Heinicke wins Walter Payton Award

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Heinicke wins Walter Payton Award

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke has won the Walter Payton Award, given to the top offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Heinicke, a native of Atlanta, became just the second sophomore in FCS history to win the award, after receiving 72 first-place votes and 531 points Monday.

Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet finished second (284) and Wofford running back Eric Breitenstein (197) rounded out the top three. Heinicke is the ninth straight quarterback to be honored.

Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney finished fifth overall with 158 points, but was second to Heinicke in first-place votes with 15.

Maysonet had 13 first-place votes after compiling 1,964 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns this season. Breitenstein received 11 first-place votes after posting 2,035 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns.

Heinicke led the FCS with 5,076 yards passing, a 390.5-yard average, and 55 total touchdowns for the Monarchs. Heinicke also ran for 470 yards on 126 carries as Old Dominion went 10-1 in the regular season.

On Sept. 22, in a memorable 64-61 victory over New Hampshire, Heinicke set a Division I record with 730 passing yards and 791 yards of total offense.

Former Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson is the only other sophomore to win the award (1999). Peterson went on to an NFL career with the Chicago Bears from 2002-09.

The award was part of The Sports Network's FCS Banquet and Presentation at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel.

Earlier in the day, Montana State defensive end Caleb Schreibeis won the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in the FCS. The senior from Billings, Mont., is the first Montana State player to win the award, and the fifth from the Big Sky Conference, which has won four of the past six Buchanan awards.

Schreibeis led the FCS with eight forced fumbles this season. He led the Big Sky with 12.5 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss. He tallied 59 tackles with seven quarterback hurries and four passes broken up.

Schreibeis received 35 first-place votes, 18 second-place votes and 14 third-place votes to finish with 319 points. Jeremy Kimbrough of Appalachian State was second with 287 points.

Three things to know about Ravens fourth-round pick Alex Lewis

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Three things to know about Ravens fourth-round pick Alex Lewis

Here are three things you should know about Ravens fourth-round pick (130), offensive tackle Alex Lewis.

1. Lewis overcame a bad off-the-field incident in college.

After an altercation with an Air Force cadet that left the cadet unconscious, Lewis was sentenced to 45 days in jail for third-degree assault. Afterward, he transferred from Colorado to Nebraska. After researching Lewis thoroughly, the Ravens felt comfortable enough to take a chance on him.

“In terms of the incident, we vet all of our guys,” said Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz. “It’s out there, people know about it, and we’ve discussed it. Our scouts do a great job of not only talking to the coaches there, but following up with the staff at Colorado as well. And we felt very comfortable after discussing with the staffs at both schools and finding out information from different reports, and then as well as talking to the kid about the incident.”

2. Lewis will compete for a backup tackle spot.

Whether the Ravens keep Eugene Monroe or not, Lewis has a chance to be the backup left tackle if he can beat out James Hurst. Lewis could also become the backup right tackle behind Rick Wagner.

3. Lewis was selected a team captain at Nebraska.

That speaks highly of what teammates and coaches thought of him, and how he rebounded from his past troubles.

Caps miss golden opportunity in Game 4 loss

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Caps miss golden opportunity in Game 4 loss

With no Kris Letang for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4, all signs pointed to the Washington Capitals evening up the series at two games. Instead, the Caps were handed a 3-2 overtime loss and now head back to Washington on the verge of elimination.

It was a golden opportunity missed by the Caps, even if the players don't want to admit it.

"They have lots of other guys that are good too," Nicklas Backstrom said. "I feel like they’re a good team."

"Whenever you lose a game, it’s obviously an opportunity missed but it had nothing to do with them missing some of their players," Jay Beagle said. "It was just a matter of we needed to win the game and get the split here and head back to our barn."

RELATED: FIVE STATS TO KNOW AFTER CAPITALS' GAME 4 LOSS TO PENGUINS

Whether the Caps want to acknowledge it or not, the impact of a player like Letang is undeniable.

Letang, Pittsburgh's top defenseman, was suspended for Game 4 due to a high hit he delivered to Marcus Johansson in Game 3. While everyone knows about the Penguins' star forwards like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Letang remains one of the team's most important players. Through the first three games of the series, he has averaged over 32 minutes per game. That means Pittsburgh, already playing without Olli Maatta who has been out since taking a high hit from Brooks Orpik in Game 2, had to somehow replace a defenseman who has incredibly been averaging over half a game in ice time.

Losing a player like that is felt up and down the lineup.

"The six defenseman had to play a few more minutes than we're used to," Ben Lovejoy said.

"Obviously without Tanger on the back end, the way the 'D' played tonight to give us a chance, that was huge," Sidney Crosby said. "A lot of guys thrown into different positions and they came up big for us."

The players may not have wanted to admit it, but Barry Trotz knows his team missed an opportunity on Wednesday.

"We didn’t take advantage of it," Trotz said. "...When Kris got the suspension we knew they were going to rally. They didn’t play their best game [in Game 3] and everybody had to step up on their side and I thought they did."

Now facing elimination, the Caps will somehow have to find a way to win their next three games against a Pittsburgh team that will be getting its best defenseman back for Game 5.

"We're excited to have Kris back," Lovejoy said. "He should be well rested after tonight. We're expecting him to play 44 to 48 minutes in Washington."

MORE CAPITALS: CAPS NEED TO REWRITE SAME OLD SCRIPT

Redskins building a long-term core of star players

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Redskins building a long-term core of star players

The Redskins are starting to build a core of star players who will be with them for the long haul. They now have the following key players signed through at least the 2017 season:

  • TE Jordan Reed (signed through 2021)
  • OT Trent Williams (2020)
  • OLB Ryan Kerrigan (2020)
  • CB Josh Norman (2020)
  • P Tress Way (2020)
  • OL Brandon Scherff (2017 plus fifth-year team option)
  • OLB Preston Smith (2017)
  • WR Jamison Crowder (2017)

The Redskins will have their 2016 draft class signed through 2018 when they agree to deals. The team will have a fifth-year option on first-round pick Josh Doctson so he could be under contract through 2019.