After an impressive regular season (10-0), Canfield took the top spot in Region 9 and went onto win a pair of post-season games (against Aurora and Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) before falling to St. Vincent-St. Mary by three (13-10) in the Regional Championship round. The Cardinals have won 27 contests and only lost 7 in the past three seasons. Since not being able to qualify for the playoffs in five consecutive years (2010-14), the Cards have now advanced to week eleven in 2 of the last 3 years. Canfield returns 12 letterwinners and 4 starters on each side of the ball in 2018.
2018 Canfield Cardinals’ Football Preview
Head Coach: Mike Pavlansky, 18th season (124-63)
Record: 12-1 (4-0), 1st place in AAC Red Tier
What you need to know about the Canfield Offense
The Red Tier’s Player of the Year Vince Fiorenza has since graduated after throwing for over 1000-yards (1023) and rushing for over 1500 (1501). He completed 57.3% of his tosses (82-143) while passing for 8 scores. He also averaged 7.2 yards per carry as he crossed the goalline on the ground 9 times. The offense will also be without Paul Brienz (883 rushing yards, 228 receiving yards), Tyler Dobrindt (All-Conference tight end) and two All-League linemen (Dan Kapalko, Joe Haniford). The team returns First-Team receiver Matt Zaremski (36 catches, 452 yards) and senior tackle Jarod Tincher. The Cardinals’ coaching staff points to the line and backs as two spots where they’ll be focusing in on this summer.
Key to the Canfield Offense
Many talented skill players and linemen have graduated. It’s time to reload the Cardinal machine. Who will step up and guide this Cardinal bunch toward playoff contention?
What you need to know about the Canfield Defense
Canfield shut out 4 opponents last season and held another 4 to single digits. Defensively, the Cardinals were about as good in 2017 as any unit had been in sometime. Allowing just 100 points through 13 weeks (7.7 average) and featuring 8 different players who were able to garner 3 quarterback sacks or more during the season. Canfield’s coaching staff will have their hands full as they look for replacements for the likes of Angelo Petracci (63 tackles), Dominick Gelonese (62 tackles), Paul French (2 INTs), Will Dawson (34 tackles), Paul Breinz (3 INTs) and Tyler Dobrindt (4 QB sacks). The defensive unit returns a pair of linebackers (Tyler Stein, 9 QB sacks; Anthony D’Alesio, 4 ½ QB sacks) and lineman (Vince Giordano, 4 ½ QB sacks).
Key to the Canfield Defense
Don’t expect this defense to post the same averages in 2018. However, the Cardinals have a good foundation of returning players who should be able to keep opposing offenses guessing. Five All-League selections have graduated – replacing those pieces will be the key. A strength for the group will be along the defensive line.
Offensive player to watch for
Senior/WR, Matt Zaremski
…Zaremski caught 10 passes for 240 yards as a sophomore in 2016. Last year, he hauled in 36 balls for 452 and 4 touchdowns.
Defensive player to watch for
Senior/LB, Tyler Stein
…Tyler won his first wrestling state championship this past March. He finished 3rd in tackles on the team in 2017 but was 1st in quarterback takedowns with 9 as he was selected First-Team All-AAC for his efforts.
Aug. 24 – Louisville, 7
Aug. 31 – at Alliance, 7
Sept. 7 – Chardon, 7
Sept. 14 – at Lakeside, 7
Sept. 21 – at Struthers, 7
Sept. 28 – Boardman, 7
Oct. 5 – at Niles, 7
Oct. 13 – at East, 2
Oct. 19 – Howland, 7
Oct. 26 – Poland, 7
With both schools going in opposite directions after this school year (Poland to Northeast 8 and Canfield staying put in the All-American Conference), it’ll be fitting to match these two rivals against one another in the final regular season game of the 2018 campaign.
2017 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 29.5
Total Offense: 331.5
Passing Offense: 82.6
Rushing Offense: 248.9
Scoring Defense: 7.7
2017 Statistical Leaders
Passing: Vince Fiorenza -1023 yards, 57.3% (82-143), 8 TDs*
Rushing: Vince Fiorenza – 1501 yards, 7.2 avg, 9 TDs*
Receiving: Matt Zaremski – 36 catches, 452 yards, 4 TDs
Tackles: Angelo Petracci – 63*
Quarterback Sacks: Tyler Stein – 9
Interceptions: Paul Breinz – 3*
Big 22 Recipients
2017: Paul Breinz & Vinny Fiorenza
2016: Jake Cummings
2013: Kimu Kim
2011: Jordan Italiano
2009: Kyle Vaclav
2007: Dan Banna
2006: Sean Baker