Local Sports Headlines: September 12, 2023

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Local-Sports.png

Indiana University Football Head Coach Tom Allen names Tavyen Jackson starting QB
Indiana Football Head Coach Tom Allen named Tayven Jackson as the team’s starting quarterback on Monday. After facing off against Brendan Sorsby in an open quarterback competition during spring practices, fall camp and the first two weeks of the season, Jackson will enter Week 3’s matchup against the Louisville Cardinals as the unquestioned QB1 in Bloomington.  Instead of making the decision prior to the season’s start, Allen maintained that he wanted to see both Jackson and Sorsby in real-game reps.  “We needed to go to full game evaluation,” Allen said in his weekly Press Conference. “There’s a field presence you have during games. There’s nothing like the ebbs and flows of a game.” Jackson is the man many IU fans wanted to start all along. Perhaps the quarterback’s practice reps weren’t as impressive as his Friday night game film was, as Allen said Monday that the younger brother of Trayce Jackson-Davis is a better in-game performer than he is a practice player.  “Some guys are like that, when the lights are on and the pressure’s on,” Allen said.

Jackson separated himself from Sorsby on Friday, completing 18-of-21 passing attempts for 236 yards. Additionally, the Tennessee transfer ran in a 10-yard touchdown for his first career score as a Hoosier. After both quarterbacks struggled in the season opener against Ohio State, Jackson emerged as the leader after his performance against Indiana State. Both Allen and offensive coordinator Walt Bell said as much on Monday, pointing out that their film review following the game proved that Jackson was the man for the job.  There will obviously be differences on Saturday, as no longer will Hoosier fans be subject to an unpredictable quarterback rotation. Barring the unforeseen, every snap under center should be taken by Jackson. However, Indiana offense’s plan of action should remain the same. The team’s play caller Bell said that both Jackson and Sorsby are similar enough in play style and identity that the team wasn’t changing much in how they approached their game plans during the first two weeks. “They have such similar skillsets, [and] that was a luxury that we had,” Bell said. “We really didn’t have to build two specific game plans.” Jackson will make his second start as the Indiana starting quarterback and his first as the full-time starter on Saturday at noon against the Louisville Cardinals. The game will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Indiana Fever close out the 2023 Season with a home win over the Minnesota Lynx
Kelsey Mitchell’s 24 points along with double doubles from Aliyah Boston and NaLyssa Smith led the Indiana Fever (13-27) to an 87-72 victory against the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday afternoon at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in the final game of the regular season. With Sunday’s win, Indiana reached 13 regular season wins for the second time since 2016. Indiana also won three games against Minnesota in a regular season for the first time in franchise history.

Mitchell’s 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the floor and 3-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc guided Indiana to the victory. Mitchell recorded her 28th game scoring at least 15 points this season, which allowed her to surpass Tamika Catchings in 2003 to set a franchise record for most 15+ point games in a season. Boston added 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the court for her 11th double-double of the season as she also pulled down 12 rebounds. With her 13th double-double of the season of 16 points and 11 rebounds, Smith set a franchise record for most double-doubles in a season after being tied with Catchings in 2002 and Teaira McCowan in 2021 with 12.

Erica Wheeler contributed 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, while rookie guard and Former Indiana University Star Grace Berger pitched in nine points, two assists and two steals in 20 minutes of action. Berger went 3-3 from the field, 1-1 from the three-point line and 2-2 from the free throw line and committed 2 turnovers. Highlighted by Mitchell’s career-high five steals, Indiana recorded a season-high 13 steals. In addition, Indiana outscored Minnesota, 48-28, in the paint.

Indiana was guided to its highest scoring first quarter of the season by Mitchell’s 11 points and Smith’s nine points, both on 4-of-5 shooting from the court. In addition, Grace Berger added five points on a perfect 2-of-2 shooting clip, while Boston also contributed five points. After the first five minutes of play that featured four lead changes, the Fever took possession of the lead and held it through the remainder of the quarter after going on a 23-9 scoring run. The Fever ended the first frame leading 32-22 after shooting 72.2 percent (13-of-18) from the floor. Indiana shot 2-of-7 from the floor to begin the second quarter, allowing the Lynx to reduce the deficit to five points on one occasion. Indiana responded by making five consecutive shots to move back in front. Mitchell’s eight points combined with Smith and Wheeler’s five points each helped Indiana record its highest scoring half of the season leading 56-44.

After being outscored, 19-7, in the third quarter and entering the final frame tied with the Lynx, 63-63, Boston led Indiana to the win as she notched 12 points in the fourth quarter on a 6-of-8 shooting clip. Indiana held Minnesota to only two field goals on 13 attempts in the remaining 10 minutes of play, the Fever outscored the Lynx, 24-9, to close out their final regular season matchup with a victory. The Lynx was led by Kayla McBride’s 24 points and Napheesa Collier’s 23 points. In addition, Collier rounded out her double-double with 10 rebounds. Diamond Miller followed behind with 11 points, and Dorka Juhász pulled down 10 rebounds.

The Indianapolis Colts fall in Season Opener to the Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to top the Indianapolis Colts, 31-21, in Anthony Richardson’s debut Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tank Bigsby scored on a 1-yard run to give Jacksonville the lead with just over five minutes to play. Travis Etienne padded the Jaguars’ lead with a 26-yard run after Richardson threw his first career interception. The Colts’ streak of season-opening losses now stands at 10 games. The last time the franchise won in week one was 2013 against the then-Oakland Raiders.

Richardson became the Colts’ seventh opening-day starter in the last seven seasons on Sunday. He finished 24-of-37 for 223 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for a score. Richardson left the game late after taking a hit near the goal line. Jacksonville found the end zone first when Trevor Lawrence hit Calvin Ridley for a 9-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-long late in the first quarter. Richardson responded with his first scoring drive in the NFL. He connected with Kylen Grandson for 11 yards, ran for 12 yards and hit Josh Downs for 22 yards. The rookie then capped the drive off with a 2-run TD run to tie the game at seven.

The Colts turned the ball over on downs their next two possessions. Then, Lawrence threw his second touchdown pass of the game. The 18-yard TD toss to wide receiver Zay Jones put the Jaguars up, 14-7, at halftime. Indianapolis tied the game at 14 in the third quarter on Richardson’s first career touchdown pass, a 39-yard strike to wideout Michael Pittman Jr. Jacksonville regained the lead on a field goal, but the Colts went ahead for the first time on a wild play. DeForest Buckner hit Lawrence, and the football came loose. Bigsby picked it up but didn’t move. Zaire Franklin knocked the ball free from Bigsby’s grasp, and Buckner picked it up and returned in 26 yards for a touchdown. The Colts will look to even their record next week when they play their first road game of the season on Sunday at Houston at 1:00pm.

Indianapolis Indians beat Toledo Mudhens at Victory Field Sunday afternoon
Extra-base hits off the bat of Chris Owings and Ryan Vilade led the Indianapolis Indians in a 5-2 series-clinching victory over the Toledo Mud Hens on Sunday afternoon at Victory Field. Trailing by one in the fifth inning, the Indians (63-73, 30-32) took the lead against Brenan Hanifee (L, 2-8) with a pair of doubles. With one out, Owings doubled and later scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Canaan Smith-Njigba. One batter later, Vilade drove in Smith-Njigba with a long double into the right-field corner.

Indianapolis continued to pile on, scoring on RBI singles by Grant Koch and major league rehabber Henry Davis in the sixth and eighth innings, respectively. Davis, playing in the second game of his rehab assignment, reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances with three singles and two walks. Owings began the scoring with his second leadoff home run and Indianapolis’ fourth this season. The Mud Hens (65-72, 32-31) then tied the game on three consecutive singles in the top of the third before taking the lead on a fourth-inning RBI single by Nick Maton. After Wil Crowe took the bump for Indy to start, Beau Sulser (W, 3-1) entered in the fifth inning and began a stretch of four scoreless innings for the bullpen. He surrendered one hit, Kyle Nicolas struck out four of five total batters faced, and Osvaldo Bido (S, 2) earned his second career save this week. Owings went 3-for-5 to join Davis in leading the Indianapolis offense. The Indians begin a six-game road trip at Omaha this afternoon at 1:05pm. Neither team has named a starter for the series opener.

Four Indiana University Men’s Golfers compete at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational
Four Indiana Men’s Golfers competed as individuals in the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational hosted by Ball State over the weekend at the Delaware Country Club in Muncie. Freshman Neri Checcucci paced the IU squad with a final tally of 218 (75-70-73; +8). He finished tied for eighth overall and converted nine birdie tries over the 54 holes. Freshman Nick Piesen turned in a three-round scorecard at 222 (70-75-77; +12). His even-par 70 in the opening round tied for the lowest round produced by a Hoosier over the weekend. The Strongsville, Ohio, native tallied five birdies. Redshirt junior Robert Bender III carded eight total birdies and an eagle (on No. 4 in the second round) to compile a scorecard of 222 (76-73-73; +12). His final two-round score of 146 ranked second among all Hoosier golfers. Junior Kieran Hogarth made six birdie conversions over the weekend for a final scorecard reading of 224 (74-74-76; +14). Indiana will take on a talented field at the Chicago Highlands Invitational hosted by Wake Forest on Sept. 18 in Westchester, Ill.

Indiana University Field Hockey falls to Ohio University in Overtime
The Indiana Field Hockey team lost at Ohio, 3-2, in overtime on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the team’s record falls to 2-3. Senior Jemima Cookson scored off a rebound in the eighth minute to put Indiana up 1-0. In the 19th minute, Indiana extended their lead to 2-0 after junior Yip van Wonderen found the back of the cage. The goal was assisted by graduate student Sarah Charley. Ohio’s Pauline Hartlieb scored a goal in the 20th minute to make it a 2-1 game. Meela Koop tied the game when she scored off an Ohio penalty corner in the 26th minute to make it 2-2. Neither team scored in the second half. Noa Desmaretz scored the game-winning goal in overtime during the 64th minute to give Ohio the win.

Cookson’s first quarter goal was the first of the season. Yip van Wonderen’s goal today was also her first of the season. The Hoosiers outshot Ohio, 21-6. Seventeen of Indiana’s 21 shots were on goal. Indiana will stay on the road for their next set of games. The Hoosiers will play at Northwestern to open Big Ten play on Friday at 1pm The next day, they’ll play a neutral site matchup with Pennsylvania at 1pm.  

Follow us on Facebook

Image result for Facebook button

For more local news . . . Check out our archived episodes of What’s Happenin’ and Talkin’ Sports with Nick Jenkinson