Bulldogs blank Selinsgrove, 33-0, to improve to 4-0 in football
Jersey Shore started off slow, but eventually ran away with a 33-0 victory at district foe Selinsgrove on Friday night. The Bulldogs pitched their second shutout of the season, and utilized a 21-point second quarter to pull ahead of the Seals for good.
“I was really impressed with our second quarter, and the start to the third quarter”” Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish said. “It’s a good victory any time you win here at Selinsgrove.”
Jersey Shore has come out firing on all cylinders in its first three games of the year on both sides of the ball. But Selinsgrove’s 3-5 defense was able to bottle up the Bulldog rushing attack early, and even forced an interception from Jersey Shore quarterback Brandon Wheary.
The pick was the senior’s first of the year, but was not capitalized on by the Seals. They promptly threw an interception on their ensuing drive to Jersey Shore senior safety Owen Anderson. That was the story of the first quarter, as the two rivals found themselves in a scoreless ballgame after 12 minutes.
“We told our players in practice this week ‘what are you going to do, and how are you going to answer the bell when things just don’t go right?'” Gravish said. “I knew our defense was playing lights out, so we just kept plugging away everything would work out.”
Early in the second quarter, Wheary got going, and connected with junior receiver Cayden Hess for a 40 yard touchdown pass up the sideline. From there, the Bulldog defense continued to clamp down and take advantage of Selinsgrove’s extremely limited passing attack.
The Seals hardly even picked up a first down for the entirety of the first half, and the Bulldogs found pay dirt two more times. Anderson took it in himself from eight yards out on a run while playing quarterback to make it 14-0. Then late in the quarter Wheary found Hess in the end zone again for an eight yard touchdown pass, bringing the halftime lead to 21-0.
Jersey Shore has primarily used Wheary at quarterback, allowing Anderson to excel as a receiver. But sometimes Gravish has Wheary step off the field to let Anderson display his versatility with some run pass option looks.
“We just have that in our system,” Gravish said. “Last year, when (Tanner Lorson) was the quarterback and at the end of the year (Wheary) couldn’t go, we had to rep (Anderson) at quarterback, and he was a quarterback earlier in his career here. He did a nice job, and we’ll continue to do that.”
In the second half Selinsgrove got the ball to start, but was stymied once again, as Jersey Shore forced a three-and-out on the opening drive. The first Bulldog offensive drive of the third saw the offense pick up right where it left off heading into the locker room.
Senior running back Cameron Allison notched a 41-yard run to take the Bulldogs quickly into the red zone. The five-play drive concluded with Wheary hitting sophomore Kooper Peacock in the back of the end zone for a 17-yard score. That was the first receiving touchdown of Peacock’s varsity career, and it put the Bulldogs ahead, 26-0.
One more touchdown came in the third for Jersey Shore, as sophomore Hayden Packer bursted in for six from four yards out.
“It’s always our goal to try to shut someone out,” Gravish said. “Our guys really listen in practice, and (defensive coordinator Alex Jackson) and all of our coaches, they coach it real hard and figure out what adjustments we need to make. I think everyone in our program understands how Selinsgrove can hurt you with what weapons they have. We made a plan this week, they worked the plan, and tonight we executed that plan.”
Up next is a home matchup with winless Milton (0-4), and another chance for this Jersey Shore team to build off of a marvelous first half of this eight game regular season.