Louisville Leopards at Canfield Cardinals 2016 Football Preview
Louisville Leopards at Canfield Cardinals
WHEN: Friday, August 26 at 7:00 PM
WHERE: Bob Dove Field – Click Here for Directions
HIGHLIGHTS: Will be available following the game late Friday night or early Saturday morning right here on louisvilleleopards.org
ALL-TIME SERIES: Louisville leads 4-2
LAST MEETING: The Leopards won 40-14 at Louisville back on August 28, 2015.
View 2015 Video Highlights & Recap
LAST MEETING AT CANFIELD: The Leopards won 24-7 at Bob Dove Field back on August 29, 2014.
View 2014 Video Highlights & Recap
LAST CANFIELD WIN: Canfield won 7-0 in a DII Regional Championship Playoff Game on November 18, 2005.
View 2005 Video Highlights & Recap
|Louisville Schedule||Canfield Schedule|
|2||at Hoover||9/2||at Alliance||9/2|
|7||West Branch||10/7||at Niles||10/7|
|8||at Carrollton||10/14||at East||10/15|
|10||Canton South||10/28||Poland Seminary||10/28|
Football is here! The 2016 Season begins Friday when the Leopards travel to Bob Dove Field to take on the host Canfield Cardinals. Louisville has dominated the current series winning the opening game against Canfield in each of the past four seasons. The Cardinals have dropped their past 5 openers and are eager to get revenge on a Leopards team that dismantled them 40-14 last season.
Will Louisville continue to have Canfield’s number or will the Cardinals defend The Nest? Find out Friday Night!
The Leopards are looking to qualify for the postseason for the fourth consecutive season. They averaged 37 points per game last season, while allowing just 14 points per contest. Louisville graduated 26 Seniors last season, but reloads with 22 Seniors taking the reigns for the 2016 campaign.
Senior Quarterback Brody Hahn (5 of 6 for 55 yards, 1 TD passing & 22 carries for 101 yards, 1 TD
rushing) will command the Leopards offense this year under center. Hahn was locked neck-and-neck in a position battle with eventual All-State Quarterback Jake Adams prior to last season. His time is now and his athleticism should help give opposing defensive coordinators grey hairs. Hahn can throw extremely well on the run and can take off with lightning fast speed at any time.
Hahn’s top target will be Senior Wide Receiver Tyler Adams (100 catches, 1594 yards, 19 touchdowns) who set Leopards receiving records in receptions, yards, and touchdowns last season. Adams is hungrier than ever and is on pace to rewrite several Louisville career records as well. Other up-and-coming receivers include Jack Davis (6’2, 168 lbs.), Max Hartline (5’10, 162 lbs.), Sean McKinney (5’11, 177 lbs.), Logan Thomas (6’2, 171 lbs.), and Corey White (6’0, 200 lbs.)
In the backfield, probable starters at Runningback include Junior Gavin VanZant (7 carries, 39 yards) and Junior Dylan Walczak (4 carries, 17 yards) who both have the ability to bruise defenses with their hard running. They will look to run behind an offensive line that returns just one starter in Senior Center Chase Lautzenheiser (5’10, 235 lbs.). Other starters on the Senior-laden line include Dillon Deckerd (5’10, 219 lbs.), Max Marino (5’11, 250 lbs.), Sam DeDominicis (5’10, 245 lbs.), and Jerod Warren (5’11, 225 lbs.).
On defense, Louisville will remain experienced upfront with Deckerd (5.5 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 0.5 forced fumbles, 2 pass break-ups), Jimmy Leonard (37.5 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, 3 pass break-ups), and Cade Stertzbach (41.5 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery) all returning to the lineup for their Senior seasons. Junior Drew Doerschuk (6’2, 228) should also see plenty of action at defensive end. Doerschuk will not only use his speed to exploded to the quarterback, but his height should enable him to swat down passes at the line. The Leopards experience on the line will be paramount in stopping the run and limiting the time for opponents to pass.
At linebacker, Casey Nau (46 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, 4 pass break-ups) returns as a 2-year letter winner after playing Safety last season. He should wreak havoc alongside Senior Linebacker Justin Vanover (18.5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery). Seniors Cole Weston (16 tackles) and White (6.5 tackles) will look to solidify the secondary. Look for Adams, Birone (6.5 tackles), McKinney (4.5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss), and Quintin Scheetz to see action at defensive back as well.
On special teams, Louisville will break the gender-barrier Friday Night when Junior Hannah Baughman steps onto the field as the Leopards kicker. Baughman was successful on a 23 yard field goal and her only extra point attempt in live action during Louisville’s scrimmage against Lake. She proved she could hit from 38 yards out in pre-game that day. Fellow Junior Kicker Bradley Terra has plenty of power and will handle the kickoffs for the Leopards. Terra can also hit from about 40 yards away on field goals.
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Adams (19.8 avg. on 13 kick returns, 13.3 avg. on 18 punt returns) returns as the most experience returner and can make opposing kick coverages look silly with his athleticism. Birone (17.5 avg. on 2 kick returns, 12.0 avg. on 1 punt return) and Hartline also dropped back in the return game during the scrimmage at Hoban.
As is almost tradition at Louisville, the starting Quarterback Hahn (26.5 avg. on 2 punts) will assume punting duties leaving the opportunity for trickery wide open.
The Leopards have won their last 4 opening games, while the Cardinals have dropped their past 5.
After taking it on the chin at Louisville last season, Canfield won 8 of their final 9 regular season games to clinch a playoff birth. The Cardinals averaged 24.1 points per contest while surrendering 16.4 points per game during the 2015 season. Canfield defeated rival Poland 7-6 in the final game of the regular season, but would fall to eventual Regional Finalist Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 49-28 in the opening round of the playoffs.
Highlighting the top offensive returners for the Cardinals is Senior Quarterback Jake Cummings who can frustrate defenses with his legs (814 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns) perhaps even more so than with his arm (39 of 72 passing for 445 yards, 3 touchdowns). Cummings will have an all new receiving core to throw to as the top returning receiver is Senior Tailback Jared Clark (7 catches 49 yards).
Canfield will once again have to rely on their running game to carry most of the load on offense. Clark (6’0, 195 lbs.) and Junior Paul Breinz (5’9, 172 lbs.) are expected to share carries in the backfield at the Tailback position. They will look to run behind the blocking of Fullback Angelo Petracci (5’9, 182) and an offensive line that returns just one starter from last year’s playoff team. That returner is Senior Tackle Mason Giordano (6’2, 250 lbs.) who has gained interest from Division I Colleges including Ball State.
There is less mystery with the Canfield defense as a solid number of starters return to lead the Cardinals. Upfront Giordano (46 tackles) will anchor the defensive line in the trenches alongside returning defensive lineman Ron Williams (6’2, 246). Giordano leads all returners in sacks from a year ago with 4.
Petracci recorded 61 tackles last season, which is the most of any Canfield returning defender. He will lead the linebacking core which also includes the returning Clark at Outside Linebacker.
In the secondary, Breinz (42 tackles) returns at Safety who finished with 3 interceptions on defense last season. That is a team-high among all returners. Paul French (5’7, 158) returns at Cornerback for his Junior season as well after recording 35 tackles as a Sophomore.
On special teams, Senior Punter Ryan Teminsky can change field position quickly. Teminsky averaged 36.1 yards per boot in 2015.
While the matchup between the two teams is not a league or rivalry game, Canfield Head Coach Mike Pavlansky says the opener will be personal. “Louisville is definitely a very personal game for us. I’ve never beaten Louisville.”
Cummings agrees with his coach “They (the Leopards) took it to us last year and we didn’t forget. That’s all we’ve been talking about all summer, we want to get them back.”