Farrell football preview

Jarrett Samuels returned to the sidelines of Lou Falconi Field after one-year away from his post as the head football coach of Farrell High School. Samuels led the Steelers to three-straight PIAA Final Four berths between 2008-2010. Last fall, he guided Farrell to their sixth consecutive post-season appearance.

The Steelers’ speed proved to be too much once again for Mercyhurst Prep in the opening round. Dewayne Burns and Malik Graham both eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for Farrell. The Lakers were outgained 476-116 as they fell 38-7 for the third year in a row to the Steelers.

In his first five years as the leader of Farrell High School, Coach Samuels has almost doubled the win total (54) of some of the greatest coaches in the school’s history. William Gargano posted 32 in 1965-69 while the great Lou Falconi had registered 31 between 1980-1984.

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With 19 returning lettermen Coach Samuels likes what he has, “We have a strong senior class with experience. (We) think we have the ability to get back to where we were three years ago.” Farrell begins their quest for their seventh District 10 crown when they play arch rival Sharon in the Steel Bowl on Friday, August 30.

2013 Farrell Steelers’ Football Preview
by Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Jarrett Samuels, 6th season (54-14)
2012 Record: 6-5 (3-3), District 10 Region 1 (A)
2012 Post-Season Finish:Lost in District 10 Class A Semifinal to West Middlesex, 42-0.
Returning Starters: Offense – 7, Defense – 8
Offense: I-Formation
Defense: 4-4

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 17.5 (51st in Area)
Points Allowed: 20.1 (23rd in Area)

Returning Leaders
Rushing: Dewayne Burns – 111 att, 864 yards, 8 TDs
Receiving: Malik Graham – 12 rec, 150 yards, 2 TDs

2013 Schedule
Aug. 30 – at Sharon, 7 PM
Sept. 7 – at Kennedy Catholic, 12 PM
Sept. 13 – West Middlesex, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – Redbank Valley, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – at Sharpsville, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – Lakeview, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – Hickory, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – at Conneaut, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – Mercer, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – at Wilmington, 7 PM

Offensive Strength: The Steelers return a bevy of skill position players led by senior Dewayne Burns, who rushed for 864 yards in the regular season last fall. Burns has increased his yard per carry total each year (2009: 4.4, 2010: 5.1, 2011: 7.8). Number 1 has received interest from Temple, Akron, and Kent State this off season. Another skill player who has been looked at by major college football teams is 6’1 senior wide out Austin Pickens. Number 22 caught 4 balls, including 2 touchdowns, for 44 yards. Pickens has been courted by the Pitt Panthers, as well as, Akron and Temple

Offensive Weakness: The Steelers are searching for solid quarterback play this summer. Junior Rob Guledge enters camp as Joe Goudy’s (642 yards, 50.5 Comp %, 8 TDs) apparent replacement. However, senior Ray Johnson will be also vying for the position.

Defensive Strength: Farrell features one of the best defenders in the area in senior Tyrone Archie. The secondary should be stout once again.

Defensive Weakness: The front four saw a lot of youth last season. Despite their age, Coach Samuels is hoping that his line will be better prepared with a year under their belt.

Storylines Facing the Steelers
1. Winning Experience. Over the course of the past six years, the Steelers have competed in 21 playoff contests. Since returning to District 10 in 2006, Farrell has compiled a 37-16 (69.8%) mark in Region 1 and a 61-28 (68.5%) record overall.

2. Strength in Running. Besides what Dewayne Burns can do toting the football, the Steelers also return senior Malik Graham (202 yards, 6.3 ypc) and sophomore John Jackson (14 carries, 45 yards).

3. Issues with Scoring? Between 2008-2010, Farrell accumulated 1575 points (35 ppg). Over the last two years, the Steelers have scored just 429 points which tallies to a 19.5 point per game average.

4. Archie Mans the Front. Senior lineman Tyrone Archie has received interest from Pitt, Akron and Temple. The 6’2, 220-pounder has been a mainstay for Farrell over the past couple of years.

Did you know? The only school to be ranked in the top 3 in points allowed among area teams over the last ten years is Farrell, who accomplished the feat in 2007 (3rd – 10.2), 2008 (2nd – 8.4), 2009 (1st – 5.9), and 2010 (3rd – 10.0).

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