Lisbon Football Preview

Following an impressive 37-14 Spaghetti Bowl victory over Leetonia to begin the 2012 season, the Blue Devils lost eight of their last nine including each of their final five contests.

Slowly but surely, Coach Jim Tsilimos has begun to change the culture at David Anderson High School. The offense is improving and he returns four players who were recognized at the All-ITCL post-season banquet. Second-teamers Brandon Barnes and Jacob Jarome both return, as well as, honorable mention honorees Jagr Groubert and Jordan Everett.

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War Memorial Stadium will be buzzing for the annual opening day game on Thursday, August 29 against Leetonia.

2013 Lisbon Blue Devils’ Football Preview
by Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Jim Tsilimos, 21st season (113-96)
2012 Record: 2-8 (1-6), ITCL Upper Tier
2012 Post-Season Finish: Did Not Qualify
Offense: Wing-T/Stack I
Defense: 4-3

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 21.4 (42nd in Area)
Passing Yards: 39.7 (397)
Rushing Yards: 257.3 (2573)
Points Allowed: 34.1 (55th in Area)

Returning Leaders
Passing: Josh Liberati – 333 yds, 43.4 Comp % (33-76), 2 TDs
Rushing: Brandon Barnes – 201 att, 1192 yds, 15 TDs
Receiving: Jagr Groubert – 14 rec, 146 yds, 1 TD
Tackles: Jagr Groubert – 46
QB Sacks: Zak Smith – 2.0
Interceptions: Jagr Groubert – 2

2013 Schedule
Aug. 29 – Leetonia, 7:30 PM
Sept. 6 – Mineral Ridge, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – at Wellsville, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – at East Palestine, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – Crestview, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – at Columbiana, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – United, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – at Springfield, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – Southern, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – at South Range, 7 PM

Offensive Strength: It was only two seasons ago that sophomore running back Brandon Barnes received 3 carries (16 yards) for the entire season. Last fall, he was one of two workhorses (Zak Leko) to gain over 1,000 stripes. Brandon ran for 1192 yards on 201 carries and scored 15 touchdowns. In 2013, Barnes will look to improve on those numbers as he will have Jacob Jarome (Second-Team All-ITCL) and Jordan Everett (Honorable Mention) to run behind.

Offensive Weakness: The production that Zak Leko gave the Blue Devils last season is immeasurable. Leko picked up 1,008 yards rushing (7 TDs) compared to 292 stripes, the prior season. Lisbon will have to find a solution to replace his production in 2013.

Defensive Strength: The secondary appears to be one of Lisbon’s strengths. Seniors Brandon Barnes, Zack Allen, Brandon Haldiman and Jagr Groubert return to a defensive backfield which saw the quartet of teammates combine for 124 tackles and 3 interceptions.

Defensive Weakness: In eight of the Blue Devils’ final nine contests, the Devil defense gave up 27 points or more. Over the course of the last six years, Lisbon has allowed 28 points or more in each of those campaigns.

Storylines Facing the Blue Devils
1. Ball Hawking Defense? Lisbon will look to give themselves more opportunities to possess the football through their defensive play. Last year, the Blue Devils were able to force 10 turnovers (7 fumbles/3 interceptions) and take down the opposing quarterback eight times.

2. Secondary Passing Game Improved. In 2012, freshman Josh Liberati took most of the snaps under center. He completed 33 of 76 passes for 333 yards and 2 scores. This season, the Blue Devil passing game will return virtually every player who caught a pass last year. Thirty-three of the thirty-five receptions were caught by a player who is returning.

3. Offensive Figures Increasing. Only to think that within a four-year stretch (2007-2010), Lisbon scored only 292 points (7.3 ppg). Last year, they almost got to that point total in one season by posting 214 (21.4 ppg) points. The increasing scoring totals is a number which is something to watch this fall.

Did you know? In 1999, Andy Adams set a school record of 1,627 rushing yards in a single season. Last year, Brandon Barnes ran for 1,192 yards as a junior.

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