2014 Fitch Football Preview

2014 Fitch Falcons’ Football Preview
2013 Record: 12-1
Head Coach: Phil Annarella, 34th Season Overall (212-127-3)
Division: 1
Last Trip to Post-Season: 2013
School Playoff Record: 8-7
Last League Title: 2010
5-Year Winning Percentage: 76.8%

2014 Schedule
Aug. 29 – Warren Harding, 7:30
Sept. 5 – Cardinal Newman (Canada), 7:30
Sept. 12 – Brunswick, 7:30
Sept. 19 – at Dover, 7
Sept. 26 – Boardman, 7:30
Oct. 3 – at Massillon, 7:30
Oct. 11 – at East, 2
Oct. 17 – Bill Crothers (Canada), 7:30
Oct. 24 – at Erie McDowell, 7:30
Oct. 31 – Cardinal Mooney, 7:30

Returning Leaders
Rushing Yards: Darrin Hall, 1480
Passing Yards: Antwan Harris, 496
Receiving Yards: Joey Harrington, 332

Year in Review: The Falcons cruised to an undefeated regular season (10-0) and into the Division I Regional Championship round where they’d eventually fall to St. Edward, 28-0. Fitch outscored their regular season opposition by an average of 26 points (26.3 to 10.1); however, were pushed to the limit by opponents such as Massillon (30-27) and Cardinal Mooney (19-14). In the playoffs, the Falcons got by Marysville (31-21) and Westerville Central (40-24).

The offense featured a tandem of junior quarterback Antwan Harris and his classmate Darrin Hall at running back. Both players ran for over 1,400-yards and scored a total of 33 touchdowns on the ground. The Falcons’ offensive attack scored at a clip of 33.4 points, which was the 4th time in the last five years that Fitch has compiled 34 points or more per game. The defense was also impressive as for the third time in as many years they ranked in the top 5 among area teams in points allowed (13.4).

Fitch will try and qualify for the post-season this year for the fourth time in five seasons. The road will not be an easy one as they have match ups against Harding, Brunswick, Dover, Massillon and Mooney all on the schedule this season.

2013 Team Leaders
Points Scored Per Game: 33.4 (11th in Area)
Points Allowed Per Game: 13.4 (5th in Area)

3 Things to Watch in Austintown
Annarella’s coaching philosophy.
One of the finest coaches in the history of the area, Coach Annarella has changed the culture in Austintown from being a sleeping giant to becoming a state power. In seven seasons, Annarella’s bunch has won 49 games, posted a winning percentage of 64.5%, compiled five consecutive winning seasons, and has only had one losing campaign (2007: 1-9).

Defense continues to evolve.
With a number of new faces each year, the Falcons somehow seem to be a perennial force on the defensive side of the ball. Last year, for the first time since coach Annarella took over, Fitch did not allow a single opponent to score 30-points or more during the season. During his first three campaigns (2007-09), Fitch allowed 10 foes to tally 30 points or more. Over his last four, only 5 have been able to top the 30-point plateau.

Hall looks impressive once again.
Senior Darrin Hall has received offers from the likes of Michigan State, Nebraska, Illinois, Arkansas, West Virginia and Kentucky to name a few. Last year, Hall ran for an average of 5.8 yards per carry (249 attempts, 1480 yards) and scored 13 TDs on the ground. He has now led the Falcons in rushing in back-to-back seasons.

Recent Statistical Leaders
Passing Yards
2013: Antwan Harris, 496
2012: Matt Futkos, 960

Rushing Yards
2013: Darrin Hall, 1480
2012: Darrin Hall, 912

Receiving Yards
2013: Joey Harrington, 332
2012: Keith Lawrence, 339
2011: Chris Davis, 288
2010: Lucas Haupt, 309

Fact Finder: Fitch is one of only nine area schools to have currently accumulated five consecutive winning seasons…The Falcons won fourteen in a row at home.

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