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.

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Camden Yards earns top spot in top 100 stadium experiences

Camden Yards earns top spot in top 100 stadium experiences

Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md. grabbed the top spot in a list of the top 100 stadium experiences of 2016. 

There are very few stadiums in sports that you could even argue offer a backdrop that's as aesthetically pleasing or as unique as Camden Yards. The long brick train warehouse in right field along with the view of the Baltimore skyline in center field, gives Camden Yards as cozy of a feeling that you can get while at a sporting event. Add in the fact that O's fans are always into the games and have many gameday traditions, Camden Yards' number one ranking is perfectly justified. Just writing this makes me long for some crab fries and a cold beverage while watching the Orioles on a Saturday afternoon in the summer. 

Checking in at number 14 on the list is the stadium that's right next door to Camden Yards, and that's M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Ravens. This stadium was ranked the best stadium experience in the NFL, beating out Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Lambeau Field for the top spot. 

Navy Marine Corp Memorial Stadium, home of the Naval Academy's football team, entered the rankings at number 49 on the list. Go to a game at Navy Marine Corp Memorial Stadium and you'll see some good football in a place that is full of history and patriotism. 

The final mid-atlantic area stadium that made the list was Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegal Center in Richmond. Home of the VCU basketball team, the Siegal Center has developed into a really tough place for teams to play. Since the Rams run to the Final Four in 2011 and the development of the basketball program under former coach Shaka Smart, VCU has turned into a perrenially good college basketball team. Couple a good team with a loud, intimate 7,500 seat stadium and you've got yourself a really cool venue to watch college basketball.  

Related: Top 25 college football uniforms 

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Alex Ovechkin critical of officiating Monday in Pittsburgh

Alex Ovechkin critical of officiating Monday in Pittsburgh

A couple of days have passed, but Alex Ovechkin is still miffed about the multiple missed calls in Monday’s 8-7 overtime loss in Pittsburgh.

Speaking after Wednesday’s practice in Arlington, the Caps’ captain specifically referenced two of them—Patric Hornqvist’s high hit on T.J. Oshie and Sidney Crosby’s blatant trip on him in overtime.

“If it’s there, it’s there,” Ovechkin said, asked about remaining composed when addressing referees. “Like even last game, how many calls they miss?” Before four-on-four, it was a straight headshot on Osh and no call.”

The Capitals were leading 3-0 when Hornqvist forearmed Oshie’s jaw in the corner, briefly sending the first line winger to the dressing room. Following the ensuing scrum, Hornqvist and Daniel Winnik were sent off for roughing, and the Penguins struck twice as the sides skated four-on-four.

“Just call it,” Ovechkin said. “You killed the game and killed our momentum.”

Ovechkin did not address reporters after the game and the Caps were off on Tuesday.

The referees at PPG Paints Arena were Frederick L’Ecuyer and Dan O’Halloran.

Ovechkin also did not like the non-call on Crosby, who used his stick and skate to trip him as he carried the puck with speed early in the extra session. Conor Sheary ended the game moments later.

“I would say it was a pretty bad situation out there,” Ovechkin said. “In overtime, the same. There was clear trip and no call, but everybody makes mistakes.”

He added: “It’s emotion moments. I think everybody get involved, everybody has emotions. Again, if it’s [a] 100-pecent call and nobody make a whistle or don’t make a call, of course everybody going to be mad and sad about it.”

Another missed call that had an impact on the game arrived early in the third period. As Karl Alzner went to play the puck along the boards in the Caps' offensive zone, Bryan Rust cross checked the defenseman, creating a turnover. Rust gathered the puck, passed it to Sheary, who then found Crosby, who sniped a shot past Philipp Grubauer to make it 7-5.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz said he did not discuss the missed calls with the league. He also said it was his team’s execution four-on-four—and not its mindset after the missed call on Oshie—that sparked the Penguins’ comeback.

“I think you would lose your mind if you worried about every call,” Trotz said. “For the most part, I stand behind the referees. I think our sport is extremely difficult [to officiate]. It can be very frustrating. It’s easy for coaches and fans and media to look at plays in slow motion—without trying to avoid behind hit by pucks and people—and staying out of everybody’s way and making calls. Once-in-a-while [calls] are going to be missed. And when they’re missed at times of opportunity for the opposition, you can get frustrated. But I don’t lose too much sleep over it because I know I can’t change it.”

Related: Trotz doesn't think loss to Pittsburgh will send Capitals into a slump