Malone Game Preview: Tiffin (0-0)Tuesday, August 31st 2010 @ 4:34 PM
Series: Tiffin holds a 5-4 lead in the all-time series between the two teams and has won the last three contests with the Pioneers. The most recent match-up between the squads occurred at Fawcett Stadium on October 13th 2001, a game which Tiffin won by a final tally of 25-19.
Coaches: Malone – Eric Hehman begins his first season as the Pioneers’ head coach in 2010 after spending the last five years as the head coach at NCAA Division III Greenville (IL) College. Overall, Hehman tallied a 28-22 record at Greenville, leading the Panthers to a 7-3 record in 2009 and a berth in the NCCAA Victory Bowl.
Tiffin – Dave Walkosky enters his third season as the head coach at Tiffin and has posted a 1-21 record over the past two years. Walkosky has a total of 17 years of coaching experience to his credit, most recently serving as a defensive assistant at the University of Toledo before arriving at Tiffin.
Last Season’s Records: Malone 3-6 (2-5 MSFA Mideast), Tiffin 0-11 (0-10 GLIAC)
Malone Notes – The Eric Hehman coaching era begins for Malone on Thursday…Hehman was hired in December of 2009, replacing four-year head coach Mike Gardner, who resigned following the 2009 season…After a somewhat disappointing 2009 campaign, Hehman and his new coaching staff will look to return the Malone football program to the success it experienced from 2006-2008 when the Pioneers tallied three straight winning seasons and made three straight appearances in the NCCAA Victory Bowl.
Malone players to watch: Although over half of this year’s roster is comprised of true freshman or transfers, Malone will still feature a number of familiar faces on both sides of the ball…RB Markus McFolling is back to anchor the ground game after averaging 6.1 yards per carry last year with a total of 585 rushing yards and eight touchdowns…WR Justin McLean will also look to spark the offense again this season…Last year as a freshman, McLean posted 31 catches for 473 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 25.0 yards on 20 kickoff returns …DL Cody Carroll and LB’s Antonio Scassa, Matt Vick, and Wes Kauffman also return looking to duplicate their strong 2009 performances…Carroll, a 2009 All-MSFA Mideast Second Team selection, posted 44 tackles a year ago with 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks while Scassa, Vick, and Kauffman posted 31, 44 and 33 tackles, respectively.
Tiffin Notes – A former member of the NAIA, Tiffin recently completed the transition process to full NCAA Division II membership… The Dragons are now in their third season of competition as members of the always competitive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and will be looking for improvement in 2010.
Tiffin players to watch: All-GLIAC WR Trey Williams returns for the Dragons this season after tallying 40 receptions for 365 yards and one touchdown in 2009…QB Nate Scully is also back after completing 116 of 221 pass attempts (52.5 %) for 1197 yards and 12 TD’s a year ago…RB Bryce Wilder, a true freshman from Canton McKinley H.S., will likely see time in the backfield…As a senior for the Bulldogs, Wilder racked up 1820 rushing yards with 16 touchdowns…On the defensive side of the ball, DB’s DeJuan Graham and Courtney Embry will patrol the secondary…2009 saw Graham tally 54 tackles with 6.5 tackles for loss while Embry registered 48 tackles and six pass break-ups.
News Release By: Mark Bankert, Malone SID
Young Squad, New Staff Among Challenges For Malone In 2010 As Program Looks To Maximize PotentialTuesday, August 24th 2010 @ 2:54 PM
After a disappointing 3-6 record last season, including a 2-5 mark in the always-tough Mid-States Football Association’s Mideast League, the 2010 edition of the Malone University football program will look to right the ship somewhat after three straight winning campaigns for the Pioneers in 2006, 2007 and 2008. And the man at the helm to perform the task is first-year head coach Eric Hehman, who came to Malone last December and quickly assembled an outstanding staff to help in the endeavor.
Coming to Malone from NCAA Div. III Greenville College (IL), Hehman served the past five seasons as the head coach for the Panthers and saw the team progress from just a few wins in his first season to a 7-3 record last fall and a berth in the NCCAA Victory Bowl (losing to Geneva College 29-28). At Malone, the process of building and molding a new staff has been challenging enough but having an extremely young team in 2010 to work with has only added to the tough job at hand. Yet Hehman and company will not allow these factors to become excuses as they attempt to maximize the potential in every player as they move forward into the current campaign.
Last year’s larger roster size of 130 is down to the typical 100 or so in recent years with well over half of this year’s student-athletes being either true freshmen or transfers coming in for their first year at Malone.
Offensively, the biggest loss from last year was at the offensive line where four of the five ‘09 starters have graduated. Leading the group this season will be lone returning starter and 2009 All MSFA Mideast Honorable Mention Tom Reed (Jr., Troy H.S.), one of six Pioneers to earn ’09 MSFA recognition. Others who will anchor the front line will be Jordan Francis (So., Robert Morris University, PA), Duane Taylor-Mason (So., Dunwoody, GA), Chris Ciraldo (So., Ashland University) and Tyler Guyton (Fr., Green H.S.).
Leading the way at the quarterback position is returnee Logan Francis (So., Sidney, OH), who transferred in from Ashland University prior to last season but who did not see any action in 2009. “Logan has been looking very good in preseason workouts,” commented Hehman. Tyson Hawley (Jr., Los Angeles Harbor College) could also see some action while two young quarterbacks who are “doing a really good job for freshmen and have great attitudes” according to Hehman are Mike Karls (Palm Springs, CA) and Brandon Petty (Southfield, MI).
Markus McFolling (Seaside, CA) will pace a solid group of running backs as he returns after rushing for 585 yards last year (second most on the team in ’09) with a solid 6.1 yards per gain average along with eight touchdowns. McFolling also had 13 catches for 138 yards (1 TD) last season. Justin James (So., Green H.S.) also returns (96 yards; 8.0 avg.) and will see plenty of action in 2010. “These are two big physical backs who will fit in well with what we want to do,” commented Hehman. Transfers Jeremy Jordan, a sophomore from De Anza College (CA), and Emil Chambliss, a junior from Erie Community College, will also be battling for playing time.
Returnee Justin McLean (So., Laurel Hill, NC) is a “very explosive” player, according to Hehman, who will play at the slot position. Last season as a freshman, McLean was the Pioneers’ second-leading receiver with 473 yards on 31 catches for a 15.3-yard average (highest on the team) and three touchdowns.
Among the top wide receivers in 2010 are returnee Ryan Murphy (So., Tuslaw H.S.), who averaged 10.6 yards per catch on seven catches last year, along with junior transfer Matt Keil (University of Hawaii), who Hehman says is “another explosive wideout”, and freshman Nathan Williams (Van Wert H.S.).
At the tight end position, returnees Ryan Boland (Sr., Rochester, NY), Brent Altenburger (Sr., Black River H.S.), who averaged 9.3 yards per catch on seven receptions last year, and Adam Nemeth (Jr., Manchester H.S.) will be joined by junior transfer Tom Ferron (Syracuse University) in leading this portion of the Pioneer air attack. “We have a really good group of tight ends who we’re counting on making big contributions,” said Hehman.
Defensively, where the squad did not lose nearly as many starters as the team did on the offensive side of the ball, Malone has a very strong group at the defensive line positions according to Hehman. Senior Cody Carroll (Chardon H.S.), a Second Team All MSFA Mideast selection last year, leads the way after posting 44 tackles in ’09 along with team-highs in both tackles for loss (16) and sacks (7). Fellow returnees Frank McCormick (So., Medina H.S.), with 17 tackles in ’09, Matt Kerwin (Jr., Rochester, NY), with 11 tackles, and Trevor Lyne (Sr., Ventura, CA) with 16 tackles, will also anchor the defensive line, along with junior transfer Jamar Fleming (Palomar College, CA) and sophomore Guilherme Moreira (Curitiba, Brazil).
The inside linebacking corps will be paced by returnees Antonio Scassa (So., Massillon Washington H.S.), Matt Vick (Jr., Perry H.S.), who had the most tackles of any returnee on this year’s team (tied with Cody Carroll), and Wes Kauffman (Sr., Anchorage, AK). Scassa tallied 31 tackles, Vick posted 44 tackles and Kauffman racked up 33 tackles in ’09.
Outside linebackers in 2010 will be led by returnee Nick Towns (So., Copley H.S.), Brandon Allison (So., Akron North H.S.) and Brandon Commodore (Fr., Fairfield H.S.) along with transfers Dexter Reed (Jr., San Bernardino Valley College, CA) and James Marshall (Jr., San Bernardino Valley College, CA).
Senior Jordan Scott (Oakland, CA), who notched 28 tackles, one interception and a team-second-best six pass break ups last year, will head up a solid group of Pioneer cornerbacks. Others who will be playing major roles at the spot will be returnees DeAndre Long (So., Garfield H.S.) and Antonio Pavia (So., Padua Franciscan H.S.) along with junior transfer Jonathan Castillo (San Jose City College, CA) and freshman Lepear Smith (Perry H.S.).
At the safety spots are returnees John Pearson (Sr., Seaside, CA), Isaiah Wyatt (So., Cleveland East H.S.), Patrick O’Malley (Sr., Padua Franciscan H.S.) and Eric Hart (Sr., LaBrae Local H.S.) along with freshman Derrick Gordon (McKinley H.S.). Of the returning group, O’Malley paced this crew in tackles last season with 34 (fifth most on the team) while Hart, with 22 tackles, and Wyatt, with 21, were close behind.
The kicking duties will again be handled by returnees Jake Hardy (Jr., Ortonville, MI) and Nick Allison (Jr., Lake H.S.). Hardy was five for eight in field goals last year and hit 26 of 29 PAT kick attempts while Allison was nine for 10 in PAT kicks. Taking over for NAIA First Team All-America punter Mike Skvor, who graduated last year, will be Hardy and freshman Dylan Neiheiser (Mooresville, NC) while Justin McLean and Matt Kiel will be the two primary return specialists.
“We’re a very young team and with being a new staff and having new schemes, we’ll be working out all those transitions, especially in the early going,” said Hehman. “It’s definitely an area we’ll need to grow in quickly. We’re pretty strong at the defensive line and outside linebacker spots but a strength for us now is the initial buy-in by the players as to what we’re trying to do. They have a great attitude.
“We play five top 25 teams and an NCAA Div. II team and have only four home games this year but we’re optimistic. Our goal is to maximize our potential as a team whether we play a ranked opponent or not. And the way we’ll do that is to eliminate mistakes, play with great effort all the time and have a positive team-first attitude consistently. When we do those things, everything else will fall into place.”
Malone will open its season on Thursday, September 2nd at NCAA Div. II Tiffin University in a 7:00 p.m. contest. The team’s first home contest will be on Saturday, September 18th at 2:00 p.m. against Anna Maria (MA) College.
Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone is recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S.News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2011.
News Release By: Mark Bankert, Malone SID