- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 28, 2002

Coaches conduct spring football games with the intent that, above all, players complete them without any major injuries.
The Maryland Terrapins weren't so fortunate yesterday.
Chris Kelley, poised to win the starting quarterback job after waiting two seasons for his chance, sustained a sprained right knee at the end of the first quarter of yesterday's Red-White game at Byrd Stadium and did not return. Coach Ralph Friedgen said Kelley will be examined by team physician Leigh Ann Curl today and likely will undergo an MRI. This is Kelley's third major knee injury in less than two years, although the previous two were to his left knee.
On the last play of the first quarter, Kelley scrambled out of the pocket on a third-and-11 play. As he prepared to go down, he planted his right leg but slipped and was hit in the area of his right knee by cornerback Domonique Foxworth. Kelley remained on the ground for a couple minutes before being helped off the field without putting substantial pressure on either leg.
"I feel bad for the guy because he just can't get a break," Friedgen said. "He worked so hard to come back from both knee injuries. It's just a shame. People just have to pray that everything's OK. We'll know more in the morning."
Players were instructed not to hit the quarterbacks in the backfield, but on option plays or scrambles they were to be treated like any other player. Kelley, an athletic quarterback who is a real threat as a runner, had broken containment twice before he was injured.
"It seemed like a regular play to me," Foxworth said. "It didn't look too bad right away. It didn't seem like he twisted any ligaments."
Unfortunately for Kelley and the Terps, that might be the minimum damage. The injury put a damper on the game, in which Red defeated White 38-14 before an announced 10,000.
Quarterback Scott McBrien completed 13 of 20 attempts for 121 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, and sophomore Onochi Onwuemene had a game-high 117 yards receiving. Latrez Harrison, in his first real action as first-team wide receiver in place of Jafar Williams since being converted from quarterback, had two catches both for touchdowns.
"I'm just a natural athlete," Harrison said. "I just go out here and play the game. I play quarterback, and moving to receiver is a whole lot easier."
The Red team consisted of the first-team offense and second-team defense against the White's first-team defense and second-team offense, though most players spent time playing for both teams.
Kelley's injury means that, at least temporarily, McBrien becomes the No.1 quarterback.
"Chris is one of my good friends, and I hate to see that happen," said McBrien, a transfer from West Virginia. "I hope he makes a quick recovery. That's not the way I'd want to win the job. I know he wants to compete. I'd rather go head-to-head and have the best guy win."
With injuries keeping 2001 ACC offensive and defensive players of the year Bruce Perry (abdominal strain) and E.J. Henderson (back surgery) out of spring practice along with 12 others, several younger and less experienced players saw time yesterday.
In place of Perry, tailbacks Jason Crawford, Mario Merrills and Chris Downs combined for 150 rushing yards on 32 carries. Merrills, a rising redshirt freshman, rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown. Downs, entering his second season at Maryland out of Valley Forge Military Academy, recorded a game-high 72 yards and a touchdown.
Friedgen mentioned wide receiver Steve Suter and safety Madieu Williams among the players that impressed him. Defensive tackle Akil Patterson had eight tackles, including four for a loss, and a forced fumble. Linebacker Andrew Henley had a big fourth-down stop and a fumble recovery.
"We've got a lot of kids that are out that are going to be starters for us who didn't play in this game," Friedgen said. "We've got to get them back in order to be a real good football team. I'm really making the best we can of what we've got."


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