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Injured Eagles take Jax heat

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By Jenna McKenna

Adding injury to fatigue, Bronson High's football team limped up to Jacksonville-Providence High Friday and had a bad night.

The Eagles were without the services of lead running back Virgil Greenlee, who left the previous week's game against St. Joseph with a badly sprained ankle. Furthermore, fullback Jermey Mayes' turf toe, suffered two weeks ago in practice, was still bothering him.

The worst was to come.

Providence hammered the Eagles 41-0, running, as Bronson head coach Greg Brochetti said, "the same three plays all night."

"They really didn't have any stars," he said. "They were just a really disciplined team; they did everything well and didn't make any mistakes."

In the second quarter, with Providence already up by three touchdowns, Eagles' QB Kelby Barber suffered a stinger and defensive star Brandon Young suffered a gruesome hand injury.

"We think he got his hand caught on someone's helmet and when he pulled it away, it opened up a huge gash that took 14 stitches to close," said Brochetti.

The injury toll was incredible for one game.

"We knew we were beat up going up there, but we just crossed our fingers not to get any more injuries," Brochetti said. "I guess we must have crossed the wrong fingers."

Young is, understandably, likely gone for the season. The news is much better for Barber.

"He's ok," Brochetti said. "We mainly held him out as a precaution. I watched him throw at the half and I thought, 'He's only 15, he's a 10th-grader, and we're so far down in this game - no point in risking it.'"

Instead, Barber sat the second half and junior Jesse Waybright ran the offense.

"We got kind of lucky there," Brochetti said. "Kelby was out part of last week for an FFA convention, so we got to take a lot of practice snaps with Jesse. He learned quite a bit of the offense and distributed the ball pretty well. Our drives just stalled, was the problem."

Brochetti said the lone bright spot was that the Eagles were able to turn an overwhelming loss into a scouting opportunity. "We got a lot of young guys out onto the field and had a chance to see who?be getting a lot of minutes next year," he said. "(Sophomore) Jason Godkin ended up being the biggest part of our offense Friday, gaining about 75 to 80 yards rushing."

Bronson should see most of its starting lineup on the field Friday.

Greenlee's ankle is on the mend, Brochetti said, and should be in good shape for this week's game at Tallahassee-Maclay.

"We haven't had him back in practice yet, and he's not running on it, but he is walking," he said.

Mayes should likewise feel better by the end of the week, and Barber is not expected to suffer any ill effects from his hit.

Losing Young is undoubtedly the biggest blow, as his blocking is invaluable and his defense irreplaceable. Young is as cut up about it as the Eagles. "He really just wants to play, but I don't think we? get him back," Brochetti said.

Brochetti said the team hopes to put the memory of a bad night behind them and focus on their date with first-year team Maclay.

"They're inexperienced, we're banged up - should be a good ballgame."