2015 Niles Football Preview

2015 Niles Football Preview
Head Coach: Brian Shaner, 13th season overall (58-64)
2014 Record: 1-9 (0-5), AAC American
5-Year Winning Percentage: 44.2%
Division/Region: 3/7
Returning Letter Winners: 21
Returning Offensive Starters: 7
Returning Defensive Starters: 7

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2014 Team Stats
Rushing Offense: 163.0
Passing Offense: 123.7
Total Offense: 286.7
Scoring Offense: 13.5 (47th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 35.6 (50th in Area)

2014 Statistical Leaders
Rushing: Tyler Srbinovich – 924 yards, 5.2 ypc, 3 TDs
Passing: Corey Hayes – 688 yards, 36.3%, 9 TDs
Receiving: Leonard Bryant – 31 catches, 478 yards, 6 TDs
Tackles: Jake Davis – 82
QB Sacks: Richard Palmer – 3.0
Interceptions: Jared Tate, Jake Mikesell, & Corey Hayes – 1

2015 Schedule
Aug. 27 – at Girard, 7
Sept. 4 – at Poland, 7
Sept. 11 – Struthers, 7
Sept. 18 – East, 7
Sept. 25 – at Lakeview, 7
Oct. 2 – Hubbard, 7
Oct. 9 – at Canfield, 7
Oct. 15 – Howland, 7
Oct. 23 – at Jefferson, 7
Oct. 30 – Edgewood, 7

Key Losses: The Red Dragons will be without recently graduated players such as Corey Hayes (688 passing yards, 517 rushing yards, 56 tackles), Leonard Bryant (478 receiving yards), Jake Davis (82 tackles) and Ryan Ford (81 tackles).

Key Returnees: Junior Tyler Srbinovich returns after enjoying a strong sophomore campaign. Srbinovich completed 68.1% of his passes (32-47) while leading the team in rushing (924 yards). Srbinovich has been involved in 185 tackles in two seasons (73 last year). Junior receiver Marlon Pearson is back after finishing second on the Dragons with 16 receptions and 285 yards. Defenders Richard Palmer (36 tackles, 3 sacks), Steven Mintz (35 tackles) and David Palm (31 tackles) are all back in the mix.

Key Storyline: Niles finished the 2014 campaign with a 0-6 mark at home. The last time the Dragons did not register a win at Bo Rein Stadium was in 2002 (0-6), the same year they finished with just one win (1-9) overall. Coach Shaner and his staff will look to rebound with a group who are poised to make amends for a disappointing season in 2014. “We’re very hungry,” said Shaner. “With a great mix of leadership and talent…the expectations have to be high.” The Red Dragons will have 16 seniors on the roster this fall.

Strengths: The defense allowed an average of 45.7 points to be scored over the last six weeks of the 2014 season. That figure will have to improve this fall if Niles will have an opportunity to achieve success. The Red Dragons return a solid senior class on defense including lineman Alex Clementi (29 tackles) and Jake Davis. Jared Tate (27 tackles) and Srbinovich are both back in the secondary in 2015.

Weaknesses: With Niles returning a couple key players on offense (Srbinovich and Pearson), the Red Dragons lost a ton of talented skill kids on that side of the ball (Corey Hayes, Leonard Bryant and Chance Hanshaw). It will be interesting to see how far Niles has come on offense over the course of the summer.

Game to Watch: August 27 at Girard
…The Girard game is always very special being how close the two towns are to one another. This year, the importance of the Dragons to have a good showing is crucial to their long-term goal of returning to relevance on the football map.

New AAC White Division
Edgewood
Hubbard
Jefferson
Lakeview
Niles
Poland
Struthers

New AAC Red Division
Canfield
Howland
Niles
Poland
East

Odds and Ends
Leading Rusher since 2010
2014: Tyler Srbinovich, 924
2013: John Cicero, 884
2012: Stefan Yuhas, 1338*
2011: Tommy Duffy, 570
2010: Reggie Wells, 821

Leading Passer since 2010
2014: Corey Hayes, 688
2013: Kyle Paden, 2977
2012: Stefan Yuhas, 1262*
2011: Zack Bailey, 1502
2010: Zack Bailey, 1007
*-Regular Season Statistics

Recent League Finishes
2014: 6th AAC American (0-5)
2013: 5th AAC American (1-4)
2012: T-2nd AAC American (4-2)
2011: 3rd AAC Red (2-2)
2010: 4th AAC Red (1-3)

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