Injuries were the chief concern for two area football coaches yesterday as they prepared for pivotal Centennial Conference games coming up Saturday.
At Westminster, where underdog Lebanon Valley put a physical as well as a 34-30 beating on Western Maryland last Saturday, the Green Terrors lost linebacker and leading tackler Jim Webster with a broken ankle and played the fourth straight week without linebacker Trevor Sellers (stress fracture) and the second straight week without tackle Danny Moore, the leader on the defensive line. Moore is expected back for Saturday's home game with Swarthmore.
Johns Hopkins lost one-half of its co-quarterback combination when freshman Scott Cade went out of Saturday's game against Dickinson with an injury to the index finger on his throwing hand. X-rays revealed strained ligaments, and he is doubtful for Saturday's game at Franklin and Marshall.
Against Dickinson, sophomore quarterback John Guglielmo came in to complete eight of 23 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. A regular last year and the first two games this season before the emergence of Cade, Guglielmo will return as the Blue Jays starter Saturday.
Missing the Dickinson game were Frank Gangemi, who has been outstanding as a defensive lineman after switching from offense, defensive back Tom Baugher and tight end Mike Hallenbeck. Coach Jim Margraff hopes to get all of them back this week.
After the game, running back/punter Lou Angelos got sick and wound up with emergency surgery for removal of his spleen. He will miss the remainder of the season. Dan Flynn, a sophomore wide receiver, will inherit the punting duties.
There was at least one bright note in Western Maryland's loss, as wide receiver Andy Steckel got back on track. The team's leading receiver, who had no catches against Franklin and Marshall and one against Dickinson, came back to get five for 139 yards, including touchdown receptions of 61 and 18 yards.
In the process he broke two of Mark Chadwick's 10-year-old records, as Steckel, 6 feet 1, 175 pounds, has 15 touchdown catches and 1,421 receiving yards.
* MORGAN STATE: A halftime tongue-lashing by coach Ed Wyche may not have turned the entire football team around, but it certainly did not seem to hurt.
One observer who saw Florida A&M jump to a 31-0 halftime lead said it looked as though the teams changed uniforms for the second half, and the Bears looked and played like a football team against the Rattlers' first-stringers (sent back on the field // after a Morgan touchdown).
Running back Nathan Ayers continued his comeback, finishing with 23 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
* SALISBURY STATE: Last Saturday's 38-33 loss at Hampden-Sydney was a game Salisbury State coach Joseph Rotellini said "we could have won and let it get away." A pair of consecutive fourth-quarter scores by the Tigers sewed it up.
Despite the loss, the Sea Gulls totaled 602 yards of offense, and freshman quarterback Len Annetta set a school record with a single-game total of 317 passing yards. Senior Bill Lewit had the best game of his career, ending with four catches for a career-high 90 yards, and sophomore Tae Johnson (Forest Park) had three catches for 85 yards, including one that went for 63 yards and a touchdown. Junior fullback Jason Barton had the team's first 100-yard rushing effort of the season, ending with 109 yards on 11 carries.
* FROSTBURG STATE: Although the team is dominated by seniors and juniors, future opponents should not think the end is in sight any time soon for its success story.
Last Saturday, 75 to 80 players saw action, as the Bobcats (8-0 and No. 2 in Division III-South) whipped Duquesne, 41-7, and two of the defensive leaders were freshmen -- linebacker James McDonald and back Darrius Smith. McDonald was in on five tackles, two sacks, and recovered a fumble, and Smith, 5-10 and 157 pounds, was in on eight tackles. Sophomore linebacker Howard Hughes had six tackles and a sack, and another sophomore, Andy Martin, replaced injured nose guard Tony Hooker, and had a solid effort.