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Trevor Harris injured as Saskatchewan Roughriders beat Tiger-Cats to improve to 3-0

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Harris was hurt near the end of the first half but Saskatchewan was still able to prevail over the 36-20 Tiger-Cats for their third straight win

The Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36-20 on Sunday night to improve to 3-0 on the season, but the victory was overshadowed with concern over quarterback Trevor Harris.

The 38-year-old veteran pivot was injured near the end of the first half in Saskatchewan’s Week 3 CFL matchup on Sunday at Mosaic Stadium and didn’t return to action for the second half.

Shea Patterson took over at quarterback for Harris and helped Saskatchewan secure the win in front of 24,875 spectators.

Given that the Riders had the lead when Harris was hurt and with a bye week upcoming, Riders’ head coach Corey Mace didn’t see any reason to risk putting Harris back into the game in the second half.

“Why risk it,” Mace posed to reporters after the game. “I talked to him at half time and he was in pretty good spirits.

“In the second half, he was in my ear saying ‘Coach, I can go!’ But we wanted to play it just a little bit safe.”

Mace didn’t provide an exact diagnosis on the injury but the head coach doesn’t expect it to keep him out long term. It also gave the Riders a chance to see the backup Patterson run the offence while carrying a lead.

“We’re confident with what Shea has provided for us to this point and certainly we were still able to maintain the lead and move the field and execute the offence,” said Mace. “I just didn’t see any point to letting Trev go back in the game.”

With the victory, the Riders remain the only unbeaten team in the CFL’s West Division, while the Tiger-Cats fell to 0-3 and remain the only winless team in the East Division.

As for the game, for the first time in three games the Riders didn’t need a fourth quarter comeback like they put together in Week 1 against Edmonton and last week against the Tiger-Cats.

On Sunday, the Riders built up a 17-0 lead through the first quarter and carried a 25-7 lead through three quarters before ultimately securing the victory in the fourth.

“Really proud of how these guys came out,” said Mace. “I thought we started fast, I thought we attacked the ball, I thought we took advantage of our opportunities.

“I thought we relied on each other when people went down and people had to step up.

“This is closer to the ID of what we expect to be.”

Harris hurt

With :44 seconds left in the first half, Harris took a hit after releasing a pass and fell awkwardly before he got up holding his left leg.

The 38-year-old veteran QB tried to walk it off but had a noticeable limp. Trainers attended to Harris and helped him walk off the field under his own power before the pivot headed to the locker room.

Patterson took over at quarterback for Harris, who returned to the sideline midway through the third quarter with a brace on his left knee. He threw passes on the sideline but didn’t re-enter the game.

Prior to the injury, Harris completed 16-of-21 passes for 177 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Patterson finished the game having completed 4-of-10 passes for 41 yards, while also rushing for three yards and a score.

“I’m prepared for the moment,” Patterson said after the game. “I’m prepared any time I have to step onto the field.

“Our defence and our special teams played unbelievable tonight and put us in good situations all game.”

Last season, Harris missed the final 13 games of the season with a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee. He was hurt in Saskatchewan’s Week 6 matchup against the Calgary Stampeders on July 15.

Sayles hurt

With 9:55 left in the fourth quarter, Riders’ defensive back Marcus Sayles threw a hit on Ti-Cats’ receiver Kiondre Smith but Sayles got the worst of it as remained down for several moments.

The stadium fell silent as trainers attended to Sayles before the defensive back walked off under his own power.

Safety Nelson Lokombo moved over to cornerback for the remainder of the game while Jayden Dalke took over at safety.

Running strong

After back-to-back games with 32 rushing yards to begin the season, Riders’ running back A.J. Ouellette had a much stronger performance on Sunday as he rumbled for 98 yards on 20 carries.

The 5-foot-9, 210-pounder was also Saskatchewan’s leading receiver with four catches for 47 yards.

“The last two weeks I felt like I wasn’t contributing to the team,” said Ouellette. “So, it feels good to get out there and help the guys get the win.”

“Things started to click for us,” said Mace. “We challenged the offence and the offensive line and the running game this week in the meetings and these guys took, they heat to it.”

Dabire double

Not only did the Riders defensive line hold Hamilton running back James Butler to just 10 yards on five carries, but Saskatchewan was able to sack Bo Levi Mitchell twice.

And the man behind both of those sacks was Canadian defensive tackle Charbel Dabire.

“Just capitalizing on opportunities,” said Dabire, who had a career-high two sacks in 2023. “Working hard as a whole defence and being able to be up there when my time was called.

“It felt awesome because this was the year I wanted to upgrade myself and just play harder and move better and this was the first step to heading that way.”

 

Scoring summary

The Roughriders kicked off to begin the game, but Ti-Cats returner Lawrence Woods took a hit from Saskatchewan’s Thomas Bertrand-Hudon on the return and fumbled the ball, which was recovered Saskatchewan’s Christian Albright.

Two plays later, Harris threw a strike to Samuel Emilus in the end zone to make it 7-0 for Saskatchewan just 1:05 into the game.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats receiver Lawrence Woods III (37) fumbles the ball during the first half of CFL action at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, June 23, 2024 in Regina.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats receiver Lawrence Woods III (37) fumbles the ball during the first half of CFL action at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, June 23, 2024 in Regina. Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader-Post

Later in the first quarter, the Riders added to their lead as Harris threw a 40-yard bomb to Ajou Ajou for the rookie receiver’s first career touchdown to put Saskatchewan up 14-0.

“It felt amazing,” said Ajou. “It was a great pass by Trevor; shout-out to my dog.”

Before the first quarter was up, Riders’ kicker Brett Lauther made a 34-yard field goal to give the Riders a 17-0 lead.

Early in the second, the Riders scored a single point to make it 18-0 on a conceded punt.

With 2:01 left in the half, Mitchell connected with Shemar Bridges for a 41-yard touchdown pass to make it 18-7.

In the second half, Hamilton marched down to Saskatchewan’s six-yard line before Mitchell was sacked by Dabire. The ball popped loose and was recovered by linebacker Jameer Thurman.

 

Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Samuel Emilus (19) jumps in the air after a Saskatchewan Roughriders touchdown during the first half of CFL action at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, June 23, 2024 in Regina.
Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Samuel Emilus (19) jumps in the air after a Saskatchewan Roughriders touchdown during the first half of CFL action at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, June 23, 2024 in Regina. Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader-Post

While the Riders didn’t turn that turnover into points, they did on their next takeaway.

Near the end of the third quarter with Hamilton in the shadow of their goalposts, Saskatchewan linebacker C.J. Avery tipped Mitchell’s pass and it was caught by Thurman, who rumbled 28 yards into the end zone to put Saskatchewan on top 25-7 with the convert.

“We talked about it all week that somebody was going to get one,” said Thurman, who also added six tackles. “I just saw the ball when he tipped it and I knew I had to get into the end zone.”

On Hamilton’s next possession, the Riders forced another turnover as Sayles tipped the ball into the hands of teammate DaMarcus Fields as Saskatchewan took possession near midfield.

Patterson and Ouellette helped Saskatchewan get down to the seven-yard line before Lauther came in to kick a 21-yard field goal to make it 28-7.

With 6:30 left in the fourth quarter, Hamilton marched down the field before running back Ante Litre plunged in from one-yard out to make it 28-14 with the convert.

After an unsuccessful onside kick, the Riders got the ball at Hamilton’s 35-yard line and marched it down to the one-yard line before Patterson plunged into the end zone to put Saskatchewan up 35-14 with the convert. Lauther added a single point on the kickoff to make it 36-14.

Hamilton wasted no time scoring another touchdown as Mitchell marched 70 yards on five plays while capping off the drive with a touchdown pass to Smith to make it 36-20 after an unsuccessful two-point convert.

After the Tiger-Cats successfully recovered an on-side kick, Mitchell looked to put another scoring drive together but he was intercepted by Rolan Milligan Jr. with 1:06 to go.

The Ti-Cats had one final drive, but couldn’t put points on the board before time expired.

Saskatchewan heads into its first bye week of the season.

The Riders will be back at practice on June 30 ahead of their second straight home game on July 4 against the 2-0 Toronto Argonauts.

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Malaika Mihambo and Dennis Schröder Lead Germany’s Diverse Olympic Team to Paris 2024

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“The goals have definitely not changed,” Malaika Mihambo declared in a recent television interview, reaffirming her determination to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games despite a recent setback from a coronavirus infection. The 30-year-old long jumper aims to defend her Olympic gold medal, which she won in Tokyo in 2021.

While Mihambo is a seasoned Olympian, Paris 2024 will mark a special debut for Dennis Schröder, the captain of Germany’s 2023 world champion basketball team. “It has always been a goal of mine to be at the Olympic Games,” said the 30-year-old Brooklyn Nets player.

Mihambo and Schröder are among the stars of the German Olympic team, which showcases remarkable diversity with around 450 top athletes. This team includes individual talents such as tennis stars Angelique Kerber, the silver medallist at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and Alexander Zverev, the 2021 Olympic champion in Tokyo. Notable teams include the men’s basketball team led by Schröder, the women’s football team, and the men’s handball team.

Among the experienced Olympic stars is table tennis player Timo Boll, who has won several team medals and is immensely popular in China and beyond. Dressage rider Isabell Werth, with seven Olympic gold medals, aims to match the all-time record of nine gold medals held by Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina.

Some German athletes, though not yet household names, have garnered attention with impressive performances leading up to the Games. In athletics, the women’s 4×100 meter relay team, decathlete Leo Neugebauer, and marathon runner Amanal Petros stand out. Trend sports also feature promising talents like surfers Camilla Kemp and Tim Elter, and 17-year-old skateboarder Lilly Stoephasius, who will compete in her second Olympic Games.

Swimmer Angelina Köhler has recently emerged as a star, winning gold in the 100 meter butterfly at the 2024 World Championships. Köhler, who has openly discussed her ADHD diagnosis, described participating in the Olympics as fulfilling “a very, very big childhood dream.”

As Germany heads to Paris, this diverse and dynamic team aims to leave a significant mark on the 2024 Olympic Games.

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Thomas Müller: The End of an Era for Germany’s Iconic #13

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It is difficult to write something about Thomas Müller that hasn’t been written before, yet at the same time, it is difficult to capture his essence in mere words. That alone is an indicator of his distinctive nature as a person and brilliance as a footballer.

It is said commonly, there will never be another Thomas Müller. And that rings true today more than ever, for Germany, for football.

Germany has dominated world football so often throughout history, each era marked by superstars in their own right. And even then, Thomas Müller remains unique, apart from the rest. The idea of a dominant die Mannschaft in the ‘modern era’ of football immediately prompts the mental image of an overjoyed Müller wearing any variation of the iconic white-black German kits, busy shouting in celebration amidst the euphoria of scoring yet another goal for his country on the biggest of stages.

Efficient, unorthodox, enigmatic – yet somehow simple. Everywhere he needed to be on the pitch, yet he left the greatest of defenders oblivious, unable to predict his next move. A goalscorer and creator simultaneously and equally brilliant at doing both. Unapologetically himself – both on and off the pitch.

You’d never be mesmerized by Müller’s touch, flair, or skills. But you’d be mesmerized nonetheless. Unpredictable off-the-ball movement, a surprise element with the ball, and a shot from such unbelievable angles that you’d never believe how it found the net. And even then what forever remained stuck in the minds of fans and opponents alike was the scene that followed after his heroics in the opposition box — a group of elated Germans heralding around Müller as the scoreboard reads a scoreline just as memorable.

A little boy from the south of Bavaria had a dream and had the entire world watch as he lived it to the fullest. Müller represented his country a total of 131 times and somehow every single time he was a pleasure to watch and a menace to face. The lights were bright, but he shone brighter.

His football was messy but incredibly effective. Tall, scrawny, and the furthest thing from muscular, but it worked to his advantage. He was never the “typical footballer” — concerning both his personality and playstyle. He was so good at everything going forward that the orthodox football terms didn’t apply. No problem for Müller – “Ich bin ein Raumdeuter,” said the star clearing things up about his position and inventing a role in football no one other than himself has or ever will truly master.

Germany’s first game at the 2010 World Cup saw Müller walk onto the pitch with the number 13 on his back. The same number was coincidentally also worn by legendary German striker Gerd Müller at the ‘76 finals. Thomas scored that night — it was the first of 45 goals he would go on to score for his nation. The fans (and notably Gerd himself) were overjoyed to see a German named Müller, squad number #13, scoring for Germany again after so many decades.

Speaking postgame about his first international goal, Müller said while laughing: “I was just trying to boost the sales of the Müller replica shirts!” – the first of many playful Müller interviews after a masterclass for Germany. 14 years and 44 goals later, Thomas has made that jersey number his as much as it was Gerd’s.

Thomas Müller — forever Germany’s beloved #13.

What once was a need to prove himself and do everything in his power to lead his country to victory turned into a feeling of grounded pride for what he’s greatly helped achieve, but the desire to win never died. Müller, even after everything, still put in the same effort he did on day one.

There was never a dull moment watching Müller play for his country. Not everything has changed — over all these years, Müller has had the same playfulness, the same laugh, the same witty statements that never failed to make fans smile. He is just as loveable as a person as he is as a footballer. “I don’t have any muscles – how can I get hurt?”, or “I already have one Golden Boot, what will I do with another?” Müller captivated audiences with both his football and his words.

Müller playing for Germany is what made myself (and so many others) a fan of the beautiful game – because the game was only beautiful when Müller had the ball. A mesmerized young boy and a superstar footballer formed an unlikely, one-sided bond over the television screen a decade ago, and that bond only strengthened over the years.

As Müller announces his international retirement today, it is difficult to fathom that we might never see such an icon play for Germany ever again. We might never see him celebrate or joke around in the Germany shirt. We might never see someone represent everything German football stood for as well as Müller did. We might never see him film a challenge video with Mats Hummels at the German camp. And we might never forget the heartbreak of his last game for Germany.

Yet we as fans can look back on one of the greatest international careers of all time. His antics on the world stage are some of the best highlights of a career filled with highlights. There is no need to mention his countless achievements for his country – he is the most decorated German player of all time after all. Even then, Müller, who has always had impeccable timing knew exactly when it was his time to depart. He didn’t want to push it or ever make things about himself.

Müller’s iconic moments turned into unforgettable games. Those unforgettable games made legendary tournaments. And those legendary tournaments? They are the crown jewels of an illustrious career.

So here is a thank you, from the bottom of our hearts – thank you for showing us what football is really about. Thank you for some of the greatest memories a football fan could ask for. Thank you for always giving everything on the pitch, and finally – thank you for being yourself. We will never forget Thomas Müller in the iconic German white. Danke, Thomas.

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Missed Opportunities Plague Yankees in 6-4 Loss to Rays

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NEW YORK — The New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 on Sunday afternoon, continuing a troubling trend of failing to capitalize on scoring opportunities. The loss came despite Aaron Judge’s efforts, including his MLB-leading 35th home run of the season.

The Yankees’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position (RISP) was the primary issue. In the first inning, hits from Juan Soto and Aaron Judge loaded the bases, but Gleyber Torres and Alex Verdugo couldn’t drive in any runs. Soto then grounded into a double play to end the second inning with the bases loaded.

Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, his 35th of the season, bringing the Yankees within two runs. However, his contribution was not enough to overcome the deficit. Marcus Stroman pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, including two home runs. He struck out five and did not walk any batters. Despite his solid performance, he received minimal run support.

Gleyber Torres made a critical error in the fourth inning, leading to a run. His 0-for-4 performance at the plate dropped his batting average to .229, adding to the Yankees’ woes. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected after disputing a strike call on Alex Verdugo. This marked his 38th career ejection and fifth of the season.

Soto’s ninth-inning RBI double provided some hope, but it was too little, too late. The Rays’ Jose Caballero homered in the ninth, extending their lead and sealing the victory.

The Yankees began the series with a 6-1 win on Friday but faltered with a 9-1 loss on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s 6-4 defeat. This inconsistency has been a recurring issue for the team. Despite the loss, the Yankees (59-42) remain two games behind the Baltimore Orioles (60-39) for first place in the AL East, as the Orioles also lost 3-2 to the Texas Rangers.

Aaron Judge commented, “No weight. I’ve got good guys behind me. It’s baseball. You’re going to go through some ups and downs, and you’re going to click for a little bit, but there’s months where other guys are going to carry this team and there’s months where I’ve got to pick it up and carry the team, and it’s all part of it.”

Marcus Stroman reflected, “It’s hard to be incredible for 162. I think we have a lot of confidence … how good (Soto has) been — all year, him and Judge — I think we’re kind of losing sight of how incredible those two guys have been. So they can’t do everything, each and every single time. We can’t put all the pressure on them.”

Aaron Boone added, “This game’s hard for us right now, and we’ve got to find a way. We know we’re better than this, and we’ve got to come ready and salvage a series tomorrow.”

The Yankees will aim to split the series against the Rays in the final game on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET. With their recent struggles in key situations, the team must find a way to improve their performance with runners in scoring position to turn their season around.

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