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Seattle Seahawks defeat San Diego Chargers

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The Seahawks win preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers.

Eags ready for challenge of repeating

Eastern Washington's defending NCAA Divisioin I football champions opened fall camp in Cheney on Wednesday, and most of the question directed at head coach Beau Baldwin and his players were about the possibilities of repeating last year's magical run.

You can read the practice story that appeared in this morning's S-R here.

EWU prepares to defend national title

Eastern Washington University will open fall camp on Wednesday, and seems to be handling the added pressure of trying to defend the NCAA Division I football championship it won last season.  You can read the pre-camp story that ran in Tuesday morning's S-R here,  and check out a few additional thoughts and comments below — along with some links to other preseason stories about the Eagles.

Read on, and be sure to check back for an update following Wednesday's first fall practice.

Is anyone in the mood for a little football?

I'm sure some people around here are pining for a some football after the protracted NFL lockout. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office “Regulators” will take on the San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department “Enforcers” in the 2011 Charity Bowl at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at West Valley High School, 8301 E. Buckeye. It sounds like the Spokane County Sheriff's Office is getting some help from some Idaho law enforcement agencies as well.

There will be a half time event and a prize drawing. The cost is $5; kids 12 and under are free. Proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that supports injured service members. Tickets can be purchased at Empire Cycle at 7807 E. Sprague or Colorworks at 45 E. Weile in Spokane. This sounds like it would be fun to watch.

Ducks star cited with driving 118 mph

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris has been cited with driving 118 mph on a suspended license.

Oregon State police say Harris, 20, was pulled over after an off-duty trooper spotted him about 4:35 a.m. PDT Sunday on Interstate 5 south of Albany, Ore. An on-duty officer clocked Harris and pulled him over.

Harris was cited for driving with a suspended license and exceeding the speed limit in excess of 100 mph. Police say he was driving a rental car.

The fine for driving a vehicle faster than 100 mph is $1,148.

Harris excelled as a sophomore last season at cornerback and on special teams. He had six interceptions and set an Oregon record with four punt returns for touchdowns.

Known for his entertaining banter with reporters, Harris dubbed the BCS championship “The Natty.” Oregon lost to Auburn in the title game in January after going 12-0 last season.

Oregon coach Chip Kelly said in a statement that the team was disappointed by Harris' lack of judgment, which he called unacceptable.

“I've said from the beginning that it should be a privilege to play football at the University of Oregon. With that said, individuals must bear the responsibilities for their own behavior,” Kelly said. “Once we have finished collecting all the information in this situation, we will determine the appropriate action.”

Last month, Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of trespassing and criminal mischief. He was sentenced to two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and alcohol treatment.

Alonso, 20, was suspended indefinitely from the team by Kelly.

All-Star football game in Spokane

The 4A/3A All-Star Football game returns to Spokane July 1 and will be played on the Red Turf at Eastern Washington University.

It's an East vs. West format. It's the 47th time the game has been played and the sixth time it has been played in Spokane.

Here are the scheduled participants from the Spokane area:

Kellen Clute (Mt. Spokane); Joe Dahl (University), Grant Livingston (Ferris), Paul Miller (Mead), Branson Schmidt (Central Valley), Kevin Stanley (CV) and Jordan Tonani (Ferris).

Ferris head coach Jim Sharkey will coach the East along with former Ferris head coach and current assistant Clarence Hough.

Goodson leaving GU to play football

Just filed this for the S-R website…

By Jim Meehan

Staff writer

Gonzaga point guard Demetri Goodson, who started 68 of 69 games the last two seasons, is leaving the basketball program to play college football, Bulldogs coach Mark Few said Tuesday.

Goodson recently completed his junior season. Few said because GU doesn’t offer football, Goodson can transfer to another school and he will have two years of eligibility. Goodson is expected to return to his home state of Texas, possibly at Texas A&M, where his older brother Mike played running back, or Texas State, coached by Dennis Franchione, who was Mike’s coach at Texas A&M.

“I’m proud to be associated with him,” Few said. “He’s a tough kid, a great teammate and from a coaching standpoint, day in and day out at practice he gave everything he had and in games, too. That’s a great quality.

“He gave it a good run up here, but his heart is kind of set on this. I just want him to graduate, and he’s in great shape to do that and then he’ll be in great position for the rest of his life.”

Before Goodson verbally committed to Gonzaga in Oct. 2007, Arizona State offered him a football scholarship even though he hadn’t played the sport since his sophomore year at Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas.

Raiders nab EWU’s Jones in 4th round

The Oakland Raiders selected former EWU running back Taiwan Jones in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.  You can read the press release put out by Eastern's sports info folks here.  I've got a call in to Taiwan, hoping for some comments from him, and will post a link to the story that will appear in Sunday's S-R. 

Eags, Griz matchup to remain annual affair

The Big Sky Conference has released its football schedules for the 2010-15 season, and despite the league's decision to expand to 13 teams in 2010 Eastern Washington and Montana will continue to meet each year.

You can read EWU athletic director Bill Chaves' reaction to the scheduling in this story that appeared in Friday morning's S-R, and you check out the press release from Big Sky headquarters in Ogden, Utah, here

Cory Mitchell stars in EWU scrimmage

Wide receiver Cory Mitchell, the older brother of Eastern Washington University quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell had a big day in the Eagles spring scrimmage on Saturday.

You can get an early look at the scrimmage story that will appear in Sunday morning's S-R here, and you can see what EWU's sports information department posted about the event here.

Esks sign former Eag star Sherritt

The Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League have signed former Eastern Washington linebacker and 2010 Buchanan Award winner J.C. Sherritt to a professional contract.

You can read more here.

Taiwan in wait-and-see Draft mode

I got  a few minutes on the phone today with former EWU All-American running back Taiwan
Jones, who is waiting to learn his NFL Draft status after opting to forego his senior season as an Eagle and make a big-time paycheck

You can get an early look at the story that will appear in Thursday morning's S-R here.

Eags still looking for backup QB

Eastern Washington held its second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday and Coach Beau Baldwin liked the way several players are competing for several key positions — including that of backup quarterback .  You can read the scrimmage story that appeared in Sunday's S-R here, and you see what EWU's sports information department posted about the scrimmage here.

 

EWU transfer Bronson impresses

I talked with Coach Beau Baldwin and several of his players — including University of Washington transfer running back Demitrius Bronson — on Tuesday afternoon, just before Eastern Washington went through its first spring practice in full pads.

Bronson was eager to start contact work in an effort to become the Eagles' starting running back. But from Baldwin and quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell had to say, the stocky 5-foot-10, 235-pounder from Kent has already raised a few eyebrows.

You can read more here.

Eagles to pad up this afternoon

The Eastern Washington Eagles will  practice in pads for the first time this spring on Tuesday afternoon.  I will be heading to Cheney to take in at least part of the practice session, which starts at 4 p.m. I am looking forward to getting my first look at running back Demitrius Bronson, the Eagles' sophomore-to-be, who just transferred from the Univesity of Washington.

Check back for an early look at the practice story that will run in Wednesday morning's S-R, and also check out this story about EWU coach Beau Baldwin's and his preparations to throw out the first pitch at Safeco Field in Seattle, prior to the Mariners' game against the Cleveland Indians  on Saturday night.

 

Eags gearing up for spring football

Eastern Washington, coming off its run to a national championship last fall, will start spring football drills on Friday, April 1.  You can get more details, including a tentative schedule of practices and scrimmages, here.

Awards keep coming for EWU’s national champs

Eastern Washington's 2010 NCAA Division I football champions dominated this year's SWABs awards voting.

You can find out which Eagles were honored in this story that will run in Tuesday morning's S-R, and you can read more details on the team's annual Awards Banquet that was held on Sunday here.

 

Eagles get selective with 2011 recruiting class

Beau Baldwin, the third-year head coach of Eastern Washington University's NCAA Division I national champion football team, announced the signing of 20 high school recruits to letters of intent on Wednesday.

You can get an early look at the Eagles' recruiting story that will run in Thursday morning's S-R here, and you get additional details — including short bios on all signees — supplied by EWU's sports information department by clicking here.

Idaho prep star commits to EWU

Eastern Washington will make its 2011 football recruiting class official on Wednesday, the first day prospects can sign letters of intent.

Among those expected to sign with the reigning national championsh is Idaho's Gatorade and 4A player of the year Cody McCarthy who — according to this story in the Idaho Statesman — announced his intentions to become an Eagle on his Facebook page.

Eags 2011 football schedule announced

Eastern Washington University announced its 2011 football schedule on Friday and it's … well, it's awful.

The reward for winning a national championship?  Seven road games and only four chances — all against Big Sky foes — to play on the red turf at Roos Field. But, hey, the students will be on campus for all four!

 You can read more what Eagles coach Beau Baldwin thinks about the road-heavy schedule here, and you can check out what EWU's sports information department posted about the schedule here.

If you can see the logic in this, please let us in on the secret.

EWU planning LOI luncheon on Wednesday

I've got a call in to Eastern coach Beau Baldwin, hoping to get some general comments on recruiting and how it was impacted by the Eagles' drive to the NCAA Division I football championship.

I'll post something as soon as I can on that front, but until then, you can get details on the special letter-of-intent signing day gathering Baldwin has planned on Wednesday here, and you can read about a North Mason prep standout who has committed to play for the Eagles next fall here.

Eags find end zone, but trail 19-6 after three quarters

Delaware continued its dominance at the start of the third quarter of Friday night's NCAA Division I Football Championship game against Eastern Washington, marching 60 yards in 10 plays and taking a 19-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by David Hayes.

Eastern's offense, which was stagnant throughout most of the first three periods, found a quick answer, however, marching 80 yards on five plays and cutting the Blue Hens lead to 19-6 on a 22-yard pass from Bo Levi Mitchell to Brandon Kauman.

The Eagles went for two on the PAT try, but Mitchell's pass intended for Tyler Hart was too high.

EWU's touchdown came with 1:48 left in the third period, leaving the Eagles looking at a 13-point deficit heading into the fourth period.

 

Eags down 12-0 at halftime of title game

Delaware used its precise short passing game and a couple of surprise option runs by quarterback Pat Devlin to dominate Eastern Washington and post a 12-0 halftime lead in the NCAA Division I Championship football game at Pizza Hut Park here in Frisco, Tex.

The Blue Hens outgained the Eagles 230 yards to 62 and had a 5 1/2-minute edge in time of possession.  Devlin completed 11 of 17 first-half passes for 114 yards and was sacked only once.  Still, Delaware, after getting the game's first touchdown on a 2-yard run by Andrew Pierce with 5:14 left in the first quarter, had the PAT kick blocked and was then forced to settle for short field goals on two long second-quarter drives.

Eastern's rushing game, with Taiwan Jones watching from the sidelines with a broken foot, produced only 26 net yards — an average of less than two per carry.

Game Day: Let’s kick it!

Less than six hours until the NCAA Division I Championship football game between EWU and Delaware kicks off Pizza Hut Park here in Frisco, Texas.  I just strolled over to the park, where the vendors are setting up shop. The tailgating should start shortly, and I hope to see a few of the former Eastern players who are supposed to be here.

Ran into former Buck Buchanana Award winner Greg Peach, who at the banquet last night when Eagles linebacker J.C. Sherritt picked up this year's Buchanan Award.  In case you missed it, here's the link to story on Sherritt.

In addition, you can read the game advance that ran in Friday morning' s S-R here, you can see what columnist John Blanchette wrote about the upcoming game here, and you can check out the latest Walter Brother installment of their Road to Frisco series here.

I've also included this link to a EWU notebook that ran in this morning's S-R, and this link to all things Eastern.

EWU’s Sherritt captures Buchanan Award

Eastern Washington University's senior linebacker and two-time All-American J.C. Sherritt has been named the winner of the 2010 Buck Buchanan Award as the Football Championship Subdivision's top defensive player.

Sherritt, who finished second in last year's Buchanan voting, was to be honored at a banquet later this evening in Frisco, Texas., where he and his Eastern teammates will take on Delaware in Friday's NCAA Division I Championship at Pizza Hut Park.

You can see an early Associated Press story on Sherritt's award here, but be sure to check back later for more details, along with a look ahead toward Friday's title matchup and a notebook dealing with other related issues — including the latest update on EWU's injured running back Taiwan Jones.

 

Waking up in Frisco without a hangover

Arrived in Frisco, Texas, last night about 11:15 and went straight to the hotel to check in.

Big mistake.  Huge!  Because after dropping off our bags in our rooms we headed back out to find a burger and beer — only to learn that every bar AND convenience story in the weird little community just north of Dallas shuts down at midnight.

Never thought I would say it, but thank you, Whattaburger.  At least I didn't go to bed hungry — just sober AND angry.

But the morning has dawned, leaving me in much better spirits, mainly because of this hilarious piece, written by a couple of my favorite  Eastern Washington alums, who are following the Eagles on this last leg of their unlikely journey to Friday's championship game of the FCS playoffs.  I've also included this link ot the feature story I did on EWU's twin brother Zach and Matt Johnson.

That's it for now. There are luncheons and practice sessions to attend this afternoon, followed by an awards banquet tonight, where Eagles linebacker J.C. Sherritt just might pick up some hardware as the nation's best defensive player.  We'll see, and report back when we officially learn the winner of this year's Buck Buchanan Award.

Delaware QB one of nation’s best

Just a hunch, here, but I'm thinking Eastern Washington' s defense is going to have its hands full dealing with Delaware's Pat Devlin.

Read more about the Blue Hens' 6-foot-4 quarterback, who transferred from Penn State two years ago here, and tell us what you think.

EWU seniors: Small numbers, big results

Though small in numbers and big-name stars, the senior class on this year's Eastern Washington University has lead the Eagles to new heights.

You can read Sunday's S-R feature story on the remaining members of EWU's 2006 recruiting class that will play its final game in Friday's NCAA Division I Championship in Frisco, Texas, here.  And you can see the notes on the upcoming title game that were posted by Eastern's sports information department here.

In addition, I've included this link what the Big Sky Conference website has on Friday's FCS playoff finale.

Williams key to Eagles’ success

Eastern Washington's defensive line coach Ryan Sawyer is convinced the No. 1-ranked Eagles would not be playing for a national championship without the contributions of junior defensive end Renard Williams.

You can read the feature story on Williams that appeared in Sunday morning's S-R right here. And check back during the week for more EWU stories as the Eagles return from their short holiday break to get back to preparing for their Jan. 7 matchup against Delaware in the NCAA Division Championship game in Frisco, Texas. 

More honors for Sherritt and his EWU teammates

Geeze, you take a day off and come back to find Eastern Washington's J.C. Sherritt has been named to another All-American first team. This time, the Eagles' senior linebacker and all-time leading tackler was honored with a spot on elite FCS team announced on Wednesday by The Sports Network/Fathead.com.

You can read more about Sherritt and teammate Chris Powers, a junior center who was also named to the first team here.