Raiders welcome back 2 QBs, including 10 offensive starters
GREENVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Reynolds topped Maplewood – 36-0 – in the opening round of the District playoff a year ago.
The Raiders closed out the season with their first winning campaign since 2012 (6-4). Reynolds scored 30-points or more in 4 games last year and held their opponents to 7-points or less in 4 matchups as well in 2018. Much was to be proud of in the effort put forth by the 2018 group.
Now, we move onto coach Josh Mull’s 7th season at the helm and how will the Raiders progress into the new year? Mull’s teams have been run heavy and the defense has performed well in nearly each of his six years as the leader of the Raider football program.
“We as a team – are focusing on doing the little things correctly as we did last year,” says Mull. “I tell our kids repeatedly, ‘Winning is not a goal, but an outcome of doing the little things right.’ Being a small school the off-season has been an exciting ride of watching our kids wrestle, play basketball and baseball, as well as compete in track and field. If their success there is any indication of how the summer will go, I am already excited.”
Head Coach: Josh Mull, 7th season (25-37)
2018 record (Region 1): 6-5 (1-2), 3rd place
Five Key Points
1.Since Reynolds’ District championship season of 2005 (11-3), Raiders have only had 2 winning seasons over the last 13 years
2.Reynolds has seen the offense accumulate over 300-yards in 3 of the past 4 years (2018: 311.5; 2016: 326.5; 2015: 327.1)
3.Last time a Raider QB threw for over 500-yards in a season was in 2015 (Garrett Daniello, 577)
4.From 2006 to 2011 (6 years), Reynolds won just 6 games (6-53). Over the last 3 years, Reynolds has won 15 games (15-17)
5.Over Reynolds’ last 19 games, they’ve scored 30-plus points 7 times (36.8%).
Returning Starters: 10
Scoring Offense: 20.4 (33rd in Area)
Rushing Offense: 275.6
Passing Offense: 35.9
Total Offense: 311.5
…Under coach Josh Mull, the Raiders have rushed for 251.5 yards per game since the 2013 season kicked off. That’s an impressive number as Mike Millero (2013 & 2014), Austin Carrera (2017) and Jordan DeCarmen (2018) all went for over 1,000-yards rushing during that time frame.
DeCarmen returns for his junior season. As a sophomore, he ran for an average of 7.5 yards per carry (1006 yards on 135 attempts) and scored 10 touchdowns. His classmate Cole Toy also put together an impressive sophomore season as he caught 6 passes (for 47 yards) and finished 4th on the team in rushing with 429 yards (3 TDs).
The team returns a pair of quarterbacks in Sean O’Hara – who gained 483 yards on the ground (4 TDs) as well as tossing for 4 scores and 381 yards while completing 47.1% of his passes (32-68) – and Bryce McCloskey. “We embrace having both of them on the field at the same time,” says Mull. “Over the past several seasons, we’ve found success in our running game – which teams will focus on stopping. Our staff intends to build out offense and take advantage of our passing game.”
The Raiders lost tight end Chance Westover (8 catches, 192 yards, 2 TDs) but do return receivers Zander Winkle, Luca Tofani, and Aidan Mull.
The offense graduated the right side of their offensive line in guard Wyatt Owen and tackle Hunter Jones. Despite the loss along the line, coach Mull feels comfortable with what he has up front. “We feel good about returning three of the five. We anticipate the left side to be solid and look to move Evan Miller from center to right tackle and Aidan (Mull) from wide receiver to tight end. We have two holes to fill and hope that the likes of Mitchell Mason, Marlin Jones, Gavin Aley or Dominic Bertolasio can step in to solidify the line.”
Returning Starters: 5
Scoring Defense: 24.8 (33rd in Area)
…Mull says the fundamentals will be the key for his group, “Alignment and assignment football is a must for our success. We’ve developed a system over the past three seasons that has helped us defensively. We’ve made the keys and reads easy for the players so they can react with confidence and speed. We feel that our linebacker play will be a huge part of our success; starting with junior Cole Toy. We feel that he’s been overlooked these past few years and will not be this season. The other thing to consider is our lack of experience in the trenches. This could put a lot of pressure on us as a team.”
Toy had 3 quarterback sacks to go along with 98 tackles a season ago. Luca Tofani recovered a pair of fumbles and closed out his year with 34 tackles. Jordan DeCarmen also had a pair of fumble recoveries to go along with a pick and 31 tackles.
The team will be without such standouts as Chance Westover (64 tackles, 2 QB sacks), Hunter Thompson (64 tackles, 3 QB sacks), Wyatt Owen (43 tackles, 5 QB sacks), Tyrese Baker (41 tackles) and Derek Skeehan (36 tackles).
The Raiders will welcome back seniors Sean O’Hara to the secondary as he earned 2nd-Team All-District honors with his 51 tackle junior season and Jake Moser along the front line. “Our defensive line and linebacking crew takes the biggest hit to graduation as we lost three of our four down linemen and two linebackers,” indicates coach Mull.
Aug. 23 – Union City
Aug. 30 – Slippery Rock
Sept. 6 – Saegertown
Sept. 13 – Mercer
Sept. 20 – at Maplewood
Sept. 27 – at West Middlesex
Oct. 4 – Eisenhower
Oct. 11 – at Farrell
Oct. 18 – at Northwestern