Another playoff run appears to be in the cards at Canfield

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Canfield Cardinals

Canfield has made the playoffs five out of the last six years and the Cardinals are expected to make another postseason appearance this year.

But they might have to do it without leading running back Dan Banna after he suffered a serious knee injury in the first preseason scrimmage.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB/DL Dan Banna (5-11, 225, Sr.), QB Adam Muth (6-2, 180, Sr.), DL Luke Franken (5-10, 220, Sr.), RB/LB Tom Cheslik (5-11, 185, Sr.), WR/DB Dom Rich (6-0, 190, Sr.), ATH Kyle Vaclav (5-11, 175, Jr.).

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 10-2, Regional semifinalist

Canfield has made the playoffs five out of the last six years and the Cardinals are expected to make another postseason appearance this year.

The leading returning offensive player is Banna who had 890 rushing yards and 13 TDs last year but he suffered a serious knee injury in the team’s first preseason scrimmage. Franken is the leading returnee on defense; he recorded 54 tackles and eight sacks last season.

The top player Canfield has to replace from a talented graduated class is second-team All-Ohio defensive lineman Jordan Graham.

“We will need to replace 20 seniors who won 32 of 38 games,” head coach Mike Pavlansky said. “This year’s senior leaders stepping up and the development of our offensive line will go a long way in determining our season.”

Pavlansky is entering his seventh year and the Cardinals qualified for the playoffs in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Their best season during that stretch was the state finalist squad of ’05. This year, the coach isn’t sure what to expect.

“We need to replace all five offensive linemen,” Pavlansky said. “However, we have six starters back on defense and I feel good about that group. And we should have a solid kicking game.”

Canfield appears to have a manageable schedule and it will be a surprise if it is not able to once again make the playoffs in Division II, Region 7.

SCHEDULE

8/22 Chardon

8/29 at Canton South

9/5 at Alliance

9/12 Warren Howland

9/19 at Struthers

9/26 Youngstown East

10/3 Lisbon Beaver

10/10 Youngstown Chaney

10/16 Niles McKinley

10/24 Poland Seminary

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