WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Packers lose in Kansas City; finish exhibition 1-3
The Green Bay Packers finished a 1-3 pre-season with a 30-8 loss at Kansas City last night. Packers’ corner Tramon Williams made an interception on the game’s first play, and Green Bay’s subsequent drive ended with a 48-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. Crosby also booted a 45-yarder in the second-quarter which made it 6-6 at the time. The Chiefs were up 13-6 at the break before they outplayed the Pack in the second half, on a night when the coaches were more concerned about giving players on the bubble their final auditions. Sam Barrington scored Green Bay’s only other points on defense, when he tackled Chiefs’ quarterback Tyler Bray in the end zone for a safety. The Pack failed to score on offense, while Bray had three scoring passes for Kansas City. The Chiefs had 262 total yards to the Pack’s 218, as K-C finished its exhibition schedule at 2-and-2. Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy didn’t want to risk injury to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, so Vince Young started. He completed 14-of-30 passes for 144 yards. B-J Coleman completed 2-of-7 for 19 yards and an interception. Rookie Johnathan Franklin led Green Bay rushers with 23 yards on eight carries. Jeremy Ross caught three passes for 50 yards. Safety Chris Banjo left in the first half with a hip injury, but he returned and had one of the Packers’ top performances on the night. He had a 14-yard sack near the end, along with a tackle-for-loss and a quarterback hit. Banjo will find out tomorrow if it was enough to make the team. N-F-L squads must reduce their rosters from 75 players to 53 by tomorrow night.
The Packers gave kicker Mason Crosby a choice – take less money with a chance to earn it back – or risk being cut in favor of rookie Giorgio Tavecchio. Crosby took the first option yesterday, and he re-structured his contract for this season only. His agent said Crosby his invested a lot with the Packers, and he wants to stay in Green Bay. He was supposed to make two-point-four million dollars this year. Instead, he’s guaranteed just 800-thousand – and he’ll have a chance to make the rest back by kicking better. Media reports say Crosby will get 400-thousand-dollars if he has not been cut after Week-Five, and another 400-thousand if he’s still around after Week 10. Also, Crosby will get 200-thousand if he makes 75-percent of his field goals this season – another 200-thousand if he hits 80-percent – and 400-thousand for making 85-percent. Last year, Crosby booted just 64-percent of his field goal attempts, resulting in his getting competition for the first time since he won the Green Bay kicking job six years ago.
Packers’ Hall-of-Famer Leroy Butler says he’s happy that the players’ lawsuit against the N-F-L over concussion-related head injuries has been settled. Butler is among the former players who joined the suit, which alleged that the league hid information about the neurological effects of playing. Once a federal judge gives final approval, several thousand players will share 765-million dollars for compensation and medical exams. The money will also be used for more medical research into game-related concussions and their effects on players in their later years. Butler said many fans thought the retired players were just out after money – but their main concern was getting health information. Butler, who’s now 45, said he’s happy the suit did not drag out for many years – and that players who need help can get it right now. A number of former Packers were among the plaintiffs, many from the 1996 Super Bowl champion team that included Butler.
Yovani Gallardo pitched seven scoreless innings last night, as the Milwaukee Brewers blanked the Pirates in Pittsburgh 4-to-nothing. Gallardo gave up six hits and struck out five while tossing just 93 pitches. He improved his overall record to 10-and-9 – and he’s given up just two earned runs in 19-and-a-third innings since returning from a hamstring injury in July. Also, Gallardo improved to 11-and-4 lifetime against the Pirates. Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in his career. He went seven-and-a-third, giving up four runs – three earned – on 10 hits. He struck out four and walked one, as his record fell to 6-and-7. Milwaukee scored in the first inning for only the second time in its last 30 games, when Jonathan Lucroy hit an R-B-I single. Lucroy drove in a second run later with a sacrifice fly. Aramis Ramirez hit a solo homer – his second in the series – and Khris Davis drove in the Crew’s other run with a double. Pittsburgh has lost four-of-its-last-five. They’re a game behind first-place Saint Louis in the National League Central, as those teams begin a key weekend series in Pittsburgh tonight. The Brewers completed a 4-and-2 road trip, and they’ll return to Interleague play tonight against the Angels of Anaheim. Right-hander Wily Peralta will start against Angels’ right-hander Jered Weaver.
The Milwaukee Bucks finalized their trade for Racine native Caron Butler yesterday. The 11-year veteran N-B-A forward was dealt from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for backup guard Ish Smith and center Viacheslav Kravtsov. Butler is getting eight-million dollars in the final year of his contract. But media reports say Milwaukee is still almost two-million under the N-B-A’s salary cap. The 33-year-old Butler started all 78 games he appeared in last season for the Los Angeles Clippers, averaging 10-and-a-half points and three rebounds. He has career averages of 15-and-a-half points, five-and-a-half boards, two-and-a-half assists, and one-and-a-half steals. Butler was traded to the Suns in early July. Butler says he looks forward to returning to his home area – and he’s in shape and ready to go.
The U-W Green Bay men’s basketball team completed a 3-and-0 exhibition tour to the Bahamas with a 75-to-71 victory last night over the Real Deal Shockers. Junior Keifer Sykes scored a three-pointer with just under 30 seconds left to put the Phoenix in front for good. Sykes led Green Bay with 26 points. Senior Vincent Garrett scored seven straight points in the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee native Tim Smyczek is now scheduled to begin his second round match this afternoon at the U-S Open tennis tournament in New York. Smyczek, who’s ranked 109th on the men’s side, will face Alex Bogomolov Junior. The 25-year-old Smyczek is trying to advance to the third round of a major for the first time in five attempts. He won his first-round match on Wednesday in four sets over 149th-ranked James Duckworth of Australia.
High School Football scores:
Bethlehem Academy of Minnesota 32, Clayton 18Bonduel 14, Peshtigo 9Crivitz 42, White Lake-Elcho 0Eau Claire Regis 36, Altoona 15Elk Mound 42, Eleva-Strum 0Germantown 24, Hartford 7Gibraltar 80, Luck 44Holmen 33, New Prague Minnesota 0Hudson 20, Chanhassen Minnesota 0Marion-Tigerton 43, Gillett 29Menomonie 23, Merrill 0Milwaukee Bradley Tech 22, Milwaukee Hamilton 14Milwaukee Pius 25, Greenfield 13Niagara-Goodman-Pembine 40, Norway Michigan 22Owen-Withee 40, Chippewa Falls McDonell 7Stevens Point 10, Wausau West 7Waukesha South 48, Racine Park 6