|WR Ferguson races for the end zone. Photo Courtesy of Liberty Champion|
The Flames receiving corps took a big hit on Tuesday, as news broke that the team’s second leading wide out, Ryan Ferguson, will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Ferguson left the Concord game after the opening kickoff and was in a full brace before the end of the contest. The 6’0″, 180 lb. Senior will finish the season with 334 yards on 22 catches, and 2 touchdowns.
This injury is yet another in a string of devastating injuries at key roles for Liberty Football this season. Earlier in the year the Flames lost All-America Left Guard Malcolm Boyd for the season. All-America Kick Returner and Defensive Back Kevin Fogg was also injured and will not return this year. Those were followed by long term injuries to Defensive Back Ryan Ayers and Freshman Kicker John Lunsford.
The loss of Ferguson certainly takes away Quarterback Josh Woodrum’s best deep threat, and puts even more pressure on Senior Wide Receiver Pat Kelly down the stretch. Establishing a viable complement to Kelly will be key to the Flames success against Coastal Carolina this week, which is a de facto elimination game in the race for the Big South Conference Auto-Bid.
|WR Elliott Dutra|
Players that will likely be asked to step up to fill Ferguson’s shoes include Senior Elliott Dutra, former Quarterback Gabe Henderson, and highly recruited Freshman Darrin Peterson, who scored his first career Touchdown against Concord. Jaquan Glover will likely also see more time at Wide Receiver as a result of the injury. Dutra had a solid performance in relief of Ferguson against Concord, finishing with 7 catches for 80 yards.
In addition to Ferguson, it has been announced that Senior Running Back Korrey Davis and Sophomore Linebacker Bobby Partilla will also miss the remainder of the season. The loss of Partilla, who started 4 games in 2012, will no doubt test the depth of the Flames at the Linebacker position.