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Missouri WR Green-Beckham back in spotlight

Thursday, 21 November 2013 23:38 Published in Sports

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Dorial Green-Beckham remembers how it felt to play as a freshman.

Paralleling the roller-coaster ride No. 8 Missouri has taken in the Southeastern Conference, the star receiver experienced a tumultuous first season before landing on his feet this year, appearing at ease as he jokes with teammates and talks without hesitation to reporters.

"Now that it's my second year, I feel a lot more comfortable," Green-Beckham said. "I'm not looking back to what I did last year."

The sophomore arrived in Columbia after amassing national prep records of 6,353 career receiving yards and 75 touchdown receptions, fueling expectations that rivaled those of any other incoming player in school history.

Green-Beckham then led Missouri with five touchdown catches, but often got lost in the shuffle of a seven-man receiving rotation, including a three-game stretch in which he caught three passes for 16 yards. Off the field, he pleaded guilty for trespassing after an initial arrest for suspicion of possessing marijuana.

"When you walk into a school and you start as a true freshman, you've got those nerves every single game," sophomore center Evan Boehm said. "You know you have eyes on you. You can't mess up, and that's all you're worried about."

With help from his teammates, Green-Beckham gradually became more comfortable with the playbook and his new surroundings.

"I didn't know what I was doing sometimes," he said, "but having those guys whispering stuff to you and letting it click in your head, after a few times, you just got it down quickly."

After catching 28 passes for 395 yards last season, the 6-foot-6, 225-pound native of Springfield, Mo., has 40 receptions for 579 yards and nine touchdowns this year, capped by a school-record four-score performance Nov. 9 in a 48-17 win at Kentucky.

Coach Gary Pinkel thought Green-Beckham was a step quicker in practice leading up to the matchup with the Wildcats, but he didn't realize it would be a harbinger of things to come.

"There's a lot of players I could talk about that were just kind of doing OK, playing well, playing well, then all of a sudden, they're playing at a whole different level," he said. "And it happens to very gifted players who keep working hard and persevere and keep battling to get better."

Green-Beckham says he enters each contest with the mentality that he can't be stopped, because that's what it takes to win. Even though he wasn't running past Kentucky's defensive backs, he made the most of his lanky frame and jumped over them to haul in three of his touchdowns.

Missouri (9-1, 5-1 SEC) has four receivers who are at least 6-foot-4, helping the team weather the loss of senior quarterback James Franklin to injury and pass for 256.8 yards per game.

First-year receivers coach Pat Washington said all of his players are enjoying the Tigers' resurgence, and their attitude will dictate whether the team can defeat No. 24 Ole Miss (7-3, 3-3) and Texas A&M to capture the SEC East.

"Anytime you have a little success, and you can contribute, then you enjoy it," Washington said. "Not to say you're selfish, because I think all guys enjoy winning, but competitive people want to contribute."

Senior L'Damian Washington leads Missouri with 680 receiving yards — including 18.9 per catch — and has nine touchdowns, but the spotlight will keep shining on Green-Beckham if he and the Tigers continue their success after a 5-7 season a year ago.

"For him, it's all going to boil down to continuing to improve those little things — staying humble, continuing to work," offensive coordinator Josh Henson said. "And then just being very detailed at what he does. If he does all that, physically he can be as good as anybody that plays this game."

Blues beat Bruins 3-2 on Roy's shootout goal

Thursday, 21 November 2013 23:34 Published in Sports

 

BOSTON (AP) -- Derek Roy scored once in regulation and again in the fourth round of the shootout on Thursday night as the St. Louis Blues beat the Boston Bruins 3-2.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 27 shots in regulation, two more in the overtime and three in the shootout as St. Louis won for the fourth time in five games and continued the hottest start in its history. David Backes also scored for the Blues, and NHL points-leader Alexander Steen converted their other shootout goal after going the entire game without a shot.

Gregory Campbell and Carl Soderberg scored for Boston. Tuukka Rask made 24 saves and forced Roy to put one off the post on a breakaway in the first minute of the overtime.

Soderberg broke in alone on the goal in the last 15 seconds of the overtime, but he meekly shot it into Halak's pads just before the final buzzer.

That sent the game to a shootout, and Boston took an early lead when Patrice Bergeron beat Halak over his shoulder to make it 1-0. T.J. Oshie, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla all missed before Steen poked it through Rask's pads to tie the shootout 1-1 after three tries apiece.

Chris Kelly missed for Boston in the first extra round, and Roy went in quickly, skidded to a stop and then went around Rask to poke the puck in for the winner.

It was St. Louis' 15th win in 21 games this season.

The Bruins scored late in the first when Blues defenseman Ian Cole fell in his own end, allowing Boston to keep the puck in the zone. Torey Krug slid it over to Campbell, who tried to one-time it but sculled it off the heel of his stick. The slow-moving puck seemed to confuse Halak and went into the net off the corner of the post.

But the Blues tied it just 37 seconds later, when Roy wristed the puck toward the net from the left point. Stewart tried to deflect it near the circle, missing the puck but knocking a defender's stick away. Another Blues player tried to get a stick on it in the crease but it also eluded him as he was taken down by Boston defenseman Matt Bartkowski.

Instead, the undeflected puck went right through Rask's legs to make it 1-all with 9 seconds left in the period.

St. Louis took a 2-1 lead late in the second when Kevin Shattenkirk's wrist shot from the point was deflected into the net by David Backes. It was Shattenkirk's 100th career assist.

This time it was the Bruins' turn to answer quickly.

About 2 1/2 minutes after the Blues took the lead, Reilly Smith fed the puck from behind the net to Soderberg in the slot and he beat Halak to tie it 2-2.

NOTES: Hall of Famer Bobby Orr took part in a ceremonial puck drop. John "Pie" McKenzie, another member of the 1970 and '72 Stanley Cup champions, was also in attendance. The 1970 team swept St. Louis in the finals. ... The Bruins called up D Kevan Miller to fill in while Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg are out with undisclosed injuries. Miller made his NHL debut. ... St. Louis finished a three-game road stretch. They split the first two, losing to Washington and beating Buffalo by 4-1 scores. ... The first penalty of the game was called with 1:54 gone in the third period. ... Steen entered the night tied for the league lead with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby at 26.

PTO Treasurer charged in theft

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:53 Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis County mother is charged with stealing more than $6,000 from an elementary school parent-teacher organization to pay her rent and other bills.

Thirty-seven-year-old Toni Taylor of St. Ann faces 14 counts of forgery for allegedly falsifying checks from the PTO account at Drummond Elementary School over a three-month period.

Police say that Taylor, the group's treasurer, forged the PTO president's signature.

KSDK-TV reports that Taylor's scheme unraveled after her landlord contacted the school about a suspicious $4,000 check to him from the PTO account.

Bail for Taylor was set at $25,000. She was expected to surrender on Wednesday, accompanied by her lawyer.

 

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