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Casuality list high for Bison after big win

FARGO -- Craig Bohl would be justified in whining over the casualties his North Dakota State football team is enduring. But he wasn't during his weekly Monday news conference.

FARGO -- Craig Bohl would be justified in whining over the casualties his North Dakota State football team is enduring. But he wasn't during his weekly Monday news conference.

"It's a concern but it's a concern for everybody right now," Bohl said. "We are certainly getting thinner. But that's where it is in the whole league. All you can do is get the next guy suited up, coach them up and give them confidence to make plays."

Already playing without starting defensive end Matt Gratzek, the Bison lost three more players during last Saturday's 34-29 win at Youngstown State.

Starting quarterback Brock Jensen is out for the season with a broken collarbone. Starting cornerback Brendin Pierre is out for the season with a broken wrist. Starting fullback Lee Vandal is sidelined for at least three weeks with a knee injury.

"Fortunately, some of the guys playing now have had some game experience," Bohl said.

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Like Jose Mohler, who was the starting quarterback before he suffered a concussion against Morgan State on Sept. 18. The sophomore from Cardiff, Calif., stepped in late in the first quarter last Saturday when Jensen was blindsided and suffered a broken collarbone.

Mohler ended up completing 11 of 14 passes for 192 yards -- including the game-winning 45-yard strike to Justin Howard with 34 seconds remaining.

"When Brock went down, Jose ran onto the field and had the support of our whole football team," Bohl said. "He played well and we anticipate he will play well the rest of the way."

With Jensen out, junior Dante Perez now becomes the backup quarterback. Bohl said freshman Esley Thorton of Bismarck will now travel with the team to Saturday's game at Illinois State.

"We're still planning on redshirting Esley," Bohl said. "We need to make sure we have three quarterbacks on the trip."

With Pierre sidelined, Bohl said he will rotate seniors Josh Gatlin and Freddie Banks and redshirt freshman Marcus Williams at cornerback.

"We're still very capable at that position, but we certainly lose a quality player in Brendin," Bohl said. "He was a very good deep cover guy."

Schenpf is the Sports Editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

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