Success has been tough to come by lately for East Liverpool, this season could be different

Linebacker Michael Loy accumulated 151 tackles a year ago for the Potters' defensive unit.

East Liverpool Potters football – East Liverpool, Ohio

2017 East Liverpool Football Preview
Head Coach: Josh Ludwig, 4th season (6-24)
Last Season: 3-7
Division: IV (Region 13)

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The Good News
Returning Starters: Offense – 6; Defense – 6
Senior standout linebacker Michael Loy returns after closing out 2016 with 151 tackles and 7 quarterback sacks. He returns to a defensive group which saw almost an average of a 9-point drop (8.7 points) per game last season (20.6) compared to 2015 (29.3). Senior Peyton Adkins and junior Peyton Reed each completed a pass on three attempts. Adkins hauled in 13 passes for 132 yards. Under coach Ludwig, East Liverpool has displayed the knack to change their offensive look based on their personnel. “We’re looking to have a successful year with team speed and discipline,” says Ludwig. “On offense, we’re looking to get back to the ground after a year airing it out for clock management and game control. On defense, we’ll fly to the football and play eleven as one.” In 2015, the Potters averaged just 52.2 yards passing (with Austyn Dozier – who ran for 934 yards – as a fixture in the backfield). In 2016, the offense gained an average of 173.9 yards per outing.

2017 Schedule
Aug. 25 – Edison, 7:30
Sept. 1 – Indian Creek, 7:30
Sept. 8 – Salem, 7:30
Sept. 15 – at Southeast, 7
Sept. 22 – at Beaver Local, 7
Sept. 29 – at Martins Ferry, 7
Oct. 6 – Oak Glen, 7:30
Oct. 13 – at Buckeye Local, 7
Oct. 20 – at Weir, 7
Oct. 27 – St. Clairsville, 7:30

More:High School Football schedules from other teams

Challenges
The Potters have fielded just one team in the past twelve seasons which were able to post a winning record (2010: 8-3). They’ll be without their standout quarterback Austin Mayfield – who threw for 1714 yards (10 TDs) and ran for 432 (9 TDs). Mayfield finished 10th in passing yards among area quarterbacks and 14th in completion percentage (56.5%). His top three passing targets are also gone in Zach Gill (42 catches, 446 yards, 6 TDs), Dakota Ice (33 catches, 484 yards) and Noah Shaw (14 catches, 422 yards, 2 TDs). Last season, the rushing attack accounted for just 93.2 yards per game (231 attempts, 932 yards, 4.0 average). On defense, the Potters lose Freddie Plum and David Locke to graduation. Plum closed out his senior season with 75 tackles (21 which were for a loss), 8 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. Locke also produced on defense by coming up with 62 tackles, 6 quarterback sacks and 2 fumble recoveries.

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 28.7% (29-72)
Playoff Appearances: 1
Playoff Record: 0-1

2016 Results
St. Clairsville 34 Potters 7
Weir 11 Potters 7
Potters 62 Buckeye Local 12
Potters 45 Oak Glen 7
Martins Ferry 14 Potters 7
Potters 28 Beaver Local 13
Southeast 34 Potters 20
Salem 31 Potters 0
Indian Creek 20 Potters 0
Edison 29 Potters

2016 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 19.1 (41st in Area)
Scoring Defense: 20.6 (21st in Area)
…For the fourth consecutive season, the Potters were unable to register an average of 20-points per game. During that time span, East Liverpool has scored an average of 14.9 points (over their last 40 games).

Key Number
In 2016, East Liverpool started 0-4 but fought back to win three of their final six games. Two of their final three losses were by a combined 11 points (14-7 versus eventual 6-4 Martins Ferry; 11-7 against 7-3 Weir).

Featured Stat
Since 2015, there have been 4 players who have registered 5-sacks in a season:
Freddie Plum, 8 (2016)
Michael Loy, 7 (2016)
David Locke, 6 (2016)
Dillan Reynolds, 5 (2015)

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