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Kooper Peacock was clutch for Jersey Shore’s football team Friday

Kooper Peacock was the highlight of Jersey Shore’s stout defense in the Bulldogs’ 26-14 victory against Crestwood in the PIAA AAAA state quarterfinals. The unit is major reason the Bulldogs are 9-0 and among the four teams left in the state.

Peacock picked an excellent time to record his first career takeaway. The sophomore defensive back came away with not one, but two, crucial interceptions in the second half for Jersey Shore.

“We played great, we all worked together to get this team win,” Peacock said. “We all work as one unit and preach next play mentality.”

If you glanced over the box score from Friday’s win, you would see Peacock’s two interceptions at the top. Although Shore’s success on the defensive side of the ball was much more than that, the Bulldogs were hitting on all cylinders. From the defensive line, to the linebackers filling gaps, Jersey Shore’s defensive came to play like they have all season long.

Jersey Shore racked up four sacks, forced Crestwood to punt four times and recovered two fumbles. Colin Samar, a senior that helps to make-up the Bulldogs defensive line, said the ability to rush the passer helps create turnovers for Jersey Shore.

Samar believes the Bulldogs are solid at all positions defensively.

“It all starts with the line. That’s the center of the whole defense. I think we’re good all around,” Samar said. “We just go out there and try to beat them with tough guy football.”

“Tough guy football” is what the Bulldogs played Friday night. Quincey Myers, who recorded both a sack and fumble recovery in Jersey Shore’s ninth win of the season, said what the fans see every Friday night is simply a reflection of Jersey Shore’s practices.

“We keep working hard in practice every week. We just keep performing and it is showing on the field right now. We’re always moving fast and hustling to the ball,” Myers said.

The unit — specifically outlined by the play of Peacock, Samar, Myers and others such as Dalton Dugan and Luke Springman — recorded stops on Crestwood’s nine out of 11 drives.

Bulldogs coach Tom Gravish had nothing but praise for his defense following the win over Crestwood. The 14 points allowed by Jersey Shore was the most points they have allowed this season.

“We’ve got a tough defense. Coach (Alex) Jackson does a fantastic job with our defense, as well as all our other assistants,” Gravish said. “We take pride in our defense, as well as offense and special teams.”

Jersey Shore has secured a spot in the Final Four of the PIAA playoffs for the second year in a row. Gravish said this was the team’s goal from the start.

“That was our goal, even back to January when we walked off that field last year after the loss to Dallas. The kids made their mind up and wanted to come back,” Gravish said. “We’re really proud of the kids.”

The Bulldogs travel to Lampeter-Strasburg on Friday to meet the 10-0 Pioneers.

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