published Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

UTC quarterback Jacob Huesman on Payton Award watch list — and more Chattanooga region sports news

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior quarterback Jacob Huesman is included on the Walter Payton Award watch list for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision's top offensive player in 2014. Huesman, a former Baylor School standout, passed for 16 touchdowns and ran for nine last year, when he completed 68.3 percent of his passes and threw only five interceptions and the Mocs went 8-4 and shared their first Southern Conference championship since 1964. His career 67-percent completion rate is the best in UTC history, and he led the team in 2013 with 894 yards on 176 runs. "This is great recognition for our football team," his father and head coach, Russ Huesman, said in a UTC release. "We are proud of Jacob and what he has been able to accomplish, but this also says a lot about where we are as a program." Last year's Payton Award winner, Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, was the New England Patriots' second-round draft choice this spring; runner-up Vernon Adams, Eastern Washington's quarterback, is back and on this year's watch list. Other former Payton winners include the late Steve McNair, Tony Romo and Brian Westbrook.

Track and Field

• Preston Elwell from Signal Mountain and Selena Popp from Baylor School qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics track and field nationals late this month in Des Moines, Iowa, with top-two finishes this past weekend in the Region 6 qualifier at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Elwell won the 17-18 boys' javelin throw and shot put with heaves of 178 feet, 5.5 inches and 42-1. Popp was the 17-18 girls' high jump runner-up with a 5-0 leap.

Auto Racing

• Classic super car dealer Ron Lane of Hixson won the $1,500 top prize in the Super Pro class for the second week in a row Saturday night at the Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip, and this time his wife, Eva Lane, was the runner-up, both in Chevrolet dragsters. Ron won with a 4.97-second run on a 4.97 dial, and Eva had a 5.06 run on a 5.05 dial. This was their third time to match up in the finals in 10 years of racing. Jeff Montgomery of Powder Springs, Ga., won the Foot Brake class with a 6.50 burst on a 6.49 dial in a 1986 Ford Mustang, and Steve Roberts of Chattanooga was second in a 1983 Pontiac Trans Am. Andrew Womac of Cleveland won the Junior Dragster competition with Khloe Wilson of Flintstone second. Cynthia Warnock again had the low elapsed time (4.60 seconds) and top speed (149.50 mph) of the meet in her father's 632-cubic-inch dragster.

• John Ownbey of Cleveland won the $3,000 top prize last Thursday night in the Freedom 40 race for Super Late Models at Winchester Speedway. Ownbey started seventh in the 28-car field, caught pole-sitter Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala., just before the midpoint and led the rest of the way. Tim Busha of Boaz, Ala., eventually outdueled Hollingsworth for second place, and Riley Hickman of Cleveland was fifth. Friday night in Brasstown, N.C., Casey Roberts of Toccoa, Ga., led all 40 laps at Tri-County Race Track, where the Murphy, N.C., trio of David Payne, Shawn Chastain and Preston Graves finished third through fifth and Gar Dickson of Flintstone was ninth.

Baseball

• The Chattanooga Cyclones SM baseball team won the Southern Wood Bat Summer World Series this past weekend at Cleveland State and Lee University with the 24-5 Cyclones' Logan Fugate named the James Dylan Paris MVP and Winston Whitener, Noah Hill, Brett Barbee and Brody Binder joining him on the all-tournament team. Fugate had two hits, four RBIs and two runs in a 9-0 win over Atlanta Sportstech, two hits and a run in a 5-3 loss to Northeastern Baseball (with players from three Northern U.S. states and Canada) and three hits and four RBIs in the 9-7 championship win over the Southern Prospects. He was the winning pitcher in a 7-1 defeat of Diamond Simcox. Caleb Collins had a two-hit game and then was the winning pitcher and hit a two-run double in the final, after Whitener had the pitching win with an Alex Darras save in a 4-2 victory over the Prospects. Logan Haga had the save in the 9-7 finale.

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