Newton Falls back on track with 10 starters returning on offense


Senior Paul Broadrick will move to tailback this fall after hauling in 23 passes a year ago

Coach Gillespie indicates that Paul Broadrick will move to tailback

NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WKBN) – Coach Mike Gillespie made his return to the sidelines last fall and took the Tigers to a respectable 5-5 finish, after beginning the campaign with a perfect 3-0 start. Now, Newton Falls will look to piggy back that success into another successful year. The Tigers have had just one winning season in the last 15 years (2009: 7-3). Over their previous eight seasons (2010-17), Newton Falls has averaged 8.5 losses per season. Last year, they were pointing in the right direction.

Newton Falls Tigers
Head Coach: Mike Gillespie, 14th season overall (56-72-2, 1st stint 1979-90)
2018 record (AAC Blue): 5-5 (1-4), 6th place
Five Key Points
1.Ivan Howard threw for 1391 yards a year ago. That was the most yards that a Tiger threw for since 2011 (Matt Brazin, 1525)
2.The Tigers have posted an 11-71 league record since 2005, just 1 winning season (2009: 3-2)
3.The 15.0 scoring average last year was the highest by Newton Falls in a season since 2012 (16.5)
4.Newton Falls has not won a league championship since 1968 (Trumbull Athletic)
5.Coach Gillespie needs 1 victory to become the second winning est coach in Newton Falls history (trails Andy Pike’s 97 wins)

Returning Starters: 10
Scoring Offense: 15.0 (44th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 88.5
Passing Offense: 148.8
Total Offense: 237.3
…Last year, Gillespie’s offensive attack went from run heavy (under Josh Franke in 2017) to a more even play calling philosophy. The Tigers ran the ball 240 times and passed it 173. The year prior (2017), Newton Falls ran 502 plays (385 rushing and only 117 pass plays).

Senior Ivan Howard led the offense from his quarterback position as he completed 55.2% of his tosses (91-165) for 1391 yards and 13 scores as he also rushed for 144 yards on 58 carries (2.5 avg). Senior Paul Broadrick – who is being converted to tailback this summer – caught a team-high 23 passes (for 359 yards) and his classmate Jacob Wright hauled in an average of 22.5 yards per reception (10 catches, 225 yards). Wright also ran for 191 yards on the ground while accumulating 4.0 yards per tote (48 attempts). Mitchell Harley led the team in rushing with 279 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Split end Adam Honeycutt and Cole Marquette both stand over 6’5 as they’ll return to their receiver spots. The offensive line returns Zach Brewer, Chris Wilcox, James Whisanant, Aiden Knight and Andrew Steffens.

Coach Gillespie states, “Our offensive line must be more mature than they were a year ago. Depth and our ability to stay healthy is important for success. (Ivan) Howard, (Paul) Broadrick and our two tall wideouts (Adam Honeycutt and Cole Marquette) will be a few of the players who we’ll rely on.”

Returning Starters: 9
Scoring Defense: 33.3 (46th in Area)
…The Tigers’ lone All-AAC representative Preston Rapczak has graduated. Last year, the senior defensive back recorded 157 tackles, 14 for a loss, 5 quarterback sacks and 2 interceptions to earn First-Team honors. Rapczak also was the team’s primary punter as he averaged 41 yards per kick while planting the opponents inside the 20, 7 times.

The defense, a year ago (33.3), allowed 28-plus points per game to be scored for the 13th time in last 14 years. With that said, nine of the team’s ten top tacklers return including Jacob Wright (64 tackles, 3 INTs) and Paul Broadrick (41 tackles) along with Brant Bungard (63 tackles) and Chris Wilcox (31 tackles) among the front seven.

“We’re moving our defensive alignment to 3-5,” says Gillespie. “We’ll be smaller and we’ll rely on pressure. All three linebackers return in Cole Marquette, (Paul) Broadrick, and Brant Bungard. The secondary returns (Jacob) Wright), Christian McCabe, and Luke Dickey. Our defensive front will have (Chris) Wilcox, Mitchell Harley, and Aiden Knight back.”

Aug. 30 – Waterloo
Sept. 6 – Jackson-Milton
Sept. 13 – at Mineral Ridge
Sept. 20 – Crestview
Sept. 27 – at Brookfield
Oct. 4 – at Champion
Oct. 11 – at LaBrae
Oct. 18 – Lisbon
Oct. 25 – at Liberty
Nov. 1 – Campbell Memorial

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