2016 Newton Falls Football Preview

In week 3, Newton Falls will play their home opener against Mineral Ridge.

Newton Falls Tigers High School Football

2016 Newton Falls Football Preview
Head Coach: Josh Franke, 2nd season at Newton Falls (0-10)
2015 Record: 0-10 (0-6), 7th place in AAC Blue
2016 Division/Region: 6/21

More:High School Football previews from other teams

2015 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 13.0 (49th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 50.3 (56th in Area)
Passing Offense: 142.9
Rushing Offense: 168.8
Total Offense: 311.7

2015 Results
Campbell 33 Tigers 14
Liberty 63 Tigers 20
Girard 35 Tigers 0
LaBrae 62 Tigers 0
Champion 75 Tigers 7
Brookfield 65 Tigers 14
Edgewood 42 Tigers 7
Mineral Ridge 45 Tigers 27
Jackson-Milton 34 Tigers 20
Rootstown 48 Tigers 21

Returning Statistical Leaders
Rushing: Bill Wright – 236 yards, 5.9 ypc, TD
Receiving: Ben Simpson – 16 catches, 201 yards
Tackles: Colton Hunt – 114
QB Sacks: Colton Hunt – 7.0

Recent Tiger Post-Season Finishes
2002: Division V (Region 17) Participant
1999: Division IV (Region 13) Participant

2016 Schedule
Aug. 26 – at Rootstown, 7
Sept. 2 – at Jackson-Milton, 7
Sept. 9 – Mineral Ridge, 7
Sept. 16 – Edgewood, 7
Sept. 23 – at Brookfield, 7*
Sept. 30 – Champion, 7*
Oct. 7 – LaBrae, 7*
Oct. 14 – at Girard, 7*
Oct. 21 – Liberty, 7*
Oct. 28 – at Campbell, 7*

Keys on Offense
This past Spring, quarterback Josh Walters graduated after passing for 1,384 yards last season. This season, junior Braden Bungard – described as having a good arm who’s very athletic by his coach – will take over the reins as the team’s signal caller. In 2015, he passed the ball once (0-1) and gained 48 yards on 5 carries (9.6 ypc). The position with the most depth and experience returning is the offensive line. All five starters return (William Sigley, Jacob Whisonant, Nick Gibson, Brandon Moore and Chris Rankin). With what the Tigers have coming back up front, the running game should improve with junior Bill Wright back in the mix. Last year, Wright gained 236 yards on 40 attempts (5.9 ypc) while catching a pair of passes for 16 yards. Colton Hunt (96 yards, 2 TDs) and Hayden Sherwood (48 yards, TD) both saw time at fullback in 2015. Senior speed merchant Mitchell Champion will be utilized in the ground game in the upcoming campaign according to his coach. Keep an eye on freshman Jordan Edmondson, who last year ran for over 2,000-yards and scored 20-plus touchdowns as an eighth grader. Tight end Ben Simpson will be the offenses’ go-to receiver after hauling in 16 passes for 201 yards as a junior. Simpson has received looks from a number of Division I schools.

Keys on Defense
The hiring of former Kent State linebacker L.D. Hartman as the defensive coordinator should benefit the group to make strides in the right direction in 2016. Hartman will have senior defensive end Ben Simpson (42 tackles, 3 sacks) as well as linebackers Hayden Sherwood (senior) and Colton Hunt (junior) to build the unit around. Sherwood will begin 2016 as a starter for the fourth consecutive season. Hayden amassed 83 tackles a year ago. Hunt was an All-State Honorable Mention after topping 100-tackles (114) and bringing down opposing quarterbacks 7 times in 2015. The secondary will be anchored by Mitchell Champion at corner (23 tackles) and Braden Bungard at safety (36 tackles).

Final Analysis
Newton Falls has fallen in each of their last 19 tries. The Tigers have permitted 30 points or more to be scored by their opposition in 14 consecutive games. In the months of September, October and November – they haven’t won in their last 34 contests. With that all said, this is year #2 with coach Franke’s staff in place. He has seen improvement this off-season from his group. “We’re still relatively young, having started several sophomores last season who gained (valuable) experience,” says Franke. “We have the mentality of getting better every day and the kids have really focused in at working hard in the weight room throughout this off-season.”

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