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Advocates hope for a Biden drive on gun legislation, but the odds are bleak.

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Advocates hope for a Biden drive on gun legislation, but the odds are bleak.
Advocates hope for a Biden drive on gun legislation, but the odds are bleak.

Advocates hope for a Biden drive on gun legislation, but the odds are bleak.

 

President Joe Biden delivered a prime-time speech to the nation and presided over a Rose Garden ceremony after Congress approved the massive COVID-19 relief bill.

After the House passed legislation requiring background checks for gun sales, a long-standing Democratic concern, there was not even a comment from the White House.

After a string of mass shootings, Biden’s views on gun control have changed along with his party, from a reluctance to introduce too many limits that blue-collar Democrats opposed to a near-unanimous call to do something about gun violence.

Even common policies like background checks are low on Biden’s priority list in the early months of his presidency, and their chances in the Senate are bleak.

The two bills passed by the House last week would broaden background checks on gun sales, marking the first major progress on gun control since Democrats gained control of both houses of Congress and the White House.

They’re among a slew of big bills passed by House Democrats in recent weeks, including ones to extend voting rights and promote union organizing, that now face an uncertain fate in the Senate. Biden’s supporters are hoping that he will become more interested in the background check legislation.

“I hope and expect President Biden to be able to participate in hand-to-hand lobbying in the Senate on background checks,” said Connecticut Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy, who has led the Senate’s drive for gun control.

Early in his Senate career, Biden was more conservative on gun issues, but by the mid-1990s, he had helped pass the Brady bill, which required federal background checks for gun sales, and he had written the 1994 crime bill, which contained a 10-year assault weapons ban.

During his presidential campaign, Biden supported a broad gun-control platform, endorsing an assault weapons ban and buyback policy that was once seen as divisive and is unlikely to be implemented in a divided Congress.

Last month, on the third anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, Biden released a statement reiterating his support for such reforms, causing the National Rifle Association to call him “increasingly hostile” to gun rights.

In a tweet, Biden said, “Today, I am calling on Congress to pass commonsense gun law changes, such as enforcing background checks on all gun purchases, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and ending protection for gun manufacturers who knowingly place weapons of war on our streets.”

However, the bills that just passed the House gained just a smattering of Republican support, and they face a much more difficult path in the Senate, where 10 Republicans will have to join all 50 Democrats and independents for them to pass.

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, who introduced one of the bills, indicated that in order to move them forward, Democrats would have to drop the 60-vote threshold for passing legislation.

In an interview, Clyburn said, “I think it’s about time for us to get rid of the filibuster.”

However, a number of Democrats, including Biden, have expressed resistance to changing the filibuster. As a result, gun-control proponents are hoping that the politics of gun control have changed so that more Republicans would be able to support legislation that is broadly accepted by the American public.

With Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pledging a floor vote on the background check measures, Democrats are confident that Republicans will rise to the occasion.

They’re also inspired by the NRA’s diminishing power, which filed for bankruptcy this year after being outspent for the first time in the 2018 election by gun-control groups.

Last week, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said, “I think the implosion of the NRA, the increasing support among the American people, and the inevitability of increased support gives us an opportunity we haven’t had before.” “What has changed is that we now have a president who can place pressure on our colleagues,” he said.

While much of Biden’s gun-control agenda is unlikely to succeed in a Senate that is evenly split, some of his policies can be enforced by prioritizing federal resources. For example, Biden has suggested directing the FBI to notify state and local law enforcement authorities if anyone attempting to purchase a gun fails a background check. He’s also said he’ll ask his attorney general to look at ways to improve gun laws’ compliance.

However, the Biden administration has yet to indicate how the president will participate. Biden is looking forward to working with Congress “to advance agendas, including repealing weapons manufacturers’ liability shields,” according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. He “will look for opportunities to be engaged” on the background check bills, she said.

Democrats continue to face electoral obstacles. Although 57 percent of Americans want tighter gun controls, according to a Gallup poll released in November, this was the lowest number in favor since 2016. In January, gun sales set a new high, continuing a year-long upward trend.

Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, have been working together for years to find a solution on background checks.

Toomey’s office said in a statement that the senator supports a previous bipartisan proposal with Manchin, but that “action on this issue is only possible if the bill in question is narrow and respects the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

Despite this, supporters say they are hopeful that with a largely united Democratic Party and the president on their side, they will hopefully see some change.

Everytown USA President John Feinblatt cited Democratic victories in the 2018 midterm elections, in which he campaigned publicly for gun control, as proof that politics is shifting.

“The White House and both chambers of Congress are dominated by Democrats. He said that the NRA is in the worst shape it has ever been. “It’s become clear that gun-control regulations aren’t just sound policy; they’re also good politics.”

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Colorado State rides Cayden Camper’s 6 FGs to win over San Jose State

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Colorado State rides Cayden Camper’s 6 FGs to win over San Jose State

FORT COLLINS — Cayden Camper kicked six field goals — three in each half — and Colorado State opened Mountain West Conference play with a 32-14 victory over San Jose State on Saturday.

Colorado State (2-3, 1-0) grabbed the lead on their opening drive when Jaylen Thomas scored on a 1-yard run to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive. Camper made it 10-0 with 28 seconds left in the first quarter on a 28-yard field goal. Camper sandwiched short field goals around a Spartans’ TD — Nick Nash connected with Derrick Deese Jr. for the 18-yard score — and the Rams led 16-7 at halftime.

Todd Centeio hooked up with Ty McCullouch for a 60-yard scoring strike on the Rams’ first possession of the third quarter to push their lead to 23-7. Camper kicked a 53-yard field goal to make it 26-7 and connected from 38 and 24 yards out in the final quarter to cap the scoring.

Centeio completed 19 of 23 passes for 232 yards for Colorado State. A’Jon Vivens rushed for 114 yards on 31 carries.

Nash was 11-of-22 passing for 154 yards and two TDs with one interception for San Jose State (3-3, 1-1). The Spartans managed just 267 yards of offense, while yielding 449.

 

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Tower Grove South neighborhood hit with multiple car break-ins overnight

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Tower Grove South neighborhood hit with multiple car break-ins overnight

ST. LOUIS – The Tower Grove South community is cleaning up major damage after nearly 30 cars were broken into overnight. 

Around 1:30 a.m. on Hartford Street homeowners’ security cameras caught what appeared to be multiple men checking car doors. 

In another video, one can hear windows being shattered. 

“We’ve been having a real big problem, people breaking into cars and stealing things and our neighborhood should not have these type(s) of things because this is a very (well-kept) area,” one neighborhood resident said. 

“It’s just ridiculous that there’s that little respect for people’s property,” resident Nathan McDermott said.

Another resident who chose to not be identified said her car was hit. A taped-up window is now what’s left, a sign of lingering frustration.

“It looks like they tried to hit the front window because there (are) cracks on it, but they smashed out the back window,” she said.

Residents said two more streets were hit as well, including Wyoming and Juniata.

“Only once has my truck been broken into, but this is the second time in a month now that things have been hit like this, so it’s becoming an issue,” McDermott said.  
 
Some say they have filed police reports. 

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Red Sox Notebook: Chris Sale staying in the rotation, but Nick Pivetta likely for Game 4

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Mastrodonato: Red Sox have a Chris Sale problem and a Tanner Houck solution

Chris Sale has hardly pitched at all these last two weeks.

At the most meaningful point in the season, Sale has put up three consecutive stinkers against the Orioles, Nationals and Rays, throwing just 8-2/3 innings total while allowing 10 runs.

Because his pitch count has been so low, with just 62 pitches last Sunday and 30 pitches on Friday, there was some thought that the Red Sox could fire him up as a high-octane reliever for one of these games at Fenway Park.

But manager Alex Cora put the kibosh on that Saturday, when he said because of Sale’s injury history, the Sox wouldn’t use him out of relief this postseason. He’s a candidate to start a potential Game 5 in Tampa, if the series lasts that far.

Nick Pivetta is likely to take the ball in Game 4 on Monday, though he’ll also be available out of relief on Saturday. He’d probably only have an inning in him after throwing 73 pitches out of relief in Game 1 on Thursday night, so it likely makes more sense to hold him for a Game 4 start on three days of rest.

Cora said that Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez are also candidates to start Game 4.

Tanner Houck, who threw 61 pitches Friday, will be in the bullpen for both games at home.

Eovaldi making history

Nathan Eovaldi will take the ball in Game 3 on Saturday for the 4:07 p.m. ET start on MLB Network. His 1.63 ERA in 27-2/3 innings in the postseason is the 16th-best mark of any pitcher with at least 25 playoff innings in the last 75 years.

“I love it,” he said. “It’s my favorite time of the year. Game 3’s huge. If we win tomorrow, then we need one more and we’re going to be at home. So having split the series over there in Tampa 1-1 and then having the opportunity to take it here again in Boston, it’s huge for us.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash got to know Eovaldi when he pitched in Tampa before the Rays traded him to Boston in 2018.

“Happy for Nate,” Cash said. “What a great person, great teammate, all of that we experienced. I’m sure the Red Sox have experienced the last three or four years now as well.

“Look, he’s a power pitcher. I think he’s evolved here over the last couple seasons being able to use the cutter, the curveball, the split a little bit more. He’s learned about himself, but the adjustments that he makes from start to start, it was talked about from the adjustments he made from the Yankee game during the regular season to the Wild-Card game. I would anticipate that he’s going to have his own adjustments that he is going to want to use against us.”

Eovaldi has faced the Rays four times this year and held them to a .160 average and .537 OPS while posting a 2.39 ERA. The Red Sox are 3-1 when Eovaldi starts against them.

X factor

Asked about Xander Bogaerts on Saturday, Cash joked, “I’m tired of seeing him.”

Bogaerts is 5-for-9 with a homer and two RBIs in the series so far and torched the Rays with a .429 average and 1.109 OPS in 58 plate appearances against them this year.

“He’s very talented, just a special player, superstar,” Cash said. “You look at the Red Sox teams from the past, and there are many names. I think Xander kind of blended with — he was a young guy, and now he’s taken over.

“You know where he’s hitting in the lineup. He never seems to get out of the moment. He stays in it so well. Just a really, really good player.”

Eovaldi called Bogaerts “our top leader in the clubhouse. He communicates with everybody.”

Unexpected relief

One of the surprises over the last month for the Red Sox has been Ryan Brasier, who didn’t make his season debut until Sept. 3 but has quickly become Cora’s first choice out of relief.

He threw a perfect inning Friday, striking out all three batters he faced.

“Honestly, man, it’s super gratifying,” he said. “Working hard to get through the calf thing and then taking the line drive and adding another couple months to the rehab and trying to get back to normal, and then kind of struggling a little bit when I first got back to finding it, now back to where we planned on being before I got hurt in Spring Training. That’s pitching in big games in the playoffs.”

Hansel Robles, acquired from the Twins at the trade deadline, has also skyrocketed into the high-leverage spots out of the bullpen. He hasn’t allowed a run since Aug. 28, throwing 15-2/3 scoreless innings with 20 strikeouts in that span.

“Both have been amazing,” Cora said. “They made some adjustments throughout the season. I think Hansel had thrown more strikes, and he settled down. His stuff has always been great. It’s just a matter of throwing more strikes and then use certain pitches in certain situations.”

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Celtics Notebook: Jaylen Brown likely to miss rest of preseason after COVID diagnosis

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Celtics Notebook: Practice pace a sprint in early going

Celtics coach Ime Udoka doesn’t anticipate getting Jaylen Brown back for the rest of exhibition season, but Saturday night expressed hope his All-Star forward will return in time to log practice time prior to the Oct. 20 season opener in New York.

Brown, though asymptomatic, tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, and under NBA guidelines, must go into quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. Udoka knows the drill well, since his own breakout case of COVID forced him into quarantine.

“With the time frame and the quarantine we’re thinking he’ll miss the preseason, but hopefully everything goes well and he’s back before the season starts,” Udoka said before the Celtics faced Toronto in their second exhibition season game.

“When I had it I had a 10-day period, so with that timeline he should be back,” said the coach. “Depending on that, he’ll have a chance to get in shape and pick up where he left off. Hopefully he’s good to go by the season.”

Though Udoka was vaccinated, he would not say whether Brown was also a breakout case.

“Overall we don’t speak on our players,” he said. “They have personal preference and in general that’s something we don’t discuss, our players. The main thing is we’re worried about his health and safety and getting him back on the court as soon as possible. Leave it at that.”

Josh Richardson, who has indicated he’s not vaccinated, would not answer a similar question two days earlier.

“I mean, I’m not really here to talk about that right now,” he said. “If you want to talk about basketball or anything that related, we can talk about that. I’ve already spoken on that subject.”

Richardson did not attend a team dinner on Wednesday night. Under NBA regulations, non-vaccinated players are subject to more testing and not allowed to dine or sit on an airplane or bus in close proximity to their vaccinated teammates.

Udoka said he’s confident the proper protocols are in place, and added that every player except Brown tested negative during the latest round of testing..

“It’s always a concern, but we have the proper testing protocols in place and everybody’s getting checked out,” he said. “So far so good, as was the case with me; it didn’t affect anybody else overall, and I was around the guys for a little bit before I found out. So we’re hoping it stays with that. Like I said, we’ve been more vigorous with the testing the last few days, and everybody’s coming out clean.”

Schroder sits

The Celtics were also missing Dennis Schroder Saturday night as the result of a left knee contusion suffered in practice. The guard attempted to loosen up his leg during pre-game warmups, to no avail.

“He took a fall yesterday in practice,” said Udoka. “He went through shoot-around fine today and wanted to pick it up and go a little more vigorously on the court pre-game, and so he’s out there now.”

Langford gets a look

Udoka started Romeo Langford — the hero of the Celtics’ Game 1 exhibition win over Orlando — in place of Brown. Al Horford started at power forward, after Juancho Hernangomez was given a starting look against the Magic.

“We’re switching it up on a game-by-game basis,” said Udoka. “Jaylen, Jayson (Tatum) and Marcus (Smart) for the most part are going to play their roles. Robert (Williams) as well. It’s just kind of looking at that 4-spot. And with Jaylen out now, Romeo is starting, and we’ll go with Al tonight.”

Udoka also plans to slowly increase the minutes ration of his main players.

“We’ll increase that slightly in the next few games,” he said. “It’s not like back in the day when you had seven, eight games to play guys and ramp it up. We want to increase their minutes overall, so we’ll keep them probably in the 28-minute range. But like I said, with Jaylen out there’s a void to fill, so other young guys and some of the other wings and small-ball fours will get time there. But I’d say overall we’ll keep our main guys at 28 for tonight.”

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11 winners of this year’s Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Awards in Boston

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11 winners of this year’s Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Awards in Boston

When COVID hit 18 months ago, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center President and CEO Manny Lopes braced for its impact with his staff of more than 1,400 people.

“We gave them the freedom to think creatively because we knew this was going to be the pandemic of our lifetime,” said Lopes, who last week was named a Henry L. Shattuck City Champion by the Boston Municipal Research Bureau for his efforts to make the city a better place — one of 11 people recognized for the prestigious annual local award.

Under his leadership, the center opened the state’s first major COVID testing drive-through for first responders and essential workers at Suffolk Downs in East Boston and soon opened it to the general public.

Then the center opened pop-up testing sites throughout the city and started a COVID town hall for community leaders so that they could disseminate the latest accurate information about the virus.

When vaccines finally became available, the center opened community-based vaccination sites in East Boston, the South End, Chelsea and Revere for people who couldn’t get to mass sites.

And just as it had done with testing, the center opened pop-up vaccination sites that didn’t require appointments.

Blue Cross Blue Shield also gave the center a grant to use ride-sharing to get people without transportation to the nearest vaccination site.

For those who were reluctant to get tested or vaccinated, the center leveraged its relationships with trusted community partners like La Colaborativa in Chelsea to go door to door with volunteers to urge people to get tested and vaccinated.

To date, the center has processed more than 150,000 COVID tests and administered over 100,000 doses of vaccine.

“It’s all been about passion and love, and I know it’s going to continue to do great work in our community,” said Lopes, who will join Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts as of Nov. 1 as executive vice president of public markets and government relations.

Another Shattuck Award winner for public service this year is Shekeima Dockery, operations manager for the small business division of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

When the pandemic hit, Dockery — at record speed — created a training module to teach her team how to use the digital tools they suddenly had to learn.

She and her coworkers were able to handle more than 2,000 calls and emails from imperiled small business owners within the first two months of the pandemic, and they’ve fielded thousands more since then.

Dockery also helped create and execute the COVID-19 relief funding process, which has issued more than $16 million in grants to nearly 4,000 business owners whose livelihoods depended on it.

“For our first few funds, there were times when we had to say no,” she said. “That has been one of the toughest parts.”

Other Shattuck Award winners this year are Boston Police Detective Marivelle Crespo; Richard DePiano, second assistant collector-treasurer, Treasury Department; Patricia Finnigan, senior administrative assistant, City Clerk’s Office; Stephanie Haynes, administrative secretary, Zoning Board of Appeals, Inspectional Services; Rebecca Phu, director of operations and licensing, Licensing and Consumer Affairs; Delavern Stanislaus, director of transportation, Boston Public Schools; Bradford Swing, director of energy policy and programs, Mayor’s Office of Environment, Energy and Open Space; Colette Phillips, CEO and president, Colette Phillips Communications, Inc.; and The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund.

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Activists call for pause on new luxury developments in Boston

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Activists call for pause on new luxury developments in Boston

Housing activists are calling for a “pause” in luxury development in Boston, as they say the Hub simply has gotten far too expensive for normal people.

“We are saying today: Just halt, slow down, pause, moratorium — whatever you want to call it — this type of luxury housing that we do not need,” Michael Kane of the Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants told a crowd outside the swanky The Smith development in the South End on Saturday. “Stop it, halt it, pause it and instead come up with a plan to build housing that the community needs.”

An analysis by the group found that developers built almost 13,000 new luxury units between 2014 and 2021. In contrast, the city only designated 770 units for the lowest-income households, those earning under $25,000, in the same time period.

One 2018 study found that 64% of high-end units didn’t claim a residential tax exemption, meaning that its owners potentially don’t call it home.

The tenants of 79 E. Canton St., an affordable housing complex, made the push, as they also aired specific grievances about The Smith. They said that aside from the sky-high prices, they negotiated with the developers of the partially completed luxury building to include community outdoor space and public parking, among other agreements.

In the words of developers Leggat and McCall in a 2019 press release, 36% of the 3.1-acre site was planned as open space, “including a portion dedicated to public park use, and improved thoroughfares and sidewalks that will enhance the way people move in and around the site, creating better access to the surrounding neighborhood.”

That has not been the reality, the activists said. Instead, the courtyard at The Smith is barred by an iron gate, and another public outdoor space has been used as an area for residents’ pets to relieve themselves. The group also alleges that the developers failed to save the mature trees on the street or repair the sidewalks.

Although the building has 30 affordable units out of 710 total, those 30 are designated for those earning 70% of the area median income. For a household of one, that’s $59,200.

The office did not respond to a request for comment. Nor did the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

One activist, Conrad Ciszek, noted the stark difference between the ultra-luxury units on East Dedham Street and the situation at Mass & Cass just a few blocks away, where dozens of homeless Bostonians live, many of whom struggle with addiction.

“This is a tale of two cities,” he said. “You have a city for the rich, wealthy and powerful, and then you have people living in tents just right down the street from here. That is completely unacceptable.”

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St. Thomas’ ugly win over Valparaiso draws more questions than answers

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St. Thomas’ ugly win over Valparaiso draws more questions than answers

St. Thomas football coach Glenn Caruso didn’t like using the term on Saturday, but it really was the best way to describe what he had just witnessed.

Despite a dominating effort on defense, the Tommies won ugly, with enough going wrong to leave their longtime coach looking for answers.

After a sluggish first half that netted only 77 yards of total offense and a 7-3 halftime lead, the Tommies (3-1, 2-1 Pioneer Football League) responded with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter and held on for a 20-13 win over Valparaiso before a homecoming crowd of 7,443 at O’Shaughnessy Stadium.

“We’ve got to find a way to learn quicker throughout the game,” Caruso said. “Three of the five games we’ve played, we’ve played a solid half.

“I understand that we’re new, and we’re playing new opponents, and we’re playing at a new level. But if we can’t start playing a good three to three-and-a-half quarters, it’s going to be tougher sledding than we need it to be.”

Caruso, who’s teams are built around the ability to run the football, acknowledged that he got on his offensive line at halftime, but said the running backs shared the blame for the inability to run the ball.

“It was probably more a function of the running backs,” Caruso said. “When you’re trying to win games in the manner we have to play right now, sometimes an ugly 4-yard gain on first down is good.

“The difference between the run game in the first half and in the second half was that we were able to get into second and fives and second and sixes. Instead of trying to make a home run out of a play that’s not there—we need to learn how to mitigate that.”

Caruso also gave credit to the offensive coaches, who made adjustments in formations to help the Tommies run the ball.

The Tommies led 20-6 in the fourth quarter and had the ball near midfield when quarterback Cade Sexauer was sacked and fumbled away the ball. Valparaiso quarterback Ben Nimz threw a 35-yard touchdown pass on the next play to make it a one-score game.

The Beacons got the ball back with just under five minutes to play with a chance to tie the game. On second down a Tommies defender jumped into the neutral zone right before the snap, and thinking he had a free play, Nimz threw the ball down the field.

His pass was intercepted by Isaiah Hall.

“We all thought we had a free play,’ said Valparaiso head coach Landon Fox. “You get them to jump off sides and you teach your center to snap the ball. (The officials) didn’t see it the same way.”

Sexauer struggled for the second straight week. Sexauer was pulled from last week’s loss at San Diego due to ineffective play, and he struggled again on Saturday. He completed 11 of 21 passes for 98 yards and threw an interception in the fourth quarter on a play when he should have thrown the ball away.

“Right now it’s just not flowing smoothly,” Caruso said. “It’s our jobs as coaches to find throws and scenarios where we can move the pocket around.”
Sexauer was affective as a runner, picking up 57 yards on 16 carries. He scored on a quarterback draw from four yards out early in the third quarter to give the Tommies a 14-3 lead.

Caruso said he didn’t consider replacing Sexauer, adding that he feels it was a mistake to take him out of the game last week.

“If it takes a team and an offense and a coaching staff time to get into a rhythm,” he said, “we’ve got to afford that same opportunity to our players.”

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Photos: Northern Colorado Bears fall to Eastern Washington Eagles 63-17 in homecoming game at Nottingham Field

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Photos: Northern Colorado Bears fall to Eastern Washington Eagles 63-17 in homecoming game at Nottingham Field
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Eastern Washington routs Northern Colorado football, 63-17 (scoring summary)

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Eastern Washington routs Northern Colorado football, 63-17 (scoring summary)

Eastern Washington showed off its top tier offense with a commanding win in its trip to Greeley this Saturday.

UNC (2-3, 1-2 Big Sky) fell to the Eagles (6-0, 3-0 Big Sky), 63-17, in its third week of conference play, despite needing a big win.

The Bears got down early after Eastern Washington scored on its first three drives. Despite efforts from all three position groups, including an important interception, Northern Colorado didn’t have enough power to overcome its nationally-ranked opponent.

Read the Tribune’s scoring summary, presented in reverse chronological order.

FOURTH QUARTER

Fourth quarter (2:22): UNC 17 – EWU 63 — Northern Colorado backup quarterback Conner Martin fumbles the ball, putting Eastern Washington in the red zone. The Eagles capitalize with a touchdown and extra point.

Fourth quarter (8:28): UNC 17 – EWU 56 — The Eagles settle for a 21-yard field goal courtesy of kicker Seth Harrison.

THIRD QUARTER

Third quarter (1:16): UNC 17 – EWU 53 — Eastern Washington continues its dominance with a 37 second drive and 38-yard touchdown. The Eagles make the extra point.

Third quarter (5:39): UNC 17 – EWU 46 — The UNC defense holds the Eagles to a field goal after a big sack from junior linebacker Jace Bobo for a loss of yards.

Third quarter (8:57): UNC 17 – EWU 43 — Graduate quarterback Dylan McCaffrey rushes for a 1-yard touchdown just a few plays after making a 34-yard pass. Junior kicker Ben Raybon’s extra point is good to further cut into the Eagles lead.

SECOND QUARTER

Second quarter (:13): UNC 10 – EWU 43 — Bobo grabs an Eastern Washington interception, which the Bears turn into a 4-yard touchdown by McCaffrey. Raybon makes the field goal to get the Bears to double figures.

Second quarter (2:54): UNC 3 – EWU 43 — Despite the UNC defense’s efforts, Eastern Washington adds a 1-yard rushing touchdown and the extra point.

Second quarter (9:00): UNC 3 – EWU 36 — UNC struggles to stop the Eagles’ commanding offense, giving up a 5-yard rushing TD and the field goal.

Second quarter (14:53): UNC 3 – EWU 29 — Eastern Washington adds to its lead seconds into the new quarter. The Eagles scored on a 19-yard pass and earned the extra point.

FIRST QUARTER

First quarter (1:15): UNC 3 – EWU 22 — UNC junior kicker Ben Raybon gets the Bears their first points of the game with a 49-yard field goal.

First quarter (3:51): UNC 0 – EWU 22 — The Eagles intercept UNC graduate quarterback Dylan McCaffrey’s pass and run it in for a touchdown. They go for a two-point conversion to grab a three possession lead.

First quarter (5:37): UNC 0 – EWU 14 — Eastern Washington takes a quick two-score lead after a 1-yard rushing touchdown and extra point.

First quarter (10:37): UNC 0 – EWU 7 — Eastern Washington scores a touchdown on its first drive of the game to take a quick lead.

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Kiszla: No. 1 reason to believe Broncos will beat Pittsburgh? Teddy Bridgewater is better QB than Ben Roethlisberger.

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Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater goes from steady to heady, joins Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees in NFL record book

PITTSBURGH — The Broncos can lay waste to a Steel City on the verge of a meltdown.

Win here to start the season 3-0 on the road for the first time since the last time they went to the Super Bowl and I’ll guarantee you the Broncos make the playoffs.

If the fog of a concussion has fully lifted, leaving quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with clear eyes, and his teammates have strong hearts, Denver can’t lose.

Why?

Not to get overly technical on you, but the Steelers stink.

“We all know how serious this win is for us. We all know the type of situation that we’re in,” Broncos linebacker Von Miller said. “We need to go ahead and win these games now, instead of waiting until the end of the season and praying and hoping for wins to get in the playoffs. All these wins count, and we need as many as we can get to start the season off.”

No fan base in America loves the NFL, or takes as much pride in winning football, than the good people of Pittsburgh. But there’s something in the air here. It smells like the frustration of championship dreams gone up in smoke. Or maybe that was just a whiff of medicinal marijuana I detected during a morning stroll along the Allegheny River.

After touching down in this remade rust-belt town, I barely had a chance to say hello to the fine gentleman giving me a lift in his taxi before he blurted: “Big Ben has got to go! I don’t know why the Steelers are giving him so much respect. If his name wasn’t Roethlisberger, he’d already be on the bench.”

In a game that oddsmakers rate a toss-up, maybe the No. 1 reason to believe the Broncos will beat Pittsburgh? Right now, Bridgewater is a better quarterback than Roethlisberger. And who would’ve thunk anybody could ever say that?

After starting last season with 11 consecutive victories, the fall of the Steelers has been stunning and catastrophic, as they’ve lost eight of their past 10 games, causing a legion of die-hard fans to cry in their Terrible Towels.

Down in the Strip District, a mix of traditional groceries and hip dive bars that is this Pennsylvania river town’s answer to LoDo in Denver, an ailing Steelers fan can buy a T-shirt in which the yellow, red and blue diamonds on the team’s logo have been replaced with cannabis plants in tribute to the Pittsburgh Stoners.

At age 39, Big Ben is crumbling, his body ravaged by the cumulative effects of playing nearly 250 regular-season NFL games. With a quarterback rating of 78.9, which ranks 27th in the league, Roethlisberger is in danger of leading the Steelers to their first losing record since 2003, when some stiff named Tommy Maddox was their primary QB.

This is a road game that a legitimate playoff team wins. Good teams prey on the weak. How hungry is Denver? This is a game the Broncos will win if the hangover from a poor performance during a loss against Baltimore doesn’t linger.

“Honestly, we got the taste of winning. After winning all of our preseason games — even though it’s preseason — and winning our first three games, everybody forgot that feeling of losing, and nobody liked it,” said receiver Tim Patrick, who has become the team’s most reliable weapon in the passing game.

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