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Gryphons, Hawks hobble into playoff showdown

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Thu. November 19, 2009 | Joey Knight | Email

Sickles (8-2) and Armwood (9-1) will enter Friday evening's Class 4A playoff game at Lyle Flagg Stadium with prominent players either limited or sidelined altogether. Gryphons QB John Melvin Hendrick, engineer of Sickles' triple-option offense, had surgery for a dislocation and fracture in his non-throwing wrist and won't play, Coach Pat O'Brien said this morning. Hendrick (905 passing, 479 rushing yards) sustained the injury right before halftime of last week's 42-6 romp of Wharton. He'll be in a cast for six weeks, O'Brien said. That means two-way star Scott O'Donoghue (35 carries, 279 yards), a key player when the Gryphons employ a wildcat formation, starts behind center. O'Donoghue, who actually started the Wharton game at quarterback, also will continue playing middle linebacker. If he needs a rest on defense, O'Brien said he'll likely insert 195-pound rushing leader Cary White, who has practiced at O'Donoghue's spot. "We've just got to be smart whenever we rest (O'Donoghue)," O'Brien said. Meantime, Armwood coach Sean Callahan said rushing leader Matt Jones (73 carries, 614 yards, eight TDs) is expected to be limited after injuring his leg two weeks ago against East Bay. Linebacker D.J. Hitchman, second on the team with 79 tackles, also is nursing a leg injury and may not play at all, Callahan added.

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