2014 Harding Football Preview

2014 Warren Harding Raiders’ Football Preview
2013 Record: 4-5 (3-3), Lake Erie League
Head Coach: Steve Arnold, 3rd season (13-7)
Division: 1
Last Trip to Post-Season: 2012< /br>
School Playoff Record: 15-7< /br>
Last League Title: 2012
5-Year Winning Percentage: 58.0%

2014 Schedule
Aug. 29 – at Fitch, 7:30
Sept. 5 – Howland, 7
Sept. 12 – at Massillon, 7:30
Sept. 19 – Maple Heights, 7
Sept. 26 – Ursuline, 7
Oct. 3 – Shaw, 7
Oct. 18 – Cleveland Heights, 7
Oct. 24 – Bedford, 7
Oct. 31 – at Lorain, 7

Year in Review: Four of Harding’s five losses came against teams who had accumulated 9 wins or more. The winning percentage of those schools that defeated the Raiders last year was 78% (46-13). The teams who Harding had knocked off compiled just a 25% (10-30) percentage.

Lamar Carmichael completed his second and final year as the team’s starting quarterback by connecting on 59.5% of his passes (50-84) for 675 yards and 8 scores. Keemari Murry ran for an average of 7.8 yards per carry (1050 rushing yards) and 9 touchdowns as a sophomore. The defense; however, allowed the opposition to snap a five-year streak of holding their foes to less than 20 points per game for the season (2013: 23.3).

Harding begins 2014 with a trip to Austintown where they’ll meet the Falcons on Friday, August 29. The Raiders return home the following week to tangle with Howland.

2013 Team Leaders
Points Scored Per Game: 22.1 (36th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 227.4
Passing Offense: 86.8
Points Allowed Per Game: 23.3 (31st in Area)
Rushing Defense: 141.1
Passing Defense: 108.8

3 Things to Watch in Warren
Impressive up front.
The Raiders feature two standouts who most likely will play big-time college football somewhere on Saturdays next fall. Javon Provitt and James Daniels both have bright futures. Provitt has received interest from Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Akron and Kent State. Daniels has verbally committed to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Improving offense.
Since Steve Arnold took over the program prior to 2012, the Raiders’ offense has improved tremendously over that time frame. In 2011, the offense was only able to muster 167.6 total yards per outing. The next year, Harding increased that total to 298.9. Just last fall, they improved upon that number to 314.2. One figure which the offense must improve upon is the amount of times they turned the ball over in 2013. The Raiders fumbled the ball away 18 times while their quarterbacks tossed 8 interceptions (26 turnovers total). Compare that number to the previous season’s statistic of 8 times for the entire season (1 interception/7 lost fumbles).

Defending the pass.
Last fall, Harding proved themselves once again to be effective against the pass. In 2012, the Raiders allowed their opponent’s to complete 48.2% of their pass plays (81-168) for 96.3 yards per game. Last year, their defense was able to lower that figure to a 43.8% passing rate (108.8 yards).

Recent Offensive Statistical Leaders
Passing Yards
2013: Lamar Carmichael – 675
2012: Lamar Carmichael – 986
2011: Jimmy Rumple – 235

Rushing Yards
2013: Keemari Murry – 1050
2012: LeShun Daniels – 1604
2011: LeShun Daniels – 850

Receiving Yards
2013: Nate Walls – 374
2012: Jalyn Powell – 353

Fact Finder: Harding has lost their last three season openers by a combined score of 100-17…In the month of September, Harding has won seven of their last eight contests…The Raiders finished 2013 with a 2-4 home mark. Prior to last year, Harding had won seven consecutive games at Mollenkopf Stadium…In 2003, the Raiders finished the season with an 11-1 mark. That was the last time Harding had a double-digit win campaign.

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