Breaking down EC Wolverines football 2018 schedule
As the WPIAL continues to map out the playoff brackets and system for the upcoming season based upon the PIAA playoff brackets, the 2018-2019 schedules have been released. Below is some background behind each game and each team based upon the previous season.
- 08/24/18 - @ Beaver Falls
- [2017 | 1-8 (1-6)]
- Last played in 2017 - shutout game for EC (Won 28-0)
Ellwood City and Beaver Falls have had a good run of playing against each other the past couple years, specifically playing the past 6 years in a row. That won't change as a little call by the Tigers asking the Wolverines to play a Week Zero game has been made. The Wolverines will begin the season with 4 out 5 games on the road, starting at Reeves Stadium. The Wolverines have seen little success against the Tigers, going 2-14 since 1997. However, the most recent game played (last season) was won of great success, where the Wolverines shut out the Tigers 28-0 in a lopsided match-up. The Tigers lost a bunch of depth and experience from their title run two seasons ago including a proven coach; however, the Tigers continue to build the program and will look to have more opportunities next season.
- 08/31/18 - vs. Serra Catholic
- [Before 1997 - ? | 7-5 (4-2)]
Not much is known about Serra Catholic coming into the "first game of the season" let alone the first Non-Conference game, but we do know one thing - this is the first team with the color of red that the Wolverines will face out of 5 teams. Serra Catholic is one of two teams that the Wolverines will face next season that had more than 6 wins, giving hope for the Wolverines faithful for a good season. Serra Catholic had a good season last year, but played in a conference that was not of top-notch quality. With the 6-4 regular season record, the Eagles made the playoffs where they beat Beth-Center 27-20 followed by a blowout lost to Cardinal Wuerl Catholic 35-14, finishing the season 7-5. Expect the Wolverines to be prepared for this game as it will be their second game that counts towards their season record, being Week One.
- 09/07/18 - @ New Brighton
- [2015 | 2-8 (0-7)]
- Last played in 2015 when part of 2A Midwestern (Lost 23-21)
Ahh, the good old Midwestern Conference. Not 100% sure yet what the sections will be called in 2A football, but we are assuming that section 2 will be the MAC once again. The Wolverines have played the New Brighton Lions 12 times (4-8) since 1997 with the last game played in 2015 where the Lions won 23-21 in a season where the Wolverines finished 4-5 (3-5). New Brighton had a tough go at the 2017 season, going 2-8 and posting no wins in conference play. This is one of those must-win games if the Wolverines want to make playoffs.
- 09/14/18 - @ Neshannock
- [2005 | 6-5 (5-2)]
- Last played in 2005 when EC played 10th Game (Won 20-3)
It's been a while since the Wolverines have faced so many teams with their primary color being red, but the 2018 season will add another team, the Neshannock Lancers. Neshannock and Ellwood City have only played once since 1997, where they played each other in 2005 after a decent season by the Wolverines propelled a tenth game on the season (Ellwood City won 20-3 to finish the season 5-5). The 2005 season was a crazy time for the Wolverines that also included the closest game the Wolverines had played against the Aliquippa Quips in a long time, losing 27-23 where a controversial holding call called back a 70 yard touchdown pass by Nick Nardone (now BF coach) to win the game. The Lancers finished 6-5 on the season, making the playoffs where they lost 31-28 to a upcoming and good quality Burgettstown team. Expect this game to be a good preview of how the rest of the Wolverine season will go.
- 09/21/18 - vs. Freedom
- [2015 | 5-6 (3-4)]
- Last played in 2015 when part of 2A Midwestern (Won 49-7)
Ellwood City has had decent success against the Bulldogs recently, bringing their record to 6-7 since 1997 with the last game played in 2015 where the Wolverines crushed the Bulldogs 49-7. Freedom had a tough end of the season in 2017 after starting the season 5-2. The Bulldogs lost 4 straight games, after their head coach stepped down. Playoffs did not include a happy ending to the season as the Bulldogs took on the Washington Prexies and lost 42-9. Chalk this game up as another one of those must-win type of games for the Wolverines.
- 09/28/18 - @ Western Beaver
- [Before 1997 - ? | 6-5 (5-3)]
Cheers to a new foe! New classification and alignments have caused a bunch of new rivalries and match-ups. Coming new to the 2018 season is a match-up against the...yes...you guest it...the Beavers of Western Beaver, go figure. The Wolverines and Beavers have not played each other since 1997, let alone some time even before that. The Beavers finished the season 6-5 with a playoff match-up against Carmichaels where they eventually lost 28-8. 6-5 is a good record in 1A football where some teams go unknown, but expect 2A football to be a big upgrade for Western Beaver. We still do not know how much of an impact the combination of Western Beaver and Lincoln Park players are going to be like in football, but assume this match-up will be the first of unknown for the Wolverines.
- 10/05/18 - @ Shenango
- [Before 1997 - ? | 3-6 (3-5)]
Cheers to the next new foe! go figure that the WPIAL would schedule back-to-back away games not only once, but twice for the Wolverines. Furthermore, go figure that the two new opponents that the Wolverines have not played since 1997 and beyond, are back-to-back. The Wildcats finished the season 3-6 on the season with a good start to the season followed up by a bunch of one-sided games in the end. The big issue with the Wildcats is the coaching position - the head coach position for the Wildcats is still up for grabs as we know so expect this team to be in a rebuilding mode for the next two years. Chalk this match-up as number three on the list of must-win games.
- 10/12/18 - vs. Riverside
- [2017 | 9-3 (6-1)]
- Last played in 2017 as Rival Game (Lost 40-0)
Riv-Ell Cup. Say no more.
Ahh...on second thought...we will say more. Not factoring in the success the basketball team has had this season....but...the Wolverines have had great match-ups against their rivals, but unfortunately not in the last game. The Wolverines lost to the Panthers in a late-season match-up where they saw the Panthers cruise past their defense, winning 40-0. Expect that to change this upcoming season. The Riv-Ell Cup has had no more significance than this will again next year, assuming that the WPIAL will take the top 4 teams in the conference to the playoffs, this could be a fight for one of those spots. Riverside made the playoffs this past year, beating Frazier convincingly 34-0 making the second round again. Riverside then backed up their win over Frazier with another huge win over Avonworth 42-14. The one team that has had the Panthers number had it again in the semifinals, where Steel Valley beat the Panthers 13-10 in overtime where the Panthers led the entire game until the last 30 seconds of the game. The Riv-Ell Cup. The rivalry. Blue versus Green...and the fact that it is a conference game again? Expect this one to be a great one, and may be the biggest game on the check list.
- 10/19/18 - @ Mohawk
- [2015 | 5-4 (4-3)]
- Last played in 2015 when part of 2A Midwestern (Won 48-6)
The 2A playoffs has been the easiest classification to get into, sporting a bunch of under .500 teams during the season to make the playoffs. Mohawk was one of the teams to make playoffs just over .500. The Warriors finished 5-3 on the season only playing 8 games during the regular season. The Warriors made the playoffs based upon a 4-3 record in conference play. Do not look past this team as the Warriors have gained some skill position players and depth to their program. After losing to East Allegheny 28-14 in the first round of the playoffs, expect the Warriors to make a push for that 4th spot in the playoff run. Chalk up to the must-win list.
- 10/26/18 - vs. Brentwood
- [Before 1997 - ? | 5-5 (3-3)]
Another nickname team named the Spartans? Yes. Laurel Spartans in a scrimmage game to start the season and the Brentwood Spartans from the Pittsburgh area to finish the season. Brentwood finished the 2017 campaign 5-5 (3-3) in a very competitive 2A section. Brentwood matched up in the first round of the playoffs against Cardinal Wuerl Catholic, which unfortunately ended in a 35-7 loss. Looking at the records, the Spartans and the Wolverines have not played since 1997 let alone prior seasons, so this game will be another unknown for the Wolverines. However, the benefit of playing this team in the last week will surely help the Wolverines prepare based upon 8 or 9 other games of football prior. Expect the Wolverines, although a non-conference game, to be ready to play and finish the season strong.
More updates during the off-season will be made to each match-up based upon graduates, new coaches, new players, and media day.