2016 Fitch Football Preview

Fitch plays at Hudson in week one of the 2016 campaign.

Austintown Fitch Falcons High School Football - Austintown, Ohio

2016 Fitch Football Preview
Head Coach: Phil Annarella, 36th season overall (227-134-3)
2015 Record: 7-4 (1-2), 3rd place in AAC Gold
2016 Division/Region: 1/1

More: High School Football previews from other teams

2015 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 18.8 (38th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 15.2 (10th in Area)
Passing Offense: 67.2
Rushing Offense: 115.8
Total Offense: 183.0

2015 Results
Euclid 28 Falcons 7*
Falcons 21 Mooney 14
Boardman 10 Falcons 3
Falcons 29 McDowell 0
Falcons 35 Lakeside 6
Falcons 7 Massillon 6
Falcons 40 East 7
Harding 38 Falcons 0
Falcons 37 Louisville 19
Falcons 20 Brunswick 9
Hudson 30 Falcons 8
*-Playoff game

Returning Statistical Leaders
Passing: Nate Fowler – 588 yards, 47.6%, 5 TDs
Rushing: Randy Smith – 560 yards, 3.9 ypc, 5 TDs
Receiving: J.C. Mikovich – 19 catches, 206 yards, 2 TDs
Interceptions: J.C. Mikovich – 4

Recent Falcon Post-Season Finishes
2015: Division I (Region 1) Participant
2014: Division I (Region 1) Quarterfinalist
2013: Division 1 (Region 1) Semifinalist
2012: Division I (Region 1) Participant
2010: Division I (Region 1) Semifinalist
2004: Division 1 (Region 1) Participant

2016 Schedule
Aug. 26 – at Hudson, 7
Sept. 2 – Brunswick, 7:30
Sept. 9 – at Louisville, 7:30
Sept. 16 – Harding, 7*
Sept. 24 – at East, 2
Sept. 30 – at Massillon, 7:30
Oct. 7 – Lakeside, 7*
Oct. 14 – at Erie McDowell, 7:30
Oct. 21 – Boardman, 7*
Oct. 28 – Cardinal Mooney, 7:30

Keys on Offense
With a sophomore quarterback (Nate Fowler) and sophomore featured rusher (Randy Smith), the offense took a step back (which was expected). Last year, Fitch totaled 183 yards of total offense per game. The year prior, they were able to muster 361.5 yards. With a full year of experience under their belts, young players like Fowler and Smith should be ready for the competition which awaits on Friday nights. Fowler completed 47.6% (49-103) of his passes last year for 588 yards. Smith ran for a team-high 560 yards on 143 carries (3.9 ypc) and scored 5 times on the ground. The receiving corps of J.C. Mikovich (19 catches, 206 yards) and Marquis Barbel (10 catches, 84 yards) both return for their senior seasons.

Keys on Defense
The cornerstone of Fitch’s success in recent memory has been the play of the defense. The Falcons have allowed their opponents to average 18-points or more per game just once over the last six seasons (2014: 21.9). J.C. Mikovich returns in the secondary after intercepting a team-high 4 passes in 2015.

Final Analysis
Fitch has not had a losing season since 2007 (1-9), that’s a streak of eight years. Within the last four campaigns, the Falcons have been able to post a winning percentage of 78.3% (36-10). In 2016, expect more of the same from the Falcons.

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