NORTH JACKSON, Ohio (WKBN) – Jackson-Milton posted the highest winning percentage of any Blue Jay team a year ago — (66.7%) since the 1992 team coached by Chuck Sincel went 7-3 (70.0%).
The Blue Jays have improved in each of the last three years. From a two-win team in 2017 (the year coach Nathan Brode took over the program in the summer) to a four-win and a five-win team over the next two campaigns to registering the program’s 6-3 mark in 2020.
Jackson-Milton opened last season with four straight wins. Jackson-Milton handles Sebring; Blue Jays stay unbeaten
This fall, Jackson-Milton returns just two starters on offense and three on the defensive side of the ball.
The Blue Jays open with a home matchup with Chalker on Friday, August 20.
2020 Record: 6-3 (4-2, 3rd place in MVAC Scarlet Tier)
Coach: Nathan Brode, 5th season (17-22)
Previewing Jackson-Milton’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 28.6 (22nd in Area)
Total Offense: 332.7
Returning Starters: 2
Key Returnees: Chase DeDomenic, SR/OL; Eythan Evans, SR/ATH; Jake Gross, SR/OL; Gerald Ihrig, JR/TE
Key Losses: Mike French, OL; Cole Grope, WR; Aaren Landis, ATH; Sean Lengyel, RB; Noah Kramer, ATH; Frank Prozy, QB; Logan Pugh; OL
Name to watch for: Eythan Evans, ATH
Jackson-Milton will be without nine starters from a year ago.
Last year, the Blue Jays were able to compile 333-yards of total offense per game. Frank Prozy threw for 1099 yards – the most passing yards by a Blue Jay since Jonathon Voland threw for 1572 in 2016 – while connecting on 57.3% of his passes (71-124).
Prozy and Sean Lengyel each ran for over 650-yards in their condensed season. Prozy picked up 669 yards on the ground (9 TDs) while Lengyel churned out 666 yards while scoring 13 times. Lengyel sets school record in Jackson-Milton’s win over Waterloo
Cole Grope hauled in 38 receptions for 704 yards and five touchdowns.
The offense was able to score over 35-points five times last year.
With the departure of Prozy, the competition to be the Blue Jays’ quarterback is up for grabs this summer.
“Eythan Evans will be an athlete that we’ll look to have a more prominent role on offense this year,” Brode said. “Eythan is going to have to have a big year in order for us to be successful.”
“The offensive line will be anchored by senior linemen Jake Gross and Chase DeDomenic. The younger guys will need to step up and fill the open spots on the line,” Brode said. “We’ve had great attendance and progress in the offseason and look for some of those guys to fill the void up front.”
Previewing Jackson-Milton’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 28.0 (T-44th in Area)
Total Defense: 253.3
Returning Starters: 3
Key Returnees: Chase DeDomenic, SR/DL; Eythan Evans, SR/DB; Jake Gross, SR/DL; Gerald Ihrig, JR/DL
Key Losses: Mike French, LB; Cole Grope, DB; Aaren Landis, DL; Sean Lengyel, DB; Noah Kramer, LB; Frank Prozy, LB
Name to watch for: Jake Gross, DL
It’s been 14 years since Jackson-Milton’s defense has allowed less than 21-points per game during a season (2006: 18.3).
The unit lost six of their top seven tacklers from a year ago including linebacker Frank Prozy, who closed out 2020 with 100 tackles, five QB sacks and four forced fumbles.
“Our defensive line will be our strength with Jake Gross, Gerald Ihrig and Chase DeDomenic all returning,” Brode said. “These guys saw significant time last year and will need to be the leaders up front.
“In the secondary, we have three-year starter Eythan Evans,” Coach Brode said. “He’ll have to take charge of the defense. Last year, he led the team in sacks [nine] and finished third in tackles .”
2020 MVAC Scarlet Tier Standings
Springfield – 6-0 (11-1)
McDonald – 5-1 (7-2)
Jackson-Milton – 4-2 (6-3)
Western Reserve – 4-3 (6-4)
Mineral Ridge – 3-3 (6-4)
Lowellville – 2-5 (4-6)
Sebring – 1-5 (2-8)
Waterloo – 0-6 (4-6)
Aug. 20 – OPEN
Aug. 27 – at Newton Falls
Sept. 3 – Windham
Sept. 10 – Western Reserve
Sept. 17 – at Lowellville
Sept. 24 – at Sebring
Oct. 1 – at Mineral Ridge
Oct. 8 – Waterloo
Oct. 15 – at Springfield
Oct. 22 – McDonald