MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

September 19, 2012

MHS injuries continue to mount

— More bad news on the injury front for Muskogee.

Quarterback Trevor Jiles is out at least this week and perhaps beyond, and it’s somewhat of a mystery as to his situation.

Jiles is suffering from concussion-like symptoms, but it has been anything but the routine concussion situation. After checking out OK Friday and even into Saturday, Jiles had an “episode” Saturday night and was taken to St. Francis Hospital, where he stayed overnight for observation, MHS coach Josh Blankenship said Tuesday.

It started with a hit to the back of the head on a quarterback draw on Muskogee’s first series of the contest in Friday’s 55-14 loss to Fayetteville, Ark. The loss dropped the Roughers to 0-2.

Jiles came out and Quintahj Cherry replaced him.  The drive stalled. Jiles returned and remained in the game until Cherry came back in the fourth quarter and finished.

“He went, got checked by the trainer (Whitney Padgett) and team doctor (Jack Weaver)  and he was cleared,” Blankenship said. “As far as interacting with me, I saw no concussion. He was making great decisions.”

Then, Blankenship said, Jiles got off the bus when the team was boarding for the trip home and “you could tell he wasn’t feeling right,” Blankenship said, noting it seemed “like an anxiety spell.”

His family took him to Fayetteville hospital, but the feeling had subsided, the coach said.

When the team met Saturday morning to go over film, Jiles was given a computerized concussion test called an ImPACT test.

“He probably tested too well and (our trainer) felt that was a red flag. He was in film and was very alert, very teachable, focused, but when he went home, his dad said he had an episode similar to the one he had Friday.

“He’s at home now and we’re waiting to find out. Once you’re symptom free it’s a week until you’re cleared. How long until then, we have no idea.”

Jiles was 20-of-26 passing for 137 yards and rushed for 63 on 7 carries, running for two TDs, both after the head shot.

So Cherry, a promising freshman who some on the staff have over the last couple years have compared to former Rougher quarterback and Kansas Jayhawk Rell Lewis, will draw his first start.  He was 2-of-5 against Fayetteville, including  a pick-six in the fourth quarter for the game’s final score.

“I don’t want to say we’re going to protect him because ultimately I think he’s special and will be a great player. But like I’ve already said about some of these other 14-year-olds we’re having to put into starting assignments, you have to be careful that you don’t do things to hurt his confidence. We’ll try to script some success from things we think we can exploit against them defensively without gambling too much.

“When there’s a learning curve for a first-year starter as a junior, you can only imagine the learning curve as a freshman.”

There’s some hope that Mackenzie McCall may be ready to go at running back. McCall eclipsed 100 yards in the first half against Sand Springs in the opener but in the process suffered a high ankle sprain. He began lateral movements without contact for the first time on Monday.  

That’s one of two key weapons that could be back. Another, Jerod Jones, has been dismissed from the team for violation of team rules. Jones was expected to contribute at an H-back spot similar to what Victor Williams did last season before heading to Dartmouth.

But one on the mend gives the second-year head coach some hope going into Friday’s game at Broken Arrow.

“If you watch film, you start to see progress and growth and we’ve only played two games,” he said. “It’s hard for people outside this group to see that progress when you’re going against Owasso, Fayetteville and now Broken Arrow.”

But it’s a 10-game season. After an 0-3 start a year ago, Muskogee won four of its final seven and just missed the postseason.

“If we can weather the front end of this schedule and they continue to get better .... we have a good chance to get in the playoffs but also make a splash in this district,” he said. “We’re not ready at this moment but that’s why we play a full season.”

Broken Arrow junior tailback Devon Thomas is expected back for the Tigers after missing the first three games due to unspecified reasons. Thomas ruhsed for 1,840 yards and 22 TDs in helping the Tigers to the Class 6A finals last year.

BA lost to Union then and again last week, 26-21, on a late interception return for a touchdown. Cameron Wrenn, who had been starting in his place, hurt his ankle against the Redskins. BA beat Owasso 19-17 in its opener then lost to Bentonville, Ark., 20-10 in week 2.

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