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PITTSBURGH,PA (AP) – Charlie Batch completed 11 of 14 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown to bolster his hopes of playing a 15th NFL season and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Carolina Panthers 17-16 in their preseason finale Thursday night.

Batch hit Emmanuel Sanders for a 37-yard play on Pittsburgh’s first drive and later found Will Johnson for a 27-yard gain to set up a field goal as the Steelers (3-1) won a battle of the backups against the Panthers (2-2).

Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen passed for 173 yards and two touchdowns, including a 79-yard score to rookie Lamont Bryant with 2:31 to play to bring the Panthers within a point. The 2-point conversion failed, however, and kicker Justin Medlock missed a 50-yard field goal with 32 seconds left.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


ASHEVILLE, NC (courtesy Appalachian State sports information) — After not giving up a shot on goal for the second straight match, Appalachian State University blanked UNC Asheville 3-0 Thursday afternoon at Greenwood Field.

With the win, the Mountaineers improve to 2-0 on the young season, as Asheville goes to 1-2.

The defense shined all match, only allowing the Bulldogs to take three shots and not allowing one to trouble junior goalkeeper Danny Free. App State tallied 13 shots in the second period after only posting three in the first 45 minutes.

“I think it’s a testament to the team that we can go out and defend for 180 minutes and not give up a shot on goal,” head coach Matt Nelson said. “We defended as an entire team so you have to give the credit to the entire team.”

After a slow opening half, senior Nate Latigue got Appalachian on the scoreboard after a long run down the slideline and striking a shot in the top right corner. For Latigue, the 47th minute goal was the sixth of his career.

“We thought we came out a bit flat in the first half,” Nelson said. “The second half we wanted to press them higher and add a little bit more intensity to the game.”

Three minutes later, Latigue looked to have scored his second goal of the match, but a late foul called in the box on the Mountaineers took the goal off the scoreboard.

After a few chances, senior midfielder David Dodge was fouled in the box, earning a penalty kick in the 84th minute. The senior knocked in his second of the season on a penalty kick, beating Asheville’s Dan Jackson to his left.

Seconds after Dodge’s second goal of the season, sophomore Stanley Broaden found room behind the Asheville defense scored on a breakaway. It was Broaden’s first of his career, as the sophomore slid the ball past Jackson’s left side.

The defense held for the rest of the match to close out Appalachian’s second win of the season. Free records his 11 shutout of his career, second of the season without recording a save.

The Apps will be back in action on Sunday, Sept. 2 as they will return home against UNC Wilmington. Kickoff is set for3 p.m. following the women’s match against Longwood at 12 p.m.

NOTE: Stanley Broaden is a graduate of Wilmington’s Ashley High School. Broaden not only plays soccer for ASU, he’s a standout on the track team for the Mountaineers too.

NEW YORK (AP) – Andy Roddick says the U.S. Open will be the last tournament of his career.

The 2003 U.S. Open champion and former No. 1 announced his plans to retire at a news conference Thursday, his 30th birthday.

The 20th-seeded Roddick is scheduled to play Bernard Tomic in the second round Friday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The American’s surprising decision to walk away from the sport comes a day after four-time major champion Kim Clijsters played the last singles match of her career, a second-round loss to Laura Robson at Flushing Meadows.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


NASHVILLE, TN (AP) – Marcus Lattimore ran for two touchdowns and 110 yards, and Connor Shaw ran for 92 yards while playing the second half with an injured shoulder as No. 9 South Carolina rallied for a 17-13 victory against Vanderbilt to open the season Thursday night.

Shaw hurt his right, throwing shoulder late in the first half and missed the first two series of the third quarter before returning. The junior drove the Gamecocks for the go-ahead touchdown and ran 12 yards to the Vandy 1 before rolling in pain in the end zone.

Lattimore scored the go-ahead TD on a 1-yard run with 11:25 to go.

The Commodores turned it over on downs with 1:47 to go when Jordan Matthews couldn’t handle fourth-down pass from Jordan Rodgers.

Gamecocks defensive back D.J. Swearinger appeared to grab Matthews’ arm before the ball arrived.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


High School Volleyball (Thursday)
East Columbus shutout East Bladen 3-0. Gators improve to 2-4 on the season.

High School Soccer (Thursday)
Laney boys defeat Topsail 5-2 in Hampstead


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