By RYAN CZACHORSKI
The Effingham Flaming Hearts will be without their starting quarterback after Kevin Daugherty broke his collarbone Friday night against Paxton-Buckley-Loda.
Daugherty was injured on the Hearts' final offensive play, when he scrambled ouit of bounds for a one-yard gain on 3rd-and-23. The Hearts never got the ball back after they punted, but Daugherty broke his left clavicle on the play.
"I think it was the very last offensive play, when he got hit what we thought was out of bounds," said Effingham coach Mike McDonald. "I didn't know anything about it until after the game."
McDonald said Daugherty had another doctor's appointment Monday, but the only timetable he'd heard for Daugherty's return was at best four to six weeks, putting his recovery in the last third of the year if he makes it back.
Now, the team turns to split end and backup quarterback Dylan Wolff, hoping the lefty can rally their season back from an 0-2 mark to begin the 2013 campaign.
"He throws the ball pretty well," McDonald said. "Dylan's worked in practice, he's gotten some reps. This week's practices are going to be important."
In addition to transitioning Wolff to quarterback, sophomore Joe Nieman will get some work with the varsity to become the backup to Wolff.
Wolff had made his mark in the passing game with a pair of big plays, catching a 31-yard pass in the season opener and a 46 yarder in the loss to Paxton-Buckley-Loda.
While his departure hurts the receiving corps, McDonald noted that the receiver position was on of Effingham's deeper units, with Matt Wohltman, Marcus Robinson and Carter Hayes.
Effingham's passing attack has been a key part of its offense this season. Daugherty didn't throw any touchdowns in the 18-12 loss to the Panthers, but a number of long passes jump started the offense.
Daugherty was 17-for-37 passing in two games, throwing for 316 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Wolff will make his first start Friday, as the Effingham Flaming Hearts host the Centralia Orphans at 7 p.m.