little better this week.\"

Sargent counts on being part of the solution.

Ten games into his Big Ten career, he\u2019s discovered what it\u2019s like to compete at 110,000-seat Beaver Stadium at Penn State, he\u2019s experienced success and dealt with failure, trying to learn from it all.

\"I\u2019ve found that at this level, every little detail is key,\" Sargent said. \"Part of Division I football is that every little thing makes a difference, and I feel like I\u2019ve seen that and understand it. I\u2019m still working, still figuring things out just like the other sophomores are, but we\u2019re all working hard.\"

Following last week\u2019s struggles in the run game, Sargent considers that to be a necessity as the Hawkeyes prepare to face an Illinois run defense that ranks 14th in the Big Ten, allowing 247.9 yards per game on the ground.

\"We\u2019ve watched film. We\u2019ve got to clean up our mistakes. The coaches, they\u2019re putting us in a good position to have success but we have to execute. That\u2019s on us, not them,\" Sargent said.

\"We have a young running back group, but we\u2019ve got to keep being driven and determined to get better to make it all work. We know we can get it done. We just have to make it happen.\"

Key West to Kinnick, it's all paradise for Sargent
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The NASCAR Cup Series title race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is finally here, and come Sunday night, we'll be reigning in our newest champion. All four contenders - Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Busch - have stellar resumes at Homestead, meaning any of the quartet could reasonably walk away with the trophy.

If Harvick, Truex, or Busch are able to pull off the win, they'd become the 16th driver with multiple championships at NASCAR's top level. And among active drivers, only Jimmie Johnson, with a record-tying seven titles, is still competing.

As for Logano, a victory at Homestead would give him his first Cup Series title and likely solidify his spot in the Hall of Fame.

But for all the circumstances and legacy aspects of Sunday's race, there's something else we need to worry about - the actual race.

Here are 5 things to watch this weekend, from the dramatic to the under-the-radar, that will play a part in who wins the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series championship:

1. Harvick's crew chief situation

NASCAR handed Harvick about as untimely a penalty as possible after his victory at Texas two weeks ago. The Level 1 penalty cost Harvick 40 points in the standings, and without his good run at Phoenix, it also could have cost him his ticket to Homestead.

The other, perhaps more crucial thing it cost him?

Rodney Childers, his longtime crew chief, who was fined and suspended for the last two races of the season.

Harvick and Tony Gibson, Childers' replacement last week, have a good relationship, and Gibson came out of retirement just to help Harvick. A fifth-place finish at Phoenix was a strong sign that Harvick should be fine, but it still bears monitoring how those two address Homestead. Harvick also swapped out a tire-changer with one from his teammate Aric Almirola, which also throws a smaller hitch into the plan and is something to watch all weekend.

After all, one slip could literally cost the No. 4 team a title.

2. Qualifying, penalties, and failed inspection

Not that it's a regular occurrence, but all four contenders have dealt with failed inspections this season.

Each of the four has failed inspection at least once, with Truex failing pre-qualifying inspection three times at Phoenix just last week. While some of those failures resulted in drivers starting from the rear, sometimes - as in Truex's case - the penalty has not been as severe.

The reason failed inspections matter? Some, such as pre-qualifying, can cost a team time in practice or even their spot in qualifying. Post-race inspections can cost them a victory altogether. With Harvick already feeling the consequences of one failed post-race inspection, it'll be worth keeping track to see if any of the contenders have to start from the rear. That could change the course of the championship race.

That said, it also isn't a straight-up death sentence. Jimmie Johnson started from the rear in 2016, when he won his seventh championship. Crazier things have happened, but don't count on a repeat of that anytime soon.

3. Any Logano-Truex beef that spills over?

Ah yeah, more drama.

When Logano wrecked Truex at the end of the Martinsville, Va., race to clinch his berth at Homestead, he was serenaded with boos and faced anger from Truex.

\"He won the battle, but he's not going to win the damn war,\" Truex said at the time. \"I'm just not going to let him win (the title). I'm going to win it.\"

And while Truex and Logano admitted they had texted some before last weekend's race at Phoenix, the ill will is still apparent. The question is, will Truex retaliate and end Logano's championship hopes? Or will Logano double down, if it comes to that?

4. Non-contenders (and the Kyle Larson rule)

Late in the 2017 championship race, it became apparent that Truex and Busch, running first and second, were going to battle for the lead. Seeing that, Kyle Larson - in third at the time but already eliminated from playoff contention - opted to hang back and not interfere in the championship-deciding final laps.

It took great discipline from Larson, but after the race, he was widely lauded for letting Truex and Busch do their dance without meddling.

But will every non-contender be as thoughtful or aware as Larson?

Should a similar situation arise this year, you'd have to think most would stay away from interfering in a championship. But what if ...

5. The inevitable late restart

Now, not every NASCAR race ends with a late restart. But most of them do.

At least most of the best ones.

Last season's championship race didn't quite have a fitting one, as Truex simply outlasted Busch over the last 10 laps or so. But the year before? Well, several late cautions sent the championship into overtime, giving Johnson the opportunity for a prime restart and a shot at his record-tying title.

It's not exactly science with these sorts of things, but if we figure on every other year? We should be due for some sort of late caution or wreck that leads to a restart.

And the beauty of that? From there, it's anyone's race.

"} ]