Canton South Wildcats at Louisville Leopards 2014 Football Preview
Canton South Wildcats (1-8, 1-5) at Louisville Leopards (8-1, 6-0)
SPREAD: Louisville By 32
WHEN: Friday, October 31, 2014
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 50-18-3, which includes a 26-8-1 record at home.
LAST MEETING: The Leopards won 42-21 at Canton South back on November 1, 2013 to complete a 10-0 season.
LAST MEETING AT LOUISVILLE: The Wildcats won 41-20 back on October 26, 2012 for their first win over the Leopards since 2006.
|1||at Canfield||W 24-7||at Coventry||L 34-46|
|2||at Hoover||L 14-17||Olmsted Falls||L 0-10|
|3||Ravenna||W 40-6||Chardon||L 20-40|
|4||at Salem||W 49-6||Carrollton||L 21-41|
|5||at Carrollton||W 37-22||at West Branch||L 14-30|
|6||West Branch||W 51-0||Marlington||L 21-25|
|7||Minerva||W 44-21||at Alliance||W 17-6|
|8||at Marlington||W 54-14||Minerva||L 32-35|
|9||Alliance||W 56-14||Salem||L 36-37|
|10||Canton South||10/31||at Louisville||10/31|
The Louisville Leopards are riding high after pummeling Alliance 56-14 for their 7th straight victory. Louisville has already clinched a playoff birth, a first round home game, and a share of the NBC Title. A victory will give them their second straight Outright Conference Championship, their 14th straight league victory, and a seed as high as 2nd in DIII, Region 7. Standing in their way are the Canton South Wildcats who have lost 9 of their last 10 games overall. On a positive note, Canton South’s last three losses have been by 4 points or less and they also won at Alliance 17-6 in Week 7. These two squads have played each other every year since an opening week tie in a season preview at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in 1947. While the odds are surely in the Leopards favor, the Wildcats always bring their best game when they play Louisville.
Louisville’s Offense has averaged 381 yards (197 rushing, 184 passing) and 41 points per contest this season. Quarterback Connor Zwick (97 of 147 for 1,488 yards, 22 touchdowns, 5 interceptions) leads the Leopards deadly passing attack that includes five very athletic receivers in Ryan Lautner (20 catches, 367 yards, 6 touchdowns), Kyle Woost (32 catches, 329 yards, 3 touchdowns), Alec Jones (22 catches, 319 yards, 9 touchdowns), Tyler Adams (14 catches, 294 yards, 6 touchdowns), and Josh Swanson (9 catches, 207 yards, 1 touchdown). Zwick (103 carries, 602 yards, 7 touchdowns) has also taken the most carries in the Louisville running game, but Runningback Walter Schrock (88 carries, 714 yards, 11 touchdowns) leads the team in both rushing yards and touchdowns.
The Leopard Defense has allowed 203 yards (101 rushing, 102 passing) and just 12 points per game this year. 22 different Louisville players recorded a tackle last week against Alliance, yet none of them had more than 2.5 tackles individually. The Leopards defense is a selfless, team-first well-oiled machine that has forced 18 turnovers (11 fumble recoveries, 7 interceptions) so far this season. Jake Mathie (33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception return touchdown) and Daichi Castles (17.5 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 force fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 fumble return touchdown) each found the endzone on defense in the first quarter against the Aviators last Friday. Statistical leaders for Louisville include Kyle Ashcraft (45 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack) in total tackles, Frankie Falcone (19 tackles, 5 sacks) in quarterback sacks, and Casey Nau (29 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception) in takeaways.
Other playmakers on defense include Stephen Kerzan (28.5 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups), Dalton Deckerd (19.5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack), Tanner Brahler (17.5 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble), Marco Buccasso (14 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery), and Joe Crank (13.5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions, 3 pass breakups). Several other players have recorded turnovers for the Leopards as well, they are: Cade Stertzbach (2 fumble recoveries), Adams (1 interception), Brock Haren (1 fumble recovery), Swanson (1 interception), Justin Vanover (1 fumble recovery).
On Special Teams, Kicker Austin Terra has had plenty of work booting through 42 of 48 extra points and 3 of 6 field goals for a total of 51 points. Zwick has averaged 33.1 yards on 12 punts this year with a long of 53 and 5 touchbacks. However, he did not have a chance to attempt a boot last week as the Leopards scored at will against the Aviators. Backup Quarterbacks Jake Adams (5 punts, 24.4 average, 32 long) and Brody Hahn (1 punt, 33 yards) may again see action in the punting game if Louisville jumps on top early. Tyler Adams (6 returns, 36.5 average, 67 long) and Mathie (6 returns, 17.5 average, 25 long) have been the Leopards main return men on kickoffs while Crank (16 returns, 8.9 average, 61 long) and Mathie (7 returns, 11.1 average, 22 long) will be called on to return punts for Louisville.
Canton South’s Offense has gained 306 yards (168 rushing, 138 passing) and 22 points per game this season. The Wildcats are commanded by Quarterback John Haslam who has completed 86 of 150 (57%) passes for 1,138 yards and 12 touchdowns against 6 interceptions through the air in 8 games this year. Top receivers in Canton South’s passing attack include Matt Shaffer (34 catches, 670 yards, 7 touchdowns) and Khord Moore (33 catches, 346 yards, 4 touchdowns. These are the only Wildcats with over 100 receiving yards heading into Week 10. Canton South’s backfield has been shared by Kahlil Coleman (143 carries, 873 yards, 5 touchdowns) and Trey Longoria (148 carries, 648 yards, 8 touchdowns). Both have the ability to breakaway from defenses as both have scored on touchdown runs of 50+ yards.
The Wildcats Defense has surrendered 358 yards (180 rushing, 178 passing) and 30 points per contest this year. In the defensive backfield, David Bates leads the team in tackles with 98, forced fumbles with 4, and is tied for the team lead in takeaways with 3 (2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery). Canton South has forced 14 takeaways (8 interceptions, 6 fumble recoveries) as a team this year and Linebacker Jacob Porter (65 tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery) has recorded 3 of them. Leaders on the line include Andrew Scarpino (37 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks), Tristian Larsen (25 tackles, 1 sack, 1 safety), and Connor Lang (11 tackles, 3 sacks). Other defensive playmakers for the Wildcats include Kole Ickes (45 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery), Austin Ness (44 tackles, 13 pass breakups, 2 interceptions), Moore (30 tackles, 1 interception, 1 force fumble), Longoria (27 tackles), Spencer Thompson (25 tackles, 1 sack)
On Special Teams, Place Kicker Tommy Chastain has made 20 of 23 extra points and made 3 field goals this season. Chastain’s long came twice against Minerva from 26 yards away. Noah Franks has had an average boot of 33.0 yards on 31 kickoffs this year with a long of 45. At Punter, Thompson has also averaged 33.8 yards on 39 punts, with a long of 48, and 5 touchbacks. Moore (11 returns, 14.1 average, 43 long), Bates (11 returns, 26.4 average, 84 long), and Shaffer (10 returns, 201 yards, 42 long) have split kick returns this season, while Ness (8 returns, 9.3 average, 38 long) has taken all but 1 of the Wildcats punt returns this year. Look out for Canton South when attempting an extra point or field goal as Lang, Moore, and Ness have all blocked kicks this season.