2015 Champion Football Preview

 2015 Champion Football Preview
Head Coach: Terry Howell, 7th season (18-42)
2014 Record: 1-9 (1-6), AAC National
5-Year Winning Percentage: 34.0%
Division/Region: 5/15

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2014 Team Stats
Rushing Offense: 121.2
Passing Offense: 46.0
Total Offense: 167.2
Scoring Offense: 8.7 (52nd in Area)
Scoring Defense: 30.4 (39th in Area)

2014 Statistical Leaders
Rushing: Nate Stahlman – 538 yards, 3.9 ypc, TD
Passing: Brandon Allen – 460 yards, 38.1%, 3 TDs
Receiving: Joe Batcho – 11 catches, 110 yards, TD
Interceptions: Joe Batcho – 2

2015 Schedule
Aug. 28 – Waterloo, 7
Sept. 4 – Conneaut, 7
Sept. 11 – at Garrettsville Garfield, 7
Sept. 18 – at Girard, 7
Sept. 25 – LaBrae, 7
Oct. 2 – Newton Falls, 7
Oct. 9 – at Liberty, 7
Oct. 16 – Campbell, 7
Oct. 23 – at Lakeview, 7
Oct. 30 – at Brookfield, 7

Key Losses: One of the Golden Flashes’ most exciting players was Joe Batcho. Number 7 caught a team leading 11 passes for 110 yards (TD) while intercepting a pair of passes on defense. RB/LB Mason Brown ran for a team-best 4.4 yards per carry (379 yards) and scored 4 times. Brown also caught 5 passes, 1 for a touchdown.

Key Returnees: Senior quarterback Brandon Allen returns for his second season at the helm of the offense. Allen completed 51 of 134 (38.1%) for 460 yards and 3 scores. Brandon also scored twice on the ground while amassing 125 yards. Sophomore running back Nate Stahlman led Champion in rushing a year ago by gaining 538 yards on 137 carries (3.9 ypc). Stahlman and Cody Cykon both caught 9 passes apiece. Over the last two seasons, Eric Fenstermaker has punted the ball 55 times for an average of 31.1 yards.

Key Storyline: The last time the Flashes finished the regular season with a 1-9 mark (in 2009), the next year they were able to respond with a 6-4 record (their last winning record). Can lightning strike twice?

Strengths: Youth gaining experience. With such a low number of seniors in 2014, the Golden Flashes featured many young players filling in at key positions. With an inexperienced group, you have to expect growing pains (Turnover margin: -9; Opponents’ TDs: 38; Champion’s TD: 12; Opponents’ outgained Champion: 289.7 to 167.2). With another year under their belt, expectations have risen and the hope is to improve upon last year’s performance.

Weaknesses: A main focus of training camp this summer has to be the loss of depth along the lines including Blade Walters and Kyle Schneider to graduation. What type of protection will the group be able to give the offense and what type of pressure will they be able to put onto their opponents will be a telling sign of the future of Champion football.

Game to Watch: September 18 at Girard
…To open the league calendar with a matchup at a playoff team from a season ago is just the measuring stick this team needs. How will the Golden Flashes respond against a Girard team who has scored a total of 73 points against their defense in their last two meetings?

New AAC Blue Division
Newton Falls

Odds and Ends
1000-yard Rushers since 2010
2012: Mike Cyrus, 1050
2010: Jimmy Rasey, 1449

3-interception season since 2009
2010: Nathan Vasey, 4
2009: Dominic DeMartini, 4

Recent League Finishes
2014: 7th AAC National (1-6)
2013: 7th AAC National (1-6)
2012: 5th AAC National (4-3)
2011: 5th AAC Blue (0-4)
2010: T-2nd AAC Blue (2-2)

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