Connect with us

News

High school football: Simley goes to the ground late to beat South St. Paul

Published

on

High school football roundup: Brakes’ late touchdown leads White Bear Lake past Mounds View

Traditionally, it has been South St. Paul breaking its opponent’s spirit with long, physical drives that drain both time and energy to seal games late.

On Friday night, Simley returned the favor.

Leading 20-14 early in the fourth quarter, the Spartans took over in their own territory after the Packers turned the ball over on downs.

Simley’s offense — which usually featured a heavy dose of passes — proceeded to largely keep the ball on the ground, feeding Gavin Nelson and Landon DuVal with one carry after another. DuVal ended the drive with a 9-yard rushing score — his second of the game — to put Simley up  two scores with 4 minutes, 41 seconds to play, all-but sealing the Spartans’ 26-14 homecoming victory over their South Metro rivals.

“We just ran it down their throat,” Simley senior left tackle Justin Faherty said. “It’s teamwork. We were the bigger team, and we were the better team. It’s a different culture at Simley now. We’re not losing to them.”

Drives like that, Faherty said, “make me so happy.” They aren’t frequent for the Spartans. Simley head coach Chris Mensen noted he’s a run-first guy, but it can be difficult to avoid the temptation of going to the air when you get behind the sticks.

“I give (my coaches) all the props, because they said, ‘Coach, we’ve been grinding. Keep running,’ ” Mensen said. “We trust each other, so that’s kind of what we did. Our O-line, I’ve got to give it up to those guys, too. They’ve had a great last couple games.”

Alonzo Dodd got the scoring started Friday with a breakaway 70-yard rushing score to put the Packers (1-3) up 7-0. But that accounted for half of the Packers’ scoring production, and the Spartans’ defense eventually put the clamps down.

Mensen said that unit has been playing “lights out.”

“What they’ve been doing is trusting the system,” he said. “We’ve got a good game plan week after week. They trust it, they do their jobs and they know that, if they do that, we should be able to have some success.”

Simley responded to the early deficit with a pair of its own rushing scores — one by running back Landan DuVal, the other from quarterback Caden Renslow — to take a 14-7 lead into the half. Simley rushed for 126 yards as a team.

It was a balanced night for the Spartans, with receiver Latayvion McCoy also tallying 123 yards receiving.

South St. Paul re-knotted the game at 14-14 midway through the third quarter with a drive that featured nothing but runs — Packers old-school football at its finest — capped by an 8-yard touchdown run from Dodd. Dodd finished with 102 yards rushing and a pair of scores. When South St. Paul got into long-yardage situations, Dodd would split out and serve as the team’s top receiving threat.

“He’s pretty versatile. He can do a lot of things,” Packers coach Manuel Spreigl said. “Really, it’s a matter of what he can handle, and he’s got a really competitive spirit, and he’s one helluva teammate for everybody. I really admire that. He works really hard.”

On defense, Dodd tallied an interception late in the first half that looked like it was going to set the Packers up with possession in Simley territory. But he fumbled on the ensuing return, and the Spartans recovered to regain possession. It was those types of mistakes that Spreigl said hampered the Packers all night.

“We had miscues and things that we didn’t take care of,” Spreigl said. “No disrespect, but we’re a more complete football team than they are, but they took care of details.”

Another example of that came in the third quarter, with the game tied at 14-14. South St. Paul’s defense was set to get off the field and get the ball back to its offense. But a roughing the passer penalty on third-and-long extended Simley’s drive. On the next play, Renslow hit McCoy for a 52-yard scoring strike to put the Spartans on top for good.

Spreigl told his team Friday was “rock bottom,” but the Packers look forward to a potential return trip to Simley later in the season for a postseason rematch.

google news

News

Fallen Sailor honored as body returns home

Published

on

Fallen Sailor honored as body returns home

ST. LOUIS – Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey Tucker was one of five U.S. Navy sailors killed in a helicopter crash in the Pacific Ocean on Aug. 31. His remains were recently recovered from the ocean floor and arrived at St. Louis Lambert International Airport Friday. 

A procession of military backers and supporters led the family from the airport to Baue Funeral Home in St. Charles County.  

Tucker was a 2018 graduate of Parkway North High School. Among those who stood near the Cave Springs exit off I-70 was Robbin Wolf. She said the Tucker family lives in her neighborhood and has always offered support to others.  

“The family is a giving family and loving,” Robbin Wolf said. Her husband also came to show his respects.  

“He showed up for us,” said Scott Wolf. “So, we are going to show up for him.” 

Several area fire departments raised American flags on overpasses as the procession traveled along I-70. 

“We’re just here to honor Bailey,” said Jason Meinershagen, Central County Fire Rescue public information officer. “We recognize that we wouldn’t have the freedoms and be able to do the things we do without him.”

Navy veteran Jodene Reppert traveled to St. Charles County to show her appreciation for Bailey’s service to his country.

“You need to be honored and your family should be honored and thanked for their sacrifice,” she said. 

The MH-60S crashed on Aug. 31 about 70 miles (112 kilometers) off San Diego during what the Navy described as routine flight operations. It was operating from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. 

google news
Continue Reading

News

Keeler: Move over, Vic Fangio. Colorado State’s Steve Addazio is the worst clock-manager in town. And he just joined you on the hot seat.

Published

on

WATCH: CSU botches last-minute field goal attempt against Utah State

For a second there, you almost felt sorry for Steve Addazio. A little. At least until he started throwing his own players under the bus, one by one.

“I would say to you is they got caught up in the emotion of the game and took off on the field,” the CSU football coach said of the insanity that made up the final 11 seconds of Utah State 26, Rams 24. “I’m like, ‘Who sent them on?’

“And no one sent them on. So, it just happened. Which means that it’s my responsibility, because that can’t happen.”

Oh, but it did. Dazfoonery. Absolute insanity. A clown show in cleats.

Spike the ball!

Spike it! What are you do …

In a sequence they’ll be talking about for years, probably with calliope music playing in the background, the Rams had bravely and methodically driven the ball downfield, trailing by two.

Quarterback Todd Centeio, with no timeouts, had Elwayed CSU to the Aggies’ 24-yard line with half a minute on the clock.

Then all heck broke loose.

Or rather, the Rams’ field-goal unit broke loose.

With 11 seconds left, instead of spiking the ball or throwing a prayer to Trey McBride or Dante Wright, the CSU sideline turned into Piccadilly Circus. The offense, while still on the field, expecting a spike to stop the clock, saw their special-teams compatriots racing to the line of scrimmage, shooing them off.

Chaos ensued. CSU kicker Cayden Camper rushed onto the spot and rushed a 42-yard attempt with a second remaining on the scoreboard. It sailed wide left, and the stunned Homecoming crowd at Maverik Stadium erupted at their fortune.

“Having said that, we were perfectly set up and ready to kick the field goal,” Addazio continued. “I don’t believe that had any impact on that field goal whatsoever.”

Vic Fangio, you owe this man a beer. Or six.

Fangio, the besieged Broncos coach, uses timeouts in crunch time the way a toddler uses a plate of spaghetti. But compared to Addazio, Uncle Vic is the second coming of Bill Walsh.

They’re also both so in over their heads as head coaches here, it’s pitiful. In some alternate universe right now, Fangio is serving as Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator. Addazio is coaching Urban’s offensive line.

Alas, we’re all stuck with this reality. And it bites.

“I could tell that they were obviously disorganized,” Utah State coach Blake Anderson told the CBS Sports Network immediately after the tilt. “It just didn’t look organized.”

The kicker to the kicker? Anderson admitted that he was going to call a timeout to try and ice Camper.

Instead, the Rams iced their own guy for him.

Spike the ball!

Spike it! What are you do …

“It’s frustrating,” said McBride, the tight end whose six receptions, along with tailback David Bailey’s 159 rushing yards, went for naught. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Especially given the stakes. Inside track within the Mountain West’s Mountain division. A 3-0 start to league play. More than halfway home to bowl eligibility.

What we got was an evening marred by the hallmarks of poor coaching, from preparation to execution: Painful, silly CSU penalties — nine in all, at least six of them on offsides calls — and ever sillier mental mistakes.

CSU sacked Aggies quarterback Logan Bonner eight times. The power and leverage advantages along the line of scrimmage were palpable. The bigger, badder Rams (3-4, 2-1 Mountain West) would win a slugfest with Utah State  (5-2, 3-1) 11 times out of 10.

But the Aggies weren’t interested in a stand-up brawl — Anderson wanted to duck and weave, to rope and to dope, and tire the heavyweight Rams into doing something dumb.

Team Daz, sadly, obliged. Repeatedly.

And we can’t say the Boston College faithful didn’t warn us: Since 2013, Addazio-coached teams are 9-18 in games decided by six points or fewer. Since 2018, they’re 0-6.

With Boise State (3-4) at home up next, a wounded franchise that CSU hasn’t beaten in 10 tries, followed by Wyoming (4-2) on the road and Air Force (6-1) at home, those aren’t exactly the kind of stats that inspire confidence along the Poudre.

Nor, frankly, did Friday. The Rams were having so much fun leading with their fists that they forgot, too often, to use their heads.

Four first-half penalties and two turnovers early gave the smaller, quicker and pass-happy Aggies seven first-half possessions to CSU’s six. And two of those came in the final five minutes of the second quarter thanks to the Aggies’ special teams. USU kicked a field goal, then lobbed the ensuing kickoff into a gap within the Rams’ return unit, recovering the rock at the CSU 24.

And because the Daz chose to sit on his timeouts at the end of the half rather than stop the clock on USU’s stunning post-kickoff possession, the Aggies got the ball three different times between the final six minutes of the second quarter and the first five minutes of the third quarter — while the Rams had it only once.

Guess what Daz did with that possession? He took a knee to run off the final 25 seconds of the first half. The hosts, meanwhile, turned those extra cracks with the pigskin into nine points, ducking and jabbing their way to a 23-14 lead that forced the Rams into catch-up mode.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Addazio said after the game about his thinking, or lack thereof, during that mid-game juncture.

“I just (felt) like we had too many penalties in the first half, we turned the ball over twice …”

Defense and a run game travel well on the road. Stubbornness and stupidity, however, do not. And never will.

google news
Continue Reading

News

A refreshed Casa Bonita could accelerate redevelopment along West Colfax corridor

Published

on

A refreshed Casa Bonita could accelerate redevelopment along West Colfax corridor

Casa Bonita’s relaunch under new ownership won’t necessarily trigger a revival along the West Colfax corridor, but it could speed up one already underway and if done right, provide a model on how to both refresh and preserve an iconic tourist draw.

The Mexican restaurant with real cliff divers, faux shootouts and so-so food has served as a draw for generations of families ever since it opened in 1974 in a shuttered JCPenney’s store in a suburban strip mall sandwiched between Kendall and Pierce streets along West Colfax Avenue.

The restaurant shut its doors early in the pandemic and owner Summit Family Restaurants sought bankruptcy protection in April. But last month Summit finalized a sales agreement with a group headed by Colorado natives and “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

“While retail has had its challenges over the years, the ‘South Park’ creators’ rumored grand vision for Casa Bonita’s future could be a boon for local commercial and residential real estate in the West Colfax area. If anything, Trey and Matt’s purchase may serve as a model for preserving history throughout West Colfax,” said Philip Kranefuss, head of Colorado real estate for the brokerage firm Homie.

Parker and Stone made the restaurant legendary among their global fan base when they featured it in a 2003 episode of their animated series and they have continued to highlight it over the years.

Kranefuss said the restaurant is a Denver-area institution and a rite of passage for local children that could see its draw as a tourist attraction expand to the legions of “South Park” fans. Its preservation and continuation are not only a big deal for the nearby neighborhood but also the larger metro area.

He expects the neighborhood will look much different 10 years from now, and that Casa Bonita will be part of that transformation.

“We are very enthusiastic about what is happening with Casa Bonita. Anything that reactivates the restaurant is a good thing for us,” adds William Marino, board chair of the 40 West Arts District. “Good things are happening on West Colfax. There is real momentum and we need it to continue.”

The arts district, established in 2011, has purchased a building in the parking lot next to Casa Bonita that once housed a Denver Drumstick Restaurant. The once-popular eatery, known for a model train that ran around the restaurant, has sat vacant for about 20 years, a symbol of the larger decline the neighborhood was suffering, Marino said.

One goal of buying the building is to provide permanent gallery space for area artists so they don’t get priced out as the neighborhood stages its comeback, avoiding a pattern seen in some of Denver’s one-time artist havens, Marino said.

Lamar Station Plaza, the strip mall that houses Casa Bonita with its distinctive pink stucco bell tower, saw its revitalization start when Broad Street Realty acquired the dilapidated JCRS shopping center in 2014 for $8 million. In the late 1800s, the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society or JCRS treated tuberculosis patients on that site.

The shopping center, once limping along with a 30% vacancy rate, now houses a Planet Fitness and a Dutch Brothers, but also discount retailers and thrift stores catering to the area population.

“It is really about the redevelopment of commercial spaces. The general idea is to hold onto the funkiness of Colfax and the positive energy that comes with it,” said Robert Smith, Lakewood’s economic development director.

Lakewood has a total of 91 commercial and residential projects recently completed or underway, according to a development map the city maintains. Of that total, 38 were completed last year, 17 wrapped up this year and 15 residential projects and 12 commercial projects are currently underway.

Many of those projects are concentrated in the north end of the city, between the W light rail line and the Colfax corridor, which at one time served as the major connecting throughway for travelers driving between the Midwest and California and was filled with motels and eateries.

Once the wider and faster Interstate 70 to the north became the main highway, Colfax started to see more used car dealerships and pawnshops and vacant buildings.

Part of the challenge of redeveloping the area is that it was designed with setbacks and parking lots to accommodate a car culture. But the preference now is for denser and more walkable neighborhoods with amenities nearby.

“The West Colfax corridor is undergoing a renaissance,” Smith said, adding that the “South Park” purchase, which is awaiting approval in bankruptcy court, has done great things for marketing Casa Bonita. “Part of the value of that restaurant is that it has such a storied history. All parties involved want to maintain that legacy, augment and enhance it.”

google news
Continue Reading

Trending