2016 Crestview Football Preview

Crestview will play host to Collinwood in week one.

Crestview Rebels High School Football

2016 Crestview Football Preview
Head Coach: Paul Cusick, 21st season (149-75)
2015 Record: 10-3 (3-1), 2nd place in ITCL Red
2016 Division/Region: 5/17

More:High School Football previews from other teams

Revisiting ITCL History
League Championships: 6 (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014)
Total League Record: 56-11 (83.6%)
Winning Seasons in League Play: 10 (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Best League Record: 7-0 (2010, 2011, 2012)
Worst League Record: 5-2 (2006, 2007, 2014)

2015 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 39.4 (4th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 25.7 (40th in Area)
Passing Offense: 83.8
Rushing Offense: 312.3
Total Offense: 396.1

2015 Results
Canton Central Catholic 33 Rebels 6*
Rebels 27 LaBrae 7*
Rebels 56 Berkshire 36*
Lisbon 55 Rebels 54 (OT)
Rebels 28 Springfield 27
Rebels 20 South Range 17
East Palestine 47 Rebels 34
Rebels 69 United 6
Rebels 47 Jackson-Milton 19
Rebels 20 Warren JFK 13
Rebels 49 Alliance 28
Rebels 57 Columbiana 29
Rebels 45 Beaver Local 14
*-Playoff game

Returning Statistical Leaders
Passing: Caleb Hill – 87 yards, 41.2%, TD
Rushing: Caleb Hill – 106 yards, 8.8 ypc, TD
Receiving: Tyler Fitzsimmons – 19 catches, 257 yards, 2 TDs
Tackles: Brandon Sherrill & Danny Moore – 85
QB Sacks: Jordan Murphy – 10.0
Interceptions: Tyler Fitzsimmons, Brandon Sherrill & Danny Moore – 1

Recent Rebel Post-Season Finishes
2015: Division V (Region 15) Finalist
2014: Division V (Region 15) Semifinalist
2013: Division V (Region 15) Finalist
2012: Division V (Region 17) Semifinalist
2011: Division V (Region 17) Finalist
2010: Division V (Region 17) Participant
2009: Division V (Region 17) Semifinalist
2008: Division V (Region 17) Semifinalist
2006: Division V (Region 17) Semifinalist
2005: Division V (Region 17) Semifinalist
2004: Division V (Region 17) Participant

2016 Schedule
Aug. 26 – Collinwood, 7
Sept. 2 – Columbiana, 7
Sept. 9 – at Alliance, 7
Sept. 16 – Warren JFK, 7
Sept. 23 – at Garfield, 7
Sept. 30 – at United, 7*
Oct. 7 – East Palestine, 7*
Oct. 14 – at South Range, 7*
Oct. 21 – Springfield, 7*
Oct. 28 – Lisbon, 7

Keys on Offense
Crestview will have to replace their starting quarterback (Spencer DeSalvo) and their top running back (Zach Hicks) as well as their top receiving target (Tyler Stratton) in the same offseason for the first time since 2013 (Collin Gilbert, Trevor Cope, Josh McDade). Despite losing the likes of DeSalvo (1003 yards passing, 854 rushing yards), Hicks (1965 rushing yards, 34 TDs), and Stratton (891 rushing yards, 382 receiving yards) – there is talent amongst the younger Rebels. Junior Caleb Hill saw limited action at quarterback (7 of 17 for 87 yards) and handling the ball out of the backfield (106 yards on 12 carries) but was able to catch 8 passes for 121 yards (2 TDs). Senior Brandon Sherrill compiled 85 yards on 7 rushing attempts while sophomore Andrew Yanssens took 12 handoffs and ran for 79 yards (2 TDs). Senior split end Tyler Fitzsimmons snagged 19 passes (2nd on the team) for 257 yards (2 TDs).

The Rebels are aided up front by the play of their 6’6 senior tackle Jacob Scheller and guards Dominic Perry (Soph) and Jacob Crawford (Sr).

Keys on Defense
Crestview will take the lead from senior defensive linemen Jordan Murphy and Jack Davis. Murphy led the defensive unit a year ago with 10 quarterback sacks as he was able to take down opposing ball carriers 72 times. Davis clogged the line from his tackle spot to amass 41 tackles and 2 sacks. Senior Kade Meredith appears to be in line for a big season as well as junior lineman Landon Talbert, who had 56 tackles and 3 sacks last Fall. Also returning are seniors Brandon Sherrill (LB) and Tyler Fitzsimmons (DB). Sherrill closed out 2015 with 85 tackles (3rd on the team) and 5 sacks. Fitzsimmons had an interception and 30 tackles to his credit. Junior defensive back Danny Moore will also be back in the fold after an 85-tackle season.

Final Analysis
Seeking their 9th consecutive playoff appearance, the Rebels must replace a number of key players including four first-team all-league performers (Mason Crawford, Zach Hicks, Jared Jones, Tyler Stratton). Crestview begins camp inexperienced at a number of different positions (QB, RB, LB, DB). Since 2008, the Rebels have posted a winning percentage of 80.6% (79-19) so it’s obvious their formula has worked in the past.

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