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Stindt out for Tiger O-line

Published on -9/18/2013, 10:11 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Senior lineman Mario Abundez recalled the Fort Hays State University's offensive line's emotions when sophomore guard Jarred Stindt went down with a knee injury early last Saturday at Washburn University.

"It hurt us, we lost a good lineman, but as an o-lineman, you know you have got to be ready," Abundez said Tuesday at the team's weekly news conference. "So we called the next number and put the next guy in and he was able to step up in there and get it done. We are hoping it comes along."

The "next guy" continues to get younger and more inexperienced for an already depleted front five. Sophomore Matt Erbert suffered a season-ending knee injury in fall camp. Stindt, the only other returning starter, was on crutches at Tuesday's practice. Coach Chris Brown said Stindt suffered a Grade 1 knee sprain and is uncertain how much time the guard will miss.

FHSU (0-2, 0-2 MIAA) plays host to Northwest Missouri State University (2-0, 2-0 MIAA) at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Lewis Field Stadium. Northwest Missouri is ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II.

"Just depends on how he progresses and how much pain he can really take," Brown said. "He will be back before the season is over. We will miss him."

Redshirt freshman Jordan McDonald will likely take Stindt's place at guard for a Tiger offense that ranks 13th out of 14 MIAA teams in scoring offense (15 points per game) and total offense (288.5 yards per contest). Fort Hays has just 67 rushing yards per game and 2.8 yards per carry.

"We have some young guys to fill in, keep it very simple, keep it very basic for them and hopefully they understand what we are doing and do the job," Brown said.

The line will likely have senior Greg List at center, redshirt freshmen Mason Dickey and McDonald at guards, sophomore left tackle Luke Edney and Abundez at right tackle. Last week, the running backs again had trouble finding holes in a 54-17 Washburn loss.

"There is some holes there," Brown said. "It's just like we are one block away from really having a great gain. That's something that I am trying to teach my backs as well.

We are cutting way too much."

"Just make one cut and get vertical and that will get three or four yards," he added. "We are cutting, cutting, cutting and then maybe we are getting one or two yards. We have got to work on, making a cut, getting vertical. If there is nothing there, just pound your head in there, and let's get a few yards."

Abundez has played right guard and right tackle in camp.

He is now the team's most experienced offensive lineman with seven career games played for the Tigers; five as a reserve in 2012 and two this season. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Abundez played tackle at Bakersfield (Calif.) Community College before he transferred.

"The o-line, we have got to stick together like a family," Abundez said. "So we have got a little chick down there. We have got to get him and put him under our wing. That's what we are doing. They haven't played college ball - put them under our wing and keep going."

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