Salem’s QB Davidson is back after a career setting 2016

The Quakers host East Palestine in the week one.

Salem Quakers High School Football

2017 Salem Football Preview
Head Coach: Ron Johnson, 5th season at Salem (21-21)
Last Season: 5-5 (3-4), 5th place in NBC
Division: IV (Region 13)

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 42.9% (45-60)
Playoff Appearances: 3
Playoff Record: 2-3
League Championships: None
League Record: 21-40*
*-Northeastern Buckeye Conference member 2011-2017; All-American Conference member (White Tier) 2008-2010; Metro Athletic Conference member 2007.

More:High School Football previews from other teams

2016 Results
West Branch 27 Quakers 0
Louisville 46 Quakers 27
Quakers 42 Alliance 32
Quakers 49 Minerva 26
Quakers 28 Carrollton 19
Marlington 42 Quakers 14
Canton South 34 Quakers 13
Quakers 31 East Liverpool 0
Quakers 40 United 14
East Palestine 37 Quakers 35

2016 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 27.9
Scoring Defense: 27.7
…For the second consecutive season, Salem averaged 27.9 points per game. This marked the third time in four years that Salem has averaged 28-points or better (2016: 27.9; 2015: 27.9; 2013: 29.2).

2018 Eastern Buckeye Conference
Alliance
Canton South
Carrollton
Marlington
Minerva
Salem
West Branch

The Good News
Returning Starters: Offense – 7; Defense – 5
Coach Ron Johnson points to the chemistry which his team has shown, their attention to detail, enthusiasm and team speed as all being strengths which the Quakers’ possess. Senior quarterback Mitch Davidson returns following a strong junior year which saw #14 complete 60.1% of his passes (182-303) for 2541 yards and 21 touchdowns. He is one of only two returning signal callers to the area who threw for over 2,500-yards in 2016 (Mark Waid – Girard). Playmakers Turner Johnson (397 yards rushing, 290 yards receiving), Zach Bezon (28 catches, 456 yards receiving, 3 TDs) and Chase Ackerman (24 catches, 379 receiving yards, 3 TDs) all return in 2017. Up front, Salem welcomes back three of their five starters from a year ago (Jordan Lyons, Matt Castles,Robbie Sarginger). Back to anchor the defensive unit is junior linebacker Sarginger (121 tackles, 2 ½ sacks). Also returning is seniors Jake Maenz (66 tackles, 2 INTs), Bezon (57 tackles) and Ackerman (4 INTs) and Johnson at outside linebacker. The Quaker special teams will have experience returning as well as Braydon Gibson is back as the place kicker and Davidson is the team’s punter again.

2017 Schedule
Aug. 25 – East Palestine, 7
Sept. 1 – United, 7
Sept. 8 – at East Liverpool, 7:30
Sept. 15 – at Carrollton, 7
Sept. 22 – Canton South, 7
Sept. 29 – at Marlington, 7
Oct. 6 – at Alliance, 7
Oct. 13 – Minerva, 7
Oct. 20 – at Louisville, 7
Oct. 28 – West Branch, 7

The Bad News
The Quakers lost their top two playmakers – Cooper Bezeredi (859 yards rushing, 356 receiving yards) and Jake Humeniuk (77 catches, 1122 yards, 12 TDs) – to graduation this past Spring. Also gone are a handful of key contributors on the defensive side of the ball (Ethan Bailey – 108 tackles, 13 sacks; Andrew Irwin – 92 tackles, 7 ½ sacks; Levi Maenz – 84 tackles, 3 ½ sacks; Kobe Leininger – 63 tackles, 2 INTs; Anthony Wynard – 61 tackles, 5 sacks). Right now “we lack experience along the defensive front,” indicates Johnson. “We also open camp with a limited number of carries at running back.”

Key Number
Over the last 14 seasons when Salem has held their opponents to less than 27-points per game during a season, the Quakers have only had one non-winning campaign (2011: 5-5; allowed 19.3 ppg).

Featured Stat
Six players caught 22-passes or more over the last two years:
2016: Jake Humeniuk – 77
2016: Cooper Bezeredi – 34
2016: Zach Bezon – 28
2016: Chase Ackerman – 24
2016: Turner Johnson – 22
2015: Cooper Bezeredi – 43
2015: Jake Humeniuk – 37
2015: Kade Byland – 23

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