PAWTUCKET â€” Aside from exclusively fighting before a few thousand fans at the Twin River Event Center during the past couple of years, Todd Chattelle and Keith Jeffrey had spent the early years of their pro careers mostly fighting in front of hundreds of spectators and sometimes in some strange locations.
They both fought on the stateâ€™s first MMA show on Oct. 31, 2010 at the R.I. Convention Center, but that show has very few quality fights on it and less than a thousand fans filled the 7,500-seat venue.
PROVIDENCE â€” The penalties and turnovers hurt. So did an off-night by the offense.
But if there was one thing that really hindered Sheaâ€™s hopes of beating Central on Friday night, it was two long plays in the final quarter by the Knights that resulted in the gameâ€™s touchdowns and the hostsâ€™ first Division II-B victory of the season.
WEST WARWICK â€” Football is looked upon as the ultimate team sport. You canâ€™t do your job correctly unless the person lined up next to you does his. Everyone must be on the same page.
Sometimes, though, there are individuals that are so crucial to a teamâ€™s vitality, their influence so great, that you start recalibrating expectations â€“ if Player X isnâ€™t his usual spectacular self, chances are the team will find itself running in quicksand. After all, thereâ€™s a reason why heâ€™s viewed as the straw that stirs the drink.
PAWTUCKET â€“ The final score may suggest otherwise, but there was a time Friday night when this was Tolmanâ€™s game. In fact, some may argue that the Division I newcomers had perennial power La Salle Academy against the ropes.
In the end, La Salle showed why it figures to remain in the thick of the Super Bowl chase. With quarterback Anthony Francis accounting for four touchdowns, the Rams soared to a 42-20 triumph before a strong gathering at Pariseau Field.
PAWTUCKET â€” The time-honored tradition of seeing the manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox receive a â€śjob well doneâ€ť seal of approval in the form of a September promotion to Boston remains alive and well. The only difference is that this time, skipper Arnie Beyeler will be joined by a valued member of his coaching staff.
One of the more fascinating stat lines stems from how many NFL teams end up qualifying for the playoffs after starting out 0-2.
A blog entry that appeared on the New York Timesâ€™ website earlier this week noted that, since 1990, â€śonly 22 of the 184 teams that started the season 0-2 ultimately made the playoffs.â€ť Referencing back to when the league last expanded in 2002, just 10.1 percent of the 79 teams saddled with a donut and exactly two â€śLâ€™sâ€ť were able to right the ship and achieve postseason status.
CUMBERLAND â€” Looks like this new Division II thing is suiting Cumberland just fine.
After years of struggling in the Division I ranks and winning no more than five games in each of the last eight seasons, the Clippers are thriving in the stateâ€™s second division and off to their best start in recent memory.
DURHAM, N.C. â€“ For a team that has enjoyed a champagne bath or two in recent weeks, this was not the ending the Pawtucket Red Sox had in mind.
The International League champion PawSox felt the sting of the Pacific Coast Leagueâ€™s best Tuesday night as Reno romped to the Triple-A National Championship, 10-3, at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Aces jumped all over PawSox starter Nelson Figueroa as the playoff hero was knocked out after just two innings.
DURHAM, N.C. â€“ If thereâ€™s anyone who can relate to the coming-out-of-nowhere playoff run that the Pawtucket Red Sox have enjoyed, itâ€™s Rick Burleson.
A former Red Sox and PawSox shortstop, Burleson is presently the hitting coach for the Reno Aces. The 61-year-oldâ€™s presence in the Eastern Time Zone this week conjures up memories pertaining to Pawtucketâ€™s first Governorsâ€™ Cup-producing club in 1973. More than eager to take a stroll down memory lane, Burleson says the â€™73 PawSox possessed future major-league contributors by the bushel.
DURHAM, N.C. â€” When does a Game One have a Game Seven vibe to it?
The answer: When youâ€™re participating in a single nine-inning affair that will determine the top Triple-A squad of 2012, which is whatâ€™s happening Tuesday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, site of the Triple-A National Championship Game between International League champion Pawtucket and the Reno Aces, the top team from the Pacific Coast League.
Itâ€™s a winner-take-all contest that will serve as the final minor-league baseball game of the season, at any level.