Shots in the Darke


What a classic encounter in South Bend Saturday night! THE scored on the next-to-last
play from scrimmage to claim a 17-14 victory over Notre Dame in what could only be called, in the words of former Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman, a “titanic struggle” between two fabled college football programs.

Chip Trayanum’s one-yard plunge with one second left gave the sixth-ranked (at the time)
Bucks the win over the ninth-ranked Irish, capping a 65-yard scoring drive in the final 86
seconds. Kyle McCord, Emeka Egbuka, TreVeyon Henderson, and a stout defense all
contributed to a win that carried with it possible national playoff implications.

And what do you think Irish fans are feeling about their team having only 10 men on the field for the Bucks’ scoring play, something that happened another time or two during the contest? Evidently math isn’t a major at the home of the Golden Dome! Also, Notre Dame’s last win over THE? How about back-to-back wins in 1935-1936!

Coming off of a loss to the Steelers last week, the Browns defense reasserted itself Sunday,
completely dominating the Titans’ offense enroute to a 27-3 victory. Deshaun Watson had
perhaps his best outing in the orange and brown and Myles Garrett recorded 3 1/2 sacks in
leading a defensive effort that limited Tennessee to only 94 total yards. With the win Cleveland improves to 2-1 and reestablishes itself as a viable contender in the AFC North.

The Bengals somewhat righted the ship Monday night, defeating the Rams 19-16. Joe
Burrow was able to do just enough on a gimpy leg (completing 26 of 49 passes, most of the short variety) while Joe Mixon ran for 65 yards including a 14-yard TD run. Evan McPherson converted four long field goals while the Bengals defense, for the most part, held Matthew Stafford and the LA offense in check. The two main things were the fact that Burrow seemed not to further damage his injured calf and the Bengals at 1-2 are only a game behind the Browns, Ravens, and Steelers in the AFC North.

Now for some rapid fire thoughts about the weekend’s activities:

The Reds lost two of three to the Pirates including a gut punch loss on Saturday, blowing a
9-0 lead in an eventual 13-12 debacle that jeopardized any hopes of obtaining a wild card spot in the NL playoffs. With only five games remaining Cincy needs to win at least four on the road with Cleveland and St. Louis and hope for some Cubs and/or Marlins losses.

Joey Votto made what could have been his final appearance at home for the Reds. The 40-
year old is in the final year of his contract and with the abundance of young talent emerging on the roster appears to be unlikely to return. Here’s today’s trivia question—what year was Votto named the NL’s MVP and how many times was he an All-Star?

Great game in the MAC as Marion Local defeated Versailles 14-13. Pencil in both teams to
go far in the playoffs, the Flyers in D-VII and the Tigers in D-VI.

Tri-Village and Ansonia continued their winning ways in the WOAC while Bradford lost a
heartbreaker to Dixie. The MVL has a three-team race in the Miami division after Butler upset Tipp City, leaving the Aviators, Red Devils, and Troy all at 4-1 in division play while in the Valley division Sidney at 4-1 holds a game lead over both Xenia and Stebbins. In the MAC Coldwater and Marion Local are tied with 4-0 league marks followed closely by Minster and Versailles at 3-1. For all of you high school football aficionados, the last four weeks of the regular season should be as good as it gets!

A funny thing happened on the way to Hollywood for “Coach Prime”, Deion Sanders, and
his Colorado team as Oregon thrashed the Buffaloes 42-6. As the Ducks’ coach Dan Lanning said in his pregame speech “the Cinderella story is over!”.

Georgia continues on its way in a quest for a third consecutive NCAA football title. The
Dawgs face only two teams that remain ranked and other than Ole Miss and a somewhat
overrated Tennessee squad has what should be the SEC’s easiest remaining schedule.

How in the world does Denver allow Miami to put 70 points on the scoreboard? Do you
think Coach Sean Payton is regretting signing with the Broncos after a successful tenure in
New Orleans? By the way, the most points scored in a regular season NFL game was the 72
put up by Washington over the New York Giants in 1966. The most ever was the 1940 route of Washington by Chicago in the NFL championship game, by a score of 73-0. The game was made famous by Coach George Halas re-introducing the T-formation to pro football, as ten different Bears scored touchdowns. Da Bears!!

Joey Votto was a NL All-Star six times and the league MVP in 2010 when he hit .324 with 37 home runs and 113 runs batted in. The Canadian has amassed 356 career homers with 1,144 RBIs and a .295 average.

Finally, it’s been noted that Barbie toy sales in the U.S. increased 25% in the two months
since the release of the “Barbie” movie. Actress Margot Robbie has the lead role and actually looks like a real-life Barbie complete with all of the accessories. Like most girls, my daughters both had their share of the different Barbie variations. All I know is that one of the most frustrating late Christmas Eve activities I spent was trying to assemble a Barbie house—I swear (and I did quite a bit!) the directions were in some foreign language I didn’t recognize!! Have a great week!!