HIGH SCHOOL SECTIONAL PAIRINGS
Shelbyville at Mount Vernon
Greenwood at New Castle
Beech Grove at Mooresville
Richmond at Connersville
East Central at Franklin County
Winchester at Northeastern
Centerville at Indianapolis Scecina
Union County at Knightstown
Union City at Anderson Prep
Edinburgh at Lincoln
Oldenburg Academy at Hagerstown
Tri at North Decatur
Buffalo 13 Tennessee 12
Carolina 33 NY Giants 31
Cincinnati 27 Miami 17
Cleveland 12 Baltimore 9 (OT)
Detroit 31 Green Bay 23
Kansas City 30 Jacksonville 14
NY Jets 34 Denver 16
Pittsburgh 41 Atlanta 17
LA Chargers 26 Oakland 10
Minnesota 23 Philadelphia 21
Arizona 28 San Francisco 18
LA Rams 33 Seattle 31
Houston 19 Dallas 16 (OT)
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYOFFS
Milwaukee 6 Colorado 0
Atlanta 6 Los Angeles 5
Oklahoma City 113 Atlanta 94
Houston 108 San Antonio 93
Milwaukee 125 Minnesota 107
Utah 123 Portland 112
Carolina 8 NY Rangers 5
Toronto 7 Chicago 6 OT
Los Angeles 4 Detroit 2
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
DC 2 Chicago 1
COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES POLL
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- West Virginia
- Penn State
- Central Florida
- Miami Florida
- North Carolina State
- Texas A&M
- South Florida
AP COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- West Virginia
- Penn State
- Central Florida
- Miami Florida
- North Carolina State
- Texas A&M
- South Florida
- Mississippi State
Bengals score 27 straight points for 27-17 win over Dolphins
Michael Johnson returned an interception for the tying score, and Sam Hubbard went 19 yards with a fumble for the clinching touchdown Sunday, rallying the Cincinnati Bengals from a 17-point deficit to a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
With Joe Mixon back from knee surgery, the defense making more game-turning plays in the fourth quarter, Cincinnati (4-1) pulled off its biggest comeback of the season and extended its best start since its 2015 playoff season.
“These NFL games are crazy, man,” receiver A.J. Green said. “It’s an up-and-down roller coaster ride. You ride it and hope you come out on top.”
The Dolphins (3-2) had plenty of blame to go around for their second-half meltdown, helping the Bengals score those 27 consecutive points with mistakes.
Andy Dalton threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Mixon to start the comeback, completing a drive that was extended by T.J. McDonald’s personal foul on a third-down incompletion. Mixon returned after missing two games following knee surgery and ran for 93 yards in addition to catching three passes.
From there, the Dolphins fell apart. Tannehill’s two turnovers turned into touchdowns by Bengals linemen.
“When I got the touchdown, the momentum shifted,” Mixon said. “After that, you started seeing sack after sack, pick after pick, touchdown after touchdown. It was crazy, man.”
Gano’s 63-yard field goal lifts Panthers over Giants 33-31
Maybe Panthers coach Ron Rivera should allow his special teams to run out of the tunnel more often for pre-game introductions.
Graham Gano connected on all four field goal attempts, including a career-long 63-yarder with 1 second remaining, and Carolina recovered a muffed punt in the end zone for a touchdown to beat the New York Giants 33-31 in a wild game Sunday.
“Piece of cake,” Rivera joked after Gano’s winning field goal, which tied for the second longest in NFL history.
Gano’s winning kick came after the Giants erased an 11-point fourth quarter deficit. Eli Manning hooked up with Saquon Barkley on a 15-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline – the rookie made a long dive into the end zone – to put the Giants in front 31-30 with 1:08 remaining.
Gano’s previous career long was 59 yards. He’s now made 35 in a row at home dating back to 2016.
He said running out of the smoky tunnel before the game for the first time in his career was “pretty special” and made him feel like Cam Newton. But the winning kick was even better.
After he converted the kick he said his main goal was seeking safety from the rest of his teammates running after him.
“I just tried to hit a good ball and the rest was craziness and madness,” Gano said. “I’m so excited for our guys.”
It’s the second year in a row the Giants (1-4) have been beaten by a monster field goal at the end. In the third game last season, Jake Elliott of the Eagles kicked a 61-yarder for a 27-24 win.
3’s a charm: Browns edge Ravens 12-9 in overtime on late FG
Once Baker Mayfield summoned the courage, the rookie quarterback looked in time to see Greg Joseph’s low, line-drive kick somehow go through the uprights.
Mayfield’s mouth opened in disbelief.
The Browns won again.
And in this unpredictable NFL season, Cleveland’s rapid rise may be the strangest twist of them all.
Joseph’s 37-yard field goal – a knuckleball the rookie was certain had been blocked – with 2 seconds left in overtime gave Cleveland a 12-9 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
After Mayfield made a clutch third-down throw to help drive the Browns (2-2-1) into position, Joseph, who was cut by Miami this summer and signed after Week 2 following Zane Gonzalez’s release, came through to give Cleveland its first AFC North win in 19 tries.
“I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to look at the kick or not, so I turned around at the last second and saw it was pretty low,” said Mayfield, who passed for 342 yards and a touchdown in his second NFL start. “It wasn’t a pretty kick but it went in. It also wasn’t a pretty win, but it counts.”
Believe it or not, the Browns are legit.
Brown scores twice, Steelers roll past reeling Falcons 41-17
Ben Roethlisberger let the ball go before Antonio Brown broke out of his route and turned toward the pylon. It was throw that required anticipation and trust, the kind the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and All-Pro wide receiver have connected on countless times during their near-decade together.
But not all years, or throws, are created equal.
Following a turbulent opening month in which the two stars struggled to develop anything resembling their usual rhythm, Roethlisberger’s perfectly timed 9-yard touchdown flip to Brown early in the second half of Sunday’s 41-17 romp over reeling Atlanta felt cathartic.
Brown dropped to his knees and raised his arms to the sky. Roethlisberger eschewed his usually understated celebration for an emphatic fist pump. When the two hooked up again early in the fourth quarter – a 47-yard strike down the left sideline that sealed Pittsburgh’s most complete performance of the season – all the frustration that appeared to be bubbling near the surface dissipated.
“We know we got to stay together regardless of what’s being said,” Brown said. “All of my catches, all of my touchdowns are from him, and that’s my guy. I live and die with him and the Wi-Fi was lit.”
No buffering. No squabbling. No temper tantrums. The Steelers (2-2-1) hope all of that is behind them after a week when Brown said his “Wi-Fi” connection with Roethlisberger was a bit shaky.
Lions take advantage of mistakes in 31-23 win over Packers
The Detroit Lions took advantage of some mistakes they forced Green Bay to make and were fortunate some breaks simply went their way.
Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes and LeGarrette Blount ran for two scores, lifting the Lions to a 31-23 win over the Packers on Sunday.
Detroit (2-3) earned a win it desperately needed under first-year coach Matt Patricia, going into its bye week.
“We get two weeks to 10 days to sit on whatever happens,” said Stafford, who was 14 of 26 for 183 yards with two TDs and no turnovers. “And, it feels a whole lot better with a win.”
Green Bay (2-2-1) was doomed because veteran Mason Crosby had the worst game of his life and two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers lost two fumbles for just the third time in his 14-year career.
“We just couldn’t overcome all the things we did wrong,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “We did some good things in the second half, but you can’t dig yourself that kind of hole.”
Crosby missed a career-high four field goals in one game and failed to make an extra point to boot. He connected on a field goal with 2 seconds left, but that wasn’t of much consolation after his poor performance.
“I look back and I’m thinking, in my childhood, in high school, this is definitely one of the worst ones,” said Crosby, the first NFL kicker to miss four field goals in a game since 2010.
Detroit recovered an onside kick to seal the win, preventing Rodgers from getting another chance at a game-winning Hail Mary in Detroit like the one he threw in 2015.
Crowell, big-play Jets romp past Broncos 34-16
Isaiah Crowell ran all over the Denver Broncos’ suddenly leaky defense – and kept his touchdown celebration low-key this time around.
The New York running back ran for a franchise-record 219 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown , and Sam Darnold threw two TD passes to Robby Anderson, including a 76-yarder, to help the big-play Jets snap a three-game losing streak with a 34-16 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
“It means a lot to me,” Crowell said. “I’ve got to give all the credit to my O-line. I can’t really take the credit. Really, it was all them. I mean, the holes were open. Anybody could’ve run through them. It just happened to be me.
“They really set the record.”
Crowell needed just 15 carries to break the team record of 210 yards rushing set by Thomas Jones in 2009 against Buffalo. His 14.6 yards per carry set an NFL record for a player with at least 15 attempts, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Bilal Powell added 99 yards rushing, and New York finished with 323 yards on the ground – second-most in team history – and 512 overall yards.
After an ugly 20-yard punt early in the second quarter by Colby Wadman, who replaced the injured Marquette King, the Jets (2-3) took advantage immediately. Crowell took the handoff, scooted to the left sideline and zipped into the end zone – getting some nice blocks from receivers Anderson, Pryor and Jermaine Kearse along the way – for a 77-yard yard touchdown that tied the game.
Bills beat Titans 13-12 on Hauschka’s 46-yard field goal
Safety Jordan Poyer and the Buffalo Bills couldn’t care less about style points.
After being on the losing end of some lopsided decisions, an offensively challenged, field-goal-dominated 13-12 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday is all that mattered.
“Two-and-three is a lot better than 1-4,” Poyer said, referring to the Bills record. “It’s never ugly when you win.”
Stephen Hauschka overcame a botched field-goal attempt in the final minutes of the first half by hitting a 46-yard attempt as time expired. Running back LeSean McCoy broke from a September slump with 85 yards rushing – matching the combined total from his first three games.
And Poyer helped anchor an injury-depleted secondary on a defense that forced three turnovers, held the Titans to 221 yards and limited them to scoring four field goals.
Buffalo bounced back from a 22-0 loss at Green Bay last weekend. Its defense showed improvement after surrendering 75 points over six quarters, starting with a 47-3 season-opening loss at Baltimore, followed by the first half of a 31-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
“I think there was a glimpse of it,” defensive tackle Kyle Williams said in suggesting the young, patchwork Bills are finding a hint of their identity.
The Titans (3-2) took a step backward in having a three-game win streak snapped, and squandered a chance for their best start since winning their first 10 games in 2008.
Chiefs get pick-6, march all over Jags in soggy 30-14 romp
Patrick Mahomes had finally thrown an interception, the first all season for the Chiefs’ talented young quarterback, and the Jacksonville offense had shuffled back onto the field.
The Chiefs immediately strip-sacked Blake Bortles to take the ball right back.
Their beleaguered defense also picked off Bortles four times and sacked him five, and Chris Jones took one of those interceptions back for a touchdown, proving during a 30-14 romp over Jacksonville on a soggy Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium that the Chiefs are more than just an offensive dynamo.
“It shows what kind of team we are,” said Mahomes, who finished with 313 yards passing and ran for a touchdown. “I’m just excited to come out with a win on a day the defense made plays.”
Oh, the league’s highest-scoring offense still made plays.
Kareem Hunt ran for 87 yards and a touchdown, and Travis Kelce hauled in five catches for 100 yards, helping the Chiefs (5-0) move the ball at will against the NFL’s top-rated defense.
Tyreek Hill, who was frequently matched up with the Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey in an entertaining one-on-one affair, added four catches for 61 yards as the Chiefs rolled up 424 yards total.
“That play calling was something I’ve never seen before,” said the Jaguars’ Tashaun Gipson, who picked off Mahomes before leaving with a groin injury. “Tip your hat to them. Obviously, the offensive personnel they’ve got – they came out here and they beat us.”
Rivers throws for 339 yards, 2 TDs as Chargers beat Raiders
Philip Rivers threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Los Angeles Chargers to a 26-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
It is the 59th 300-yard passing game of Rivers’ 15-year career and his eighth against the Raiders. He completed 22 of 27 passes and had a passer rating of 143.4.
Melvin Gordon had 120 yards from scrimmage (58 rushing, 62 receiving). His 1-yard run during the second quarter gave Los Angeles (3-2) a 17-3 lead at halftime.
Derek Carr was 24 of 38 for 268 yards for the Raiders (1-4). He accounted for Oakland’s lone touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard pass to Jordy Nelson which brought the Raiders within 27-10.
He also had a costly interception in the end zone to Melvin Ingram during the third quarter. The Chargers turned that into a 96-yard, eight-play drive to Rivers’ 13-yard TD pass to Virgil Green early in the fourth period.
Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch came into the game fourth in the league in rushing but was held to 31 yards on nine carries.
The teams traded field goals before the Chargers took control, scoring 23 straight points. Austin Ekeler gave Los Angeles a 10-3 lead in the second quarter when he took a swing pass and went 44 yards for a score.
Gordon’s touchdown put the Chargers up by two scores at halftime.
Caleb Sturgis’ 30-yard field goal extended the lead to 20-3 in the third quarter.
Cousins, defense lead Vikings over Eagles 23-21
Kirk Cousins threw for 301 yards and one touchdown, Linval Joseph returned a fumble 64 yards for a score and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Philadelphia Eagles 23-21 Sunday in a rematch of last season’s NFC championship game.
Carson Wentz and the rest of Philadelphia’s offense again struggled as the defending Super Bowl champions fell to 2-3.
Nick Foles led the Eagles to a 38-7 rout over Case Keenum and Minnesota’s top-ranked defense in the title game on his way to earning MVP honors against New England.
Trying to rally from a 17-point deficit midway through the third quarter, the Eagles were set up to take the lead after Roc Thomas dropped a backward pass and Nigel Bradham recovered the fumble at the Vikings 30 in the fourth quarter. But Wentz was called for intentional grounding and coach Doug Pederson elected not to let Jake Elliott try a 58-yarder.
Dan Bailey, who missed two field goals earlier, nailed a 52-yard field goal to extend the lead to 23-14 with 2:47 left.
Wentz fired a 7-yard TD pass to Zach Ertz to cut it to 23-21 with 1:09 left but Adam Thielen recovered the onside kick.
The Vikings (2-2-1) got an excellent performance from Cousins, who completed 30 of 37 passes, to avoid falling further behind in the NFC North.
Cardinals beat 49ers 28-18 for 1st win of season
Josh Rosen threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Christian Kirk on Arizona’s first play from scrimmage and the Cardinals used five takeaways to get their first win by beating the San Francisco 49ers 28-18 on Sunday.
The Cardinals (1-4) were unable to do much more on offense the rest of the way, with their only other scores coming on Josh Bynes’ fumble return for a TD and David Johnson TD runs on two short drives after turnovers by the 49ers (1-4).
But that proved enough against a San Francisco offense that did little after an opening drive score behind backup quarterback C.J. Beathard.
Beathard completed all five passes on the opening drive – four of which were behind the line – and gave San Francisco a 6-0 lead on a 5-yard shovel pass to Matt Breida. The Niners botched the extra point and were trailing for good 10 seconds later.
Rosen dropped back and launched a deep throw to Kirk, who was wide open down the middle of the field because free safety Adrian Colbert took a bad angle on the play.
Patrick Peterson recovered a fumble by Raheem Mostert and returned it 49 yards to the San Francisco 18, setting up David Johnson’s 2-yard run that made it 14-6.
Gurley’s 3 TDs keep Rams perfect in 33-31 win over Seahawks
odd Gurley rushed for three touchdowns, Jared Goff passed for 321 yards and a score , and the Los Angeles Rams remained unbeaten by holding off the Seattle Seahawks 33-31 on Sunday.
Playing without their top two receivers due to concussions suffered late in the first half, the Rams leaned heavily on Goff, Gurley and wide receiver Robert Woods to escape Seattle and improve to 5-0.
Gurley scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, and added TDs of 2 and 5 yards in the second half. Gurley’s third rushing TD on the second play of the fourth quarter pulled the Rams within 31-30. But new kicker Cairo Santos hooked the extra point attempt and Seattle maintained a one-point lead.
Santos atoned for the miss with a 39-yard field goal with 6:05 remaining to give the Rams a 33-31 lead, capping a 61-yard drive that took 4 1/2 minutes.
That still left time for Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, but Seattle (2-3) made a pair of critical mistakes after moving into position to win. Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for 44 yards on the second play of the drive to the Rams 32-yard line. But a pair of penalties backed up the Seahawks to the Rams 45. Facing third-and-23, Wilson was pressured from the pocket by Cory Littleton and Seattle punted with 3:38 left.
It never got the ball back.
Fairbairn’s FG in OT lifts Texans over Cowboys 19-16
When DeAndre Hopkins had a chance to make a play in overtime on Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys, Houston’s star receiver was intent on redeeming himself after losing a rare fumble in the third quarter.
He did that with a spectacular 49-yard catch and run that got the Texans in scoring range, and Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a 36-yard field goal to lift the Texans to a 19-16 win.
Hopkins, who finished with 151 yards receiving, grabbed a short pass from Watson and twice spun away from would-be tacklers to stretch the play.
“I fumbled, so I knew I had to make a play,” Hopkins said. “There was a lot of guys downfield but I wasn’t trying to go down easy. A field goal would win the game and I knew that. I knew where I was, and I felt guys coming around me.”
Coach Bill O’Brien said Hopkins approached him after the fumble and simply said: `I’ll make up for that,’ and when he called that play in overtime he knew he would.
“Playmakers make plays whenever we need him, and that was a situation where we needed him to make a play,” O’Brien said. “I threw it up for him to make a play, and he did what he had to do.”
The Cowboys got the ball first in OT but had to punt when Zach Cunningham stopped Ezekiel Elliott for no gain on third-and-1. Coach Jason Garrett defended his decision not to go for it.
AP Top 25: Notre Dame into top 5; Texas top 10; 8 SEC teams
Notre Dame moved into the top five, Texas and UCF reached the top 10 and the Southeastern Conference placed a season-high eight teams in the latest Associated Press college football poll.
After three teams in the top eight and eight ranked teams overall lost on Saturday, there was significant movement throughout the AP Top 25 , except in the first four spots.
Alabama stayed No. 1, with 59 first-place votes and Georgia remained No. 2. No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Clemson each received a first-place vote from the media panel.
Notre Dame reached a season-high fifth after beating Virginia Tech on Saturday night. Texas jumped 10 spots to No. 9 after beating Oklahoma. The Longhorns are in the top 10 for the first time since Sept. 19, 2010, when they reached No. 7.
No. 10 UCF has never been ranked higher during the regular season. The Knights, who have the nation’s longest winning streak at 18 games, finished last season unbeaten and at No. 6.
The SEC’s eight teams are the most by a conference since the SEC had eight on Oct. 16, 2016. The record for most teams in the AP Top 25 for one conference is 10 by the SEC on Sept. 8, 2015.
Reports: Oklahoma parting with defensive coordinator Stoops
According to multiple reports, No. 11 Oklahoma is parting ways with defensive coordinator Mike Stoops after the Sooners’ struggled to stop Texas in their first loss of the season.
KREF sports radio in Norman first reported Stoops was out Sunday night, citing unidentified sources. Oklahoma athletic department spokesman Michael Houck said Sunday he could not confirm the reports.
The No. 11 Sooners (5-1) lost 48-45 on Saturday, allowing 501 yards to the Longhorns in Dallas.
Stoops has been defensive coordinator since 2012, when his brother, former Sooners head coach Bob Stoops, hired him. It was Mike Stoops’ second stint working as an assistant for his brother. Before serving as Arizona’s head coach from 2004-11, he was co-defensive coordinator for Oklahoma and his brother from 1999-2003.
The Sooners have struggled defensively the last two seasons, finishing 80th in 2016 and 82nd in 2017 in the country in yards per play allowed. Oklahoma is 17-3 under second-year coach Lincoln Riley and the Sooners have scored an average of 41 points in those games, including a 54-48 loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Rose Bowl last season.
Brewers sweep Rockies, advance to 1st NLCS since 2011
Wade Miley pitched masterfully into the fifth inning before turning it over to a lights-out Milwaukee bullpen, 38-year-old catcher Erik Kratz kept up his torrid hitting and the Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-0 in Game 3 on a cool, misty Sunday to sweep their NL Division Series.
The Brewers have won 11 straight dating to the regular season and advance to their first NL Championship Series since 2011. They will play the winner of the Dodgers-Braves series, starting Friday at Miller Park.
With manager Craig Counsell making all the right moves, Milwaukee’s pitching staff held Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and the bruising Rockies to a combined two runs and 14 hits in the series. Of the 28 innings in the matchup, wild card Colorado scored in only one of them.
Making his postseason debut, Miley toughed the elements – he wore short sleeves when the temperature was 46 degrees – and was even tougher on Rockies hitters. The wily left-hander allowed three hits over 4 2/3 innings.
A procession of five Brewers relievers allowed one hit the rest of the way. With two on, Josh Hader got Ian Desmond to fly out to end the ninth and start an on-field celebration.
The first one to greet Hader was Kratz, who made his second postseason start and finished 3 for 4 with a double. Acquired from the New York Yankees in May for a player to be named, Kratz is making quite a name for himself in the playoffs. He had two RBIs on Friday.
Vizcaino, Braves stop Dodgers 6-5, cut NLDS deficit to 2-1
Reliever Arodys Vizcaino escaped his own jam in a nervy ninth inning and the Atlanta Braves held off the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 Sunday night, cutting their deficit in the NL Division Series to 2-1.
Rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a grand slam that helped the Braves build an early 5-0 lead. Atlanta blew that advantage, but Freddie Freeman hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth.
Then in the ninth, the Dodgers got runners on first and second with no outs. Vizcaino came back from a 3-0 count to strike out slugger Max Muncy, then fanned Manny Machado on a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third.
With the entire crowd at SunTrust Park standing, chanting and chopping, Vizcaino fanned a swinging Brian Dozier to end it.
Game 4 is Monday afternoon at Atlanta.
Shut out in the first two games at Dodger Stadium, the NL East champion Baby Braves bounced back.
“My heart’s still pounding,” Freeman said, moments after the last out. “That’s how we’ve been all year.”
“I like our chances. We’ve got a uniform on, so we know we’ve got a chance,” he said.
At 20, Acuna became the youngest player to hit a postseason grand slam – Mickey Mantle was 21 when he did it for the New York Yankees in the 1953 World Series.
Spurs’ Murray to undergo MRI after injuring right knee
Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray will undergo an MRI after his right knee buckled late in the first half of San Antonio’s preseason game against Houston on Sunday.
Murray was driving to the basket against Rockets guard James Harden on a fastbreak when his knee gave. The third-year player remained on the court for several minutes writhing in pain. Spurs officials brought out a wheelchair to take him off the court, but Murray refused, rising to his feet amid a raucous cheer from the San Antonio fans. Murray tested his knee in front of the Spurs’ bench before heading to the locker room with team officials.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich did not have any updates on Murray’s condition following the team’s 108-93 loss to Houston.
Murray replaced franchise stalwart Tony Parker as the team’s starting point guard midway through last season.
Murray’s injury comes two days after Spurs rookie Lonnie Walker IV torn his right medial meniscus while attempting to cross over a Detroit defender. Walker will miss at least six weeks.
Elliott uses Dover win to earn berth in next playoff round
Chase Elliott pulled away to win in overtime Sunday at Dover International Speedway for an automatic berth into the next round of the NASCAR Cup playoffs.
Elliott was the surprise winner in a race that had been dominated by Stewart-Haas Racing drivers until a pair of wrecks over the final laps jumbled the field and set the stage for Elliott. He kept his No. 9 Chevrolet off pit road – and drove into victory lane.
Elliott raced to his first career Cup win this season at Watkins Glen and earned a bit of redemption Sunday from a tough finish in last fall’s Dover race. Elliott was passed by winner Kyle Busch with two laps left in the race and fell to 0 for 70 in his career.
Elliott rubbed his head and leaned against his car, crestfallen as he replayed the final laps in his mind. Jimmie Johnson walked over to offer some encouragement and let Elliott vent.
It was one big celebration on Sunday.
“It definitely makes it sweeter, for sure,” Elliott said. “You don’t appreciate it in those moments.”
Elliott was greeted in victory lane with a hug from team owner Rick Hendrick and retired star Jeff Gordon also was there to congratulate the winning driver. Elliott’s father, Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott, was not at the race.
“He’s been so close here,” Hendrick said. “It’s really good to see him get this win and move on. He’s like his dad. He really knows when to race. I’m really fortunate to have him in our camp.”