B Varsity

Saturday, Aug 24 2013 01:00 PM

2013 HS football previews: Frontier

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Countdown to Week 0: 6 days

FRONTIER TITANS

Coach: Rich Cornford (sixth year)

2012 record: 7-4 (5-0 Southwest Yosemite League, 4-2 home, lost 42-21 vs. Fresno-Edison in Division I quarterfinals)
Average points: 24.6
Average points allowed: 20.6
Average rush yards: 209.3
Average rush yards allowed: 202.3
Average pass yards: 116.9
Average pass yards allowed: 94.5
Best win: Frontier 28, Bakersfield 21
Worst loss: Fresno-Edison 42, Frontier 21
*—yardage figures are from MaxPreps and are only used if at least half of games are available. Take them with a grain of salt. Figure could be skewed depending on which games, if any, are missing

Key players: Evan Moore, sr, QB; Jaz Thind, sr, WR/DB; Colton Foster, sr, OL/DL; Troy Banks, sr, RB/DB; Jordan Nichols, sr, TE/LB

Key losses: Augie Alcantar, OL/DL; Justin Cash, RB/DB; Triton Douglas, RB/LB; Adam Huyck, TE/LB

Offense: No complaining, because Frontier was winning, but the case could be made that Titans quarterback Evan Moore was one of the county's more under-used players last season. Frontier had big, physical run-blockers on the line last year, two very good running backs in Justin Cash and Triton Douglas and no big threats at receiver. The Titans ran their way to an SWYL championship, with Moore taking part in the running, too. But things have changed this year. The offensive line is a little smaller but more agile and adept at pass-blocking. Jasmit Thind looked the part of a big-play receiver during summer passing league. And Moore, who has drawn Division I interest, is a year older and better. There's some concern on the line and at running back, where Nick Santoro and Troy Banks look like they'll split time. This offense is probably more capable of big plays than last year but perhaps not as efficient.

Defense: There are five starters back, including three in the secondary: Banks, Thind and Caleb Thompson. Colton Foster figures to be one of the area's top linemen on offense and defense, and Christian Deaton returns at outside linebacker. That's all fine. But Frontier lost a veritable all-star team of defenders, starting with Californian Defensive Player of the Year Augie Alcantar. Adam Huyck and Garrett Brown also were among six starters last year who were three-year varsity players. You just can't replace talent and experience like that without some kind of a drop off. Frontier should be fine here, especially with a loaded secondary as a safety valve. But the Titans will need run-stoppers and pass-rushers to contend against the better teams on their schedule.

Outlook: Speaking of that schedule, it's a doozy. Frontier opens with defending Division III section champion Ridgeview, then plays Southern Section powers Lompoc and Moorpark before returning home for defending Division I champion Clovis North. And that's just in the non-league portion of the schedule. This was one of the better teams in the Valley last year, and it went just 7-4 against that slate. The big prize, of course, was the 5-0 mark in the SWYL. To make another run like that, Frontier will have to evolve. The running game just won't be the same, so Evan Moore will have to shoulder a lot of the load. He's capable of doing just that, especially with Jaz Thind apparently ready to break out at wide receiver. But the Titans lost too good of a senior class to expect anything but a small step back on defense and probably overall. This is the story of the SWYL this year: There are a lot of very good teams, but all seem to have flaws that would prevent them from chasing down prohibitive favorite Bakersfield. We said the same thing last year, though, and the Titans proved us all wrong.

Quotable: "We've got good coaching at all levels, so when somebody graduates or goes down, we've had kids step up and play well. We'll be different, but the big key will be how our defensive ends do. We're replacing great guys on defense, and how those guys do will be critical." — Cornford

Schedule: Aug. 30 at Ridgeview
Sept. 6 Lompoc
Sept. 13 at Moorpark
Sept. 20 Clovis North
Sept. 27 at West
Oct. 4 BYE
Oct. 11 Centennial*
Oct. 18 at Liberty*
Oct. 25 Bakersfield*
Nov. 1 at Stockdale*
Nov. 8 Independence*
*—SWYL game

Prediction: 5-5, 3-2 SWYL

2013 HS football preview index
Aug. 1: 8-man schools
Aug. 2: Burroughs, Boron, Desert
Aug. 3: Rosamond, California City
Aug. 4: Frazier Mountain, Kern Valley
Aug. 5: McFarland, Delano, Kennedy
Aug. 6: Chavez
Aug. 6: Shafter
Aug. 7: Arvin
Aug. 7: Taft
Aug. 8: Wasco
Aug. 8: Bakersfield Christian
Aug. 9: Mira Monte
Aug. 10: Golden Valley
Aug. 11: South
Aug. 12: West
Aug. 13: Ridgeview
Aug. 14: North
Aug. 15: Foothill
Aug. 16: Highland
Aug. 17: East
Aug. 18: Tehachapi
Aug. 19: Garces
Aug. 20: Independence
Aug. 21: Centennial
Aug. 22: Stockdale
Aug. 23: Liberty

Tomorrow: Bakersfield

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