State of the KC Sports Nation: Football Mania, Baseball Winding Down.
The King of the Nerds is proud to present: State of the Kansas City Sports Nation: Volume 1, Issue 2.
Before I start, I would like to apologize to the Mizzou fans that were offended by me not writing about them in the first issue. I shall now include them in these blogs as they are as much of a KC sports team as KU or K-State.
Speaking of Mizzou, they had a game over the weekend that made many fans a bit worried. Never mind a bit worried, they were flat out desperate not to lose to San Diego State. Thankfully they did not, as Sophomore Wide Receiver T.J Moe juked his way 68 yards into the end zone with 51 seconds to go in the game. Moe ended up with 10 receptions for 79 yards this game. Mizzou struck first with an 80 yard drive that ended up with a rushing touchdown for the tigers. San Diego State quickly answered on the next drive with a touchdown of their own. Mizzou then made a field goal with 5:43 to go in the first to take the lead 10-7. The Tigers then added to their lead with a touchdown with 4:33 to go in the second. The Aztecs answered with a touchdown with 54 seconds to go into the half. Missouri took a 17-14 lead into halftime.
Missouri then took a 20-14 lead in the third quarter. That would be their last score until the fourth quarter. With 10:56 left to go in the fourth quarter, the Aztecs of San Diego State scored a touchdown to take the lead 21-20. It started to get really frustrating for Mizzou after that as they were forced to punt twice, and were intercepted twice. SDSU also added a field goal in the fourth to add cushion to their lead, now 24-20. Missouri would need a touchdown to win, and that's exactly what they got. With 51 seconds left, T.J Moe used a stutter step to turn a simple sideline screen pass into a 68 touchdown run. The Aztecs were unable to answer, and Mizzou walked away the victor. Now 3-0, the Tigers now turn their attention to Miami of Ohio, which will take place at 2:00 pm next Saturday at Faurot Field in Columbia. I will go into greater detail on that game preview in the next Thursday issue.
The Kansas State Wildcats also had a close call this weekend. Iowa State came to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City with an upset in mind, and they almost got it. KSU was able to hold them off, but purple clad fans everywhere were kept to the edge of their seats the entire game. Iowa State drove to the Wildcat 36 towards the end of the game, but was unable to capitalize and fell to K-State 27-20. K-State scored on their opening possession after forcing the Cyclones to punt, making a field goal to take a 3-0 lead. The Cyclones answered right back on the ensuing drive with a touchdown making the score 7-3 in favor of Iowa State. The Wildcats would not stand for that, however, and scored a touchdown on a 9 play 67 yard drive to make the score 10-7 K-State. That ended the scoring for the first half, as K-State took the lead into the locker room.
Iowa State quickly erased that lead on the first play as they returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown, making the score 14-10 in favor of ISU. The Wildcats quickly responded, taking back the lead with a touchdown barely a minute later. Iowa State tied the game with a field goal on their next drive, and then took back the lead with another field goal with 3:32 to go in the third. Iowa State looked pretty good taking a 20-17 lead into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats answered with a touchdown to take the lead 24-20. K-State tacked on a field goal with 1:38 to go to make the score 27-20. The Cyclones put up a great last drive, but were unable to get past the Wildcat defense, and K-State held on for the win. Next week, the purple clad warriors will take on UCF back in Manhattan at 11:30 am.
While K-State and Mizzou cheered in celebration of their wins, the crimson and blue fan base wept in misery. The Jayhawks, hot off the heels of an impressive win over a ranked team, disappointed the KU faithful as they fell to Southern Miss 31-16 in Hattiesburg. Southern Miss scored a touchdown on their opening possession after forcing the Jayhawks to punt in the previous possession. KU then drove the ball and was able to tack on a field goal at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Jayhawks added another field goal to make the score 14-6 after a Southern Miss touchdown. This is when it started to get ugly. Southern Miss blocked a punt, and returned it to the end zone for a Golden Eagle touchdown, making the score 21-6. That was the score that Southern Miss took into the locker room at halftime.
The Jayhawks opened the scoring in the second half by scoring a touchdown on their first possession of the third quarter, making it 21-10. After punts by both teams, the Golden Eagles had a long drive that ended in a touchdown, making it 28-10. Southern Miss opened the fourth quarter scoring with a field goal, lengthening their lead to 31-10. Kansas got a touchdown with 5:23 to go in the game, but the extra point by Jacob Branstetter was missed, keeping the score at 31-16. Both defenses held the rest of the game, and 31-16 in favor of Southern Miss ended up being the final. The 1-2 Jayhawks will come back home to face New Mexico State in Lawrence at 6:00 pm on Saturday.
Like all the college teams in the area, the Kansas City Chiefs had trouble with an opponent they should have easily beaten. They beat the Cleveland Browns 16-14 in Cleveland, but were kept on edge the entire game. Thanks to an improved performance from Matt Cassel (16-28, 176 yards, 2 interceptions) a pick-six interception from Brandon Flowers, and a successful, gusty fourth and one play in the fourth quarter by Thomas Jones, the Chiefs record is now 2-0, the first time this has happened since 2005. Mr. Irrelevant Ryan Succop hit 3 field goals in the game, which came in very handy, including what would be the game winner. The Chief's struck first with a field goal, but were quickly answered with a Brown's touchdown. Now trailing 7-3, Brandon Flowers of the Chiefs intercepted the ball from Seneca Wallace and returned it 33 yards to make it 10-7 Chiefs. That was short lived as the Browns scored another touchdown before the half ended to make it 14-10 at halftime.
The second half was more of a defensive battle, as there were no touchdowns by either team, and the Browns didn't score at all. Thanks to a field goal in the third quarter from Succop, followed by another one in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs were able to pull ahead 16-14. The fourth quarter field goal was a bit of a disappointment, since Kansas City had driven to the Brown's 5, but was unable to punch it in for the touchdown. It didn't matter in the end though. With 6 minutes left, the Brown's punted, hoping to get the ball back. That wasn't the case as the Chief's kept driving and driving. At the two minute warning, Todd Haley had a tough decision to make. He elected to hand the ball to Thomas Jones on fourth and one. After a lengthy review, it was decided that Jones got the first down. The Chiefs knelt down after that and picked up the win. Next week, the Chiefs return to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the San Francisco 49ers at 12:00 pm.
In the epic battle for fourth place in the American League Central, not much was decided. The Royals lost the first two games to an overpowering Cleveland Indians team, but the Royals toughed out a win on Sunday to insure that they would stay only a half game behind Cleveland. Today, the Royals will take on Detroit in Detroit. Detroit and Kansas City are both eliminated from Playoff contention, so they will only be playing for pride. Fourth place is not out of reach for the Royals, but unfortunately, third place is. As we enter the final two weeks of the season, we will see how much gas the Royals have left, and who will shine enough to be considered to play next season.
On the subject of Kansas City baseball, the T-bones lost Game 3 of the Northern League Championship series to Fargo, which resulted in Fargo winning the title for the second straight season. I would like to congratulate the T-Bones on a great season, and wishing them luck on a great season next year.
And finally, the Wizards stayed in the Playoff hunt by beating Chivas USA 2-0 in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Toronto and San Jose also won this weekend, which means the standings didn't change. This means the Wizards game on Wednesday against Houston at Community America Ballpark at 7:30 pm is another must win game. The Wizards are no way out of the race, but they need to play extremely well the rest of the season, but I and the rest of Kansas City believe they can do it.
Here is the Schedule for KC sports from today until Thursday.
Monday: Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers, 6:05 pm CT, FSN.
Tuesday: Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers, 6:05 pm CT, FSN
Wednesday: Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers, 6:05 pm CT, FSN.
Kansas City Wizards vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 pm CT, KCWE.
Thursday: Kansas City Royals @ Cleveland Indians, 6:05 pm CT. FSN.
So I hope you enjoyed the second issue of the State of the KC Sports Nation. Feedback is welcome and appreciated. Issue 3 will be out on Thursday. Peace Out.
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