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Wed. September 22, 2010 | Adam Berry

After a 1-2 start, Durant is limping -- literally -- into the start of district play Friday against Bloomingdale.

Cougars coach Mike Gottman said the team will be without starting offensive lineman Mike Watkins due to a broken arm, and defensive lineman Steven Mathis has not yet been cleared to play after sustaining a concussion against Brandon on Sept. 10.

Gottman said three other starters are hoping to play through injuries this week against the Bulls: quarterback Je'Twan Smith (pulled hamstring; back in practice on Tuesday), free safety Jay Garrett (high ankle sprain) and strong safety Reggie Gainer (rolled ankle).

Despite the injury-riddled, sub-.500 opening, Gottman said there has been a bright spot for the Cougars: their defense. While they have struggled to put points on the board (only 21 through three games), they have allowed an average of just 10 per game. Durant shut out Chamberlain to begin the season, gave up 14 to Brandon in a loss and surrendered 16 to Jesuit last week.

Gottman said his defense has been "playing their tails off" in the first three games, and if the offense starts to come around -- and gets healthy, things will start to fall into place for the Cougars.

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