New Castle football preview

On September 7, New Castle registered a historic win over Riverside. Their 48-14 victory was the 700th in school history. The Hurricanes joined Mount Carmel, Berwick, and Easton as the only four to achieve such a mark in the state of Pennsylvania.

Since a rough four-year stretch (2003-06) which saw the ‘Canes win just eleven contests, New Castle has posted a winning season in five of their last six campaigns. However, last season was not one of them. In their four wins, the ‘Cane offense scorched the scoreboard for an average of 49.3 points. In their five losses, New Castle was only able to muster 8.6 points.

The Hurricanes return a plethora of talented players including quarterback Julian Cox and playmaker Malik Hooker. Lawrence County’s largest school will take part in the National Select 7-on-7 Championship in Hoover, Alabama in late July (24-26).

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Coach Cowart’s bunch begins play at Central Valley on Friday, August 30.

2013 New Castle Red Hurricanes’ Football Preview
by Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Joe Cowart, 2nd season (4-5)
2012 Record: 4-5 (3-5), WPIAL Parkway Conference (AAA)
2012 Post-Season Finish: Did Not Qualify

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 26.7 (23rd in Area)
Points Allowed: 24.3 (35th in Area)

Returning Leaders
Passing: Julian Cox – 627 yards, 42.1 Comp%, 9 TDs
Rushing: Julian Cox – 64 att, 488 yards, 8 TDs
Receiving: Malik Hooker – 13 rec, 333 yards

2013 Schedule
Aug. 30 – at Central Valley. 7:30 PM
Sept. 6 – Riverside, 7:30 PM
Sept. 13 – at Ambridge, 7:30 PM
Sept. 20 – at Montour, 7:30 PM
Sept. 27 – Chartiers Valley, 7:30 PM
Oct. 4 – at Blackhawk, 7:30 PM
Oct. 11 – West Allegheny, 7:30 PM
Oct. 18 – at Moon, 7:30 PM
Oct. 25 – Hopewell, 7:30 PM

Offensive Strength: If there’s one thing one can’t say about the Hurricanes is that they struggle to score points throughout a season. New Castle has averaged over 24 points per game in each of the last six years.

Offensive Weakness: Who will take over the production that Jalen Holmes gave the offense over the past couple of seasons? Holmes rushed for 925 yards (7.0 ypc) and scored a total of 8 touchdowns last fall.

Defensive Strength: The Hurricanes have a lot of experience across the board returning.

Defensive Weakness: The defense has allowed more points in each of the last four seasons (2009: 17.6; 2010: 18.9; 2011: 23.8; 2012: 24.3).

Storylines Facing the Hurricanes
1. Win in the Conference. New Castle has struggled over the last decade to post a winning record within their conference. Over the past ten years, the ‘Canes have only been able to register winning marks three times.

2. Big Play Malik. Number 23 is all over the field. Hooker took part in Pitt head coach Paul Chryst’s passing camp this summer. The 6’2 athlete had received interest from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and Michigan before deciding on Ohio State this past month.

3. Skill Players Galore. One of the Hurricanes assets is at the skill position. They return seniors Drew Allen, Stew Allen, Tevin McCaster, and Jake McPhatter along with Hooker. Junior Ryan Fitzpatrick returned a kickoff versus Chartiers Valley 92-yards for a touchdown.

Did you know? In 1970, the ‘Canes featured five First-Team All-State players (Sam Campoli, Chuck Fiorante, Monk Laurenza, Donald Lewis, Reynold Stoner).

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