The new kids on the block struggled in their first year in the LSC and just their second season overall. The offense was just two spots from the bottom of the LSC, scoring just 21.5 points per game and gaining 301. The running game was respectable, averaging 154 yards per game. The passing game was last in yardage, averaging just 148 per week. The defense allowed an LSC-worst 37.8 points per game and was 12th in yards allowed (411). They did a good job against the run (136 yards per game) but struggled in pass defense (275 yard average and last in efficiency). They were last in the LSC with 6 Int's and had just 12 sacks.
Not too many losses on offense. Part-time starter Thomas Specia (77.3 QB Rating, 387 yds, 1 TD, 6 Int's passing), RB Al Furlow, and OL Jason Hind were seniors last year. Missing from the spring roster was OL starter Jake Roby. Everyone else should be back. Starting QB Paden Lynch threw for 958 yards and 8 TDs and also rushed for 408 yards. Trent Rios was the leading rusher with 888 yards and 8 TDs. Dominic Hamilton lead the receivers with 52 receptions for 627 yards and 5 TDs. TE's Andrew Mocio and Caleb Kocian and OL starters Andy Seaman, Ty Warnasch, Jayson Heirholzer and Charles Segura (and maybe Jake Roby in the fall?) lead the way up front. Segura is the only senior in the list of returning players named above.
Compared to the offense, the defense suffered big losses. That is still a relatively small amount, Herman Torres and Randy Enriquez, who combined to start 11 games. One linebacker, reserve Rashaad Patterson, is not on the spring roster. Returning on the line are starters Alan Ford, Diego McClain, Anthony Vela and reserves Hakim Blackwell, Robby Horton, Michael Tate and Jeremy Carson. Linebackers Dakota Mawyer, Juan Ascensio, Matt Bass and Tyler Fields return as well. The secondary returns all of their starters as well - Aaron Willis, Chaz Pavliska, Todd Lyons, Devan Avery and James Perez. One starter and one reserve listed above are seniors.
Special Teams -
Aaron Willis did double duty as a starter at safety and punter, where he averaged 35.2 yards per punt. Thomas Rebold is back as the kicker. He converted 11-16 FGs, and 27-28 PATs, while averageing 57.5 yards per kickoff. Punt return duties were split between Derrick Walls and Trent Rios, while Rios, Matt Garza and Walls handled most of the kick return chores as well.
Top 5 signees
TE Harper Scofield - ESPN #170, Dave Campbell top 25 (both at defensive end), 2-time All-State
OL Horace Hayes - three year starter at Schertz Clemens
DL Jarrod White - 1st team 4-7A
LB Joshua Campbell - 27-5A Def MVP, SA Express 1st Team, 117 tackles
LB Nick Morrow - #95 ESPN Inside Linebacker prospect, Academic All-State
Other top signees
WR Gabriel Taylor - SA Express 2nd Team, 42 receptions for 1,067 yards and 9 TDs
OL Kevin Defina - SA Express 2nd Team
OL Kevin O'Brien - THSCA All-Star Participant
DL Justin Edwards - 22-5A Def MVP
LB Nick Ginn - 31-4A Def MVP, THSCA All-Star Participant
DB Stephen Howard - Academic All-State
DB Zack Bradley - 4 TDs on 14 kickoff returns
DB Wade Roark - HM All-State
While there are not a lot of holes left by graduating players, the Cardinals do need help with depth. Coach Santiago added some nice prospects on defense, especially at LB and in the secondary. Don't be surprised if Campbell doesn't emerge as a starter at linebacker. Also the offensive line should have some players that could help out in the future. While not immediate needs, it's unclear if quarterback and running back needs were addressed for the long term. Grade B-