Downey High might be without its starting quarterback Beau Green when conference season opens in two weeks after the freshman quarterback injured his shoulder in the team’s 20-14 loss to McClymonds on Friday night.
Green, who beat out junior Bryce Gouker for the starting job earlier in the year, took a shot in the second quarter to his right shoulder while on a quarterback run.
He stayed in the game for a little bit, but threw a pick-six and was immediately lifted.
“That one was on the coaches,” said Downey coach Jeremy Plaa, whose team fell to 3-2. “He thought it was a stinger and that he was fine. So, he threw a couple of times, but McClymonds returned one for a touchdown.”
Plaa said his quarterback was on the way to the doctors Friday night. He said Green told him he suffered a separated left shoulder a few years ago, and Friday’s injury to his throwing arm “felt like that.”
“It was a big momentum changer,” Plaa said. “We’re hoping for the best.”
The Knights, ranked No. 3 in the Bee’s large-school poll, have a bye this week before opening Central California Athletic League play against Turlock (2-3).
When Green went out, Plaa did not have Gouker to go to. He said the junior requested to go down to junior varsity to get playing time, so the coach was forced to go with Ethan Difuntorum at quarterback.
“We thought it would be good to give (Gouker) live reps,” Plaa said. “It was unfortunate timing.”
Difuntorum, a talented wide receiver, threw a pick six on a screen pass, and what began as a 7-0 lead for Downey all of a sudden became a 20-7 deficit.
Plaa then went to last year’s quarterback, Bryce Peterson, who also was nursing a sore throwing arm after taking a shot in the first half.
“We ran a lot of keepers and counters,” Plaa said of his team’s second-half offense.
Downey actually had a chance to get to within 20-17, but missed a field goal with about seven minutes left in the game.
McClymonds nearly ran out the clock, and Downey was unable to score on its final possession.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the kids,” Plaa said. “McClymonds has some big kids. Our defense only gave up one touchdown.”