Wolves use turnovers to rout Grizzlies
TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Wolves picked off six passes — four which were returned for touchdowns — in a 42-14 rout over the Michigan Grizzlies on Saturday at Thirlby Field.
Three of the Wolves’ pick-sixes came in the third quarter as they outscored the Grizzlies 21-0 in that quarter. Traverse City set a team-record with seven turnovers. The interception returns and interceptions also were team records. Maurice Sims had a 45-yard interception return in the first half that gave the Wolves a 14-7 lead, while in the third quarter Matt Ohlert (25 yards), Cody Russell (29) and Alvin Sitkiewicz (86) all returned turnovers into quick scores.
Traverse City’s other scores came on passes from Jonathan Craven. The Wolves first score, early in the first quarter, came on a 32-yard strike to Russell. Right before the half Craven found Emilio Bocardo from 28 yards out.
The Grizzles (3-6) outgained the Wolves 367-235 but couldn’t overcome the turnover bug.
The win clinches a playoff berth for the Wolves (5-4), who complete the regular season on Saturday at Muskegon.
Hounds bring back veteran forward
TRAVERSE CITY — Last season with the Hartland Hounds, forward Ethan Doyle averaged nearly a point per game with 29 points in 30 games.
This upcoming season with the Traverse City Hounds, Doyle is preparing himself for his second season in the Midwest Junior Hockey League and his first away from home.
“I needed a home for the upcoming season and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to play hockey this year,” said Doyle. “I played with the Hounds all last year and I couldn’t live without playing. Last year definitely wasn’t my best year, but it made me realize I need to work a lot harder this year if I want to be a top-line guy. Hopefully, I can produce some offense and have a bigger role than last year, also some leadership since I’m a returning player from last year.”
Doyle, an 18-year-old native of Howell, added that his season in Hartland in 2012-13 was an eye-opener.
“I improved the most on my ability to see open ice and skating with the puck,” Doyle said. “Junior hockey is a fast-paced game and you have be able to wheel around the opposing ‘D’ to make plays. My style of play is fast and I like to make the pretty passes for the nice assists. Who doesn’t love a nice apple?”
Playing for the defending regular-season and Veteran’s Memorial Cup champions comes with pressure and this is something Doyle knows will happen. He said it’s how the team deals with the pressure that will make the difference.
“Having the target on your back is a very good feeling, in my opinion,” said Doyle, whose long-term goal is to earn a degree in business or broadcasting. “Teams are going to go all out to beat us, but being on top means the only way to go is down. Hopefully, we have as much success as we did last year, but with hard work, I think we’ll be alright.
“All I’ve heard from everyone is how beautiful Traverse City is and I can’t wait to move up there. It’s going to be the time of my life. I couldn’t be more excited for the season to start.”
Eagles: Riley Cooper says he was threatened
PHILADELPHIA — Eagles receiver Riley Cooper has been sent threatening messages after a video of him making a racial slur became public.
The team said Sunday that Riley informed the club of the threats and did not know who made them. The team has notified the league’s security department.
Cooper was fined by the Eagles after his slur became known Wednesday. He left the team Friday to seek counseling.
“Riley Cooper made us aware of the tweets when the video became public,” the team said in a statement. “He told us that he did not know about the video. He informed us he blocked the tweets because he did not know the person nor understand the context of what that person was threatening.
“We promptly alerted NFL security. This information potentially speaks to a legal issue that is a matter between Riley and the authorities. Our focus has been on Riley’s words and actions.”
The video of Cooper was taken at a Kenny Chesney concert in June. Cooper apologized profusely both Wednesday and Thursday.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly has said Cooper’s roster spot is not in jeopardy. Cooper has just 46 catches and five touchdowns in three years with the Eagles, but had been practicing with the starters after Jeremy Maclin’s season-ending knee injury.
Asked when Cooper will return to the Eagles, Kelly said there’s no time frame.
“When we do, we’ll make sure we announce it so it’s not going to be a surprise to anybody,” Kelly said.
Cooper’s departure coupled with Maclin’s injury leaves the Eagles lacking experienced receivers behind two-time Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson and longtime slot receiver Jason Avant. It’s giving Ifeanyi Momah and Arrelious Benn a chance to not only make the team, but get some playing time.
Benn was the 39th overall pick by Tampa Bay in the 2010 NFL draft. He had 59 catches and TDs in three seasons with the Buccaneers.
“Football is all about opportunity and timing,” Benn said. “The next guy has to step up and have that next-guy mentality. You have to know what you have to do and do it.”
Momah, a 6-foot-7 receiver out of Boston College, hasn’t played since tearing a knee ligament in the first game of his senior year in 2011.
“Right now, I’m not looking at the depth chart,” he said. “I’m going to work the same way whether I’m with the first team or last team. I’m just trying to be consistent and work hard every play, establish myself as a hard worker and prove I can be an every down receiver. I’m reaching levels I’ve never reached before.”