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Hayden Goethe, Published October 21 2013

MSUM hopes QB Hodge can return Saturday from concussion

MOORHEAD – Minnesota State Moorhead’s head football coach is hopeful that his starting quarterback will be available for Saturday’s game after sitting out last week due to a mild concussion.

Sophomore Jake Hodge did not play in a 20-14 loss to Minnesota-Crookston. Hodge was leading the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in total offense per game at just under 350 yards.

Dragons head coach Steve Laqua said that Hodge had suffered the concussion the week before at the end of the Minnesota-Duluth game.

Laqua added that Hodge was experiencing some noise and light sensitivity early last week but by Tuesday was symptom-free. However, the coaching staff wanted to play it safe.

“At the end of the day, we decided, ‘You know what? We’re not going to take a chance with the gray area,’” Laqua said.

Hodge had taken over as the team’s starting quarterback after serving as a backup to true freshman Demetrius Carr in the season opener. Carr suffered a broken bone in his left foot during that game, ending his season.

Without Hodge last week, the Dragons (1-6, 1-6 NSIC) turned to sophomores Ryan Toelle and Myles Montplaisir.

Both players, who saw action last season, alternated series. The duo combined to go 9-for-15 passing for 87 yards and an interception against Crookston.

Laqua said alternating Toelle and Montplaisir would be the plan again this week when the Dragons host Mary at 1 p.m. Saturday. But he’s optimistic that Hodge will have a symptom-free week and be able to play.

“It’s kind of a set pattern,” Laqua said of concussion recovery. “Until he gets symptom-free, you have so many days symptom-free. Then you have to be symptom-free with activity.”

Laqua said today’s practice will go a long ways in determining Hodge’s availability.

“We’re hoping he can play this week,” Laqua said. “Unless something crazy were to happen, I’d guess he would.”

Readers can reach Forum Assistant Sports Editor Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558