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SHSU Defeats Prairie View 61-44

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

Jabari Peters went 5-of-7 from the field to score 12 points to lead Sam Houston to a 61-44 non-conference men’s basketball victory over Prairie View A&M Saturday afternoon.

After the Panthers scored the first basket, Sam Houston never trailed, building a 23-point lead in the second half.

Jayrn Johnson and Karim York each scored 10 points to lead Prairie View. The Panthers dropped to 1-10 for the year. Sam Houston, undefeated at home this year in five games, is 7-4 for the season.

The Bearkats out-boarded Prairie View 42-26 with DeMarcus Gatlin, Michael Holyfield and Aurimas Majauskas each pulling down seven rebounds.

The Panthers kept things close during the first nine minutes of the game. Sam Houston led by only two, 14-12, with 10:58 left in the half.

A layup by Aurimas Majauskas started a 14-1 Bearkat run. A jumper by Majauskas put Sam Houston up 28-13 with 3:38 left. The Kats went into the locker run with a 17-point lead, 34-17.

Sam Houston State now breaks for the Christmas holidays. Next action for the Kats is Monday, December 29, when the SHSU men play host to Howard Payne in a 6:30 p.m. contest at Johnson Coliseum.

The Bearkats open Southland Conference action Saturday, January 3, with a home matchup with Incarnate Word.

SHSU’s Victory Over Villanova Sets Up Rematch With North Dakota State

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

Villanova, Penn. – Quarterback Jared Johnson passed for 303 yards and three touchdowns and the Bearkat defense held off a late Wildcat charge as No. 19 Sam Houston defeated No. 5 Villanova 34-31 to advance to the FCS semifinals.

The Kats will face their old nemesis No. 2 North Dakota State next week at the Fargo Dome. Sam Houston has defeated three top 10 FCS foes to reach the semifinals.

Johnson completed 22 of 27 passes including TD throws of two and 66 yards to LaDarius Brown and a four-yard score to Gerald Thomas.

With Walter Payton award candidate John Robertson sidelined by a concussion, backup quarterback Chris Polony took over to accounted for 288 yards in the aid and 87 yards on the ground.

“This a great game between two good football teams,” SHSU head coach K. C. Keeler said. “We’re excited to be in the final four. My hats off to Villanova and (head coach) Andy Talley. They found out right before the game their best player and team leader wasn’t going to play. But they fought hard and their backup quarterback did a great job.”

The Wildcats looked on the verge of at least forcing overtime with a first down at the Sam Houston 26 with less than a minute to play. But a quarterback sack by Mouf Adebo, an incomplete pass and a delay of game penalty had kicker Chris Gough attempting a field goal from 51 yards out. The attempt was wide and the Kats head to the FCS semifinals for the third time in four years.

“Jared Johnson did a great job for us today as he’s been fighting the flu the past two days,” Keeler said. “We had him wearing a mask and staying in his own room and got him out of the infirmary when we left Thursday morning.”

Brown caught six passes for Sam Houston for 174 yards. Yedidiah Louis led the Kats with seven receptions for 64 yards.

Keshawn Hill led a Bearkat rushing game that accounted for 151 yards on 46 attempts. Hill carried 20 times for 75 yards. Johnson added 32 yards on 12 carries and Jalen Overstreet rushed nine times for 30 yards including the game winning one-yard TD with 4:03 to play.

Linebacker Tristan Eche led the Kat defense with 11 tackles (10 solos). P. J. Hall accounted for nine stops including two for losses to run his season total TFLs to 29.

Three-time defending national champion North Dakota State and Sam Houston met in the FCS national championship game in both 2011 and 2012.

Johnson and Brown started the show for Sam Houston early as the pair teamed up for a two-yard touchdown pass just 3:39 into the game. A blocked punt by Josh Lyons set up the five-play, 17-yard drive. Cory Hamlett recovered the punt block for Sam Houston.

Villanova struck back immediately. A 54-yard touchdown pass from Chris Polony to Poppy Livers completed a six-play, 90-yard scoring drive with 9:31 to play in the first quarter.

After Sam Houston’s first punt was downed on the Wildcat one-yard-line, Villanova drove 99 yards in 13 plays as Polony faked a handoff on fourth-and-two at the SHSU 36 then dashed around left end untouched into the end zone. Villanova took a 13-7 lead with 23 seconds left in the opening period.

Johnson opened the second quarter by leading the Bearkats on a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive. The sophomore quarterback hit Gerald Thomas for a four-yard score with 9:54 left in the period. The drive started with a 51-yard pass from Johnson to Brown to put the Kats on the Villanova 29-yard line.

With 29 seconds left before halftime, Luc Swimberghe kicked a 32-yard field goal to complete a 10-play, 54-yard drive. A 30-yard scramble by Johnson to the VU 39-yard-line was the drive’s big play3w.

The Kats’ 17-13 margin was brief as Villanova drove 36 yards in four plays after the kickoff to set up a career-long 46-yard field goal by Chris Gough as the first half ended with SHSU up 17-16.

Johnson and Brown hooked up again to start the second half, this time for a 66-yard scoring pass to put SHSU up 24-16 only 18 seconds into the period.

Kevin Monangai broke loose for a 58-yard scoring run and Polony found Kevin Gulyas in the back of the end zone for a successful two-point conversion to tie the game 24-24 with 9:36 remaining in third.

Swimberghe broke the tie five minutes into the fourth period with a 30-yard field goal as SHSU went up 27-24 after an eight-play, 39-yard drive. The score was set up by a short Wildcats punt.

Polony answered by leading Villanova on a nine-play 67-yard scoring drive. The quarterback gained the final yard himself on a roll-out to the right as the Wildcats took a 31-27 lead with 7:15 to play.

The Kats responded with a 10-play 75-yard drive to surge back in front 34-31 after an one-yard Overstreet touchdown with 4:03 to play. Yedidiah Louis’s 18-yard reception to the Wildcats 17 was a key play for SHSU.

To Succeed In Business, Build True Relationships

By Cheval John

Tamara McCleary, Creator of RelationShift

Tamara McCleary, Creator of RelationShift

Businesses who want to succeed in 2015 need to understand how to use social media to engage with their customers and clients.

The problem is when they connect on social media, they go straight for the sale instead of building a quality relationship with their customers/clients.

When they go straight for the sale, they are sending the message to the prospective customers that they do not matter and they are just a number.

That approach will lead to a negative hit on their bottom line.

Example: Last night, I had the honored of interviewing Tamara McCleary, who is regarded as the queen of social relationships* on my podcast, “What’s The Word?”

As I allowed for anyone to ask her a question about building authentic relationships on social media, a person, which I will call Kwon, (you will hear his real name in the episode below at the 26:33 minute) called in.

Check Out Women Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cheval John on BlogTalkRadio

Instead of respecting Mrs. McCleary’s time and asking a question, he went on his soliloquy on relationships and promoted his new book.

He tried to take advantage of the opportunity to share his thoughts and promote himself.

Afterward, he sent me a message via Twitter saying that he wanted to be a guest on the show and share about his philosophy on relationships.

Kwon showed that he was only interested in promoting his book and not sharing valuable information that would enrich other people’s lives.

He also displayed a lack of respect for Mrs. McCleary and in the process, made a bad first impression.

If he had interact with potential customers in the same way as organizations like the Houston Texans, who are constantly interacting with their fan base via the Texans Cheerleaders, then he would have earned the trust of the audience.

In turn, the audience would put their reputation on the line because they believe in his work.

So to recap, if you want to build a loyal following in 2015, be sociable and interact with your audience.

If not, then you will create a bad reputation for your brand and business because of your self interest in just selling and not creating lasting relationships with your audience.

Do you believe that companies are building trust with their potential customers on social media? You can reply below.

*Term was coined by Rachel Miller, Chief Listener of Pipeliner and co-host of the Twitter Chat, #sshour.

SHSU Advances To Second Round of FCS Playoffs

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

A muffed punt and a blocked field goal set up two Donavan Williams touchdown runs as Sam Houston scored 14 fourth quarter points to defeat Southeastern Louisiana 21-17 in an FCS opening round playoff game Saturday at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.

The Bearkats advance meet Jacksonville State in the second round at Jacksonville next Saturday.

The punt muff was recovered by Demartie Allen and the block by defensive end P. J. Hall set up runs of three and one yards, respectively by Williams.

Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett had given the Lions a 17-14 lead with three-yard scoring run with 11:11 left to play. Bennett, who also scored a nine-yard touchdown in the second quarter, tied the SLU school record for career rushing TDs with 33 with his performance Saturday.

Bennett completed 17 of 48 passes for 181 yards. Sam Houston quarterback Jared Johnson was the game’s top rusher with 17 carries for 63 yards and passed for 119 more on 12 of 32 passes.

Hall was a key on defense for Sam Houston with four tackles for 22 yards in losses including one QB sack. Safety Michael Wade made 13 tackles including 11 solos for the Bearkat defense.

Sam Houston and Southeastern Louisiana, co-champions in the Southland Conference with identical 7-1 league records who did not play during the regular season, both own 9-4 records. The Lions knocked Sam Houston out of the playoffs in the second round last year with a 30-29 defeat in Hammond, La.

What was touted as an offensive battle during ESPN’s pregame turned out to be a defensive struggle in the opening half. The Lions’ Tyler Stoddard recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff at the Sam Houston 20-yard line to set up a 39-yard field goal by Ryan Adams just 1:20 into the contest.

Bryan Bennett extended the Southeastern Louisiana lead to 10-0 with a nine-yard touchdown 41 seconds into the second quarter following an eight-play, 64-yard drive.

On the ensuing drive, Sam Houston drove 68 yards in 14 plays to the Lion one-yard line. But safety Micah Eugene stopped Donavan Williams on a fourth-down option play to right for a five-yard loss.

SLU limited the Bearkats to 87 yards rushing and 78 passing on 7 of 22 attempts in the first 30 minutes.

Jalen Overstreet’s three-yard run up the middle with 7:14 remaining in the third quarter completed a six-play, 50-yard drive to put the Kats on the scoreboard. Jared Johnson’s 33-yard pass to LaDarius Brown to the Lion 14 set up the score as the SLU margin was cut to 10-7.

A muffed punt recovered by Demartie Allen at the Lion four-yard line at the end of the third quarter set up a one-yard scoring dive by Donavan Williams that gave SHSU its first lead 14-10 three seconds in the final period.

The Lions retook the lead 17-14 with a 10-play, 58-yard drive after the kickoff. Bennett scored with a three-yard dash around left end with 11:11 remaining. The score was Bennett’s 31st career rushing TD, tying a Southeastern Louisiana record.

A blocked field goal by P J. Hall (his fourth kick block of the season) set up a 65-yards in six plays for a five-yard touchdown on an option play by Williams as SHSU surged back in front 21-17.

Let Go Of The “Bad Apples”

By Cheval John

The Pittsburg Steelers demonstrated today why they are a first class organization.

The reason why they are a first class organization is because they released running back, LeGarrette Blount.

Blount left the field during the Steelers’ 27-24 victory against the Tennessee Titans before the game was over.

Blount’s reason for leaving the game before it was finished: “he did not get any carries.”

“We believe the decision to release LeGarrette is in the best interest of the organization and wish him the best of luck,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in the statement to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.

Blount rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns for the Steelers.

He signed with Pittsburg earlier this year after he spent three years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 2013 season with the New England Patriots.

This was the right move for the Steelers because Blount showcased that he was not a team player.

If he had stayed with Pittsburg, he would have caused problems and probably would have divided the team.

The Steelers are currently 7-4 and are a game behind the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North Division.

I strongly believe that Pittsburg will now be able to overtake the Bengals in the next couple of weeks because they will be more united than ever.

If a person or a business wants to go to the next level, then they must cut their association with anyone who are bad apples.

Even if it hurts to cut the association with someone who is holding you back from success, it will be worth it in the end.

You will be much better for it like the Steelers are right now.

Just ask Steelers center and captain Maurkice Pouncey.

“We’re fine,” Pouncey said to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. “We have our starting running back. It’s probably a good thing that it happened. At the end of the day, if it was a cancer, he ended up leaving on his own. That’s a blessing for us. At the end of the day, we’re good. We don’t need him.”

Do you believe that the Steelers did the right thing in releasing LeGarrette Blount? Leave your comments below.

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