During the days leading up to the Allied invasion of Europe troops trained daily and waited for the order to go. Like a prized race horse standing in the gate. The men listened in a heightened state, chomping at the bit, ready to roll at a moment’s notice. Fighting off boredom they repeated the monotonous agenda each day waiting for the go sign.
In occupied France the Germans prepared their defenses. The allies owned the sky but the trenches belonged to the Germans and dug in they wrestled with how to place their limited resources along an expanded front.
Then the moment came. “Gentlemen you are set to embark on Operation Overlord” In a radio delivery of the message, Eisenhower displayed the self-confidence and leadership skills that would later make him president. “ Remember men that the eyes of the world are upon you and your opponents will fight savagely, but together show your devotion to duty and accept nothing less than victory! Good luck and may God Bless this great and noble undertaking”.
Like the Germans, State College has had adequate time to prepare their defenses while adding a few tricky wrinkles to their playbook. Despite their devoted preparation the Beavers have seen man coverage before, multiple safety looks, and they have faced a wide variety of zone blitz schemes. The Beavers have learned from experience and adapted.
This Swami will not mention a single individual this week. The Beavers are a team entering into the 6-9 Championship game and they are confident in each other. They are a well-balanced machine that takes what you give them, identifying subtle weaknesses at the line of scrimmage and exploiting them. Time stands still at the line and a simple wink can deliver a knockout blow. On the flip side they are also comfortable taking 8 yards at clip and keeping the opponent’s offense standing on the sideline helplessly watching the game tick away.
State College has a talented Defense allowing 13 points or less in their last 7 games. They have a strong defensive line with athletic linebackers. Look for the Little Lions to try to match up man for man in the secondary with help over the top. State will attempt to stop the running game with a six man front, shadow the QB, all while applying pressure off the edge when possible. Like the German generals the State College coaches have discovered that it is a big field to cover with limited resources.
Like mountain men from the back woods the Beavers love the cold and they are pumped to be playing State College in Hollidaysburg. They are a group that wants the ball and they feel they were born to win. The Swami sees a different breed of Beaver. They have waited on the docks long enough. The eyes of the world are upon you. Let’s Go!
Swami Believes DuBois 38 State College31.
The DuBois Beavers are entering the playoffs this Friday at Hollidaysburg where they will face their arch nemesis the State College Little Lions in the finals of the 6-9 Championship. Both teams earned first round byes by dispensing with last year’s champion Mifflin County early in the season. It has been 18 years since DuBois’ last playoff victory and that win came against Hollidaysburg in just the semifinals, only to lose to Altoona a week later in the Championship game.
One of the smallest AAAA schools in the state of Pennsylvania this year’s senior class will graduate only 262 students facing schools with numbers approaching 1000. With rosters and brass bands to match the fans have often been skeptical of the underdogs shot at victory. Despite the apparent mismatch, these are not your parents Beavers. This fine group of young men were being born or carried a the time of DuBois’ last post season success and they believe they are a team of destiny.
Their belief is not a hollow cliché, it is a conviction that stems from hard work and a pattern of record setting success. Coach Frank Varischetti has assembled a team and a system whose offense ranks #2 in the state and a defense that has become formidable as well. His team is led by prolific passer Gabe French who has set as his personal goal a long playoff run. State College will have their hands full with the states #1 ranked passer and his receiver core of Bryson Paulinellie, Cole Kriner, Daute Dawson, Kevin Foley and new comer Nick Labrasca at tight end. Paulinellie owns all school records with more than 2000 yards receiving, Kriner, Dawson and Foley are climbing the charts quickly. Kriner needs only 34 yards to reach 1000 yards on the season the second best total in school history and Junior Dawson has 1200 yards in his career with a year yet to play. In addition to the receivers running back Devin Clark is well known as a touchdown rusher ranking 3rd in school history and now has begun to make a name for himself as one of French’s targets as well.
The success of the Beaver flyboys comes on the backs of a highly ranked offensive line. Joe Peterson , Zach Good, Robert Zillhaver, Branson Luther, Ryan Pasternak, and Dom Foradora have kept French’s jersey clean and opened up big holes for Clark. The line is also a big factor on defense with giant Brad Peterson, Robert Zillhaver, Justin Monella, Caleb Meighen, Ryan Pasternak and Joe Peterson representing a formidable platoon of talent.
Coming into the 2014 season the Beavers had holes to fill at linebacker and in the secondary. New Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pasternak has developed a platoon of backers. Veterans Devin Clark and Adam Bankovich are joined by an experienced Dorian McKay, powerful Noah Shaffer, speedy Wes Russell, and senior DJ Carney. Holes in the secondary have been filled by veterans Dawson, Foley, Kriner, Paulinellie, O’Donnell, and DeSantis. Pasternak’s platoon is becoming very flexible and with that flexibility has come success against some great offenses.
There have been many good Beaver teams who have come before this group. Many have made it this far but none have succeed. This however is a team of destiny. They are a most excellent group of young men who believe… “They were born to win!” The Beavers would like the Greater City of DuBois to join them in celebrating their success and show their solidarity by attending a bon fire at Showers Field this Thursday at 7PM. Go Beavers!
To make room for a growing crowd. The Bonfire has been moved to behind Showers Field this Thursday. Players will be fed at the Cafeteria following practice prior to the event. The Bonfire will commence at 7pm and the public is welcome. Former players are urged to attend and give a speech to the team. This is an outstanding group of Beavers and they want you to join them in their Lion hunt in their quest for a 6-9 Title.
The Beavers love a nonstop rain. A wet senior night didn’t dampen the spirits of DuBois as they welcomed back two key components of the Beaver Express. Guard Robert Zillhaver and all time leading receiver Bryson Paulinellie returned to the lineup lifting the spirits of the team as they faced undefeated and sixth ranked Karns City.
The rain placed a large emphasis on the battle in the trenches and Zillhaver’s addition to that war made handling the Beaver bigs a handful. On the offensive side of the ball Joe Peterson, Robert Zillhaver, Zach Good, Ryan Pasternak, and Dom Foradora had little difficulty picking up blitzes or opening up holes for French to run through. The pouring rain made snapping the ball for Branson Luther a real challenge but one he handled beautifully. On the opposite side of the ball the line’s pressure created problems for the Gremlins tricky running game all night forcing mistakes and even blocking a punt when giant Brad Peterson got his paw on the ball resulting in a Beaver touchdown.
DuBois Head Coach Frank Varischetti showed that his squad can win a lot of different ways. Varischetti dialed up a heavy dose of Gabe French for the Gremlins as he ran his horse for a career high 247 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries. French accounted for an unheard of 577 yards of total offense. In another twist Karns City had difficulty matching up with Devin Clark out of the backfield resulting in 99 yards and two touchdowns receiving. Despite a Gremlin defense that tried cover two and cover three formations French’s deep ball still found Dante Dawson on a 50 yard touchdown pass. The duo of Kriner and Foley also had big nights adding to the team’s 330 yards through the air.
In a seesaw game that found DuBois down by ten late in the third the Beaver Defense answered the call pulling the plug on the gremlin offense and placing the ball in French’s hands. The Beavers never quit and Gabe handled the Gremlin defense like a true champion running when the linebackers dropped into coverage and hitting a talented group of receivers when they rushed. When the lights when out on Mansell Stadium the Beavers were on top 35-31 and Karns City was one win shy of an undefeated season as the Beaver faithful chanted nine and one, nine and one.
The Beaver senior class was treated to pasta at the Meighen residence Thursday evening. Center Branson Luther enjoyed the his brother’s singing as the clan bonded and shared in his birthday wishes on the eve of their final home game. The DuBois cheerleaders visited the group delivering one of the many bling filled senior signs.
EJ Mansell is a formidable structure pressed imposingly against the night sky, conjuring up memories of games past. If you’ve ever walked onto its turf in solitude and stood before the empty stands you are instantly moved by a profound presence that exists. The manifestation of legends past sentimentally warms the heart and excites the mind. This Friday the bright lights will shine like a beacon for the last time for a very talented group of seniors. This is an exceptional group of young men who have already left their mark but now seek the opportunity to pass into legend.
Fate is a curious dance partner providing rare opportunities for dreams and destiny to meet. Friday it has presented the Beavers with a chance to topple perfection and send a clear message to everyone. As darkness falls the temperature will begin to remind us of winter’s approach and with it the commencement of the postseason, but first, one final battle remains. A most excellent band of brothers stands together on the wall and the enemy is at the gate.
Karns City has yet to be challenged in 2014, demoralizing opponents and dominating its conference. The Gremlins are 9 and 0, putting up some serious numbers on offense and completely shutting down opponents on defense. Westernpafootball.com ranks Karns City 6th and they will be heavy favorites coming into Friday’s contest with good reason.
DuBois’ Head Coach Frank Varischetti on the other hand is using his schedule to teach and expand upon a very potent offense. The Beavers continue to take what a team gives them. Think DuBois is a passing team? Devin Clark and Chad O’Donnell are content to chew up large chunks of real-estate on the ground without the risk of passing. On the flip side, stack the box and you’ll discover why Gabe French is the number 1 passer in Pennsylvania. Blitzing seems to have little effect on an experienced offensive line or a veteran wide receiver core that finds green grass quickly under pressure, confident the ball is on its way. Their style gives new meaning to the acronym YAK. The Beaver Express is in the finest sense of the word, a machine.
On the opposite side of the ball Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pasternak has proved to be as adaptable on the fly as Varischetti is on offense. A platoon of linebackers led by Seniors Clark, McKay, Carney are making noise. The trio are joined by a nasty group of underclassmen Shaffer, Bankovich and Russell. The D line sports a dominate group of seniors, among the mix are the Peterson twins, Meighen, Monella, and Zillhaver with sophomore Ryan Pasternak joining the fray. The front eight have formed the Pasternak smack attack making it difficult for opposing offenses to mount an attack. DeSantis, Foley, Kriner and Dawson have been lock down cool in the secondary as teams scramble to keep pace with the Beaver Express. Forcing teams out of their element is the secret to this squad and it is proving to be very effective.
Friday the Beaver seniors will play their final game at Mansell and they are not prepared to go quietly into the night. This is a football team that people will talk about for years to come. Their quality will be known Friday and legends will be born as they welcome in the enemy at the gate. Swami can feel the train picking up speed and this baby is hauling! DuBois 44 Karns City 30.