Mathews football preview

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In Mike Palumbo’s first-season at the helm of the Mustang football program, Mathews finished with a 1-9 record after dropping their final six contests. The Mustangs’ lone win came against Western Reserve Academy, 39-32, on September 14.

During Coach Palumbo’s first two seasons at Lowellville, the win total increased from 2 in 2008 to 5 in 2009. Among the last ten head coaches at Mathews, only two have been able to manage a winning season in their first year (Dave Harries, 6-4 in 2010 and Pete Simpson, 6-3 in 1997).

The Red and Black attack will attempt to end their nine-game losing skid to Northeastern Athletic Conference schools on October 4 when they pay a visit to Ledgemont.

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The season gets underway at Newbury on Friday, August 30.

2013 Mathews Mustangs’ Football Preview
by Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Mike Palumbo, 5th season (18-32)
2012 Record: 1-9 (0-4), Northeastern Athletic Conference
2012 Post-Season Finish: Did Not Qualify

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 14.8 (57th in Area)
Passing Yards: 40.3 (403)
Rushing Yards: 275.5 (2755)
Points Allowed: 40.3 (59th in Area)

Returning Leaders
Passing: Alex Bagaglia – 366 yds, 38.1 Comp % (24-63), 2 TDs
Rushing: Austin Arnal – 158 att, 1002 yds, 8 TDs
Receiving: Wyatt Ford – 26 rec, 264 yds, 3 TDs
Tackles: Wyatt Ford – 104
QB Sacks: Angelo Freed – 10.0
Interceptions: Justin Marshal, Noah Scheves & Wyatt Ford – 1

2013 Schedule
Aug. 30 – at Newbury, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – East Palestine, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – Leetonia, 7 PM
Sept. 21 – at Western Reserve Academy, 2 PM
Sept. 27 – Lucas, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – at Ledgemont, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – at Pymatuning Valley, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – Southington, 7 PM
Oct. 25 –Grand Valley, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – at Windham, 7 PM

Offensive Strength: With Austin Arnal and Evan Glancy both back for their senior seasons, the running game will be the key for their offense to succeed. Arnal tallied 1,002 yards rushing (6.3 ypc) a year ago and Glancy was able to accumulate 645 stripes (6.7 ypc).

Offensive Weakness: In 2007, Mathews led the entire area with a scoring average of 40.3 points per contest. In three of the last four years, they have not compiled an average of 18 points per season. In 2009, Mathews finished with a 6.1 average. Two years later, they increased the total to 17.6. Last fall, the Mustangs fell again to 14.8.

Defensive Strength: The secondary appears to be a strong suit for the Mustangs. Leading tackler Wyatt Ford returns after stopping 104 ball carriers. Underclassmen Justin Marshall (junior) and Noah Scheves (sophomore) both will be back in uniform this fall.

Defensive Weakness: Last season, Mathews allowed 40.3 points to their opposition. That’s a number that the coaching staff will try and bring down in the coming season.

Storylines Facing the Mustangs
1. Breaking the Trend. Since 1985, Mathews has only had 7 winning seasons in conference play (Grand River Conference: 1988; Inter-County League: 1995, 1996; East Suburban Conference: 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008).

2. Total Offense. The Mustangs averaged just 40.3 yards per game through the air but they sure made up for it via the ground game. Mathews gained 2,755 rushing yards last season.

3. Freed Plays Key Role on Defense.Senior linebacker Angelo Freed will play a key role in turning around a defense which has allowed 708 points over the past two seasons. Freed had 10 sacks in 2012.

Did you know? Mathews has won four conference championships since they began the football program in 1968. Most recently, the Mustangs have been crowned the champion of the East Suburban Conference in 2004, 2007, and 2008. In 1988, Mathews won a share of the Grand River Conference.

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