Line play figures to be key to Canfield’s success

2017 Canfield high school football preview

Canfield Cardinals High School Football - Canfield, OH.

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Last year, Canfield saw an uptick in the offensive yardage production going from 268.2 yards in 2015 to 354.2 yards in 2016. For 2017, line play figures to be a key to Canfield’s success.

Senior tailback Paul Breinz leads the offense back onto the playing field this summer. Breinz completed 4 of 4 for 53 yards. He finished with 648 yards rushing (11 TDs) and 197 yards receiving (2 TDs).

Breinz also picked off 2 passes on defense.

Joining Breinz is classmates Vinnie Fiorenza – who is taking over at quarterback to lead their Pro-I offense this season as well as David Crawford, Paul French, Angelo Petracci, Will Dawson, Dom Gelonese, Daniel Kapalko and Nick Ieraci to name a few.

Fiorenza attempted the most passes of any returning player. He filled in to complete 9 of 13 (69.2%) for 147 yards (2 TDs). He also gained an average of 11.1 yards per tote (35 rushes, 388 yards). Crawford only carried the ball 19 times on offense (79 yards) but was the second-leading tackler (39) on a stout defense in 2016.

French caught 12 balls for 210 yards (2 TDs). He also came up with 3 picks on the defensive side of the ball.

Petracci finished with 51 tackles (led team) and was named to the First-Team All-AAC as a junior.

Dawson intercepted three passes and finished with 37 tackles from his defensive back position. Gelonese registered 2 1/2 sacks – good for third on the team.

Returning Starters: Offense – 6; Defense – 8

More: High School Football previews from other teams

Canfield will be without their two-year starting quarterback Jake Cummings – who graduated this past Spring. Over the last two years, Cummings passed for 48.5% (95-196) and 1338 yards (9 TDs). He also ran for an average of 5.5 yards per carry (333 attempts, 1842 yards) while scoring 28 times on the ground.

Another key loss was Duncan DiGiacomo, who was tied for the lead in receptions (15) a year ago as he raced 201 yards on those catches (13.4 average).

Along the offensive line, the Cardinals must replace Mason Giodano and Kevin Soltis – both who were named to the First-Team All-League.

Giordano also led the defense with 5 1/2 sacks last Fall. Also gone along the defensive front is R.J. Williams. He collected 64 tackles over the past two seasons.

Kapalko returns along the defensive front (19 tackles in 2016). Ieraci also had 3 interceptions last Fall while closing out the season with 27 tackles.

Head Coach: Mike Pavlansky, 17th season at Canfield (112-62)
Last Season: 7-3 (3-1), 2nd place in AAC Red Tier
Division: III (Region 9)

2017 Schedule
Aug. 25 – at Louisville, 7
Sept. 1 – Alliance, 7
Sept. 8 – at Chardon, 7
Sept. 15 – Lakeside, 7
Sept. 22 – Struthers, 7
Sept. 29 – at Boardman, 7
Oct. 6 – Niles, 7
Oct. 13 – East, 7
Oct. 20 – at Howland, 7
Oct. 27 – at Poland, 7

More: See all the local football schedules

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: .600 (63-42)
Playoff Appearances: 3
Playoff Record: 2-3
League Championships: 3 (2008, 2009, 2015)
League Record: 27-20*
*-2007 Metro Athletic Conference; 2008-2016 All-American Conference

Key Number
Since finishing the 2014 season by allowing opponents to score 24 points per game, Canfield has put together back-to-back top-15 seasons in scoring defense (2015: 16.6; 2016: 17.8).

Featured Stat
Since 2007, the following four Cardinals rushed for over 800-yards in a single season.
Kimu Kim – 1728 (2013)
Jordan Italiano – 1038 (2011)
Jake Cummings – 1028 (2016)
Jake Cummings – 814 (2015)
Dan Banna – 890 (2007)

2016 Results
Cardinals 29 Poland 14
Howland 21 Cardinals 0
Cardinals 45 East 8
Cardinals 23 Niles 21
Cardinals 24 Boardman 20
Struthers 38 Cardinals 21
Cardinals 41 Lakeside 2
Cardinals 44 Kenston 12
Cardinals 45 Alliance 21
Louisville 21 Cardinals 17

2016 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 28.9 (21st in Area)
Total Offense: 354.2
Passing Offense: 113.3
Rushing Offense: 240.9
Scoring Defense: 17.8 (12th in Area)
…The last time, Canfield was unable to average at least 23-points per game was in 2012 (14.9).

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