Marlington Dukes Excessive Faculty Soccer Preview 2021
ALLIANCE, Ohio (WKBN) – Marlington took a step back in 2020, ending in 3-5 and being in the middle of the Eastern Buckeye Conference field.
The Dukes started the season on a 3-2 mark before falling in each of their last 3 games.
“We have a veterans group that is coming back,” says coach Mark Gulling – who served as offensive coordinator for Marlington for two years before taking the lead as head coach after the 2018 season. “Our expectations are to compete with everyone on our schedule.”
The Dukes will return 8 starters on the offensive and 8 on the defensive in the coming season.
Says Gulling, “Danny Grimes, Connor Evanich and Sam Dine were all elected team captains last season. They will also be our front runners this season. “
Marlington kicks off the 2021 season with a home meeting with Coventry.
Record 2020: 3-5 (3-2, T-3rd place in the EBC)
Trainer: Mark Gulling, Season 3 (10-8)
Back for more; West Branch tries to defend the EBC title as Salem Johnson returns at QB
P.Criticism of Marlington’s offense
Scoring Offense: 20.3 (comparable to 42nd in area)
Recurring starters: 8
Most important returnees: Connor Evanich, SR / QB; Danny Grimes, SR / OL; Max Heavner, JR / WR; Cooper Scarlott, SR / WR; Rome Sims, SR / WR
Major losses: Evan Bland, OL; Isaiah Harrison, OL; Nolan Hooker, RB
Name To Look For: Connor Evanich, QB
Marlington welcomes starting quarterback Connor Evanich, who missed 3 games last year. Evanich completed 61 of 128 passes (47.7%) for 910 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Connor will have his three best recipients from a year ago. Rome Sims led the team in receptions (35), yards (615) and touchdowns (6). Cooper Scarlott caught 21 passes for a team-high 18.6 yards per catch (3 TDs). Max Heavner took 14 passes in the second year.
The Dukes will miss their 1,000-yard rusher, Nolan Hooker, who graduated. Hooker ran 1028 yards for 204 carries (5.0 avg).
Marlington welcomes three starters again (Danny Grimes, Zach Dine and Walter Bungard). “We’re stronger than in the last few years,” says Gulling. “Ben Lacher, Caden O’Brien, Lee Hall, Tyler Fincher and Beau Bratton will all be fighting for places and should give us some depth.”
Marlington Defense Preview
Scoring Defense: 26.8 (comparable to 39th in area)
Recurring starters: 8
Most important returnees: Sam Dine, SR / DL; Danny Grimes, SR / LB; Christio’n Hicks, SR / DL; Caden McFarland, JR / LB; Rome Sims, SR / DB; Luke Tortola, SR / LB
Key losses: Nolan Hooker, DB
Name To Look For: Sam Dine, DL
The Dukes bring back a lot of experience on the first two levels (Defensive Line and Linebackers). Sam Dine and Christio’n Hicks are back in the final defensive positions. Inside, the team returns Zach Dine and Lee Hall. At the linebacker spots, Caden McFarland and Danny Grimes are greeted along with Luke Tortola. Cornerback Rome Sims is also returning for its senior year.
“Our strength is ahead,” says Gulling. “We’re giving back six of our first seven. We should be strong in the penalty area and strong against the run. “
Sam Dine led the team in quarterback sacks with 7th a year ago. Linebacker Grimes finished with 84 tackles while Tortola posted 62. Corner Sims scored 2 in interceptions.
EBC rating 2020
West branch – 5-0 (8-2)
Canton South – 4-1 (5-3)
Carrollton – 3-2 (7-3)
Marlington – 3-2 (3-5)
Salem – 3-3 (5-6)
Alliance – 1-5 (2-8)
Minerva – 0-6 (2-8)
The excitement grows 100 days before football season; Games to get the adrenaline pumping
August 20 – Coventry
August 27 – Northwest
September 3 – in Ridgewood
September 10th – in the West branch
September 17th – at Minerva’s
Sept. 24 – South Canton
Oct 1 – Salem
October 8 – New Philadelphia
Oct 15 – at Carrollton
October 22nd – Alliance