Roach suffers a setback|Season over for Mahoning Valley quarterback

Published 7:28 am Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sports Editor

Roach suffers a setback
Season over for Mahoning Valley quarterback
Sports Editor
Just when Brad Roach was getting into a groove as the quarterback of the Mahoning Valley Thunder, an injury ended his season prematurely.
The All-American quarterback at Catawba and a former all-state player with the Williamston Tigers suffered a shoulder injury during Saturday night’s 76-34 loss to Peoria. The injury happened on the second series of the game for Roach, who was making his third start for the Thunder (1-13).
“It’s pretty frustrating to have the setback,” Roach said. “I finally get with a team and finally get to show my abilities and what I can do, and then this happens.
“It puts a damper on things. I just have to keep my head up. Hopefully, I can come back stronger.”
Roach, who had tryouts with the Baltimore Ravens and Montreal Alouettes before landing a spot with the Thunder, which plays in the Arena Football League2, suffered a separation of the acromioclavicular (AC) joint.
AC joint injuries are graded on a scale from one to six, with six being the most severe. Roach suffered a grade five injury.
The 6-6, 250-pound quarterback dropped back to pass. As he was releasing the ball, Peoria defensive end Dedrick Clark hit Roach from behind and drove him to the ground. Roach landed on his throwing shoulder.
“I got hit from the back side and driven into the turf,” Roach said. “I’ve been a hit a million times like that before, but this one time the shoulder hit the ground perfectly.”
Roach knew immediately that it was a severe injury.
“I felt the bones slide when I first hit the ground,” he said. “I was in excruciating pain.”
Roach is scheduled to have surgery this week. He’ll be in a sling for four weeks, with light rehab to follow.
“I’m looking to be out for two to three months,” Roach said. “Hopefully, the arm will come back stronger. It’s happened to a lot of people. You’re only concentrating on getting that arm stronger so, hopefully, that will happen.”
Roach completed 46-of-92 (50 percent) passes for 629 yards in four games with the Thunder. He threw 13 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions, while also running for 17 yards on three carries.
In his previous two games prior to the injury, Roach had completed 37-of-74 passes for 530 yards to go with 11 touchdown tosses and six picks.
Roach is hoping to bounce back swiftly. He said there are plenty of options open.
“It’s just another obstacle,” Roach said. “I’m hoping the Arena1 (Football League) comes back, and I know the UFL (United Football League) is starting up. Maybe I can get into that.
“I could always get a call from Canada or from the NFL. My agent is working on all that right now.”
Roach is sidelined for now, but that just makes him all the hungrier to get back on the field.