Eight starters return for regional finalist Pemberville Eastwood

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Pemberville Eastwood Eagles

Reaching the regional finals for the second consecutive season will be
a difficult task for the Eagles. Coach Jerry Rutherford will only have
three starters back on offense and just five returnees on the defensive
side of the football. Despite the graduation losses, the Eagles are a solid program and
should be able to find a way to compete for another SLL crown and a
playoff berth.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB/SS Mark Schult (6-1, 220, Sr.), RB/DB Matt Schlumbohm (5-10, 165, Sr.), OG/NG James Morlock (5-11, 205, Sr.), RB/DB Cody Seifert (5-11, 160, Jr.) and OL/DT Matt Schling (5-10, 225, Jr.)

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 11-2, Regional semifinalist

Reaching the regional finals for the second consecutive season will be a difficult task for the Eagles. Coach Jerry Rutherford will only have three starters back on offense and just five returnees on the defensive side of the football. Eastwood had won the SLL five straight years until Genoa Area took the championship last season. Despite the graduation losses, the Eagles are a solid program and should be able to find a way to compete for another SLL crown and a playoff berth.

Replacing all-Ohioan Jeremy Foster will be the first task for Rutherford. Foster rushed for 2,261 yards and 34 touchdowns on 411 carries. Schlumbohm did rush for 460 yards and six TDs on just 70 carries as a junior, so he’s expected to take up some of the offensive slack. The other problem is that Rutherford must replace the rest of his backfield, including three-year starter Eric Rutherford, and entire offensive line. The Eagles do return five starters on defense, including three defensive linemen.

Rutherford feels his run defense will be a plus. If Eastwood is to make it back to the regional finals (it was its first appearance in school history), the team will need some of its JV players and freshmen players (both teams only lost one game apiece in 2007) to fill in the voids.

“We lost quite a bit, but it’s not as bad as it looks,” Rutherford stated. “We are expecting to play for a league championship once again and would be disappointed if we’re not. We also want to get back to the playoffs. We lost five offensive linemen, but we think we’ve got some guys who can play there. A couple of them played on the defensive line last year, so they have some game experience. This year, they’ll just have to play both ways.

“We also lost our quarterback, but we run the Wing-T. However, our QB position is still pretty important and we feel confident in two guys that we’re looking at. We think both young men can get the job done,” he added.

SCHEDULE

8/22 @ Clyde
8/29 Rossford
9/5 @ Oak Harbor
9/12 Gibsonburg
9/19 Tontogany Otsego
9/26 @ Elmore Woodmroe
10/3 TBA
10/10 @ Millbury Lake
10/17 vs. Bloomdale Elmwood
10/24 @ Kansas Lakota

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