DuBOIS — Numbers for the DuBois Beavers were similar to water in Coleridge’s poem “The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” in that there was plenty of it, but nothing of value.
The Beavers (0-2) put up some impressive numbers against General McLane except for the ones on the scoreboard as DuBois fell to the Lancers, 41-12, at Mansell Stadium Friday.
DuBois outgained the Lancers, 371-289 in total offense and held a huge advantage in the passing game, throwing for 166 yards as compared to the Lancers’ 15.
Unfortunately, much of the reason for that was that the lion’s share of the Beavers’ offense came somewhere between the 20s while General McLane was able to continue into the end zone.
“Second week in a row that I think, in the stat categories, it’s gonna look like it was a battle,” DuBois head coach Justin Marshall said. “But we just aren’t finishing drives while we hold them to a third or fourth down and give up a play. We’ve just been preaching that we have to start finishing –finishing plays, finishing drives. We’re right there but we’re just not finishing.”
DuBois’ two scoring drives were lengthy, covering 71 and 86 yards, but were offset by the Lancers’ ability to take advantage of what they were given, whether that was a turnover, short field or big play.
Not surprisingly, General McLane had at least one of each as only two of their scores came on drives that took seven plays or more.
General McLane had two scoring drives that started in DuBois territory, one score that came off a 54-yard fumble return and another on an 84-yard run.
DuBois’ aggressive play calling led to one of those General McLane scores as the Beavers opted to keep their offense on the field for a fourth-and-2 at their own 39 on the opening drive of the game.
While DuBois’ Dylan McCluskey, who rushed for 98 yards and a score on 19 attempts, came close, the Beavers turned the ball over on downs.
Six plays later, the Lancers’ Jaxon Scrutchins swept in for a 13-yard score.
“That’s part of changing the mentality in this program,” Marshall said. “We’re gonna be physical and, at times, we’re going to have to step up and make a play. We challenged them all week and the kids were excited. They wanted to run the ball and they wanted to get after it. So, we thought, ‘let’s make a statement’ and it just didn’t quite work out.
“But that’s on me,” Marshall added. “Any time that happens, it’s my play call.”
Still, the call certainly wasn’t a game-changer considering that the Beavers picked things up and marched 71 yards on their next drive which was capped by a 1-yard run by Blaise Carney on the first play of the second quarter.
Unfortunately, the kick failed and DuBois was left trailing, 7-6.
The Beavers nearly caught a break a few minutes later when they recovered a Lancers’ fumble.
But after working the ball across midfield and inside the General McLane 30, DuBois quarterback Eric Schneider was hit while scrambling in his backfield and lost the ball.
Lancers’ linebacker Ryan Harvey eventually scooped the ball up and raced 54 yards for the score and a 14-6 advantage.
“A play like that’s a game-changer,” Marshall said. “We were moving and were up around midfield. That’s a play that Eric and I have talked about trying to break the habit of for about nine months. (Instead of) trying to back out of the pocket, just move forward. No negative plays. And he knew when it happened that he went back to an old habit.
“But, those are growing pains,” Marshall added. “It’s the first year that he’s the starting quarterback, so he’s working through it.”
Schneider, a senior, still turned in a solid performance, rushing 25 times for 77 yards while also going 11-for-16 for 100 yards through the air.
A big portion of those yards went to junior tight end Chase Husted who finished with 93 yards on receptions from two quarterbacks.
While DuBois had the ball twice more in the first half, the Lancers picked up the only other score before the break as Brett Horn scored on a 1-yard run with less than 30 seconds left to open up a 21-6 halftime advantage.
General McLane’s Ben Howe-Jones nearly went the distance with the second-half kickoff but the play was called back on a penalty.
Still, it didn’t take long for Howe-Jones, who rushed for 110 yards on six carries, to break into the end zone as he broke off an 84-yard touchdown run midway through the third to put McLane up, 28-6.
The Beavers got their final score with less than a minute to play in the third on a 4-yard touchdown run by McCluskey. DuBois tried for the 2-point conversion to cut the advantage to 14 points but a failed pass left the score at 28-12.
Lancers’ quarterback Luke Dillen then wrapped up the scoring with a pair of touchdown runs in the fourth to set the final.
The Beavers did have a final chance to score in the waning seconds of the game, driving down to set up a first-and-goal at the General McLane 1 but were turned away four straight times, including two on incompletions by backup quarterback Alex Kovalyak.
“We keep telling the kids ‘one game at a time and one play at a time’,” Marshall said. “We’re just trying to get better every week. This week we scored more than we did last week, so we finished some drives. We just have to start putting it together. There were probably 20 more points out there that we left on the field. If we score those, it’s a different ballgame.”
DuBois will now host Warren Friday.