McDonald seeks their 3rd straight league title


Blue Devils have compiled a 19-3 mark over the past two years

McDonald is set to compete in Division 7 this fall

McDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) – Since the formation of the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference in 2017, the Blue Devils have won each of the league crowns (shared in 2017) as they’ve forged a 13-1 record. Three of those 14 games were decided by 14 points or less. Dating back even further to 2014 (3 years in the ITCL), McDonald has registered a combined league mark of 28-3.

Can the Devils keep it going without numerous All-MVAC performers which includes a handful of All-State players (Alex Cintron, Josh Celli, Zach Gray, Ali Hammond)?

McDonald Blue Devils
Head Coach: Dan Williams, 20th season at McDonald (140-64)
2018 record (MVAC): 11-1 (7-0), 1st place
Five Key Points
1.Last time McDonald posted a losing season was in 2002 (3-7). That’s 16 years in a row (2003-18).
2.The Blue Devils have won/shared their league championship 7 of the last 12 years.
3.McDonald won their first playoff game, a year ago (over Rootstown, 46-20), since 2010.
4.Blue Devils have won their last 10 road games (dating back to September 15, 2017).
5.This season, McDonald will be competing in Division VII along with Lisbon, Warren JFK, Valley Christian, Mathews, Lowellville, Leetonia, Windham, Southington, Sebring and Wellsville from the area.

Scoring Offense: 42.6 (6th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 345.0
Passing Offense: 68.8
Total Offense: 413.8
…McDonald has averaged 30-points or better in each of the last 6 years. The offense graduated the tandem of Alex Cintron and Josh Celli – who both rushed for over 1,000-yards in each of the last two years. In 2018, Cintron ran for 2047 yards and scored 32 on the ground. He also caught an additional touchdown. Celli, the team’s QB, scored 20 times via the ground and gained 8.8 yards per tote (147 carries, 1299 yards). He completed 51.9% of his passes (41 of 79) and threw for 778 yards and 9 scores.

The team also must replace plenty along the offensive front. Senior Cam Tucker earned First-Team All-League honors by catching 18 passes for 401 yards (22.3 avg) and 6 TD grabs. A pair of promising rising-sophomores – Logan Hawk (264 yards rushing, 5 TDs; 47 yards passing) and Nathan Gilligan (257 yards rushing) – both rushed for over 10-yards per carry.

Scoring Defense: 12.5 (7th in Area)
Total Defense: 198.8
…With the impressive numbers that the Blue Devil offense has put up year-after-year – the defense does not get the publicity it truly deserves. Over the past 5 seasons, they’ve held the opposition to less than 17-points per game each year. The percentage of teams who’ve been held from scoring double-digits is 43.4% over their last 53 outings. The team must replace 8 of their top 9 tacklers including All-State linebackers Zach Gray (114 tackles, 6 TFL) and Ali Hammond (88 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 QB Sacks) and in the secondary Josh Celli – who picked off 9 passes a year ago.

The defense forced 26 turnovers in 12 games. Senior Cameron Tucker (27 tackles, 2 INTs) and junior Dominic Shadl (33 tackles, 2 INTs) each return in the secondary. Junior Kaden Crown (24 tackles) will anchor the defensive line while sophomore Nathan Gilligan (30 tackles) had an impressive first-year playing varsity ball at linebacker.

Also gone from last year’s group is their reliable kicker/punter Logan Shields. He averaged 40.4 yards per punt (5 I-20) and scored 53 points on his extra point attempts.

Aug. 30 – Brookfield
Sept. 6 – at Columbiana
Sept. 13 – Crestview
Sept. 20 – at Mineral Ridge
Sept. 27 – Western Reserve
Oct. 4 – at Waterloo
Oct. 11 – Sebring
Oct. 18 – at Jackson-Milton
Oct. 25 – at Lowellville
Nov. 1 – Springfield

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