Published on December 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments NEW YORK — Nathaniel Hackett saw something click in Marcus Sales four weeks ago in practice. Something changed, in his work ethic and preparation.And when he saw Sales standing in the end zone for the third time on the day, with 7:53 remaining, it was clear something did click. After a season in which the junior wide receiver scored just one touchdown, Sales tripled his scoring output in one game.‘It feels real good,’ Sales said. ‘Finally, I got a chance and I just made the plays when they counted.’Behind a strong rushing attack led by Delone Carter and a big-play passing attack led by Sales, the offensive play-caller Hackett and head coach Doug Marrone’s offense opened up Thursday. In a wild inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium in front of 38,274, Syracuse (8-5, 4-3 Big East) was able to keep up and win a 36-34 shootout over Kansas State (7-6, 3-5 Big 12).The win gave SU its first bowl victory since the 2001 Insight.com Bowl — also against Kansas State.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘They made a young kid from the Bronx’s dream come true,’ Marrone said of his players while accepting the Pinstripe Bowl trophy. ‘And win this trophy at Yankee Stadium!’The Orange defense bent but did not break late in the fourth quarter, which sealed the victory. With 1:13 remaining, KSU quarterback Carson Coffman tossed a 30-yard touchdown strike to Adrian Hilburn, who flashed a celebratory salute after scoring. The officials issued a personal foul for excessive celebration. Down by two, the Wildcats couldn’t convert the two-point conversion from 18 yards out.When asked about the penalty after the game, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder paused four seconds before saying, ‘I can’t comment on that.’Though the Syracuse defense ultimately preserved the win, it was the SU’s offense that uncharacteristically brought the team to that point.Carter and the combination of quarterback Ryan Nassib and Sales carried Syracuse throughout the game. Twenty-seven carries, a career-high 198 yards and two touchdowns for the senior running back Carter in his swan song for the Orange.Five catches, 172 yards and three touchdowns all added up to a career game for the once-forgotten Sales. Nassib was happy to feed him the ball, as 172 of Nassib’s 239 passing yards and all three of his touchdowns went to Sales.Marrone singled Sales out in Wednesday’s pre-Pinstripe Bowl meeting with his team, reflecting upon the progress he saw in Sales.‘I pointed out Marcus Sales and how well he’s worked and the practices he’s had,’ Marrone said of that meeting. ‘And he came out and had a big game.’An SU offense that had only one play go more than 50 yards all year long would double that total Thursday.The first of those plays that came late in the first quarter. The Orange marched close to the 50-yard line, Hackett’s target point to open up the offense. And as Hackett looked at the KSU coverage, he knew the safety would bite.So as Antwon Bailey ran up the middle for what looked like a simple, straight-ahead running play, Hackett broke out the trickery. Bailey flung the ball back to Nassib on a flea flicker, and Nassib hung a perfect spiraling throw 52 yards to Sales to tie the game at 7-7.‘We practiced it all week,’ Sales said. ‘I knew it had a chance to come to me when the safety came down. So I just put my head down and ran, and looked for the ball when it came. And I caught it.’Behind another long Sales touchdown catch — this time from 36 yards out — SU went into the half tied at 14-14. The second half quickly turned into a shootout, with Syracuse and Kansas State trading offensive blows. Carter barreled in for two touchdowns, but the Wildcats answered with two touchdown scores of their own.The Orange found itself trailing by a point with 11 minutes left when Sales’ number was called again on the game-changing drive. First, he caught a crucial 18-yard pass to extend Syracuse’s drive on third down.And his second act came with the Orange on the KSU 44-yard line. Sales’ defender slipped, setting him wide open down the field, and Nassib found him again for the long touchdown score that gave SU the lead for good.The receiver who wasn’t on the depth chart at the beginning of SU’s season carried the team and program to its biggest victory in a decade.Flashing an uncharacteristic grin that was reminiscent of the boy from the Bronx, Marrone thought it was a fitting resemblance for where his program has come in just two short years.‘It’s about creating challenges and goals for your players,’ Marrone said. ‘And they responded.’firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook Twitter Google+
It was another day of shame for boxing officiating, says an executive member of the Ghana Boxing Authority(GBA)The unhappy Authority are set to file a protest against the split points decision that denied Ghanaian Boxer Richard Commey a World title as he lost the IBF lightweight bout against American Robert Easter Junior in Reading, PennsylvaniaIn a close contest in which the Ghanaian dropped the American on the canvass in the eighth round insists their campatriot was given a raw deal.Alhaji Tawfif, an executive member of the GBA told the Graphic Sports that the authority was shocked by the decision – which he desribed as ”daylight robbery” – as it was obvious Commey won on the night.“All those who watched the fight including the GBA officials were convinced that Commey was the aggressor, who left his opponent with no option than to hold him (Commey) throughout the fight.“It was another day of shame for boxing officiating and we of the GBA are obliged to state our position and let the world know that the unanimous decision was a daylight robbery”, he added. Alhaji Tawfik contended that Commey paid the price for the inability to stage the fight in Ghana. “In fact, we had the opportunity to promote the fight in Ghana, but the GBA had no support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.“Had the fight been staged in Ghana the story would have been different”, he argued.Commey is expected in the country tonight.