So, here is what has happened since we defeated Susquenita. We became District Champs. The Indians didn’t do it on the field; they had no opponent as Bellefonte elected not to play in the District Championship game. So, we got the trophy and the official D6 record book will show us as the 2022 AAAA District Champions for the third consecutive year. What we don’t get is a win in the Juniata all time record. We will enter the game with Dubois with a record of 7-3.
Dubois is the only roadblock on the road to playing in the AAAA State Championship. We will be one of only 16 teams still alive for that honor with a win over the Beavers. I watched three Dubois games, all losses; you learn more about a team in a loss than you do in a win.
To me, Dubois is the textbook definition of an average team. Their record stands at 5-5. No part of their game is great and conversely, no part of their game is terrible. They have no standout players; no player you look at and say, that guy could beat us single-handedly. They rush about 60% of the time and pass about 40%. They often use two quarterbacks in a game, one a senior and the other a freshman. The freshman looks a little more dynamic. Their two main running backs are senior and both weigh around 160 pounds. Their stats are, you guessed it, average. On defense, their leading tackler averages eight tackles per game, which is more than any of our defenders.
Two things to keep in mind. The Beaver defense averages surrendering 22 points a game. I am very confident that if we can put 22 points on the scoreboard against them, we will win the game.
And consider this. Dubois and Juniata had one common opponent, and that was Clearfield. Juniata beat Clearfield 20-7 while Clearfield beat Dubois 41-7.
I have a good feeling about this game and I think Juniata will bring home the victory, and a regional championship (but no trophy).
A quick peek down the road: If we get by Dubois and await the winner of the Meadville-University Prep Regional final. I would be shocked if that wouldn’t be Meadville and that matchup would be a State playoff game. And one more thing, Meadville will have to play us at a District site, no long trip to Meadville this season.
It’s a Thursday night which is problematic for our fans. It’s a good hour and a half trip to Dubois. I hope as many of our fans as possible come out and support this team; they’ve earned it, and more importantly, they deserve it.