Posted: 8:08 pm Monday, November 17th, 2008
By Jason Lieser
Two of the top teams in the area, Glades Central (10-0) and Jupiter Christian (10-0), are dealing with injuries to their star quarterbacks as they enter the playoffs this week.
Raiders junior L.J. Thomas is out for the season with a broken collarbone, coach Jessie Hester said. Thomas was injured on a 10-yard run with 2:06 remaining in Saturday’s Muck Bowl. He left the game and senior Kentavious McCoy replaced him.
“It’s tough to lose the leader of your offense at this point in the season,” Hester said. “He had a fantastic year, and he’s disappointed.”
Thomas led all big-school players with 2,034 passing yards and is tied with Boca Raton’s Eddie Sullivan for the area high in touchdowns with 26. Thomas completed nearly 58 percent of his passes and had just four interceptions.
Hester said he will split reps “50-50″ between McCoy, who was one of several quarterbacks in the playing rotation last season, and sophomore Alanda Shaw. Shaw is unproven, but has terrific arm strength. Hester did not declare a starter, and said there is a “great chance” both players will see time when Glades Central hosts Belen Jesuit on Friday.
McCoy dealt with legal issues over the summer and was an unexcused no-show at Glades Central’s first official practice in August, but has shown a renewed commitment to the team.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked and now he has a golden opportunity,” Hester said.
Hester added that wide receiver Rantavious Wooten (back spasms) is a game-time decision for Friday, but is “probably” not available. He did not practice today. Hester is hopeful Wooten will return for next week’s second-round game. He leads the area with 909 receiving yards and 13 touchdown catches.
Up north, Jupiter Christian quarterback Marshyl Rothman still is nursing a bone bruise in his throwing shoulder. Rothman was hurt Nov. 8 vs Upperroom Christian, and attempted just three passes in Friday’s win over Glades Day.
He threw very little in the Eagles’ Monday practice, and coach Bill Powers was uncertain of his status for Thursday’s playoff opener against Hollywood Christian. Rothman will play, but his ability to throw beyond 10-15 yards is in question.
“I should be able to throw more by Thursday,” Rothman said. “Last week I had nothing on the ball. Any lineman could’ve thrown better than that.”
He plans to shut down his arm Tuesday and try to resume throwing in Wednesday’s practice/walk-through.
Rothman is one of the area’s most efficient and deadly passers. He has completed 65.3 percent of his attempts for 1,222 yards and 22 touchdowns.
When Rothman was limited against the Gators, Jupiter Christian rushed for 445 yards and won 28-13. He hopes to have enough strength to throw out routes on the run and execute the short- to medium-range passing game, but even if he can’t, the Eagles should be fine this week.
“We can get through the next two rounds without throwing the ball,” Powers said.
Senior tackle Andy Hackett (high ankle sprain) has been ruled out of Thursday’s game, which will be the second straight he has missed.