Capitals

Shippensburg QB Zach Zulli wins Harlon Hill Trophy

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Shippensburg QB Zach Zulli wins Harlon Hill Trophy

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) Shippensburg quarterback Zach Zulli won the Harlon Hill Trophy as the top player in Division II after a record-setting junior season.

Zulli received the award Friday night on the eve of the national championship game at the University of North Alabama. He set NCAA Division II records by accounting for 336 points and 56 touchdowns, and tied the national record with 54 touchdown passes.

``This is just ridiculous. I never would have expected this,'' said Zulli, who had never flown before the plane trip to Alabama. ``Being here is incredible. Sharing this award with my teammates, it just feels incredible.''

Zulli had 202 points in balloting by Division II sports information directors for a 64-point margin over Missouri Western State running back Michael Hill. Bloomsburg running back Franklyn Quiteh was third with 101 points.

Zulli, from Schwenksville, Pa., passed for 4,747 yards and led Shippensburg to an 11-2 record and the second round of the playoffs. He was the offensive player of the year in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Division. Quiteh plays in the same league.

Zulli became the seventh underclassman to win in the award's 27-year history and the first since Danny Woodhead of Chadron State in 2006.

Woodhead claimed the Harlon Hill again as a senior, becoming the third multiple winner.

Zulli completed 62.8 percent of his attempts, was intercepted just 10 times and was responsible for an average of 26.5 points per game.

Zulli ranked fourth in Division II in passing yards per game (365.2), third in total offense (382.4) and fifth in passing efficiency with a rating of 165.3.

The toughest part about the trip was flying for the first time. ``It was a little scary at first,'' Zulli said.

He opened by bringing Quiteh and Hill to the podium tell a story of a prank pulled on their host.

Zulli concluded by not just thanking his teammates but running down the roster on both offense and defense and even throwing in some nicknames.

``This team overall won this award,'' he said, ``not just me.''

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Possible playoff opponents for the Capitals are starting to come into focus

Possible playoff opponents for the Capitals are starting to come into focus

With their 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, the Capitals' playoff future is starting to come into focus. Washington has only one game remaining and can finish in either third or fourth in the round robin standings. That limits the number of possible playoff opponents for the Caps when the games really start to matter.

First, before talking about who the Caps may play, it is important to remember why. Under the NHL's regular format, a normal year would see teams advance in a bracket, meaning each team knows going in they will be playing the winner of a specific matchup if they advance. This year, the NHL is going back to its old format of re-seeding after each round. This makes determining matchups a bit harder to figure out.

Here's what we know. The Caps are going to finish in the bottom half of the round robin meaning they will play one of the highest two seeded teams coming out of the qualifying round. The Carolina Hurricanes swept their qualifying round series against the New York Rangers. As the No. 6 seed coming in, Carolina is going to be one of the top two qualifying round teams.

RELATED: DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWNS AND MORE FROM CAPS LOSS TO FLYERS

Washington's final seed will be determined by Sunday's game against the Boston Bruins. A win in regulation, overtime or a shootout will mean the Caps are No. 3, while a loss in any fashion will bump them down to No. 4.

The simplest scenario for Washington is that If the Pittsburgh Penguins rally to win their series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Caps are guaranteed to play either Pittsburgh or Carolina as the No. 5 and 6 seeds, respectively. It gets a little trickier if the Penguins lose. If that happens, the Hurricanes become the top qualifying team and will play No. 4. The top team behind them then becomes No. 6 which, as of now, could be the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs or the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So a rematch with the Hurricanes is a definite possibility for the Caps, as is a matchup with the rival Penguins.

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Report: Derrius Guice's attorney denies client's domestic abuse allegations

Report: Derrius Guice's attorney denies client's domestic abuse allegations

Derrius Guice's representation has released a statement that says the Washington Football Team running back "adamantly denies" the charges that he was arrested for on Friday

Guice turned himself into the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office facing one count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery, and one count destruction of property.

The following statement from Peter Greenspun was obtained by Ben Standig of The Athletic. 

"Mr. Guice will not be commenting on these charges, which he adamantly denies. We ask that the media respect Mr. Guice's privacy," the statement read. 

"Unfortunately, the investigators did not seek a statement or any input for Derrius before the warrants were issued. The failure to fully investigate allegations of events, which allegedly took place months ago is inexplicable."

Greenspun, who has a historic career and most notably was a defense attorney in the 'D.C. Sniper trial,' called the charges of his client "unsubstantiated." He also called out the football franchise for releasing Guice prematurely without inquiring about the investigation. 

"... a full vetting of the allegations will take place, in contrast to actions by local law enforcement and the Washington Football Team that assumed the worst, directly contradicting every sense of fairness and due process," the statement concluded.

The Washington Football Team released Guice less than an hour after his arrest became public. The move came through as a part of the culture Ron Rivera has vowed to instill during his first few months as head coach. This is also not the first time Guice has faced issues for off-the-field behavior. He fell to the team back in the 2018 draft due to issues he had while with LSU.

In his short tenure, Rivera has dealt with a tumultuous series of issues arising from the franchise including current and former players facing other serious allegations, a monumental name change, and serious allegations of the culture within the team's executives.

Despite injuries mounting in two years for the 23-year-old back, it was expected that Guice would become the leading rusher in the backfield this season. Still, he had yet to prove to be a consistent contributor with only 42 carries for 245 yards and two touchdowns entering his third season.

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