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Eagles run aground after runningback injured

As his teammates stared dejectedly, Rene Charest, ’04, limped off the field and collapsed on the bench. Charest, the Eagles’ starting fullback and middle linebacker, was out for the game with a torn medial collateral ligament [MCL] and Immanuel defeated the Eagles 20-12 at Grizzlies Stadium on Aug. 29.

“Losing Rene to injury entirely changed our game plan,” Jon Hall, head coach, said. “We had to scrap about 60% of our scripted plays because Rene was never supposed to come out so our backups hadn’t had very much practice time with our plays. But we adjusted and are looking to get Rene back as soon as possible.”

Despite losing Charest, the Eagles were only down 13-12 at half, thanks to a strong performance by Tyler Wiebe, ’04.

“I just tried to step up after Rene got hurt,” Wiebe said. “It was tough for our team to see him go down like that so the entire team rose to the challenge of replacing him and really played their hearts out.”

Charest is expected to miss 3-5 weeks and may return for the Sept. 29 game at Laton. The injury, which restricts lateral movement in Charest’s left knee, has put Charest on the sidelines for his senior year.

“It is very frustrating to prepare for the season by working hard and then get injured in the first game, especially since it is my senior year,” Charest said. “I am now focusing on resting my knee, letting it heal and then coming back and helping the team win anyway I can.”

The Eagles not only missed Charest on offense, but on defense as well, with Immanuel’s Ryan Ruminson rushing for 164 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown run and 3 touchdowns.

“Without Rene, we had lots of guys playing positions they weren’t accustomed to playing,” Robert Foshee, defensive coordinator, said. “That led to confusion with guys reacting wrongly to certain plays and being out of position to make the plays necessary to stop Immanuel’s attack.”

With a paid attendance of over 2,500 people, the Immanuel game was the highest attendance draw in school history. The Eagles next play at Fowler on Sept. 4.

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