Originally Published: Sep 15, 2009 5:37 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist
BLANCHARD, Oklahoma – The Blanchard Lions suffered a bittersweet ending to the first game of their season Thursday. The Lions opened their season with a 28-12 victory over Bridge Creek, but lost a pair of seniors for the rest of the season.
Blaine Smith was injured while trying to make a tackle on defense. His injury could have been more severe.
Smith was taken out of the game by stretcher.
“It was one those freak accidents,” said head coach Jeff Craig. “It was a play at the goal line, he stuck his head in on the tackle and got things knocked towards him and busted him on the top of the head."
The Blanchard senior fractured his C5 vertebrae. The C5 area covers the lateral arm at and above the elbow.
“He is walking around with pain in his arms and neck,” said Craig.
This week, Smith is up and moving with a brace around his neck after having surgery the night of the accident. It’s too early to say if he will be able to watch his teammates play on the sidelines this fall.
Before the Smith injury, teammate Nolan Savage injured his knee while playing center for the Lions. The senior was also a starting linebacker for the Lions. Savage will not return to the field in 2009.
Blanchard will play at Lindsay this Friday night.