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 “That guy is flat-out unbelievable. That’s the best QB we’ve played this year.” – New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, after facing Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III for the first time


INSIDE Devon wins IBF title ~ See ‘Inside Sports’ page B4 ~ B3

OCTOBER 25 – 31, 2012



With Earl Austin Jr.

With Palmer L. Alexander III

Pack shreds Rams 3-4 with New England next and a nasty schedule to follow

Photo by Wiley Price

Hazelwood Central's Dorian Williams (28) tries to avoid McCluer's Lynzel Owens (59) Saturday afternoon. Hazelwood Central went on to defeat the Comets of McCluer 17-6 to win the Suburban North Conference title.

High school playoffs kick off this weekend The prep football playoffs are upon un on both sides of the river. The first round of Missouri district playoffs will be held this weekend in all six classes. There will be second-round action taking place next Wednesday in Classes 1-5. Here is the schedule of this week’s first-round games featuring metro-area teams. Class 6 District 1 Northwest at Lafayette, Friday,

7 p.m. Oakville at Marquette, Friday, 7 p.m. Mehlville at Eureka, Friday, 7 p.m. Lindbergh at Parkway South, Friday, 7 p.m.

Pattonville at DeSmet, Friday, 7 p.m.

District 3 Francis Howell Central at Francis Howell, Friday, 7 p.m. Fort Zumwalt West at District 2 Jefferson City, Friday, 7 Francis Howell North at p.m. Earl CBC, Friday, 7 p.m. Timberland at Columbia Austin Jr. SLUH at Ritenour, Hickman, Friday, 7 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Troy at Rock Bridge, Friday, 7 Hazelwood West at Hazelwood p.m. Central, Sat. 1:30 p.m.

IN THE CLUTCH With Ishmael H. Sistrunk

Big game Giants shatter Redbirds repeat dreams The latest iteration of the Cardiac Cardinals have finally flatlined. The ballclub that captivated St. Louis for the past two seasons with its keen flair for drama fell by the wayside after the team’s bats were silenced down the stretch versus the San Francisco Giants as they lost the NLCS by a 4-3 series margin. The collapse was nearly a carbon copy of the 1996 club. Back then, in Tony LaRussa’s first season as skipper, the team jumped out to an identical 3-1 lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS before being outscored by an embarrassing 32-1 margin over the finals three games. The defeat

was especially crushing because the Braves were the dominant National League team at the time. The Cardinals had a chance to breakthrough Ishmael H. and reclaim Sistrunk greatness but were spanked and told to go back to their rooms and play while the grown folks went to the World Series. Still, the 20-1 bludgeoning in 2012 (during games 5-7) aren’t easy to swallow. As the

Class 5 District 1 Poplar Bluff at Vianney, Thursday, 6 p.m. Seckman at Fox, Thursday, 7 p.m. PB/Vianney winner at Jackson, Oct. 31, 7 p.m. Seckman/Fox winner at Summit, Oct. 31, 7 p.m. District 2 McCluer North at Hazelwood See PREP, B5

The Green Bay Packers and the throng of cheesehead fans cheered loudly as Aaron Rodgers had his way with the Rams secondary last Sunday in their 30-20 victory over the Rams. Rookies Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson just flat out got singed by the Packers wide receivers. And for the second consecutive game, defensive end Chris Long had problems staying onsides. Long picked up two more off-sides penalties which are inexcusable, especially from a cornerstone player. On one of the penalties, Rodgers completed a 52-yard strike to Palmer L. Jordy Nelson. Alexander It also helped that Janoris Jenkins stopped playing because he saw the flag. Safety Craig Dahl was his usual self, dropping another interception late in the contest. On the next play Rodgers served the Rams the death blow with that 39-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb. Mind you, the Rams’ defense have went two straight games without forcing a turnover.  You have That would have defithird and 10, nitely swung the and you run momentum in favor of a route five the Rams, because it was 20-13 at the time. Dahl yards shy of to catch that ball. the first down has Then again, had he maker. caught it, scratch that. Who am I trying to kid? I’m talking about Craig Dahl. On offense, the Rams moved the ball well in the first half, but had no touchdowns to show for it. Sam Bradford threw an awful interception in the second half, under throwing Chris Givens who was open going towards the sideline. For the most, part the offensive line gave Bradford time to throw the ball, but his receivers have to make plays. Brandon Gibson couldn’t hold onto a pass on fourth and 2 in the red zone and as the Rams tried to make a surge late in the game. I saw the Rams receivers revert back to some old ways from years prior. You have third and 10, and you run a route five yards shy of the first down maker. The Rams go for it on fourth down and the Rams See RAMS, B5

Kyle Lohse walks off the mound Monday night after being knocked out in the third inning of the National League Championship Series against San Francisco.

Giants continued to embarrass Cardinals batters at the plate, fans waited patiently for the crew to flip the late-inning switch it had relied on time and time again during the past two postseasons. We shrugged off the obvious and thought we’ll get ‘em next inning. That may have been the team’s mindset too. Players got caught up in their own ability to come back when it counted. They played lazy and lax in the beginning of games, fully expecting to rally down the stretch. As they say, if you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned. The Cardinals did. See CLUTCH, B4

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