• 70°

History repeats for ’Dogs

NEDERLAND — Two years ago against Brenham, Ryan Sampere sustained a season-destroying injury with three ankle fractures. This year, Kirby Bellow repeated an all-too-painful Nederland football moment.

A very depressed and discouraged Bulldogs head coach Larry Neumann admitted to his reflection on that painful season-opening past from a visit to Reliant Stadium.

Sampere’s high school football career ended as he dashed toward his right with about two minutes left in the third quarter. History repeated itself with only a few alterations in detail during Nederland’s 2009 season opener at West Orange-Stark.

Committing to a baseball full scholarship with the University of Texas less than six weeks ago, the third-year starting NHS quarterback probably ended his high school football days much in the manner which they started.

Bellow replaced the injured Sampere, starting his Bulldogs’ QB tenure. It officially remains to be determined if it ended that way. An MRI is expected to be performed on Bellow’s right knee Monday at Beaumont Bone and Joint Institute to determine Kirby’s status.

His 17th-year head coach, Neumann, could not be blamed for fearing the worst.

“I guess it will be early next week before we know exactly what he’s got,” said Neumann, whose Nederland team has an open date after falling 42-21 at WO-S on Friday night.

Bellow tried to plant his knee in order to cut at the end of a quarterback draw play early in the fourth quarter. Nederland trailed 33-21 with a 2nd-and-7 situation at the WO-S 37 when Kirby rolled against the grain to his right.

“He just planted on a cut and it went out on him,” Neumann recalled.

Then Larry’s memory acknowledged a more-distant memory.

“Yes, I have to admit that I have thought about Sampere and the way Bellow came into that game.”

Bellow was carted off the field at West Orange. The preliminary diagnosis to Nederland’s coaches suggested that the Bulldogs quarterback sustained a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).

Dr. Gene Isbell examined Bellow’s knee on Saturday morning but tests proved inconclusive due to the extent of swelling still prevalent from Friday’s injury.

Nederland (0-1) returns to action when it opens its 2009 home schedule on Sept. 11 against Waller.