2015 Fitch Football Preview
Head Coach: Phil Annarella, 35th season (220-130-3)
2014 Record: 8-3
5-Year Winning Percentage: 78.9%
Returning Letter Winners: 17
Returning Offensive Starters: 3
Returning Defensive Starters: 7
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2014 Team Stats
Rushing Offense: 269.4
Passing Offense: 92.1
Total Offense: 361.5
Scoring Offense: 31.4 (12th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 21.9 (25th in Area)
2014 Statistical Leaders
Rushing: Antwan Harris – 1446 yards, 7.8 ypc, 18 TDs
Passing: Antwan Harris – 1011 yards, 56.2%, 10 TDs
Receiving: Joey Harrington – 27 catches, 299 yards, 3 TDs
Aug. 28 – Hudson, 7:30
Sept. 4 – at Brunswick, 7:30
Sept. 11 – Louisville, 7:30
Sept. 18 – at Warren Harding, 7
Sept. 25 – East, 7
Oct. 2 – Massillon, 7:30
Oct. 9 – at Lakeside, 7
Oct. 16 – Erie McDowell, 7:30
Oct. 23 – at Boardman, 7
Oct. 30 – at Cardinal Mooney, 7:30
Key Losses: The Falcons graduated their quarterback Antwan Harris, leading receiver Joey Harrington, defensive stalwart Tyler Hewlett and Division I prospect Darrin Hall from last year’s 8-3 group. Harris eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau in both passing (1011) as well as rushing (1446). Antwan topped 100-yard on the ground seven times last fall. Harrington was a yard shy of reaching 300 for the year while snagging 27 passes. Hewlett may have run for 787 yards (7.1 ypc) and scoring 12 touchdowns but was highly regarded as one of the best linebackers in the entire area. Hall was hampered by injury but still was able to amass 446 total yards of offense on 72 touches.
Key Returnees: Senior inside linebacker Damien Gary is a two-year letter winner and appears to be poised for another solid campaign. Earl Scott and J.C. Mikovich both caught 14 and 13 passes respectively last season. Scott accumulated 189 yards and a score through the air as Mikovich finished second on the team in yards per catch (14.8 ypr) and touchdown grabs (2).
Key Storyline: Can Fitch return to the post-season for the fourth consecutive season? The Falcons, once again, have a strong schedule ahead of themselves. Coach Annarella and his staff have done an outstanding job of replacing key pieces in prior years – can they do it again?
Strengths: Even with the loss of so many skill players, the Falcons once again have a nice stable of running backs and receivers who should be able to generate a lot of excitement for the Fitch faithful.
Weaknesses: At quarterback, the returners tossed just 3 of 156 passes last year for a total of 2 yards. That will be the question of how quickly can the team’s new signal caller adapt to the speed of varsity action?
Game to Watch: August 28 vs. Hudson
…Is there a more exciting time in high school football than the anticipation of the opener? In Austintown, still a lot of reason to be optimistic with all of the changes. The Falcons will host the Explorers in week one.
New AAC Gold Division
Odds and Ends
…Antwan Harris combined for 4,397 total yards (passing & rushing) over the last two years.
Recent League Finishes
2010: 1st Federal (6-1)
2009: T-5th Federal (3-4)
2008: T-5th Federal (2-5)
2007: 8th Federal (0-7)
2006: 6th Federal (2-5)