After losing quarterbacks Ben Cook and Aiden Wilder to injuries in recent weeks, Central Catholic coach Steve Pyne has one player in mind he’d like to see under center.
“I wish we had Joey Harrington,” Pyne joked. “That’s who I envision us starting against Jesuit (tomorrow night).”
The injury bug hit Central Catholic just in time for its matchup with the one-loss Crusaders, who will be looking for retribution after a 52-37 loss to Sheldon last week. The Rams lost several starters for large portions of last season due to injuries, but the team still managed an 8-3 record.
“I wouldn’t wish that year on my worst enemy,” Pyne told ESPNHS just before the season.
He must be feeling a bit of déjà vu this fall.
Cook injured his knee while throwing a pass during the first half of Central’s 39-28 win over Canby. He underwent an MRI earlier in the week and will miss between two and four games.
“He just needs to get things in order, and I think he’ll be back soon,” says Pyne.
Wilder had a pre-existing foot injury that has worsened over the past few weeks.
“He’s a wait-and-see kid,” Pyne says of Wilder’s expected return.
While Pyne won’t be able to trot out Harrington, a Central Catholic alum who amassed 50 offensive touchdowns in the late ‘90s, the coach is high on his up-and-coming sophomore options. Clayton Welsh and Holden Oglesbee will be under center as the Rams go for their second win of the season.
Welsh has displayed a strong football acumen and has been poise during practices, while Oglesbee is elusive once he leaves the pocket and is a threat on the ground.
Of course, Jesuit can also expect a heavy dose of RBs Hayward Demison III, Dallin Leavitt (three TDs last week) and Moli Langi.
“Part of it will be predicated on our offensive line,” says Pyne. “I hope we can play good, physical defense because [Jesuit is] going to pound the rock.”