? Greensburg, IN—The 5th through 8th-grade Wired Knights and Electric Knights robotics teams from St. Mary’s School in Greensburg had a very successful season.For the second year in a row, they qualified for the Indiana State Robotics Competition. Last year they qualified one team for state, this year they were able to improve their game and qualify two teams.On Dec. 14 they competed in the Indiana FIRST LEGO League Championship. The tournament was hosted by the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville IN. Top 24 teams from around the state competed. The Electric Knights brought home the 1st Place Mechanical Design Award. The Wired Knights finished in 7th place and the Electric Knights finished in 15th place in the robot games.The St. Mary’s Wired Knights team members include Declan Bruns, Jonah Hellmich, Ali Nobbe, Sy Nobbe, Carter Rutherford, & Caleb Fry. The Electric Knights team members include Reece Chapman, Gavin Weber, Lucas Kramer, Logan Meyer, Jacob Schneider, Ryan Rutherford. Both teams are coached by Rick Kramer, Joe Kalinowski, Nichole Kalinowski & Matt Roell.
UW sophomore center Pete Konz celebrates with Paul Bunyans Axe after the Badgers\’ 41-23 win over Minnesota.[/media-credit]With a second half surge and an eventual 41-23 victory over Minnesota, the Wisconsin Badgers put themselves back in the Big Ten title hunt and kept the Axe in their possession for the seventh straight year.That gives Badger fans the all-important bragging rights over their hated border rivals and UW head coach Bret Bielema was happy to give it to them.“I always get a kick out of this week. Everybody just wishes you good luck for normal games but everyone was saying ‘coach keep the axe’ and it’s just a different week,” Bielema said. “It’s important to anybody that loves Wisconsin, and we do, and it’s great to give it to the fans.”After earning a 14-9 halftime lead, UW (5-1) played with a purpose in the second half, scoring touchdowns on consecutive drives to start the third quarter.James White took a pitch off left tackle and scored from eight yards out to give the Badgers a 12-point lead, and John Clay added another touchdown eight minutes later to establish a comfortable 28-9 advantage.“We always talk about starting fast and we were psyched coming out of the locker room to prove who we are,” sophomore center Pete Konz said. “We didn’t think we did that in the first half.”“We stubbed our toe a little in the second quarter and went in at halftime, and the coaches talked through some things, offense and defense,” Bielema said. “We really came out humming in the third quarter.”The first score of the second half came after a sloppy 11-play, 64-yard drive. UW benefited from a third down defensive holding call and a facemask penalty that occurred on a tackle that brought Scott Tolzien down for a sack.Those two Gopher penalties allowed UW to stay on the field and come away with a momentum-swinging score.“It was crucial to score after half and it wasn’t really a clean drive. There were so many penalties,” senior guard John Moffitt said. “We were given a couple gifts, but I mean it was great it went our way.”UW added a third straight touchdown early in the fourth quarter as Clay rumbled into the end zone for his third touchdown of the day. The powerful score from eight yards out gave Wisconsin a 35-9 lead.But Minnesota finally answered less than a minute later thanks to a jaw-dropping 22-yard touchdown reception from Da’Jon McKnight. McKnight was running stride-for-stride with UW cornerback Antonio Fenelus but the junior wideout laid out and fought off Fenelus to make the catch.But UW had a quick response to that score thanks to the efforts of White.The true freshman tailback, who ran for 119 yards on the day, set the Badgers up on the doorstep after leaving Gopher safety Ryan Collado in the dust. White reached the second level, pulled out an ankle-breaking juke, and sprinted down to the one-yard line.“I just did a little move to freeze the corner and ran right by him,” White said.From there, White finished the drive with a touchdown run straight up the gut.Minnesota added a late touchdown on a fourth-down jump-ball that McKnight brought down in the corner of the endzone, but the Gophers played from behind the entire day and it was an uphill battle for UM throughout.Jared Abbrederis opened the scoring six minutes in and in the process became the first UW wide receiver to score a touchdown in 2010. Tolzien, who finished 17-for-23 on the day, hit the freshman on a quick slant and the connection made for an easy 3-yard score.“I saw the safety was down so I know the pass was coming to me,” Abbrederis said. “I was real excited in my stance and I knew I just had to execute the play.”Clay added a one-yard touchdown toward the end of the first quarter but Minnesota came back with nine unanswered points to end the half. After a Marqueis Gray touchdown grab, Eric Ellestad missed the PAT but it proved to be irrelevant as the Gophers dropped to 1-5 on the season.The victory means UW’s seniors have kept the axe in their possession throughout their entire collegiate careers, and that’s a point of pride for everyone in the program.“It means a lot because this is one of the first things you learn as a recruit and as a player. You’re preached of the importance of that axe,” Tolzien said. “We know how much it means to Wisconsin and the people in this program.”
Senior linebacker Porter Gustin leads the Trojan defense with 4.5 sacks so far this season. (Sarah Kim | Daily Trojan)Throughout the opening four games of this season, the weakest link for the Trojan football program has been the defensive secondary. With sights set on Arizona — and the team’s explosive quarterback, Khalil Tate — head coach Clay Helton emphasized mental toughness as the Trojans hit the field for practice on Wednesday.Helton acknowledged that Tate has a versatility of strengths, including the ability to drop balls deep, forcing defenses to spread thinly across the field to adapt to the quarterback’s wily triple threat on the ground, in both the short passing game and deep in the field. “[We need to keep] contain on probably the most dangerous quarterback that we’ll face all season,” Helton said. “You see some of the dimes he’s dropping in on deep balls once the play is broken down … [and it] is unique. We’ve got to be able to keep him in the pocket and keep him contained.”The Wildcats are averaging over 270 passing yards per game, and Tate posted close to 350 passing yards against Houston and Southern Utah. Although he has been held to less than 20 yards rushing per game, Tate is known to rip off big gains on his feet when given a big enough hole to blast through.“You put [redshirt sophomore running back] J.J. Taylor with 260 yards of passing, and that’s a dangerous offense,” Helton said.Tate has yet to notch a victory over the Trojans, however, suffering a loss on his home field and in the Coliseum. As he prepares to host USC for his team’s first home field game against a Pac-12 opponent on Saturday, the junior quarterback will be anxious to even that record.“A dual-threat quarterback is always tough,” senior linebacker Porter Gustin said. “But we know what he can do and we know what he’s capable of. We’ve got to prepare for that. It’s like they’re playing with an extra man out there.”This will be a major test for the Trojans, whose main struggle so far this season has been to create a solid passing defense. The team allowed Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew II to throw for 344 yards and three touchdowns last week, failing to pick up an interception and allowing the quarterback to throw 71 percent.“When you play man coverage, you don’t see a ton of picks. You see a lot more in zone coverage,” Helton said. “We do have a lot of past break ups, hopefully we’ll get our hands on the ball a little more. It also comes with tipped balls. … Hopefully we’ll get some more of those too.”The secondary in particular struggled with deep passes, allowing Cougars receiver Easop Winston Jr. to average almost 24 yards per carry and grab a 59-yard touchdown lob. Against Tate, the unit will be forced to tighten up or pay up.The Trojans also struggled to challenge the passer and collapse the pocket, with Gustin recording the lone sack in the game against Washington State. Without heavy pressure in the face of the quarterback, Tate will be free to pick off receivers left and right, leaving the secondary wide open.One key change could be the introduction of true freshman corner Olaijah Griffin to the starting lineup. Griffin has slowly made his way into a regular rotation for the Trojans, standing out in last week’s game against Washington State. During Wednesday’s practice, the freshman earned first-team reps. He finished practice with a pick-six, earning howls of approval from his teammates on both sides of the ball. Griffin could provide a much-needed spark to the Trojan secondary.Injury reportRedshirt freshman defensive lineman Jay Tufele, who blocked the game-winning field goal attempt in Saturday’s game against Washington State, returned to action. Gustin and sophomore offensive tackle Andrew Vorhees both participated in practice, but on a limited basis. Gustin is still nursing a knee injury, and Vorhees is recovering from a sternum contusion. Both are expected to make full returns by game time on Saturday.Freshman receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown remains limited with an AC shoulder sprain. Redshirt freshman outside tackle Jalen McKenzie also sat out practice with a strained back.