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Fourth down decisions proved critical for CU Buffs vs. Arizona

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Fourth down decisions proved critical for CU Buffs vs. Arizona

To go or not to go. That is a question that often faces football coaches in the middle of games when critical situations arise.

Fans, of course, often want the offense to go for a first down and keep pushing toward the end zone. For Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell, however, the choice is different in each situation.

“It’s just the feel,” he said. “It’s weekly, how I feel in the course of a game; how the week went in preparation; how we’re coming off the football; how we’re protecting; how we’re doing some positive things from that standpoint.”

During Saturday’s 34-0 win against Arizona, there were two key fourth-down decisions on the 1-yard line that proved to be important for the Buffs. One was a decision by Dorrell, while the other was from his counterpart, Arizona’s Jedd Fisch.

Dorrell heard the boos from the Folsom Field crowd when he sent the field goal unit out in the first quarter. It was fourth-and-goal from the Arizona 1-yard line and the fans wanted the Buffs to get that yard and six points. Dorrell, however, sent Cole Becker to the field to put three points on the board.

“I know there were people that weren’t happy with me taking the field goal on the first fourth down when we’re down there inside the tight red zone,” Dorrell said Monday as the Buffs (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) prepare to face California (1-5, 0-3) on Saturday.

For Dorrell, that choice was fairly simple. The Buffs’ offense has struggled all season and needed points on the board. The benefit of getting three points — and the Buffs’ first lead of any kind in four games — outweighed the negative of potentially coming up empty.

“To me, it was not worth the risk of not getting any points after having your first drive of the game and you go down the field and you’re in scoring position,” Dorrell said. “We felt that was a positive step for our offense to get some points out of that first drive and then to build off that as they continue to get going.”

Dorrell later noted, with a smile, “It worked out OK.”

Although it took a while to get some points on the board offensively, the Buffs never did trail after that first drive and wound up with its most productive day on offense since the season opener.

The decision to go for a first down is never an easy one, though. Later in the first quarter, the Buffs had fourth-and-1 at the Arizona 30. Dorrell elected to go for it, running back Alex Fontenot was stopped and the Buffs turned the ball over on downs.

“I don’t have a magic formula as to why and when I do that,” he said. “But, I do want to be more aggressive and that’s usually my nature.”

On the flip side, Fisch was aggressive late in the first half and it backfired on the Wildcats. With CU leading 6-0, Arizona marched down the field and faced first-and-goal at the CU 1-yard line.

Quarterback Gunner Cruz was stuffed as he tried to lunge for the end zone on first down. Then, running back Jalen John was tackled for no gain on back-to-back runs. Instead of choosing to pull within 6-3 by kicking a field goal on fourth down, Fisch went for the touchdown and a possible halftime lead, but Cruz’s pass fell incomplete.

CU took possession with 2:41 to play in the half and ran out the clock, preserving a 6-0 lead into halftime.

“That was huge,” Dorrell said of CU’s goal-line stand. “I’m gonna tell you that, to me, in my opinion, was the breaking point of the game.

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Lifetime’s ‘Vanished: Searching for My Sister’ a twin challenge for Tatyana Ali

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Lifetime’s ‘Vanished: Searching for My Sister’ a twin challenge for Tatyana Ali

Playing twin sisters in the Lifetime telepic “Vanished: Searching for My Sister” turned out to be quite the acting exercise for Tatyana Ali.

In the thriller, which is based on a true story and premieres Saturday, Ali (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “The Reason”) stars as Jada and Kayla, identical twins who could not be more opposite. While Jada is a responsible, gainfully employed single mom, Kayla is the wild child, going in for drugs, clubbing and associating with dubious characters.

So when Kayla disappears, Jada pushes her way into the investigation to the consternation of two police detectives (Jasmine Guy, “The Vampire Diaries,” and Carolyn Hennesy, “Click”). At one point, Jada even poses as her sister to infiltrate her world, hoping to find someone who knows something.

So the challenge for Ali was not only to play two characters, but also one character playing the other, sometimes in the same day, during the three-week spring shoot in Atlanta.

“It is a crazy challenge,” Ali said with a laugh. “It gets confusing. I think it even got confusing for the crew … I’m Jada now but I’m Jada as Kayla; I’m Jada now but I’m really Jada. I’m just Kayla now. Jada’s not involved. Yeah, it is challenging.

“I really, really relied heavily on the costumers, the hair and makeup team that I was able to work with,” she added. “They were wonderful and I really relied on them to kind of help make it through kind of the maze of all of that. … So the makeup and hair trailer, that was really like my safe haven, like the place where I could kind of switch from one woman to the next.”

Justin Bruening and Tatyana Ali star in “Vanished: Searching for My Sister” Saturday on Lifetime.

Ali was so unrecognizable as she switched characters that she even fooled the actor who played Kayla’s estranged husband Warren, Justin Bruening (“Grey’s Anatomy”).

“I didn’t get to meet Kayla until my last day of filming,” Bruening recalled. “And I didn’t even realize that we were moving on to the next scene where I would see Kayla. … So at one point, I come back and we’re like in our little holding area and I sit down. And we’ve got the PPE stuff on — the protection gear, masks and stuff — so that helped with the situation.

“But I sat there and there was a person sitting across from me on a couch,” he said with a laugh, “and I didn’t realize for the first 20 minutes that it was Tatyana, who I had been working with all day. … And I finally went, ‘Is that you? Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry. I haven’t been talking to you.’ ”

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Creative and smart, Madi, 15, wants to be a singer

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Creative and smart, Madi, 15, wants to be a singer

Madi is a creative teenager of Caucasian descent who wants to be a singer when they grow up.

Those who know Madi say they are a smart, resilient, empathetic person who truly cares about the well-being of others. They are also athletic, very practical and a strong advocate for themself. They are able to express their needs without any prompting. Madi has been very interested in trying out new hair styles and those who are close to them say they are extremely stylish. Madi likes school, particularly writing and recess. They are a great problem solver who works hard to achieve desired outcomes.

Legally free for adoption, Madi would do best in a home with a single mom or a two-parent family. If there are other children in the home, they should not be close in age to Madi. Madi would thrive in a family that could give them a lot of attention and help them reach their fullest potential. A pre-adoptive family will need to maintain contact with Madi’s relatives and their visiting resource through phone and visitation. Madi would like a family with pets (maybe a dog) and older siblings.

Who can adopt?

Can you provide the guidance, love and stability that a child needs?  If you’re at least 18 years old, have a stable source of income and room in your heart, you may be a perfect match to adopt a waiting child. Adoptive parents can be single, married or partnered; experienced or not; renters or homeowners; LGBTQ singles and couples.

The process to adopt a child from foster care requires training, interviews and home visits to determine if adoption is right for you, and if so, to help connect you with a child or sibling group that your family will be a good match for.

To learn more about adoption from foster care, call the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange at 617-964-6273 or go to mareinc.org. The sooner you call, the sooner a waiting child will have a permanent place to call home.

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Ex-etiquette: Laying the groundwork for success

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Stop comparing yourself to partner’s ex

My daughter is 13. Her father has remarried a woman who has two boys, ages 14 and 16. Both adults work and once the kids get off school, all three are left alone in the home until the adults return. I do not believe teens of the opposite sex should be left alone unsupervised. I’ve tried to discuss this with my ex, but he dismisses me, saying I have no business questioning his parenting or getting involved with his family. What’s good ex-etiquette?

There are quite a few red flags here … and the exact reason it is so important to have an open co-parenting relationship with your child’s other parent. Difficult situations are bound to come up, and cultivating an environment where you feel comfortable discussing such things is imperative if you want to keep the kids out of the middle.

First red flag I see is that you have two separate factions, dad’s house and mom’s house, and there’s no common ground. So when one of you brings up a problem, rather than look at this as you are in it together for your child, it’s “how dare you …” Dad may even feel as if you are invading his privacy by initiating a discussion. That just won’t work if you are co-parenting.

One of the hardest things for co-parents to do is trust each other. Once there is a breakup, all of a sudden someone you trusted to make good judgments for your child becomes suspect. I remember a time I was working with clients and an exasperated parent said, “When we were together, you had no trouble with me being alone with the children, we break up and now you question everything I do.” The point he was trying to make is the only thing that had changed is their relationship status. He was still the conscientious parent he had always been.

Concerning this specific issue, just as children have trouble grasping their parents are sexual beings, parents also have the same problem and may not realize the situation they put their kids in when combining a family with teenagers. Parents must be available to listen if a child is uncomfortable and make the necessary changes so everyone in the home feels secure in that environment.

Finally, I believe you and dad need some co-parenting counseling to help you set the stage for problem-solving in the name of your child. She is 13 and will be going through all sorts of changes. The last thing she needs is fighting parents that can’t agree about the important issues. A co-parenting counselor will help you lay the groundwork for a better relationship so you will see each other as allies, not enemies — for your child’s sake. That’s good ex-etiquette


Dr. Jann Blackstone is the author of “Ex-etiquette for Parents: Good Behavior After Divorce or Separation.” This column was provided by Tribune News Services.

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