The Carlisle Bison had an unexpected week off last week as the Marvell Mustangs forfeited less than three hours before kickoff.
The game was going to be a rehearsal of sorts at the quarterback position as starting quarterback Austin Reed was injured against Hazen, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He will miss the remainder of the season.
"It was a hard game to get prepared for the mere fact of coming off the emotional win over Hazen and you’re going into a game where they don’t have a lot of kids who play," Carlisle coach Brandon Barbaree said. "The kids who hadn’t played a lot this year were excited because it was an opportunity for them to play. It was an emotional letdown for most of our guys because they want to play football games.
"You practice all week. You hope to play 10 regular-season games. It’s a letdown a little bit. Hopefully, it lets us focus on the next game at hand in Des Arc."
Barbaree said Reed would be having surgery on his knee soon. He originally hurt the knee in the Bison’s win over Brinkley in Week 7. He missed the second half but seemed to be ready against Hazen in Week 8.
After the Bison’s second touchdown against the Hornets, Reed dropped back to pass on the extra point and when he planted his foot, his knee gave way and he went to the dressing room.
He played the second half on offense, leading the Bison to a 40-12 win over the Hornets.
"It’s a shame," Barbaree said. "He’s such a leader and competitor for our team. He’s a great kid who does things right. It’s going to hurt us but he’s still here. He’s still the voice of our team. We’ll just have to adapt and figure out another way to get things done."
Barbaree said he thinks that Reed played with the torn ACL against Hazen.
"He just wanted to go," he said. "We were told that he could go. He went. He figured out the next Monday that he had been playing on it [torn ACL] since the Brinkley game.
"If I had ever thought it was a torn ACL at the time, he wouldn’t have played but he fought and he wanted to play. He did everything he could. He got all the swelling out and had all his range of motion."
Barbaree said Reed will still be a vocal leader for his team.
"He’s still our leader, no doubt about it," Barbaree said. "He will be here for us, just won’t be playing for us."
Barbaree said his team still has some good football players.
"We’re just going to find a way to adapt and overcome whatever happens," he said. "We’ll just keep fighting."
Junior Chase Brazeal has been the backup to Reed this season. He, along with Braden Reed, Austin’s twin brother, has been working at quarterback the past week.
"He’s one of our best play makers on the outside," Barbaree said of Braden. "He’s in the mix because he’s going to do everything right. He’s smart and can do a fine job as well."
The Bison host Des Arc in the final regular-season home game Friday at Fred C. Hardke Field. Both teams are 5-0 in 2A-6 conference play. If the Bison win, they would wrap up the top seed in the 2A-6 providing that Hazen beats England this week.
"When it all comes down to it, the Hazen game was big but this is for the conference championship," Barbaree said. "One of our goals as a team was to win a conference championship. They are undefeated in conference. We’re undefeated in conference. Hopefully, we’ll come out with the same fire we had against Hazen and what we’ve had for most of the year."
Barbaree said the Eagles have a good team.
"They run to the football on defense and they are big up front offensively," Barbaree said. "They’ve got some skill players who are tough, hard-nosed kids."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.