Penn State the underdog? It’s possible in Big Ten East

Defending Big Ten champion Penn State returns a Heisman Trophy candidate at running back and a record-setting quarterback, and the Nittany Lions generally are regarded as one of the 10 best teams in the country.

They’re not even picked to win their division this season.
The Big Ten East favorite, as usual, is Ohio State, which is loaded with as much talent as ever and motivated to atone for an embarrassing finish to 2016.

So as great an accomplishment as it was for Penn State to go from being picked fourth in the division to winning its first league title since 2008, another grind is about to start. Coach James Franklin wants his players to put last season out of their minds.

“We’ve talked about it enough. The fans have talked about it. The media’s talked about it,” Franklin said. “They’ve been given rings. So that’s behind us. We have moved on.”

Saquon Barkley thrust himself into 2017 Heisman consideration after a dominant performance in the last-second Rose Bowl loss to USC. Trace McSorley led the Big Ten in passer rating and threw for four touchdowns in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin and the bowl. The question is whether a defense that allowed 34 points a game against ranked opponents can hold up its end.

A three-week stretch spanning October and November — Michigan at home and road games at Ohio State and Michigan State — likely will be the key to the Lions’ season.

The Favorites

Ohio State has 15 starters back after having seven players drafted, including six of the top 70 picks. You can be sure Urban Meyer will have the Buckeyes on a redemption tour after they lost 31-0 to Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

In the West, Wisconsin brings back an experienced QB in Alex Hornibrook and a seasoned defense from its 11-win team. The Badgers don’t play Ohio State, and their toughest road game is at Nebraska.

Top Players

Penn State’s Barkley is going for a third straight 1,000-yard season. Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett should flourish under new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. Northwestern’s Justin Jackson will finish his career as the FBS’ No. 7 rusher if he matches last season’s 1,524 yards.

Ohio State DL Tyquan Lewis was Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2016. Indiana LB Tegray Scales led the nation with 23 1⁄2 tackles for loss and a Big Ten-leading 126 stops. Iowa LB Josey Jewell has started 30 consecutive games and made 124 tackles last season.

Key Games

Florida vs. Michigan, Sept. 2 in Arlington, Texas; Pitt at Penn State, Nebraska at Oregon, Oklahoma at Ohio State, Sept. 9; Wisconsin at BYU, Sept. 16; Northwestern at Wisconsin, Sept. 30; Wisconsin at Nebraska, Oct. 7; Michigan at Penn State, Oct. 21; Penn State at Ohio State, Oct. 28; Michigan at Wisconsin, Nov. 18; Iowa at Nebraska, Nov. 24; Ohio State at Michigan, Nov. 25.

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History at PNC Park! Pirates’ Josh Harrison ends Rich Hill’s no-hit bid with walk-off homer

One immaculate swing by Josh Harrison on Wednesday erased nine innings of near-perfection by Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill.

Harrison’s home run in the 10th inning was the only hit Hill allowed in the game. It lifted the Pirates to a deliciously improbable 1-0 victory.

“It’s insane how baseball works,” said Pirates starter Trevor Williams, who tossed eight shutout innings. “Baseball sucks at times. Baseball’s weird. It’s designed to break your heart.”

Williams paused and grinned.

“I’m so glad we hit that walk-off homer.”

Harrison is the first player in MLB history to break up a no-hitter in extra innings with a walk-off home run.

Over the first eight innings, Hill racked up 10 strikeouts and did not allow a baserunner. His bid for the 24th perfect game in MLB history was shattered in the ninth inning, when third baseman Logan Forsythe booted Jordy Mercer’s grounder for an error.

The perfect game was gone, but Hill still had not allowed a hit.

“You kinda felt we would scratch one (run) through, and it was kind of meant to happen,” Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said. “Looks like it wasn’t, though. It doesn’t feel that great, not being able to scratch one in for Richie.”
Leading off the 10th, Harrison jacked an 88 mph fastball over the left-field wall. Curtis Granderson leaped and reached into the stands, but came up empty.

“When I hit it, I knew I didn’t get it all, but I knew I got enough,” Harrison said. “I knew it was a ball Granderson could get to. I was just hoping he didn’t rob it. When I saw him come down on the ground, I felt like his reaction was, ‘Aw, man, I just missed it.’ ”

In the fourth inning, Harrison tried to break up what was then a perfect game with a bunt. He popped it up, and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez made a fine sliding catch.

In the 10th, Harrison wanted something bigger than a dink single.
“It was my fourth time seeing (Hill), and his stuff wasn’t as sharp as it was in my first three at-bats,” Harrison said. “I felt I had him synced up pretty good, I got a pitch and didn’t miss it.”

Harrison was hunting a fastball — no surprise, considering 10 of the 11 pitches he saw from Hill were four-seamers. The last one was down in the zone but caught the middle of the plate.

“It was a bad pitch,” Hill said. “Late in the game like that, you need to make better pitches.”

Williams was not unhittable, but he matched zeros with Hill for eight innings. Williams gave up seven hits and four walks and struck out five.
“Williams pitched like a guy who’s got way more time in than he’s got,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He pitched like an experienced starter.”
Williams is in the midst of his first full season in the majors. Hill, a 13-year veteran, has appeared in 239 games, including 112 starts. He has pitched for eight big league teams and the independent Long Island Ducks.

“I know the Cliff Notes of the Rich Hill story,” Hurdle said before the game. “It’s the kind of story that can get made into a movie someday.”

Hill was sharp from the start, working fast and controlling the strike zone. In the sixth, Hill quick-pitched Chris Stewart, who tapped into a ground out. As he jogged to the dugout, Stewart barked at Hill.

Second baseman Chase Utley went airborne to rob Josh Bell of a single in the eighth.

The game might’ve had a Hollywood ending for Hill if not for the excellence of Williams. The right-hander threw a career-high 114 pitches and was aided by spectacular defensive plays by Harrison and Mercer.

“It’s crazy,” Hurdle said. “We got one hit. What did they leave on, 11? It shows the beauty of the game, the things you can’t draw up beforehand.”
The Dodgers stranded 11 men on base by going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

“I’m sad for Rich,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “You look at opportunities that a player has to have a chance at a no-hitter, and he gave himself every opportunity. I’m very excited for Rich because he threw the ball so well tonight but disappointed that he didn’t get that no-hitter.”
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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Newcomer to Rural Ohio Politics Upsets Seated Vinton County Prosecuting Attorney

Campbell also shared his thoughts on the duties and responsibilities of a Prosecuting Attorney. Campbell feels it is important to work closely with law enforcement, and assist them in gaining the funding and equipment needed to battle crime in Vinton County.

“The Prosecutor is the chief law enforcement officer in the county, as such, it is extremely important to have a positive and helpful working relationship ship with law enforcement,” Campbell remarked. “They need the tools and funding to make their cases, and combat crime, and I will work hard to secure funding and make connections so Vinton County doesn’t feel isolated in their efforts for a safe community.”

Campbell stated he has already spoken with Sheriff Dave Hickey and McArthur Police Chief Tony Wood regarding the issues each face in fulfilling their duties. An increase in drug related crimes were among the top priorities discussed.

“Searching for drugs, especially during the marijuana growing season is a lengthy task for our law enforcement departments,” Campbell stated. “I would like to search for grant funding to perhaps purchase a helicopter for use in such searches, among other potential situations which can arise. We are all a part of the same team, working toward the same goal. A good partnership with law enforcement is something that I get a sense has been lacking, and I aim to improve the communication and support between our departments.”

The amount money owed in delinquent property taxes in the county is an issue Campbell heard a lot about while on the campaign trail, similar to the conveyancing lawyer fees in Singapore. “A common sense approach to keeping collection current makes the situation less difficult to deal with. For starters, I will stay on top of the delinquencies and not allow them to accumulate to the point where a large debt hurts both the county, and the property owner,” Campbell said.

As for immediate plans, Campbell stated he is hoping for a smooth transition before taking office. “I hope that my opponent will work with me in regard to open cases, and other office related issues,” Campbell stated. “I will be taking a long look at budgetary issues, see where we can streamline and run the office in the most efficient manner. I want to make the best use of resources at hand, and work to secure funding for needed equipment and technology tools if necessary.”

Campbell, along with his wife Crystal, and step-daughter Chelsea are making their home in McArthur. The candidate was an avid pilot after being discharged from the army, and hopes to be able to enjoy the hobby once again here in Vinton County.

About the Author

Donald Campbell, an experience and professional lawyer in New York, he has almost 20 years experience in property and conveyancing laws. He is also the owner of and the chairman of conveyancing laws association in Singapore and Malaysia.

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Huntingdon Bearcats

Bearcats Overpower Mt. Union in Season Opener 57 – 0

The Huntingdon Bearcats opened up their 2017 football campaign on Friday August 25, 2017 at home against their county rival Mount Union Trojans in a rather abrupt fashion. Scoring within minutes of the kickoff, the Bearcats continued to unleash a powerful offensive attack with numerous turnovers to overwhelm their guests 57 – 0.

The Cats defense also came up with several defensive plays throughout the evening shutting down the Trojan offense from the outset. Huntingdon will take their 1 – 0 record on the road on Friday September 1st against the Bellefonte Red Raiders to kickoff the Labor Day weekend.

Hear the entire Huntingdon vs Mt. Union game as called by Dave Shannon and Chad States below from The AIR Network and 94.1 FM in Huntingdon who will broadcast all 10 Bearcat games this season.

Penguins’ preseason opener at PSU sells out

The Penguins’ preseason opener against the Buffalo Sabres at Penn State’s Pegula Ice Arena on Sept. 19 is sold out.

Tickets available to the public sold out in July. Last week, all student tickets were sold as well. In a Thursday release, Penn State recommended fans who still want to attend turn to the resale market.

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Landry Jones plays well in loss to Colts, leaves no doubt who is Steelers backup QB

On a night when Ben Roethlisberger appeared for the first time in the preseason, Landry Jones also made his debut and ended any debate about his status as the Steelers’ backup quarterback.

After an oblique injury sidelined him the first two weeks, Jones led the Steelers to 12 points and a second-half lead before throwing a costly fourth-quarter interception in a 19-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field.

Jones threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Grimble and directed two field-goal drives while playing the second and third quarters plus almost all of the fourth. He passed for 163 yards, completing 21 of 31 passes.

At one point, Jones was 15 of 19 for 94 yards.

“I thought he did a solid job in a lot of areas, particularly for a guy that’s getting his first action, not only his first preseason action but he missed a lot of practice time,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “It’s not Landry’s first rodeo. … I wasn’t surprised by that. We’ll continue to push forward, but a solid start.”

Jones rallied the Steelers from a 13-3 deficit, with Chris Boswell’s third field goal giving them a 15-13 lead late in the third quarter.

After the Colts went ahead, 19-15, Jones moved the Steelers 79 yards to the Colts 1. On a slant pass intended for rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster, cornerback Chris Milton jumped the route and intercepted in the end zone.

The Steelers re-signed Jones to a two-year contract in March on the first day of free agency. But his oblique injury gave fourth-round draft pick Joshua Dobbs a chance to start against the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons, playing late into the third quarter each time.

Dobbs didn’t do much to show he was ready to unseat Jones, completing 18 of 34 attempts for 170 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions for a 40.1 rating.

Dobbs was 4 of 7 for 24 yards in mop-up duty against the Colts.

Jones ran the two-minute offense late in the half, moving the Steelers 63 yards in 14 plays. Boswell kicked a 41-yard field goal with six seconds remaining. He opened the second half by directing an eight-play, 63-yard drive that ended with Grimble’s touchdown catch.

“He looked good, I was happy for him,” said Grimble, who had three catches for 26 yards. “For him to get back out there and sling it, I was happy for him, and I was happy to catch a touchdown from him.”

On the Steelers’ next possession, Jones moved the offense 52 yards in 12 plays, with Boswell kicking a 37-yard field goal for a 15-13 lead.

A first-team offense still awaiting the return of running back Le’Veon Bell produced three points in the first quarter while Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown were on the field.

Roethlisberger and Brown each played two series.

Roethlisberger completed 6 of 9 passes for 73 yards but lost a fumble. Brown caught two passes for 28 yards.

“I liked some of the things we were able to do,” Tomlin said. “I thought we were able to move the ball fluidly when we were not preventing us from doing that.”

On the first drive, the Steelers showcased Knile Davis, who was signed in March to back up Bell. Davis gained 21 yards on two runs and added another 9 yards on a screen. The Steelers moved to the Colts’ 33 before Roethlisberger was stripped of the ball by outside linebacker John Simon as he cocked his arm to pass. Haasan Ridgeway recovered for the Colts.

The Steelers fared better on the second drive, as Boswell kicked a 36-yard field goal to cap an 11-play, 57-yard march.

“It was okay,” Roethlisberger said. “We got some work. We’d like to put up seven points on the board both times, but it was good. We got done what we wanted to accomplish.”

Roethlisberger got Brown involved, hitting the All-Pro receiver with passes that covered 13 and 15 yards. On the second completion, Brown reached behind to pull in the pass. Roethlisberger also had completions of 12 and 15 to slot receiver Eli Rogers.

The drive stalled at the Colts’ 18 when Davis ran for no gain on first down, and two passes to tight end

Jesse James were broken up by safety Matthias Farley.
One week after the Atlanta Falcons scored 13 points and gained 244 yards, including 197 passing, on three drives against the first-team defense, the Steelers again yielded 13 points in the first half.

The defense permitted 175 first-half passing yards to Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris. That included 63 yards on a four-play opening drive that produced a 7-0 lead for the Colts.

A 55-yard pass play resulted when Artie Burns’ tackle attempt was interrupted by safety Robert Golden, whose hit freed receiver Donte Moncrief for a gain to the Steelers 7. A pass interference call against cornerback Ross Cockrell on third-and-3 set up Frank Gore’s 1-yard touchdown run. On the penalty, Cockrell grabbed Moncrief’s shirt, although it appeared the pass was uncatchable.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

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Talk Show Tackles Regional Issues

The first week of the Steve Austin Mid Day Show is in the books! Topics of discussion included regional crime and Johnstown, the shooting of Elip Cheatham in June of 2012, the dismissal of Bishop McCort Principal Ken Salem, Ambit Energy comes to the region, People Natural Gas’ proposal to the PUC to increase gas bills, the new Sweet Frog in Johnstown, Blair County Commissioner Ted Beam with an update on the sale of the Valley View Home, Anthony Bullett with a proposed LGBT ordinance in Huntingdon County, Nancy Compton with information on juicing, Adam Pfingstl with information regarding the upcoming PRIDE Telethon in Huntingdon County, Ron Esposito on increasing businesses in Greensburg, Chris Anderson on the current Johnstown Tomahawk season and more!

Whew! Great start for the first week. Look for some of the interviews on our website this weekend under our Podcast section if you missed it live.

Listen to the Steve Austin Mid Day show weekdays from 9 to Noon right here on the A.I.R. Network available online and all mobile devices. Click on Tune In and enjoy!

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