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17 on their minds: Stoneman Douglas football team wins home opener by 17

Seventeen was on the minds of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football team Friday night.

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The Eagles, playing a home game for the first time since 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at the South Florida school on Feb. 14, defeated South Broward 23-6, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

It was a 17-point margin of victory for a squad that is honoring the memory of the 17 victims this season. Two of the victims were offensive-line coach Aaron Feis and athletic director Chris Hixon.

“We know (the 17) are here with us,” quarterback Ryan Kavanaugh told the Sun-Sentinel. 

Seventeen other people were injured in the shooting at the Parkland high school.

The Eagles players had a No. 17 painted on their logo at midfield and 17 also on every player’s helmet, the newspaper reported.

“It’s the 17 angels,” said junior running back Brian Smith, who scored the first touchdown for Douglas (2-0). “They were watching us.”

Douglas opened its season in Georgia, defeating St. Matthew of Ottawa, Canada.

Texas high school football team snaps 77-game losing streak

A Texas high school football team ended nearly eight years of frustration Thursday night by snapping a 77-game losing streak, WFAA reported.

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Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School of Fort Worth defeated Dallas Conrad 40-12, winning for the first time since Sept. 18, 2010. That night, the Eagles beat Dallas Jefferson, 31-7, the Star-Telegram of Fort Worth reported.

"It was just a relief, you know, it finally happened!" player Adrian Gutierrez told WFAA.“I knew the record," coach Oscar Castillo told the television station Friday. "We've preached since we got here, just be positive, positive, positive. No negativity whatsoever."The 77-game losing streak is not the longest in state history. According to statisticians at Dave Campbell's Texas Football, Davis High School in Houston lost 80 games in a row from 1985 to 1993.

1 teen dead after shooting near California high school

One teen is dead and another is in critical condition Friday after a shooting near a junior varsity game at a California high school, KGO reported.

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Fairfield police said a 16-year-old boy was dead and an 18-year-old man was taken to the hospital after the incident around 5 p.m. near Armijo High School, KRON reported. 

Fairfield police arrested two people in connection with the deadly shooting after receiving reports of a “gun battle” between two groups of people, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

>> 1 person dead after shots fired at Florida high school football game

"We do know that there were multiple shooters and it appeared that the groups were shooting at each other," Lt. Greg Hurlbut of the Fairfield Police Department told KGO.

Police found and arrested the two suspects within an hour, the television station reported.

It is not known whether the suspects and victims were students at the school, the Chronicle reported.

Mollie Tibbetts' younger brother throws 2 TD passes in emotional season opener

The younger brother of slain Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts decided to play in his high school football team’s season opener Friday, throwing for two touchdowns and running for a third in an emotional victory, The Des Moines Register reported.

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Scott Tibbetts, a senior at Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School, started at quarterback against Lisbon, three days after his sister’s body was found in a rural cornfield. He led the Bears to a 35-24 victory and sealed the win by recovering a late onside kick, the Register reported.

Players on the Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom squad wore “MT” patches on their uniforms and decals on their helmets, KCRG reported. Scott Tibbetts pointed skyward after throwing his first touchdown pass, which gave the Bears a 14-6 lead.

>> Mollie Tibbetts died from ‘multiple sharp force injuries’

Mollie Tibbetts, 20, a student at the University of Iowa, disappeared July 18 while jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa. The suspect in her murder, Cristhain Rivera, a 24-year-old Mexico native, led police to Tibbetts’ body Tuesday, according to an arrest affidavit. Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder.

>> Man accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts held on $5M bond

Funeral services for Mollie Tibbetts will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the high school gymnasium, according to her obituary listing provided on the Smith Funeral Home & Cremation Service website.

1 person dead after shots fired at Florida high school football game, deputies say

One person was killed at a Florida high school football game as the contest ended Friday night, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office confirmed.

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In a tweet late Friday, the Sheriff’s Office said one person died and two were injured after a game played between host William M. Raines High School and Robert E. Lee High School.

The Sheriff's Office said early Saturday that one male and one female were shot and transported to hospitals, while one young male was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The victims’ names had not been released as of early Saturday.

Deputies estimated that 4,000 people attended the game, which was the season opener for Raines.  Around 3,000 fans had left by the time the shooting began, the Sheriff’s Office said.

"With the amount of people there, we should have many witnesses," a sheriff’s spokesman said. 

There were several fights and disturbances during the football game, according to the Sheriff’s Office, and officials said they will be looking into those to see if there are any connections to the shooting. 

Deputies said the shooting occurred up and down the sidewalk -- between the stadium and the school entrance -- around 10 p.m. Officers at the scene found three victims with gunshot wounds. One victim, a young adult male, died at the scene. Rescue transported two others to the hospital.

Federal authorities are assisting JSO in the investigation. A search is on for a single shooter, authorities said.

Duval County Superintendent Diana Greene said officials were still in the process of gathering information and will release a statement later. 

>> 1 teen dead after shooting near California high school

Greene did say, however, that the incident was a “very troubling reflection” of what's happening in the Jacksonville community. 

This is not the first time there has been an incident at a football game between the two schools. 

A 20-year-old was shot after a 2012 game at Raines High School.

This is a developing story.

Dad of late ex-Ohio high school football player sues helmet makers

The father of a former Ohio high school football player who died in 2016 after a seizure led to his drowning has sued the manufacturers of helmets worn by Cody Hamblin.

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Darren Hamblin alleges in a suit filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) suffered by his son while he played at Miamisburg High School led to seizure and death.

The suit names Riddell Sports Group and the parent company of Schutt Sports as defendants. The plaintiffs allege negligence, product liability, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and wrongful death.

Cody Hamblin, 22, died May 29, 2016, in Fayetteville, Ohio, when he was fishing during Memorial Day weekend with his grandfather. He had a sudden seizure while on a boat, fell overboard into the water and died within a minute, according to the suit.

CTE is only determined by postmortem analysis, and an autopsy was performed on Cody Hamblin on June 30, 2016, the suit said.

The court document claims that Hamblin played football from 2001, when he was 8 years old, until 2011 and that he developed brain and neurological damage while using those companies’ helmets.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs “did not know the long-term effects of repeat brain injuries, subconcussive hits and cumulative brain trauma and relied on” the defendants to protect them.

“Upon information and belief, there are no specific safety standards for youth sports,” the suit alleges. “In other words, (the companies’) ‘safety standards’ utilized in the design and manufacture of their tackle football helmets fail to differentiate between adult tackle football participants and children tackle football participants, despite the drastic and varying differences between the two.”

“Children possess unique features and vulnerabilities not possessed by fully developed, exceptionally fit adult athletes,” the suit said.

In addition, the suit said children are more vulnerable to head, neck and brain injuries than adults because youth football players’ heads and brains are disproportionately large compared to the rest of their bodies.

The suit cites design defects and that the companies failed to provide necessary and adequate information and made misrepresentations about their products.

The defendants have not yet filed an answer in court.

Florida school shooting: Football coach shot, killed while protecting students hailed as hero

UPDATE, 5:19 a.m. EST Thursday: Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach and security guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has died after being wounded in a deadly mass shooting Wednesday, the team tweeted early Thursday.

“It is with great sadness that our football family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis,” the team wrote. “He was our assistant football coach and security guard. He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot. He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.”

>> See the tweet here

ORIGINAL STORY: An assistant football coach reportedly was shot while protecting students during a deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Aaron Feis is being celebrated as a hero, according to the Miami Herald, citing tributes to the coach and reports on social media.

>> MORE: Live updatesPhoto gallery | Who is Nikolas Cruz?

Seventeen were killed and many more were injured in Wednesday's shooting. A gunman, whom police identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas De Jesus Cruz, opened fire on students in the afternoon.

When the shooting started, Feis – a school security guard, as well – reportedly stepped between the shooter and students, taking bullets in the act. He was reportedly hospitalized in critical condition.

Douglas football player Charlie Rothkopf tweeted that his coach “took [several] bullets covering other students at Douglas.”

The Miami Herald reported that Feis is a 1999 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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“He is a friend to all students that know him,” wrote Angelica Losada, who identified herself as a former student at the school. “Please, take a moment to send healing prayers for him.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said “a football coach” had died in the shooting. It is not clear if Israel was referring to Feis.

Jerry Jones’ grandson rallies team to Texas state high school football title

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones celebrated another championship Friday night, but it wasn’t his NFL team that made him proud.

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It was his grandson, quarterback John Stephen Jones, who rallied Highland Park to a 53-49 victory against Manvel in the UIL Class 5A Division I finale at AT&T Stadium -- the home of the Cowboys. Jones’ heroics gave Highland Park back-to-back state titles, and he became the first quarterback to throw for more than 500 yards in a Texas state title game, ESPN reported.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder passed for 564 yards and four touchdowns, rallying Highland Park from a 10-point deficit with three minutes to play. Jones, who was 37-for-58, completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Cade Saustad -- his 61st of the season -- with 34 seconds left. Jones also completed a 28-yard pass on fourth-and-15 to keep the drive alive, ESPN reported.

Highland Park (15-1), the winningest team in state history with 816 victories, won back-to-back state titles for the first time and its fifth overall, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The Scots also won titles in 1945 (shared with Waco), 1957, 2005 and 2016.

“We beat some great football teams to get here, and this was probably the best one tonight,” Highland Park coach Randy Allen told the Morning News. “John Stephen is a great competitor, and he kept telling everybody on the bench that we've just got to keep coming back.”

Highland Park trailed 49-39 with three minutes to play.

“It shows we have no quit. We'll never count ourselves out,” Jones told the Morning News. “It's really special.”

Highland Park had to survive a late scare, as Manvel’s Jalen Preston was wrestled down at the 1-yard line after a 30-yard reception as time ran out.

Jerry Jones congratulated Manvel coach Kirk Martin after the game.

“He just told me what a great job we did,” Martin told the Morning News. “One second and 1 yard short. That was the difference.”

Panthers' Thomas Davis donates $15K for high school state championship rings

Carolina Panthers defensive linebacker Thomas Davis has made a huge donation to help the Harding University High School football team get its players and coaches championship rings.

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Davis confirmed he donated $15,000 to the team in a tweet to WSOC-TV anchor John Paul.

The football team finished its 14-1 season with a 30-22 win over Scotland County in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A State Championship game in Winston-Salem. It’s the first state championship for the team since 1953.

Head football coach Sam Greiner was on the radio Friday morning when Davis called in and said he would help. The football program was trying to figure out ways to purchase rings for its players who couldn't afford them.

The rings cost about $400 apiece, so the school was trying to raise about $20,000. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the team buy rings, which had raised nearly $7,000 by Friday morning.

When Greiner accepted the head coach position two years ago, the football program was one of the worst in the state -- winning just one game in both 2014 and 2015. The players didn't have uniforms until the coach’s church bought them. They still practice on a beat-up baseball field and have to dress behind the stands.

"If someone wrote a movie script about everything that's happened, they would think it's a fairy tale,” Greiner said. “They wouldn't think it's real life.”

WSOC-TV asked what expenses Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools cover and was told it provides for game officials, security and coaching stipends.

Everything else is up to the school, families or a booster club.

Harding doesn't have a booster club, and a majority of the students’ families don't have the money.

"We have kids on our rosters that don't really have homes,” Greiner said. “They really don't know what they're going to eat (from) day to day.”

Greiner and his church created a family before building a state championship-caliber team. The church provides meals before games and Greiner let his quarterback, Braheam Murphy, who was homeless, live with him.

"I have two daughters because I think the good Lord knew I had enough sons, coaching football," Greiner said.

Homecoming queen kicks game-winning field goal

It was a great week for a Texas high school student. She was named homecoming queen last week, and on Friday she kicked five extra points and the game-winning field goal for her football team.

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Claire Jeffress was the clutch kicker for Dawson High School on Friday, converting a 30-yard field goal with 1:08 to play to snap a tie and give the Eagles a 38-35 victory against Pearland.

“Homecoming queen knocks it through, Dawson wins,” Dawson head coach Eric Wells told the Houston Chronicle. “You have to love that.”

Wells said Dawson “doesn’t get rattled” during games. 

“There wasn’t even a question that she was going to kick it,” he said.

Besides, it wasn’t even Jeffress’ first game-winning kick. She made a go-ahead extra point on Oct. 5 to give Dawson a 14-13 victory against George Ranch.

Jeffress has been playing football since she was a seventh-grader. She told TMC News in January that she felt she needed to prove herself to play on the boys squad.

“I didn't want to make the team because I was a girl -- I didn't want it to be some special factor," she told TMC News. “I wanted to make it because I deserved to be on the team. They understood that.”

On the night she was crowned homecoming queen -- her homecoming dress was adorned with a football -- Jeffress was 6-for-6 on extra points as Dawson defeated Brazoswood 51-16. 

So kicking a game-winner on Friday was not a pressure situation, she said.

“I just wanted to do what I've always done and not think of it as any big deal,” Jeffress told the Chronicle. “My team had faith in me, and they were going to block for me, and the snap and the hold were going to be good, so I just had to do my job.”

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