Quince Orchard's attempt to return to the Maryland 4A state championship game took a big hit Monday as an MRI revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee of junior starting quarterback Mikey Murtaugh, The Gazette reported.
Murtaugh was injured on the Cougars' opening drive of Friday night's 34-0 win over previously unbeaten Paint Branch.
The quarterback was replaced by junior Tobin Pagley, who rushed for two touchdowns and threw one more.
Quince Orchard coach Dave Mencarini told Patch after the game he believed Murtaugh's injury to be serious, and Monday's procedure confirmed the worst. The Cougars are forced to move forward without Murtaugh, a player who Mencarini speculated would lead his offense.
The Cougars' head coach wanted to make sure Pagley felt comfortable doing anything in the Cougar offense after Murtaugh's injury, he said, and the backup responded well to his trial by fire.
"At first I was a little nervous. But all my teammates rallied behind me and gave me the confidence to get the job done," Pagley said after the game. "I will never forget this night for the rest of my life."