Dragons looking to bounce back against DuBois
Which Warren Dragons team will show up tonight against DuBois?
Will it be the one that looked near-perfect in a season-opening 31-7 win over Fairview, or the one that surrendered 59 points in a shootout loss to Fort LeBoeuf?
That question will be answered as the Dragons hit the road for the first time this season.
Here’s some things to look for when the two teams take the field tonight.
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DuBois is 0-2, but take that with a grain of salt
True, the Beavers have gotten out of the gates slow, but their two losses are to Clearfield (28-3) and General McLane (41-12), a pair of quality opponents.
They have moved the ball offensively, with quarterback Erik Schneider (147 yards rushing) and running back Dylan McCluskey (172 yards rushing) the leaders on the ground. Schneider has completed 23-of-35 passes for 195 yards, 158 of which has gone to 6-7 junior tight end Chase Husted.
“They’re a lot like LeBoeuf,” said Warren coach Mark Morelli. “They might be 0-2, but they have a lot of drives between the 20s. They are going to take the ball and try and shove it down our throat. They are going to play ball control and try and keep it away from our offense. The key on defense is for us to make stops early on and put them in 3rd and long situations. If they methodically drive the ball down our throats it’s going to be one of those nights where it’s a 42-40 type game.”
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Much better week of practice
Morelli and his staff expressed concerns about a sluggish week of practice leading up to the LeBoeuf game, and those concerns came to fruition.
This week was a different case, however.
“Much better,” Morelli said. “We had a different demeanor this week in practice. The biggest thing we stressed is that you didn’t do the things last week that you did prior to the Fairview game. You can’t do that, especially when you play the D-10 schedule we play.”
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The Warren offense continued to put up big numbers last week, but mistakes proved costly.
Among those were key penalties, an interception return for touchdown and a fumble that led to a score.
Morelli was quick to point out that those are the kinds of things that need to be cleaned up.
“Those are the things that you have to eliminate,” he said. “The big key tomorrow night is going to be our physicality. The kids understand their scouting report, understand their assignments and what they need to do. That, to me, is going to be the key to the game.”
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One thing that has become abundantly clear through two weeks is that the Dragon offense has the ability to score with anyone, as the numbers points out.
Jake Kupchella ranks tops in District 10 and second in Pennsylvania, per MaxPreps, in passing yards with 661 through two games, while completing 65 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and one interceptions.
Devin McMeans (8 receptions, 204 yards, 4 TDs), Aidan Morrison (3 receptions, 107 yards), Micah Passmore (4 receptions, 83 yards), Ryan Arnold (3 receptions, 77 yards, 2 TDs), Marvin Bryant (135 yards rushing, 8.4 YPC, 4 TDs; 6 receptions, 160 yards) and Alex Anderson (3 receptions, 24 yards) give the Dragons one of the top groups of skill players in District 10.
“I think our offense is going to continue to dazzle people with their play,” Morelli said. “The question is which defense is going to show up. The Week 1 defense or the Week 2 defense. The big thing for us is we are dynamic enough on offense, that whatever a defense throws at us, we should be able to adapt. But if you make mistakes, it’s all for not. A lot of it is film. Coaches (Eric) Rozanski and (Greg) Miller spend a lot of times getting our offense prepared and knowing the tendencies of the opposing defense.”