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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Back-up battle behind Rodgers continues

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Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

The competition continues this week for the Green Bay Packers’ Number-two quarterback spot. Veteran Vince Young has the best chance of beating out Graham Harrell as the top backup to Aaron Rodgers. The 30-year-old Young signed with the Pack a week ago. He played in two series in Friday night’s exhibition loss to Arizona, completing 1-of-3 passes and scrambling twice for 12 yards. He was sacked once. Young is still in the process of learning the Packers’ playbook. The seventh-year pro could get a lot of playing time in Green Bay’s next exhibition game on Saturday night in Saint Louis. Harrell struggled on Friday night. He threw an interception and gave away a fumble which led to both of Arizona’s touchdowns in a 17-nothing Cardinals’ victory. His quarterback rating was 49-point-five for six series. Second-year-pro B-J Coleman appears to be the odd man out among the four quarterback candidates at this point. 

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After a day off yesterday, the Wisconsin football team will resume its pre-season camp today with a pair of practices. The second practice is a scrimmage which is open to fans. It’s scheduled to begin at 3:40 this afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium. Much of the attention is focused on the quarterback competition between Curt Phillips, Joel Stave, and Tanner McEvoy. But some other spots remain undecided – including at right guard, where redshirt junior Kyle Costigan and senior Zac Matthias have both shared snaps with the Number-One offense so far at camp. Costigan is coming off micro-fracture surgery on his right knee, after he dislocated his knee-cap in last year’s Big Ten opener at Nebraska. 

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Two Wisconsin NASCAR drivers could not hold their Top-10 starting positions in yesterday's road race in Watkins Glen, New York. Paul Menard of Eau Claire finished 17th, after starting in the Number-seven spot at the Sprint Cup Cheez-It-355. Matt Kenseth of Cambridge placed 23rd, after starting 10th. Beloit-born Danica Patrick finished 20th. Travis Kvapil of Janesville was among five drivers who got into a crash on Lap-40, up the hill on Turn-Four. That ended Kvapil's day, and he finished 40th. Kvapil dropped one place in the Sprint Cup point standings to Number-36. The three other Wisconsin drivers all held steady in the season standings -- Kenseth in seventh place, Menard 19th, and Patrick 27th. Kyle Busch won the race. Jimmie Johnson remains the series leader. 

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The Northwoods League playoffs begin tonight, after the regular season ended yesterday. In the South Division Finals, the second-half champion Lakeshore Chinooks will open at home in Mequon against the first-half champion Madison Mallards. In the North, Waterloo opens at Duluth. Waterloo won both halves with a league-record 51 regular season victories. Duluth has the next-best overall record. Both series are best-of-three, with the winners advancing to the league title series which begins on Thursday night. Lakeshore won the second-half South title by only a half-game over La Crosse. The Chinooks needed either a victory over a La Crosse defeat last night to get into the playoffs, and Lakeshore came through with a 17-3 pounding of Madison. Eau Claire finished third in the South for the second half, followed by Madison, the Wisconsin Woodchucks, Battle Creek, Green Bay, and Wisconsin Rapids. Waterloo comfortably won the second half North crown by three-and-a-half over Duluth. 

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Madison golfer Steve Stricker tied for 12th at the P-G-A Championship. Stricker was only four strokes off the lead after Saturday's third round -- but he shot a three-over-par 73 in his final round yesterday. Stricker again failed to win his first career major, finishing at two-under-278. Jason Dufner won the season's final major at 10-under-270. 

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