By Cheval John
When a person’s name is called to go into a game, they must go in with the mentality that they will make a difference for the team.
That is exactly what Marco Pappa did by scoring two goals in the Seattle Sounders’ 2-0 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy to capture their first ever MLS Supporter’s Shield.
Both teams came into the final game of the regular season tied with 61 points even though the Sounders had two more wins than the Galaxy.
The Galaxy needed to win this matchup in order to secure their fifth Supporter’s Shield, which would have been a record.
The Sounders only needed a draw or a win to secure the regular season title and home field advantage in the playoffs.
That set up an intriguing game at CenturyLink Field, where the atmosphere of 57,673 thousand screaming fans made it felt like an English Premier League contest.
Both teams played intense as they were fouls committed all over the place and a total of six yellow cards issued in the match.
The Sounders did not registered a shot in the first half and were looking to get on the board.
Then Sounders’ coach Sigi Schimd decided to bring in Pappa at the 73rd minute to replace Brad Edwards that changed the course of the game.
Pappa came through in the clutch in the 85th minute when he received a pass from Obafemi Martins in the box and buried the go-ahead goal in the net that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
His second goal that secured the win, came in stoppage time when he took away the ball from goal keeper Jaime Penedo and chipped it over a defender into the net.
Despite the proven star power of Clint Dempsey and Galaxy’s Landon Donovan that brought viewers to watch this important game on NBC, Pappa stole the show and lifted the Sounders to their first ever Community Shield title.
Did you think the game lived up to the hype? Leave your comment below.
Videos courtesy of Major League Soccer
By Cheval John
The Houston Texans had a 13-0 lead for most of the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Texans defense created havoc that disrupted the offensive flow of quarterback Ben Rothlesberger that it caused the Steelers faithful to boo loudly.
It seemed like the Texans was going to maintain control and carry the lead into the second half.
Until the Steelers found new life and scored 24 unanswered points in the final 2:54 of the second half to take a 24-13 lead.
The Texans tried to come back in the game after scoring 10 points in the second half and came within an onside kick of tying it.
But it would not be enough as the Steelers hang on to win 30-23.
Pittsburgh became the first team to accomplish this feat since the Seattle Seahawks scored 24 unanswered points in 2002 within a three-minute time frame.
Unfortunately for the Texans, they had to be on the wrong side of history.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien sums it up here on a tweet by Houston Chronicle editor Nick Mathews.
Bill O'Brien: "Terrible second quarter. Couldn't come back from it. Too many turnovers."
— Nick Mathews (@Nick_Mathews) October 21, 2014
The Steelers started the rally with a field goal by kicker Shaun Suisham that cut the Texans’ lead to 13-3.
Houston could not get anything going and was forced to punt after going 3 and out in their series.
A couple of plays later, Rothlesberger found Martavis Bryant for a 35-yard touchdown to bring it close to 13-10.
The Steelers built on their momentum swing and recovered an Arian Foster fumble on the Texans’own 3-yard line.
A few plays later on a trickery, wide receiver Antonio Brown connected with Lance Moore for a 3-yard touchdown to gain a 17-13 lead.
The Texans’ nightmare continued when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception to Brett Keisel, who returned it 16 yards to the Houston’s 8-yard line.
Rothlesberger completed the massacre a couple of plays later with a 2-yard touchdown pass to running back Le’Veon Bell.
All of a sudden, the Texans found themselves trailing going into the third quarter.
Pittsburgh received criticism from former head coach Bill Cowher and former wide receiver Hines Ward about their mental toughness.
In the majority of the first half, both Cowher and Ward were correct.
In the final 2:54 of the second quarter, the Steelers responded to their criticism and pulled off a houdini with 24 unanswered points.
Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information
The No. 3 ranked Sam Houston women’s bowling team started their defense of the NCAA Division I national championship with a tournament victory Sunday in Kenner, La.
The Bearkats posted best-of-seven Baker match victories over the other two nationally-ranked teams in the tournament field to bring home the All-State Sugar Bowl Classic championship trophy for the second time in three years. The event was hosted by Tulane University.
Unbeaten Friday and Saturday in their first nine matches, the Kats started Sunday’s bracket action with a four-game loss to No. 9 Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks prevailed 223-171, 256-212, 235-189, 257-180.
Sam Houston bounced back to defeat No. 4 Vanderbilt in six games. Trailing two games to one after winning the opening stanza 213-185 then falling to Vandy 190-184 and 246-214, their Kat hit their stride taking the next three games 183-167, 184-183 and 198-176 to advance to the tournament finals.
Winning three of the first four games, SFA appeared on its way to another victory, but Sam Houston bounced back to close out the match with wins of eight pins, 26 pins and 65 pins to hoist the trophy. The final score of the championship match was 199-169, 183-190, 181-252, 182-195, 184-176, 220-194, 245-180.
Sam Houston completed the tournament 11-1 with a team 13,278 total pin fall for an average of 198.2 per game.
Vanderbilt defeated Tulane in the third place matchup.
The Bearkats went 9-0 on the first two days of the tournament.
Friday, during quad Baker play, Sam Houston defeated Alabama State 1,053-958, Southern 1,016-774, Texas Southern 934-870, SFA 975-924 and Jackson State 972-852.
Saturday, in traditional team play, the Bearkats defeated Louisiana Tech 1,062-826, Alabama State 955-777, Florida A&M 1,033-844 and host Tulane 1,042-957J
Janine Kuwahara led the Sam Houston women in traditional team play with a 208.0 pin average Saturday. Other Bearkat pin averages were Carrie Hopkinson (206.6), Anna Groce (200.8), Stephanie Zavala (198.8) and Heather Penatzer (190.4).
Next action for the defending NCAA Division I national champions will be the Fairleigh Dickinson Jersey Jamboree in Hackensack, New Jersey, Friday, October 31 through Sunday, November 2.
By Cheval John
Texas A&M was suppose to be making a statement that they were more improved without Johnny Manziel.
In the first five games of the season, the Aggies were 5-0.
Since then, A&M went on a three-game losing streak including a 59-0 loss to Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Maybe the strong start by the Aggies especially with sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill was an abboration.
The reality is A&M is in trouble.
It should not be a surprise that their defense is still questionable.
However, the biggest surprise was their offense as they only managed 162 total yards while Alabama had 602 yards.
This is definitely the worst loss that A&M ever got under head coach Kevin Sumlin.
This tweet below sums up the type of day that A&M experienced on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
— Germany Kent (@GermanyKent) October 18, 2014
The Aggies can only wish that their matchup with Alabama would not have taken place a week after the Crimson Tide’s 14-13 win against Arkansas.
By Cheval John
When the Kansas City Royals made their first ever playoff appearance in 1985, they won the World Series.
It seems like they are on that same route the second time around after they swept the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 to make it back to the World Series.
Nobody had foreseen before the playoffs that the Royals was going to make this tremendous run towards the World Series.
Many expected either the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or the Orioles to represent the American League in the greatest pennacle of baseball.
However, it is not how you start, but how you finish.
The Royals have played like a unit throughout the season and it was evident that they were going to make some noise in the playoffs.
Their pitching has been lights out, especially from the bullpen.
When they took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning during the third game of the ALCS against the Orioles, a person had a feeling that the lead was going to hold.
It proved to be true as the bullpen retired nine straight batters to secure the win.
In the series clincher, the Royals scored two runs in the first inning for a 2-0.
Even though the Orioles scored in the top of the third inning to cut the lead to 2-1, they could not score another as the pitching from starter Jason Vargas and the bullpen were lights out.
The only thing we can hope is that the Royals will not be like the Colorado Rockies, who swept their way to the World Series, only to lose to the Boston Red Sox in 2007.
Kansas City can only wait and see who they will face in the World Series.