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Walk-off field goal gives REDBLACKS win over Ticats

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OTTAWA — The Ottawa REDBLACKS were due for a win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and they got just that on Sunday night at TD Place Stadium. The REDBLACKS came out on top 24-22 in a hard-fought battle to keep the Ticats winless in 2024 and snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Tabbies.

Lewis Ward‘s walk-off field goal was the difference as Ottawa ended the drought against their East Division counterpart, not having defeated Hamilton since the 2018 postseason.

Ottawa’s Dru Brown compiled 265 yards through the air and a touchdown pass to Justin Hardy. Jaelon Acklin led the way for the receiving group with seven catches for 90 yards.

On the other end, Bo Levi Mitchell had 322 passing yards and two touchdown passes. Tim White finished the game with a touchdown catch, eight receptions and 118 receiving yards.

DeVonte Dedmon fumbled on the game’s opening kickoff, giving the Tiger-Cats strong field positioning to begin the game. On second down, Mitchell found White in the end zone to give the Ticats a very early 7-0 lead just over a minute into the contest.

A 43-yard return for Dedmon on his second return of the evening helped the REDBLACKS on their next drive. Ryquell Armstead’s 25-yard catch-and-run got Ottawa just outside Hamilton’s end zone and then Dustin Crum ran the football in from the one-yard line. Ward missed his attempted kick, leaving the score at 7-6.

Later in the first quarter, a 34-yard pickup by Hardy propelled the REDBLACKS downfield. Ward’s field goal from 34 yards out was good to give the home team their first lead at 9-7.

With time winding down in the first frame, the Ticats looked to answer back. A 16-yard reception from Mitchell to White started the drive, with a nine-yard run from Hamilton’s quarterback giving the visitors a fresh set of downs at Ottawa’s 42-yard line. Switching sides of the field at the onset of the second quarter, the Ticats were forced to settle for a field goal after a couple of incompletions. Marc Liegghio‘s kick put his team back into the lead at 10-9.

A couple of strikes from Brown to Acklin brough the REDBLACKS into scoring range on their final drive of the first half. Brown looked his way once more on second-and-long, Acklin drew a pass interference call against Richard Leonard in the end zone. After a challenge from Tiger-Cats head coach Scott Milanovich, the call was overturned. Instead of setting up from the one-yard line, the REDBLACKS instead had to go for a field goal. Ward’s attempt from 36 was good to put the hosts up 12-10 at the half.

Mitchell came out of the dressing room searching for his favourite target in White. On the first play of the second half, the receiver caught the ball but coughed it up. Fullback James Tuck was able to recover the football to give the Ticats 20 yards. On the next play, Mitchell connected with Steven Dunbar Jr. for the first time in the game, gaining 39 yards to bring the Tabbies just outside of the red zone. The Ticats’ offence was stopped there though, as Lorenzo Mauldin IV sacked Mitchell for a seven-yard loss. Liegghio’s field goal from 36 yards out was a hit to give the Ticats a 13-12 advantage.

After the Ticats’ defence forced Ottawa into punts on three consecutive drives to start the half, Mitchell led his offence to another scoring drive after feeding Kiondre Smith and Dunbar with first-down catches. Mitchell missed the mark when looking White’s way in the end zone, meaning the Ticats had to go for a field goal on third down. Liegghio’s attempt from 28 yards was a success to give the away team a 16-12 lead.

A big 28-yard play to Acklin got Ottawa motoring on the game’s next drive but that possession would be limited to just four plays after Armstead came up short of a first down in Hamilton territory. Ward’s 42-yard field goal made it a one-point game with 10:56 to go in the ballgame.

After three scoreless drives, Dedmon delivered another deadly punt return to bring Brown and the REDBLACKS’ offence to Hamilton’s 54 just prior to the three-minute warning. Armstead broke free for consecutive 14 and 17-yard rushes up the middle to push the REDBLACKS into the red zone. Brown locked in on Hardy who was free in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown. Rhymes couldn’t bring down Brown’s throw when Ottawa went for the two-point conversion, leaving the score at 21-16 with two minutes on the clock.

As time winded down, Mitchell had to try and manufacture a game-winning drive. With 57 seconds remaining, Mitchell got the ball to Dunbar for a 22-yard catch to bring the Ticats to Ottawa’s 10. Shemar Bridges got loose on the right side of the end zone to restore his team’s one-point advantage, with the two-point conversion unsuccessful.

Needing to put points on the board with just 18 seconds to go, the REDBLACKS marched down the field courtesy of clutch catches from Acklin and then Addison. On the final play of the game, Ward called game with a successful 46-yard field goal to give Ottawa their first win over Hamilton since 2018.

Next up, the Ottawa REDBLACKS travel to Winnipeg to face the Blue Bombers on Friday, July 5 in Week 5. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will return home to battle against the BC Lions on Sunday, July 7.

 

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LeBron Saves Team USA in Thrilling Exhibition Against South Sudan at O2 Arena

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LONDON — In what could have been one of the most monumental upsets in international basketball history, Team USA narrowly escaped with a 101-100 victory over a spirited South Sudan team at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night. This exhibition match, serving as a tune-up for the 2024 Olympics, showcased the rapid rise of South Sudanese basketball and the indomitable spirit of the American team led by LeBron James.

The atmosphere at the O2 Arena was electric, with fans witnessing a game that turned out to be far more competitive than expected. South Sudan, a team composed largely of refugees and players from the diaspora, pushed the heavily favored Americans to their limits.

First Half Highlights:

  • South Sudan came out firing on all cylinders, building a surprising 16-point lead in the second quarter.
  • Team USA struggled with their three-point shooting, missing 12 of their first 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

Despite the odds, South Sudan’s players, many of whom have overcome significant personal and professional challenges, played with remarkable cohesion and determination. Their performance was a testament to the rapid progress the team has made under the guidance of former NBA star Luol Deng.

With the game hanging in the balance, LeBron James demonstrated why he remains one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Benched at the start of the third quarter, James returned to the floor with a determination that was palpable.

Key Moments:

  • Third Quarter: Anthony Davis’ defensive prowess helped shrink the deficit. LeBron’s return brought stability and focus back to Team USA.
  • Final Minute: With just 20 seconds left, JT Thor of South Sudan scored over LeBron, giving his team a one-point lead.
  • Game-Winning Shot: LeBron drove to the basket, scoring the decisive layup with eight seconds remaining.

South Sudan’s journey to this point has been nothing short of inspirational. The country gained independence from Sudan in 2011, and the basketball program, still in its infancy, has quickly become a source of national pride.

Notable Contributions:

  • Carlik Jones: Delivered a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
  • Wenyen Gabriel: LeBron’s former teammate with the Lakers, contributed 11 points.
  • Marial Shayok: Led South Sudan with 24 points.

The team’s formation and rise have been spearheaded by Luol Deng, who played a pivotal role in recruiting and funding the program. His efforts have culminated in South Sudan qualifying for the Olympics, marking a historic achievement for the young nation.

Stephen Curry: “Wild game. They played really intense. It was nice to see how we responded. LeBron with a great finish down the stretch.”

Steve Kerr: “The whole team was embarrassed at halftime. We were challenged today, and it was good for us to feel that now. This was a reminder that we need to bring our best every game.”

Luol Deng: Expressed immense pride in his team’s performance, emphasizing the significance of their journey and the obstacles they have overcome.

This exhibition game was more than just a pre-Olympic warm-up. It highlighted the potential for underdog stories in sports and underscored the global reach and impact of basketball. Team USA, despite the narrow escape, was reminded of the importance of every game and the challenges that lie ahead.

South Sudan, on the other hand, has cemented its place on the international stage, showcasing that with determination and the right support, even the newest teams can compete with the best in the world.

As both teams prepare for the Olympics, this game at the O2 Arena will be remembered not only for its thrilling finish but also for the remarkable stories of resilience and ambition that played out on the court.

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UFC Vegas 94: Amanda Lemos vs. Virna Jandiroba – Main Event Recap

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In a thrilling main event at UFC Vegas 94, strawweights Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba faced off on Saturday night. After an evenly matched first round, Jandiroba secured a dramatic submission victory in the second round, just moments before the bell.

Fight Summary:

  • First Round: The opening round was highly competitive, with both fighters showcasing their skills and maintaining a close contest.
  • Second Round: In the final seconds of the second round, Jandiroba managed to secure a submission, forcing Lemos to tap out. The win marks an impressive fourth consecutive victory for Jandiroba.

Post-Fight Remarks:

  • In her post-fight interview inside the Octagon, Jandiroba confidently called out UFC President Dana White, declaring, “Dana, I’m the next one. Dana, I’m your next champion.”

Future Implications:

  • With this victory, Jandiroba has positioned herself as a strong contender for the strawweight title. Tatiana Suarez, who was the rightful next contender for Weili Zhang, has been sidelined due to an injury. Jandiroba’s current four-fight win streak and her dominant performance at UFC Vegas 94 make a compelling case for her title shot.

Stay tuned for more updates as the UFC strawweight division continues to evolve, and see if Virna Jandiroba will indeed become the next challenger for the championship belt.

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Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry: Fight Night Updates

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Jake Paul is back in the ring, and he’s promising fireworks as he takes on former UFC star Mike Perry at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The fight will be broadcast live on DAZN. Originally, Paul was set to fight Mike Tyson, but Perry stepped in after Tyson suffered an injury.

Fight Details:

Jake Paul (9-1, 6 KOs)

  • Paul is coming off a first-round TKO of Ryan Bourland in March.
  • He has promised that Perry won’t survive the second round.
  • Paul is more experienced in boxing but still relatively new to the sport.

Mike Perry (0-1)

  • Perry, known as “Platinum,” brings over a decade of fighting experience, mainly in MMA and bare-knuckle fighting.
  • He believes Paul is still green in the fight business and intends to use his experience to pull off an upset.

Main Event:
Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry

Live Updates: Follow DAZN for all the live updates, results, and highlights from the Paul vs. Perry pay-per-view main card.

Main Card Results:

Amanda Serrano def. Stevie Morgan via TKO

  • Round 2, 0:38
    • Watch the finish

Lucas Bahdi def. H20 Sylve via knockout

  • Round 6, 2:27
    • Watch the finish

Corey Marksman def. Tony Aguilar via majority decision

  • Scores: 76-76, 77-75, 78-74

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. def. Uriah Hall via unanimous decision

  • Scores: 59-55, 59-55, 58-56
    • Recap

Stay tuned for the main event updates and see if Jake Paul can deliver on his promise of another highlight reel knockout or if Mike Perry will teach him a lesson and pull off a major upset.

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