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AP Sportlight

December 26, 2018
Dec. 27

1953 — The Detroit Lions edge the Cleveland Browns 17-16 for the NFL championship. Doak Walker’s extra point, following a 33-yard scoring pass, is the difference.

1959 — The Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants 31-16 in the NFL championship. Three field goals by Pat Summerall give the Giants a 9-7 lead after three periods, but Baltimore’s defensive backfield makes three interceptions that result in scores.

1964 — The Cleveland Browns break out after a scoreless first half with 17 points in the third quarter and go on to beat the Baltimore Colts 27-0 for the NFL title.

1974 — Ohio State junior running back Archie Griffin wins the Heisman Trophy.

1987 — Steve Largent of the Seattle Seahawks becomes the NFL’s all-time reception leader in the Seahawks’ 41-20 loss to Kansas City. Largent’s six catches gives him 752, surpassing the 750 by San Diego’s Charlie Joiner. Gayle Sierens announcing the game for NBC becomes the first female play-by-play announcer in NFL history.

1999 — Joe Sakic scores his 1,000th career point on a second-period assist, helping the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.

2000 — Mario Lemieux makes a remarkable comeback after 3½ years of retirement, scoring a goal and assisting on two others — one on his first pass on his first shift, no less — as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-0.

2005 — Rudy Carpenter passes for 467 yards and four touchdowns as Arizona State holds off Rutgers for a wild 45-40 victory in the Insight Bowl. The teams combine for 1,210 yards, a record for any bowl game.

2008 — Pat White, the most prolific running quarterback in college football history, has the best passing game of his career to lead West Virginia to a 31-30 victory over North Carolina in the Meineke Bowl. The senior is voted MVP of a bowl for the third straight year and finishes 4-0 in postseason games, the first quarterback to do so.

2010 — Niklas Kronwall scores the game-winner with 1:18 remaining in overtime and Chris Osgood stops a season-high 46 shots in the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche to become the 10th goalie in NHL history to reach 400 wins.

2015 — Carolina’s bid for an undefeated season ends when Julio Jones’ dramatic 70-yard touchdown reception powered the Atlanta Falcons to a 20-13 victory over Cam Newton and the 14-1 Panthers.

2015 — Kansas City beat Cleveland 17-13 for its ninth consecutive victory and clinches a playoff spot when Pittsburgh loses to Baltimore. The Chiefs and 1986 Jets are the only teams in NFL history with a nine-game win streak and five-game losing streak in the same season.

Dec. 28

1944 — Maurice Richard has five goals and three assists to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 9-1 rout of the Detroit Red Wings.

1947 — The Chicago Cardinals behind Elmer Angsman’s two 70-yard scores and Charlie Trippi’s 44-yard TD run and 75-yard punt return beat the Philadelphia Eagles 28-21 for the NFL title on a frozen Comiskey Park field.

1952 — Doak Walker’s 67-yard third-quarter touchdown run leads the Detroit Lions to a 17-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns for the NFL championship.

1954 — Tony Trabert and Vic Seixas give the United States a 3-2 victory over Australia for the Davis Cup.

1958 — The Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants 23-17 in overtime to win the NFL championship at Yankee Stadium. Quarterback Johnny Unitas takes the Colts 80 yards in 13 plays, the last a one-yard carry by Alan Ameche at 8:15 of sudden death overtime. The regulation game ends 17-17 when Baltimore’s Steve Myhra kicks a 20-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in the game. The game is widely known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” With a national television audience watching, this game is believed to have made the NFL a challenger to baseball as the national pastime.

1968 — Arthur Ashe leads the United States to its first Davis Cup title since 1963 with a 4-1 victory over Australia.

1975 — The Dallas Cowboys beat the Minnesota Viking 17-14 on Roger Staubach’s desperate 50-yard pass to Drew Pearson in the final minute of an NFC Divisional playoff game. Staubach connects with Pearson down the right sideline with 24 seconds remaining after the Cowboys had second-and-10 with no timeouts left. Staubach later tells reporters he got knocked down on the play, closed his eyes and said a Hail Mary. The term “Hail Mary” is born.

1988 — Division II Alaska-Anchorage, behind Michael Johnson’s 20 points, pulls the biggest surprise of the college basketball season by stunning No. 2 Michigan 70-66 in the opening round of the Utah Classic.

2000 — Robby Portalatin becomes the fourth bowler to roll a 900 series according to the American Bowling Congress. Portalatin, a 28-year-old worker for an auto parts company, accomplishes the feat at Airport Lanes in Jackson, Mich.

2003 — Jamal Lewis becomes the fifth player in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards in a season. He gained 114 yards on 27 carries in Baltimore’s 13-10 overtime victory against Pittsburgh, finishing the year with 2,066 yards — second-most in NFL history.

2003 — San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson rushes for a career-high 243 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-14 win over Oakland. Tomlinson also becomes the first halfback in NFL history to catch 100 passes.

2008 — The Detroit Lions lose to the Green Bay Packers 31-21, making them the first team to go winless through a 16-game season.

2008 — The New England Patriots become the NFL’s first team with an 11-5 record to miss the playoffs since Denver in 1985 and the first since the NFL expanded to six playoff teams per conference in 1990.

2008 — The Cleveland Browns lose to Pittsburgh 31-0, setting an NFL record by failing to score a touchdown for six straight games.

2015 — Keenan Reynolds wraps up his record-setting college career at Navy in spectacular fashion, running for three touchdowns and throwing for another to lead the Midshipmen past Pittsburgh 44-28 in the Military Bowl. Navy (11-2) sets a record for wins in a season and Reynolds finishes as the NCAA career leader with 88 touchdowns and 530 points. His 4,559 yards rushing are the most by a quarterback in NCAA history.

Dec. 29

1926 — Merlyn Phillips of the Montreal Maroons scores five seconds into the game at Chicago for an NHL record for the fastest goal from the start of a game. The Black Hawks win the game in overtime, 5-4. It would be matched three times.

1934 — The first college basketball doubleheader is played at New York’s Madison Square Garden. NYU beats Notre Dame 25-18 and Westminster defeats St. John’s 37-33.

1957 — Tobin Rote passes for four touchdowns and scores another to give the Detroit Lions a 59-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the NFL championship game.

1961 — Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scores 60 points against the Los Angeles Lakers at Hershey, Pa., the future site of his 100-point game.

1963 — Chuck McKinley and Dennis Ralston give the United States a 3-2 victory over Australia for the Davis Cup title.

1968 — The Baltimore Colts shut out the Browns 34-0 to win the NFL championship at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

1968 — The New York Jets beat the Oakland Raiders 27-23 in the AFL championship game.

1979 — Safety Vernon Perry sets an NFL playoff record with four interceptions to lead the Houston Oilers to a 17-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

1982 — Alabama’s Jeremiah Castille intercepts three passes to help beat Illinois 21-15 in the Liberty Bowl and send coach Paul “Bear” Bryant out as a winner. Bryant finishes his coaching career with 323-85-17 record.

1984 — Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers scores his 100th point in the 35th game of the season, a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

2006 — Texas Tech spots Minnesota a 31-point, third-quarter lead, then rallies for a stunning 44-41 overtime victory in the Insight Bowl, the largest comeback in Division I-A bowl history. The previous record for a bowl comeback was 30 points, set by Marshall against East Carolina in the 2001 GMAC Bowl.

2007 — The New England Patriots complete a perfect regular season, finishing with a remarkable 16-0 record following a thrilling 38-35 comeback victory over the New York Giants. New England is the first NFL team since the 1972 Dolphins to win every game on the schedule, and that one was only 14-0.

2011 — Baylor pulls out an incredible Alamo Bowl victory in the highest-scoring regulation bowl game in history, beating Washington 67-56 in the wildest shootout of this bowl season. Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III isn’t dazzling, but Terrance Ganaway rushes for 200 yards and five touchdowns. The previous bowl record for a regulation game was 102 total points set in the 2001 GMAC Bowl between Marshall and East Carolina. That game went to double overtime and ended with a combined 125 points — which still stands as the overall bowl record.

2012 — Second-ranked Connecticut plays spoiler and streak-buster this time, snapping No. 1 Stanford’s nation-leading 82-game home unbeaten run with a surprisingly easy 61-35 rout. It’s the Huskies who saw the end of their NCAA record 90-game winning streak at Maples Pavilion with a 71-59 loss two years ago, almost to the day on Dec. 30. Stanford loses at Maples Pavilion for the first time since March 2007.

2013 — Peyton Manning is 25 for 28 for 266 yards and four touchdowns before sitting out the second half of Denver’s 34-14 win over Oakland. He finishes the season with NFL records of 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes.

2014 — Teenager Mikaela Shiffrin becomes the most successful U.S. skier in the slalom at Kuehtai, Austria. The 19-year-old racks up her 10th career slalom win, beating the records set in the 1980s by Tamara McKinney and on the men’s side by Phil Mahre, who both had nine wins in ski racing’s most technically demanding event.

2016 — Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin uses a spectacular final run to win a night race for her third World Cup triumph in three days. Shiffrin is 0.33 seconds off the lead at the final split time before accelerating to win the race by 0.64 ahead of Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia. After winning two giant slaloms the previous days, Shiffrin continues her dominance in slalom by landing her 23th career win in the discipline.

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