2015 McDonald Football Preview

2015 McDonald Football Preview
Head Coach: Dan Williams, 16th season at McDonald (108-54)
2014 Record: 10-1 (7-0), ITCL Lower Tier
5-Year Winning Percentage: 69.1%
Division/Region: 6/19
Returning Letter Winners: 10
Returning Offensive Starters: 4
Returning Defensive Starters: 3

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2014 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 36.5 (5th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 9.9 (1st in Area)

2015 Schedule
Aug. 28 – East Palestine, 7
Sept. 4 – at Springfield, 7
Sept. 11 – Grand Valley, 7
Sept. 18 – Wellsville, 7
Sept. 25 – at United, 7
Oct. 2 – at Jackson-Milton, 7
Oct. 9 – Western Reserve, 7
Oct. 16 – at Mineral Ridge, 7
Oct. 23 – Sebring, 7
Oct. 30 – at Lowellville, 7

Key Losses: McDonald featured two 1000-yard rushers a year ago. Caleb Dimery has since graduated after leading the team in rushing with 1094 yards. Along with Dimery – Cameron Ifft, Austin Colburn, Albert Yates, Jake Lowery, Tyler Cvetkovich, Jake Billock, and Zach Conley all were recognized by the ITCL as all-league performers and all have graduated this past Spring.

Key Returnees: Jake Reckard ran for 1031 yards and scored 19 total touchdowns as a junior. He also was involved on stopping opposing ball carriers 41 times last fall on defense. Reckard will have the luxury of working with his classmate – Ben Carkido – as the team’s quarterback once again this fall. McDonald’s kicker Dave Rebraca also returns after being named First-Team All-League for his duties last year. Lineman Matt Howard will be back for his senior season.

Key Storyline: Despite McDonald’s troubles in the post season the last two years, the Blue Devils bounced back from a 7-4 season in 2013 to run through the regular season last fall undefeated. McDonald has posted an unbeaten conference record four times within the last seven years. Coach Williams and his staff will have a lot of rebuilding to do after losing 11 seniors but, if history holds true, the Devils should be back in the thick of things in the ITCL before too long.

Strengths: There’s a lot to like about this Blue Devil bunch – quarterback, 1000-yard rusher, standout lineman, steady kicker, sound foundation on defense all returning. Another item is the enthusiasm which this community supports the team with. McDonald has not had a losing season since 2002 and it would be very difficult to believe that this year will be any different.

Weaknesses: Without the likes of dependable blockers such as Albert Yates and Jake Billock to anchor McDonald’s line, a concern for the staff has to be the ability to wedge holes for runners like Reckard and to hold up when Carkido is passing the football.

Game to Watch:October 9 vs. Western Reserve
…Could we go anywhere else but the much anticipated rematch between Western Reserve and McDonald? Last year, McDonald got the best of the opposing Devils – 14-12 – to snap a three-game losing skid in the process.

New ITCL Blue Division
Mineral Ridge
Western Reserve

Odds and Ends
…The 1968 Blue Devil team steamrolled to a 9-0 finish, outscoring their opponents by an average of 52.4 to 4. They scored 56 or more five times and shut out the competition four times…McDonald has finished with perfect regular seasons on ten different occasions (1946, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1980, 1988, 1994, 2008, 2009, 2014).

Recent League Finishes
2014: 1st ITCL Lower (7-0)
2013: T-2nd ITCL Lower (5-2)
2012: T-2nd ITCL Lower (4-3)
2011: T-3rd ITCL Lower (4-3)
2010: 1st ITCL Lower (7-0)

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