Campbell football preview

During his first three seasons as the head football coach at Campbell, Mickey Sikora has accomplished a feat which has not occurred in forty years at the school. Sikora has finished with a winning record in each of those seasons. Not since Tony Cougras’ 1969 to 1971 teams has this happened at Campbell. The Red Devils have won 23 games in three seasons. Prior to Sikora’s arrival, it took six and a half years for the Red Devils to reach that figure.

Campbell closed out the 2012 season with three wins in their final four games. Last year, the Devils found themselves involved in five games which were decided by 7 points or less (3-2). Campbell held their home turf by winning four of five at John Knapick Stadium last fall.

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The Red Devils will welcome rival-Struthers on Thursday, August 29 for the season opener.

2013 Campbell Red Devils’ Football Preview
By Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Mickey Sikora, 4th season (23-15)
2012 Record: 6-4 (5-2), All-American Conference – National Division
2012 Post-Season Finish: Did Not Qualify

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 25.9 (27th in Area)
Passing Yards: 156.3 (1563)
Rushing Yards: 149.2 (1492)
Points Allowed: 23.4 (31st in Area)
Passing Yards Allowed: 93.3 (933)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 124.7 (1247)

2013 Schedule
Aug. 29 – Struthers, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – at South Range, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – Brookfield, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – Jefferson, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – at LaBrae, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – at Liberty, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – Champion, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – Lakeview, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – at Newton Falls, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – at Girard, 7 PM

Offensive Strength: D.J. Harrison is an explosive athlete who catches the ball well and also has the ability to be a game breaker in the open field. Last year, Harrison returned 14 kickoffs for an average of 17 yards. D.J. also served as the team’s punt returner as he amassed 61 yards on 7 returns.

Offensive Weakness: Campbell’s two-year signal caller Brandon Reyes has graduated after compiling 2,831 yards passing and 25 touchdowns over the last two seasons. Reyes leaves a hole at the quarterback spot.

Defensive Strength: In each of the last two seasons, Campbell’s defense has led their respective division of the All-American Conference in total defense (2012: 218.0; 2011: 214.1). Linebackers Adrien Brown and Jayle’ll Shorter return, as well as Zach Rusnak up front.

Defensive Weakness: To lose linemen David Horvath and Shaquon McWilson is not the way you’d want to enter camp.

Storylines Facing the Red Devils
1. Cut Down Turnovers. After a 2010 season which saw the Red Devils force 25 turnovers and only give up the ball 17 times, it’s been a struggle to find the handle. In 2011, Campbell was +1 in the turnover margin (22 takeaways/21 turnovers) but last year they found themselves -2 (26 turnovers/24 takeaways).

2. First or Second. In each of the last four years, Campbell has finished first or second in league play. The Red Devils have compiled a 16-4 mark during that time in the All-American Conference.

3. Tough Six Year Stretch. The Devil defense has been one of the main reasons for the team’s success as of late. In three of the last four years, Campbell has allowed less than 21 points per game. It wasn’t that long ago that the defensive unit was not on that same level. Between 2004-2008, Campbell permitted 1,911 points which was an average of 31.9 points.

Did you know? In 1999, Campbell completed their sixth undefeated regular season. The team was led by Walt Wright, who ran for 1,780 yards and scored 18 touchdowns via the ground game. Wright also finished with 8 quarterback sacks and 2 interceptions.

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