2015 Salem Football Preview

2015 Salem Football Preview
Head Coach: Ron Johnson, 18th season overall (79-98)
2014 Record: 3-7 (1-6), Northeastern Buckeye Conference
5-Year Winning Percentage: 37.3%
Division/Region: 4/11

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2014 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 17.4 (43rd in Area)
Scoring Defense: 30.5 (41st in Area)

2014 Statistical Leaders
Passing: Matt Weingart – 1256 yards, 45.8%, 12 TDs
Receiving: Blake Hochadel – 51 catches, 656 yards, 7 TDs
Tackles: Jake Bezon – 134
Interceptions: Jake Bezon – 3

2015 Schedule
Aug. 28 – Mineral Ridge, 7
Sept. 4 – United, 7
Sept. 11 – at East Liverpool, 7:30
Sept. 18 – Canton South, 7
Sept. 25 – at Marlington, 7
Oct. 2 – at Carrollton, 7
Oct. 9 – Minerva, 7
Oct. 16 – at Alliance, 7
Oct. 23 – at Louisville, 7
Oct. 30 – West Branch, 7

Key Losses: Jake Bezon and Blake Hochadel are two graduates who will be missed dearly by the 2015 group. Bezon led the team in tackles (134) and interceptions (3) on defense. Hochadel was the top target for the Quakers’ passing game as he hauled in 51 passes for an average of 12.9 yards (7 TDs). Defensive lineman Jesse Slocum also departs after a solid career at Salem.

Key Returnees: Seniors Keaton Turney, Josh Campbell, Tony Maniscalo and Matt Weingart are joined by junior Cooper Bezeredi – who had a huge night against United. Weingart served as the team’s quarterback last season where he completed 45.8% of his tosses and made 12 touchdown strikes.

Key Storyline: Since joining the Northeastern Buckeye Conference in 2011, the Quakers have accumulated a winning percentage of just 21.4% (6-22). Away games in conference have proven to be very difficult as Salem has just two wins in fourteen contests away from the 44460 zip code. The Quakers will face a challenging 2015 schedule which features four road trips in league play. Salem has lost their last seven games away from home in the league in the month of September. That skid dates back to 2011.

Strengths: The defense will be without Bezon; however, the emergence of Josh Campbell and Tony Maniscalo appears to indicate that the Quaker defense could be on the rise from a unit which allowed over 30 points a game for the third straight year.

Weaknesses: Once again, the offense will be the primary focus on many of the team’s follower’s minds this summer. In five of the Quakers’ final seven games, the offense was unable to generate 14 points. Without Hochadel and others, how will the offense look in 2015?

Game to Watch: August 28 vs. Mineral Ridge
…Salem opens up their schedule with three of their first four at home. This will be a pivotal stretch in order for the Quakers to gain momentum entering the always tough NBC schedule.

Odds and Ends
…Last season, Salem finished last in the NBC in rushing offense (89.3) and scoring (17.5).

Recent League Finishes
2014: T-7th NBC (1-6)
2013: T-7th NBC (1-6)
2012: 8th NBC (0-7)
2011: T-4th NBC (3-4)
2010: 3rd AAC White (2-2)

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