No. 19 Louisville beat Cincinnati 31-24 in OT
CINCINNATI (AP) - Teddy Bridgewater made several great escapes to help No. 19 Louisville get to overtime, and Dominique Brown's 2-yard run gave the Cardinals a 31-24 victory over Cincinnati on Thursday night.
The comeback clinched the first American Athletic Conference title for Central Florida, which had a one-game lead over Cincinnati (9-3, 6-2) heading into the final weekend.
For the second year in a row, the Ohio River rivals went to overtime to decide who gets the Keg of Nails, this time for the foreseeable future with Louisville (11-7, 7-1) leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.
The Cardinals won 34-31 in overtime in the rain in Louisville last season. This one went to overtime on a wet, raw night when Cincinnati's Tony Miliano kicked a 26-yard field goal with 7 seconds left.
An interference penalty in the end zone set up Brown's 2-yard run to open overtime. Brendon Kay's fourth-down pass went incomplete, ending Cincinnati's first overtime game at Nippert Stadium since 2003.
Browns QB Campbell cleared to practice
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns quarterback Jason Campbell has been cleared to practice after sustaining a concussion and could play Sunday against New England.
Campbell will practice Thursday, and as long as he passes a concussion test by an independent neurologist, he may be able to face the Patriots. Campbell was injured on Nov. 24 against Pittsburgh. He was replaced last week by Brandon Weeden, who started and was concussed at some point during the loss to the Jaguars. Weeden has not yet been given permission to practice.
The Browns signed free agent Caleb Hanie earlier this week in case Campbell or Weeden can't play. Alex Tanney was signed last week off Dallas' practice squad, and he and Hanie split the plays with Cleveland's starting offense in Wednesday's practice.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he was "encouraged" by Campbell's progress.
Browns WR Josh Gordon a rare, extraordinary talent
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon drives a camouflaged Porsche he believes is one of a kind. He's become pretty exclusive himself.
Gordon has recorded consecutive 200-yard games, becoming the first player in NFL history to do so. The second-year player leads the Browns with 1,249 receiving yards and can break the team record set by Braylon Edwards (1,289) this week when the Browns visit the New England Patriots. Edwards set the record in 16 games, while Gordon has only played 10 so far after he served a two-game suspension for failed drug tests.
The humble 22-year-old has emerged as an elite receiver and one of the league's rising young stars.
Last week, Gordon capped his 261-yard performance with a 95-yard TD catch in which he broke a tackle and easily outran two Jacksonville defenders.
SVSM repeats as Ohio Division 3 football champion
MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) - Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's has repeated as Division III Ohio state high school football champion with a 24-0 victory over Trotwood-Madison.
The Irish defense set up three touchdowns on a cold and rainy Thursday night in Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
The Irish are ranked first in the Associated Press poll. They complete the season with a 15-0 record and have won 21 straight games dating to last year. Their defense forced five turnovers, with three interceptions and two fumbles.
Trotwood is ranked 14th by the AP. It has lost in the state championship game for the second straight year.
Trotwood averaged more than 40 points in winning its first four playoff games but had a difficult time mounting a challenge against the swarming St. Vincent-St. Mary's defense.
T25-MICHIGAN ST-SECOND CHANCE
Mich St's Lewis gets another chance at title
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Isaiah Lewis has tried to move on from the painful memory of the 2011 Big Ten title game, when his penalty for running into the punter ended Michigan State's chances of going to the Rose Bowl.
He'll have a chance for redemption Saturday when No. 10 Michigan State faces No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis.
The penalty on Lewis in 2011 enabled Wisconsin to run the clock out on a 42-39 win over the Spartans in that year's league title game - and it negated a long return by Michigan State that might have changed the outcome.
It was a cruel way for the Spartans to lose, and one that Lewis hasn't forgotten.
Northern Illinois tries to focus on only MAC title
DETROIT (AP) - No. 16 Northern Illinois is trying to focus only on the Mid-American Conference championship game.
That might not be easy.
If the Huskies beat Bowling Green on Friday night in Detroit, they will likely earn a second straight BCS bowl bid.
Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey says the Falcons are probably better in all three phases of the game than any opponent his team has faced this season.
Bowling Green will need to be really good on offense, defense and special teams to do enough to beat the Huskies and quarterback Jordan Lynch. The Heisman Trophy candidate has accounted for 4,212 yards and 43 touchdowns this season. Lynch is 25-2 as a starter and hasn't lost a MAC game.
BLUE JACKETS MOVE
Blue Jackets activate forward Derek MacKenzie
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated forward Derek MacKenzie off injured reserve after he missed five games with a strained back.
MacKenzie was hurt at Vancouver on Nov. 22.
The 32-year-old fourth-line center has two goals and an assist in 22 games with Columbus this season. He has the second-best faceoff percentage on the team (54.3).
Originally selected by Atlanta in the fifth round, 128th overall, at the 1999 draft, MacKenzie has 24 goals and 32 assists and a plus-14 rating in 258 career games with the Thrashers and Blue Jackets.
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