Coach (season, record): Leonard Ford (5th season, 15-23)
2011 overall record: 7-5
2011 region record (place): 4-2 (third)
2011 playoff results: Defeated Corry 27-16 in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals before losing to Grove City 49-7 in the semifinals.
Top players lost: Levonte Ford, Anthony Jordan, Darion Qualls, Mack Bean, Tywonn Taylor, Tyree Crockett, DeMarcus House
Top returning players: Jauwan Ford, Anthony Gates, Tavaray Carr, Jarel Nelson, Anthony Palau, Scottie Plott, Tishar Moss, Eddie Williams
Assistant coaches: Mike Cutter, Ron Hayes, Eddie Williams, Ben Fennel
Outlook: East made historic strides in 2011 with the program’s first District 10 playoff game and the Warriors even picked up their first playoff win by beating Corry. East will be young this fall after heavy graduation losses. Levonte Ford, Anthony Jordan, Darion Qualls, Mack Bean, Tywonn Taylor, Tyree Crockett and DeMarcus House graduated in the spring, leaving some big holes for coach Leonard Ford. Levonte Ford has been a staple of East football throughout his career and was part of the rebuilding program from the beginning. He was named to the all-district team as a senior and voted to the all-region first team as a tight end and linebacker. Levonte Ford carried the ball 17 times for 72 yards with one touchdown and he caught four passes for 48 yards. On defense, he recorded 187 tackles and four sacks. Jordan is also a huge loss at running back. After coming over from Cathedral Prep, Jordan ran for 1,141 yards on 115 carries and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 14 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns and scored a total of 110 points. Jordan was voted to the all-region first team as a running back and defensive back. Also gone are Taylor and Bean, who were voted to the second team as offensive linemen, along with Qualls, a second-team defensive back. Qualls was the Warriors’ second-leading rusher with 398 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries and leading receiver with 17 catches for 263 yards and three TDs.
East has some experience returning in the backfield. Quarterback Jauwan Ford and running back Anthony Gates put together solid 2011 seasons. Ford threw for 939 yards and 12 touchdowns last year and he ran for 58 yards and three TDs. Gates was the Warriors’ third-leading rusher at 110 yards on 27 carries, including four touchdowns. He also caught 17 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns. Tavaray Carr, Jarel Nelson, Anthony Palau, Scottie Plott, Tishar Moss and Eddie Williams are back as well to give East some depth this season.
A huge key for East will be how quickly the Warriors develop chemistry. There will be plenty of new faces in the starting lineups this fall. Jawuan Ford provides senior leadership at the quarterback position and can guide a young team. East starts the year with a non-region game against Warren but jumps right into an important region game against Central Tech the week after. The Warriors could find out their playoff fate during a three-week stretch at the end of September. East will take on Strong Vincent and General McLane with Slippery Rock in between. Vincent and McLane are two teams that could keep East out of their second-straight postseason.
31 Warren 7
8 at Central Tech* 7
15 Meadville 7
21 Strong Vincent* 7
28 Slippery Rock 7
5 at General McLane* 7
13 North East 7
19 at McDowell* 7
26 at Cathedral Prep* 7
3 Fort LeBoeuf 7
*Region 6 games
– Tom Reisenweber