2014 Cardinal Mooney Cardinals’ Football Preview
2013 Record: 10-5
Head Coach: P.J. Fecko, 15th Season (126-50)
Last Trip to Post-Season: 2013
School Playoff Record: 60-18
Last League Title: 2007
5-Year Winning Percentage: 70.8%
Aug. 30 – Imhotep Charter, 1
Sept. 5 – Boardman, 7:30
Sept. 12 – Buchtel, 7:30
Sept. 19 – St. Vincent-St. Mary, 7:30
Sept 27 – at Lake Catholic, 7
Oct. 3 – St. Edward, 7:30
Oct. 18 – at Canisius (NY), 1
Oct. 24 – at Ursuline, 7
Oct. 31 – at Fitch, 7:30
2013 Returning Leaders
Rushing Yards: C.J. Amill, 1277
Passing Yards: Jon Saadey, 1370
Receiving Yards: Christian Lowery, 120
Year in Review: Cardinal Mooney appeared in their 7th state championship tilt in the last ten years. The Cardinals were ahead of Clinton-Massie by 7 (21-14) at halftime. However, the Falcons scored 13 unanswered points as Clinton-Massie compiled 267 rushing yards as a team to repeat as state champions, 27-21.
Throughout the season, Mooney’s five losses came against two eventual state champions (Clinton-Massie, St. Vincent-St. Mary), a state runner-up (Imhotep Charter), a state semifinalist (St. Edward) and a regional finalist (Fitch).
The Cardinal defense held the opposition to 251 yards per contest (150 passing, 101 rushing) and an average scoring mark of 19.4, which was the lowest amount for Mooney since 2009 (11.3). The offense saw a boost from the year prior in scoring (+6 points), rushing (+20 yards) and passing yards (+18 yards).
Last fall, the rushing tandem of Mark Handel and C.J. Amill accumulated over 1,200-yards on the ground individually and over 3,100-yards from scrimmage combined. Handel has since graduated so now Amill will become Mooney’s featured back. The Cardinals’ quarterback Jon Saadey will be behind center again. Last year, he broke his father’s passing yardage record at Mooney.
The season kicks off on Saturday, August 30 when Imhotep invades Stambaugh Stadium.
2013 Team Leaders
Points Scored Per Game: 26.7 (25th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 234.5
Passing Offense: 94.1
Points Allowed Per Game: 19.4 (17th in Area)
3 Things to Watch at Mooney
Star-studded linebacker and running back.
Once again, Cardinal Mooney features a team with exceptional talent led by Division I recruits Jordan Jones and C.J. Amill. Jones, a first-team all-state linebacker, verbally committed to Kentucky in May. Passing over offers from Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Cincinnati. He finished the 2013 season with 123 tackles and 10 quarterback sacks while forcing five fumbles. Amill went from a sophomore who was able to take 7 handoffs for 33 yards (4.7 ypc) to a junior who averaged 6.4 yards per carry (199 attempts, 1277 yards, 12 TDs). Amill is being coveted by Kentucky, Cincinnati and Akron.
Kicker Kennedy is back.
Senior kicker Zak Kennedy returns after posting a brilliant 87% field goal conversion rate (13-15) with a long of 42 yards. Kennedy also connected on 47 of 51 extra point attempts and finished with 86 points last fall. Zak verbally committed to Youngstown State on July 16.
Mooney must retool their front line defense and offense this summer. The Cardinals will lose their starting two defensive tackles (Nick Hubert and Anthony Dermotta) from last year’s state championship game. However, both of their rush ends return in seniors Christian Lowery and Vince Vostatek. Mooney will also be without their starting offensive tackles (Ted Everett and Tyrell Rodgers) as well as their center (Nick Bilas). The senior class brings back both guards (Zach Dundics and Julian Thomas) in 2014.
Recent Offensive Leaders
2013: Jon Saadey – 1370
2012: Jon Saadey – 501
2011: P.J. Quinn – 1255
2010: Kevin McGuire – 665
2013: Mark Handel – 1353
2012: Justus Ellis-Moore – 831
2011: Roosevelt Griffin – 1514
2010: Charlie Brown – 1009
2013: Mark Handel – 452
2012: Marcus McWilson – 228
2011: Ryan Farragher – 611
2010: Marcus McWilson – 373
Fact Finder: In 2013, juniors Christian Lowery and C.J. Amill both caught seven passes apiece. That marked the third consecutive year that two juniors caught 7 passes or more (2012: Mark Handel & Marcus Penza, 2011: Quincy Jones & Marcus McWilson)…Despite falling in each of their past two opening day games, Mooney has won eight of their last eleven…The Cardinals have accumulated a current 27-8 mark (77.1%) in the month of October…Mooney saw the biggest turnaround in terms of wins among any area team (3 to 10)…The Cardinals finished 2013 with a 3-2 mark away from home. The year prior, they lost five straight on the road.