09-14-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

Larson wins final regular season NASCAR cup race; field of 16 set for championship drive

 Saturday night’s victory for Kyle Larson in the Federated Auto Parts 400 was big. But, even bigger was the fact that the field for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship playoffs was set.

Richmond Raceway proved to be a great place for Larson. He battled Martin Truex Jr. off the line after a late-race caution period allowed the drivers a chance to bunch up for the final laps home. The restart proved beneficial for Larson, who took the lead in the overtime contest.

A second caution period in seven laps, this time on lap 404, caused the race to end under yellow with Larson in the lead. The victor led 53 laps during the event.

Larson won his fourth race of the season and earned his fifth career victory.

Joey Logano finished in the runner-up spot. Ryan Newman led three laps en route to a third place finish.

Crossing the finish line in fourth place was Kurt Busch, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five in fifth place.

Drivers who also led laps but did not finish in the top five included: Kyle Busch (38 laps), Brad Keselowski (9), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (13), Truex Jr. (198), and pole sitter Matt Kenseth (89).

The 26th race of the 2017 season featured 13 lead changes and seven caution periods for 38 laps.

With the checkered flag waving, sixteen drivers exhaled a big sigh of relief as they claimed their spots in the playoffs.

Truex Jr. earned the number one seed in the championship playoffs. He will be joined in the competition by Larson, Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Newman, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillon, Kenseth, and Jamie McMurray.

Thirteen of the 16 drivers won at least one race this season. Three drivers made the cut on points but did not have a win, including Elliott, Kenseth, and McMurray.

Everyone heads to Chicagoland Speedway for Sunday’s first Round of 16 race.  The Tales of the Turtles 400 is the kickoff race for the first of three three-race playoff rounds, with one final, season-ending, championship-crowning race at Homestead.

Truex Jr. won last year’s running at Chicagoland. A win on Sunday would propel him into the next round of competition. With four wins this season, can he be stopped?

 Greg Krell and Bryan Conrad had the magic picks in the third week of the Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback competition. Both players recorded 7-1 records, which afforded some movement on the leaderboard.

Krell increased his one-game margin over second place to three games, while Conrad climbed out of the basement and is now tied for fourth place.

Each week six local, fierce football fans predict the winner of eight high school, college, and professional football games. Their mission is simple: predict the best record all season long, which culminates in February’s Super Bowl.

Should two competitors end the week with the same record, the tie-breaker game comes into play.

One of the eight games on the docket is selected as the tie-breaker game. Our contestants must determine the total number of points that will be scored in that contest. The AQB who guessed closest to the total wins the higher ranking in the standings.

This week’s tie-breaker game was the Western Michigan versus Michigan State battle royale. After duking it out, the Spartans laid claim to the 28-14 victory.

With their identical weekly records of 7-1 in hand, Krell and Conrad’s position in the standings came down to the tie-breaker.  Krell’s 59-point guess was closer to the 42-point score than Conrad’s 65-point estimate. That gave Krell first place.

Conrad took second place, as Tim Hildebrand and Rodney Lynch tied for third with 6-2 records. Hildebrand assumed third place with his 49-point guess; Lynch landed in fourth place as he predicted 63 points would be scored.

Fifth place went to Chris Leach with her 5-3 record, and RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht finished in sixth after going 3-5.

Overall, Krell increased his first-place lead by two more games. He holds a 22-2 overall record.

Tied for second place overall are Hildebrand and Lynch with 19-5 records. They trail Krell by three games.

Fourth place is knotted up as Leach and Conrad hold 18-6 records, just four games out of first place.

Rodney-Isbrecht is in a position she hasn’t seen: her 17-7 record puts her in sixth place. But, it’s early, sports fans, and we have plenty of season left to play.

The games on this week’s roster include:

Coloma @ Martin

Marcellus @ Hartford

Watervliet @ Gobles

Air Force @ Michigan

Notre Dame @ Boston College

Idaho @ Western Michigan

Chicago @ Tampa Bay

Detroit @ NY Giants

The tie-breaker game is Notre Dame’s road trip to Boston College. Our AQBs are in sync – for the most part – with the high school and college games, so the real games in play are the NFL contests. Who will it be? Can Detroit make it two in a row by defeating the NY Giants? Can the Bears get a win over Tampa Bay? Check back to find out.

Coloma football celebrates second win of the season

Coloma’s varsity football squad earned their second victory of the season after they defeated Fennville 40-20 Friday, September 8 at home.

With the coin toss win, Coloma deferred to the second half. That gave Fennville the ball first. On their first possession, Fennville ran into a spot of trouble as Coloma’s Kenny Crowder ripped the ball loose. Fennville recovered the ball, but turned it over on downs.

On Coloma’s first possession, they picked up quite a few yards courtesy of Zack Lake and Levi Wilkens.  Coloma quarterback Zach Goodline also had a nice nine-yard pass.

A holding penalty against the Comets created a second down and 11 yards to go. Goodline handed the ball to Caleb Ellis who trotted downfield and picked up the first down. Ellis had a second run as Coloma was deep in Fennville territory.

A bad Comet snap created a fumble, which was recovered by Fennville on the three-yard line.

The Comet defense stepped up in a big way as they stuffed the Blackhawks’ line. With Fennville facing a third down and six yards to go, the ‘Hawks were flagged for a delay of game, which backed them up further.

It was Jamane Smith Jr. who shut down the third down play forcing Fennville to punt from the end zone.

It was a terrible boot and the ball was spotted at the Fennville 11-yard line