Bulldogs open season with a rout over Shamokin at Jersey Shore
After a banner 2019 season for Jersey Shore football, fans at home wondered what 2020 would bring on the gridiron. So far so good is the answer they got Friday night, as the Bulldogs trounced Shamokin 41-7 in a game that hit running clock territory by the opening minutes of the third quarter.
“We’re just happy to be playing football,” Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish said. “They prepared themselves for the season really well and they came in in great shape.”
The level of play was especially impressive, considering that this is the first game that the team has been able to play against an opponent since November 2019. The Bulldogs were set to scrimmage Mount Carmel last weekend, but that was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak at that school. Limited to only being able to face teams in their own district and with a minimal amount of time to find another option, Jersey Shore had to settle for an inter squad scrimmage as its only tune up for 2020.
“We have a lot of things we need to work on,” Gravish said. “We didn’t really get a true scrimmage in last week. We went 200 plus plays, but we didn’t get to go against someone in different colors. We made a lot of mistakes tonight, and we’ll work on it.”
The reigning state semifinalist got going early, utilizing it’s experienced defensive line to cause havoc in the Shamokin backfield, while putting its high-octane offense into overdrive.
The Bulldogs forced a three and out on Shamokin’s opening drive, then knocked in a 30 yard field goal courtesy of senior Cam Allison on it’s first trip down the field. The Jersey Shore defense remained stingy in it’s 5-2 formation, giving Shamokin sophomore quarterback Brett Nye nowhere to hide amidst heavy pressure throughout the night.
Senior defensive end Quincey Myers was at the forefront of this.
“We lost a good senior in that spot last year in Ryan Kershner,” Gravish said. “Quincey, ever since he started coming to workouts, he’s caught the coach’s attention with his speed and athleticism. We’re confident that if he keeps working hard he could have a good year.”
Allison managed to find lots of room to roam on offense, as he punched in two first quarter touchdowns on the ground. His first went for 12 yards, and his second came on an explosive 34-yard burst to make the score 16-0 Jersey Shore.
As the game progressed, Jersey Shore’s passing game looked sharper and sharper. Initially seniors Owen Anderson and Brandon Wheary traded drives at quarterback, but Gravish soon stuck with Wheary under center. This allowed for Anderson, a dynamic playmaker and Jersey Shore’s second leading returning receiver, to be used in a variety of ways that really plagued Shamokin.
Wheary threw two second quarter touchdowns, displaying his comfort in Gravish’s no huddle system. The first was a 14-yard strike to junior receiver Cayden Hess. Late in the half Wheary connected with Anderson for 13 yards over the middle to extend the Bulldog lead to 28-0, and just about sealing Shamokin’s fate.
“We’re confident in both of them,” Gravish said of Wheary and Anderson. “They both have special skills, and they both have some unique skills that are different from the other one. We feel like we can have a successful season with either of them at quarterback.”
Wheary spent the last two seasons backing up Jersey Shore all-state dual-threat QB Tanner Lorson. But the combination of him and Anderson have been handed the keys to the Maserati, and seemingly have no issues with the steering and handling.
Wheary finished the game with four touchdowns, hitting Anderson another time in the third quarter, while also connecting with senior Dalton Dugan to complete the Jersey Shore scoring output.
Jersey Shore’s Thompson Street Stadium was practically void of fans, except for a lucky few that squeezed into the 250-patron headcount laid out by the PIAA. Without the Bulldog faithful to pump the team up, Jersey Shore had to bring the noise on its own.
“I liked our positive enthusiasm on the field, on the sidelines,” Gravish said. “You could tell when the kids came in the locker room area down from the high school that they had their game face on. That’s always the first thing you’re gonna notice.”
Now that night one of this unpredictable 2020 season is in the books, Jersey Shore prepares for a road contest at Shikellamy in week two. While things are different in this abbreviated season, where rules and regulations could theoretically change on the stop of a dime, the Bulldogs plan to prepare for the Braves as they would in any other season.
“We’ve got a game in, they’ve got a game in,” Gravish said of Shikellamy. We’ll do what we’ve always done without changing anything in regards to preparing for our second game.”
JERSEY SHORE 41, SHAMOKIN 7
Shamokin 0 0 0 7 – 7
Jersey Shore 16 12 13 0 – 41
JS — Cameron Allison 29 field goal, 7:25.
JS — Allison 12 run (kick blocked), 3:16.
JS — Allison 35 run (Allison kick), 2:08
JS — Cayden Hess 14 pass from Branden Wheary (kick blocked), 10:31.
JS — Owen Anderson 12 pass from Wheary (kick blocked), 3:11.
JS — Dalton Dugan 11 pass from Wheary (Allison kick), 10:06.
JS — Owen Anderson 16 pass from Wheary (kick blocked), 6:04.
S — Michah Miller 1 pass from Brett Nye (Ososkie kick), 11:56.
First downs 6 26
Rushes-yards 33-26 41-237
Passing yards 91 195
Total yards 117 432
C-A-I 7-17-2 18-28-0
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 7-55 3-35
RUSHING: Shamokin: Ian Paul (8-38), Brett Nye (6-(-35)), Maximus Madden (5-3), Aaron Frasch (4-10), Karmyne Cole (3-10), Tyler Whary (2-10), Corey Adams (2-6), Collin Bozza (2-(-10)), TEAM (1-0); Jersey Shore: Cameron Allison (20-128-2), Hayden Packer (6-22), Owen Anderson (5-66), Brady Jordan (4-12), Nicholas Williams (2-3), Kooper Peacock (1-8), Cayden Hess (1-0), TEAM (1-0), Stone Sechrist (1-(-2))
PASSING: Shamokin: Brett Nye (6-15-66-1-2), Collin Bozza (1-2-25-0-0); Jersey Shore: Branden Wheary (16-25-172-4-0), Nicholas Williams (1-2-17-0-0), Owen Anderson (1-1-6-0-0)
RECEIVING: Shamokin: Aaron Frasch (2-18), Ryder Zulkowski (1-41), William Delbaugh (1-25), Ian Paul (1-4), Tyler Whary (1-2), Michah Miller (1-1-1); Jersey Shore: Cayden Hess (8-85-1), Owen Anderson (6-82-2), Dalton Dugan (3-11-1), Brady Jordan (1-17)