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Walker suffers leg injury

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Steve Walker hobbled over to the North Dakota State bench. About a minute later he was on his back, his hands over his face. The 10 fingers hid the disappointment of a probable serious knee injury while teammates and coaches to...

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Steve Walker hobbled over to the North Dakota State bench. About a minute later he was on his back, his hands over his face.

The 10 fingers hid the disappointment of a probable serious knee injury while teammates and coaches took turns consoling him. His homecoming of sorts had ended in Southern Illinois' 9-0 win at McAndrew Stadium.

Walker, from Lockport, Ill., was playing in front of about 50 friends and family. His last appearance in the state of Illinois ended with a high school state championship in 2002.

Saturday's curtain call ended in agony. Initial prognosis was damage to two ligaments.

Facing third-and-9 at the Saluki 26, Walker found some room up the middle on a quarterback scramble.

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He tried to hurdle an SIU defender but was stopped in his tracks.

Walker tumbled head over heels and landed on the ground in obvious pain. He quickly hobbled off the field, but it was obvious his day was over.

He finished 7 of 17 for 67 yards and one interception.

Freshman Ryan Parsons took over and went 2 of 6 with one interception.

"Ryan came out and competed," said Bison head coach Craig Bohl. "He hadn't had an opportunity to play a whole lot this year."

Parsons engineered one impressive drive. Starting from its own 20, NDSU reached the Saluki 24 midway in the fourth quarter before a fourth-and-2 pass was incomplete.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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