Cary-Grove quarterback Quinn Baker learned Monday what he had suspected for two days.
Baker has a broken ring finger on his left hand, an injury he suffered late in the first half of Saturday’s 41-14 victory over Huntley. Baker had X-rays taken of the hand by an orthopedic surgeon Monday that revealed the break.
That news may not be all bad for C-G, which is 7-0 overall, leads the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division at 4-0 and ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press Class 7A poll.
“It’s a good break, if there is such a thing,” Trojans coach Brad Seaburg said. “The doctor felt good about his recovery. We’ll see how he can do in practice.”
Baker, who is right-handed, said his left hand bent awkwardly when he tried to stiff-arm a defender. He had the hand wrapped and padded at halftime but did not return. Senior Ryan Dundon replaced Baker in the second half, at which point the Trojans led, 27-7.
“We’ll wrap it up to protect it in practice and see how it goes,” Baker said. “It’s kind of day-to-day. I kind of expected [it was broken], the doctor was at the game.”
The break will not require surgery in the future, so Baker hopes he can pad the finger and protect the hand when he is hit. He usually carries the ball in his right hand.
Seaburg said Dundon and sophomore Jason Gregoire, who has practiced with the varsity all season, will take some repetitions with the first team in practice if it looks like Baker needs more time.
Baker has been difficult to stop in C-G’s option attack with 638 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.
Nice pep talk: Marengo football coach Matt Lynch felt his team got just what it needed after Friday’s 28-11 loss at Stillman Valley, which was a pep talk from the opposing coach.
The Cardinals’ Mike Lalor, a 1990 Marian Central graduate, has four state championships on his résumé, which carries more weight than just any coach. His teams perennially are state contenders.
Marengo (1-6) led Stillman Valley (5-2), 11-8, at halftime. Stillman Valley wore down the Indians in the second half, scoring a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.
“Mike and I have a decent relationship,” Lynch said. “He said, ‘I know you guys are a heck of a lot better than what your record says.’ He came on the bus for a couple minutes and talked to them. He said, ‘Keep fighting.’ He told them they didn’t lay down and that they played well.”
Running back John Lesiak carried 45 times for 108 yards and the Indians’ defense battled to keep Stillman Valley to a respectable 277 yards of offense for the game.
“We’ve been playing tremendous defense,” Lynch said. “Outside of Johnny [Lesiak], we haven’t played well on offense. It was still 14-11 [Stillman Valley leading] after the third, but we have so many guys going two ways and they’re mostly two-platoon.”
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.