North Dakota State starting running back out for the season

Updated: October 21, 2003, 11:21 AM ET

FARGO, N.D. -- North Dakota State freshman running back Kyle Steffes is sidelined for the season with a broken bone above the left ankle.

Steffes, a starter who has shared ball-carrying duties with senior Rod Malone, was injured late in Saturday's 28-21 overtime loss at the University of North Dakota.

It was the second season-ending injury to a Bison offensive player. NDSU lost starting offensive guard Justin Monson two weeks ago against Nebraska-Omaha.

Steffes had 577 yards rushing on 112 carries this season.

Bison head coach Craig Bohl said junior running back Keontay Jackson will be Malone's backup this weekend when the Bison play Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Jackson rushed for 199 yards on 64 carries last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. His recovery time kept him out of spring football.

Bohl also said he would not rule out the possibility of lifting a redshirt to add depth at running back.

Freshman tailback Cinque Chapman-Pratt was a first-team all-state running back for Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Ill., averaging more than 12 yards per carry.

"There are a lot of variables to consider," Bohl said.

The Bison likely will have to win all four remaining games to qualify for one of four Midwest Region playoff spots. The loss to UND dropped NDSU to No. 5 in the region poll at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the North Central Conference.

"What you always find with a good team is that somebody steps up to the plate and a new player emerges," Bohl said. "Over the course of this week, we'll be addressing that.

"I know this: In college football, something crazy will and usually happens," he said. "I feel we have a great deal to play for."

Augustana's Vikings have a 2-5 record, but they have led or been tied in every game except one going into the fourth quarter. The one exception was UND, a game in which the Vikings trailed 6-3 heading into the final period.

"Inexperience has shown late in the games," said Augustana head coach Jim Heinitz.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index