Senior linebacker Uchenna Nwosu celebrates after wrapping up a sack in a game against Arizona State. Photo by Matt Karats | Daily TrojanAs the No. 11 Trojans prepare to wrap up the 2017 regular season against UCLA this weekend, the football team’s 2018 schedule was released on Thursday.USC opens its campaign at the Coliseum against UNLV next Labor Day weekend, hosting the Rebels on Sept. 1 in the second-ever meeting between the two programs. The Trojans then enter a two-game road stretch, first opening Pac-12 play at Stanford. The Trojans beat the Cardinal 42-24 in Los Angeles in Week 2 of this season, and the two sides could rematch in the conference championship on Dec. 1 if Stanford wins out and No. 18 Washington takes down No. 14 Washington State next week.USC then travels to Austin for a matchup against Texas. The Trojans and Longhorns clashed in Week 3 this fall for the first time since the two programs’ classic national championship game in 2006: Redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold led USC to a comeback victory, and freshman kicker Chase McGrath converted his first career field goals — one to tie the game as time expired and another to win in double overtime.After their tilt in Austin, the Trojans return home on a short week to face off against Washington State — much like this season, when the team took on the Cougars on a Friday coming off a trip to Berkeley. Unlike September’s trip to Pullman, however, USC will be at home next year as the team seeks revenge for its first loss of the season at Washington State this year. The Cougars’ visit to the Coliseum will be their first since 2013, when they pulled off a 10-7 upset thanks to a late field goal.USC then travels to Tucson for a game versus Arizona. The Trojans edged the Wildcats 49-35 at the Coliseum two weeks ago after blowing a 22-point lead. However, Arizona will be bolstered by the expected return of quarterback Khalil Tate, who stood out on a national scale after exploding onto the scene midway through the 2017 season.Unlike this season, USC will enjoy a bye in 2018. The lack of a bye was a thorn in the side of the Trojans from the start of the season. As injuries continued to pile up, coaches and players stressed that the lack of break — paired with a short turnaround on a road game in Pullman, Wash., to play Washington State — was one of the more difficult factors of the season. The team will host Colorado coming off its break on Oct. 13. The Trojans clinched the Pac-12 South title with a 38-24 victory over the Buffaloes last weekend.After taking on Colorado, head coach Clay Helton will set his sights on a trip to Utah (the Trojans squeaked by the Utes 28-27 at home last month), before welcoming Arizona State to the Coliseum, when USC will look for a repeat of this season’s 48-17 blowout victory in Tempe.The Trojans travel to Corvallis, Ore., for the first time since 2013 after facing the Sun Devils. USC breezed by Oregon State 38-10 this year, and it will host Cal after facing the Beavers. Finally, the Trojans wrap up the regular season with back-to-back rivalry games — first at the Rose Bowl versus UCLA, then a tilt at the Coliseum against Notre Dame.If USC returns to the Pac-12 Championship, the title game will take place in Santa Clara on Nov. 30.
By Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsComing from the B.C. Interior, the Kootenay Wildcats log many road miles to compete on the B.C. Female AAA Hockey League circuit.So making another 16-hour trip to northern B.C. was a nightmare the team definitely didn’t want to experience.The Cats all but clinched the fourth and final playoff spot, and the right to host Prince George in the opening playoff round instead of traveling north, during the weekend after Kootenay swept the Cougars by identical 3-2 scores at the NDCC Arena.Kootenay now holds a commanding lead in the BCMHL standings.“It was a great effort by the girls today,” said Kootenay head coach Mario DiBella following Sunday’s nail-biting victory. “They overcame some adversity today to battle back from a 2-0 deficit.”“The (two-game-sweep) was huge for us because we didn’t want to make the 16-hour bus trip to Prince George to play the first playoff round,” DiBella added.Trailing 2-0 after one frame the Cats somehow found a way to penetrate the Cougar defence in the second. Kiana Strand did the damage for Kootenay scoring twice in the period. Hailey McLean snapped the 2-2 tie with a goal midway through the final frame and Kootenay, with Kayla Keraiff standing tall in the Kootenay nets, managed to hold off the pressing Cougars down the stretch.“I thought we came out flat in the first period but definitely our goaltender (Keraiff) stepped up her play in the second and third periods . . . she was outstanding,” DiBella explained. “But I’d like to comment on the play Kiana Strand. She was an incredible asset to our team today. Not only did she score two goals but her effort is always there and she’s a huge leader on this team when it comes to her play on the ice.”Saturday’s game was just as tight as Sunday between these two evenly matched teams.Shea Weighill staked Kootenay to a 2-2 tie after two periods before Holly Nikirk notched the winner in the third.The game was halted when Prince George forward Taya Garneau was removed from the ice on a stretcher after being injury during an on-ice collision.Garneau was taken to Kootenay Lake District Hospital by ambulance with a back injury and concussion. She was later released.Tempers boiled following the hit, leading to a parade to the penalty box.“Both the North and Kootenay are physical teams so there’s lots of contact,” said DiBella. “It’s great the officials are allowing the coincidental contact to occur. But these girls are firey competitors so there is a certain level of angst among the players on the ice.”The Cats are idle until early March when Kootenay hosts Fraser Valley Phantom for a two-game series at the NDCC Arena.KOOTENAY NOTES: Rearguard Amiee DiBella and center Daley Oddy of the Wildcats join former Kootenay star Ella Matteucci as members of Team B.C. that will participate in the Canada Winter Games. The national competition begins Friday in Halifax. The female part of the competition commences the second week of the games. DiBella is from Nelson while Oddy lives in Cranbrook and Matteucci is from Fruitvale.firstname.lastname@example.org read more