Football Notebook: Zappone's season over, Bell or Roback?, Remembering Reed

Following its fifth straight loss, the Eastern Michigan University football team is looking for a bounce back performance against Northern Illinois University on Saturday Oct. 24 in DeKalb, Ill.

Zappone out for season:

Eastern Michigan linebacker Anthony Zappone will miss the rest of the season according to coach Chris Creighton.

“He’s got a significant knee injury and he won’t be able to come back this season,” said Creighton.

Zappone was second in total tackles for the team with 50 and had started in all seven games this season.

“We’re gonna miss his contribution, his leadership and his play-making ability,” said defensive coordinator Brad McCaslin.

It is likely that Nate Adams will take over the role moving forward according to McCaslin.

“Nate Adams has been a guy that has rotated in for both [Great] Ibe and Zappone, he’ll get an opportunity to do that,” said McCaslin. “We also have Kyle Rachwal, who has been injured for a couple weeks now, but has also played that position. There's a couple guys that can easily step up and we need them to step up and fill that void.”

Bell or Roback at QB?:

Eastern Michigan quarterback Reggie Bell got the start this past Saturday over Brogan Roback despite missing the past five weeks with a fractured jaw.

Bell went 16-for-26 for 121 yards and an interception in the 63-20 loss to Toledo. Bell was also sacked four times.

“[Bell] was our starter before he got hurt. Each situation is its own animal,” coach Chris Creighton said when asked why Bell got the start. “You don’t lose a position to injury but you can win a position when someone is out.”

“[Bell's] been able to run, throw and be engaged,” said Creighton. “Although there was still some rust, we felt he was ready to go.”

Late in the third quarter, Bell went down with an apparent leg injury and Creighton said it wasn’t a serious injury but said he was “day to day.” Roback came in after the injury and went 7-for-11 for 55 yards.

Remembering Demarius Reed:

It has been two years, as of Oct. 18, since the shooting death of Eastern Michigan wide receiver Demarius Reed.

Although coach Chris Creighton was not coach at the time of Reed’s death, he said the players have made sure his memory would not be forgotten.

“We didn’t talk about it as a team this year but most of the things that we’ve done in the past almost two years were led by the team,” said Creighton. “It was our guys idea to bury his jersey under the fifty yard line underneath the new field. Our guys wanted to fly the balloons on his birthday that first June and on picture day the wide receivers had the number two jersey for their group picture.

“You could see through social media that there isn't a guy who knew him that wasn't thinking about him,” said Creighton.

Reed would have been a senior this season.

Up Next:

The Eagles will head west to DeKalb, Ill. to face the Huskies of Northern Illinois on Sat. Oct. 24. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 2:30 p.m. CT.

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