09/23/10 — Brayboy expected to start for Gators

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Brayboy expected to start for Gators

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 23, 2010 1:47 PM

Injuries are always detrimental to high school football teams and can be devastating when involving a starting quarterback.

Luckily for third-year Spring Creek head coach Aaron Sanders, senior signal caller Ricky Brayboy will start under center against Dixon on Friday evening.

Brayboy suffered a severe laceration to his non-throwing hand during the Gators' 34-7 loss to Swansboro last week. Brayboy tried to tape the hand together and continue playing after the injury. However, the bleeding would not subside and Brayboy was forced to go to the hospital for stitches.

He was at practice on Wednesday.

"Ricky is a tough kid and I think he will be ready once we hit the field on Friday night," Sanders said. "We need him to be ready to play just like we need several of our other offensive guys to be ready to play."

Because the quarterback always has the run-first option in the Gators' triple-option attack, and Brayboy is certain to take some hits, backup D.J. Rossell will be on alert if Brayboy needs a breather against the Bulldogs.

If the Gators are forced to turn to a third quarterback, as was the case against Swansboro, Eric Moseley will take command.

Rossell, a freshman playmaker, electrified the Gator faithful with a long pass to Will Janning and a pair of long runs during the second quarter against Swansboro. Sanders also did not rule out the possibility of seeing both Brayboy and Rossell together in the backfield.

"Both of those guys can handle the ball and both can run our offense," said Sanders. "D.J. has been a little gimpy on a sore knee, but he is a guy that is always ready to play. He has a lot of potential."

So far this season, Rossell and Brayboy have combined for 75 percent of the Gators' offense. Spring Creek has averaged eight points per game with Brayboy at the helm and have averaged 147.2 yards rushing per game.

The Gators will need all of that offense plus some when they roll into Holly Ridge. Dixon was the lone win on the Spring Creek schedule in 2009, a 20-16 homecoming victory that snapped -- at the time -- the state's longest losing streak at 32 games.

Sanders expects the hosts to be ready to play from the opening kickoff.

"I think they are going to be ready for us, and that means we need to be ready to play from the opening kickoff," said Sanders. "If we start strong and play a complete game, I think we can compete. If we come out sluggish and get behind, it could be a long night."

Having Brayboy under center will certainly help the Gators' chances.