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TMP settles for split -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Shields strikes out 12 as Royals complete sweep -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Indian swimmers seventh in Salina -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS softball splits with Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS baseball swept at Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Final home games for Tigers -4/18/2014, 10:14 AM

Tiger softball No. 8 in first region rankings -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

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Hayes is KSU's next big 'Cat -4/17/2014, 10:44 AM

New group for Plainville track -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Otis track team deals with injuries, illness -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Jets land former Titan Chris Johnson -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

HDN Area Track & Field honor roll, April 17 -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Freeman winds up with N.Y. Giants -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Tigers win on grand slam -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Weber gets extension at K-State -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

HHS' Weigel becomes a Cowboy -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

HHS relay team wins Elite -4/12/2014, 6:37 PM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

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Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Decker makes up for frustrations

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Decker makes up for frustrations

Published on -12/5/2013, 9:50 AM

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By ARNIE STAPLETON

Associated Press

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Before his out-of-the-blue four-touchdown breakout at Kansas City last weekend, the only starring role Eric Decker enjoyed this year was in his reality TV show about his wedding to country and pop singer Jessie James.

"Eric & Jessie: Game On" was filled with tantalizing shots of the beautiful couple.

In between the pillow talk and steamy hot tub scenes, Decker was shown fretting over his future with the Denver Broncos last summer as he approached the final year of the contract he signed as a rookie four years ago.

By the time the show debuted in September, Decker had a gold ring on his finger but no extension in hand.

On Wednesday, he insisted his mind this season hasn't been on his bank account but on the business of football.

"Yeah, it's natural before the season to want security, to want to know what your future's going to be, but once the season comes around, it's something that you just have to forget about because that will just take care of itself," Decker said.

"In the end, my focus was leaning toward becoming a better football player, becoming a better teammate, and hopefully with all that hard work, with all that determination, it pays off in the long run.

"It's something that obviously is present, it's there, but it's nothing that is flustering me or is on my mind a lot."

What did have him flummoxed this season, he admits, was a balky shoulder and constant press coverage.

After ranking second in the league with 13 TD catches last season, Decker had just three touchdown grabs through the first 11 games this year -- and none in November -- while Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas were regularly spiking the ball in the end zone.

Decker had just nine catches last month and he got absolutely no love from the officials who turned a deaf ear to his complaints that he was getting mugged by cornerbacks intent on slowing down Denver's turbo-charged offense.

Against New England two weeks ago, Decker caught just one of five passes thrown his way, for 5 yards.

Teammates and coaches said Decker kept his head down and his chin up, however, as evidenced by the way he kept drawing accolades for his key blocks that kept springing teammates for big gains.

"Yeah, it's not fun" getting shut down, Decker said. "But again that's sometimes how the game goes."

Decker set a franchise record Sunday with a four-touchdown flourish at Kansas City as the Broncos (10-2) took control of the AFC West and stayed in the driver's seat for the top seed in the playoffs.

The slump-busting performance, which earned him his first career AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor, did wonders for his image and his morale -- and maybe even his future financial worth.

"It's funny how people start rolling around. One day they hate you, the other day, they love you," Decker said. "But a lot of love's been given out. And it's been fun to talk, I guess, about it and relive it, but now it's on to next week. It's in the past. It's forgotten."

Decker's dominant day -- he set up Denver's fifth TD with a 42-yard catch to the Chiefs 3 -- was the kind of performance that can erase a season's worth of frustrations and give a guy a big confidence boost for the stretch run.

"I certainly hope so," quarterback Peyton Manning said. "Eric had an outstanding year last year, and he's definitely a huge part of our offense. You know sometimes these wide receivers, you kind of never know when it's going to be your day, and I know probably a couple games where Eric may have been frustrated he maybe wasn't scoring as many touchdowns as he had (last season or) as some of the other guys (have this season). Then, all of a sudden you catch four in one game. So it's a credit to him for he was focused and kept working hard in practice."

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