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Week 3 preview: High-flying DuBois hosts Conneaut Area

Cover photo of Elk County Catholic captains Mitchell Smith (12), Joe Tamberlin (72), Jonathan Dippold (29), Matt Feldbauer (64) and Dan Singer (24) by Paul Burdick.

By Rich Rhoades

What can DuBois senior quarterback Gabe French do for an encore? Or will it be a season-long video game?

Through two weeks, French’s numbers are exactly that, off a Madden video game stat sheet.

— He’s completed 33 of 41 passes (80.5 percent) for 781 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. If you want to use the NFL quarterback rating system, his rating would be 138.0. Putting that into perspective, the single-season NFL record is owned by the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers in 2011 (122.5, threw for 4,643 yards, 45 TDs, 6 Ints.).

— Last week’s 357-yard outing against Meadville pushed French over the 5,000-yard milestone. He’s the eighth QB in district history to go over that threshold.

— French leads the Beavers with 153 yards rushing.

The 2-0 Beavers, led by French, average over 602 yards of offense PER GAME so far as they host Class AAA Conneaut Area in a District 10, Region 5 matchup Friday night at E.J. Mansell Stadium. The 2-0 Eagles have some ammunition of their own with quarterback Hunter Merritt and running back Elijah Anderson.

In Conneaut Area’s first two routs — 35-0 over Northwestern and 56-10 over Franklin — Merritt also has some impressive numbers. He’s completed 14 of 20 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 191 yards and four touchdowns. Anderson has rushed for 280 yards on 34 carries.

It’s one of the top games if not the marquee matchup of the weekend as 14 games make up Week 3 of the District 9 football season, with all but one scheduled for Friday night.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s schedule:

District 10, Region 5

Bradford (0-2) at Meadville (1-1)

The Owls look for their first win as they travel to take on the Bulldogs, who are coming off a 56-24 loss to DuBois.

The Bulldogs are a run-heavy team with 710 yards on the ground in the first two games. Senior Jarrid Miller leads the team with 261 yards to go along with three touchdowns.

Junior Alex Colosimo has rushed for 118 yards on 22 carries for the Owls, who were shut out by Oil City last week.

Mountain League

Central-Martinsburg (1-1) at Clearfield (1-1)

It’s the home-opener for the Bison, who take on Mountain League rival Central-Martinsburg. The Dragons have finished second to the Bison in the league the last two seasons with their only loss to the Bison.

Bison junior quarterback Cody Spaid has passed for 386 yards and four touchdowns with sophomore Seth Caldwell (31 carries, 97 yards, 2 TDs) and Erik Sellers (26-92, 1 TD) the top rushers.

For Central, junior quarterback Noah Benton has passed for 182 yards and two touchdowns with 64 yards rushing. Senior running back Mike Mock has rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns.


Karns City (2-0) at St. Marys (2-0)

It’s a battle of unbeatens in Elk County as the state-ranked Gremlins roll into St. Marys with 115 points in just two games. To put that into perspective, the AML-North’s six teams have combined to score 50 points.

The Gremlins have racked up 964 yards of offense in their two routs, including a 55-7 win over Brashear last week. Tristan Rhoades leads a lengthy list of ballcarriers with 162 yards on just 11 carries. The two-quarterback system features Caleb King (5-for-11, 100 yards, 2 TDs) and Cody Deal (8-for-11, 146 yards, 1 TD).

It’s the Dutch’s home-opener as they opened with wins on the road at Bradford (19-14) and A-C Valley (23-0). Junior running back T.J. Hogan has rushed for 176 yards

Brookville (1-1) at Punxsutawney (1-1)

Both teams are coming off wins as the Raiders and Chucks play for the Route 36 Trophy.

Raiders quarterback Bobby McGranor has passed for 249 yards and Jonah Sampson leads the team with 92 yards rushing.

The Chucks are led by quarterback Dakota Thomas (218 yards passing, 81 yards rushing), running back Perry Arrington (132 yards rushing) and receiver Braxton Giavedoni (5 catches, 108 yards).


Redbank Valley (2-0) at Keystone (0-2)

The Bulldogs try to go 3-0 for the first time since 2010 when they travel to take on the winless Panthers.

Bulldogs quarterback Jake Dougherty has thrown for over 300 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns. With over 3,800 career yards, he can reach the 4,000-yard milestone this week.

Panthers quarterback Bryce Altman has passed for 151 yards.

Clarion-Limestone (0-2) at Clarion (2-0)

The Bobcats have won the last 10 straight games against the Lions, including the last three meetings by lopsided margins of 74-0, 57-0 and 52-6. It’s the 45th meeting between next-door neighbors with Clarion leading the series, 27-17.

Bobcats senior running back Ian Corbett has rushed for 211 yards and five touchdowns while freshman Colton Rapp has 211 yards on the ground with five touchdowns. Junior quarterback Brendan Miller has passed for 202 yard and three touchdowns.

Kyle Robertson leads the Lions with 158 yards rushing.

A-C Valley (0-2) at Union (1-1)

The Knights host the Falcons, who have lost 14 straight games dating back to the end of the 2012 season.

Knights starting quarterback Lane Cicciarelli was injured early in the second half in last week’s loss to Brookville His status wasn’t known for this week. Receiver Cole Morris stepped in and threw for a TD pass while rushing for 104 yards in Cicciarelli’s absence.


Curwensville (2-0) at Coudersport (0-2)

The Falcons haven’t scored a point yet and now have a two-game losing streak against the Golden Tide after winning 13 of the first 16 meetings since Curwensville entered the AML.

Tide freshman running back Nick Stewart has rushed for 322 yards and four touchdowns.

The Falcons hadn’t been shut out twice in a season since 2000.

Brockway (2-0) at Cameron County (0-2)

The Rovers have two straight shutouts to start the season and it’s the first time they’ve had two in a season since 2006.

The offense isn’t too bad either as quarterback Braden Martini has passed for 374 yards. Anthony Benson has 109 yards rushing and 143 yards receiving.

The Red Raiders have scored one touchdown so far. Caleb Burnside ran for 83 yards in last week’s loss to Rdigway.

Ridgway (2-0) at Otto-Eldred (0-2)

Elkers quarterback Ben MacDonald has passed for 102 yards and rushed for 197 yards with four touchdowns. Cole Myers is coming off a 147-yard rushing performance against Cameron County.

Sophomore running back Seth Drummond has rushed for 181 yards to lead the Terrors.

Sheffield (0-2) at Kane (2-0)

The Wolves will try to keep their perfect season alive with a home date with the Wolverines. Kane is coming off a 42-6 win over Smethport as John English rushed for 164 and four touchdowns.

The Wolverines are coming off a 68-0 thumping at the hands of Clarion and have yet to score a point this season.

Smethport (0-2) at Elk County Catholic (2-0)

In the lone Saturday game of the week with a 7 p.m. kickoff, the Crusaders will try to make it three shutouts in a row to start the season.

Crusaders quarterback Mitchell Smith has completed 11 of 13 passes for 175 yards while rushing for 155 yards.

The Hubbers have managed just one touchdown in their two losses.


Port Allegany (0-2) at Moniteau (2-0)

It’s nearly a three-hour trip to West Sunbury from Port Allegany, so it’s no surprise that these teams have never met. And is it the longest possible distance between two District 9 schools? No, Coudersport and Moniteau would be a longer trip by mileage than.

Moniteau quarterback Cody Skiver has passed for 103 yards and rushed for 198 yards while senior running back Josh McBride leads the team in rushing with 259 yards and three touchdowns.

The Gators have just 148 yards of offense and two touchdowns in their first two games, including last week’s 39-0 loss to Elk County Catholic.