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OCVarsity Kickoff '16: Yorba Linda preview

STAFF WRITER

OCVarsity’s season preview for 2016:

YORBA LINDA MUSTANGS

Coach: Jeff Bailey

Last season: 4-7 overall, 2-1 league

Scouting report: Winter is coming. Mason Winter, that is. The Mustangs running back established himself as an everydown back as a junior, carrying the ball at least 18 times in every game he played in, racking up 239 rushing attempts for 1,001 yards and seven touchdowns. Running behind a veteran offensive line that trots out four senior starters, Winter should top those numbers this fall. Yorba Linda will also play a pair of lightning quick backs in Kyle McManus and Jonah Slack as change of pace options. Consistency remains the key for the Mustangs, who were held to just seven points in four different outings in 2015. Junior Luke Wilson takes over as the starting quarterback, and should add some flare with his ability to extend plays with his legs. Yorba Linda looks to be solid on defense as well, returning playmakers at all three levels. Defensive tackle Jacob Dennison (6-2, 240 pounds) led the team in tackles for loss as a junior and will be counted upon to force pressure right up the middle again this season.

Bottom line: Yorba Linda appears to be solid in the trenches, has a reliable workhorse in the backfield and should play sound defensively. Lacking depth throughout its roster, though, staying healthy will be critical if the Mustangs hope to finish in the top half of the standings for a second consecutive year.

Players to watch: Bobby Bratain, SS, Sr.; Jacob Dennison, DT, Sr.; Noah Lines, LB, Sr.; Luke Wilson, QB, Jr.; Mason Winter, RB, Sr.

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Contact the writer: kconnolly@scng.com


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