SJU football Tuesday update

After suffering their first loss of the season – 24-14 at home to Concordia last Saturday – the Johnnies (1-1 MIAC, 3-1 overall) have now turned their attention to this Saturday’s matchup on the road at St. Olaf (0-2, 1-3).

Like St. John’s, the Oles are also led by a new head coach in Craig Stern, who like Gary Fasching, was a longtime assistant at the school before getting the head job.

He’s also a St. Cloud State graduate.

The Johnnies began preparing for Saturday’s game when they returned to the practice field Tuesday.

The team was without senior center Kevin Battis, who suffered a second-degree tear of his right medial collateral ligament in last Saturday’s loss. He is out for this week. Freshman Tony Yost is again expected to take his place.

But he might be able to return in time for a home game against Augsburg the following week.

Sophomore defensive end Blake Bellefeuille, who injured his right knee against the Cobbers, was also sitting out Tuesday. He underwent an MRI earlier in the day and is awaiting the results.

Sophomore quarterback Nick Martin (bruised right labrum) again sat out practice Tuesday. So did senior defensive lineman Paul Plombon due to back spasms. But he said he expects to return to practice Wednesday.

Senior tackle Jack Hedlund, who left last Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury, was practicing on Tuesday and said he was just keeping an eye on things.

And senior wide receiver Blake Belland, who sat out against Concordia with a separated shoulder, was on the field in a black jersey that denotes no contact. He said he hopes to play Saturday, but that will depend on how things feel as the week goes on.

And that’s a wrap up this evening from Collegeville – where the fall colors are starting to show in patches now.

Frank Rajkowski

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