East Liverpool football preview

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After a disappointing 1-6 start to the season, the Potters finished strong by winning their last three contests to end up at 4-6. The final three weeks was a microcosm of the level of commitment that the East Liverpool players displayed throughout the season. In week eight, Oak Glen was turned away, 33-13. The following week, East Liverpool got the better of Cleveland East Tech, 42-6. Finally in the season finale, the Blue and White was victorious over Weirton, 41-12.

Rick Prescott enjoyed the most success last year as has had in his two seasons at the helm of Potter football. This season, he must replace running back Stefan Yoho and quarterback Payton Newlun. With the returning players, this could be a special season along the Ohio River.

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The Potters begin the season with a road trip to Carrollton on Friday, August 30 before returning home for four straight contests against Indian Creek, Salem, Cambridge, and John Marshall.

2013 East Liverpool Potters’ Football Preview
By Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Rick Prescott, 3rd season (5-15)
2012 Record: 4-6, Independent
2012 Post-Season Finish: Did Not Qualify

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 26.1 (25th in Area)
Points Allowed: 26.4 (43rd in Area)

2013 Schedule
Aug. 30 – at Carrollton, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – Indian Creek, 7:30 PM
Sept. 13 – Salem, 7:30 PM
Sept. 20 – Cambridge, 7:30 PM
Sept. 27 – John Marshall (WV), 7:30 PM
Oct. 4 – at Wheeling Park (WV), 7 PM
Oct. 11 – Warren, 7:30 PM
Oct. 18 – at Oak Glen (WV), 7 PM
Oct. 25 – at Beaver Local, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – at Weirton, 7:30 PM

Offensive Strength: Junior quarterback Kade Reynolds seems to be in line to become the full-time starting quarterback of the Pottes. He split time a year ago with Payton Newlun. He will have a bevy of talented skill players to utilize in the likes of Zack English and D.J. Austin.

Offensive Weakness: With the loss of only one senior (Jimmy Beaver) along the offensive line, the front five should be better after having a year of experience. Still, it is a youthful group who may see growing pains as the season approaches.

Defensive Strength: Senior John Miscuk was a part of a defense which improved from the previous year. In 2011, the Potters allowed 31.1 points per game which saw five of their last seven opponents score 40 points or more. Last year, the defense only permitted two teams all year (Bellaire & Hubbard) to score over 35.

Defensive Weakness: Defense on the road. A year ago, the Blue and White defense was very stingy at home allowing just an average of 12.8 points. However, on the road, the defense was overmatched as they let the opposition to post a 40 point average.

Storylines Facing the Potters
1. Where’s the Offense? East Liverpool has had issues scoring over the past decade. Only twice in the last ten years has East Liverpool averaged over 20 points per season. During their playoff season of 2010, Marky Thompkins and Willie Leavell led the Potters to a 20.5 average. Just last season, they were able to post 26.1 points. That was the most points the Blue and White managed since 2000 (26.2 ppg).

2. Can they Continue the Success? The question is can East Liverpool continue the success they had late in the season? They will be put to the test early as they face Carrollton (7-3), Indian Creek (9-2), and Cambridge (6-4) within the first four weeks of the season. Those teams combined for a record of 22-9.

3. Development of Prescott. Rick Prescott was an All-Ohio lineman for Beaver Local in 1999. He was a part of the Beavers first playoff team. He learned from Rich Wright (then Beaver Local coach). Prescott went onto play on some of Mount Union’s successful football teams as their center. He learned from Larry Kehres (former Mount Union coach). In 2010, Prescott was named onto Mark Asher’s staff as the Potters’ offensive line coach. Coach Prescott’s program has gotten remarkably stronger since when he first took over.

Did you know? East Liverpool alum Less Browne intercepted an all professional football league record of 87 during his time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1984-88), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1989-91), Ottawa Rough Riders (1992) and British Columbia Lions (1993-94) of the Canadian Football League. Less was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

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