Jersey Shore Bulldogs rout Shikellamy Braves in playoff opener, 72-25
By AARON JAMES
JERSEY SHORE- The Jersey Shore Bulldogs are headed back to another district title game after a lopsided 72-25 victory over Shikellamy Friday night. The district title appearance will be Jersey Shore’s second consecutive, and sixth in the last seven years.
Jersey Shore was pushed to the test on the opening 12-play drive of the game, having to convert two fourth downs during the drive, including a fourth and goal run by Tanner Lorson, The drive would turn out to be the most difficult and longest drive of the game as the Bulldogs would turn on cruise control for the remainder of the night.
“We watched them on tape these last several weeks. We had a great week of practice and hard practices. We wanted to put our guys in hard situations. We were out there in the mud and slop, banging a little bit. We’re really proud of our guys, it was a hard-fought game, Shik’s effort was there right until the last play,” head coach Tom Gravish said following the victory.
The first quarter would be all Bulldogs as they notched an early 23-0 lead, including a safety by Gabe Packer. In the second quarter the Bulldogs just continued to pour it on the undermatched and clearly frustrated Braves squad.
Four different Bulldogs found the end zone in the first half alone and Jersey Shore took a 36-point lead into the locker room with 55 points on the scoreboard.
Jersey Shore erupted for 362 yards on the ground with four different players recording a rushing touchdown. Running backs Josh Malicky and Dawson Sechrist gutted the Shikellamy defense en route to a combined four touchdowns and 303 yards.
“We’ve been working real hard at practice to get more of a run game going. We felt we still could’ve threw it tonight. Cam Allison is a pretty good running back, too. Malicky had a great night, Dawson the effort that he had, and Tanner had some great runs as well. We need to keep improving our run game, keep working on our pass game. I think our offensive line, this may have been the best game they played all year,” Gravish said about his running back core.
The Bulldogs demonstrated dominating football in all facets of the game from the opening kickoff to the final whistle.
Special teams was locked in, the Bulldog offense was versatile and in rhythm, and the defense was stellar coming up with five fumble recoveries.
The defense stymied the Braves offense holding them to just 48 yards in the air, with 36 of them being on a halfback pass for a Shikellamy touchdown.
On the ground Shikellamy rattled off a 77 yard touchdown run. Outside of that run, the Bulldogs allowed only 39 yards on 20 carries.
Offensively the Bulldogs had five different players find the end zone. The Bulldogs were so dominant in the first half of the game that there was no need to even put the ball in the air a single time in the second half.
Jersey Shore now gets to host Selinsgrove in the district title game at Thompson Street Stadium. Earlier this season Jersey Shore blanked Selinsgrove 36-0 in Week 2.
“14 times in seven years, Selinsgrove does a fantastic job, they have great tradition. To play fourteen times in seven years [made this] develop into a rival game. Not out of locality or location but we respect their program an awful lot,” Gravish said looking ahead to his matchup for another district title.
The Bulldogs have won four straight games in dominant fashion outscoring opponents by 148 points. Coach Gravish and his team look to keep the momentum rolling next Friday at 7 p.m.
JS-Lorson 4 yard run (8:36)
JS-Sechrist 1 yard run (5:25)
JS-Lorson 1 yard run (2:45)
JS-Sechrist 1 yard run (11:21)
SH-Derr 77 yard run (10:52)
JS-Hess 6 yard pass from Lorson (9:43)
SH-Balestrini 8 yard run (5:33)
JS-Hess 6 yard pass from Lorson (4:19)
JS-Malicky 8 yard run (00:59)
SH-Nettles 84 yard return (00:47)
JS-Malicky 2 yard run (11:10)
JS-Sechrist 2 yard run (7:12)
JS-Allison 7 yard run (3:12)
SH-Brubaker 36 yard from Minnier (11:51)