MVP Football Preview Excerpt:
A look at Division IV, Region 13 and what to expect this season. We look
at the top teams, players and offer up our playoff predicitons. Who has what? And what will they do?
JJHuddle’s Region 13 Previews and Predictions
TEAMS TO WATCH
Wooster Triway (8-3, D-III R 14 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL/LB Zach Zody (5-9, 200, sr.), WR/DB Kyle Kearney (6-4, 185, jr.), WR/DB Marcus Bertsch (5-8″, 160, sr.)
* Outlook – The Titans lost to Orrville in the first round of playoffs last season and need to replace three All-Ohioans, including record-setting graduates Derek Carmichael (QB) and Sawyer Polen (WR). That being said, third-year head coach Tony Lee (16-6) thinks his program has “turned the corner with establishing a winning attitude/tradition here.” Zody is a two-year starter and state wrestling qualifier who had 98 tackles last season. Kearney logged 45 tackles and two INTs and also hauled in seven TDs on 28 receptions. Bertsch adds depth at the skill positions after catching 28 passes for three TDs and making 39 tackles a year ago. Lee expects Triway’s defense to be formidable.
Orwell Grand Valley (8-2)
* Players to Watch – QB/DB A.J. Henson (5-11″, 170, sr.), WR Mitchell Lake (6-0, 165, sr.), TE/LB Adam Moodt (6-0, 180, sr.), RB/LB Joe Satterfield (5-8, 175, sr.), WR/DB Jeromy Rockafellow (N/A, sr.), OL/DL Josh Rigg (5-11″, 210, sr.), OL/DE Matt Lovick (5-10″, 240, sr.), OL Kyle Hodge (5-9, sr.), OL/DL Josh Shreve (6-0, 195, sr.), OL/DE Matt Zaller (6-0, 195, sr.), RB/LB Stan Sirrine (6-0, 185, jr.), OL/DL Alex Oscar (6-4, 265, jr.)
* Outlook – A disappointing loss to Newton Falls in Week 10 kept the Mustangs out of the D-V postseason last year. There’s plenty back to fuel another run at the playoffs. Henson accounted for 23 TDs and over 1,700 total yards in nine games last season. One of his favorite targets was Lake (11 TDs). Moodt (83 tackles, 14 TFL) and Satterfield (67 tackles) anchor the defense. Overall head coach Tom Henson returns 16 players who either started or saw significant time.
Akron Manchester (12-1, D-III R13 Finalist)
* Players to Watch – OL Tony Matteo (6-5, 238, sr.), LB Jacob Miltner (6-0, 200, sr.)
* Outlook – The Panthers have been to the playoffs 17 times in the last 20 years and have the horse to make it again. Matteo is one of Ohio’s top OL prospects and has offers from Pitt, West Virginia, Cincinnati, UConn and Iowa State. Miltner is a superb defender (130 tackles, five sacks).
Cortland Lakeview 9-3, D-III R13 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB/DB/P Anthony Franco (5-10, 180, sr.), OL Jake Payton (6-5, 310, sr.), WR Elijah Henderson (6-4, 190, jr.), WR/LB Drew Bell (6-5, 190, sr.), DL Trevor Watson (6-2, 240, jr.)
* Outlook – Franco is back for his third season as a starter and gives the Bulldogs an edge. Last year he threw for 2,359 yards and 15 TDs and ran for another 585 yards and 13 TDs. He already owns nine schools records. The Bulldogs bring back seven starters on offense, including three WRs and three OL. Defensively Lakeview will be solid on the line (three starters back) and in the secondary. The Bulldogs must replace all four LBS. Head coach Tom Pavlansky is 77-50 in 12 years.
Creston Norwayne (9-3, D-V R17 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB/DB Adam Wallace (6-3, 180, sr.), OL/DL Lawrence Wolfe, (6-2, 205, sr.), RB/DB Tyler Zimmerly (n/a, sr.), WR/DB Dustin Grier (5-8, 145, sr.), WR/DB Jon Maibaich (6-2, 185, sr.), DE/TE -Matt Palmer (6-0, 200, sr.), RB/LB Austin Wilson (5-6, 150, sr.), RB/LB John Wilson (5-6, 170, sr.)
* Outlook – The Bobcats made history last year by winning a program-record nine games and their first playoff game ever, but that was in D-V. This year Norwayne bumps up a level and it’s well-prepared for the move after graduating just six seniors. Wallace, Wolfe and Zimmerly are two-way standouts and were first team Wayne County Athletic League last year. Overall, Norwayne returns five All-WCAL players. Wallace threw for 1,488 yards and 11 TDs and ran for 1,056 yards and 11 TDs last year. He also had 123 tackles. Wolfe (92 tackles, 13 sacks, 12 TFL), John Wilson (145 tackles), Zimmerly (79 tackles) and Grier (80 tackles) also return to a stacked defense. Offensively, Zimmerly (677 rushing yards, 12 TDs) compliments Wallace well. Said head coach Joe Harbour (14-8 in two years): “We hope to have a chance at winning our school’s first outright league title in 50 years after winning a share of the title in 2008. (We’re) also looking to make the playoffs for just the third time in school history and first time in back to back years.”
Garrettsville Garfield (8-3, D-III R13 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB Sebastian Neikirk (6-3, 180, sr.), RB Bob Bright (6-1, 190, sr.), RB/DE Matt Molnar (6-1, 200, sr.)
* Outlook – The G-Men made the playoffs for the first time since 2005 last year and have high expectations again. Neikirk returns after throwing for 1,788 yards and 18 TDs, while Bright is a dual threat back (who combined for over 1,000 total yards and 18 TDs). Molnar (48 tackles, 11.5 sacks) leads the defense.
Orrville (10-4, D-IV State Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – RB/LB Matthew Davis (5-11, 200, sr.), RB/LB Mason Monheim (6-1, 215, sr.), WR/DB Stewart Turner (6-0, 170, sr.), K Dylan Tanner (5-8, 155, sr.)
* Outlook – The Red Riders are a transplant from Region 14 where they won the regional title last year. They are serious threats to do the same this year. Monheim (190 tackles, including 36 TFL last year) is a top prospect with offers from Illinois and nearly every MAC school. Turner (Ball State and Toledo offers) and Davis (Buffalo offer) are D-I prospects too. Davis racked up 117 tackles and six sacks last year, while Turner had 51 tackles and five INTs. Offensively Turner piled up 1,349 total yards (686 receiving, 489 return, 174 rushing). Tanner is a solid kicker (40-of-48 Pats, 5-of-6 FGs).
* Players to Watch – OL Alex Todd (6-3, 285, sr.), WR/DB Devin Adams (6-0, 165, sr.), OL/LB Bubba Baker (5-11, 205, sr.), QB Tyler Dixon (5-10, 165, sr.), RB/LB Chris Lahm (5-10, 215, sr.), RB/LB Dakota Luzader (6-1, 210, sr.), FB/LB Brandon Gency (6-2, 195, jr.), RB/LB Dorian Williams (5-11, 180, jr.)
* Outlook – The Rockets own one playoff appearance in school history (1992), but that may change. Streetsboro has plenty of talent back from a team that lost three games last year by seven points or less and drops down from D-III. Offensviely, Dixon returns to take snaps (1,200 yards passing 10 TDs; 150 yards rushing, two TDs) and will operate behind a line anchored by Todd who has committed to Indiana. Lahm (508 yards, six TDs) and Luzader (489 yards, three TDs) will log carries. On defense, Gency (100 tackles, 10 sacks) and Williams (50 tackles) return as do Adams (27 tackles) and Baker (37 tackles, five sacks, three caused fumbles).
KEEP AN EYE ON
* Brookfield (5-5) – The Warriors won four of their last six games last year and head coach Randy Clark feels this could be the season the program “puts Brookfield on the football map.” Junior QB/DB Jeremy Quinlan (6-3, 180) is a three-sport star (All-Ohio in basketball and a baseball standout) who had over 100 tackles and eight interceptions last year. As a quarterback he ran for over 800 yards and threw for 756 more. All five starting OL return, including four-year starter Cory Mild (6-0, 255, sr.) and the towering Aaron Gillis (6-10, 370, sr.). Brookfield returns 10 starters on defense.
* Canton Central Catholic (8-2) – After going 2-8 in 2009, the Crusaders flipped the script but was only good enough for ninth in R13. A season-ending 33-13 loss to then 4-5 St. Thomas Aquinas stings.
ALSO IN THIS REGION
Perry (6-5, D-III R13 Quarterfinalist), Girard (6-4), Massillon Tuslaw (4-6), Beachwood (5-5), Sullivan Black River (6-4), Brooklyn (3-7), Middlefield Cardinal (4-6), Warren Champion (6-4), Chippewa (0-10), Cleveland Central Catholic (6-4), Ashtabula Edgewood (5-5), Navarre Fairless (1-9), Fairview Park Fairview (5-5), Gates Mills Hawken (3-7), Levittsburg LaBrae (5-5), Youngstown Liberty (0-10), Rocky River Lutheran East (3-6), Newton Falls (2-8), West Salem Northwestern (5-5), Andover Pymatuning Valley (6-4), Magnolia Sandy Valley (3-7), Wickliffe (1-9)
Dark Horses: Triway