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Grading the Week: Time for Jim McElwain to come home again to Colorado State?

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Grading the Week: Time for Jim McElwain to come home again to Colorado State?

Maybe it’s just the two years of Steve Addazio talking here, but Jim McElwain is starting to look pretty good right now.

If the past seven seasons of CSU Rams football have taught us anything, it’s that athletic director Joe Parker could do worse with his next football coaching hire. A lot worse.

Steve Addazio — F

It’s hard to truly put into words how much of a disaster the Addazio Era was for Colorado State.

On a scale of “Nick Saban at Alabama” to “Mike Price at Alabama,” the Grading the Week staff would rate the Daz’s tenure a solid “Les Miles at Kansas.”

There were losses. There were off-the-field allegations. And, yes, we could see the train wreck coming from the moment it left the station. But at least the Daz actually coached a few games at CSU — something Price never got to do after being hired and fired within a few months by the Tide in 2003.

Now, here we are back at the same spot we were two years ago, when Urban Meyer sightings in FoCo were seen as a reason for hope, rather than the impending doom they actually foretold.

The first thing we’d do if we were Parker: Take Meyer’s business card out of the rolodex and light it on fire.

The second: Flip to our old friend Jim and see if maybe, just maybe, he’s interested in getting the band back together at Fort Fun.

Crazy as that sounds, consider this: As poorly as things ended at the conclusion of McElwain’s three years with the Rams, at least the university received $7 million to watch him shuffle off to Florida.

That’s a heck of a lot better than paying Mike Bobo ($1.825 million) and the Daz ($3 million) to go away.

It’s not like we didn’t have a lot of fun while McElwain was stalking the sidelines in green and gold. The Rams went 22-16 in his three years at CSU, culminating with a 10-2 regular season in 2014 that stands as the most successful in the 14 seasons since legendary coach Sonny Lubick was unceremoniously relieved of his duties.

After getting let go by Florida midway through the 2017 season, McElwain’s also comported himself quite well at Central Michigan, going 19-13 with a pair of eight-win campaigns.

There’s even recent precedent to point to in the Mountain West.

Brady Hoke bolted San Diego State for Michigan, got fired from multiple jobs, then returned to the Aztecs and led them an 11-1 season and a spot in this weekend’s conference title game.

Jeff Tedford left Fresno State, where he was an assistant for six years, for greener Pac-12 pastures, only to come back in 2017 as head coach and lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back double-digit-win seasons.

There’s no reason McElwain can’t do the same thing at CSU.

(OK, so maybe there are a few.)

Karl Dorrell — D-

Those calling for Darrin Chiaverini’s head finally got their wish earlier this week.

It’s hard to argue with the CU Buffs head coach’s decision to part ways with the embattled offensive coordinator after the team’s more-dreadful-than-it-sounds 4-8 season.

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St. John’s Prep stays hot. defeats Catholic Memorial

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Boston Herald preseason girls basketball EMass Top 25 rankings

MIDDLETON – St. John’s Prep came out flying yesterday against Catholic Memorial, scoring three first period goals en route to a 5-1 victory against their Catholic Conference rivals at Essex Sports Center in Middleton.

The Prep (9-1-0) opened the scoring 5:33 into the game when junior blueliner Aidan Holland caught the Knights in a line change, taking a feed from his defensive partner Tommy Tilas before streaming up the right side to the top of the circle and rifling a curl-and-drag wrister far-side past the blocker.

Just 2:36 later junior Harlen Graber collected a loose puck to the right of the CM crease and was able to elevate it on the forehand to make it 2-0.

Then, on a two-man advantage, Theo Vetere stepped into the left circle and fired a no-look pass cross ice to fellow senior Tommy Sarni for a catch-and-release wrist shot that went bar down to make it 3-0 with 4:59 to go in the first.

The Knights (8-2-1) found themselves down a man to start the second needing a stop, but could not complete the PK as Vetere (two assists) fired a pass to junior Ben McGilvary at the right post who redirected it home to make it 4-0 just 36 ticks into the frame.

The Prep went 2-for-4 on the powerplay, both goals set up by the heady play of Vetere.

“Theo had great vision on both of them,” said Prep head coach Kristian Hanson. “I especially like the second one, going high-to-low to Ben going to the net. He just read the play really well, saw what he had – didn’t have a shot, put it right on Ben’s tape and Ben chipped it in.”

The Eagles would score again with 2:31 to go in the third when Jake Vana broke in alone and laced a quick wrister short side, before Tyler Hamilton finally got CM on the board with just 26-seconds to go to round out the scoring.

The Prep outshot the Knights 28-13.

St. John’s three goals in the first period matched the highest amount of goals any team had scored on Catholic Memorial in a single game this season, the outburst attributed to the Prep’s readiness from the jump.

“We started well today, kids were focused, prepared for the game; they know the importance of the game in the Conference,” said Hanson. “We had a strong first period that kind of set the tone for the rest of the game.”

The Knights will get another crack at the Eagles when the perennial Super Eight contenders meet again on February 9.

 

ST. JOHN’S PREP 5, CATHOLIC MEMORIAL 1

Catholic Memorial (8-2-1)             0     0     1     –     1

St. John’s Prep (9-1-0)                    3     1     1     –     5

1st Period:

SJ – Aidan Holland (Tommy Tilas), 5:33

SJ – Harlen Graber (Johnny Tighe), 8:09

SJ – Tommy Sarni (Theo Vetere), 12:01

2nd Period:

SJ – Ben McGilvary (Vetere, Jimmy Ayers), 0:36

3rd Period:

SJ – Jake Vana (Tilas), 14:29

CM – Tyler Hamilton (R.J. Donahue), 16:31

SAVES:

SJ – Payton Palladino, 12; CM – Owen Watson, 7; CM – Dom Walecka, 16

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Woman found beaten to death in St. Paul. It’s city’s fifth 2022 homicide.

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Police say man in red stole from St. Paul church offering plate, then asked for money

A 67-year-old woman was found beaten to death early Sunday in St. Paul, marking the city’s fifth homicide of the year, authorities said.

About 12:30 a.m., a 911 call came in about a “death investigation” at a home in the 1400 block of Dale Street North, according to a press release by St. Paul police, which gave the following details:

When officers arrived they found a “disturbing scene inside — an unresponsive 67-year-old woman who was badly beaten.”

St. Paul fire medics arrived shortly after and pronounced the woman dead.

Arvid Harry Johnson, 66, was at the home when police arrived. He was arrested in connection with the woman’s death and booked into the Ramsey County Jail on suspicion of murder.

Further information on the woman’s identity and exact cause of death will be released by the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office after an autopsy is done.

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Gould’s FG on final play gives 49ers 13-10 upset of Packers

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Gould’s FG on final play gives 49ers 13-10 upset of Packers

By STEVE MEGARGEE

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Robbie Gould lived up to his name.

On a field littered with snow flurries, Gould made a 45-yard field goal Saturday night as time expired that knocked off the top-seeded Packers 13-10 and possibly ended Aaron Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay.

Gould has made all 20 of his career playoff field-goal attempts. His latest helped the 49ers complete an improbable comeback by scoring 10 unanswered points in the last five minutes.

“I always trust Robbie. He’s as good as gold, man,” Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. “He always is.”

The 49ers (12-7) continued their postseason hex on Rodgers and advanced to an NFC championship game matchup Jan. 30 at either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-4) or Los Angeles Rams (13-5). Those teams play Sunday in Tampa.

This marks the 17th conference championship appearance for the 49ers, the most by any team since conferences were formed in the 1970 merger. The 49ers had been tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

San Francisco’s win, coupled with the Cincinnati Bengals’ 19-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans earlier in the day, marked the first time both No. 1 seeds lost in the divisional round in the same season since 2010. Green Bay won at Atlanta and the New York Jets won at New England that season.

“It’s dangerous, man. When a team gets hot, it’s dangerous,” Garoppolo added. “So we’ve just got to keep this thing going, focus on next week now, and keep this thing rolling.”

Rodgers went 20 of 29 for 225 yards and dropped to 0-4 in career playoff starts against the 49ers. He’s the first quarterback in NFL history to lose four playoff starts to a single opponent.

He now enters an uncertain offseason. After skipping the Packers’ mandatory minicamp in a standoff with management, Rodgers said he was uncertain whether this would be his last year in Green Bay. Rodgers said last month he was keeping all options open.

Rodgers didn’t want to speculate on his future Saturday night, though he said he didn’t want to be part of a rebuild if he keeps playing.

“I don’t think it’s fair to anybody or myself to really go down those paths at this point,” Rodgers said. “It’s disappointing, sad and fresh. I’ll have conversations in the next week or so and start to contemplate after that.”

The Packers (13-5) earned the NFC’s top seed for a second straight season and were the league’s only unbeaten team at home, but again failed to reach the big game. They haven’t made it to the Super Bowl since their 2010 championship season.

“I just didn’t envision it like this,” said Green Bay’s Aaron Jones, who had nine catches for 129 yards and 12 carries for 41 yards.

San Francisco tied the game with 4:41 left thanks to a breakdown by Green Bay’s special teams, the Packers’ biggest weakness all season.

Jordan Willis’ outstretched left hand blocked a punt by Corey Bojorquez, who was kicking from the front of his end zone. Talanoa Hufanga picked up the ball at the 6-yard line and ran it in to make it 10-10.

After the Packers went three-and-out, the 49ers got the ball back at their 29 with 3:20 left and drove into field-goal range. Deebo Samuel delivered a 9-yard run on third-and-7 from the Green Bay 38, and the 49ers ran down the clock to set up Gould.

A.J. Dillon’s 6-yard touchdown run capped a 69-yard drive on the game’s opening possession that put the Packers ahead 7-0. Green Bay’s offense didn’t do much of anything after that.

Green Bay’s special teams fared even worse.

Well before that blocked punt, San Francisco’s Jimmie Ward blocked a 39-yard field-goal attempt from Mason Crosby on the final play of the first half, preventing the Packers from extending their lead to 10-0.

The Packers also allowed Samuel to return the second-half kickoff 45 yards, setting up the 49ers’ first field goal. Green Bay also appeared to have only 10 men on the field when Gould made his winning kick.

“We thought our special teams had an advantage in this game,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We thought they had an opportunity to possibly win us the game. And to be able to say that and to actually come to fruition … was huge for those guys and huge for our team.”

San Francisco won by overcoming a brutal start from its offense. The 49ers had minus-10 yards in their first four series, three of which included third-down sacks. It was the first time the 49ers had opened a game with four straight three-and-outs since a 27-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 27, 2009.

The 49ers didn’t get a single first down or pass completion until Garoppolo connected with George Kittle on a 15-yard gain with less than 6 ½ minutes left in the second quarter. Garoppolo was just 11 of 190 for 131 yards with an interception, but the 49ers still managed to win.

“It took everything,” Garoppolo said. “We knew it was going to. I mean, it was just offense, defense, special teams – everybody stepping up and doing their part. Wouldn’t have it any other way.”

THE TUNDRA

The temperature at kickoff was 14 degrees with a wind chill of zero, making it the fifth-coldest playoff game in Lambeau Field history. The second half was played amid snow flurries.

INJURIES

The Packers were without OT David Bakhtiari, a 2020 All-Pro selection. Bakhtiari played 27 snaps in the Packers’ regular-season finale, which marked his first game since tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament on Dec. 31, 2020.

49ers running back Jeff Wilson left with an ankle injury after the opening kickoff. Packers safety Darnell Savage (back) and running back A.J. Dillon (chest) left in the third quarter.

NEXT UP

The 49ers will be at either Tampa or the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game on Jan. 30.

The Packers’ season is over. Will Rodgers be back with the Pack?

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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