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PREVIEW Football



Published: Wed, September 19, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



THURSDAY

CHANEY VS. WILSON

Where: Stambaugh Stadium, Youngstown State University.When: 7 p.m.Common opponents: The Cowboys have a 13-7 victory over Division II Canfield and a 10-7 loss to Div. I Boardman. The Redmen lost to Canfield, 27-8, and Boardman, 35-7.The series: Chaney has defeated Wilson 11 straight years and has only lost one City Series game in the last 11 years, to an East High team coached by Mark Lyden, who is now at Wilson. Ron Berdis has coached Chaney for 15 seasons and has 10 City Series titles and a 92-51 record there.Chaney (3-1) scouting report: After three tight games against quality opponents, the Cowboys enjoyed a bit of a breather last week in defeating Campbell, 42-7. The Cowboys also have a 20-14 overtime win against Division I Fitch. Against Campbell, quarterback Juan Serrano and tailback Ed McElroy were again the catalysts on offense. McElroy rushed for 151 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns. Serrano completed 5-of-7 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. He also scored from 6 yards out. Defensively, the Cowboys limited the Red Devils to 44 yards rushing on 22 tries. Fernando DeChellis has been a standout this season at two-way tackle, while fullback/inside linebacker D.J. Fahndrich has been a consistent player. Both are team captains.The coach says: "Tuesday we talked about defending our City Series title. It is important to open our league play with a win and move to 4-1 on the season. No team had played a tougher four games than Wilson. When they weathered the first four games, they have come out a better team. Wilson's level of competition is as tough as any team in Ohio has played. Their kids have played hard until the end of the game. We look for a very physical and emotional football game. Actually, we have weathered our first four games on a pretty tough schedule healthy and intact. We are looking forward to a great effort by our kids." -- Ron Berdis.Wilson (0-4) scouting report: Quarterbacks Shawn Lane and Carlton Sims were responsible for most of the yardage the Redmen gained against Canfield. Lane passed for 98 yards, ran for 82 yards and caught a 36-yard pass for 216 yards of total offense, while Sims completed four passes for 53 yards and scored Wilson's second touchdown of the season on a 25-yard burst. Quinn Humphries had 11 solo tackles from his safety position and caught four passes. Anthony Floyd has been outstanding at defensive end all season and has four sacks, including three against Poland. Anthony West, a cornerback, has also been a bright spot for the Redmen.The coach says: "This is a game that you always try to win, you want to win your league and Chaney has been so dominant the past 12-13 years. We would like to change that. They are a very good football team and we believe we are a very good football team. We need to get more consistent on offense; we showed some sparks against Canfield. To win I think we need to get the ball over to our skilled people. At times we did a pretty good job against Canfield. We need to get the ball spread out and get the ball into Shawn Lane's hands. We have to shut down their offense. They have a good offensive line; they are up there with the best teams we've seen. Offensive tackle Andrew Small has a bruised shoulder but will be OK. Carl Atkins, a starting linebacker, has a twisted ankle but can play." -- Mark Lyden.

FRIDAY

HOWLAND VS. CANFIELD

Where: Howland High School.When: 7:30 p.m.Canfield (3-1) scouting report: Beat Washington (D.C.) Ballou, 6-0; lost to Chaney, 13-7; beat Canton Timken, 30-0; defeated Wilson, 27-8. The Cardinals have allowed only 21 points. LBs Tom Banna, Chaz Carrera and Mike Turjanica are key players on defense along with lineman David Byce and Gavin DiRusso and Dan Leonard in the secondary. TB Tim Dewberry and QB Leo Sorice continue to feature in the backfield. Backup TB Tom Rogers scored twice against Wilson when junior TE Jake Wargacki caught his first varsity TD pass. The coach says: "We're pleased with our progress on the defensive side, but Howland will be much bigger than us. Our concern is getting overmatched on both sides of the football. We'll be facing the best offense overall -- both backs and line-wise -- that we've faced all year. Led by Doug Datish and Ryne Nutt up front and [Rick] Clark, [Mark] Rek and [Brian] Spence in the backfield, they can make a big play happen anytime and put you behind the 8-ball. Starting Friday, it will get much tougher than it has been. We're improving and that's a positive, especially with only eight returning lettermen and five returning starters. But we need to continue to improve in certain areas. We need to play real fundamental defensively, and offensively we need to eliminate penalties. We had 24 penalties the last two games. That's taken us away from big drives. We've got to correct that quickly." -- Mike Pavlansky. Howland (4-0) scouting report: The Tigers haven't had such a good start since the late 1980s, although, last year, Howland won its first three games before ending 5-5. Good offensive line play has been provided by C Sean Unger, RG Craig Sallaz, RT Doug Datish, TE Mike Post, LG Lance Salter, LT Ryne Nutt and LTE Greg Parish. The Tigers had 310 yards vs. Southview when TB Mark Rek gained 142 and alternate FBs Brian Spence and Maurice Smith 98 and 91 yards, respectively. Howland has been averaging 10 passes a game with QB Rick Clark completing at least 50 percent of his attempts. He operates out of the option. Turnout for the football team has gone from 32 to 70, said coach Dick Angle, now in his fourth season. Using 20 players on offensive and defensive units combined and averaging 35 a game including special teams has helped the Tigers stay fresh and focused.The coach says: "In my previous three seasons, we never started off with a conference win, so that's one of our goals. Hopefully, we'll start off on the right footing. Canfield's Dewberry is one of the most talented running backs in the MAC. Their quarterback is outstanding and, defensively, we'll be facing the best linebacking corps to date. They're very active and very aggressive. Any team wanting to win the conference had better eliminate mistakes and execute if they want to have a chance. The MAC has good coaches and good players in it. Canfield is one of those teams."Note: Canfield beat Howland last season, 21-7, on the 10th date. It prevented Howland from having a winning season and helped Canfield finish seventh in the region to make the playoffs. However, from that team, the Cards only have two starters back on defense and three on offense.

Where: Howland High School.When: 7:30 p.m.Canfield (3-1) scouting report: Beat Washington (D.C.) Ballou, 6-0; lost to Chaney, 13-7; beat Canton Timken, 30-0; defeated Wilson, 27-8. The Cardinals have allowed only 21 points. LBs Tom Banna, Chaz Carrera and Mike Turjanica are key players on defense along with lineman David Byce and Gavin DiRusso and Dan Leonard in the secondary. TB Tim Dewberry and QB Leo Sorice continue to feature in the backfield. Backup TB Tom Rogers scored twice against Wilson when junior TE Jake Wargacki caught his first varsity TD pass. The coach says: "We're pleased with our progress on the defensive side, but Howland will be much bigger than us. Our concern is getting overmatched on both sides of the football. We'll be facing the best offense overall -- both backs and line-wise -- that we've faced all year. Led by Doug Datish and Ryne Nutt up front and [Rick] Clark, [Mark] Rek and [Brian] Spence in the backfield, they can make a big play happen anytime and put you behind the 8-ball. Starting Friday, it will get much tougher than it has been. We're improving and that's a positive, especially with only eight returning lettermen and five returning starters. But we need to continue to improve in certain areas. We need to play real fundamental defensively, and offensively we need to eliminate penalties. We had 24 penalties the last two games. That's taken us away from big drives. We've got to correct that quickly." -- Mike Pavlansky. Howland (4-0) scouting report: The Tigers haven't had such a good start since the late 1980s, although, last year, Howland won its first three games before ending 5-5. Good offensive line play has been provided by C Sean Unger, RG Craig Sallaz, RT Doug Datish, TE Mike Post, LG Lance Salter, LT Ryne Nutt and LTE Greg Parish. The Tigers had 310 yards vs. Southview when TB Mark Rek gained 142 and alternate FBs Brian Spence and Maurice Smith 98 and 91 yards, respectively. Howland has been averaging 10 passes a game with QB Rick Clark completing at least 50 percent of his attempts. He operates out of the option. Turnout for the football team has gone from 32 to 70, said coach Dick Angle, now in his fourth season. Using 20 players on offensive and defensive units combined and averaging 35 a game including special teams has helped the Tigers stay fresh and focused.The coach says: "In my previous three seasons, we never started off with a conference win, so that's one of our goals. Hopefully, we'll start off on the right footing. Canfield's Dewberry is one of the most talented running backs in the MAC. Their quarterback is outstanding and, defensively, we'll be facing the best linebacking corps to date. They're very active and very aggressive. Any team wanting to win the conference had better eliminate mistakes and execute if they want to have a chance. The MAC has good coaches and good players in it. Canfield is one of those teams."Note: Canfield beat Howland last season, 21-7, on the 10th date. It prevented Howland from having a winning season and helped Canfield finish seventh in the region to make the playoffs. However, from that team, the Cards only have two starters back on defense and three on offense.

Where: Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Massillon.When: 8 p.m.The rankings: Massillon is fifth in Division I of the Associated Press poll and fifth in Region 2 of the computer ratings.Last year: Massillon won 21-9.Austintown Fitch (1-3) scouting report: The Falcons begin a rugged three-game stretch in the upcoming weeks against Massillon on Friday, followed by games against Warren Harding and Ursuline. Last week, Fitch couldn't hold a 7-0 lead against Madison and lost 13-7. Hurting the Falcons were two turnovers that led Madison to both touchdowns. Senior quarterback Steve Burnich threw for 179 yards, including 83 to sophomore Miles Williams, who scored the team's only touchdown. Burnich has completed 26 of 59 passes for 383 yards and two TDs, with three INTs. Senior Ray Betts leads running backs with 357 yards and three TDs, while Williams (10 catches, 172 yards, two TDs) and senior Ross Watson (10 catches, 153 yards) are the top receivers. Junior linebacker Robert Hill is the leading tackler (47), and senior defensive lineman Travis Beckett has been a force in the middle. Of Fitch's three losses, two have been by a combined 12 points.The coach says: On the team's start, "It's a lack of execution. We're still making mistakes, and I have to take the blame for that. We're in the second year of the system, and the mistakes should be gone." On Massillon, "Each week they've decided on an approach. One of the weeks they're running the ball and killing the team with play-action, another week they're strictly dropping back and running less. We have to be ready for all of it." -- Carl Pelini.Massillon (3-1) scouting report: The Tigers are coming off their first loss of the season, 40-26 to No. 1 Cleveland St. Ignatius. Massillon has defeated Westerville South (41-7), Mount Lebanon, Pa. (54-20) and Akron Garfield (59-0). Gaining most of the attention this season in Massillon has been senior quarterback Justin Zwick, who has committed to play for coach Jim Tressel at Ohio State. Zwick has completed 57-of-104 passes (55 percent) for 930 yards and 13 touchdowns, with five INTs. He threw three INTs against St. Ignatius. Zwick's favorite targets are juniors Devon Jordan (22 catches, 449 yards, six TDs) and Stephon Ashcraft (seven catches, 123 yards, three TDs). The Tigers' top running backs are senior Robert Oliver (51 carries, 341 yards, four TDs) and junior Ricky Johnson (18 carries, 172 yards, one TD). Junior inside linebacker Tony Graves leads the team in tackles with 27; senior safety Justin Princehorn has 26. Junior lineman Keith Wade has three sacks, and junior outside linebacker Shawn Crable and junior cornerback Jamaal Ballard each have two INTs. Sophomore kick returner Michael White was injured against St. Ignatius and won't play against Fitch.The coach says: On the loss to St. Ignatius, "Our kids weren't ready to play in a big-game situation like that. No matter how far we think the program has come, we have to play better in big games. It's a matter of playing with confidence. I felt our kids played hard; they just made mental mistakes." On Fitch, "They look physical defensively up front. They have good, solid, tough kids. I see good athletes on the field." -- Rick Shepas.

Where: Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, Massillon.When: 8 p.m.The rankings: Massillon is fifth in Division I of the Associated Press poll and fifth in Region 2 of the computer ratings.Last year: Massillon won 21-9.Austintown Fitch (1-3) scouting report: The Falcons begin a rugged three-game stretch in the upcoming weeks against Massillon on Friday, followed by games against Warren Harding and Ursuline. Last week, Fitch couldn't hold a 7-0 lead against Madison and lost 13-7. Hurting the Falcons were two turnovers that led Madison to both touchdowns. Senior quarterback Steve Burnich threw for 179 yards, including 83 to sophomore Miles Williams, who scored the team's only touchdown. Burnich has completed 26 of 59 passes for 383 yards and two TDs, with three INTs. Senior Ray Betts leads running backs with 357 yards and three TDs, while Williams (10 catches, 172 yards, two TDs) and senior Ross Watson (10 catches, 153 yards) are the top receivers. Junior linebacker Robert Hill is the leading tackler (47), and senior defensive lineman Travis Beckett has been a force in the middle. Of Fitch's three losses, two have been by a combined 12 points.The coach says: On the team's start, "It's a lack of execution. We're still making mistakes, and I have to take the blame for that. We're in the second year of the system, and the mistakes should be gone." On Massillon, "Each week they've decided on an approach. One of the weeks they're running the ball and killing the team with play-action, another week they're strictly dropping back and running less. We have to be ready for all of it." -- Carl Pelini.Massillon (3-1) scouting report: The Tigers are coming off their first loss of the season, 40-26 to No. 1 Cleveland St. Ignatius. Massillon has defeated Westerville South (41-7), Mount Lebanon, Pa. (54-20) and Akron Garfield (59-0). Gaining most of the attention this season in Massillon has been senior quarterback Justin Zwick, who has committed to play for coach Jim Tressel at Ohio State. Zwick has completed 57-of-104 passes (55 percent) for 930 yards and 13 touchdowns, with five INTs. He threw three INTs against St. Ignatius. Zwick's favorite targets are juniors Devon Jordan (22 catches, 449 yards, six TDs) and Stephon Ashcraft (seven catches, 123 yards, three TDs). The Tigers' top running backs are senior Robert Oliver (51 carries, 341 yards, four TDs) and junior Ricky Johnson (18 carries, 172 yards, one TD). Junior inside linebacker Tony Graves leads the team in tackles with 27; senior safety Justin Princehorn has 26. Junior lineman Keith Wade has three sacks, and junior outside linebacker Shawn Crable and junior cornerback Jamaal Ballard each have two INTs. Sophomore kick returner Michael White was injured against St. Ignatius and won't play against Fitch.The coach says: On the loss to St. Ignatius, "Our kids weren't ready to play in a big-game situation like that. No matter how far we think the program has come, we have to play better in big games. It's a matter of playing with confidence. I felt our kids played hard; they just made mental mistakes." On Fitch, "They look physical defensively up front. They have good, solid, tough kids. I see good athletes on the field." -- Rick Shepas.




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