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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 "East football"
Posted: July 8th, 2014

Leonard Ford

East Warriors
Coach: Leonard Ford (7th season, 16-43)
2013 overall record: 0-10
2013 region record: 0-5 (sixth)
2013 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Jarel Nelson, Tavaray Carr, Anthony Gates, Tishar Moss, Eddie Williams, Deiontre Plott, Jaden Ocasio, Jonathan Sanchez
Top returning players: Chris Adams, D.J. Crosby, Dijauhn Hemphill, Freddie Gregory, Deavin Gregory, Demetrius Figueroa, Justin Cruz, Justus Davis, Quannie Roberts, Jameel Gibbs, Ian McNeil
Assistant coaches: Tony Hollingsworth, Eddie Williams, Mike Cutter, Ron Hayes
Outlook: Like its basketball team each season, East will have plenty of new faces in difference places. The Warriors were hit hard by graduation by losing Jarel Nelson, Tavaray Carr, Anthony Gates, Tishar Moss, Eddie Williams, Deiontre Plott, Jaden Ocasio and Jonathan Sanchez. The list of players lost includes all of East’s ballcarriers, quarterbacks and wide receivers from last year’s varsity team. In fact, the only Warrior to record a varsity offensive stat that is back is junior Freddie Rowry, who caught one pass for four yards. Nelson was the main East quarterback with 750 yards and three touchdowns through the air last fall, while Sanchez and Williams also completed passes. The Warriors top seven rushers are all gone as well. Gates led the way with 335 yards and one touchdown, and Williams ran for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Williams is also a big loss in the passing game as he caught 29 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns, while Gates had 17 catches for 200 yards. East was also gutted on the line losing almost every starter. The Warriors will lean on sophomore Darrell “D.J.” Crosby, who started eight games on the line as a freshman. He will be counted on as a leader on the offensive and defensive lines for the next three seasons. East also returns several promising players, including Chris Adams, Dijauhn Hemphill, Freddie Gregory, Deavin Gregory, Demetrius Figueroa, Justin Cruz, Justus Davis, Quannie Roberts, Jameel Gibbs and Ian McNeil. Adams and Cruz will be in competition for the starting quarterback job as both juniors have playmaking ability. Deavin Gregory could be a breakout tight end and defensive lineman, while Hemphill, Freddie Gregory, Davis, Gibbs, McNeil and Roberts could all see time at wide receiver and on defense at defensive back and linebacker. Figueroa could step in and be a feature running back for the Warriors. Rowry could battle Figueroa for carries, and basketball player Vantione Lindsey’s athleticism could force him on to the field in some capacity. East has an interesting Week 1 game at Farrell as the Steel Bowl has been discontinued. The Warriors will stay in Erie County the final nine weeks of the season after heading to Mercer County. East has games at Veterans Stadium against Sharpsville, McDowell, Villa Angela-St. Joe’s (Ohio), St. Mary’s (N.Y.), Central Tech, Strong Vincent, Meadville and Cathedral Prep. The Warriors also travel to General McLane in region play. East’s biggest problem will be lack of experience, but the Warriors always have plenty of athletes to go around. If East can adjust to a new backfield and line, the Warriors could surprise a few teams in search of their first win since 2012.

29 at Farrell 7
5 Sharpsville 7
12 at General McLane* 7
19 McDowell* 7
27 Villa Angela-St. Joe’s (Ohio) 7
4 at Strong Vincent* 1
11 St. Mary’s (N.Y.) 1
18 at Central Tech* 1
24 at Meadville 7
31 Cathedral Prep* 7
*Region 6 game

Tuesday: Eisenhower

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: July 2nd, 2013

East's Anthony Gates had 321 yards rushing and 246 yards receiving in 2012.

Leonard Ford

Tishar Moss

Jaden Ocasio

Deiontre Plott

East Warriors
Coach: Leonard Ford (6th season, 16-32)
2012 overall record: 1-9
2012 region record: 1-4 (fifth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.

Top players lost: Jauwan Ford, Willie Horne, Avery Kirksey, Pat Williamson

Top returning players: Tavaray Carr, Anthony Gates, Jarel Nelson, Tishar Moss, Jaden Ocasio, Johnathan Sanchez, Deiontre Plott, Eddie Williams

Assistant coaches: Ron Hayes, Eddie Williams, Tony Hollingsworth, Ben Fennell, Mike Cutte

Outlook: East went through a tough 2012 season and will need to rebuild quickly to avoid another down year. The Warriors’ biggest need will be at quarterback. Jauwan Ford, a second-team quarterback, graduated in the spring. He ran for 148 yards and six touchdowns and threw for 1,383 yards and eight touchdowns. Ford played a huge role in East’s lone win over Central Tech by throwing for the game-tying touchdown and rushing for the game-winning TD. East also lost all-region linebacker Willie Horne, along with Avery Kirksey and Pat Williamson. Heidelberg ran for 332 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Warriors in rushing. Kirksey was East’s top receiver with 28 catches for 567 yards and six touchdowns.

East does have a strong group of experienced players back, including Tavaray Carr, Anthony Gates, Jarel Nelson, Tishar Moss, Jaden Ocasio, Johnathan Sanchez, Deiontre Plott and Eddie Williams. Plott is back to anchor both the offensive and defensive lines, while Gates, Carr and Moss are back to fill in the backfield. Nelson could step in and start at quarterback this year and Ocasio will also help on the line. Gates was East’s second-leading rusher last year with 321 yards, and he caught 19 passes for 246 yards. Williams was second in receiving with 21 catches for 328 yards and Moss had 100 yards receiving on 10 catches. East will also have a wide receiver in battle as the line and backfield are basically set. Demetrius Figueroa, Fred Rowry, Deavin Gregory and Freddie Gregory are new players to varsity that could step up and contribute right away for the Warriors. East will open the season with four “road” games in their first five, including three games at Veterans Stadium. The Warriors have a brutal second-half schedule, including big games with General McLane, McDowell and Cathedral Prep. East will need to develop a leader at quarterback and a set of receivers for him to throw to in order to turn things around and win more than one game this fall.

30 at Warren 7
7 Central Tech* 1
13 at Meadville 7
21 at Strong Vincent* 1
27 at Slippery Rock 7
4 General McLane* 7
11 at North East 7
19 McDowell* 7
25 Cathedral Prep* 7
1 at Fort LeBoeuf 7
*Region 6 games

Tuesday: Eisenhower
–Tom Reisenweber
Posted: September 15th, 2012

Final update
Meadville beats East 41-30.

Update No. 23
Prep defeats Lake Catholic 37-6.

Update No. 22
Meadville in control 35-15 in the fourth quarter, while Prep is leading 37-0 over Lake Catholic in the fourth.

Update No. 21
Midway through the third, Meadville leads East 28-15. Late third, Prep leads Lake Catholic 37-0.

Update No. 20
Terry with his third touchdown pass and the rout is on. 34-0 Prep over Lake Catholic with less than one minute left in the half.

Update No. 19
Damion Terry keeps it for a 10-yard touchdown. Prep jumps out to a 27-0 lead with three minutes left in the first half.

Update No. 18
Damion Terry finds Jake Plonski from 10 yards out. 20-0 Prep after the PAT was blocked. 5:30 left in the first half.

Update No. 17
East leads Meadville 9-7 after the first quarter.

Update No. 16
Delton Williams returns a punt 55 yards for a touchdown. He also had a 90-yarder against Strong Vincent. 14-0 Prep in the first.

For earlier updates, click below.

–Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
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: July 3rd, 2012

East Warriors
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

Wednesday: Eisenhower

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted: March 1st, 2012

East High School running back Anthony Jordan will play for the West team in the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association East/West All-Star Game.

In addition, Corry’s Homer DeLattre will serve as the West’s head coach in the game, which will be played May 6 at Gateway High School in Monroeville.

Grove City lineman Tony Turner will be District 10′s third representative in the game. Jordan and Turner will play for a West team that is predominately made up of players from the WPIAL.

Jordan, a 1,000-yard rusher and Erie Times-News District 10 All-Star, will play for William & Mary next fall.

Click below to see the rosters:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: January 31st, 2012

In the February edition of Lake Erie Lifestyle magazine, there’s a profile on East football coach Leonard Ford.

Ford, an East graduate, recalls one of his favorite moments during his athletic career. As a junior at East in 1986, Ford remembers, he caught a pass in the closing seconds of the Warriors’ victory over McDowell at Gus Anderson Field.

“We threw the ball about 45-50 yards, and I caught it in the end zone but the refs put the ball at the 1-yard line,” he told Lake Erie Lifestyle.

I decided to look up the game in the Erie Times-News archives. Sure enough, on Sept. 19, 1986, Ford caught a 34-yard pass from Randy Baughman to the 1-yard line in the closing seconds. After a couple of penalties, East eventually scored a touchdown for a 20-19 victory.

One other interesting fact from the game: McDowell’s quarterback was current Trojans head coach Mark Soboleski. He completed 6-of-13 passes for 115 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to future NFL receiver Brian Stablein.

– Jeff Kirik

Posted in: District 10, Football
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
Posted: August 25th, 2011

Friday’s scheduled football scrimmage featuring East against Dunkirk, N.Y., at Veterans Stadium has been canceled because of a scheduling conflict.

East now will participate in a tri-scrimmage with Harbor Creek and Corry, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (The Corry scrimmage was moved up a half-hour from its original 7 p.m. start time.)

Click below for the weekend’s full scrimmage schedule featuring District 10 teams:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: July 22nd, 2011

East’s football team lost most of its starters from last year and had to rebuild in the offseason. Levonte Ford is back as the leader of the Warriors and his brother Jauwan Ford is off to a fast start at quarterback. A new look for East this year is at running back with Anthony Jordan, a transfer from Cathedral Prep, earning carries in camp.

East is in Youngstown, Ohio this weekend for the Youngstown State 7-on-7 and is already hanging with some solid teams. The Warriors beat Latrobe 19-13 and suffered close losses to Ohio powers Warren Harding (14-7) and Cardinal Mooney (13-12). The Warriors took on two McKeesport squads but lost to the A team 13-7 and the B team 13-12.

Corry will host a 16-team 7-on-7 camp on July 30. Warren is the defending champion of the camp after knocking off East in the championship. The camp features nine District 10 teams along with several teams from New York.

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Football

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