Titans' Amano returns to Southeast Missouri State for homecoming football game

Sunday, October 21, 2012
Former Southeast Missouri football player Eugene Amano walks off the field after flipping the coin before the Redhawks’ 27-17 loss Saturday at Houck Stadium. Amano is an offensive lineman with the Tennessee Titans. (ADAM VOGLER)

Eugene Amano rather would have not been able to make it in for Southeast Missouri State's homecoming football game on Saturday.

Nothing personal against the Redhawks, but Amano ideally would have been in Buffalo preparing for today's game between his Tennessee Titans and the Bills.

But Amano, a former Southeast All-American offensive lineman, will miss the entire NFL season on injured reserve after suffering a torn triceps muscle during training camp.

Given that bad break, Amano was happy to be at Houck Stadium on Saturday. He participated in the opening coin toss as his former squad faced Tennessee-Martin.

"It's a little disappointing. We were just getting going [in training camp] when it happened. But it's great to be here," Amano said during a halftime interview. "It's the first time I've been back here for a football game in like nine years, since I played here. It's cool to see."

Amano was a starter for the Titans the past four years and figures to regain that role in 2013. He has played eight NFL seasons after being drafted by the Titans in the seventh and final round in 2004. His last season at Southeast was 2003, when he was named the nation's top center on the Football Championship Subdivision level.

"My rehab is going real well," Amano said. "I'm about 10, 11 weeks out of surgery. I'll be ready to go [next season]."

Amano is among four ex-Southeast standouts currently in the NFL, the others being New England offensive lineman Dan Connolly, who played his final Southeast season in 2004; Cleveland Browns cornerback Dimitri Patterson (2003); and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Edgar Jones (2006).

All four were all on the same Southeast squad at some point and all were recruited by former Redhawks coach Tim Billings and his staff.

"It's great to see those guys all still playing," Amano said. "We had some good teams."

Terrell shines again

Not even another big game from senior tailback Levi Terrell could prevent Southeast's third straight loss, 27-17.

Terrell had his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance and fifth of the season with 136 yards on 22 carries. He gave all the credit to his offensive line.

"That front line. ... Those holes are huge. They're making my job easy," Terrell said.

Southeast coach Tony Samuel knows the way Terrell runs is anything but easy. He has compiled many of his 836 rushing yards this season -- third-most in the OVC -- after contact.

"He's a great effort runner. He just keeps coming at you," Samuel said.

Coleman back in mix

Southeast sophomore fullback Ron Coleman was eased back into action last week after missing the previous three games with a knee injury.

After not touching the ball during the loss to Tennessee State, Coleman was much more involved in the offense Saturday.

Coleman rushed eight times for 23 yards and caught two passes for 33 yards. He was Southeast's second-leading receiver behind sophomore Spencer Davis, who nabbed five balls for 67 yards.

Noteworthy

* Southeast senior tailback Renard Celestin suffered an apparent shoulder injury during the first half and did not return. He rushed once for 10 yards and caught an 18-yard pass before leaving.

* Southeast junior cornerback Cantrell Andrews, a Central High School graduate, missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury.

* The Redhawks, who entered play last in the OVC in third-down defense by allowing the opposition to convert 59.5 percent, limited UTM to just 2 of 9. Southeast converted 7 of 14 third downs and was 3 of 3 on fourth downs.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: