Golden Bears lost many to graduation and to Chaney
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Golden Bears pushed through last season to not only post their first winning record (7-4) since 2007 (8-2) but also to make their trip to the post-season for the first time since 1997.
The Golden Bears defense shined (14.8 ppg) and the offense went over 300-yards per game with a scoring average over 20-points per game (20.8). Something which East hasn’t done since the team’s first season back on the varsity level in 2007. Can they get back there again without 10 All-League players – who graduated – from last fall’s roster?
East Golden Bears
Head Coach: Brian Marrow, 3rd season with East (8-13)
2018 record (AAC Red): 7-4 (4-0), 1st place
Five Key Points
1.East allowed a total of 701 points to be scored in 2016 and 2017 (35.1 ppg). Last year, they allowed an average of 14.8 points.
2.Over the previous 10 years (2008-17), Bears have posted 8 seasons of 7 (or more) loss years. The other two saw East suffer through 6 loss seasons.
3.Golden Bears scored 20-plus points in 6 of their last 9. Prior to that stretch it took East 41 games to reach that achievement.
4.Since 1990, East has had just 3 winning seasons. Can they make it 4?
5.In the AAC, Golden Bears won more games (4) last year than they did in their previous 3 years (2)
Returning Starters: 2
Scoring Offense: 20.8 (32nd in Area)
Rushing Offense: 183.8
Passing Offense: 120.6
Total Offense: 304.4
…The numbers were on the upswing a year ago. The scoring offense went up by 8-points (12.3 to 20.8) and the total yardage per game increased by 115-yards (188.9 to 304.4).
Well, the Bears must replace their starting quarterback (Zane Cyler), top rusher (Giovanni Washington) and three All-League offensive linemen (Terrance Yeboah, Dewan Martin, Turhan Henderson). Cyler was a First-Team pick as he threw for 826 yards and 7 touchdowns while gaining 447 stripes via the ground (7 TDs). Washington came over from Harding for his senior season and led East in rushing (775 yards) on 139 carries.
The quarterback battle is between Isaiah McBride and Robbie Sullivan. This summer, look for Maleek McIntosh, Eddie Bryant and Vince Steele to all vie for carries as the team’s running backs.
“As always we can’t turn the ball over,” says Marrow. “We have to minimize penalties and move the chains. We’ve got to score 100% of the time when we get into the red zone.”
Returning Starters: 2
Scoring Defense: 14.8 (11th in Area)
…The defense played brilliantly reducing the amount of points allowed per game from 34.0 points to 14.8. That’s a reduction of 29.2 points per game. The defense will look elsewhere to find help this year with the loss of Chris Fitzgerald (75 tackles, 5 QB sacks), Blaine Spires (9 QB sacks), Jarail Jenkins (49 tackles, 3 QB sacks), Marcus Finley, Dewan Martin (52 tackles), and Marquel Anderson.
“Off-season workouts have been great,” indicates coach Marrow. “We must be able to stop the run, everyone has to fly to the football, minimize penalties, cause many turnovers and eliminate big plays.”
For the Golden Bears on defense, the core group of Eddie Bryant, Isaiah Hackett, Robbie Sullivan, Bray Donlow (40 tackles at Hubbard), Frank Harris, Knowledge Matlock, Shawn Cain, Anthony Howard and Robert Higgs will be relied upon heavily as the season approaches.
Aug. 30 – at Liberty
Sept. 7 – Perry Traditonal Academy
Sept. 13 – at Niles
Sept. 20 – Ursuline
Sept. 28 – at Lutheran East, 4
Oct. 4 – at Mooney
Oct. 11 – at Howland
Oct. 18 – at Canfield
Oct. 25 – University School
Nov. 1 – Chaney