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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged "Central Tech football"
Posted: July 3rd, 2014

Eric Mitchell is one of Central Tech's premier returning players.

Central Tech Falcons
Coach: Rob Matz (6th season, 9-40)
2013 overall record: 3-7
2013 region record: 1-4 (fifth)
2013 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Calvin Franklin, Josh Wells, Albert Jones, Eddie Tate, Anthony Duck, Devion Coleman, Tyrice Williams-Troop
Top returning players: Eric Mitchell, Samson Kafando, Gerwhan Wells, Kevin Askins, Rather Freeman, Demond Mitchell, Dmitri Allison
Assistant coaches: Jason Williams, Vince Senita, Chuck Carson, Maurice Goodwine, Merle Bouchat, Eric Jones, Michael Darnell
Outlook: Central Tech seems to be making progress each season even if it doesn’t show up in more wins. The Falcons are competitive in each game and have started to become a tough out each week. Coach Rob Matz is hoping Central Tech can keep taking steps toward making a District 10 Class AAA playoff appearance. The Falcons’ first job will be to replace several key players from last season. Calvin Franklin, Josh Wells, Albert Jones, Eddie Tate, Anthony Duck, Devion Coleman and Tyrice Williams-Troop are all gone to graduation and leave big holes to fill. Duck was voted to the all-region first team as an offensive lineman, while Tate was a second-team wide receiver and Wells was a second-team quarterback. Coleman was voted to the all-region second team on the offensive line, while Jones was a second-team defensive lineman and Tate and Franklin were second-team linebackers.

With everything Central lost to graduation, the Falcons will need to rebuild quickly in training camp. Eric Mitchell, Samson Kafando, Gerwhan Wells, Kevin Askins, Rather Freeman, Demond Mitchell and Dmitri Allison are back to lead one of the fastest teams that Matz has coached at Central. Dmitri and Malik Allison along with Kevin Leggett were part of a sprint relay team that qualified for the PIAA meet in the spring, while Mitchell qualified for states in the high jump. Central’s backfield will likely be Mitchell, Leggett and Dmitri Allison with Kafando playing as well. Allison started at free safety last season and will take over as running back and quarterback. Josh Wells is a big loss at quarterback after throwing for 696 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 541 yards and eight touchdowns. Franklin ran for 689 yards and eight touchdowns, while Mitchell is a returning second-team running back after rushing for 564 yards and three touchdowns on 67 carries. The Falcons also have some work to do at wide receiver with Allison moving to quarterback. Allison had 11 catches for 148 yards, while Tate caught 15 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Jones is another big loss after hauling in eight passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns, and Brian Kelly is gone after catching six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Kafando had six catches for 61 yards is the lone receiving threat back from last season. Gerwhan Wells is a returning fullback and the offensive line has a strong group back including Askins. Freeman and Demond Mitchell are leaders in the secondary and Allison will be back at free safety. Leggett is a junior that make a big impact right away along with classmates Jon Carder (linebacker), Terrell Ruffley (offensive line), Alex Dawson (offensive line), senior Malcolm Goodwine (offensive line) and sophmores Ben DeJesus (defensive line), Darryl Crosby (defensive line) and Keyshawn Husband (running back/linebacker). Central has improved each season and with a group of young, hungry players, the Falcons could surprise a few teams this season. Region 5 could be down this year, meaning an extra playoff spot could be on the line in Region 6.

30 Warren 7
6 General McLane* 7
13 Strong Vincent* 1
19 Meadville 7
26 at Bradford 7
3 at Cathedral Prep* 7
10 at Karns City 7
18 East* 1
24 at Conneaut 7
31 at McDowell* 7
*Region 6 game

Thursday: Cochranton

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: June 26th, 2013

Wide receiver Eddie Tate is one of the top returnees for Central Tech.

Rob Matz

Eddie Tate

Anthony Duck

Central Tech Falcons
Coach: Rob Matz (5th season, 6-33)
2012 overall record: 3-7
2012 record record: 0-5 (sixth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.

Top players lost: Paul Kafando, Eugene Husband, Eli Rydzewski, Cam Sanders, Matt Rea

Top returning players: Eddie Tate, Albert Jones, Calvin Franklin, Samson Kafando, Anthony Duck, Sage Yankevich, Deveon Coleman, Darrell Beason

Assistant coaches: Vince Senita, Jason Williams, Maurice Goodwine, Chuck Carson, Adam Snider, Dan Blackman, Jamal Robinson

Outlook: Central Tech is starting to make strides under coach Rob Matz and stability on the younger levels could start to pay off soon. The Falcons have been more competitive on the varsity level but will need to fill in two huge holes this fall. Paul Kafando and Eugene Husband each graduated in the spring and both were electric players for Central. Kafando was voted to the all-region second team at all-purpose and defensive back, while Husband was a second-team running back and defensive back. Kafando ran for 1,507 yards and 16 touchdowns and Husband ran for 596 yards with nine touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 193 yards. Kafando also threw for 197 yards and one touchdown as a senior. Central also needs to replace Eli Rydzewski, Cam Sanders and Matt Rea. Rydzewski was voted to the all-region second team on the defensive line, and Sanders ran for 281 yards and two touchdowns. Rydzewski was Central’s third-leading rusher with 312 yards and four touchdowns and second in receiving with five catches for 41 yards.

With almost all of Central’s offensive production from last season gone to graduation, Matz will have a big task in rebuilding. An important player in the offense could be 6-foot 5-inch Josh Wells. He will likely be inserted into the starting lineup at quarterback and can run the option offense. Wells is joined by returning players Eddie Tate, Albert Jones, Calvin Franklin, Samson Kafando, Anthony Duck, Sage Yankevich, Deveon Coleman and Darrell Beason. Franklin ran for 172 yards on 37 carries and scored one touchdowns, while Duck was voted to the all-region second team at offensive line. The Falcons have five returning starters on the offensive line and Tate at wide receiver. Central will need to reload at running back and find one more lineman on offense. Duck and Jones are back on the defensive line and Tate and Franklin at linebacker. Samson Kafando will play either at linebacker or defensive line, but filling out the rest of the defensive starting lineup will be important in camp. The biggest need will be at defensive back, where Paul Kafando and Husband were stand out players. Wells could play in the defensive backfield along with Brian Kelly, who is coming out for the team this year after not playing the past two seasons.

Central Tech will open the season against University Prep before getting right into a rivalry game against East in Week 2. Central and East played an overtime thriller last season with the Warriors pulling out a 28-22 win. After another rivalry game against Strong Vincent at the beginning of October, Central then plays at Harbor Creek. If the Falcons are still in the playoff race, the final three weeks will be interesting against Cathedral Prep, General McLane and McDowell.

31 University Prep 7
7 at East* 1
13 Slippery Rock 7
21 at Fort Hill (Md.) 5:30
27 Meadville 7
5 at Strong Vincent* 1
11 at Harbor Creek 7
18 Cathedral Prep* 7
25 at General McLane* 7
2 McDowell* 7
*Region 6 games

Thursday: Cochranton
–Tom Reisenweber
Posted: April 23rd, 2013

Here is a look at the Central Tech football schedule this fall. We will publish schedules as we receive them from schools.

All times p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Central Tech Falcons
Date Scrimmages Time
Aug. 17 at Meadville 10 a.m.
Aug. 23 at Girard 7
Date Regular season Time
Aug. 30 Bye
Sept. 7 at East* 1
Sept. 13 Slippery Rock 7
Sept. 21 at Fort Hill (Md.) 5:30
Sept. 27 Meadville 7
Oct. 5 at Strong Vincent* 1
Oct. 11 at Harbor Creek 7
Oct. 18 Cathedral Prep* 7
Oct. 25 at General McLane* 7
Nov. 1 McDowell* 7

*Region 6 games

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Football
Posted: September 7th, 2012

Eli Rydzewski

Eli Rydzewski is a big believer in Central Tech’s potential turnaround in the football program.

He also played a key role in the Falcons’ 36-13 signature win over Mercyhurst Prep last week. Rydzewski scored two third-quarter touchdowns.

Also a punter, he pinned the Lakers inside their 5-yard line with a punt. Mercyhurst was eventually tackled in the end zone for a safety on that possession.

Rydzewski was also a big-time presence on defense and as a blocker for the Falcons’ backfield, which finished with 373 yards of total offense.

Poll results:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: August 30th, 2012

Get expanded coverage of District 10 sports every Friday with the Varsity Letter e-newsletter.

A new feature we’ll unveil this week is the Triple Option. Three games. Two prognosticators. One weekly showdown.

In Triple Option, high school beat writer Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik will make predictions about three D-10 football games they disagree on each week. See which games they pick, why they picked them and then track to see who gets them right.

This week, Tom and Jeff face off on the Conneaut-Girard, Sharon-Farrell and Mercyhurst Prep-Central Tech games.

Also, if you sign up for Varsity Letter before Friday, you’ll get a chance to win free Kickoff magazines from 2012, 2011 and 2010. Just go to and click on Varsity Letter.

As always, Varsity Letter will provide readers with District 10 sports news, commentary and schedules, along with links to photos, video and blog posts.

It’s all delivered to your e-mailbox every Friday. Subscribe today at


Posted: August 21st, 2012

Rob Matz

During Central Tech’s scrimmage against Meadville Saturday at Veterans Stadium, Falcons coach Rob Matz was pleased to learn that his team can be physical.

“Our kids are very hungry, (and) our kids are very physical,” Matz said. It was that physical play that Matz said helped keep Meadville’s running game in check, including Artrel Foster, the Bulldogs’ senior running back who has verbally committed to Temple University. Matz complimented Meadville as a fast and physical team.

Matz also was impressed with his team’s speed, particularly from his running backs. Among players he commended were three seniors, running back Cameron Sanders, fullback Eli Rydzewski and quarterback Paul Kafando, along with junior receivers Calvin Franklin and Eddie Tate.

Sometimes, Central Tech’s aggressiveness on defense backfired.

“There were a couple times we bit on a quarterback bootleg pass and paid the price for it,” Matz said.

He also said some of his players were injured during the scrimmage, but that he could not specify which players because of HIPAA laws. Matz said he was very impressed with the players who stepped in for injured teammates.

Position battles: Central Tech had several miscues involving snaps of the ball, and the starting center position is still up for grabs. Competing to start Week 1 are Matt Rea, Alex Rivera and Jeff Peyton. Darrel Beason, who impressed Matz with his play in the scrimmage, will compete with Albert Jones to start at defensive end.


Ford’s East squad small but improving

Leonard Ford

East coach Leonard Ford was pleased with his team’s effort in its scrimmage against Bradford Saturday at Veterans Stadium.

“It went very well,” Ford said, adding that the Warriors experimented with some defensive changes.

“We added more dimensions,” he said. “Just schemes up front, turning our linebackers into defensive linemen. We’re not the biggest team, so it allowed us to get some penetration in different areas that, being undersized, you wouldn’t get.”

Although Ford said his team has a low turnout this season, he is optimistic about the talent level on the roster.

“There are at least 11 guys willing to keep (the other team) out of the end zone,” he said. “Just the heart and tenacity that these kids are bringing on the defensive side, that really impressed me.”

Still, Ford said the team has a long way to go. With injuries and graduates leaving his offensive line mostly vacated, Ford said there is room for improvement in both run blocking and pass blocking.

Senior and second-year starting quarterback Jauwan Ford turned a bad snap into a 60-yard run on East’s first offensive play, and coach Ford was impressed with the way his son led the offense.

“Jauwan’s definitely going to be the coach on the offensive side that, when things go wrong, he makes things happen,” Leonard Ford said. “He’s carrying some big responsibilities.”

Another player that Leonard Ford said he was impressed with was Patrick Williamson, a senior and transfer from Cathedral Prep. Williamson will play guard and defensive tackle for the Warriors.

Position battle: Eddie Williams, Anthony Palau and Jon Peters are competing for a starting cornerback slot. Ford said that one of the players will be moved to safety, leaving the other two to battle for the cornerback position for Week 1.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: June 28th, 2012

Central Tech Falcons
Coach (season, record): Rob Matz (2nd season, 3-7)
2011 overall record: 3-7
2011 region record (place): 1-5 (tied for fifth)
2011 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Jeff Biggie, Cooper Inman, Noel Ruiz, Zach Ennis, Alex Torres, Martell Crockett
Top returning players: Paul Kafando, Cam Sanders, Eugene Husband, Andrew Welton, Anthony Duck, Eli Rydzewski
Assistant coaches: Maurice Goodwine, Rich Kolash, Jason Williams, Vince Senita, Dylan Matz, Tywaun Taylor
Outlook: Central Tech made strides last fall under first-year coach Rob Matz. The Falcons won three games and built momentum for their program. Central has several holes to fill with the graduation of Jeff Biggie, Cooper Inman, Noel Ruiz, Zach Ennis and Alex Torres. The biggest hole to fill will be Martell Crockett, who started last season as a quarterback. He moved to running back and caught some passes as the season went on. Crockett, a second-team defensive back, ran for 158 yards on 38 carries with two touchdowns and threw for three TDs. Ruiz was Central’s second-leading rusher with 366 yards on 96 carries and scored three touchdowns.

The Falcons have holes to fill but they have plenty of talented players back to create hope for this fall. Paul Kafando emerged as a dual-threat with his arm and running ability last year. He eventually became the starting quarterback and threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Kafando also rushed for 1,152 yards on 144 carries and 14 touchdowns. Kafando’s biggest target could be Eugene Husband. Husband was basically instant offense each time he touched the ball. The senior carried the ball 43 times for 528 yards and five touchdowns as a senior and caught 19 passes for 458 yards and four TDs. Husband was voted to the all-region first team as a defensive back and the second team at all-purpose. Cam Ssanders, Andrew Welton, Anthony Duck and Eli Rydzewski are back for the Falcons as well. All four could be immediate impact players this season.

Central eventually found its identity last season with Kafando moving to quarterback. The Falcons were competitive in most games and had one of its best records in recent history after several seasons of two wins or less. Central opens the season with back-to-back home games against Mercyhurst Prep and East before hitting the road for games at Slippery Rock, Notre Dame Latin and Meadville. If the Falcons can get by an early test with East, they will have the second half of the season to fight for a playoff spot. Central’s two most important games could be Oct. 6 against Strong Vincent and Oct. 25 against General McLane.

1 Mercyhurst Prep 7
8 East* 7
14 at Slippery Rock 7
21 at Notre Dame Latin 7
28 at Meadville 7
6 Strong Vincent* 7
12 Harbor Creek 7
19 at Cathedral Prep* 7
25 General McLane* 7
2 at McDowell* 7
*Region 6 games

Friday: Cochranton

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted: October 4th, 2011

Check out video highlights from Fort LeBoeuf’s 33-6 victory over Central Tech Friday night. And, a question: How interested would you be in seeing video highlights on from a number of District 10 football games each week, and ultimately from other sports as well? Would you rather see edited highlights or a full game film? Please help us out by leaving a comment.

Posted in: Football, Video
Posted: August 29th, 2011

The Erie Times-News and are continuing District 10 football preview coverage this week, leading up to Friday’s season openers. Starting Sunday, the preview coverage included Region 6, McDowell and Region 4. The coverage will continue through Thursday. Included in each preview are complete rosters for each team.

Earlier, the Times-News published the 112-page Kickoff preseason guide and posted the online Summer Huddle series on the Varsity blog.

Check out the links to the Times-News team previews:
Sunday: McDowell preview
Sunday: Region 6
Monday: Region 4
Tuesday: Region 5
Wednesday: Region 2
Thursday: Region 3
Thursday: Region 1

Posted in: District 10, Football

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