Crestview football preview

In 2012, Crestview accomplished many feats. The Rebels completed their third straight undefeated conference season at 7-0. Now, Crestview has won 22 league games in a row and more ITCL championships (5) than any other team in the Upper Tier or Lower Tier. Their offense finished 3rd in the state (behind Clinton-Massie and Thurgood Marshall, 54.8) in scoring with an average of 52.3. The Rebels closed out the regular season with the #5 ranking in Division V in Ohio. However, their season came to an end, just like it did the previous year, at the hands of Kirtland. The Hornets ran the ball at will to gain 337 yards on 52 carries en route to their 28-14 victory in the Regional Semifinal.

The Rebels are in search of the ninth playoff appearance in the past ten years. Coach Paul Cusick graduated seven All-ITCL members including the likes of running back Nick Blower (school’s all-time leading rusher); as well as, linebackers Kaleb Baker (106 tackles), Matt Hardenbrook (4 INTs), and Dimitri Gregory (102 tackles). Crestview returns senior quarterback Collin Gilbert (1006 passing yards, 1096 rushing yards) and linemen Robert Logan and Josh McDade.

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Crestview has added West Branch and Liberty onto their non-conference slate.

2013 Crestview Rebels’ Football Preview
By Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Paul Cusick, 15th season (113-44) at Crestview
2012 Record: 11-1 (7-0), ITCL Upper Tier
2012 Post-Season Finish: Lost Division V Regional Semifinal to Kirtland, 28-14, on November 10.
Returning Starters – Offense: 6, Defense: 4
Offense: Spread
Defense: 4-4

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 52.3 (1st in Area)
Passing Yards: 89.5 (1074)
Rushing Yards: 373.9 (4487)
Points Allowed: 16.0 (10th in Area)

Returning Leaders
Passing: Collin Gilbert – 1006 yds, 53.8 Comp % (56-104), 13 TDs
Rushing: Collin Gilbert – 123 att, 1096 yds, 18 TDs
Receiving: Spencer DeSalvo – 4 rec, 44 yds
Tackles: Robert Logan – 60
QB Sacks: Robert Logan – 4.0
Interceptions: Jake Ferris – 2

2013 Schedule
Aug. 30 – Beaver Local, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – at West Branch, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – Liberty, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – at South Range, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – at Lisbon, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – Southern, 7 PM
Oct. 11 –Springfield, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – at United, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – at Columbiana, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – East Palestine, 7 PM

Offensive Strength: The leadership and ability of quarterback Collin Gilbert will play a major role this season for the Crestview offense. Gilbert is one of only three Rebels to have ever thrown for over 1,000 yards (1,006) and run for over that same figure (1,096) in a single season (Carter Hill twice and Tony Britton).

Offensive Weakness: Losing the capability of Nick Blower (2041 yards, 11.3 ypc), Matt Hardenbrook (625 rushing yards, 9.8 ypc), Kris Simpson (17 catches, 247 yards) and Dimitri Gregory (415 receiving yards) is something which will be a concern for the Rebels early on.

Defensive Strength: Despite losing Kaleb Baker, Dimitri Gregory, Matt Hardenbrook (59 tackles), Dylan Douglass (47 tackles), and Evan Nentwick (7 sacks), the front eight has the ability to be pretty special. Robert Logan (60 tackles), Josh McDade (48 tackles) and John Davis (31 tackles) will lead the push at the line of scrimmage while Andrew Simmons (54 tackles), Cody MacKall (42 tackles), Jake Ferris (38 tackles) and Derek Kozlowski (33 tackles) should provide help from the linebacker position.

Defensive Weakness: The experience which the graduating seniors had was unmatched. However, Crestview seems to be able to reload year in and year out. Heck, they haven’t allowed their opponents to post a season average of 20 points per game in ten years (2003: 21.2).

Storylines Facing the Rebels
1. Don’t Expect a 2012 Offensive Season? Well maybe not to the level that Crestview was scoring a year ago but why should we not expect another offense which is difficult to handle for opposing defensive coordinators. Fact is the Rebels scored 50-points or more in nine straight games last fall including five contests of 63 or above. At year’s end, Crestview finished with the top spot among area teams in scoring (52.3 ppg) for the second time in eight years (2005: 37.9 ppg). Crestview’s offense has posted 31 points or better in each of the last five years.

2. Championship Caliber. Since 2000, Crestview has won nine conference championships (5 ITCL/4 TCL).

3. McGath’s 2012. Senior kicker Caleb McGath was voted to the First-Team All-ITCL. He only was 91.2% successful on 73 of 80 extra point attempts while connecting on 9 PAT’s in three separate weeks. McGath also drilled 3 of 4 field goals. He booted through two 37-yarders during the season.

Did you know? Only two other area teams have won more games than Crestview over the past five years. Crestview has been victorious 51 times while Ursuline and Wilmington have both posted 53 wins.

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