COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – The 2020 Rebels lost their opener by 3 to Champion (20-17) before running off six consecutive wins before falling at the hands of South Range (45-29) to end their post-season run.
Crestview returned the next week to grab a share of the MVAC Grey Tier with their win over Brookfield (44-12) on November 6.
After finishing the previous four years with a combined 20-21 record, Crestview registered a winning percentage last year of 77.8% (7-2). The last two times the Rebels closed out the season with 7 wins, they followed up the next year with 10 wins (in 2008 and in 2015).
Crestview begins their 2021 season with a Thursday night game versus Salem on August 19.
2020 Record: 7-2 (4-1, T-1st in MVAC Grey Tier)
Coach: Paul Cusick, 26th season (177-98)
Previewing Crestview’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 35.9 (7th in Area)
Total Offense: 405.0
Returning Starters: 2
Key Returnees: Anthony Cusick, SR/QB; Jack Yerkey, SR/WR
Key Losses: Wyatt Babik, OL; William Hardenbrook, RB; Cole Kerchofer, OL; Ethan Powell, RB; Kyle Saunders, OL; Brandon Yanssens, WR
Name to watch for: Anthony Cusick, QB
Crestview must replace 9 starters from last year’s group which averaged over 400-yards of total offense and scored 36 points per game.
The Rebels return their starting quarterback Anthony Cusick (1262 passing yards, 54.6%, 15 TDs). “Any time you have a 2-year starter return, especially at quarterback, it’s a huge help to your team,” states coach Paul Cusick. “Anthony has improved each year and will be our leader. His experience as the team’s signal caller will help the inexperienced players mature and develop throughout the pre-season.”
Cusick will have Roclen Bettura, Dominic Yerkey, Bryce Blower, Zander Witherow and Jake Parker all competing for time at running back. Jack Yerkey, Kirkland Miller and Matthew Strank will each be looked at as Cusick’s top receivers entering camp. Yerkey caught 8 passes for an average of 13.6 yards per catch.
There’s open competition for each line spot this summer. “Our players are working hard this off-season. They realize all five spots are open.” Look for Kaden Stickney, Cameron Dickey, Zach Chizmar, Owen Wine, Hunter DuVall, Mason Greathouse, Cade Hancox, Dalton Hart, Russell Hetrick and Caden Mustake to be in the hunt for those positions.
Previewing Crestview’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 12.4 (1st in Area)
Returning Starters: 3
Key Returnees: Roclen Bettura, JR/LB; Cameron Dickey, SR/DE; Daniel Fitzgerald, SR/DB
Key Losses: Wyatt Babik, DL; Anthony Bryarly, DL; William Hardenbrook, LB; Kain McIntosh, LB; Kaden Paskevitch, DB; Tony Perorazio, DB; Anthony Sebastian, DL; Brandon Yanssens, DB
Name to watch for: Roclen Bettura, LB
Crestview led the area in points allowed per game (12.4) as they held 7 of their 9 opponents to 15 points or less. The Rebels’ defense forced a total of 12 turnovers.
Junior Roclen Bettura took team-high honors in tackles (109), tackles for a loss (17) and quarterback sacks (6) a year ago. “Roclen has over 200 tackles coming into his junior year,” says coach Cusick. “Roclen is a playmaker for us on defense and he provides energy for his teammates.”
Bettura is joined by defensive end Cameron Dickey (27 tackles) and defensive back Daniel Fitzgerald (19 tackles) as returning starters on the defensive side of the ball.
“We’re hoping to utilize our speed,” indicates Cusick. “Defensively, we should have good team speed.”
2020 MVAC Grey Tier Standings
Brookfield – 5-1 (6-4)
Crestview – 4-1 (7-2)
LaBrae – 3-2 (6-4)
Champion – 2-2 (2-3)
Memorial – 2-3 (2-5)
Liberty – 1-5 (1-6)
Newton Falls – 0-3 (1-6)
Aug. 19 – Salem
Aug. 27 – at Southern
Sept. 3 – at United
Sept. 10 – at Campbell Memorial
Sept. 17 – Liberty
Sept. 24 – Brookfield
Oct. 1 – at LaBrae
Oct. 8 – at Garrettsville Garfield
Oct. 15 – Champion
Oct. 22 – at Newton Falls