Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pioneer Football 2010 Review

Jacksonville Dolphins
2010 Record: 10-1 (8-0), Tied 1st
2010 Postseason: None
      The last line above tells the story of 2010. How do you finish 8-0 in your conference, win 10 games, and get jilted by the postseason process that was recently extended to get more teams in? The answer came from JU when I asked, and the committee didn't like their strength of schedule, with Edward Waters coming as the main criticism. Shameful. JU deserved to be in the playoff picture, as they finished in the top 5 in our Power Ratings Index at the end of last season, despite the game against their NAIA neighbor.
     All of that aside, 2010 was probably the best season ever for the fairly young program. There was star power all over the roster, starting at QB, where Josh McGregor was the PFL passing leader. McGregor shredded the competition last fall for 3049 yards and an amazing 32 TDs with just 7 picks in 11 games. Very few QBs were able to pull thta off last season, and those that did were all in the playoffs. McGregor was good for over 14 yards per completion last fall in what was the nations best overall offensive attack. The rushing attack was insane as well, as the Dolphins had 2 of the 3 best RBs in the league last fall. Rudell Small was the leading rusher in the conference, running for 1145 yards and 12 TDs. JJ Laster, who replaces Small this season as the starter, ran for 810 yards and 7 more scores on the ground. The third piece to what will be a trinity for the Dolphins in 2011 was WR Josh Philpart, who finished 3rd in the league in receiving, having posted a line of 48-800-12 on the season. The Dolphins also boasted four other receivers in the League's top 20 in receiving, with Elliott Finkley (28-531-3), Larry Thompson (32-477-3), Rodney Sumter (23-456-7), and Small (33-364-4) all busting the ranks.
     Defensively, the Dolphins could have been a bit better against the pass, as they allowed 222 yards per game through the air, but running against this defense was no picnic, as the Dolphins allowed only 106.5 yards per game on the ground. Leonard Smith (66), Joseph Fennell (63), and Jordan Dewhirst (60) all finished with 5 tackles per game or more, as did Will Perry. Bradley Burns led the team up front with 7.5 TFLs on the season, and finished with 8 sacks. The Dolphins had some very young playmakers in the secondary last fall, which may be the reason for the 200+ yards passing allowed, but there is some seriousl talent here. Colby Waldon led the league in passes defended last fall with 12. Darren Johnson, Andre Addison, and and Leonard Smith all had 5, and the entire group returns next fall. Dewhirst led the team with 4 picks on the season, and he will also return to give the Dolphins five experienced playmakers in the secondary.
     Josh Hostetler had some bumpy moments at PK last fall, as he only connected on 7 of his 12 FG attempts. Finkley averaged 9.13 yards per punt return to give the Dolphins a bit of a spark in the return game.

Dayton Flyers
2010 Record: 10-1 (8-0), Tied 1st
Postseason: None
     If anyone can scream as loudly as Jacksonville at being left out of the postseason, it would be the Flyers. Dayton's run was just as impressive, and yet, the conference was shafted as both of its undefeated members were left out in the cold. Their only loss was a week two road trip to Duquesne.
     Steve Valentino was a succesful choice for QB last fall, as he passed for 2218 yards with 16 TDs to just 6 picks last fall. He also added another 712 yards rushing with 8 more TDs on the season, as he ran the spread to perfection at times. Taylor Harris added 13 TDs on the ground for the jilted Flyers, who are looking to push to the next level. Justin Watkins was a perfect spread receiver, as he finished 4th in the league in receiving after posting a line of 48-777-3. Four other Flyers caught at least 20 passes as well, led by Tyler Hujik (32-345-1), Luke Bellman (23-339-4), Anthony Papp (23-310-4), and Nick Collins (21-280-3).
     Dayton was weak against the pass last fall, having allowed 245.7 yards per game, but you could not run against the Flyers for anything, as they only allowed 78.4 yards per game on the ground. James Vercammen led the team in tackles with 99, and he was followed by Devon Langhorst, who finished with 78, placing both in the PFL top 10. Langhorst finished with 19 TFLs, good for 4th, while Vercammen finished in double figures as well with 12.5. Brandon Wingeier finished by just missing with 9.5. Langhorst also led the team with a total of 14 sacks last fall, while Mike Morante finished with 8.5. Matt Pfeiger, a sophomore last fall, was a big playmaker for the Flyers in the secondary, as he knocked away 10 passes in 11 games. Pfeiger also led the club with 3 picks.
     Nick Glavin was highly accurate in limited FG attmpts, hitting 9 of 12 on the year, but he now has to be replaced. Gary Hunter picked up 762 yards in kick returns to leadt the PFL, and scored once as well. He averaged 28.22 yards per return last fall as a freshman. Hujik averaged over 13 yards per return on punts.

Drake Bulldogs
2010 Record: 7-4 (6-2), 3rd
2010 Postseason: None
     The Bulldogs only lost in conference play to the leaders, but it was enough to limit their season to moderate success. The Bulldogs did finish 2010 by winning 4 of their last 5 games, so they have something to build on coming into 2011.
     Mike Piatkowski had a solid sophomore campaign at QB, as he passed for 1854 yards and 15 TDs to just 7 picks. His youth makes him a perfect candidate to improve a great deal in 2011, and he may be one of the best QBs in the nation by 2012. There is that kind of potential here. Drake did not run the ball well, as Patrick Cashmore was the leader with only 348 yards rushing with 6 scores. They must improve the ground game if the Bulldogs intend on climbing in this improving League. They will also have to distribute the ball through the air just a bit better as well, as only 3 receivers caught 20 or more passes last fall. Drew Blackmon was the leader (41-535-5), and he was followed by Steve Platek (48-461-6), and Joey Orlando (35-440-2).
     Defensively, Drake was not very good against the pass, allowing 236.5 yards per game. They were excellent against the run, allowing only 94.2 yards rushing per game. Tyler Moorhead and Ben Morrison led the way on defense, as Moorhead finished with 73 tackles, and Morrison finished with 71. Dain Taylor was a beast up front, as he finished wth 24 TFLs on the season. He was joined in double figures by Josh Walkup with 11. Taylor finished with 13.5 sacks on the season as well. Mike Lahart was the leader in the secondary with 10 passes defended, and he was followed by Nick Chenier with 6.
     Lahart led the team in punt returns with an average of over 13 yards per return, but the rest of the special teams unit was a mess.

San Diego Terreros
2010 Record: 5-6 (5-3), 4th
2010 Postseason: None
     Mason Mills found his way for USD at QB as a sophomore after a bumpy start to the season. USD did not win a single game out of conference with losses to Azusa Pacific (NAIA), Southern Utah, and UC-Davis. Mills came along just in time to save something of the season, passing for 2160 yards and 18 TDs with just 8 picks in 11 games. He should be increasingly better this season as a junior. The Torreros need more from their run game, as Phil Morelli was the leader with just 451 yards and 5 scores. Only Mason Mills added any scoring in the run game, and he only ran for 1 score. Godfrey Smith led the PFL in receiving last fall, having posted a line of 68-1024-7.
     Mario Kurn was the star of the defense last fall, as the DE led the team with with 66 tackles. He was a dominating force up front, as he collected 27 TFLs on the year, good for 2nd best nationally. He was named as our DE of the Year on the FCS level, and he collected a total of 17 sacks as the season ended. Kurn also led the Torreros with 5 passes defended, and so was the one man show that ran the defense. A little help around him may be a good thing. Al-Rilwan Adeyemi led the PFl with 6 picks, while Fredrick Obi added 5 more.
     Stanley Shurson finished 2nd in the PFL with 11 FGs, but he missed 10.

Morehead State
2010 Record: 5-6 (4-4), 5th
2010 Postseason: None
     The Eagles made some progress here last fall, and that began with Zach Lews leading the league in passing with 23.64 completions per game. He passed for 2898 yards and added 15 TDs, but he did also toss 13 picks in 11 games. I am interested to see how he can build on his successes as a junior in 2011. Desmond Cox led the team in rushing, but only ran for 410 yards and 2 scores. Blake Stanley added 4 scores on the ground. Ronnie McDermott (49-673-1), Donte Sawyer (43-457-2) and Adam Slupski (37-330-2) gave Lewis some solid targtes to hit, but they should have been able to score more.
     MSU gave up over 230 yards passing last season, and over 130 yards rushing, so improvements must come. Never fear, as there is star power up front in Jerome Raymond and Mark Hall. Raymond finshed with 19.5 TFLs last season, while Hall added another 16.5. Tony Bachman was 2nd in the PFL with 122 tackles, good for 12th nationally. Raymond finished with 11.5 sacks on the season to lead the team as well. Kameron Scott was a big time playmaker in the secondary as a sophomore, as he led the team with 10 passes defended, but the Eagles could not buy apick last season at times.
 Rainer Duzan was solid as hehit 11 of 13 FGs last fall as a sophomore.

Davidson Wildcats
2010 Record: 3-8 (3-5), 6th
2010 Postseason: None
     Normally, when you hand the ball to a freshman QB, you tned to struggle a bit, and that was so for the Wildcats with Jonathon Carkhuff. Carkhuff still had a commendable season last fall, as he passed for 2002 yards with 12 TDs, but he needed to separate a bit more from his 9 picks. That will come with time. Kenny Mantuo was the rushing leader, but this unit never really got off of the ground last fall. Mantuo rushed for 562 yards and 5 TDs. Justin William rushed for another 2 scores, but nobody else added a single score on the season rushing. Lanny Funsten was by far the dynamic performer on offense, as he posted a receiving line of 47-685-6.
     Pat Moynahan led the team in tackles with 70, but the defense gave up 27 or more points 5 times last fall. Ellis Martin and John Behm did their best up front, as they each recorded 11.5 TFLs last fall, but the Cats still allowed 45 TDs on the season. Behm led the team with only 5.5 sacks. Peter Kidwell only knocked away 5 passes last fall, but that led the team against the pass, and his two picks also led the team, leaving work to be done on D in fall camp for 2011.

Marist Red Foxes
2010 Record: 3-8 (2-6), Tied 7th
2010 Postseason: None
     Like most teams in the league, Marist had a decent QB in Tommy Reilly, as he passed for 2383 yards and 15 TDs to 8 picks. He will return as a senior next fall, but hopefully winning will come with him, as Marist has not known any success in some time. The run game was entirely non-existent, as the Foxes only rushed for an average of 61.1 yards per game. Winning does not come without a run game. James Lamacchia was a huge star in the receiving game, as he posted a very nice season of 74-844-5. Michael Rios was a big play threat as he turned in a line of 28-642-5.
     Marist was a mixed bag on defense, but they really did not defend well overall. Rory Foley and Isaac Sine both finished top ten in tackling, as Foley collected 103 tackles, and Sine finished with 65. Marist got virtually no push up front, as they had no finishers in the top 20 in TFLs or sacks last fall. Jaquan Bryant finished with 6 passes defended in the secondary, while Nick Mainiero finished with 4 picks to lead the team.

Campbell Camels
2010 Record: 3-8 (2-6), Tied 7th
Postseason: None
     The Camels are still a developing program, so success comes in smaller measurements than most. Campbell made some decent strides last fall, and they expect to keep moving in the right direction this season.
     They may have to take a step back at QB next fall, as Daniel Polk, their starting QB last fall, has departed after passing for 1263 yards and 8 TDs with only 4 picks. Polk also added 408 yards rushing last fall, and was an outstanding scorer on the ground, having rushed for 12 TDs. Rashaun Brown was the rushing leader last fall, as he ran for 659 yards and 3 TDs. Carl Smith gave a solid effort as well, as he rushed for 473 yards, while CJ Oates added another 357 yards on the ground as well. Only three Camel receivers caught 20 passes or more, but nobody had 30. Harrison Jordan was the leader, having posted a line of 29-334-2. Mike Stryffeler caught 4 TD passes last season.
     Lee Stanley, a senior LB, led the team in tackles with 83 on the season, while Milton Brown finished with 71. They were the only two defenders to finish in the PFL top 20 in tackles. The Camels did not apply any pressure up front last fall, so that is an area that will have to be addressed this fall in camp. Paul Pizzuti led all defenders with 6 passes defended in the secondary, but he had very little other help, and nobody had more than one pick all season.
     Adam Willits was erratic at PK, having only made 9 of 15 FG attempts on the season. The Camels will need more scoring out of him next fall when he is a senior. Ted Moore finished second in punting, with an average of 40.28 yards per punt on the season. Moore returns next fall as well.

Butler Bulldogs
2010 Record: 4-7 (2-6), Tied 7th
2010 Postseason: None
     Andrew Huck gave it his all at QB for the Bulldogs, but it wasn't enough in the end. Huck, a junior, passed for 1865 yards and 12 TDs, with only 7 picks on the season. He ended up as the 5th best QB in the PFL, so there is room to grow as a senior. The run game was dreadful. As Scott Gray led the team with only 442 yards, which averaged out to 55.2 yards per game. He also only scored twice all season. Matt Kobli was the scoring leader, as he rushed for 6 TDs. The Bulldogs did have two receivers pass 50 catches last season. Zach Watkins was the leader, as he posted a line of 68-703-3, and he was joined by Jordan Koopman, who posted 50-536-3.
     Sophomore LB Jordan Ridley finished 7th in the nation in tackles made last fall, as he led the PFL with 130 on the season. Ridley was the only Bulldog in the top 20, so many defenders basically watched him do all of the work last fall. Grant Hunter finished with 10 TFLs last fall, and Ridley collected 9.5, just missing double figures. Hunter led the team with only 4 sacks, so there is very little pressure on opposing QBs. There was very little playmaking in the secondary as well, as nobody finshed in the top 30 in passes defended. Ridley tied with Logan Sullivan and Jack McKenna for the INT lead with 2 each.
     David Lang attempted more FGs than anyone in the PFL (23) but only hit 14 of them last season as a junior.

Valparaiso Crusaders
2010 Record: 0-11 (0-8), 10th
Postseason: None
     I have to be honest. I don't know why Valpo fieds a football team. They are not competitive, are not playing on a level where they can ever dream of winning, and their facilities are garbage. High schools have nicer home fields than the Crusaders have. They aren't even trying. They gave up 27 or more points in 10 of 11 games last fall, and gave up 86 points in a loss to Jacksonville. Their average margin of defeat was 37.64 points per game, and they lost to St. Joseph's of Indiana by 43 points. I just have nothing more to say about this program other than they are simply wasting their time to field this program at all.
That is all.


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