Malvern ready to defend its Region 23 title; Hornets still have sting

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Malvern Football

The reigning Region 23 and Inter Valley Conference champions have some
holes to fill at the skill positions, but Malvern returns an
offensive line that should be able to open plenty of holes. According to 10-year head coach Dave Tucci (68-39 record at Malvern,
98-59 overall), the Hornets hope to “win the battle of the line of
scrimmage on both sides of the ball.”


Malvern (13-1)

* Players to Watch – TB Maurice Johnson (5-9, 150, Sr.); WR/FS Zach Johnson (5-10, 173, Sr.); OG/DE Brett Lee (6-3, 230, Sr.); OG Nolan Champer (6-3, 210, Sr.); C Chase Richards (6-0, 188, Sr.); CB Doug Wood (5-10, 185, Sr.); LB Tyler Crawford (5-10, 200, Sr.); NG Dominic Chiurco (5-11, 270, Sr.)

* Outlook –
The reigning Region 23 and Inter Valley Conference champions have some holes to fill at the skill positions, but the Hornets return an offensive line that should be able to open plenty of holes.

According to 10-year head coach Dave Tucci (68-39 record at Malvern, 98-59 overall), the Hornets hope to “win the battle of the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.”

Lee, Champer and Richards give Malvern one of D-VI’s best OL trios.

Offensively, Maurice Johnson returns at running back after carrying the ball 149 times for 982 yards and eight TDs last year. He’ll be joined by Wood who logged 236 yards and six TDs on 60 carries. Zach Johnson is a viable receiving threat (14 catches for 189 yards and four TDs).

Finding a replacement for QB Tyler Tucci, the D-VI state player of the year last season, and his 45 TDs is a pressing need.

The defense will again be a strength. Crawford is the leading returning tackler, having registered 96 stops, including 20 for loss, last year. He’s joined in the front seven by Lee (33 tackles, 11 for loss, four sacks) and Chiurco (51 tackles, 16 for loss).

The secondary is paced by Zach Johnson (74 tackles, two interceptions) and Wood (53 tackles).

A Week 9 meeting with Lafayette Ridgewood could decide the IVC title again.

Malvern has made four of its five playoff appearances, including two straight, in Tucci’s 10 years.

Schedule

8/28 @ LOWELLVILLE
9/4 WATERLOO (ATWATER)    
9/11 EAST CANTON
9/18 @ STRASBURG-FRANKLIN
9/25 NEWCOMERSTOWN
10/3 @ TUSCARAWAS CENTRAL CATHOLIC
10/9 CONOTTON VALLEY (BOWERSTON)    
10/16 GARAWAY (SUGARCREEK)    
10/23 @ RIDGEWOOD (WEST LAFAYETTE)    
10/30 @ SANDY VALLEY (MAGNOLIA)

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