FLINT – Carman-Ainsworth football coach DaJuan Massey spent two years installing new schemes and systems after joining the Cavaliers from New Lothrop.

Now, he feels the Cavaliers are ready to take the next step in restoring success to a program that made the playoffs six times in seven years from 2011-2017.

“Now we’re way ahead of where we were the first two years,” Massey said during a recent high school football media day at the Flint Farmers Market.

“We have 13 seniors. Most of them have been players for three years since I was there. They understand what we do and what we are trying to do.

“It’s time to show what we can do.”

The Cavaliers’ strength this season will likely be on defense, where they have seven returning starters.

That group includes senior Nayvn Fearless, 6-foot-4, 220 pounds; senior linebacker Devlin Beasle (5-7, 185); senior safety Terrance Wallace (6-1,205); senior tackle Kamarion Guy; and sophomore lineman Duran Harden (6-4, 280).

“We’re very excited about this group,” Massey said.

Fearless made the All-Saginaw Valley League first team last season, while Bizzle and Wallace made the second team.

The Cavaliers’ offense will be led by senior quarterback Nigel Johnson (6-0, 175). He rushed for 1,422 yards and 15 touchdowns last season for a team that finished with a 2-7 record.

He was third in the SVL with 1,345 passing yards on 86-of-195 completion. He threw for 12 TDs and rushed for three more.

“I think I’m going to get 3,000 yards this season,” Johnson predicted. “I like being the center of attention.”

The Cavs offense took a hit when Jaden Coulter and Christian Ellison graduated and Timothy Ormond II transferred to prep school.

Coulter was second in the SVL last season with 907 rushing yards and nine TDs, Ellison had 489 receiving yards and Ormond caught an SVL-best six touchdown passes.

Still, Massey expects the Cavs to be strong offensively.

“We’re going to split up anyway,” he said. “I won’t say much, but we will be balanced. But more explosive in one area … the passing game.”

Carman-Ainsworth opens the season Aug. 25 against Kearsley in the Vehicle City Gridiron Classic at Atwood Stadium.

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