Alliance Aviators at Louisville Leopards 2016 Football Preview
SPREAD: Louisville By 25 (According to Drew Pasteur’s Fantastic 50)
WHEN: Friday, September 16 at 7:00 PM
WHERE: Louisville Leopards Stadium
HIGHLIGHTS: Will be available following the game late Friday night or early Saturday morning right here on louisvilleleopards.org
ALL-TIME SERIES: Louisville leads the all-time series 14-4-1.
LAST MEETING: The Leopards won 41-7 at Mount Union Stadium back on September 11, 2015.
LAST MEETING AT LOUISVILLE: The Leopards erupted for a 56-14 victory against the Aviators back on October 24, 2014.
LAST ALLIANCE WIN: The Aviators last defeated the Leopards 13-7 back on September 15, 2006 at Louisville Stadium.
|Louisville Schedule||Alliance Schedule|
|1||at Canfield||W 21-17||at St. Thomas Aquinas||L 14-35|
|2||at Hoover||L 21-24||Canfield||L 21-45|
|3||Austintown Fitch||L 0-26||Crestview||W 33-14|
|6||at Marlington||9/30||at West Branch||9/30|
|8||at Carrollton||10/14||at Salem||10/14|
|9||at Salem||10/21||at Minerva||10/21|
Louisville has averaged 317 Total Yards (232 passing, 85 rushing) and 14 points per game, while giving up 268 Yards (131 passing, 138 rushing) & surrendering 22 points per contest during their 1-2 start this year. The Leopards will look to correct their turnover margin as they currently sit at a -7 differential. Louisville has turned the ball over 9 times (2 fumbles lost, 7 interceptions) and taken the ball away twice (1 fumble recovery, 1 interception).
The Leopards offense is ready for a breakout game after Austintown Fitch held them off the scoreboard last week. Quarterback Brody Hahn motors the Louisville attack as their leading passer (57 of 108 for 697 yards, 4 touchdowns, 7 interceptions) and leading rusher (46 carries, 161 yards, 2 touchdowns). Runningback Gavin VanZant (31 carries, 61 yards) will look for a big game against an Aviators defense that has allowed nearly 300 yards rushing per game this year. VanZant will run behind the Leopards offensive line that includes Sam DeDominicis (5’10, 245 lbs.), Chase Lautzenheiser (5’10, 235 lbs.), Max Marino (5’11, 250 lbs.), Zach Thatcher (5’8, 201 lbs.) and Jerod Warren (5’11, 225 lbs.).
In the receiving core, Senior Wide Receiver Tyler Adams (25 catches, 306 yards, 3 touchdowns) is closing on Louisville Career Receiving records. He needs just 7 receptions to tie Brandon Mathie (132 Catches – 2007-2008), needs 3 touchdown grabs to tie Justin Boudler (25 Touchdown Catches – 2000-2002), and needs 193 yards receiving yards to tie Boudler (2,093 Yards – 2000-2002) as well. The Leopards have a variety of other weapons in the passing game including Max Hartline (11 catches, 181 yards), Logan Thomas (6 catches, 89 yards), Jack Davis (4 catches, 54 yards), Gavin Birone (3 catches, 32 yards), and Sean McKinney (1 catch, 32 yards).
On special teams, Adams has taken the majority of the team’s returns this season. Adams has averaged 19.8 yards on 4 kick returns and 4.8 yards on 5 punt returns. Jared Mathie has also averaged 19.0 yards on 2 kick returns and Hartline has averaged 21.0 yards on his only kick return.
Kicker Hannah Baughman is a perfect 6 for 6 on extra points and has the range to hit field goals from 38 yards on in. Austin Terra has been solid on kickoffs and may be called upon for longer field goal attempts as he has hit from 50 yards in practice. Hahn has played a big role in the punting game averaging 37.9 yards on 15 attempts with a long of 57 and 3 boots inside the 20 yard line.
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Alliance has averaged 327 Yards (150 Passing, 177 Rushing) and 23 points per contest, while allowing 402 Yards (111 Passing, 291 Rushing) and 31 points per game during their 1-2 start this season. The Aviators are currently even in the turnover department giving up the ball 5 times (3 fumbles lost, 2 interceptions thrown) and taking the ball away 5 times (2 fumble recoveries, 3 interceptions).
The Alliance Offense is commanded by Junior Quarterback Howard Frazier who leads the team in passing (30 of 45 passing for 450 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions) and is second on the team in rushing (34 carries, 129 yards, 2 touchdowns). His top targets in the passing game include Senior Wide Receivers DJ Hancock (12 catches, 237 yards, 1 touchdown) and Devontay Nickson (10 catches, 153 yards, 1 touchdown). Others accounting for receptions this season include Senior Wide Receiver Jesse Geier (5 catches, 27 yards), Junior Runningback Marcus Davis (2 catches, 26 yards), and Sophomore Wide Receiver Gavin Geier (1 catch, 7 yards). Also expect to see Senior Wide Receiver Stone Johnson and Junior Tight End Tyler Williams starting Friday Night.
Runningback Duce Johnson (50 carries, 229 yards, 4 touchdowns) leads the Aviators rushing attack both in yards and endzone visits. Others making a significant mark in the running game include the aforementioned Frazier, Hancock (4 carries, 78 yards, 1 touchdown), and Davis (5 carries, 66 yards, 1 touchdown). Johnson and company will look to run behind the starting offensive line which includes Tackles Branden Mazzie (5’9, 190 lbs.) & Brendan McGeehan (5’11, 215 lbs.), Guards Alex Leasure (6’1, 255 lbs.) & Jack Recchiuti (6’4, 260 lbs.), and Center Devin Thompson (5’10, 160 lbs.).
The Alliance defense has defended the run in 78% of the snaps they have seen this season. As a result, Linebackers Duce Johnson (33 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 sacks) and Davis (31 tackles) lead the team in tackling so far this season. Others playing at Linebacker this season include Cameron Cox (14 tackles), Aaron Maley (2 tackles), and BJ Nicholson (7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss).
Upfront, the Aviators rush with Defensive Ends Austin Lilley (16 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass break-up, 1 fumble recovery) and Williams (10 tackles). In the trenches, Defensive Tackles include Leasure, Recchiuti (8 tackles), and Cameron Donohoe (6 tackles).
Despite facing only 45 pass attempts all season, Alliance’s playmakers are in their ball-hawking secondary. At Safety, Hancock (19 tackles, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery) leads all Aviator Defensive Backs in tackles and takeaways. Others playing Safety include Jesse Geier (14 tackles, 2 pass break-ups, 1 interception), Gavin Geier (8 tackles, 2 pass break-ups), and Knowah Smith (4 tackles). Cornerbacks Nickson (10 tackles, 5 pass break-ups, 1 interception), Frazier (5 tackles, 5 pass break-ups), and Marco Brooks (2 tackles, 1 pass break-up) have combined to deflect away 11 passes. In their win last week over Crestview, the Rebels only completed 26% (6 for 23) of their passes in the game.
On special teams, Junior Kicker Sam Denny has successfully booted home 7 of 7 extra points, but has yet to attempt a field goal this season. Juniors Jeff Curtice and Tyler Johns are the likely candidates to kickoff for Alliance and Frazier is their punter leaving the fake as an available option on fourth down. The Long Snapper is Tony Young (6’2, 180 lbs.) who is also listed at Quarterback on the Aviators Roster.
Starting Kick Returners include Davis and Jessie Geier. Geier is also listed as the starting Punt Returner for Alliance.