GROVE CITY, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – Just five years ago, Grove City was coming off of a 1-9 season. Fast forward to the present, the Eagles have posted a winning percentage of 85.4% (41-7) over the course of four seasons (2016-19). Coach Sam Mowrey has his program thriving.
The big hurdle has been Sharon – who’s eliminated the Eagles from playoff competition in each of the last two years. This year, they’ll get their opportunity at the Tigers on October 2.
2019 Record: 9-3 (2-2), 3rd place in Region 5
Head Coach: Sam Mowrey, 7th season (44-24)
Scoring Offense: 31.3 (10th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 17.0 (11th in Area)
Total Offense: 391.6
Rushing Offense: 202.9
Passing Offense: 188.7
Total Defense: 263.4
What you need to know about Grove City’s offense
-For the 4th year in a row, Grove City averaged over 390-yards of total offense and they were able to score over 30 points per game. This coming season – the Eagles will be without their leading rusher (Colby Nelson, 1573 yards), top three receivers (Jacob Reddick, Daiveon Say, Colby Nelson) and a standout lineman (Lance Craig).
Senior Logan Breese enters his second season as the team’s signal caller. Breese completed 64.4% of his passes (143-222) while amassing 2262 yards through the air and 20 touchdowns. Junior Curtis Hovis is the Eagles’ top returning rusher after tallying 5.2 yards per carry last year (80 attempts, 412 yards) and scoring 5 touchdowns on the ground. “Curtis spelled Colby (Nelson) last year,” points out Mowrey. “He brings intensity and is a hard downhill runner. At receiver, we’re looking for big things from the likes of Zack Rodgers and Anthony Pereira. Kendel Hollen can provide some flexibility at the running back or wide receiver position. We believe they can step up to help fill the void left by (Jacob) Reddick and (Daiveon) Say.”
Up front, Grove City will welcome back four starting linemen including a pair of All-Region linemen in Matt Howard and Gage Dlugonski. Also, back in the fold will be Nate Wadsworth and Jacob Blair. “Our offensive line remains a strength,” says Mowrey. “As we are returning much of our line from last year.” Look for seniors Max Myford and Corey Medve to provide depth along with junior Cole Hammerman and sophomores Tyson Metheney and Kyle McFadden.
What you need to know about Grove City’s defense
-The defense held the opposition to an average of 17 points and 263.4 yards per game in 2019. With Lance Craig (62 tackles, 12 TFL) and Jacob Reddick (99 tackles, 4 INTs) graduated, the team has many talented and experienced defenders ready to step into the limelight.
Last year, Zach Rodgers (85 tackles, 3 INTs) was named to the First-Team All-Region as a sophomore. Defensive end Matt Howard put together a fantastic campaign as he finished with 53 tackles (12 TFL) and 3 QB sacks. Senior linebacker Zack Martin led the team in tackles with 112 (10 for a loss). He also had an interception and two quarterback takedowns.
“Defensively, we’re expecting big impacts from (Zack) Martin and Curtis Hovis at the linebacker positions,” Mowrey indicates. “Both of them started last year and we’re looking for them to take their next steps in their development. On the defensive line, we’re led by returning two-year starter Matt Howard. He’ll be helped by Gage Dlugonski, Nate Wadsworth, Jacob Blair, Cole Hammerman, Max Myford, and Corey Medve. On the back end of our defense, we’re looking for some big things by returning players Zach Rodgers, Kendel Hollen,and Logan Breese as well as some young guys to step up and provide some depth in the secondary.”
Grove City’s Key Player(s)
-Senior QB Logan Breese was named to the Big 22 last year after throwing for over 2,000-yards. Four of his five offensive linemen return. He’ll have a few new targets to toss the ball to but Breese appears ready to have another big year.
Aug. 28 – at Meadville
Sept. 4 – Fort LeBoeuf
Sept. 11 – at Conneaut
Sept. 18 – Slippery Rock
Sept. 25 – at Fairview
Oct. 2 – Sharon
Oct. 9 – Titusville
Oct. 16 – at Hickory
Oct. 23 – Mercyhurst Prep
The Big game on the schedule
October 2 – Sharon (Home)
…Each of their last two playoff runs were ended at the hands of Sharon. Last year, the Eagles were bumped by Sharon (33-21). The year prior, Grove City’s only blemish was a 23-6 defeat at Slippery Rock University.
Since 2014, Eagles’ 1,500-yard passers
2019 – Logan Breese, 2262
2018 – Brady Callahan, 2660
2017 – Brady Callahan, 1646
2016 – Kameron Patterson, 2671
2014 – Kameron Patterson, 1777