The Oakland Mills Scorpions, whose 18-0 loss to Wilde Lake Saturday cost them the county football championship, received more bad news Monday when it was learned star senior running back Korey Singleton will miss the postseason with a knee injury.
Singleton, who injured the knee two weeks ago against Glenelg and was restricted to defensive duty against Wilde Lake, was diagnosed as having a second-degree tear of the medial collateral ligament.
The injury will not require surgery, but will take four to six weeks to heal.
Oakland Mills, which plays host to Laurel Saturday (1 p.m.) in a Class 3A quarterfinal, must now pursue its first state football title without its premier offensive weapon.
Singleton shattered the county's single-season rushing record, finishing with 1,817 yards (8.1 yards per carry) and 24 touchdowns. Four times he flirted with the 300-yard rushing barrier in a game.
What's more, the Scorpions have likely lost senior tailback/flanker Eric Graham -- the team's second-leading rusher (639 yards, five TDs) -- to a thigh injury. Graham missed the Wilde Lake game due to a deep thigh bruise.
A doctor's examination last week revealed calcium deposits in the thigh.
"Suffice is to say that neither one of them will get any carries for the rest of the year. We'll have to be creative (on offense)," said Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet. "I don't know why this had to happen to Korey. I feel real sorry for him. Why him?"
The loss of Singleton was devastating Saturday. Without him on offense, the Scorpions struggled badly, managing just three first downs and 17 net yards. Sophomore running back Derrick Brooks was held to 11 yards.
Hovet said he is toying with the idea of moving lineman Monte Spencer into the backfield with fullback Calvin Claggs and tailback Brooks to form an inverted wishbone formation.
"We'll have to see if we can play some power football," he said.
Singleton, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, was noticeably limited Saturday by a huge brace he was wearing to protect the knee. He played well in the opening quarter, but lost mobility as the game wore on. He limped off the field midway through the fourth quarter.
"His lateral movement was restricted by the brace," Hovet said. "Korey was out there trying hard, but we might as well have been playing with 10 (players)."
Singleton suffered the injury near the end of the third quarter of the Scorpions' 64-12 victory over Glenelg. At the time he was hurt, Oakland Mills was leading 33-12.
Hovet admitted he's second-guessed himself for playing Singleton that late in a game the Scorpions had well in hand.
"I've asked myself that question over and over," he said. "We had planned on taking Korey out after three quarters. But I don't think it does any good to speculate. It's hindsight. I don't think it's productive."
Hovet also rejected the notion that he's left Singleton in some lopsided games this year to allow him to add to his rushing total.
"I'm not worried about the yards or Korey's stats. That was the least of my concerns," he said. "Our offense revolves around Korey running the ball.
When he's running well, you sort of think of him as indestructible."