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Banning Tops Carson in Rivalry Homecoming Game

Photos by Brianne Ingram / fi360 News

Los Angeles, – CA The Banning Pilots (6-1) were simply unstoppable against the Carson Colts (2-3) in their rivalry homecoming game with a 56-24 victory in Wilmington on Friday night.

It’s a rivalry that started in 1963 and is still going strong today.

Both sides of the crowd showed up and showed out for their respective teams on this special night.

“You know it always feels good whenever you’re able to beat your rival,” said Banning Head Coach Raymond Grajeda. “Hats off to Carson. They came in and really played a hell of a game. They didn’t back down. They came in and went man to man with us. Hats off to Carson coming out and giving us a force.”

Banning was up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, but Carson soon responded in the second quarter.

Photo by Brianne Ingram / fi360 News

Carson junior quarterback Jelani Parker zipped it to senior receiver Jaden Jones for a 20-yard touchdown reception to put Carson on the board, 14-7 at the 11:39 mark in the second quarter.

False start penalties plagued Carson in the first half to give Banning the advantage at halftime 20-14.

In the second half, Banning’s offense kicked into second gear. The running backs ran hard and hit the open holes. Banning sophomore quarterback Robert Guerrero led his team and efficiently connected on his passes.

Due to injuries, Banning’s back-up players were able to fill in the gaps.

Photo by Brianne Ingram / fi360 News

“The offense did a great job because everybody played. Our running back went out. Top receiver went out. Our second running back went out. And we had a mix of guys playing football that don’t normally get that kind of shine. So, when we practice together as a team, win as a team, and the guys that we didn’t expect to show up showed up today,” said Coach Grajeda.

Even though Carson was outmatched, they didn’t bow down.

“It always is a hard-fought game,” said Carson Head Coach Michael Christensen. “I loved our effort. I thought we hung in there. You know we were a little bit under manned. They had more guys. They were just bigger than we were upfront. More physical. But we hung in there and our guys did the best they could. So, I was proud of their fight. We did a good job.”

Coach Grajeda commented on how big this win was for his team and what he wants to carry over going forward.  

Photo by Brianne Ingram / fi360 News

“We just want to keep our heads up. We want to clean up our mistakes and go forward. For us this was big. This is our third year in a row beating Carson. This hasn’t happened since 1991-1992, so we’re talking about almost a thirty-year streak of not being able to beat them. Now we have a pattern, and hopefully we keep that momentum going through the rest of the season,” said Coach Grajeda.

The Banning Pilots host the Sierra Vista Dons next Friday, October 15th at 7 p.m.

Photo by Brianne Ingram / fi360 News

HAWAII’S BETHLEY IS BRONKO NAGURSKI NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News

DALLAS (FWAA) – Safety Khoury Bethley intercepted two passes, one of which set up a game-tying touchdown drive, to go with nine tackles and a sack in leading the Hawaii defense and a come-from-behind 27-24 win over No. 18 Fresno State. For having a hand in three of Hawaii’s six takeaways in the school’s first win over a ranked team since 2010, Bethley earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 2, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

This is the first time for a Hawaii player to earn this weekly honor. Bethley will be added to this season’s Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list.

Bethley’s first interception stopped a drive in Hawaii territory just before the half and the second led to Hawaii’s game-tying drive. Then with the score tied at 24, Bethley’s strip-sack of Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener near midfield set up what would be the game-winning field goal to end a 13-game losing streak to ranked teams. Hawaii’s last win over a ranked team came on Oct. 16, 2010, a 27-21 defeat of No. 19 Nevada.

The 5-10, 200-pound senior from Chino, Calif., tied for the team lead with nine tackles against Fresno State and is now tops on the Rainbow Warriors with 38, including 29 solo stops. His 5.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks also lead Hawaii and he had another strip-sack in a Sept. 25 win at New Mexico State that led to a Hawaii touchdown drive. Bethley has 16.0 tackles for loss in his 44 career games, and Saturday marked the second time he’s had two interceptions – the other came in the 2019 Hawaii Bowl against BYU. He led the team in tackles (83) and solo wrap-ups (61) in 2019 and was second in 2020 with 70.

Hawaii (3-3) is idle this week. The Rainbow Warriors play at Nevada on Oct. 16.

The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.

About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised and donated nearly $3 million to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.

About LendingTree, Inc.
LendingTree is the nation’s leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, by comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search and choosing the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student refinances, credit cards, insurance and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers’ credit accounts against offers on their network and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. LendingTree’s purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life’s meaningful moments through choice, education and support.

2021 Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Players of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 4: Jordan Davis, Georgia
Weekend of Sept. 11: Verone McKinley III, Oregon
Weekend of Sept. 18: Jared Bartlett, West Virginia
Weekend of Sept. 25: Jack Campbell, Iowa
Weekend of Oct. 2: Khoury Bethley, Hawaii

Pac-12 Football Performance Awards presented by Nextiva – Week Five

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 today announced its 2021 football season’s fifth weekly performance awards, presented by Nextiva. See below for Week Five’s recognitions across the Conference and keep track of the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year watchlist here:

OFFENSE:  Jayden Daniels, Jr., QB, Arizona State (San Bernardino, CA)

  • Led the Sun Devils to a 42-23 win over #20 UCLA, the second-largest margin of victory against an AP Top 25 team on the road in program history. Daniels did it with both his arm and legs, but excelled in the passing game.
  • Threw for 286 yards on an efficient 13-for-18 passing, throwing for a pair of touchdowns. It was his 9th game with 2+ scores through the air. It is his 12th career performance accounting for 2 or more touchdowns and the 9th time he eclipsed 250 yards through the air.
  • Accounted for 331 yards of offense, going over the 300-yard mark for the 8th time. He averaged 22 yards/completion, which set a new career high. He added 45 yards on the ground on only 6 carries.
  • Created explosive plays with his accuracy and arm strength, completing 4 passes of over 40 yards. As a result, he was PFF’s 21st highest graded player overall in FBS for the week, grading out at 87.6. The rating was 12th among all quarterbacks and was the best in the Pac-12 this week. His 15.1 yards per attempt were 2nd among FBS quarterbacks this week. Additionally, he had the 8th-highest NFL QBR in the FBS according to PFF.
  • 2nd time he has won the award and it is the first time an Arizona State player has won it since Daniels did in November 2019 as a freshman.  Daniels actually won both the Offensive Player and Freshman of the Week that week.

Also nominated for offense:  Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford;  B.J. Baylor, RB, Oregon State; Calvin Jackson Jr., WR, Washington State; Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA; Keaontay Ingram, RB, USC

Check out the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Watchlist, presented by Nextiva, to learn more. 

DEFENSE:  Avery Roberts, RS Jr., ILB, Oregon State (Wilmington, DE)

  • Posted a season-best 16 tackles to go along with one interception and half a sack in the Beavers’ 27-24 win over Washington Saturday. The win snapped the Beavers’ nine-game losing streak to the Huskies.
  • 16 tackles ties Roberts for the most by a Pac-12 player this season. The 16 are also the second most of his career.
  • 9 of his 16 tackles came in the second half.  Leads the Pac-12 with 51 tackles this season and is tied for 7th nationally.
  • 1st Oregon State player to win this award since Treston Decoud won it in September 2016.  He is the 3rd Beaver to win a Pac-12 weekly award this season though, with B.J. Baylor (Offensive) and Nathan Eldridge (Offensive Line) both winning last week.

Also nominated:  Darien Butler, LB, Arizona State; Drake Jackson, OLB, USC; Gabe Reid, OLB, Stanford; Armani Marsh, Safety, Washington State

SPECIAL TEAMS:  Parker Lewis, Soph., PK, USC (Phoenix, AZ)

  • Hit all 3 of his field goal attempts (30, 44 and a career-long 49 yards) and all 4 of his PATs and also had touchbacks on 7 of his 8 kickoffs at Colorado.
  • He is 9-of-9 on field goals and 16-of-16 on PATs in 2021.
  • 1st USC player to win this award since Marvell Tell won it in October 2018 and first USC kicker to win it since Chase McGrath in Week 1 of the 2018 season.

Also nominated:  Everett Hayes, PK, Oregon State; Cristian Zendejas, K, Arizona State; Ryan Sanborn, P, Stanford

OFFENSIVE LINE:  LaDarius Henderson, Jr., LG, Arizona State (Waxahachie, TX)

  • Provided a physical presence at the line of scrimmage in the victory over #20 UCLA. Henderson and the offensive line unit paved the way for an extremely balanced offensive attack that produced 42 points and 458 total yards (286 passing & 172 rushing).
  • Graded out at 84%, including two pancakes and one knockdown. He did not allow a single quarterback pressure and still has only allowed one all season.
  • Was effective as a pull blocker on run plays and also showed his athleticism when getting out to block on Ricky Pearsall’s 58-yard touchdown on a screen pass.
  • 3rd time an Arizona State player has won this award since its inception in 2019.  Dohnovan West won it in December 2020 and Cohl Cabral in September 2019.

Also nominated:  Walter Rouse, LT, Stanford; Brandon Kipper, OL, Oregon State; Andrew Vorhees, OL, USC; Liam Ryan, OT, Washington State

DEFENSIVE LINE:  Brennan Jackson, RS Jr., Edge, Washington State (Temecula, CA)

  • Totaled 4 tackles, 3 solo, with a sack for 10 yards and a pass breakup.
  • Helped WSU defense hold Cal to just 6 points, the lowest opponent total against WSU since shutting out San Jose State 31-0 in 2018.
  • Set the tone on the first play of the second half with a 10-yard sack as Cal went 3 and out and WSU scored on the next possession for the final margin of victory.
  • 1st Washington State player to win this award since its inception in 2019.

Also nominated:  D.J. Davidson, NT, Arizona State; Thomas Booker, DE, Stanford; Tuli Tuipulotu, DL, USC; Keonte Schad, DL, Oregon State

FRESHMAN:  Tanner McKee,  RS Fr., QB, Stanford (Corona, CA)

  • Was 20-of-36 for 230 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, adding 24 yards on the ground, in a 31-24, overtime win over #3 Oregon.
  • Led the Cardinal on an 11 play, 87 yard drive in the final 1:59 to tie the game on a 2-yard touchdown pass on a final, untimed down to force overtime.  Threw a 14-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-11 in overtime for the go-ahead score.  Stanford had a 0.1 percent chance of winning with 1:51 remaining in the game, according to ESPN’s win probability model. 
  • The win makes McKee the first freshman quarterback to defeat a top 5 team since Bo Nix led Auburn to a 48-45 win over #5 Alabama (Nov. 30, 2019). 
  • Thrown multiple touchdowns in all 4 of his starts this season.  The Cardinal have won 4 straight against AP top 3 teams, the longest active streak in FBS.
  • 2nd time McKee has won the award this season.  Also won in Week 2 after leading Stanford to a win at USC.

Also nominated for freshman:  Eric Gentry, LB, Arizona State; Michael Trigg, TE, USC; Semisi Saluni, OLB, Oregon State; De’Zhaun Stribling, WR, Washington State

UCLA Slowly Fall Back Down To Earth With ASU Struggle

Photo by fi360 News

Pasadena, CA – It is hard to say that the fifth game of the season could dictate where any team’s season is going to head. UCLA has not been in this position in quite some time, but lessons were learned after their crushing defeat against Fresno State two weeks ago. At the same time, Arizona State suffered a late game setback against BYU. Both came into the Rose Bowl with victories. But entering this game with a 1-0 conference record with favorites in the division falling apart, both felt the pressure with how important this game became.

The question though was who was ready to compete and make their statement. Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels, who has had his fair share of criticism since becoming a Sun Devil, held his own and dominated when he needed to. In the second quarter alone ne nearly racked 200 yards, connecting twice in the end zone. Arizona State practically controlled every bit of UCLA in a 42-23 win where the Sun Devils did not seem to need the ball for very long to prove their worth.

Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News

“Jayden Daniels was the most athletic kid we have faced so far,” Chip Kelly said. “We have to clean up our emotion during the game. We were frustrated, and we gave this team too many freebies that basically gave them the game.”

On paper stat wise UCLA looked impressive. Dorian Thompson Robinson and Zach Charbonnet ran at will. The Bruins held the ball more and had some tempo with a balanced attack. The killers though were when Arizona State came through when they needed two. Three plays of fifty or more yards earned them all touchdowns, the final one with Rachaad White covering 50 yards on the ground for a touchdown, and then electing to go for two pushing UCLA to a nine point deficit. It then put the Bruins in bind on their next drive.

“We had a hard time stopping the ball,” Kelly said. “We could not control the threats of the game.”

Jack Jones jumps on Dorian Thompson-Robinson back. (Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News)

UCLA managed to drive close to the goal line up to the start of the fourth quarter down nine. On fourth down, Kelly kept his special teams on the sideline to gamble for six points. He left with nothing when Thompson Robinson was tackled behind the line of scrimmage on a quarterback keeper. It made matters worse when Daniels had his fun going 96 yards on the ensuing drive, eventually putting the game well out of reach when the Sun Devil defense on the next drive took down Thompson Robinson in the backfield with three sacks.

“I felt like we could get it in and we didn’t,” Kelly said. “It was a chance I felt confident with but it ended up not going in our favor.”

Arizona is up next before they head on the road to Washington. Their chance at a Pac-12 title is not done, but losing to teams they need to beat within their division does not bode well with even conference records. What is important now is that UCLA returns back to the Rose Bowl ready for Oregon, hoping they return with two wins. Who knows what this season could become if they finish .500 on the road trip.

Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News

“Momentum was big for us, and we could not find a way to gain it,” Kelly said. “We need to clean that part of the game up. We had the ball for a good amount of time, but when you get your first and 10 and it turns from 2nd and 4 to 2nd and 24 at times, it makes the flow of the game hard to maintain. We go on one week deals and we will get ready for Arizona starting Monday. We don’t talk about overall records or conference records. We have to mentally be ready and be back on track.”

Colorado can’t slow USC down

University of Southern California tailback Darwin Barlow (22) leaps over outstretched arms of Colorado safety Mark Perry (5) at Folsom Field in Boulder Colorado on Saturday October 2, 2021 (Photo by Laura Domingue, Fi 360 News).

Boulder, CU – Colorado Buffaloes can’t hold slow down the USC Trojans dropping a 37-14 game at home against PAC-12 foe. Colorado didn’t have an answer for USC Jake London who caught 9 balls for 130 yards with a touchdown.  

Southern California receiver Gary Bryant Jr. (1) is talked by Colorado linebacker Jonathan Van Diest (31) and linebacker Joshka Gustav (33) in second quarter at Folsom Field on Saturday October 2, 2021. (fi360News/Laura Domingue)

Colorado defense allowed 10 points in each of the first three quarters trailing 20-7 at the half. Their offense had amassed 242 yards averaging only 4.3 yards.

USC only allowed Colorado one first down on 3rd down, where there has to be improvement to compete. The offense did have 11 first down in the game.

University of Southern California tailback Keaontay Ingram (28) carries the ball while Colorado cornerback Christian Gonzalez (3) closes in for the tackle at Folsom Field in Boulder Colorado on Saturday October 2, 2021 (Photo by Laura Domingue, fi360 News).

A highlight was Colorado quarterback Brendon Lewis threw for 162 yards and a touchdown. Brady Russell was his key receiver catching 3 passes for 87 yards.

“We had a couple of scoring drives tonight which is good, we had some other opportunities to do some positives things but we just didn’t do it.” Said Colorado coach Karl Dorrell.  

Running back Jarek Brousard carried the main load with 16 carries, while Deion Smith had 7 carries with nice touchdown run using his speed to the pylon.

Colorado quarterback Brendon Lewis (12) hands ball off to tailback Jarek Broussard (23) in third quarter against Southern California at Folsom Field on Saturday October 2, 2021. (fi360NEWS/Laura Domingue)

Trojans signal caller Kedon Slovis completed 19 of 29 throws for 276 yards and hit Drake London, Michael Trigg and Gary Bryant Jr. with scoring passes.

USC will host Utah next week at the Coliseum and has a bye week before hosting Arizona Wildcats on Oct 16.

Costly Penalties Lead To Oregon Being Upset In Overtime Thriller

Stanford upsets Oregon #3 at Stanford Stadium, Calif, USA, Photo Credit: Jorge Birelas / fi360 News

Stanford, CA-  The No 3 Oregon Ducks came into this game short-handed missing safety Bennett Williams and starting center Alex Forsyth. Still, they were looking to get off to a quick start against an unranked (2-2) Stanford team after the slow start they had last week against (0-4) Arizona. The Ducks seemed out of sync after falling behind early to Stanford. Like last week, they overcame a slow start, except this time having to overcome a first-half deficit. Despite roaring back in the second half with 17 unanswered points, Stanford eventually pulled off the upset in overtime with a final score of 31-24.

Stanford upsets Oregon #3 Stanford Stadium (Photo Credit: Jorge Birelas / fi360 News)

The struggle for the Ducks started as early as the opening kick-off with Trikweze Bridges called for targeting after leading with the crown of his helmet, leading to his ejection. The early penalty was just an indication of what was to come for Oregon as they ended the game with ten penalties for 99 yards. Soon after, the Ducks saw themselves with a 10-0 deficit with 6:25 left to go in the 1st quarter. The early deficit was set up by an early three and out, followed by an interception that quarterback Anthony Brown threw to Stanford’s outside linebacker Gabe Reid.

Stanford looked to increase their lead as they reached Oregon’s 45 yard-line. Oregon’s “Bend but don’t break” defense came up with a stop on 4th and one to give them the ball back. Anthony Brown scrambled in for a three-yard touchdown that cut the lead to three points, two plays into the second quarter. Stanford immediately answered the next drive, after overcoming what seemed like a gruesome injury suffered by wide receiver Brycen Tremayne. With Oregon being down by 10 points with four minutes left to go in the 2nd quarter, they were looking to score to gain momentum heading into the second half. What was looking like a promising drive ended with Anthony Brown being stopped up the middle on 4th and one from the one-yard line to essentially end the half.

Stanford upsets Oregon #3 Stanford Stadium ( Photo Credit: Jorge Birelas / fi360 News)

Oregon came out strong in the second half, with the defense making consecutive stops. Oregon’s offense eventually found its footing in the ground game with running back duo Travis Dye and CJ Verdell. Verdell would eventually go out with an apparent knee injury, and coach Mario Cristobal stated the damage, “appears to be significant.”

The Ducks still managed to keep moving forward; on a drive that began at the 11:43 mark in the 4th quarter, they were able to hit a big 66-yard catch and run on a pass from Anthony Brown to Mycah Pittman. The big play set up a run wide left, for Brown’s second TD scamper, to help Oregon take the lead 24-17.

With the Ducks seemingly taking control of the game, they looked to close out Stanford with a final drive. Due to costly back-to-back false start penalties that pushed the Ducks from 1st and ten on the Cardinal 39 to 1st and 20 from the 49, a forced punt set up a potential game-tying drive. Stanford’s quarterback Tanner McKee, who seemingly was knocked out of the game earlier in the drive returned to connect with no time left in regulation, after a pass interference call on a Duck’s defender in the endzone, connected with Elijah Higgins for the touchdown.

Stanford upsets Oregon #3 at Stanford Stadium ( Photo Credit: Jorge Birelas / fi360 News)

Stanford pulled off the wild upset in overtime after Tanner McKee connected with wide receiver John Humphreys from 14 yards out. On 4th and eight, Oregon’s last chance to keep their chances of winning the game alive fell short on an incomplete pass to end the game. Anthony Brown, after the game, stated, “Excuse my language, but I played like s—. Can’t do anything about it but fix it and move on.”

This week, the Ducks will have a bye to try and help them “move on and fix it”, while looking to bounce back after a tough loss and suffering critical injuries.

Stanford upsets Oregon #3 at Stanford Stadium (Photo Credit: Jorge Birelas / fi360 News)

IOWA’S CAMPBELL IS BRONKO NAGURSKI NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

DALLAS (FWAA) – Iowa middle linebacker Jack Campbell recovered a fumble midway through the third quarter that helped rally the Hawkeyes from a halftime deficit and keep them undefeated at 4-0 with a 24-14 home win over Colorado State. That takeaway – plus a career-high 18 tackles and three pass breakups – earned Campbell the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 25, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

This is the fourth time for an Iowa player to earn this weekly honor and the first since linebacker Josey Jewell in 2017. The Hawkeyes have had two Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists in the past four seasons – tackle Daviyon Nixon in 2020 and Jewell in 2017 – as well as linebacker Pat Angerer as a finalist in 2009. Campbell will be added to this season’s Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list.

Campbell, a 6-5, 243-pound junior from Cedar Falls, Iowa, posted seven solo tackles among the 18 total and the fumble recovery was his second of the season. Colorado State held a 14-7 lead at the half before Yahya Black forced a fumble midway through the third quarter. Campbell recovered at the Rams’ six-yard line, and Tyrone Tracy Jr. scored on the next play to tie the game and Iowa pulled away from there.

It was the second game-changing fumble recovery for Campbell. The other scored a touchdown in Iowa’s 27-17 earlier win over Iowa State. Campbell leads the Hawkeyes with 43 tackles with 19 solo stops. He has forced a fumble as well and has 1.5 tackles for loss. The three pass breakups were his first of the season.

Iowa (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) travels to Maryland (4-0, 1-0) for a primetime showcase Friday at 8 p.m. on FS1.

The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.

About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised and donated nearly $3 million to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.com.

About LendingTree, Inc.
LendingTree is the nation’s leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, by comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search and choosing the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student refinances, credit cards, insurance and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers’ credit accounts against offers on their network and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. LendingTree’s purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life’s meaningful moments through choice, education and support.

Pac-12 Football Performance Awards presented by Nextiva – Week Four

UCLA Kyle Philips celebrates a touchdown. (Photo by Jevone Moore / fi360 News)

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 today announced its 2021 football season’s fourth weekly performance awards, presented by Nextiva. See below for Week Four’s recognitions across the Conference and keep track of the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year watchlist here:

OFFENSE:  B.J. Baylor, RS Jr., RB, Oregon State (Wharton, TX)

  • Helped lead Oregon State to a 45-27 win over USC; it marked the Beavers’ first win at USC since 1960.
  • Ran for 158 yards, his second-best tally of the season and third-most overall in the Pac-12. The 158 yards are the most by a Pac-12 running back versus a conference opponent this season. That is 40 yards better than the No. 2 performance in a conference game.
  • Averaged 6.9 yards per rush in the win, the second-best mark by an OSU running back versus USC in the past 25 seasons.
  • Gained 8 first downs in the win.
  • 1st Beaver to win the award since RB Jermar Jefferson won it twice in November 2020.

Also nominated for offense:  Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA;  Jayden Daniels, QB, Arizona State; TJ Pledger, RB, Utah; Drake Anderson, RB, Arizona; Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford; Anthony Brown, QB, Oregon

Check out the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Watchlist, presented by Nextiva, to learn more. 

DEFENSE:  Bennett Williams, Jr., Safety, Oregon (Campbell, CA)

  • Named the Walter Camp National FBS Defensive Player of the Week.
  • Led Oregon’s defense in a 41-19 win over Arizona to open Pac-12 play, recording 2 of the Ducks’ 5 total interceptions.  Also matched his season-high with 8 tackles, including 6 solo. 
  • Returned his second interception 68 yards for a touchdown.  First career game with multiple interceptions.  One of just seven Oregon players since 2000 to have multiple INTs in a game while returning one for a TD.  68-yard pick-six is the longest by a Duck since 2017.  Intercepted a pass in consecutive games for the first time in his career, and now has three in the last two games.
  • Owns 3 of Oregon’s 9 interceptions on the season, tied for the most in the country.  A main contributor to Oregon’s 13 total takeaways, the most in the nation.
  • Was Oregon’s highest-graded player by PFF against Arizona with an 87.9 overall grade.
  • 2nd straight week an Oregon player has won this award after Verone McKinley III won it last week.  

Also nominated:  Avery Roberts, ILB, Oregon State; Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah; Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington; Ron Stone Jr., Edge, Washington State; Qwuantrezz Knight, DB, UCLA; Kyle Soelle, LB, Arizona State

SPECIAL TEAMS:  Kyle Philips, RS Jr., WR/KR, UCLA (San Marcos, CA)

  • Registered 74 yards on 3 punt returns to cap off a big day in a win at Stanford. His first return of the game went for 59 yards and set up UCLA’s opening score which staked the Bruins to an early 7-0 lead. The redshirt junior now has a 19.5 yard career punt return average on 20 returns.
  • Accumulated 194 all-purpose yards on the day against the Cardinal which included five receptions for 120 yards and a couple of fourth quarter touchdowns as a receiver. 
  • 4th Bruin receiver since 1996 to tally multiple 100-yard receiving games with two or more touchdowns in a season.
  • 1st Bruin to win this award since Demetric Felton won in September 2019

Also nominated:  Race Porter, P, Washington; Everett Hayes, PK, Oregon State; Camden Lewis, K, Oregon; Cameron Peasley, P, Utah; Ryan Sanborn, P, Stanford; D.J. Taylor, DB, Arizona State

OFFENSIVE LINE:  Nathan Eldridge, RS Sr., C, Oregon State (Anthem, AZ)

  • Part of an offensive line that helped Oregon State to 322 rushing yards in the win over USC. It was the Beavers’ first win at USC since 1960.
  • Graded out at 83.1 on pass blocking by Pro Football Focus. That allowed OSU’s QB, Chance Nolan, to complete 15 of 19 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Made his 37th collegiate start and 11th consecutively.
  • 2nd time a Beaver has won this award since it started in 2019, with Eldridge also winning it in November 2020.

Also nominated:  Donovan Laie, LG, Arizona; Dohnovan West, C, Arizona State; T.J. Bass, OG, Oregon

DEFENSIVE LINE:  Van Fillinger, Fr., DE, Utah (Draper, UT)

  • Had 3.0 sacks, the first 3 of his career, in Utah’s 24-13 win over Washington State. His first sack came on the Cougars opening drive, his second on a crucial 3rd down stop in the 3rd quarter and his third on WSU’s last drive of the day.
  • 1st Utah player with 3.0 sacks in a game since Bradlee Anae had 3.0 against Arizona State in 2019 and most ever sacks in a game by a Utah freshman.
  • Helped lead the Utes to an 8-sack game, the most Utah has had since they recorded 11 at Arizona State in November 2016.
  • First time a Ute has won it since 2019.  Utah players won it 5 times in 2019, the first season of the award, with 4 different Utes winning it that year.

Also nominated:  Ryan Bowman, OLB/DE, Washington; Mo Diallo, DL, Arizona; Keonte Schad, DL, Oregon State; Brandon Dorlus, DT, Oregon; Thomas Booker, DE, Stanford; Anthonie Cooper, DL, Arizona State; Ron Stone, Jr., Edge, Washington State

FRESHMAN:  Karene Reid, Fr., LB, Utah (American Fork, UT)

  • In his first career start at rover, had 15 tackles, a sack and an interception in Utah’s 24-13 win over Washington State.
  • The 15 tackles are the most by a Pac-12 player this season and the most by an FBS freshman this season. It’s the most by a true freshman at Utah since at least 2005. Reid did not have a tackle in Utah’s first 3 games this season.
  • Had an INT with 2:48 remaining in the 1st quarter to spoil Washington State’s 1st red zone opportunity of the game. It was his first career INT and he added his first career sack in the game as well.
  • First Ute to win the award since Ty Jordan won it in each of the final 3 weeks of the 2020 season.

Also nominated for freshman:  Noah Sewell, ILB, Oregon; Sione Lolohea, DL, Oregon State; Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford; De’Zhaun Stribling, WR, Washington State; Joe Moore, DL, Arizona State

Late Interception Helps Oregon Defeat Arizona In Their First Conference Game Of The Season

Photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News

EUGENE, OR – The 3rd ranked Oregon Ducks were threatened by the Arizona Bearcats all night Saturday, but ultimately came away with a 41-19 victory after a strong 4th quarter performance.

Wasting no time, the Ducks scored on their first possession and found themselves up 10-0 after only 3 minutes and 24 seconds of play. Quarterback Anthony Brown connected with wide receiver Jaylon Redd on a 63-yard touchdown pass for the first score of the night, and a 21-yard field goal by Camden Lewis was set up when Bennett Williams intercepted Jordan McCloud on Arizona’s first offensive play.

Photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News

Despite taking an early double-digit lead, Oregon’s defense struggled to slow down Arizona’s offense. The Bearcats led the game in passing yards, rushing yards, and total first downs but the Ducks made big plays when they needed to, intercepting McCloud a total of 5 times.

Two of Oregon’s interceptions came in the red zone, embracing Mario Cristobal’s “bend don’t break” mentality. “We bent today a lot as a defense,” safety Bennett Williams said after the game. “But those plays for us are huge and we have a lot of playmakers”.

Photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News

Headed into the 4th quarter the Ducks led by only 5 points but were able to make it a two-score game after Brown found tight end Spencer Webb for an 18-yard touchdown. Following Webb’s touchdown, Arizona looked to answer but Bennett Williams recorded his second interception of the night. This time Bennett returned his interception 68-yards for a touchdown which would put the game out of reach for the Bearcats.

Photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News

The Ducks will travel to Stanford next Saturday, October 2nd to face the Cardinal at 12:30 pm PST (ABC).

Oregon State defeats USC at the Coliseum for first win in 61 years

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Oregon State Beavers against the USC Trojans on September 25, 2021, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360news)

Oregon State had not won at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1960. Chase Nolan threw four touchdown passes and the Beavers snapped a 24-game losing streak at the Coliseum with a 45-27 win over USC on Saturday night. 

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 25: Oregon State Beavers against the USC Trojans on September 25, 2021, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360news)

USC dropped to 2-2 and suffered their second straight loss at home. Oregon State had their way with the USC defense by gaining 532 yards. B.J. Baylor led the Beavers with 23 carries for 158 yards. 

“Well, tonight just wasn’t our night,” USC interim head coach Donte Williams said. “Oregon State, tonight they outcoached us, they outplayed us, and it will all get fixed. I promise you that.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 25: Oregon State Beavers against the USC Trojans on September 25, 2021, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360news)

Kedon Slovis threw an interception on USC’s opening possession. Oregon State capitalized on the turnover with Nolan’s 27-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Teagan Quitoriano for a 7-0 lead. 

USC didn’t waste any time with a 5-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a Slovis 7-yard touchdown pass to Gary Bryant Jr. The Trojans took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter after Keaontay Ingram picked up the bobbled snap and scored on a 9-yard run. 

OSU tied it 14-14 on Tyjon Lindsey’s 13-yard touchdown reception and took a 21-14 lead with just under a minute left in the first half when Nolan hit Tre’Shaun Harrison for a 36-yard touchdown. 

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 25: Oregon State Beavers against the USC Trojans on September 25, 2021, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360news)

“I think o-line did a great job all night,” Nolan said. “Opening lanes for the running game and giving me time so I could find my receivers downfield. A lot of it was on the o-line. They played a hell of a game today.”

Lindsey caught his second touchdown of the game in the third quarter and linebacker Jack Colletto scored from a yard out to give Oregon State a commanding 35-17 lead. Colletto added a second touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. 

Slovis threw for 355 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Drake London finished with 10 receptions for 165 yards. The 45 points scored by Oregon State were its most ever in the 79-game history of the series. The previous most points scored by Oregon State against USC were 38 in 1914. 

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 25: Oregon State Beavers against the USC Trojans on September 25, 2021, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360news)

“This is not gonna turn around overnight,” Slovis said. “We’re trying to build something here, and Coach Donte has done a great job of starting to hold guys accountable and changing the culture and building the culture.”

USC will look to bounce back next Saturday when they travel to play Colorado. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. 

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