YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – After a 3-1 start to the 2019 season, the Golden Bears struggled to the finish line losing five of their final six outings. This year, coach Brian Marrow will look to the leadership of his older players (senior and junior classes) to help the team get off to a solid start.
During the pandemic, Marrow states, “We kept in touch with our players through social media and group chats.”
Kickoff is less than two months away. East looks to improve on last year’s 4-6 mark.
2019 Record: 4-6 (1-2), 3rd place in SVC
Head Coach: Brian Marrow, 4th season at East (12-19)
Scoring Offense: 23.6 (31st in Area)
Scoring Defense: 22.2 (25th in Area)
What you need to know about East’s offense
-In 2019, East put together their best scoring year (23.6 ppg) since 2007 (23.9). The Golden Bears must replace their starting quarterback Isiah McBride (1028 yards, 10 TDs), top rusher Maleek McIntosh (750 yards, 8 TDs) and top pass catcher Isiah Hackett (330 yards, 3 TDs).
“We’re looking to sustain drives,” says Marrow. “Need to limit turnovers. Capitalize on when our defense causes turnovers and must score every time we’re in the red zone.”
One thing to keep an eye on is the quarterback battle this summer between Luther Bell, Andrew Blackmon and Na’Jier.
What you need to know about East’s defense
-East’s defense allowed 35.1 points per game during the 2016 and 2017 seasons (20 games). Since then, the Bears have held the opposition to 14.8 points per contest in 2018 and just 22.2 points last year. Junior Frank Harris returns after leading the team in tackles with 78 (9 TFL). Senior Reuben Talley had 5 picks a season ago.
“The goal is to hold opponents to 10 points or less,” indicates Marrow. “We hope to create multiple 3-and-outs. We can’t give up big plays. Try to cause three or more turnovers per game.”
East’s Key Player(s)
-On defense, the play up front will be a key to their success by putting pressure on the quarterback and causing issues for the offensive line’s blocking schemes. Senior Vincent Steele will be a major contributor along the line after finishing with 72 tackles, 13 of which were for a loss.
Aug. 28 – Liberty
Sept. 4 – at New Philadelphia
Sept. 11 – at Niles
Sept. 18 – at Ursuline (TBD)
Sept. 25 – Gilmour Academy
Oct. 2 – Cardinal Mooney
Oct. 9 – Howland
Oct. 16 – Canfield
Oct. 24 – at University School
Oct. 30 – at Chaney
The Big game on the schedule
August 28 – vs. Liberty
…East will play host to the opener at home for the first time since 2017 (when they welcomed Boardman). This time, it’ll be Liberty who will be making their way over from One Leopard Way.
Since 2014, East’s 500-yard rushers
2019 – Maleek McIntosh, 750
2018 – Giovanni Washington, 775
2015 – Mike Lawrence, 592
2014 – Jawalan Shaw, 566