Lake, McKinley both lose in battle against each other

Teams' running backs suffer knee injuries. Luther out for season

By Beacon Journal staff

Akron Beacon Journal

 

Last weekend's Lake-Canton McKinley game could go a long way toward deciding what happens during the rest of the high school football season — but not because of who the victor was.

Although Lake upset McKinley Saturday night, both teams came out losers in the end because they lost their starting running backs, Jim Luther and Elijah Farrakhan, respectively.

Lake's Jim Luther, a senior who had been on a torrid scoring pace with 10 touchdowns in the first three games, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee with about eight minutes left in the game.

''On the play before I got pounded,'' Luther said. ''On the next, I ran a draw and went to cut back in and I heard a pop.''

That pop ended his season.

Luther said that he hasn't had much of an opportunity to give surgery a thought but added that he expects to see a doctor soon. He will return to working out other parts of his body Thursday and will visit a surgeon soon after. He expects to fully recover in five to six months.

He's also hoping that it doesn't affect his prospects with colleges who have been considering him as a scholarship athlete.

''I'm sure if I keep my grades up and work on my scores, a college will take me,'' Luther said.

Besides the touchdowns, Luther had rushed for 378 yards on 61 carries in three games. He also returned a kickoff and fumble recovery for scores.

The news was significantly better for McKinley.

McKinley coach Ron Johnson remains optimistic that Farrakhan, a senior, will return to the field this season after suffering a knee injury. Johnson said Farrakhan, 5-foot-9 and 192 pounds, is day-to-day and would not reveal the extent of the injury. Farrakhan was injured in the first quarter.

''They're doing all the necessary things right now [medically],'' Johnson said. ''It looks very encouraging for him to play. He was able to run around Sunday, but the things they're doing right now are over my head.

''He has done the tests and they are really happy with where he is at. Everything seems to be really good, but when he will be back, I don't know.''

Farrakhan has rushed for four touchdowns and 287 yards on 57 carries this season.

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