Hubbard football preview

Despite knocking off just two teams during the regular season who finished with a winning record (M.M. Robinson & Niles), the Eagles defeated Niles for the second time in the same year, 39-27, in the Red Dragons’ first home playoff game ever. The Eagles finished the season with an 8-4 mark and the 16th time in the last 17 years that a Hubbard team has 7 or more games.

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In their eight wins, the Eagles average 47 points per contest. However, in their four losses, the offense sputtered to an average of 15 points. The Eagles placed five players onto the All-AAC First-Team in 2012 which includes three returning starters (Matt Jones, Darnell Tate, L.J. Scott).

Hubbard will begin play this fall with a trip to Lakeview on Friday, August 30.

2013 Hubbard Eagles’ Football Preview
by Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Brian Hoffman, 6th season (49-19) at Hubbard
2012 Record: 8-4 (3-3), All-American Conference – American Division
2012 Post-Season Finish: Lost in Division III Regional Semifinal to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 54-14, on November 10.

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 38.9 (6th in Area)
Passing Yards: 128.5 (1285)
Rushing Yards: 261.9 (2619)
Points Allowed: 24.9 (38th in Area)
Passing Yards Allowed: 78.1 (781)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 186.4 (1864)

Returning Leaders
Passing: L.J. Scott – 10 yards, 100.0 Comp. % (1-1), TD
Rushing: L.J. Scott – 168 att, 1614 yards, 23 TDs
Receiving: Darnell Tate – 34 rec, 595 yards, 9 TDs
Tackles: Alex Mosora – 120
Sacks: Tyler Taafe – 5.0
Interceptions: Alex Mosora, Matt Jones, Isaiah Scott, Tyler Taafe – 2

2013 Schedule
Aug. 30 – at Lakeview, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – Girard, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – John Marshall, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – Howland, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – at Struthers, 7 PM
Oct 4 – Brookfield, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – Niles, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – Poland, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – Northwest, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – at Canfield, 7 PM

Offensive Strength: Junior running back L.J. Scott has run for over 100-yards in fifteen games so far during his young high school career. Scott has received offers from the likes of Kentucky, Michigan State, Tennessee and West Virginia. Considered to be one of the top junior rushers in all of the state, L.J. has gained 2,790 yards on 300 carries and has scored 36 touchdowns on the ground during his first two years on the varsity level.

Offensive Weakness: The loss of First-Team All-AAC quarterback Brandon Harb may slow down the offense a little early. Harb completed 58.1% of his 155 passes (90 completions) for 1,490 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Eagles have not had the same starter in back-to-back seasons since 2008-09 (Matt Shelton).

Defensive Strength: Linebacker should be a strength of Hubbard’s defense. Three of the Eagles’ top tacklers from a year ago play at linebacker. Alex Mosora led the team in tackles a year ago with 120 and forced fumbles (2). A pair of juniors, Isaiah Scott (85 tackles, 4 sacks) and Tyler Taafe (84 tackles, 5 sacks), will be back also.

Defensive Weakness: Over the course of the past four seasons, there has been an incline in the amount of points per game which the Hubbard defense has allowed. In 2008, the Eagles only allowed 12.4 points. Fast forward to last season, Hubbard permitted 24.9.

Storylines Facing the Eagles
1. Forcing Turnovers. Hubbard forced 25 turnovers (15 fumble recoveries/10 interceptions) in 2012. That number rose from the previous year when the Birds snagged 17.

2. Junior Jones Making a Statement. As one of only two sophomores (L.J. Scott) to be named to the All-AAC American Division First-Team, Matt Jones has caught the eye of college recruiters. The 6’4, 315-pound lineman has received interest from West Virginia, Tennessee and Toledo.

3. Transfer Wassil Adds Experience at QB. Senior Brennan Wassil increased his completion percentage from 49.6% (69-139) in 2011 to 67.6% (109-174) in 2012 at Kennedy Catholic. Now, the signal caller has transferred to Hubbard where he hopes to lead the Eagles to their 7th playoff appearance in the last 8 years. Wassil will have one of the best running backs in the area to hand the ball off to and a couple exceptional ball catchers including Division I talent, Darnell Tate.

4. Offensive Fire Power. Hubbard always seems as if they can score at will. That has been the case for the last decade or so. The Eagles have ranked in the top 12 among area teams in scoring in nine of the last twelve seasons.

Did you know? It’s been 14 years since Hubbard suffered through a losing season (1998: 4-6). During that stretch, the Eagles have won 121 games and a winning percentage of 78.1%.

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