Posted: Jul 16, 2014 9:51 AM
Updated: Sep 19, 2014 11:17 PM
|8 / 22||Chillicothe||Away||Loss||6 - 14|
|8 / 29||Smith Cotton||Away||Loss||14 - 28|
|9 / 5||Mexico||Home||Loss||14 - 27|
|9 / 12||Kirksville||Away||Win||29 - 6|
|9 / 19||Fulton||Home||Win||52 - 42|
|9 / 26||Moberly||Away|
|10 / 3||Truman||Home|
|10 / 10||Hannibal||Home|
|10 / 17||Boonville||Away|
|10 / 24||Districts|
2013 was a tough season for the Marshall Owls. According to Head Coach Jon Stockman, "The boys worked hard and never gave up, through a season full of injuries and close losses." Only a year after a nice rebound season of 6-4, the Owls took a little step backward, but the coaches--- Ian Verts, Chris Ferri, David Daleen, Tom Hotsenpiller, Jerry Carter, and Jason Varner---are hoping that the many underclassmen who saw playing time will help get the team off to a better start in 2014. Yet last year was not without its upside. And although the team absorbed some lumps throughout the season, everyone played together as a team. The Owls played a great game against conference foe Kirksville and eked out a gratifying win. Hopefully, Marshall will see a few more of those this season.
For 2014, the Owls are looking to be in better physical shape and hopefully stay injury free. There is a sense of needing to close out games on a strong note, working hard to stay close early on, and playing fundamental, mistake free football. Scoring, consistency, and aggressiveness seem to be themes of summer workouts and the upcoming season. "Our goals are to score early and often and to play great defense," stated Coach Stockman.
"We need to improve our ball security and be more balanced offensively," said Coach Stockman. With only three senior returning starters, the Owls will need to get acclimated quickly. But those three seniors all earned All- Conference honors, so they are good examples to follow. Devin Cott, (5-10, 200) ran for over 900 yards last season and will obviously be the feature back. Logan Harris (6-2, 220) is a big receiver and hauled in over 500 yards in receptions. Senior Steven Harms (5-9, 210) will play a little at running back and also at tight end. Drew Mizer (5-11, 250) is very tough to move on the line. Also on the line is returnee Noah Driskell (6-2, 260), a junior, who also quite a force on the offensive line. The Owls like to employ a Spread offensive scheme and will be more productive this season behind these four returnees.
The quarterback job will fall between two juniors. Zach Maupin (6-3, 160) and Eric Brayman (6-1, 160) have both worked very hard throughout the off-season to improve themselves in every facet of the game. They're big and hopefully their size and versatility will all point to improvement out of that position. Coach Stockman would like to rotate three other running backs to help keep them all fresh. Senior Brandon Cline (5-8, 175), and juniors Garrett Clouse (5-9, 170) and Aaron Sims (5-8, 155) each offer something unique to the running game. The line will be filled out by juniors Cole Huston (5-10, 200), Taylor Anderson (5-9, 260), and Bryant Eads (6-2, 230). According to Coach Stockman, the line, "needs to be more consistent and aggressive."
The Owl defense is called the "Black Shirts", and Coach Verts is looking for more aggressive play and a swarming attitude. They are looking to create a little more havoc for the offense and create more turnovers. The 4-4 scheme will be led a solid linebacking corps including Devin Cott, who earned All-NCMC on the defense as well. Steven Harms is another good linebacker who has good speed and is a sure tackler. Senior Keshawn Penn (5-11, 190) is another strong linebacker in the mix. Logan Harris is solid at defensive back. Rounding out the returning starters is Drew Mizer on the line.
Most all of the newcomers are those listed on offense, but the lineup starts with the additional linebackers in Brandon Cline and Aaron Sims. The defensive backs include Zach Maupin, Eric Brayman, and Garrett Clouse. The line will consist of defensive end Cole Huston, and linemen Taylor Anderson and Bryant Eads.
Marshall has the athletes to certainly move up a little in the standings this season. Their problems are probably more self-infl icted and the entire program has made an effort to address many of the concerns in the off-season. The real nice aspect about the team this year is that they are all excited about the possibilities for 2014. Some things will have fall into place---mistakes and miscues must be cut down, the starters will need to stay healthy, and everyone needs to be more aggressive---but the coaches have confidence that they have the right people in place to make this upcoming season an exciting and successful one.
Pigskin's Pick: 4-5