Redskins

Nevada rallies for 35-28 win over Wyoming in OT

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Nevada rallies for 35-28 win over Wyoming in OT

RENO, Nev. (AP) Backup quarterback Devin Combs hit Aaron Bradley with a 24-yard touchdown pass in overtime and Nevada came from behind to beat Wyoming 35-28 on Saturday.

In a strange game that saw both teams lose their starting quarterbacks, the Wolf Pack tied the game in the final seconds of regulation as Combs connected with Richie Turner from 44 yards out to tie the score at 28.

Nevada (5-1, 2-0 Mountain West) led 21-7 in the second quarter when starting quarterback Cody Fajardo went down with back spasms with 5:04 left to play. He did not return.

Nevada coach Chris Ault praised Combs, a sophomore who finished 11 of 19 for 217 yards and two touchdowns.

``It took Devin some time to find himself, but he did and I'm proud of him,'' Ault said. ``To bring this team back in the fourth quarter and then win this thing, that was pretty special.''

Fajardo was 19 of 26 for 221 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. His 20-yard scoring pass to Kendall Brock put Nevada ahead 21-7 with 9:50 left in the first half.

Wyoming (1-4, 0-1) came back behind quarterback Brett Smith, who was ejected with 8:16 left in the fourth quarter after receiving a second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Smith's 8-yard touchdown run with 13:07 left in the game had given the Cowboys a 28-21 lead. He received his first unsportsmanlike penalty after the touchdown for taunting.

The second came on the Cowboys' next drive when Smith protested a Nevada defensive holding penalty that was waved off by the officials.

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen was critical of the call.

``Guy's running off the field, 3 yards from the sidelines running off the field, takes his helmet off and you're going to throw a flag on him,'' Christensen said. ``Kick him out of the game? That's unbelievable.''

Smith was 21 of 34 for 197 yards and three touchdowns. His replacement, Jason Thompson, was 1 of 6 for 10 yards.

Nevada had the ball first in overtime, starting at the 25. After rushing for 1 yard on the first play, Combs hit Bradley cutting across the middle from 24 yards out.

Wyoming then took over at the 25 and after Thompson rushed for 1 yard on the first play, he threw three consecutive incomplete passes to end the game.

The Cowboys held Wolf Pack running back Stefphon Jefferson, the nation's leading rusher entering the game, to 78 yards on 23 carries, nearly 100 yards fewer than his season average of 174.

``I think our guys did a nice job stepping up against the run, but gave up far too many passing yards,'' Christensen said.''

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

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Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

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USA Today

Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

ATLANTA—Anibal Sanchez outpitched Mike Soroka and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, Matt Adams homered and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Saturday night.

Second-place Washington pulled within 5 games of the NL East-leading Braves, improving to 33-14 since May 24, best in the majors over that span. Atlanta has dropped four of five.

Sanchez (6-6) got a big assist in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Trea Turner turned a bases-loaded double play, leaping to nab Nick Markakis' liner and throwing to first to beat Josh Donaldson back to the bag.

Soroka (10-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings. He had won 10 straight decisions, best by an Atlanta pitcher since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux had a 10-decision streak in 2001.

Sean Doolittle got the last five outs, facing the minimum, for his 21st save in 25 chances. He struck out Ronald Acuna Jr. with a runner at second to end the eighth and breezed through the ninth.

Washington went up 4-1 in the fifth when Sanchez reached on an infield single to third, took second on Donaldson's throwing error and scored on Turner's double. Turner took third on Adam Eaton's single and scored on Anthony Rendon's single. Eaton scored on Juan Soto's single.

The Nationals took a 5-3 lead in the eighth off A.J. Minter as Turner singled, stole second and scored on Eaton's single.

Adams went deep for the 15th time, an opposite-field homer that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center and into the stands to tie it at 1-all in the fourth.

Sanchez, who pitched for the Braves last year and helped them win the division, allowed three runs and six hits and has a 2.70 ERA in his last nine starts.

Atlanta led 1-0 in the first when Acuna reached on an infield single, stole second base, advanced on a flyout and scored on Freddie Freeman's single.

Brian McCann's ninth homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, chased Sanchez and cut the lead to 4-3.

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NBC Sports Washington's Michael Stearman contributed to this Associated Press story.