After 3-7; Ursuline looks to rebound in a big way

Ursuline begins play with a matchup against Benedictine.

Ursuline Fighting Irish High School Football

2017 Ursuline Football Preview
Head Coach: Larry Kempe, 6th season (31-29)
Last Season: 3-7
Division: IV (Region 13)

More:High School Football previews from other teams

The Good News
“The success of the Irish in 2017 will be determined by our senior class,” coach Kempe says. One of those seniors is quarterback Jared Fabry, who returns for his third-year at the helm of the Irish offense. Fabry has thrown for 1552 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore and junior. Fabry also pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 13 times with his punts (averaged 31.7 yards on 52 kicks). The team’s leading rusher Joe Floyd is back as well after carrying the football 145 times for 682 yards (4.7 average) with 4 scores on the ground. He also caught 6 passes for 37 yards a year ago. On defense, Mario Fusillo (40 tackles) and Tyree Reeder (23 tackles) both return for their senior seasons at linebacker. In the secondary, Duane Leggett had an interception and 36 tackles.

2017 Schedule
Aug. 25 – Benedictine
Sept. 1 – at East, 7
Sept. 8 – Hoban, 7
Sept. 15 – at Massillon, 7:30
Sept. 22 – at Harding, 7
Oct. 6 – at Steubenville
Oct. 12 – Boardman, 7
Oct. 20 – at Mooney, 7:30
Oct. 27 – at St. Vincent-St. Mary, 7

More:High School Football schedules from other teams

Challenges
The Irish have a lot of pieces they must replace including offensive lineman Jeff Marx, the playmaking ability of Dakota Hobbs (226 rushing yards, 399 receiving yards, 3 INTs) and the defensive play from Spencer Warren (64 tackles), Dawalyn Washington (52 tackles, 3 INTs) and Daylen Harris (44 tackles) just to name a few. The defense last year allowed the most points per game (26.0) since 2013 (26.2). The offense saw a reduction in total yards from 278.4 in 2015 to 216.9 this past Fall.

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 62.4% (68-41)
Playoff Appearances: 8
Playoff Record: 27-4

2016 Results
St. Vincent-St. Mary 41 Irish 14
Mooney 13 Irish 9
Boardman 21 Irish 14 OT
Steubenville 24 Irish 15
Irish 41 Royal Imperial Collegiate 12
Harding 34 Irish 19
Massillon 30 Irish 0
Hoban 37 Irish 12
Irish 40 East 16
Irish 33 Benedictine 32, 2 OT

2016 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 19.7 (40th in Area)
Total Offense: 216.9
Passing Offense: 73.0
Rushing Offense: 143.9
Scoring Defense: 26.0 (35th in Area)
…The Ursuline offense has failed to average above 21-points per game in each of the last four years (2013: 19.0; 2014: 21.0; 2015: 20.3; 2016: 19.7).

Key Number
Facing another brutal schedule in 2016, Ursuline faced (and lost) Division III champ Hoban and Division IV finalist Steubenville. The Fighting Irish were 1-3 in games decided by 9-points or less.

Featured Stat
Six Fighting Irish finished with 4-or more rushing touchdowns over the last two years:
Kimauni Johnson – 14 (2015)
Deion Edwards -0 7 (2015)
Jared Fabry – 5 (2015)
Joe Floyd – 4 (2016)
Daylen Harris – 4 (2016)
Jared Fabry – 4 (2016)
Ty Spinks – 4 (2015)

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