HOLLIDAYSBURG – DuBois had talked all season about finally getting over the hump and winning a postseason game.
But the Beavers talk ended up being for naught, as DuBois dropped its 11th postseason contest in a row with a 29-7 defeat to State College in the District 6-9 Class AAAA title game Friday night in Hollidaysburg.
The Little Lions (5-6) did what few teams had done all year, contain DuBois’ record-setting quarterback Gabe French.
State College’s defense held French to 16 of 32 passing for 196 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions while also causing the Beaver senior quarterback to fumble the ball once – and that was returned for a touchdown – and sacking him six times. It was the second-lowest passing total of the year for the the senior, who finished the season with unofficially 3,558 yards and 41 touchdowns and his four-year career with 7,927 yards and 87 touchdowns.
And with French not on his game, neither was DuBois’ offense, which entered the game averaging a District 9-best 52.9 points per game. The seven tallies were the lowest of the season for the Beavers (8-3) and kept them from breaking the District 9 scoring average record of 51.4 points per game set by Clarion last year. DuBois finished the year averaging 48.7 ppg. The seven points were also the fewest by a Beaver team in head coach Frank Varischetti’s four seasons and the lowest since scoring seven in a loss to Grove City Oct. 29, 2010.
State College using a 19-point second quarter to build a 22-0 halftime lead and then quickly answered DuBois’ lone score of the game with a touchdown of its own midway through the third quarter.
Kevin Cramer gave the Little Lions a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter, and Jordan Misher scored a pair of second-quarter touchdowns sandwiched between a 79-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Nathan King.
Misher made it 9-0 on a 3-yard run out of the Wild Cat before King scooped up a French fumble at the State College 21 and went the distance to make it 15-0.
Misher then scored from 22 yards out with around three minutes to play in the half to make it 22-0.
DuBois looked like it was going to gain some momentum heading into the break when Dante Dawson picked off a pass with under minute to play in the half and returned it to the State College 12-yard line.
The Beavers then appeared to score on a touchdown pass with under 10 seconds to play, but a penalty erased the score.
DuBois did cut the State College lead to 22-7 early in the third quarter when French hit Kevin Foley on a 38-yard touchdown pass 2:52 into the second half.
But State College answered right back 22 seconds later on Misher’s third touchdown of the game, this time from 21 yards out following a 58-yard run by Josh Weakland.
Misher finished with 190 yards on the ground for State College, which will take on Erie McDowell next week in the Round of 16.