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Tigers wrap up first week with scrimmage

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Overall, third-year Fort Hays State University football coach Chris Brown was pleased with the Tigers' first scrimmage Sunday morning. Quarterbacks Treveon Albert and Edin Kovac moved the ball effectively.

"Treveon did some good things," Brown said. "He made a few bad reads, but for the most part, I thought he played a pretty solid ball game today. Edin is still learning. Once it clicks, I think it is going to be pretty good for us."

Defensive back Andreas Ashwood had an interception in the end zone and a long kickoff return. Senior running back Andre Smith caught a 30-yard pass to set up an Albert score. Junior running back Edward Smith broke a long run. Fullback Marshall Musil, a La Crosse graduate and University of Oklahoma transfer, made several catches, including a twisting, over-the-shoulder grab.

"It's a way better team overall than last year as far as being a team, being a family this year," Albert said.

However, the biggest news came in the first three plays when sophomore offensive lineman Matt Erbert suffered a knee injury and was carted off the field. Erbert, an Ellis graduate and one of two returning starting offensive linemen, was on crutches post-scrimmage.

"It is a big loss, because that is one of our great tackles that started last year," Albert said. "People got to step up and get ready to play. Hopefully, Erbert comes back well with good news."

Brown didn't know Erbert's status immediately following practice, but said the lineman would likely have a MRI. Erbert is the second starting lineman to go out since camp started.

"We are not real deep at that spot right now," Brown said. "We have got a lot of young guys. I think there is about three or four of those young guys that can play."

Erbert and sophomore Jarred Stindt are the only two returning starters. Senior Mario Abundez was a backup last season and is expected to start this year. Sophomore Luke Edney and senior Greg List, a transfer, are also in the mix. Freshman Trevor Shankle replaced Erbert. Last week, defensive lineman Tomasi Molesi was hurt, was placed in a leg cast and is expected to be out long term. Molesi had already emerged as a vocal leader and one of the team's best linemen.

"Actually, a lot of the young guys have gelled and came on pretty good," Albert said. "The receivers, the o-line, especially. Everyone catches on good. That comes from working hard every single day in practice. Last year, we didn't have that. Some guys didn't want to be out there. This is what we live for. This is what we do."

Musil has spent time in Hays all summer, but, like the rest of the transfers, didn't officially become part of the team until school opened this morning. Musil is expected to play a tight end/fullback/H-back role.

"He is coming along real well," Albert said. "He is a great blocker. He learned it really, really, really fast. It is just about getting him in the game and getting plays to him."