The Audacity to Believe
Written by: Billy Splain on Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Friday night the DuBois Beavers will be traveling a short distance to Punxsutawney for their fourth road trip in five weeks. The squad sits at 2 and 2 following losses at the hands of undefeated Erie regional teams, the last of which was served up by top ranked Cathedral Prep. The loss was costly for the Beavers who experienced some key injuries to their Beaver Express. Despite the setbacks Coach Varischetti’s passing attack has learned to function at a higher rate of speed and pace. Through the tougher schedule, quarterback Gabe French and receivers Bryson Paulinellie, Cole Kriner, Kevin Foley and Dante Dawson have developed a flexible college level quick game to counter physically dominate teams, a skill that should pay dividends in the postseason. French has also found a new asset in sophomore tight end Nick Labrasca who looked good both blocking and catching against CP last Friday.
In addition to the skills the Beaver offensive and defensive lines are standing their ground against the best the state has to offer. Blitz pickup is becoming solid and run blocking has been effective opening up holes inside the five against Prep. The Beaver defense continues to mature under the tutelage of Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pasternak. In the second half of the last week’s game the team looked stout, slowing a powerful Erie offense, hitting hard, and forcing turnovers.
Punxsutawney is a team on the rise. Following a week one loss to Moniteau the Chucks have rattled off three impressive wins outscoring opponents 151-42. They are a team that is gaining confidence and feel they are a force to be reckoned with. Punxy has a stout line which has been the key to their success thus far demonstrating the ability to pound the ball while giving their passing attack time to throw. Defensively the team has been stingy slowing opposing offenses to a crawl. In addition, the chucks will be on the grass and at home two factors that give the squad the audacity to believe they have the edge.
Friday night’s game will be the 100th meeting between the Beavers and the Chucks. The series began in 1923 with a DuBois victory and since that time the Beavers are 63-33 and 3. The historic matchup should provide lots of fireworks as both teams have potent offenses. The Swami however doesn’t buy the hype or the numbers. The great prognosticator has had a vision, he has seen his shadow, and he feels the 100 year history of the match up offers us a prophetic clue to Fridays outcome. Despite key Beaver injuries and a talented Punxy squad DuBois 63 Punxy 33. That’s right almost 100 points and six more weeks till State College.
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