In 2011, Western Reserve was on the verge of playing in the school’s first state championship game before being turned away by Buckeye Central, 22-21. The beginning of the 2012 campaign started off slow. The Blue Devils failed to register a victory in each of their first two contests against Cuyahoga Heights (31-21) and Malvern (20-3). However, Coach Andy Hake’s group went on a nine-game win streak which gave the Blue Devils their second straight Lower Tier crown and a 19-18 playoff win over Shadyside.
Since merging into the ITCL in 2006, Western Reserve has compiled a 42-7 Lower Tier mark. That’s the best record in the tier during that stretch (McDonald is 40-9). Berlin Center’s team has won 15 consecutive league games and has made 5 trips to the post-season in a row.
Western Reserve will welcome Cuyahoga Heights to town in their season opener on Friday, August 30.
2013 Western Reserve Blue Devils’ Football Preview
by Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Andy Hake, 5th season (40-8)
2012 Record: 9-3 (7-0), ITCL Lower Tier
2012 Post-Season Finish: Lost in Division VI Regional Semifinal to Mogadore, 28-7.
Offense: Spread/Multiple I
2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 25.2 (31st in Area)
Points Allowed: 15.9 (9th in Area)
Passing: Nick Allison – 1401 yards, 54.9 Comp. %, 15 TDs
Aug. 30 – Cuyahoga Heights, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – at Malvern, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – at Harrison Central, 7:30 PM
Sept. 20 – Jackson-Milton
Sept. 27 – at McDonald, 7 PM
Oct.4 – at Leetonia, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – Lowellville, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – at Sebring, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – at Mineral Ridge, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – Wellsville, 7 PM
Offensive Strength: From Shane Ewing to Jeff Clegg to now Nick Allison, Coach Hake has made it a priority to develop a quarterback into being the leader of his team. A year ago, Allison stepped in for the graduated Clegg and threw for 1,401 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Offensive Weakness: The offensive line was hit hard by graduation. Bryan Deal, Adam Badgett and Micah Marra will leave a huge hole across the front line. The team is hoping that Matt Mace, Hunter Powell and Sam Steininger can take last season’s success to the next level.
Defensive Strength: Since the Hake-era began in 2009, Western Reserve’s defense has finished in the top 10 among area teams in each season in points allowed. They’ve permitted an average of 12.4 points during the last 48 games.
Defensive Weakness: The defensive backfield lost Parker Warren, Tim Cooper and Coleman Smith from last year’s team. Could be an area of concern for the Blue Devils.
Storylines Facing the Blue Devils
1. Road Warriors. Western Reserve has won fourteen of their last fifteen games away from Berlin Center.
2. Third Straight League Title? Reserve is in search of their third straight Lower Tier championship. Another title this season would tie them with McDonald for the most ITCL Lower Tier championships with 4.
3. Allison’s Weapons. Nick Allison will have a nice array of skill players to get the ball to this fall. Dan Rosati and Jon Timko were both 2nd-Team All-ITCL selections a year ago while Dan Zilke was a 1st-Teamer.
Did you know? Western Reserve is one of only three local schools to have compiled 9 wins or more in each of the last four years (Western Reserve, Sharpsville, Crestview).