Since beginning 2012 with a 1-2 mark, Lakeview was able to finish the season with five wins in their last seven contests. The Bulldogs competed in seven games which were decided by seven points or less. Their three losses came against Howland (22-18), Jefferson (24-21) and Liberty (20-14) all were by six points or less.
In 2013, the Bulldogs hope to put the thought of those close losses behind them. Tom Pavlansky is beginning his 15th season in Cortland as the head coach. He must replace First-Team All-AAC members Elijah Henderson, Trevor Watson and Drew Bell.
“We have a nice balance of experience on both sides of the ball,” says Coach Pavlansky. “Our biggest concern is the lack of depth, so it is imperative that we stay healthy. We play a very competitive schedule that will require a great effort each week to have an opportunity for success.”
Lakeview opens the season at home against Hubbard on Friday, August 30.
2013 Lakeview Bulldogs’ Football Preview
By Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Tom Pavlansky, 15th season (89-59)
2012 Record: 6-4 (5-2), All-American Conference – National Division
2012 Post-Season Finish: Did Not Qualify
Returning Starters: Offense – 5, Defense – 6
2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 23.0 (37th in Area)
Passing Yards: 104.9 (1049)
Rushing Yards: 186.2 (1862)
Points Allowed: 18.1 (14th in Area)
Passing Yards Allowed: 125.6 (1256)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 153.8 (1538)
Rushing: Michael Mannella – 120 att, 528 yards, 4 TDs
Receiving: Jake Pishotti – 23 rec, 532 yards, 5 TDs
Tackles: Justin Journey – 93
QB Sacks: Justin Journey – 8.0
Interceptions: Chris Romano, Isaac Daffron, Jake Pishotti, & Angelo Marino – 1
Aug. 30 – Hubbard, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – at Struthers, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – at Howland, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – at Champion, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – Girard, 7 PM
Oct 4 – LaBrae, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – at Jefferson, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – at Campbell, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – Liberty, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – Newton Falls, 7 PM
Offensive Strength: Senior wide receiver Jake Pishotti has been one of the most consistent receivers in the area for the past two years. Pishotti caught 24 passes for 508 yards (21.2) and 5 scores as a sophomore in 2011. As a junior, he hauled in 23 passes for 532 stripes (23.1) and 5 touchdowns again.
Offensive Weakness: The line took a hit with the graduation of Trevor Watson and Zac Sicilian. However, the Bulldogs return first-team all-league performer Jordan Lowther.
Defensive Strength: Last fall, the Bulldogs’ defense was able to drop their opponents’ rushing totals from 205.9 (2011) to 153.8 (2012). Lakeview also reduced the average amount of points from 25.7 to 18.1, as well.
Defensive Weakness: Graduated senior Elijah Henderson was a factor on every aspect of the game. He was the team’s leading punter (32.3 average) and a defensive back who intercepted 9 passes over the last three years. However, another concern is at linebacker and up front where the Bulldogs lack. experience.
Storylines Facing the Bulldogs
1. Ten Seasons of Success. It’s been eleven years since Lakeview last fielded a team which ended the season with a losing mark. In 2002, the Bulldogs dropped two of their last three to end up at 4-6. Since that time, Lakeview has won 70 contests, claimed 2 league titles (2007, 2010) and made 3 appearances in week eleven.
2. Grind it out, Mannella. Junior running back Michael Mannella gained 528 yards on 120 carries (4.4) last year as a sophomore. The year prior, Mannella ran for 481 yards and 9 scores while averaging 6.3 stripes per carry.
3. Scoring Punch. Lakeview’s offense has averaged 23 points or more in each of the last six seasons. During that time, the Bulldogs have featured three quarterbacks (Erich Schmitt, Anthony Franco, Justin Clark), two 1,000-yard rushers (Ben Moody, Te Elias), and two wideouts to catch at least 7 touchdowns in one season (Elijah Henderson, Toma Leveto).
Did you know? Over the past three seasons, Lakeview has forced 65 takeaways while the offense has coughed up the ball 35 times which is good for a +30 in turnover ratio.