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Albert remains as Tigers' QB

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Sophomore Treveon Albert will remain the starter at quarterback, Fort Hays State University third-year coach Chris Brown said.

In Brown's first two seasons, the Tigers spent part of the year with two signal-callers splitting time.

Albert has completed 30 of 60 passes for 380 yards with three touchdowns against six interceptions for the 0-2 Tigers. However, all six interceptions came in the second half, many with the games well out of reach.

Sophomore Edin Kovac entered late in last week's 54-17 road loss to Washburn University. Kovac played against reserves, but completed eight of nine passes for 63 yards with one touchdown and no turnovers. He led the Tigers to 10 points. Albert has a 99.7 passer rating; Kovac is at 184.36.

"Right now, you have got to go with Treveon," Brown said. "We have been through this before where we have a quarterback here and another quarterback there. I am honestly tired of doing it. I am going to stick with a guy and go with a guy and see if he can get the job done, let him build and get better as a quarterback."

Fort Hays plays host to Northwest Missouri State University, 2-0 and ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II, on Saturday. Start time is 7 p.m. at Lewis Field Stadium. Since 2000, no other Division II team has been ranked more frequently than the Bearcats.

In the 14-team MIAA, Albert is only listed in the top-10 in one statistic; 10th in passing yards per game (190). Senior running back Andre Smith, one of the team captains, called the quarterback situation a coach's decision.

"That's the only way you can get those guys better - take your lumps," Brown said. "He is going to make some mistakes and you have to understand that he is going to do those things and he will grow and mature. Who knows, maybe this week or next week, he is right on target."

E. Smith off to slow start

Virtually all of the Tiger offense has started slowly, but perhaps no skill player has struggled more than junior running back Edward Smith. The Tigers have used him in a variety of ways, including rushes, passes and "jet plays" when Smith starts outside, runs near the quarterback when the ball is snapped, gets the ball and then goes in the other direction. He has seven carries for four yards and seven catches for 33 yards. His longest play is for nine yards.

"A little bit of timing and a little bit of blocking," Brown said. "Pretty soon, he is going to squirt one and go."

Scouting Northwest Missouri

Last week, NWMSU fell down 17-0 to University of Central Missouri in the first quarter. In the second quarter, sophomore Brady Bolles, the brother of former All-American Bearcat quarterback Blake Bolles, entered the game and led a comeback 28-24 victory.

He finished with 82 rushing yards and 191 passing yards. The Bearcats are 23-6 under third-year coach Adam Dorrel, including 9-1 in September. Northwest Missouri has averaged 36.5 points and 446 yards per game.