2014 East Palestine Football Preview

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2014 East Palestine Bulldogs’ Football Preview
2013 Record: 0-10 (0-7), ITCL Upper Tier
Head Coach: Tony Foster, 2nd Season (0-10)
Division: 5
Last Trip to Post-Season: 2009
School Playoff Record: 1-2
Last League Title: 2002
5-Year Winning Percentage: 27.5%

2014 Schedule
Aug. 29 – McDonald, 7
Sept. 5 – Mathews, 7
Sept. 12 – at Beaver Local, 7
Sept. 19 – Crestview, 7
Sept. 26 – at Lisbon, 7
Oct. 3 – at South Range, 7
Oct. 10 – Springfield, 7
Oct. 17 – Jackson-Milton, 7
Oct. 24 – at Columbiana, 7
Oct. 31 – at United, 7

Year in Review: In Tony Foster’s first season at the helm of East Palestine football, the Bulldogs were unable to secure a victory. East Palestine was involved in a pair of contests which were decided by 8 points or less (at Mathews, 35-27; at Southern, 12-10) almost a month apart. However, their defense was gashed for an area-worst, 43.3 points. The total marked the fourth consecutive season of allowing 32 points or more per game.

The offense faltered once again as the Dogs averaged just 200 total yards and an 11.8 scoring average. East Palestine’s turnover ratio was -21.

East Palestine opens the season with three of their first four games at home. Those home match ups are against McDonald, Mathews and Crestview. The Bulldogs finish the season with games at Columbiana and United.

2013 Team Leaders
Points Scored Per Game: 11.8 (58th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 130.5
Passing Offense: 71.1
Points Allowed Per Game: 43.3 (62nd in Area)

3 Things to Watch in East Palestine
EP’s Struggles.
Even within the Bulldogs’ last playoff season, wins were hard to come by. After jumping out to a 7-1 start, the Bulldogs fell in the final three games in 2009 to finish 7-4. Since October 23, 2009 – East Palestine has won just seven games in their last forty-three which has resulted in four straight losing campaigns.

Wagner & Monteleone lead the offense.
Senior Nick Monteleone hauled in 25 passes and toted the rock for a 5.0-yard average on the ground. Junior Josh Pickett also averaged 17.5 yards per reception last year. The Bulldog faithful got a glimpse of what Grant Wagner is capable of last year. Number 13 completed 43.5% of his passes for 338 yards. Wagner also eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the season.

Last league championship.
East Palestine last won a league title in 2002. The Bulldogs were shut out in week three by Springfield (16-0) to close out their non-conference schedule. From there, the Bulldogs went through the Tri-County League schedule unbeaten setting up a match up against Black River in the opening round of the 2002 Division IV tournament. Down by 7 late in the contest, Smitty Kendrew plunged into the end zone from a yard out with 1:06 remaining to close the margin to a single point (Black River 22-21). J.D. Powers added a two-point conversion for coach Brian Blevins as East Palestine prevailed, 23-22.

Fact Finder: East Palestine has not won a game in their last ten tries. The Bulldogs have not had a winning season in each of the past four years…East Palestine has lost their last four season openers and has not won a game in September since 2011 (12 game losing streak)…The Dogs have fallen in each of their last eleven home outings.

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