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WAMC Sports Report 10/3/23: Rookie Witherspoon scores on 97-yard pick six as Seahawks top Giants

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21) gets by New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8), wide receiver Parris Campbell (0) and wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (17) after intercepting a pass to run it back for a touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/AP
FR110666 AP
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21) gets by New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8), wide receiver Parris Campbell (0) and wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (17) after intercepting a pass to run it back for a touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


Rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon scored on a 97-yard interception return late in the third quarter and the Seattle Seahawks tied a team record with 11 sacks in a 24-3 victory over the struggling and offensively inept New York Giants. Geno Smith threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf late in the first quarter after a strip-sack by defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. set up a short drive. Kenneth Walker III added a 1-yard TD run as the Seahawks (3-1) won their third straight. Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks, Witherspoon and Uchenna Nwosu each had two sacks. Wagner also had 17 tackles. The Giants are 1-3.

It’s the holding call heard ’round the NFL. And the debate over whether it was even a penalty continues to rage. Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner was penalized for defensive holding on Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling late in the fourth quarter Sunday night. The decision by referee Frank Steratore that negated an interception by Michael Carter II and gave the ball back to Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City worked the clock the rest of the way to hold on for a 23-20 victory over New York.


New Jersey     6          N-Y Islanders 5         

Ottawa            3          Pittsburgh      0         

Philadelphia   3          Boston 1         


The Marlins kick off a best-of-three Wild Card series against the Phillies at 8:08 tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Elsewhere, the Brewers start their Wild Card Series against the Diamondbacks at 7:08 tonight in Milwaukee.

The Philadelphia Phillies are trying to reach the World Series for the second straight season. The National League champions feel they have unfinished business after falling short of a championship last season. The Marlins are in Philly for a best-of-three Wild Card Series to spoil those plans. The Phillies will send Zack Wheeler to the mound in Game 1 and Aaron Nola in Game 2. The Marlins have Jesús Luzardo scheduled for the opener and Braxton Garrett in Game 2. The Marlins went 7-6 against the Phillies this season and 4-2 at Citizens Bank Park.

Attorneys for former major league pitcher Trevor Bauer say he and a woman who accused him of beating and sexually assaulting her in 2021 have settled their legal dispute. Jon Fetterolf and Shawn Holley say both parties' lawsuits were officially dropped Monday. The former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher was placed on administrative leave by MLB in July 2021 after the allegations were made by the woman, who said Bauer assaulted her on two different occasions during what she said began as consensual sexual encounters between them. Bauer denied the allegation, saying the encounters were consensual.

Phil Nevin will not return as the Los Angeles Angels’ manager next season. The Angels announced Monday that they have declined their option on Nevin’s contract for the 2024 season. Los Angeles will have its fourth manager in six years since the departure of Mike Scioscia, who held the job for 19 years. Nevin went 119-149 in his first major league managerial job while both of his teams missed the playoffs. He was promoted to the Angels’ top job in June 2022 when Joe Maddon was fired in the middle of a 14-game losing streak.

The mother of Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Josh Lowe and Texas Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe will not make the trip to Tropicana Field for this week’s AL Wild Card Series featuring her sons because she is battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Younger brother Josh said he called his mother, Wendy, on Monday to ask if she would mind him discussing her situation publicly in advance of the start of the best-of-three matchup that begins Tuesday. She granted her permission, and the 25-year-old outfielder mentioned it briefly during interviews before the workout.


Giannis Antetokounmpo praised the Milwaukee Bucks for showing a commitment to winning another championship by acquiring Damian Lillard but added that it still doesn’t make financial sense for him to sign a contract extension right now. The two-time MVP is eligible to sign a three-year extension totaling about $170 million. He can make significantly more by waiting until next summer to sign an extension. Antetokounmpo says that “I want to be a Milwaukee Buck for the rest of my career, as long as we are winning.”

Kevin Durant just got done with his summer vacation. He’s planning to go to France for work next summer, and plenty of other big NBA names hope to join him. Among them is Stephen Curry. Durant is one of many top players who said Monday at media days being held around the league that he plans to play for his country at next summer’s Paris Olympics, when the Americans will try for a fifth consecutive gold medal. If he plays and the U.S. wins, Durant would be the first men’s player with four basketball golds.

LeBron James says his 18-year-old son is progressing in his rehabilitation from cardiac arrest in hopes of playing for the University of Southern California this season. Bronny James went into cardiac arrest during a workout at the Galen Center in late July. LeBron James praised USC’s training staff and coaches for saving Bronny’s life with their quick responses after Bronny was stricken. Bronny is attending classes at USC and spending time with his teammates while he gets back to full strength. LeBron said the health scare was frightening for the family, but ultimately made them stronger.


Former elite fencer Kirsten Hawkes feels let down by the U.S. Center for SafeSport after filing a complaint to the agency formed six years ago to combat sexual misconduct in Olympic sports. Since then, more than 1,900 people have been placed on its disciplinary database — a sign its efforts to corral abusers who might otherwise go unchecked have been a success. But Hawkes’ former coach, who she accused of forcing an unwanted kiss on her and other abuse, never went on that list — not after SafeSport handed him a three-month probation, nor after the probation was overturned by an arbitrator. Hawkes says her case undermined her confidence in SafeSport’s ability to protect her and others in similar situations.


A familiar name and logo is returning to Albany sports. The Albany Firebirds franchise is being rebooted for the second time ahead of the 2024 season at MVP Arena. The Firebirds will complete in the new Arena Football League. The original iteration of the franchise played in the 1990s. The new franchise replaces the Albany Empire football team, which lost its membership in the National Arena League in June. The N-A-L board of owners decided to terminate the Empire’s membership after team owner Antonio Brown failed to pay the league-mandated and overdue assessments. The former NFL star wide receiver – whose father Eddie Brown played for the original Firebirds – claimed outright ownership of the franchise and suggested he would play for the franchise without ever taking the field. The original Firebirds won the 1999 ArenaBowl.

© 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.