2015 Farrell Football Preview

2015 Farrell Football Preview
Head Coach: Jarrett Samuels, 8th season (66-23)
2014 Record: 8-4 (4-3), Region 1 (A)
5-Year Winning Percentage: 63.8%
Class/Region: A/Region 1
Returning Letter Winners: 16
Returning Offensive Starters: 8
Returning Defensive Starters: 8

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2014 Team Stats
Rushing Offense: 146.3
Passing Offense: 120.1
Total Offense: 266.4
Scoring Offense: 24.8 (30th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 20.8 (22nd in Area)

2014 Statistical Leaders
Rushing: Tyrell Atkins – 760 yards, 6.9 ypc, 13 TDs
Passing: Alex Myers – 1408 yards, 52.0%, 8 TDs
Receiving: John Jackson – 24 catches, 394 yards, 3 TDs
Tackles: Malachi Newell – 140
QB Sacks: Angelo Jackson – 7.0
Interceptions: Tyrell Atkins & Alex Myers – 2

2015 Schedule
Sept. 4 – at Erie East, 7
Sept. 11 – Reynolds, 7
Sept. 18 – West Middlesex, 7
Sept. 25 – at Lakeview, 7
Oct. 2 – at Wilmington, 7
Oct. 10 – Bishop Kearney, 1
Oct. 16 – at Grove City, 7
Oct. 23 – Sharpsville, 7
Oct. 30 – at Mercer, 7
Nov. 7 – at United (PA), 1

Key Losses: The defense took a hit this off-season with the loss of lineman Derrick Carter, who had 95 tackles and 6 sacks while receiving the honor of being a First-Team All-Region Offensive Lineman. Safety Rob Guelledge, a former quarterback on offense, leaves behind a senior campaign which saw him accumulate 44 tackles and 85 yards receiving (TD).

Key Returnees: The Steelers return a slew of key seniors including Alex Myers, Malachi Newell, Tyrrell Atkins, John Jackson, Angelo Jackson and Deante’ Phillips. Myers will begin his second full season as the team’s starting signal caller. Last year, Myers completed 52.0% of his passes for 1408 yards. Over the past two seasons, Alex has completed 106 passes for 1695 yards and 10 scores. Newell has been a tackling machine. The First-Team All-Region linebacker has compiled 242 tackles over the course of the past two seasons. Atkins came into his own last fall by averaging 6.9 yards per carry and scoring 14 total touchdowns on offense (13 rushing, 1 receiving). John Jackson had only carried the ball 28 times while rushing for 97 yards prior to last season. Jackson amassed 7.9 yards per tote on 49 carries for 386 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also led the team in receptions (24) and receiving yards (394) in 2014. Angelo Jackson, known as Jello, was a lineman with radar on the opposing quarterback as he led the Steelers with 7 sacks while stopping off 53 ball carriers. Another defensive standout who played with a fury was Deante’ Phillips. He completed the 2014 season with 67 tackles and 2 sacks.

Key Storyline: On paper, Farrell appears to be loaded and ready for a post-season push. However, the Steelers’ lack of success against certain teams including West Middlesex is a hurdle which this team must get past. Farrell is 0-5 against the Big Reds since 2012.

Strengths: You can look at it one of two ways – offensively, Farrell has back almost every key skill player back on the roster from a year ago. Defensively, the unit returns 9 of their top 11 tacklers from last fall. Junior linebacker Braxton Chapman – 110 tackles, 3.5 sacks – also is back following a strong sophomore season.

Weaknesses: Farrell shouldn’t skip a beat talent wise. However, the leadership and impression that this team had received from the likes of BeBe Carter and Guelledge shouldn’t be overlooked. Early on in camp, the staff is looking for stability along the offensive and defensive lines, where the team lacks depth.

Game to Watch: September 18 vs. West Middlesex
…No doubt about it, the West Middlesex game has to be circled on the Steelers’ calendar. After last year’s 34-6 playoff loss to the Big Reds, Farrell has been outscored by Middlesex over their last five meetings by a combined score of 182-46.

Region 1 Alignment
West Middlesex

Odds and Ends
Leading Rushers since 2009
2014: Tyrrell Atkins, 760
2013: Dewayne Burns, 868
2012: Dewayne Burns, 864*
2011: Jason Pinkins, 773
2010: Kevin Brodie, 1405
2009: Jamar Whitman, 967
*-Regular Season Stats

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

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