Jack Colback scored Newcastle’s equalising goal against Liverpool 2 Liverpool 2-2 NewcastleRafa Benitez enjoyed a memorable return to Anfield, watching on as his Newcastle side fought back from two goals down to draw with Liverpool.Daniel Sturridge scored after one minute to hand the Reds the lead, and Adam Lallana put the hosts in full control after half and hour.However, Papiss Cisse scored within minutes of the second half starting, and Jack Colback bagged the equaliser with a deflected shot from the edge of the area to keep the Magpies’ survival hopes intact.Sturridge bagged the opener just moments after kick-off, capitalising on some poor early defending from Benitez’s men.Alberto Moreno lobbed a long-range free-kick into the penalty area, which Sturridge controlled on his chest, before the England international turned away from two defenders and finished with his left foot past Karl Darlow.Going behind so early meant that the visitors had to attack, and they did build some offensive moves, without ever really threatening the Liverpool goal.For all Newcastle’s pressure, it was Liverpool who looked more likely to bag the next goal, and they did grab their second on the half-hour mark.Adam Lallana received the ball on the edge of the box, and after turning onto his left foot, curled a lovely finish over Darlow.Benitez had changes to make at half-time, and he sent his players out with a renewed vigour, which they capitalised on just minutes after the restart.Vurnon Anita sent a lovely cross from the right into the box which evaded Simon Mignolet, with Papiss Cisse getting on the end of it to head into the empty net.The goal revitalised the Magpies, and they could have equalised moments later after Cisse set up Andros Townsend to fire over.Roberto Firmino had a goal chalked off for an offside call, as the Reds looked to extend their lead again, but Jack Colback grabbed the vital next goal – bringing the tie level.Good work from Andros Townsend on the right wing presented Colback with a chance from the edge of the box, and his deflected shot rifled past Mignolet.All the pressure leading up to the equalising goal seemed to disappear with the score tied, and the game ebbed to its finish, with both teams taking a point, which leaves Newcastle just one point away from 17th placed Norwich City.Bournemouth 1-4 ChelseaAn open game on the South Coast was easily won by Chelsea, who hit four past Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.Eden Hazard excelled on his return to the team, scoring twice and setting up one, with Pedro and Willian also netting in an impressive display.Guus Hiddink’s men were given a brief scare when Tommy Elphick headed past Asmir Begovic, but the West London club had just too much quality and saw out the victory.The Cherries attacked fearlessly in the opening stages, as they have done all season, but they were their own worst enemies when conceding the opening goal.With much of the team pushed up the pitch, Cesc Fabregas played a ball through to Pedro which took both centre-backs out of the move. With no one covering and the full-backs in Chelsea’s half, the Spaniard had no trouble chipping a lovely finish over Artur Boruc.The hosts continued to press for their own goal, but the Blues added a second after 35 minutes, once again capitalising on the amount of space presented to them in the middle of the park.Fabregas again played provider, back heeling into Hazard’s path. The Belgium star drove forward, and hit a powerful low strike past Boruc, for what was first Premier League goal of the season.It looked done and dusted right then, but Bournemouth got back into the game seconds later, with Elphick’s header into the ground bouncing slowly over Begovic’s outstretched hand.There was a sense that the Cherries could get back into the game against a Chelsea team with nothing to play for this season, but any hope of taking something from the game was killed 20 minutes from time.Willian bagged a third for the Blues, in almost identical circumstanes to Pedro’s opener, before Hazard grabbed his second, and Chelsea’s fourth, of the day with a powerful close range finish in injury time.Aston Villa 2-4 SouthamptonA sparsely packed Villa Park played host to another display of questionable defending from Aston Villa, as they were beaten 4-2 by Southampton.Shane Long scored one and set up two for the Saints, and although Ashley Westwood netted twice for the hosts, they never threatened to get anything from the game.The Irish international bagged the opener after 15 minutes, although he should have scored moments after kick-off, smashing a shot against the underside of the bar after breaking through the middle of the pitch.The poor defending by Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott was a sign of things to come later in the game, and the centre-back pairing were at fault for Long’s opener.A perfect cross was sent into the box from Ryan Bertrand, and the striker was presented with a free header in the centre of the area with neither Lescott nor Richards marking him. He duly converted, heading into the ground and past Brad Guzan in the Villa goal.The atmosphere turned following the strike, with the sparse crowd hurling abuse at Eric Black’s squad, but fans only started leaving when the Saints went two ahead.Long played creator this time, breaking through the centre of the pitch, before being forced out wide by Guzan. However, he remained in possession, and unselfishly played a pass back into the centre for Dusan Tadic to roll home.With the stadium emptying after the goal, Villa’s fans missed Westwood pulling one back for the hosts, courtesy of some uncharacteristically poor Southampton defending.A cross found its way into the Saints area, and after a series of failed clearances, the goal-shy midfielder was presented the ball on the right, converting calmly past Fraser Forster.There were never any signs of a comback, and Tadic added a third for the visitors with 20 minutes remaining.The second half was almost an exhibition match for the Saints, and a lovely move in the final third resulted in Long once again playing in Tadic, who had no trouble securing all three points.Westwood grabbed a second for Villa with 10 minutes remaining, but Southampton secured all three points when Sadio Mane headed the fourth of the day in injury time, resigning Villa to their 10th consecutive defeat.
Saturday’s contest is the third all-time meeting between Drake and North Dakota. The last meeting between the Bulldogs and the Fighting Hawks was Sept. 12, 2015 in Grand Forks. North Dakota built a 21-0 halftime lead and held off Drake in the second half for a 21-18 win. Live Stats Drake is picked to finish third in the 2019 Pioneer Football League Coaches Preseason Poll as it returns eight All-PFL performers. Four of those PFL selections return on defense in defensive linemen, Gavin Dinnen and Erin Morgan, linebacker Zac Rujawitz and safety Will Warner. The quartet were part of last season’s unit that ranked in the top 15 in nearly every defensive statistical category. Warner had an outstanding junior season that was capped by being named Drake’s first first-team All-American since Eric Saubert in 2015 and the Bulldogs’ first Associated Press first-team All-American since 1982. Individually, Warner was second in the nation in interceptions with eight to also tie the Drake program record. He also led the nation in interception return yardage at 223 total yards. Outside of his interceptions, Warner was second on the team in solo tackles with 41 and successfully defended a total of 12 passes. Dinnen was a 2018 All-PFL First Team selection who recorded 3.0 sacks and 38 tackles. Morgan was selected to the 2018 All-PFL Second Team after he tallied 3.5 sacks, 8.0 tackles for loss and 21 tackles at defensive end. Rujawitz started all 11 games and is the top returning tackler with 54, including 22 solo stops. On the other side of the football, Drake will have a new quarterback under center in true freshman Ian Corwin. Corwin comes to Drake after a decorated prep career for Jenks High School in Tulsa, Okla. At Jenks, Corwin broke 15 school records, went 29-8 in three seasons as the starter and helped Jenks finish as state runners-up in 2018. Corwin will play behind an experienced offensive line and will have help from the Bulldogs’ top three leading rushers and receivers from last season. Corwin’s top three receiving targets, Devin Cates, Steven Doran and Mitch McFarlane combined for 1,865 receiving yards and 21 receiving touchdowns. The Bulldogs’ top three returning rushers, Braeden Hartwig, Drew Lauer and Cross Robinson ran for 935 combined yards and seven touchdowns. Also, back is senior punter Ross Kennedy. Kennedy was an All-PFL honorable mention selection last season. He recorded 52 punts for an average of 37.3 yards, including a season-long 57-yarder against Montana. Kennedy placed 17 punts inside the 20-yard line and didn’t kick a touchback all year. He finished the season No. 93 among FCS punters with his average of 37.3 yards per punt. Pluto TV North Dakota Game Notes Scouting the Fighting HawksNorth Dakota finished the 2018 season with a 6-5 overall record in its first year as an independent. The Fighting Hawks left the Big Sky Conference prior to last season and will join the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020. North Dakota returns its starting quarterback, Nate Ketteringham, who started all 11 games last season, and threw 16 touchdown passes with 1,835 yards. Noah Wanzek is the team’s top receiver after a standout 2018 season where he caught 52 receptions for 685 yards and six touchdowns. Print Friendly Version Scouting the BulldogsDrake begins a new era Saturday under the leadership of first-year head coach Todd Stepsis. Stepsis, who is the 27th head coach in Drake football history in its 126 seasons. Stepsis takes the reins of the Bulldogs’ program after serving as the program’s defensive coordinator for the past five seasons under previous head coach Rick Fox. As the defensive coordinator, Stepsis built the Drake defense into one of the nation’s top units and coached a total of 42 all-conference selections including the program’s all-time leading tackler, John Huginin and the most recent Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Year, Nathan Clayberg. GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Drake University football team opens the 2019 season against NCAA Division I member North Dakota Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. The game will be broadcast free on Pluto TV and in central Iowa on Mediacom MC22. Chuck Reed and Hunter Phillips will have the call on 1350 ESPN Des Moines and via the TuneIn app. Live Audio Story Links