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CSUN’s Nicholson to Miss Game at Eastern New Mexico

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Cal State Northridge starting fullback Anthony Nicholson will miss the Matadors’ game Saturday at Eastern New Mexico because of a sprained left ankle. The injury was aggravated last Saturday in a 20-13 loss at Eastern Washington when one of the Eagle tacklers twisted Nicholson’s already-tender ankle.

Nicholson led all Northridge ballcarriers with 40 yards in nine carries, including a 10-yard touchdown run. The 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior from New York City was a part-time starter last season, gaining 169 yards in 32 carries.

“We’re going to have to keep him out,” CSUN Coach Bob Burt said. “Otherwise (the injury) will become chronic.”

Nicholson’s backup, 6-foot, 200-pound freshman Aaron Brumfield, has not carried the ball in a college game and has not played football since 1988, his senior year at Reseda High where he played fullback, defensive end and middle linebacker.

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An honor student, Brumfield spent the past two years attending school at Northridge and Grambling State in Grambling, La. He is a premed major and misses practice every Wednesday because of a class. Consequently, Brumfield still is adapting to the Matadors’ offense.

Cedric Ingram also is expected to play in place of Nicholson. Ingram (5-10, 208), a 1986 graduate of Hart High, was a reserve linebacker for the Matadors last season.

In other developments:

Sophomore Jess Garner was named starting tailback. Garner moved from third string to starter after catching four passes and leading the tailbacks in rushing with 28 yards against Eastern Washington.

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Former starter Victor DeVaughn and Harbor College transfer Bill Harris also are expected to see action and Burt is hoping for improved performances from both. DeVaughn dropped a pass and was held to 14 yards in five carries last weekend, and Harris fumbled the opening kickoff and was limited to nine yards in five carries.

Backup right guard Kevin Bess suffered a dislocated kneecap in practice and is doubtful for Saturday’s game.

Alo Sila, a preseason Division II All-American defensive lineman, rejoined the squad after missing two days of practice to be with his ailing father in San Jose. Alo’s brother Frank, who joined him in San Jose, is still hoping to make up an incomplete grade from summer school and join the team this season.

Carlos Adley, Northridge’s starting nose guard, was declared academically eligible Thursday and will play Saturday. Eligibility questions kept the 6-2, 285-pound senior from playing in the Matadors’ opener.

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