Lawrence is back for an East team which has lots of veteran leadership

2017 East Football Preview
Head Coach: Brian Marrow, 1st season at East
Last Season: 1-9 (0-4), 5th place in AAC Red Tier
Division: II (Region 7)

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Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 31.0% (31-69)
Playoff Appearances: 0
Playoff Record: 0-0
League Championships: 0
League Record: 1-7*
*-2015-16 All-American Conference member

2016 Results
Hubbard 41 Panthers 8
Harding 49 Panthers 0
Canfield 45 Panthers 8
Poland 34 Panthers 0
Howland 42 Panthers 0
Fitch 38 Panthers 6
Niles 18 Panthers 12
Panthers 16 Liberty 13
Ursuline 40 Panthers 16
Boardman 41 Panthers 0

2016 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 6.6 (55th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 36.1 (51st in Area)
…In the ten years of East football (2007-16), the Panthers have permitted an average of 27-points or more just twice (2016: 36.1; 2013: 37.6).

The Good News
Returning Starters: Offense – 7; Defense – 7
The Panthers return many contributors from last year’s group. Most notably, senior Mike Lawrence – who was acknowledged as a First-Team All-AAC defensive back as a junior. Lawrence also led the team in rushing (327 yards, 4 TDs) and second in receiving (14 catches, 133 yards). His classmate Jawan Showers also displayed a knack for finding open spaces as he averaged 5.7 yards per carry (30 rushes, 172 yards) last Fall. The Panthers had three quarterbacks – all juniors – who threw at least 9 passes. Linemen Chris Fitzgerald (junior) and Will Howard (senior) are also back to anchor the offensive line (and defensive lines). Junior Marcus Finkley and senior Tavarus Shaw return as returning starters on both sides of the ball. The Panthers are a veteran group, who have plenty of lettermen returning and lots of speed to boot.

2017 Schedule
Aug. 25 – Boardman, 7
Sept. 1 – Ursuline, 7
Sept. 8 – at Lakeside, 7
Sept. 15 – at Niles, 7
Sept. 22 – at Fitch, 7
Sept. 29 – Howland, 7
Oct. 6 – Poland, 7
Oct. 13 – at Canfield, 7
Oct. 20 – Harding, 7
Oct. 27 – Hubbard, 7

The Bad News
East lost All-League offensive lineman Key’Shon Childs, defensive lineman Leon Bell, wideout Mike Ramey and defensive back Mark Herron to graduation. Those key contributors were the foundation to coach Jerron Jenkins’ first season at the helm of East football. Now, Jenkins has left and enter Brian Marrow as the new head coach. Marrow has been a staple in Youngstown, recently coaching Youngstown Christian. Bell finished fourth on the team in rushing (161) and Ramey led the Panthers in receiving with 232 yards. Coach Jenkins pointed out that behind the seniors, the team’s underclassmen lack experience on the varsity level.

Key Number
In the first year since the consolidation of the public schools in Youngstown (2007), the Panthers won 8 games (8-2). In the 9 years which have followed (2008-16), they’ve averaged 2.6 wins per year (23-67).

Featured Stat
Over the past three seasons, the Panthers have featured a senior who has led the team in receiving:
2016: Mike Ramey – 20 catches, 232 yards
2015: Imoni Donadelle – 23 catches, 590 yards
2014: Isaiah Nuckles – 17 catches, 476 yards