2015 Mercer Football Preview

2015 Mercer Football Preview
Head Coach: Pat McClearn, 11th season (64-46)
2014 Record: 2-8 (0-6), Region 1
5-Year Winning Percentage: 51.9%
Class/Region: A/Region 1
Returning Letter Winners: 15
Returning Offensive Starters: 5
Returning Defensive Starters: 8

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2014 Team Stats
Rushing Offense: 95.2
Passing Offense: 243.3
Total Offense: 338.5
Scoring Offense: 25.5 (26th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 35.8 (51st in Area)

2014 Statistical Leaders
Rushing: Logan Clarke – 470 yards, 3.7 ypc, 3 TDs
Passing: Logan Clarke – 2426 yards, 60.7%, 21 TDs
Receiving: Brayton Edwards – 58 catches, 748 yards, 9 TDs
Tackles: Jonathan Wegrzynek – 82
Interceptions: Logan Clarke – 3

2015 Schedule
Sept. 4 – Eisenhower, 7
Sept. 11 – at Wilmington, 7
Sept. 18 – Lakeview, 7
Sept. 25 – at Sharpsville, 7
Oct. 2 – at Franklin, 7
Oct. 9 – at West Middlesex, 7
Oct. 23 – Reynolds, 7
Oct. 30 – Farrell, 7
Nov. 6 – Brockway, 7

Key Losses: Logan Clarke became the third player in District 10 history to surpass 6,000 passing yards throughout a prep career. Clarke threw for 4830 in just the past two seasons while completing 351 passes and 48 touchdowns. Clarke’s favorite two targets – Brayton Edwards (58 catches, 748 yards) and T.J. Peters (41 catches, 614 yards) – also graduated this past Spring. On defense, Troy Sagulla combined for 149 tackles over the last two years.

Key Returnees: Senior RB/LB Jonathan Wegrzynek will be looked upon to provide solid play on offense (270 rushing yards, 219 receiving yards) as well as on defense (82 tackles). Austin Hall, also a senior, caught 35 passes last year (467 yards) and finished with 42 defensive stops. Josh Robertson and Levi Bequeath had 43 and 38 tackles respectively in 2014.

Key Storyline: Where will the production come from on offense without such standouts as Logan Clarke, Brayton Edwards, and T.J. Peters?

Strengths: Yes the defense lost Sagulla (71 tackles), Peters (57 tackles), Clarke (35 tackles, 3 INTs), Edwards (21 tackles) and Zach Peck (24 tackles). However – the Mustangs return Wegrzynek, Hall, Robertson, Isaiah Bartolone (31 tackles) and Bequeth from last year’s linebacking core and defensive linemen Jimmy Amon (30 tackles) and Nate Cameron (26 tackles) up front. That appears to be a solid group on paper to hang your hat on. Cameron also served as the team’s kicker – who made both of his field goal attempts and 27 of 34 on his extra points.

Weaknesses: Mercer lost 10 players to graduation. Most of who played such key roles on a team which finished 9-3 just two seasons ago. When any team loses their record setting quarterback (Clarke) and the caliber of receivers that the Mustangs lost this past off season coupled with three offensive linemen – many question marks arise when speaking of the offense and where will the points may come from in 2015?

Game to Watch:September 4 vs. Eisenhower
…How will the Mustangs rebound from a disappointing 2-win season and the loss of arguably one of the top quarterbacks statistically speaking in sometime (Clarke)? After a summer of training, we’ll see where Mercer is at on September 4 when Eisenhower pays the Mustangs a visit.

Region 1 Alignment
West Middlesex

Odds and Ends
Leading Passer since 2009
2014: Logan Clarke, 2426
2013: Logan Clarke, 2406
2012: Logan Clarke, 1246
2011: Alec Gawne, 483
2010: Aaron Collins, 350
2009: Andrew Erdos, 394

Leading Tackler since 2009
2014: Jonathan Wegrzynek, 82
2013: Zane O’Brien, 148
2012: Austin Slagle, 146
2011: Austin Slagle, 103
2010: J.T. Mannozzi, 83
2009: Herbie Hennegan, 113

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

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