WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Howland Tigers have been able to stay positive throughout the pandemic. Coach Steve Boyle points out, “The staff and I have been reaching out to players to touch base about their school work, football goals and life in general. One thing, we did through Zoom was a team draft, placing players on individual teams which are led by designated seniors. The teams are given daily workouts to complete. The team, as a whole, have done a great job. We’re excited to get back together and we’re ready for the new normal when it comes to the game of football.”
Howland suffered through a rare 1-win season in 2018. The Tigers rebounded to win 4 games a year ago while playing a schedule of 7 (of 10) contests against teams who finished with a .500-record or better.
2019 Record: 4-6
Head Coach: Steve Boyle, 3rd season (5-15)
Scoring Offense: 14.8 (50th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 24.5 (33rd in Area)
Total Offense: 249.2
Rushing Offense: 150.7
Passing Offense: 98.5
What you need to know about Howland’s offense
-The offense returns their starting QB David Burman III (841 yards, 4 TDs), second-leading rusher Eric Babinchak (472 yards, 3 TDs) and their top two receivers Brayden Gibson (217 receiving yards) and Matt Woomer (137 receiving yards). The Tigers have not averaged over 300-yards of total offense in a season since 2012. Howland will attempt to get there this year without the likes of running back Will Hines (581 rushing yars, 5 TDs) and offensive lineman Dylan Blenton – who’ve graduated.
A couple of keys to the season will be to establish a power run game, limit turnovers and stretch the field vertically and horizontally.
“The offensive line should be a group that we can hang our hat on,” indicates Boyle. “It would be a disappointment if they weren’t the driving force behind us having a successful offense. Stone Waters and Nick Mijavec will be a 3-year starters. Keagan Landfried, Gage Gibson, DeRon Burke and Grant Myers will all be two-year starters. Also, we’ll have the fortunate to have a 3-year starter in (Brayden) Gibson and a 2-year starter in Gabe Badea at TE. They’re all students of the game and willing to do what needs to be done to make the offense go. We feel the offensive line will truly define how well we play on the offensive side of the ball this year.”
What you need to know about Howland’s defense
-Last year, Howland’s defense improved from a unit which allowed over 31-points per game (31.1 in 2018) to 24-points per contest (24.5 in 2019). The improvement of 6.6 points allowed per game was the The team has graduated a pair of First-Team All-League selections in linebacker Garrett Deemer (157 tackles, 5 QB sacks) and cornerback Ja’Wahn Dean (3 INTs). Matt Woomer is back in the secondary after his sophomore campaign which saw him accumulate 89 tackles.
Coach Boyle points out that the defense will look to stop their opponent’s run game, limit big plays and create turnovers.
“Our defense has made some huge strides,” Boyle states. “They’re beginning to understand that each player must do their (part) to make the defensive system work. We still need to continue to swarm to the ball, tackle and create takeaways. That’s our tradition and we’ll continue to master our craft everyday.”
Howland’s Key Player(s)
-The 6’3 senior QB David Burman returns after nearly throwing for 1,000-yards a year ago. He’ll have an experienced offensive line in front of him as the Tigers hope to improve once again and reach the post-season.
Aug. 27 – Niles
Sept. 4 – Hubbard
Sept. 11 –at Poland
Sept. 18 – Boardman
Sept. 25 – Perry
Oct. 2 – West Branch
Oct.9 – at East
Oct. 16 – Chaney
Oct. 23 – at Canfield
Oct. 30 – at Edgewood
The Big game on the schedule
August 27 – vs. Niles
…What a way to open the season but on Thursday night against rival-Niles?
Since 2014, Tiger ball carriers to run for 5.5 yards per carry (w/ 50 attempts)
2019 – Will Hines – 6.5 (90 carries, 581 yards)
2018 – Cartier Yancy – 5.8 (51 carries, 298 yards)
2017 – Jackson Deemer – 7.0 (143 carries, 996 yards)
2016 – Tyriq Ellis – 5.7 (187 carries, 1066 yards)
2015 – Tyriq Ellis – 5.9 (215 carries, 1259 yards)
2014 – Tyriq Ellis – 6.1 (134 carries, 812 yards)
2014 – Victor Williams – 5.5 (81 carries, 448 yards)