The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Breaking News

Sports

October 3, 2013

Illini put focus on TEs

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — In Matt LaCosse’s three seasons at Illinois, he’s played with and followed in the footsteps of some talented tight ends, some of them good enough to land in the NFL.

But on Saturdays, the big receivers were seldom featured in the game plan. In 2012, Illini tight ends caught 23 balls and three touchdowns.

Last Saturday against Miami (Ohio), three Illinois tight ends combined for six catches, 82 yards and four back-breaking touchdowns in Illinois’ 50-14 win. The touchdowns were a single-game school record.

LaCosse says it’s not just a one-game change. He and fellow tight ends Evan Wilson, a senior, and junior Jon Davis are, for the first time since they came to Champaign, an integral part of the offense. He says it’s happened in part because of new offensive coordinator Bill Cubit’s attack that’s being widely credited for confusing opponents with any number of formations and looks and for reviving the offense at Illinois (3-1).

“It’s awesome; it’s amazing how multiple things can be,” LaCosse said. “It’s a blast to play in when all three tight ends can have a touchdown.”

LaCosse said the tight ends had earned their way into Cubit’s game-day plans, too.

“I think our tight ends have shown that we could play and that we’re pretty good,” he said.

Illinois has recruited strong talent at tight end for at least the past seven seasons. Several, including New England Patriots Michael Hoomanawanui, went on to the NFL. In four seasons, Hoomanawanui caught 40 passes at Illinois for 490 yards and four touchdowns.

LaCosse said that, before this season, he sometimes thought the tight ends weren’t used enough.

“You could say that. There were a few frustrations here and there,” he said. “So it’s nice to be used and be a focal point of the offense.”

Text Only
Sports
  • 7-23-14 3B-Photo, Clinton baseball Kings feel re-energized (with VIDEOS & PHOTO ALBUM)

    CLINTON -- There’s nothing like a postseason run to get the juices flowing again and jumpstart a baseball season that at times was trying.The atmosphere around the Clinton High School program is upbeat these days. One game away from a second consecut

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sky edges Fever ROSEMONT, Ill. — Sylvia Fowles knew she had to step up for her struggling team. Her teammates have said they need her, and her coach has challenged her.Fowles responded with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the Chicago Sky to a 6

    July 23, 2014

  • Sharp increase in teen use NEW YORK — Experimentation with human growth hormones by America’s teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new, large-scale national su

    July 23, 2014

  • Best of the East enters town today CLINTON — After seeing some new scenery in the eastern portion of the Midwest League, the Clinton LumberKings are back home to welcome the top two teams from the opposite division — the West Michigan Whitecaps, who have won on average six out of ever

    July 23, 2014

  • Paterno's son sues Penn State over dismissal STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — A son of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has sued the university over his dismissal from its coaching staff two years ago, saying he has been unfairly linked to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.Former

    July 23, 2014

  • 7-23-14 1B-Photo, Cubs Rizzo homers twice CHICAGO — If it was a sneak preview of the future at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night, then Chicago Cubs fans can’t wait for the sequel.Twenty-four-year-old Anthony Rizzo hit two home runs and 24-year-old Kyle Hendricks pitched seven innings for his fi

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas not talking title DALLAS — Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game.The new coach toned down his honest assessment in future stops, then said Tuesday in his first

    July 23, 2014

  • AGWSR silences Marquette Catholic FORT DODGE — AGWSR of Ackley pitcher Ashley Sicard can add another win to her state tournament resume.AGWSR defeated Marquette Catholic (34-7) 2-0 with both runs coming in the third inning for the Cougars (28-6).In that third inning, the leadoff hitt

    July 23, 2014

  • 7-23-14 3B-PHOTO, BIG 12 BIG XII MEDIA DAYS Baylor likes its chances DALLAS — Coach Art Briles and Baylor arrived at Big 12 football media days as defending champions for the first time.Briles has a slightly different take on the Bears’ newfound standing.“How can you defend and protect something that nobody can take?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-22-14 Photo, Bowlsby Big 12 Commissioner issues warning about future DALLAS — Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby had a dire warning Monday for anyone who likes intercollegiate athletics the way they are now.“You’re going to hate it going forward,” Bowlsby said. “There’s a lot of change coming.”During his opening address

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

High School Sports