This Friday, the unbeaten Old Forge Blue Devils' football team will defend its PIAA District 2 Class A title at home against Dunmore.
All sorts of offensive records are being set as Old Forge lights up the scoreboard every week.
Star running back Brian Tomasetti set a school record for rushing yards and touchdowns in a single season. Those impressive offensive statistics often gain most of the attention. But perhaps the secret of Old Forge's success is a stifling defense.
Old Forge beat Riverside 42-7 last Friday night in the first round of the PIAA District 2 Class A playoffs and the defense did a great job not allowing the Vikings to establish any momentum.
Junior linebacker Shane Schuback makes the defensive calls for the Blue Devils' defense and he is the son of head coach Mike Schuback. The six-foot, 200 pound Schuback is a physical linebacker, who had a breakout season as a sophomore and has continued to grow as player this season.
"Our defense is unreal," Shane Schuback said. "Our defensive line is clearing everything up for me and Jorden (Sekol). We are just making everything happen and our d-backs are great together."
Holding Riverside to just seven points isn't an easy task. At times, Riverside was one of the most explosive offensive teams in the area with many quick players.
"Nick (Dranchak) is a great player. He has been the leader of that team for the last two years, and he puts up outstanding numbers," coach Schuback said of Riverside. "We had a great week of practice. The kids were flying around. I thought our kids really answered the call."
Old Forge had four interceptions in the game including one by Shane Schuback deep in Old Forge territory. Tomasetti also had two interceptions and Sekol had one.
One of the only times Riverside had a chance to pick up some momentum was late in the second quarter. The Vikings were looking to cut into the 21-0 Old Forge lead.
"We knew as soon as they were driving we had to stop them. We wanted to go into halftime with the lead and they didn't have any points on the board," said Shane Schuback. "That was one of the big things my dad was stressing to us. He said make sure they don't get any points so we can come in at halftime and game plan a little bit more."
Riverside cut the lead to 21-7 early in the second half, but Old Forge took control and dominated the rest of the game setting up a chance for back-to-back district titles this week.
"Going though it for a second time now as a junior, going to my second straight district championship game, it feels great," said Shane Schuback of playing for a district title. "It feels so good, especially with my father being my coach. He has been helping me out and pushing me. We are just making history together and that is what is great."
Shane said he and his father are best friends off the field and don't spend too much time dwelling about the games.
Coach Schuback was a great player while he was at Old Forge and a part of one of the best teams in school history. Now as a coach he is watching and coaching his son as he follows in his footsteps.
"I am so proud of my son. What he had gone through and where he has been.
What he is doing, how hard he plays and the sacrifices he makes. He understands it and we talked about it, you can't be great if you don't sacrifice," coach Schuback said of his son. "He loves the coaching staff and coach (Dan) Holland who works with him all the
time. He just puts a lot of time in and I am very proud of the way he has played and the
sky is the limit for him."
The chance at back-to-back medals is very special, but both understand beating
Dunmore will be a difficult task a second time this season. Old Forge won the first
matchup by a score of 21-0, but Dunmore was missing two key players Austin Seamon
and Daiqwon Buckley. The winner goes to the PIAA Class A state playoffs the following