It's not been a good season for area prep football quarterbacks.

By halftime of the third week of play, none of The Joplin Globe's preseason all-area quarterbacks were still at the position.

Two were injured, one was ill and another had been moved back to his natural position.

Another early candidate for postseason honors was also felled by injury.

East Newton senior Brett Thomlinson and Picher senior Matthew Mantle were both hurt in the first game of the season.

St. Mary's-Colgan senior Mark Smith missed the Panthers' biggest game of the season while recovering from mononucleosis.

Girard senior Seth Newton gave way to junior Brady Ellis at quarterback. Newton has been moved back to wide receiver. It's not a demotion, since Newton has verbally agreed to attend Oklahoma State as a receiver.

Webb City junior Brayden Drake was rapidly building credentials as one of the area's best young quarterbacks when he was hurt Friday night against Memphis Ridgeway.

And the list goes on.

When Lamar played at Seneca in a key early Big 8 Conference game Friday, the Tigers didn't have their starting quarterback. Not to be outdone, Seneca was missing its projected starter at tailback.

A quarterback update:

Thomlinson

The diagnosis remains open-ended for the four-year starter at East Newton.

He will see a doctor early next week about his dislocated right (throwing) shoulder.

"I don't know if, when he comes back, he's going to be able to play quarterback," said East Newton coach Larry Bunn. "He may have to wear a harness and play some other position."

It's been a painful season for the Patriots, who have also lost starters to a high ankle sprain, a shoulder injury, a broken ankle and a neck injury.

"We've also had an outbreak of staph infection," said Bunn. "It's been unreal. ... I keep looking for locusts."

The Patriots had their share of injuries last season and finished with a 9-2 record.

"We're practicing with 30 kids right now and 10 of them are freshmen," Bunn said after Tuesday's workout.

Smith

The Colgan quarterback had to watch his younger brother, Jeff, guide the Panthers past Frontenac in the CNC showdown last Friday.

Mark Smith's status for this week's game with Northeast remains unknown, Colgan coach Chuck Smith said.

"Our whole household came down with the flu on Sunday," said coach Smith, Mark and Jeff's dad. "That, on top of the mono, has really knocked Mark for a loop.

"He was just broken-hearted (not playing against Frontenac). I wanted him in there too, but I won't do anything silly to get him in there before he's ready."

Mantle

After a second knee injury in two years, Mantle is set for season-ending surgery. That fact wasn't discovered until an MRI.

"Matthew had worked hard to get himself back to where he needed to be," said Picher coach Willie Ng. In fact, Mantle's conditioning was so good that the initial diagnosis was a minor knee injury.

"You could see it on film. He planted his foot and twisted. The foot turned and the knee didn't."

Thomas Hart has taken over as the Gorillas' quarterback.

Freshman Daniel Walker might have competed for the job, but has been sidelined first with a broken thumb and now with a broken foot.

Said Ng, who suited up 17 healthy players last Friday: "Sometimes you don't have everything. But you need to make the most of everything you have. ... We're still going to put 11 people out there (Friday night against Oklahoma Union) and we're going to compete."

Drake

The junior had played brilliantly in Webb City's 2-0 start, but went out with a broken leg early against Ridgeway.

There's no timetable for a possible return, coach John Roderique said Tuesday night.

For the time being, the starter is junior Scott Taylor, who began the year as a backup wide receiver.

"We're confident in Scott," said Roderique. "It can't get any tougher for a young man than to come into a game like the one last week, in a situation with that huge crowd."

Drake's injury will probably not require surgery.

"If he can come back (late in the season), great," said Roderique. "And if he can't we'll make the most of it. Obviously, we'd like to have him back. But you're talking about the health of a young man and we're not going to put him back on he field unless he can play."

The Cardinals are banged up after rugged games against Bentonville and Ridgeway. Fourteen players didn't practice on Tuesday.

In addition, freshman quarterback Colin Howard, who played briefly in a junior varsity game Monday, is also out with a broken wrist.

Lamar

Zach Bryant, off to a solid start as the Tigers won their first two games, missed the Seneca game with a high ankle sprain.

Coach Tim Casper remains hopeful Bryant will return to action Friday against Carl Junction.

"He's probably 85 percent and we think he'll be able to go," said Casper. "He's had an awesome year."

Seneca

After years of successfully running the football, this is "Tailback Tech."

So losing the starting tailback is the equivalent of most schools losing the starting quarterback.

Corey Box and Jonathan Papp are both sidelined with knee injuries. Justin Daniels, a senior, has taken over at tailback.

"He's done a fantastic job," said Seneca coach Chance Wistrom. "I couldn't ask anything more of Justin."

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