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Local colleges

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Cougars confident in stable of QBs

– David Yoder, the backup who came in to play quarterback in the second half and rally Saint Francis to its 39-31 victory over Wisconsin-Stevens Point last week, was named the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League Offensive Player of the Week.

Not a bad guy in the bullpen, since he’ll begin the game on the bench for Saturday’s noon game against Saint Ambrose.

“Josh Miller will start,” Saint Francis coach Kevin Donley said of the junior who missed the second half last week with dehydration. “I’d like to play all three.”

Two games and two victories into the season, the Cougars have played three quarterbacks.

Miller has completed 18 of 35 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came in the first half last week to Austin Coleman. Yoder, who was 14 of 18 for 126 yards in relief, is 16 of 21 overall. And Wes Hunsucker, who is nursing a sore wrist, has completed 3 of 4 for 52 yards.

“I feel confident in all of them if they have to make a decision,” Donley said.

But the starting job against 20th-ranked Saint Ambrose (1-0) is Miller’s.

“Miller didn’t do anything to lose the job,” Donley said. “(He was) dehydrated, probably late in the first quarter. I don’t think he was at his best. He tried to keep it from us. I didn’t know it until we went out to start the second half. He didn’t say anything at halftime; just was quiet. Yoder was ready to rock and roll, and he performed.”

Looking up at a 24-19 deficit to begin the second half, Yoder led the Cougars on three scoring drives. His 1-yard plunge gave the Cougars the lead, and then sophomore running back Kyle Mathewson scored from the 10 and 1.

The first two wins – against Texas College and Wisconsin-Stevens Point – have been against first-time opponents.

Saturday, the Cougars will see a more familiar face in Saint Ambrose, which beat Trinity International 43-6 last week but is winless against Saint Francis in seven games.

While Donley admits there are still some question marks, including the overall big one (“… How good are we?”), the team’s mettle was tested when it rallied from a 24-13 deficit.

“I don’t think anybody – throughout that whole Wisconsin game – never once did anybody think we were going to lose that game,” linebacker Jamael Green said. “We all knew how we were supposed to play and knew what we had to do, so the only thing for us to do was to go out there and do it.”