FORT WAYNE – Losing Colin Brockhouse doesn’t mean a lost season, according to Northrop coach Tim Martone.
A senior quarterback, Brockhouse was 1,700 yards away from James Knapke’s all-time SAC record for passing yards, but after having Tommy John surgery in the offseason. Brockhouse will be out for the year. He may be back for the baseball season.
It’s the second straight year that one of the top passers in the SAC was lost for the season after Dwenger’s Mike Fiacable missed 2012 after he suffered a knee injury in the preseason.
“It’s one of the biggest losses I can imagine, at the worst time,” Martone said. “But we are making headway.”
Brockhouse, who has 4,274 career passing yards, is a Ball State baseball recruit.
“He was so, so low. I wanted to build him up,” Martone said of Brockhouse. “He has come up to practice a couple of times and had a huge brace. He is hoping to play baseball this spring, but we will see if that happens and whether he is redshirted at Ball State. He was very down, but he is there supporting the kids.”
Senior John McKinney, who was Brockhouse’s backup, will move from receiver to quarterback.
“He finally gets his opportunity,” Martone said of McKinney. “He has good leadership and throws a good intermediate ball, but I am missing that long ball with Colin. He will do a good job. I told him to take care of the football. He is a smart player.”
After back-to-back 4-6 seasons, the Bruins were looking for a move over the .500 mark behind the right arm of Brockhouse. The team, though, will now have to rely more on a balanced approach offensively.
“We are expecting a lot,” senior defensive lineman Austin Pearson said. “We have a great senior class coming up, and we have underclassmen who are filling positions that we need. We are definitely going to be better than we have had been in the past.
“We do have a lot of seniors who left us last year, so we have positions that are going to be open and left up to younger guys. But they are up to the challenge. We are not taking it easy on them in practice, so they will be better prepared and ready for it.”
Martone said he is expecting the defense, with Pearson leading the way, to be better and faster than in previous years. But the Bruins will have to rely on youth with the possibility of playing 2-3 sophomore starters.
Also returning are senior running back Trevon Wilson, senior linebacker Jared Eastes, senior defensive back Andre Hamilton, senior linemen Brandon Eck and Tim Williams.