Gabe French was honored at Penn State by the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Football Foundation on Sunday. Gabe would like to thank Coach Varischetti, Coach Benasutti and especially Coach Pasternak for his nomination as the DuBois Scholar Athlete. The foundation honored 50 Scholar Athletes from the region and French was 1 of 13 to receive a scholarship from the organization. The DuBois quarterback was also selected as one of two athletes to represent the foundation nationally. The East Stroudsburg recruit plans to enter the Honors Program and major in Bio-Chemistry with a concentration in Pre-med.
With the Beavers coming off of a successful 2014 season, many question marks fill the potential 2015 lineup. Opportunities abound for those willing put in the work – WHO WANTS IT?!?! Big shoes to fill from the outgoing senior class; Quarterback Gabe French, Running back Devin Clark, Linemen Joe and Brad Peterson, Branson Luther, Caleb Meighen, Robert Zilhaver, and receivers Bryson Paulinellie, Kevin Foley and Cole Kriner just to name a few.
Who will step up? It all starts with the off season. For those who believe the 2015 season began the day after the 2014 season ended, you are well on your way!
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.
A frustrated General McLane squad had no answers for the Beaver Express. In a game where an offense produces a 100 yard rusher with two touchdowns, a group of receivers with five touchdowns, and a quarterback that breaks the school’s single game passing record with 438 yards, you would expect the story to have an offensive theme. But,…Say it isn’t so…the DuBois Pasternak-smack defense has arrived!
In the first half the ball seemed to be bouncing GM’s way as the only luck the Beavers could find was bad. The frustration began on the first drive when a pass bounced into the air off of a DuBois receiver and into the arms of a McLane defender killing a drive deep in GM territory. Fate again struck with a recovered fumble killed another drive and the third break when the Lancers got a miraculous bounce on a successful onside kick keeping French’s offense on the sideline.
With the first half winding down fortune began to smile on the Beavers. Coach Pasternak made some adjustments and a physical DuBois squad held General McLane out of the end zone in a goal line stand, forcing the Lancers to accept a field goal to end the half with a slim 23-21 lead.
Following a DuBois drive that ended on the goal line with a Dawson fumble it was apparent that the DuBois D had developed quite swagger. Sophomore Noah Shaffer slammed the Lancer quarterback into the black turf of the end zone for a safety and the score was tied. The smack attack was born and the DuBois defense had an identity. The Beaver D line dominated the remainder of the game with linebackers Shaffer, McKay, Bankovich, and Russel taking out the garbage. The DuBois secondary locked down the Lancer receivers.
Varischetti wasted no time cashing in on the opportunities his defense provided, calling a great game from his bird’s eye perch. French would stand tall and deliver taking some big hits and completing 70 percent of his passes finding Kriner for two touchdowns, and Dawson, Foley, and Labrasca each for one. Devin Clark kept the chains moving and found pay dirt twice on the night demonstrating how multifaceted this juggernaut is. When the smoke cleared DuBois was killing clock with a 50-30 lead.
With the smack attack on the rise, DuBois seems to be finding its stride as the post season approaches. Sixth ranked and heavy favored Karns City comes to DuBois this week for a showdown with the Beavers. The Beavers are looking forward to making a statement this Friday at Mansell Stadium in a game for the ages.
The DuBois Beavers are rolling. Coach Varischetti’s Beaver Express is picking up speed as the end of the regular season approaches. DuBois’ offense trails only Clairton on the states scoring list published by westernpafootball.net. Those numbers come at a record setting pace for the Beaver roster. On a statewide bases Quarterback Gabe French’s career yards of 6963 trails NFL quarterback Chad Henne’s 7071 yards by only 108 to become the third best AAAA passer in PIAA history. On the school’s leader board running back Devin Clark needs a single touchdown to slide ahead of former Beaver Shawn Hanzley to become #3 in career touchdowns. Also looking up at the board this week is wide receiver Cole Kriner who’s 749 passed Max Hine’s 682 single season yardage mark a week ago and now sits at #4 all time. Cole needs another 135 yards to reach #3 Greg Kennis a feat which is very possible with the numbers French is putting up. Breathing down Kriner’s neck are Junior Dante Dawson with 612 yards and Senior Kevin Foley with 503 yards. Both sit only a fortunate evening away from the record themselves. In career receiving touchdowns Dawson has attained 15TDs and Kriner 14 TDs total. Both should surpassed Greg Kennis’ 15 TDs at their current pace and possibly Max Hine and Bill Kulbacki who sit at third all time with 16 career TDs. Mike Sedor’s 17 TDs at # 2 isn’t out of the question either the way French and the 3 amigos light up the scoreboard. There are a lot of stories as the season reaches its peak including some great matchups with General McLane, Karns City and most likely State College. Get your calculator and your seat cover this finale is going to be a good one.
The DuBois Beavers are oiling the machine to get ready for a season’s end to remember. Unfortunately for Franklin they were the grease. Each week the Beavers seem to face a different philosophy on how to stop their offensive prowess. They’ve learned from losses to Conneaut and Cathedral Prep having made their system extremely flexible and decisive. With coach Varischetti in the press box and quarterback Gabe French taking his time at the line of scrimmage to look defenses over the Beavers are a force to be reckoned with. Receivers Cole Kriner, Dante Dawson, Kevin Foley and the latest addition Nick Labrasca seem to be feasting on blitzes and turning short and long passes into touchdowns. The offensive line of Peterson, Good, Luther, Pasternak and Foradora are keeping French standing tall and his jersey clean. In addition power back Devin Clark has proved to be more than a runner, transitioning into a dual threat, demonstrating the ability to catch passes out of the backfield in addition to is quality as a runner, two factors that college coaches should find appealing.
In Friday’s game DuBois demonstrated how versatile their offense is with 8 players finding the endzone. Quarterback Gabe French was 19 of 23 with six touchdowns, finding Dawson for 2TD, Clark for 1TD, Foley for 1TD, Kriner for 1TD and TE Nick Labrasca for his first as a Beaver. In addition French ran for a TD, Clark followed with 2 TDs, then Chad O’Donnell and Zack Sloan both found pay dirt to ice the game. The Beavers racked up over 600 yards of offense with French’s 427 yards erasing the record board which is now written in chalk following Varischetti’s arrival.
On the defensive side of the ball DuBois pressured the quarterback and stuffed the run most of the evening. The squad also produced three interceptions a trend that seems to be finding traction lately. Adam Banovich, Devin Clark and Wes Russell made the Knights pay the toll for trying to keep pace with the Beaver Express.
Kicker Jared Meinert has been a pleasant surprise for the Beavers as practice makes perfect. Meinert has turned into a solid kicker for the fast pace offense.
With the General McLane coming town this week DuBois’ 77 to 21 thumping of Franklin was a good warm up for the squad. There are no cupcakes from this point forward which should prove to be extremely exciting for football fans from around the area.