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Weekend Sports In Brief

Weekend Sports In Brief

NEW ORLEANS (AP) PRO FOOTBALL

From blowout to blackout to shootout, Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens had just enough power to survive one of the most electric Super Bowls ever.

The outage flipped the momentum to the San Francisco 49ers, but the Ravens used a last-gasp defensive stand to hold on Sunday night, 34-31.

America's biggest sporting event came to a half-hour standstill in the third quarter when most of the Superdome lights and the scoreboards went dark. By then, the Ravens had a 22-point lead. Everything changed after that, though, and the 49ers staged a sensational rally before Ray Lewis and Co. shut it down. But there were plenty of white-knuckle moments and the Ravens (14-6) had to make four stops inside their 7 at the end.

For a Super Bowl with so many subplots, it almost had to end this way.

Flacco's arrival as a championship quarterback - selected the game's MVP - coincided with Lewis' retirement - with a second Super Bowl ring no less. The win capped a sensational month since the star linebacker announced he was leaving the game after 17 Hall of Fame-caliber years.

The sibling rivalry between the coaching Harbaughs went to John, older than Jim by 15 months.

Bill Parcells was a winner everywhere he coached. Time and time again, he took over struggling franchises and showed them what it takes to be a success, including a pair of Super Bowl titles with the New York Giants.

Parcells pulled off another victory Saturday - election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Getting in on his fourth try, Parcells led an induction class that also included mouthy defensive lineman Warren Sapp, prolific receiver Cris Carter and a pair of stalwarts from the trenches, offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen.

The class of 2013 also included a pair of senior selections, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson.

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GOLF

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Phil Mickelson's 5-iron shot sailed long and right on the par-3 seventh, stopping an inch from the fringe and leaving him in danger of losing at least a stroke to playing partner Brandt Snedeker.

Mickelson ended up leaving Snedeker shaking his head and went on to complete a wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the Phoenix Open. Mickelson shot a 4-under 67 to finish at 28-under 256, two strokes off the PGA Tour record of 254 set by Tommy Armour III in the 2003 Texas Open.

Fifty-five feet away, with a mound and a 20-foot swath of fringe between his ball and the hole, Mickelson decided to putt through the taller grass rather than chip over it. He had caddie Jim Mackay remove the flagstick so that it wouldn't deflect the ball if it had too much speed, a move that proved wise when the ball raced into the cup.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Stephen Gallacher holed an eagle on No. 16 and won the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday, overcoming early jitters to beat playing partner Richard Sterne by three shots.

Gallacher (71) finished with a 22-under total of 266 to take his second European Tour win and the first since 2004. The 111th-ranked Scotsman had a three-shot lead over Sterne at the start of the final round but three-putted to bogey the first, and then hit his drive far right and missed a 6-footer to drop a shot on the next hole. Sterne chipped to 2 feet on the second for a birdie and a share of the lead.

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) - Karrie Webb won her eighth Australian Ladies Masters title on Sunday, coming from two strokes behind in the final round with birdies on three of her last five holes for a 5-under-par 67 and a two-stroke victory.

Webb finished with a 13-under-par total of 203 in the 54-hole tournament, the season-opening event on the European Ladies Tour. Her eighth win in the same tournament matched the U.S. PGA Tour record of Sam Snead, who won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times.

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PRO BASKETBALL

DALLAS (AP) - Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Saturday for criticizing the officiating after Dallas' loss to Golden State.

With the Mavs trailing 98-97 on Thursday, Brandan Wright had the ball knocked away while going up for a shot, and no foul was called. The Warriors went on to win 100-97 at home. Carlisle was particularly frustrated because the NBA had acknowledged the referees made a mistake in the final seconds of a loss at Portland two days earlier.

On Saturday, Carlisle sent a text message to reporters saying he spoke to the league office and agreed with the fine. He said the comments were ``not appropriate.''

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BASEBALL

SOMERSET, N.J. (AP) - Earl Williams, the 1971 National League Rookie of the Year, died at home last week of acute myeloid leukemia. He was 64.

Williams earned the 1971 rookie award after hitting 33 home runs with Atlanta. He hit 28 homers the next year, then was traded to Baltimore after the 1972 season in a multiplayer deal that sent Davey Johnson to the Braves.

Williams hit 138 career homers with 457 RBIs and batted .247.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lavonne ``Pepper'' Paire-Davis, a star of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and an inspiration for the central character in the movie ``A League of Their Own,'' died, her son said Sunday.

Paire-Davis died of natural causes in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Saturday, her son, William Davis, told The Associated Press. She was 88.

Paire-Davis was a model for the character played by Geena Davis in the 1992 hit ``A League of Their Own,'' which also starred Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna and Tom Hanks as the crusty manager who shouted the famous line, ``there's no crying in baseball!''

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - University of Texas regents Sunday ordered a review of policies regarding inappropriate relationships between employees and students after a two-hour, private telephone meeting to discuss incidents involving assistant football coach Major Applewhite and former women's head track coach Bev Kearney.

The call between the regents, their legal staff and Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa was scheduled after the disclosure Friday that Applewhite, the Longhorns' offensive coordinator, had been disciplined by the school in 2009 for his conduct with a student during a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. Applewhite was ordered at the time to undergo counseling and his pay was frozen for a year. The regents did not order any further discipline against him after Sunday's meeting.

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HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - The NHL suspended Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine for three games for elbowing Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.

Erskine was punished Saturday for a hit he delivered to Simmonds' face that sent him to the ice with a bloody nose late in the first period of Washington's 3-2 victory on Friday night. Erskine wasn't penalized for the shot that knocked Simmonds out of the game.

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SKIING

GRASGEHREN, Germany (AP) - Tamas Kraus of the Czech Republic won a freestyle World Cup ski cross event on Sunday, while Alex Fiva of Switzerland retained the overall lead despite finishing sixth.

Kraus beat Canadian Tristan Tafel in the final. Sweden's Victor Oehling Norberg was third.

HARRACHOV, Czech Republic (AP) - Gregor Schlierenzauer made history Sunday by setting the record for most career World Cup ski jumping victories.

The 23-year-old Austrian won a morning competition for his record 47th World Cup victory and added one more with a win in another race on a flying hill in the afternoon. Retired Finnish jumper Matti Nykanen has 46 victories.

SCHLADMING, Austria (AP) - With media attention on her personal life intensifying and some 400,000 fans expected, Lindsey Vonn will be surrounded by bodyguards at the Alpine skiing world championships starting Tuesday.

Vonn says that her sponsor, Red Bull, ``has kindly hired security for me just to make sure I can get in and out and not have any difficulty. But I don't expect there to be any problems, but it's better to be safe than sorry.''

Gossip sites have been filled with reports over a supposed relationship between Vonn and Tiger Woods, and Vonn was asked by a local TV reporter whether the golfer would be coming to watch her ski.

Vonn replied, ``Oh my God! I don't know. You should ask him. ... I have no idea. I have no idea.''

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TENNIS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Sam Querrey beat Thiago Alves 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Sunday to give the United States a dramatic 3-2 victory over Brazil and a spot in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.

The U.S. will host Serbia in the next round in Boise, Idaho, from April 5-7.

Querrey stepped up after teammate John Isner lost 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to Thomaz Bellucci earlier Sunday, forcing a deciding fifth match. It was the first time since 2000 that a U.S. team needed to win the fifth match to advance.

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Why Yanda knows offensive success hinges on ability to protect Flacco

Why Yanda knows offensive success hinges on ability to protect Flacco

OWINGS MILLS - One of Marshal Yanda’s top priorities is to make sure the offensive line does its best to keep Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco healthy, unlike 2015, when Flacco suffered a season-ending knee injury. Having made five straight Pro Bowls as a right guard, Yanda is beginning his 10th NFL season, and his ninth season with Flacco as his quarterback. Yanda knows that much of the Ravens’ offensive success depends on Flacco staying healthy.

“We haven’t really talked about it specifically,” Yanda said. “But obviously, you know as an offensive line, we talk about it, and you coach it. You’re going to keep your guys as far away from the quarterback as possible. Obviously, there is probably more emphasis this year with the knee.”

MORE RAVENS: DAY 2 TRAINING CAMP OBSERVATIONS

When Flacco sees game action for the first time this season, Yanda doesn’t expect his quarterback to play tentatively due to his knee.

“He’s going to have to make his read,” Yanda said. “We have certain plays where he is going to be on the move, no matter what. We know about it: it is conscious in my mind; it is conscious in the offensive line’s mind and his mind, too. I feel like he just has to play through that. I had a knee (injury) once before, and he just has to get reps and get comfortable with the way it is feeling now. It will always feel a little different. That is just normal. It will continue to get normal as he keeps playing.”

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Five observations from Day 2 of Ravens training camp

Five observations from Day 2 of Ravens training camp

OWINGS MILLS – Five observations from Day 2 of Ravens training camp:

RELATED: DAY 1 OBSERVATIONS

1. Wide receiver Michael Campanaro had an impressive day.

— Campanaro consistently got open making decisive moves and catching the ball cleanly, whether lined up wide or in the slot. Injuries have been the main stumbling block during Campanaro’s career. But there is no doubt he can make plays if he makes it to Week 1 healthy. Unless he suffers another injury, I think Campanaro is on the 53-man roster, especially since he can also return punts.

2. Joe Flacco showed no discomfort practicing on his surgically-repaired knee for a second straight day.

— Flacco throw the ball crisply, he moved well in the pocket, and he smiled when on the sideline. If Flacco was thinking at all about his knee, he disguised it well.

3.  Rookie cornerback Tavon Young is a player to watch.

— Young made several nice plays on the ball, including an interception in which he showed good technique and ball awareness. A fourth round pick from Temple, Young is making a bid to earn playing time as a nickel corner. Jerraud Powers missed his second straight practice (failed conditioning test), and Young took advantage of the extra reps. It will be interesting to learn more about Young’s tackling ability when the Ravens begin practicing in pads.

4. Rookie fourth-round pick Chris Moore looks like a potential playmaker.

— Ravens corners are having trouble keeping up with Moore when he goes deep, including Jimmy Smith, who saw Moore race by on his way to a deep reception. With left tackle Ronnie Stanley, linebacker Kamalei Correa, Young, and Moore, the Ravens have the potential for an instant-impact draft class.

5. There is no getting around Stanley’s importance as a rookie.

— Stanley needs to continue looking good when the Ravens go to pads Saturday, and whenever linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil return from PUP. A potential Ravens deal with veteran left tackle Jake Long fell through Friday. The Ravens will be counting on Stanley, not only to start but to play well.

 

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Long won't join Ravens, potential deal with LT falls through

Long won't join Ravens, potential deal with LT falls through

OWINGS MILLS – Veteran left tackle Jake Long won’t be joining the Ravens after all. A potential deal between Long and the Ravens fell through Friday, leaving Long a free agent according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, and confirmed by CSN.

The issue was Long’s right knee. He tore his ACL in both 2013 and 2014, leaving concern about how his knee would hold up if he returned to action. Long went to see Dr. James Andrews after taking a physical with the Ravens on Wednesday. According to a source, while Long was healthy enough to play, the Ravens were not comfortable being financially liable if Long’s knee failed to hold up.

The Ravens targeted Long as a potential backup for rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley. While Stanley has looked solid during practice, the Ravens have been searching for veteran insurance in case Stanley suffered an injury. Long is a former No. 1 overall pick (2008) and has more experience than James Hurst, who is currently the Ravens’ backup left tackle.

Now the Ravens have a roster spot available, which they may use to sign another offensive lineman, or to address depth at another position.

MORE RAVENS: FIVE OBSERVATIONS FROM DAY 1 OF RAVENS TRAINING CAMP