Surgery to Shelve DiDomizio for Rest of Season : High school football: Rio Mesa quarterback rushed for 158 yards after sustaining broken hand early in loss to Buena.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Rio Mesa High senior quarterback Don DiDomizio, who broke his right hand in a Channel League game against Buena on Friday, was scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday night and likely will miss the rest of the season, DiDomizio said.

DiDomizio, 17, was to have two screws inserted into his non-throwing hand at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, he said Monday. If the procedure goes well, DiDomizio said, he should not miss much of the basketball season, which begins in December. DiDomizio plays guard on the basketball team.

"It still hasn't hit me that I can't play any more," DiDomizio said. "I think it's really going to sink in when I'm walking on the sidelines watching the games."

Said Rio Mesa Coach John Reardon: "This is a big loss for us. We think Don is the second-best quarterback in the county."

Despite breaking his hand on Rio Mesa's second play from scrimmage in the 28-22 loss to Buena, DiDomizio played the entire game and rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns. A Buena player fell on DiDomizio's hand while tackling him.

"I didn't know it was broken during the game," DiDomizio said. "It really didn't hurt that much. I thought it was just bruised."

X-rays taken at St. John's on Friday night revealed the break.

DiDomizio (6-foot, 180 pounds) had 398 yards rushing in 50 carries (8.0 average) with six rushing touchdowns. He completed 13 of 28 passes for 197 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

As a junior, DiDomizio was selected second-team All-Ventura County by The Times. He led the Spartans with 1,066 yards rushing in 124 carries (8.6 average) and scored 14 touchdowns.

Steve Arneson (5-11, 200), a junior who has been starting at linebacker, will take over at quarterback. He is Rio Mesa's leading tackler with 32 and has four carries for 39 yards.

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