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FCS title game to stay in Texas 3 more years

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FCS title game to stay in Texas 3 more years

FRISCO, Texas (AP) The FCS championship game is staying in North Texas for at least three more seasons.

The NCAA on Wednesday announced a three-year extension to stage its Football Championship Subdivision title game at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco. That will keep the game in the growing suburb north of Dallas through at least the 2015 season.

``The committee is excited to announce this extension,'' said Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb, chair of the Division I Football Committee. ``The entire local community, including the Southland Conference, has really embraced and supported this event. When you combine that enthusiasm with the quality of the stadium, it makes Frisco an outstanding environment for the participating student-athletes, coaches and fans.''

Defending champion North Dakota State (13-1) and Sam Houston State (11-3) will play in this season's title game on Jan. 5, a rematch of last year's game the Bison won 17-6. It will be the third FCS championship game in a row played in Frisco.

FC Dallas Stadium opened in 2005, a state-of-the-art soccer stadium that is home of Dallas' MLS team.

The game is sold out for the second year in a row, with a crowd of more than 20,000 expected again. The last time the championship game drew more than 20,000 fans in consecutive years was 1995-96.

``All of us in the Southland Conference are thrilled the NCAA has chosen to extend its relationship with Frisco,'' said Tom Burnett, the league commissioner. ``Since we began our hosting discussions with the NCAA in 2009, we were convinced our city had so many advantages for the NCAA, the participating teams, their fans, and the larger FCS community.''

The game was played in Chattanooga, Tenn., from 1997-2009. Before that, it was in Huntington, W.Va., from 1992-96 after being played in seven different cities from 1978-91.

Appalachian State was the last team to win consecutive FCS title games, with three championships in a row from the 2005-07 seasons.

Montana and Marshall were the last teams to play each other in back-to-back championship games, with Montana winning the 1995 title and Marshall the following season. Youngstown State and Marshall played three consecutive years (1991-93), with Marshall winning the middle game and Youngstown State winning the two.

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'I'm so grateful': Kirk Cousins downplays any bad blood with Redskins

'I'm so grateful': Kirk Cousins downplays any bad blood with Redskins

If there is any bad blood between Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and the franchise he spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with, he certainly didn't show it on Tuesday.

In anticipation of his first matchup against the Redskins since signing with Minnesota last offseason, Cousins was asked an array of questions regarding his time in the Burgundy and Gold. He spoke glowingly of the organization, thanking them numerous times for giving him a chance when no other team would.

"For me, when I think of my time in Washington, I think of the word gratitude," Cousins said to reporters in Minneapolis on Tuesday. "I'm so grateful to be drafted by them. When 31 teams hadn't picked me, the Redskins picked me. That means a great deal to me."

"I just have a tremendous memory of the games there, the teammates, the coaches, and I'm so grateful for the people I got to work with," Cousins continued. "The quarterback I am, the player I am and where I am in this league now is largely the result of the coaches I got to play for there and the way they impacted me, and the teammates I got to play with."

Cousins' career in Washington was quite the whirlwind. Drafted three rounds after the supposed-to-be franchise savior Robert Griffin III in 2012, Cousins spent the first three seasons of his career as a backup and a spot starter. But the combination of a concussion that Griffin suffered in the 2015 preseason and the overall ineffectiveness from the No. 2 overall pick led then-Redskins head coach Jay Gruden to name Cousins as the starter just prior to the season.

"I was given an opportunity to start when there weren't many people outside of that building that thought I should," Cousins said. They stuck by me."

Things weren't pretty at first. The Redskins dropped four of their first six games, with Cousins throwing just seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. Then in Week 7, everything changed.

"There was a stretch there where we were 2-4, many people thought it should be over, I shouldn't be playing," Cousins said." Then we had that comeback game against the Buccaneers, I yelled the words 'You like that!' and kind of never looked back."

The Redskins went on a tear, winning seven of their last 10 games, including the final four. Washington won the NFC East, and Cousins finished the year with 29 touchdown passes and just 11 interceptions.

Cousins' next two years in Washington weren't as successful as 2015, as the Redskins failed to make the postseason both seasons despite being on the cusp of a playoff berth each time. Neither side was able to agree to a long-term contract, with Cousins playing on the infamous franchise tag both years. Washington decided to trade for quarterback Alex Smith in January of 2018, marking the end of Cousins' tenure in Washington.

"That's not something I need to get into today. That's been well documented," Cousins said Tuesday on why the two sides weren't able to come to a long-term deal. "It's about winning a football game this week and trying to get to 6-2 before this long weekend."

While the end of Cousins' era in Washington wasn't pretty, he still had nothing but positive things to say about the Redskins.

"I'm just so grateful," Cousins said of his time in Washington. "I could list the names but I'd probably leave somebody out, but there were some special coaches and some special teammates and people in that organization that I'll relate to the rest of my life. When football is long over, I'll still be calling them and texting them. So that's the simple truth."

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Nationals Dominican Academy goes crazy for Juan Soto's double in World Series

Nationals Dominican Academy goes crazy for Juan Soto's double in World Series

In only his second season in the major leagues, 20-year-old outfielder Juan Soto has fans all over the country -- and the world -- rooting for him in the World Series, including some teens at the Nationals Dominican Academy.

Early Wednesday, Johnny DiPuglia, the Nationals via the team's president of international scouting, posted a video to Twitter of a roomful of kids at the Nats Dominican Academy going wild for Soto's two-run double in Game 1 of the World Series. The hit put the Nationals ahead 5-2 and secured their eventual 5-4 win over the Astros to take the 1-0 lead.

Only a few years ago, that could have been Soto in that room. The Nationals signed the outfielder as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2015.

Soto made his MLB debut just three years later on May 15, 2018, after what can only be described as a meteoric rise to superstardom

On Tuesday, Sunday went 3-for-4 with a home run in Game 1 of the World Series in only his second season in MLB.

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