Latest South Carolina sports

JETS-HURRICANES

Wheeler leads Jets past Hurricanes 3-1

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Blake Wheeler scored two goals and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Thursday night.

The Jets, who are in the middle of a five-game road trip, won for the fifth time in seven games and bounced back from a shutout loss in their previous game.

Carolina lost for the second time in three games since winning four straight.

Wheeler gave the Jets a 1-0 lead at 5:29 of the first period to get his sixth goal of the season.

Elias Lindholm scored Carolina’s goal at 3:44 of the second period to tie the score at 1-1. But it didn’t last as Wheeler scored on a tip in at the front of the net to push the Jets back into the lead at 13:02.

Michael Frolik put the game out of reach with an empty-net goal for Winnipeg with 1:30 left in the game.

S CAROLINA-DEFENSIVE SHUFFLE

South Carolina makes changes on defense

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said he’ll shuffle several starters to prepare for Florida this weekend.

Injured linebacker Skai Moore returns to the lineup, but will move to the middle with his replacement last game Jonathan Walton sliding over to the outside.

Ward said cornerback Brison Williams would move to safety with backup Rico McWilliams playing cornerback.

Ward outlined the changes after practice Thursday. He said it was important to get South Carolina’s most athletic players on the field when facing a squad with as many play-making athletes as Florida (5-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference).

The Gamecocks (4-5, 2-5) have lost four straight SEC games for just the second time Steve Spurrier’s 10 seasons as coach.

EAST CAROLINA-CINCINNATI

Gantz FG lifts Cincinnati over East Carolina 54-46

CINCINNATI (AP) — Gunner Kiel threw four touchdown passes, and freshman Andrew Gantz kicked a career-best 47-yard field goal with 15 seconds left on Thursday night, rallying Cincinnati to a 54-46 victory over East Carolina.

East Carolina’s Shane Carden threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and ran 2 yards for a go-ahead score with 62 seconds left. Kiel and the Bearcats (6-3, 4-1) pulled it out in a matchup of the American Athletic Conference’s top offenses.

Kiel led Cincinnati in range for Gantz’s field goal, and the Bearcats returned a desperation lateral for a touchdown on the final play.

The comeback overcame a gamble that backfired. Cincinnati went for it on fourth-and-2 from its 33-yard line, and Kiel’s errant pitch-out was fumbled with 2:03 left. Carden’s touchdown run gave East Carolina (6-3, 3-2) its second lead of the game.

Kiel was 29 f 44 for 436 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

NCHSAA PLAYOFFS-DUDLEY OUT

NCHSAA denies Dudley’s appeal to get into playoffs

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has denied an appeal by 2013 champion Greensboro Dudley to compete in the Class 4-A football playoffs after being barred for using ineligible players in last week’s regular-season finale.

The NCHSAA’s board of directors upheld a ruling Thursday by its executive committee a day earlier.

In a release Thursday, the NCHSAA said Dudley admitted the violation while “asking for mercy,” but the appeals process revealed possible additional violations this season.

The NCHSAA forced Dudley to forfeit its final win, triggering a rule disqualifying a team if a forfeit causes a change in record and seeding after playoff brackets are finalized.

Dudley was the No. 1 seed in the 4-A West bracket. Jamestown Ragsdale, Dudley’s 16th-seeded opponent, will advance to the second round.

SENIOR PGA PROFESSIONAL

Deiters, Esposito top Senior PGA Pro

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Jim Deiters and Frank Esposito Jr. shot 8-under 64s on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship.

The 51-year-old Esposito, the PGA head professional at Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, New Jersey, had a bogey-free round on PGA Golf Club’s Ryder Course.

The 50-year-old Deiters, the PGA head professional at Midland (Michigan) Country Club, had nine birdies and a bogey on the Ryder Course.

Deiters and Esposito tied the first-round record set by Bob Ford in 2007 and matched by Roy Vucinich in 2008. They will play the Wanamaker Course on Friday. The final two rounds also will be played on the Wanamaker Course.

The low 35 finishers will earn spots in the Senior PGA Championship in Mat at French Lick (Indiana) Resort.