FARMINGTON — Farmington High School linebacker and running back Brian Farley said he is "100 percent" sure he will play in the state championship game this weekend.
Farley, a team captain and one of the Scorpions' most-talented players on both sides of the ball, suffered a knee injury late in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Class 4A state semifinal game against Belen. After scoring the game-winning touchdown on a diving effort, Farley was sidelined for the rest of the game with what was determined to be a sprained knee.
Although he hasn't practiced this week, Farley is confident he will be ready to play this Saturday for No. 2 Farmington High in the state title game against No. 1 Goddard at Hutchison Stadium in Farmington.
"It is different, but I am making sure that I still get the mental reps so I know what we are doing when I get back in," Farley said, about not practicing. "My freshman year, I dislocated my elbow, but, other than that, nothing injury-wise. It is different, but I know that resting it and making sure I am not going overboard that I will be good by the game."
The 5-foot-6-inch senior has been present at practices all week but hasn't gone through drills while sporting a knee brace.
FHS head coach Gary Bradley is also confident Farley will be ready to go.
"He is going to be ready to play. That is the No. 1 thing," Bradley said.
Goddard High head coach Sam Jernigan is aware of Farley's injury but said it hasn't changed how his team has prepared.
"We're going to prepare (like he's going to play). ...It's just get ready for what you think is going to be there and what you have seen on film and stuff. That's what we're doing. It's not going to change anything we're doing," Jernigan told Kevin Keller of the Roswell Daily Record.
Jernigan knows how valuable Farley is to the Scorpions on both offense and defense.
"He's a real good fullback. He makes the tough runs inside and then he's got pretty good quickness to get to the outside on some of the tosses and things," Jernigan said. "He's the playmaker on offense, and pretty much on defense wherever they put him. He makes tackles. Whenever everybody else is kind of out of position, he shoots through and has a good sense for the football."
If Farley is at all limited on Saturday, running backs Austin Foutz and Tyler Blades would pick up a bigger share of carries.
"We are all full-speed, 100 percent ready to go," Bradley assured.John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.