Rashad Kinlaw is out for the rest of the season.
The Absegami High School football team will have to play the rest of the schedule without its star quarterback and leader, but the Braves' goals and aspirations remain the same.
The Braves (3-3) host Mainland (3-3) 7 p.m. tonight, Friday, Oct. 28. Both teams need a win to stay in playoff contention.
Kinlaw was injured early in last week’s 27-7 victory over St. Augustine. The junior quarterback has a broken tibia.
"He took it hard. He is competitive," Absegami coach Dennis Scuderi Jr. said. "He wants to be out there. He wants to play for his individual goals and for team goals as well."
The Braves will turn to Mike Dolan, who completed all three of his passes last week, and threw for a touchdown.
The Braves seemed confident in the sophomore when he fastened his chin strap last week, and he did nothing for his teammates to doubt him on the gridiron.
"I think he is ready to go," Absegami running back Tyler Bing said. "Everyone (not in the program) thinks that because he is a sophomore we are going to come out and lose. He has been thrown in the fire and he is ready to go.
"In the huddle he took control of it. He said, 'There's no playing around. We need to get the job done.'"
"This week he took the major snaps in practice. We have a motto, next guy up. If someone goes down, we bring the next guy in. He did a great job last week and we expect him to do the same this week."
It helps that the Braves' offense is averaging 27 points a game with talented players like Bing and David Hood running the ball. Dolan also has quality receivers in Dustin Miller and Billy Gilbert.
"We have to get the ball to Hood and Bing and be as creative as possible," Scuderi said. "We just have to keep doing what we have been doing on offense."
"I know their kids are tough on defense," Bing said. "But I don't see why we can't beat them on the field."
Mainland has won three of its past four games after starting the season 0-2, just a few weeks after losing four players in a tragic car crash.
Holy Spirit was the only team to score more than two touchdowns against the Mustangs in the past month.
The Mustangs, led by quarterback Tom Bradway, have averaged about 27 points a game in their last four contests.
"We have to play sound defense," Scuderi said.
With the cut-off date next week, the Braves know the importance of this game.
"This is a must-win game," Bing said.