DuBOIS — Through the ages, there have been many that have believed in superstitions to elicit good luck.
In one, the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras wrote, “When stretching forth your feet to have your sandals put on, first extend your right foot.”
By doing so, he told his followers, they would have good fortune throughout the day.
Perhaps he was on to something.
For the opening two weeks of the season, the DuBois Area High School football team put up some impressive statistics only to come up short on the scoreboard. However, the Beavers (1-2) clearly put the shoe on the other foot against Warren rolling to a 31-8 victory Friday night at Mansell Stadium.
This time, it was Warren (1-2) that was left wondering how such a close statistical finish resulted in a one-sided loss.
DuBois finished with just 11 more yards of offense than the Dragons, but unlike its first two games, the Beavers were able to stop their opponent while also finishing drives.
“Looking at the stats from the first two weeks, if we had just finished, they would have been totally different ball games,” DuBois head coach Justin Marshall said. “So, tonight is a huge step in the right direction. We still have to work on some things because we could have finished some more things tonight, but we just have to keep building on that momentum.”
The victory was also a milestone of sorts for the DuBois football team as it registered its 300th victory since merging with Sandy Township High School in 1965. Overall, it was the 575th for the program in school history.
One thing that the Beavers did change up for Warren came at the quarterback position, where junior Alex Kovalyak took over for senior Eric Schneider who transitioned to wide receiver.
The move seemed to give the Beavers a little more flexibility to its offense as well as adding depth on the outside.
Kovalyak finished the game going 15-for-26 for 251 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, while Schneider had three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown and also carried the ball a handful of times.
Sophomore Nick Dilullo led the DuBois receivers with four catches for 99 yards, while junior Chase Husted had six receptions for 53 yards and a score.
“We were looking at ways that we could improve, and we had actually looked at that over the summer to kind of give us a different look,” Marshall said. “We just figured that this was a matchup where we could give that a shot and I think we looked good.
“The run game didn’t go as well as it has the past couple weeks, but we also made plays that we didn’t in the passing game. I’d like to do well in both, but we sort of replaced one with the other and it was effective.”
DuBois did have its troubles on the ground against the Dragons, rushing for only 64 yards on 27 attempts, with four runs of 10-yards or more.
Senior Dylan McCluskey led the way with 10 carries for 36 yards, while sophomore Zach Henery finished with 18 yards and a score on five attempts.
While those numbers were fairly sparse, the DuBois defense was laying down similar numbers on the Dragons’ offense, giving up 258 through the air and just 62 on the ground.
However, Warren looked impressive on its opening drive of the game as quarterback Jake Kupchella, who went 23-for-44 for 258 yards with a touchdown and an interception, took the Dragons’ offense from their own 20-yard line to the DuBois 17 in just seven plays.
But that was as far as it went for Warren as it was eventually turned away on a fourth-and-16 at the DuBois 28.
The Beavers didn’t do much on their opening drive but, after being pinned at their own 7 to start their second, moved the length of the field for the game’s first score when Schneider hauled in a 32-yard pass from Kovalyak with less than a minute to play in the first quarter.
It took almost 18 minutes of game time before the next points went up on the board, this time a 30-yard field goal from McCluskey to give DuBois a 10-0 advantage.
A huge return from Warren’s Marvin Bryant on the ensuing kickoff appeared to give the the Dragons some momentum.
But, some of that was erased after the Warren coaching staff was hit with an unsportsmanlike penalty for arguing that Bryant was tackled late after being driven out of bounds at the DuBois 14.
Two plays later that momentum disappeared completely when DuBois’ Coy Donahue picked off a Kupchella pass at the goal line and returned it to the 25.
A big catch-and-run by Dilullo for 58 yards eventually set up a 22-yard touchdown pass to Husted to make it 17-0.
A 53-yard touchdown reception by Michael Eisman gave DuBois a 24-0 lead with just under eight minutes to play while Warren finally got on the board with a long drive capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Kupchella to Aiden Morrison.
Warren picked up the 2-point conversion and attempted an onside kick with just over three minutes left but DuBois was able to recover to end Warren’s hopes for a comeback.
The Beavers then capped the scoring on an 18-yard touchdown run by Henery with just 20 left to play.
DuBois will now travel to Franklin Friday.