Redskins

Marian wins NAIA title, beating Morningside in OT

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Marian wins NAIA title, beating Morningside in OT

ROME, Ga. (AP) Michael Josifovski gave Marian the NAIA championship in only its sixth year of football with two more pressure field goals.

Josifovski made a 35-yarder on the final play of regulation to force overtime and hit a 26-yarder in the extra session to lift the Indianapolis school past Morningside (Iowa), 30-27 on Thursday night.

In the semifinals, Josifovski made a 51-yard field goal on the final play to give Marian (12-1) a 20-17 victory over Missouri Valley College.

``He's got a great leg. We call him `Megafoot,''' said Marian coach Ted Karras Jr., who had Josifovski kick the winner on third down.

Teammates call Josifovski - the offensive player of the game - that and more.

``He's clutch,'' said linebacker Robert Palmer, the defensive player of the game. ``We knew he wouldn't miss. He never does when the game is on the line.''

Josifovski made three field goals in the title game after connected on four in the semifinals.

``It's an incredible feeling,'' the senior said. ``You can't write this stuff. I couldn't have ever imagined it would end like this. Growing up you hope that you have a chance to play in a game like this.''

Adam Wiese was 25 of 39 for 233 yards and a touchdown for the Knights, and Tevin Lake rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.

Joel Nixon was 22 of 39 for 228 yards and two touchdowns for Morningside (13-1), and Fred Jones ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Nixon also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

Morningside passed up a field-goal chance on the first possession in overtime, and Marian's Danny Rojas broke up Nixon's fourth-and-3 pass to Joel McCabe.

``I'm disappointed,'' Morningside coach Steve Ryan said. ``A great game. We made some plays down the end to give ourselves a chance to win. I thought we were going to do it. It just didn't happen.

``The turnovers made a difference, the kicking game made a difference.''

Nixon threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Schuck with 1:04 left to put the Mustangs back on top at 27-24, but Marian marched back down the field to set up Josifovski for the tying 35-yard field goal that forced for the first overtime in the history of the championship.

``We have guys that don't quit,'' Karras said. ``We're true believers and we're pioneers We started six years ago. We recruit guys that are hungry to play with a never-say-die attitude. They're quality guys, they take care of business. Last week we did it like this, this week we did it like this. A lot of people probably counted us out with that minute left but we came right back down and tied it up. Couldn't be more proud of our guys.''

Marian rallied to take a 24-20 lead on Wiese's 61-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Jones with 2:46 remaining.

Ryan Harnett's interception in the end zone for Marian killed what might have been a clinching TD drive for Morningside in the fourth quarter. The Knights then drove 73 yards to cut Morningside's lead to three on Lake's 4-yard run with 7:33 remaining.

Morningside drove 78 yards in 13 plays to open the second half, with Jones scoring from a yard out. But David Galloway missed the extra point - and that proved to be significant.

Morningside led 14-10 at halftime despite two turnovers that turned into points for Marian. Nixon's fumble deep in his own territory after a scramble set up touchdown for the Knights and they added a field goal after an interception near midfield.

After Jones scored from 9 yards out to cap a 70-yard drive on Morningside's first possession, Marian got the TD back when Palmer forced a fumble as Nixon tried to avoid a sack and Billy Baker recovered at the 6. Lake ran it in on the next play.

A wild scramble by Nixon paid off for Morningside late in the first quarter when he was able to find McCabe at the back of the end zone on a fourth-down play from the 6 to cap another 70-yard march. Nixon went right, then all the way back across the field to the left before spotting his receiver.

Marian cut into the lead after Nixon's pass was picked off by Palmer at the Knights 43 midway in the second quarter. Josifovski, who had missed from 54 yards early in the quarter, connected on a 36-yarder with 3:55 left before halftime.

``We have faith in ourselves,'' Josifovski said. ``We had that momentum swing where we were down ten points and came back. It was something special. At that point, we knew we were not losing that game.''

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Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in NFL history.

But is he the best running back for the Redskins right now?

The Redskins signed Peterson, 33 years old and a 12-year NFL veteran, to a one-year contract. They have been hit with injuries at the running back position, most notably the loss of second-round pick Derrius Guice for the season with a torn ACL. They didn’t make any moves when that diagnosis was announced a week and a half ago. But they lost two more backs to short-term injuries last Thursday and they decided that now is the time to go out and get somebody.

Is the need for a running back really there? Rob Kelley was the starter for the last half of the 2016 season and for seven games last year before a variety of ailments sent him to injured reserve. Samaje Perine became the starter after that and while he struggled at time he also showed growth potential.

Kelley is 25 and Perine is 22. In the absence of Guice, they could develop and when Guice returns next year the team would have a good stable of young running backs.

But now, Peterson is in the picture. We don’t yet know what his role will be, but they did not sign him to be the back who is inactive on game days. He will get some carries and that will take work away from Perine and Kelley.

Now, if Peterson is more productive than either of the two younger backs then that is a worthwhile swap. But what does he have left in the tank at age 33?

Last year, playing for the Saints and Cardinals he gained 529 yards on 156 carries, a very pedestrian average of 3.4 years per carry. That is very similar to the production of Perine, who had 175 carries for 603 yards, a 3.4 average. In his two years in the NFL, Kelley has averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

By signing Peterson, however, the Redskins are hoping that Peterson has one more big year, or at least a medium year by his standards, left in him. After all, it was just in 2015 that he led the NFL in rushing for the third time in his career as he ran for 1,485 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. The Redskins would be delighted if he could get half of that total.

Any free agent signing can only be evaluated when the contract details are available. We only know that it’s a one-year deal and according to some reports he did not get any money guaranteed at signing. That seems to be a team friendly deal, but we will have to see what might kick in if he is on the Week 1 roster.

As with everything else, time will tell if this move works out. If the money is right, it’s a low risk transaction with some possible upside for Washington.

Back during minicamp while talking about how quickly Alex Smith would have to get up to speed with the offense, Jay Gruden said that the Redskins are not in a rebuilding mode and that they need to win now. After the trade for Smith, the Peterson signing is another indication that patience may be wearing thin.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries


The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent running back Adrian Peterson, per multiple reports and confirmed by NBC Sports Washington.

Washington added Peterson as their running back group took a number of hits this preseason. Rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the year in the preseason opener, while Byron Marshall, Martez Carter and Samaje Perine got hurt in the second preseason game against the Jets.

Peterson is a huge name. He’s likely headed for the Hall of Fame when his career ends, and he’s one of only a handful of rushers to gain more than 2,000 yards in a season.

His best seasons came with the Vikings, but Peterson hasn’t delivered top flight results since 2015.

If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peterson could be a tremendous steal for the Redskins. There is no way to know until he suits up in the preseason, which could happen as soon as this Friday night against Denver.

On the roster, Washington has Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson available at running back. At his best, Peterson is significantly better than that group.

Will the Redskins get Peterson at his best?

That’s the big question. And with two preseason games remaining, he will get the chance to prove it.

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