On October 26, Harding knocked off the home standing Titans in Lorain, 25-13, to clinch the Lake Erie (Lake Division) League Championship with a perfect 7-0 record. The victory also was the Raiders’ ninth win in a row since their season opening loss to Fitch (24-10).
Steve Arnold put the Raiders back on the map in his first season as the team’s head coach. The increase in production was evident on both sides of the ball. The offense improved from a unit which only was able to manage 167.6 yards of total offense in 2011 to 298.9 yards in 2012. The defense forced 21 turnovers last fall (9 fumble recoveries/12 interceptions) compared to 16 the year prior (11 fumble recoveries/5 interceptions).
Harding will begin the 2013 season with three home games in a row against Fitch, Howland, and Massillon.
2013 Warren Harding Raiders’ Football Preview
By Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Steve Arnold. 2nd season (9-2)
2012 Record: 9-2 (7-0), Lake Erie League
2012 Post-Season Finish: Lost in Division I Regional Quarterfinal to Mentor, 45-35
2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 29.7 (17th in Area)
Passing Yards: 99.3 (1192)
Rushing Yards: 199.6 (2395)
Points Allowed: 16.5 (11th in Area)
Passing Yards Allowed: 96.3 (1155)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 133.1 (1597)
Passing: Lamar Carmichael – 986 yds, 60.3 Comp % (79-131), 8 TDs
Rushing: Jon Coleman – 92 att, 411 yds, 12 TDs
Receiving: Jon Coleman – 23 rec, 150 yds
Interceptions: Deandre Merchant – 1
Aug. 30 – Fitch, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – Howland, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – Massillon, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – at Maple Heights, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – Warrensville Heights, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – at Shaw, 7 PM
Oct. 11 –Euclid, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – at Cleveland Heights, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – at Bedford, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – Lorain, 7 PM
Offensive Strength: Harding’s senior quarterback Lamar Carmichael is back following a solid junior campaign. Last fall, Carmichael connected on 60.3% of his passes (79-131) for 986 yards and 8 touchdowns. Maybe the most intriguing stat is that he did not throw a single interception.
Offensive Weakness: Game breakers are gone. LeShun Daniels and Jalyn Powell have both since graduated. Daniels topped the 1,600 yard mark (1604) last season (16 TDs). Powell finished the year with a 16.0 yard per catch average on 22 receptions.
Defensive Strength: On the defensive side of the ball, the collegiate scouts have been out in full force getting a glimpse at some of the best defenders in the area. Along the defensive line, Javon Provitt (6’1, 310-lb) has received significant interest from Ohio State, Arkansas and Georgia Tech while James Daniels (6’4, 270-lb) and Hjalte Froholdt (6’4, 240-lb) have received offers from Big Ten schools among others. Daniels has been offered from Iowa, Michigan State and Penn State. Froholdt has been inquired about by Arkansas, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech and Illinois.
Defensive Weakness: The secondary took a major blow when the Raiders graduated Jalyn Powell, Jimmy Rumple, Osha Jackson, and Aaron Qualls. However, the defensive backfield will not be short on talent. Safeties Hasan Muhammed (Temple, Akron, Kent State), Lamar Carmichael (Pittsburgh, Temple) and D.D. Morgan (Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh) have all received interest from Division I schools.
Storylines Facing the Raiders
1. Passing of the Torch. LeShun Daniels (Iowa) and Jalyn Powell (Michigan State) were two of the best athletes in the entire state. They have both since graduated and moved onto Big Ten programs. Seniors Jon Coleman and Marcus Boomer will both be asked to increase their production in 2013. Coleman ran for 411 yards on 92 carries while scoring 12 touchdowns. Coleman also finished second on the team with 13 catches. Boomer stands 6’1 and has the capability of being a top notch receiver in 2013. Marcus made 10 receptions for 131 yards.
2. Punting & Turnovers Decreased. In 2011, the Raiders punted the football 52 times. Last year, they only sent out the 4th-down kicking unit 30 times. Harding fumbled the ball away 21 times while tossing 9 interceptions in 2011. Just last year, they reduced that amount to 8.
3. Tough Road Faced the Raiders.Warren Harding proved that they could hold their own against any opponent who stood in their way. Over the course of the last six weeks of their 2012 season, the Raiders faced just one school (Lorain) who finished with a sub-500 record.
Did you know? LeShun Daniels and Jalyn Powell were both recognized on the All-Ohio First-Team. This was the first time that a Raider had received the honor since Dan Herron in 2006.