2016 McDonald Football Preview

McDonald will take on South Range in week one.

McDonald Blue Devils High School Football - McDonald, OH

2016 McDonald Football Preview
Head Coach: Dan Williams, 17th season at McDonald (115-57)
2015 Record: 7-3 (4-1), 2nd place in ITCL Blue
2016 Division/Region: 6/21

More:High School Football previews from other teams

Revisiting ITCL History
League Championships: 5 (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014)
Total League Record: 56-12 (82.3%)
Winning Seasons in League Play: 10 (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Best League Record: 7-0 (2008, 2009, 2010, 2014)
Worst League Record: 4-3 (2011, 2012)

2015 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 35.0 (8th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 15.7 (T-11th in Area)

2015 Results
Blue Devils 62 Lowellville 13
Blue Devils 55 Sebring 16
Blue Devils 29 Mineral Ridge 6
Western Reserve 34 Blue Devils 27
Blue Devils 32 Jackson-Milton 22
Blue Devils 55 United 12
Wellsville 23 Blue Devils 21
Blue Devils 28 Grand Valley 7
Springfield 24 Blue Devils 21
Blue Devils 21 East Palestine 0

Returning Statistical Leaders
Receiving: Dylan Portolese – 12 catches, 188 yards, 3 TDs
Tackles: Dale Wolford – 77
QB Sacks: Dale Wolford – 6
Interceptions: Dylan Portolese – 3

Recent Blue Devil Post-Season Finishes
2014: Division VI (Region 19) Participant
2013: Division VI (Region 19) Participant
2010: Division VI (Region 21) Finalist
2009: Division VI (Region 21) Participant
2007: Division VI (Region 21) Participant
2006: Division VI (Region 21) Participant
2000: Division VI (Region 21) Semifinalist

2016 Schedule
Aug. 26 – at South Range, 7
Sept. 2 – Springfield, 7
Sept. 9 – at Black River, 7
Sept. 16 – at Wellsville, 7
Sept. 23 – United, 7
Sept. 30 – Jackson-Milton, 7*
Oct. 7 – at Western Reserve, 7*
Oct. 14 – Mineral Ridge, 7*
Oct. 21 – at Sebring, 7*
Oct. 28 – Lowellville, 7*

Keys on Offense
On offense, McDonald will have a different look without their starting quarterback Ben Carkido (1006 passing yards, 11 TDs) and their standout rusher Jake Reckard (1046 rushing yards, 14 TDs; 311 receiving yards). Joe Perry is also gone after a strong senior season (546 rushing yards, 7 TDs) as well as their two anchors along the front line – Matt Howard and Adam Morgan. Dylan Portolese is back after registering 12 catches for 188 yards and 3 scores. Portolese led the team with an average per catch of 15.7 yards. He also booted 29 punts for 37 yards per kick.

Keys on Defense
Five of McDonald’s top eight tacklers from last season are back led by senior Dale Wolford. Number 34 finished second on the team with 77 tackles and first in quarterback takedowns (6). Joe Celli is also back in the fold following a 64-tackle season which also translated to 2 interceptions. Not only did Dylan Portolese display his knack for catching the football from his quarterback, he also picked off opponents’ 3 times (51 tackles). Mike Zarbaugh closed out the 2015 campaign with 47 tackles as Alex Cintron had 38. The expectations for the defensive unit should be high even without the likes of Joe Perry, Matt Howard and Jake Reckard.

Final Analysis
In Dan Williams’ 16-years at his alma mater, his Blue Devils’ have advanced to the post-season 8 times and have been crowned the league champs 5 times. As we saw last year, McDonald failed to qualify for the playoffs even with their 7 wins – three of which were against teams who advanced to week eleven (East Palestine, Grand Valley, Jackson-Milton).

With 5 players who were recognized on the All-ITCL team last Fall, you have to expect the Blue Devils to be back in contention for a playoff berth in the final year of the ITCL.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s