Four returning skill players put a happy preseason face on the Haskell Indian Nations University football program.
Now, however, the only one still playing is tailback Malcolm Coleman as the Fightin’ Indians hit the road for the second week in a row.
HINU will tangle with Bacone College at 6 p.m. today in Muskogee, Okla.
Haskell coach Eric Brock lost wide receiver Casey Wilson to a broken leg in the season opener. Then H-back Quentin Haynes suffered a broken collarbone in the third game of the season. Finally, quarterback Ryan Alden tore a muscle in his throwing shoulder.
Despite those three critical injuries, the Indians rallied to knock off MacMurray College, 25-22, last Saturday in Jacksonville, Ill., to even their record at 2-2.
Coleman, a sophomore from San Diego, led the Tribe with a career-high 150 yards on 28 carries, but it was a player making his collegiate debut who sparked the comeback victory.
Dwayne Butler, a red-shirt freshman, came off the bench and threw two second-half touchdown passes in relief of junior Victor Ramos who had started in place of the injured Alden.
“He won the game for us,” Brock said of the 6-foot-2, 208-pound quarterback from Crownpoint, N.M.
Butler threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Tarell Ramsey in the third quarter. Then with the Indians trailing, 22-17, in the fourth quarter, Butler connected with Jordan Haught on a 13-yard scoring strike.
Although Butler did throw an interception, he completed 7 of 9 passes for 59 yards and, of course, the two clutch TDs.
Meanwhile, Ramsey, who was converted from the secondary to wide receiver last week, caught 6 passes for 54 yards and the one TD. Haught’s TD reception was his only catch of the day.
Brock said he plans to use both Ramos and Butler today against Bacone. Alden is out at least another three weeks.
Haskell and Bacone will be meeting for the ninth straight year. The Warriors lead the series 6-2, but HINU has won two of the last three meetings.
Bacone (0-2) has been waxed twice — 56-7 by Howard Payne and 59-21 by Louisiana College.