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Eagles WR Momah out for season

By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / September 6, 2011

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At first glance, it didn’t seem a big deal. Just a minor bump during Saturday’s game that Ifeanyi Momah could shake off. The 6-foot-6-inch Boston College wide receiver told everyone he would be fine. His eight receptions for 157 yards - both career highs - were one of the few bright spots in the Eagles’ 24-17 home loss to Northwestern.

All that changed yesterday morning when an MRI of Momah’s left knee revealed a torn ACL, which will require surgery and sideline him for the season.

Technically, as a fifth-year senior, that also would mean the end of Momah’s collegiate career. But yesterday school officials said they would petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for Momah, which has a good chance of being OK’d since the NCAA this season allowed Houston quarterback Case Keenum a sixth year of eligibility after he was sidelined for the season in the first game last year.

Momah already has one red-shirt season, missing the 2009 campaign because of a knee injury.

“It’s tough,’’ said coach Frank Spaziani after being told the results of the MRI a few hours earlier. “I feel bad for Ifeanyi. He had put so much work into it. And I know it’s football, but I feel bad for the kids. A senior leader, one of our captains. He’s walking around totally depressed.

“What’s strange is that he played the entire fourth quarter with the injury, and even now he’s walking around on it like it’s no big deal. The medical staff said it’s an unusual tear.’’

For Momah, it is another setback in a career that has taken many twists and turns the last few years as he moved from offense to defense and back to offense, not quite sure of his role on the team but willing to help.

“He’s the ultimate team player,’’ said Spaziani, who said he would move sophomore Johnathan Coleman into a receiver rotation that now will include Bobby Swigert, Alex Amidon, Coleman, and probably freshman Spiffy Evans, whom Spaziani had been hoping he could red-shirt.

“It just adds more youth to the equation,’’ said Spaziani.

Mark Blaudschun can be reached at blaudschun@globe.com.