Midway through the second quarter Shannon star quarterback Ken Topps found a hole in the Tiger defense, breaking free on a 30-yard run. Nettleton safety Kenard Springer tackled Topps near the out of bounds line when Topps broke his right leg.
“It looked like Ken was a little indecisive on whether to go out of bounds or cut back,” Shannon coach Mike Scott said. “He hit him around the legs, it wasn’t anything malicious, it was just a football play.”
He suffered a broken left femur just above the knee and underwent surgery Saturday morning at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford. A plate was inserted in his leg and he is expected to make a full recovery. He will miss the remainder of the season.
“It was a pretty bad break. It (femur bone) rotated several degrees,” he said. “But the doctors say he should be back at 100 percent in a few months.”
Topps, a junior, went into the game leading the area in passing with 1,853 yards passing and 23 touchdowns. Before his injury he was having another outstanding game. He had already thrown for 215 yards and three touchdowns. He had run for 40 yards.
Immediately after the injury, Topps was taken to Northeast Mississippi Medical Center before being transferred to Oxford.
He is known for passing accuracy and athletic ability, leading the Red Raiders to the Class 3A championship game as a sophomore.
“It’s tough because he is a 17-year-old kid that wants to play,” he said. “He’s hurting right now and we’re all hurting for him. We just want him to make a full recovery and come back strong next year.”
Senior wide receiver Travis Johnson will replace Topps at quarterback. The Red Raiders are 9-0 and ranked No. 1 in the Daily Journal Large School Poll.
“In my opinion, Ken Topps is the best quarterback in the state,” Scott said. “And I think we are replacing him with the No. 2 quarterback. These kids have a lot of character and Travis is the leader of this team. It’s a big blow, but I expect the guys to step up and meet the challenge.”
Johnson has 36 receptions for 691 yards and 10 touchdowns receiving this season.
Carlos Smith replaced Topps Friday night, and completed a 20-yard touchdown pass on his second attempt. Johnson did not play friday night because of a shoulder injury.