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Cougars banged up in wake of home loss

– Pride wasn’t the only thing that got bruised when Saint Francis lost 15-14 at home to Saint Ambrose on Saturday.

Middle linebacker Brody Kalbaugh, the team’s leading tackler this season, as well as last, suffered a fracture to his lower left leg on the final play of the game when Saint Ambrose was running out the clock.

“I was trying to make something happen,” said Kalbaugh, whose 36 tackles this season leads the team. “It happened after the play was over. It was basically when I was getting up, and one of their guys fell.

“We’re looking like four weeks (out),” he said. “It’s not a break. It’s just a fracture.”

Kalbaugh, however, isn’t the only casualty.

Cornerback Tracy Hathaway tore his MCL and ACL while returning a fumble from his end zone in the final seconds of the first half and is out for the season.

Linebacker Quinn Doan suffered an undisclosed knee injury and is out indefinitely.

And running back Kyle Mathewson suffered a concussion and will be out until he is given medical clearance.

But there is more to the insult of losing to Saint Ambrose for the first time than injury.

“Instead of giving out awards for a victory, we’re going in with a list of things that if any one would have happened, we’d be giving out awards,” Saint Francis coach Kevin Donley said before a team meeting Tuesday. “The fact is we haven’t scratched the surface in potential.”

Although the injuries are a setback, Donley had other concerns.

“I’m angry. I’m disappointed that we didn’t play real well Saturday.”

A central issue is at the quarterback position.

After directing the Cougars on a game-opening 92-yard, 15-play scoring drive, starter Josh Miller was replaced by David Yoder, who completed 2 of 6 passes with one interception. And while Wes Husucker led the Cougars on the fourth-quarter scoring drive, he threw an interception on the final Saint Francis series.

“What we are going to do is we’re going to create competition within the next two weeks to see who rises,” Donley said. “Got to do that. There’s no clear-cut (leader), with what I’ve seen in games so far. … We’ve got to have somebody emerge.”

Saint Francis has a bye this week. It will be home to Concordia for a 7 p.m. game Sept. 22.

stwarden@jg.net

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