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Carney injures knee after being hit by three Cal defenders

12/31/2007 - Air Force Falcons

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Record-setting Air Force quarterback
Shaun Carney sustained ligament damage in his right knee when it
buckled awkwardly during a tackle Monday in the Armed Forces Bowl,
the final game of the four-year starter's career.

Carney was running right on a third-and-goal keeper from the 1
late in the third quarter when he was hit head-on by two California
defenders short of the end zone. But he was also hit from the side
by another defender and the impact of that bent Carney's leg.

"It looks like both ACL and MCL," coach Troy Calhoun said
after the Falcons' 42-36 loss. "I'm sure in his mind and his heart
he was going to try to find a way to back out there. It wasn't
happening."

Carney immediately grabbed his right knee while still on the
ground.

"Standing over him, hearing him, it was tough," receiver
Chad Hall said.

After being tended to by medical personnel, Carney was helped
off the field and didn't put any weight on his right leg.

Television replays showed the gruesome bend of Carney's knee
when he was hit from the side by defensive back Syd'Quan Thompson,
on what appeared to be a clean tackle. Justin Moye, a linebacker
who was one of the two head-on tacklers, knew right away Carney was
hurt.

"You could tell he was a competitor. Every time you hit him, he
would just come right back up," Moye said. "I knew something was
pretty wrong pretty quick because he was squirming on the ground
and he didn't sound too good. ... I hope he's all right."

Carney had 15 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown, and was
5-of-8 passing for 68 yards and a score. He finished as Air Force's
career leader in total offense (7,952 yards), passing yards (5,391)
and passing touchdowns (39). He is fifth with 2,561 rushing yards.

While his playing career is over, Carney still has a semester
remaining at the Air Force Academy. Once he graduates in May, he
will have to pass a thorough physical before he can be commissioned
as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force.

"That will happen with him. We'll have to see the severity of
the injury, but certainly there's going to be some extensive rehab
that's involved for him," Calhoun said. "He's going to have to
find a way to kind of motor around and get to class. He'll do
that."