Jersey Shore Completes Perfect 10-0 Regular Season
EasternPAFootball.com/WesterPAFootball.net Senior Writer
MILL HALL — If you want to find a way to describe the 2014 Jersey Shore Bulldog football season, you don’t need to look any further. Just label it PERFECTION!
Ten teams have tried and all ten have failed to defeat the Bulldogs. After winning nine in a row, the Dawgs made it a perfect 10 Friday night at Malinak Stadium with a 56-13 win over neighboring rival Central Mountain.
“It is really special to have done this and you feel so great for the young men who made it happen,” said a happy Shore head coach Tom Gravish. “Two years ago they walked off this field without a win. We knew they had built some confidence and when we got back to our locker room we talked about there being light at the end of the tunnel. We have some special young men here, we believe in them, they worked real hard because we work them hard and they don’t complain. All the credit to the players for everything they have done.”
While Shore has completed a perfect regular season, the Wildcats have struggled through a 1-9 campaign, showing only a win over Williamsport in the first game of the campaign.
Although he wasn’t expecting to set the world on fire, CM head coach Mike Nines was hoping for possibly a little better outcome for his ‘Cats in his rookie season at the helm.
“The biggest thing we tried to do was to improve from week to week and we showed glimpses of that throughout the year,” said Nines. “The biggest thing I can take away from this season as their coach is that nobody quit the team which had been an issue in the past and the kids never stopped fighting. We were in a lot of lopsided games, but they kept on fighting to the end and I couldn’t ask for much more than that from them as we try to groom the young kids into varsity players.”
Shore wasted no time in asserting itself as the Dawgs scored 73 seconds into the game on a 45-yard pass from quarterback Logan English to wideout Brody Smith.
For Smith, the score was the first of three for him in the win, while for English, his TD toss was the first of four for him in the game. For his strong effort, Smith finished with four catches for 120 yards and three scores.
“He (English) throws it up to us and we just go up and get it,” said Smith. “That is the fun thing of being a wide receiver, making catches for the quarterback. This is the first time we (a Jersey Shore team) have been 10-0 in 65 years. To be honest about it, it hasn’t hit me yet.”
Another TD pass from English covering 28 yards, English with a 3-yard TD run, Boone Costa with a TD reception from English capped by a recovery of a Wildcat fumble in the end zone by Nate Lose to wrap up the 35-point first half.
Improving each week, English finished his regular season career in fine fashion with eight completions for 177 yards and four scores.
“I just try to throw the ball up so that our guy can catch it and make a play,” said English. “What really helps is that we have some outstanding receivers who are all capable of making big plays. I think the biggest thing for me is that I can recall from the experience I got earlier and that helps the game slow down a lot. As for being 10-0, it doesn’t feel any different to me. We just have to keep on going and win every week.”
With the game well in hand, the Bulldogs completed their scoring for the night when Smith caught his third TD pass from English, Zach Miller went in from nine yards out for a score and Dylan Richardson got into the scoring act when he rumbled three yards for a score with a fumble recovery.
In addition to the nearly 200 yards passing by Shore, Levi Lorson once again went over the century mark with 133 yards on 27 carries.
As for the approach to the mixture on offense, Gravish pointed out that it was dictated by the opponent and the flow of the game.
“We knew that we could throw a little bit more than we have been,” he said. “They were certain games where we got it sledding with the run game, but give the Central Mountain kids some credit because they did a few things here and there in the run game where we didn’t feel that we had to give Levi the ball fifty times. The guys in the receiving game have been patient all year when we ran the ball a lot. Down the stretch we want to focus on our running game as well as throwing the ball. I couldn’t be more happy with a couple of guys who hadn’t gotten a lot of playing time. Taylor Tice played really good and Tristin Orrico split time out there at left tackle. We have a great senior class and we have a lot of faith in all of those guys.”
Although Lorson is a strong, shifty runner, some of the credit for a running back’s success has to go the offensive linemen. Leading that pack for Shore is senior guard Tim Wool, one of the team‘s captains.
“With all of the hard work we put in during the season and everybody showing up during the summer, it is a little surprising to go 10-0, but everyone worked real hard and now it happened,” said Wool. “We have a big team, we play as one, we are all brothers and we do whatever it takes to protect our quarterback and open holes for our runners.”
If there were two highlights for the ‘Cats in the season-ending loss, those came from kick returner Justin Neff who took a pair of Bulldog kicks to the house for scores along with 67 yards rushing by Hunter Weaver that put him over the top for a thousand yards. Hunter finished his outstanding junior campaign with 1,042 yards.
“The way we set up our blocks it creates alleys,” said Neff. “When I get the kick, I look from side to side and when I see an alley open up, I just take off. Tonight they opened up pretty well. I wanted to do as much as I could to help the team beat Jersey Shore, but it just didn’t work out for us.”
“Justin is a playmaker,” said Nines about his sophomore. “We have him for another two years and Weaver went over a thousand yards and he is back for another year so out core is strong and they all want to work hard to make sure that we don’t have 1-9 seasons in the future.”
Despite finishing the season at 1-9, Nines felt he and his coaches saw some good things for the future.
“We had a lot of kids who had to step up due to injuries and what not,” said Nines. “I thought they played very well, especially for being so young. They didn’t really have a weight program so we were weaker than a lot of the teams we played. We are losing some seniors, but we have a good group of underclassmen coming back next year. With some time in the weight room, I am excited about next year.”
JS 13 22 7 14 — 56
CM 0 7 0 6 — 13
JS — Brody Smith 45 pass from Logan English. (Colby Koch kick) 10:47
JS — Smith 28 pass from English. (rush failed) 2:49
JS — English 3 run. (English to Smith pass) 9:29
JS — Boone Costa 28 pass from English. (Koch kick)
CM — Justin Neff 88 kickoff return. (Kathryn Myers kick) 3:40
JS — Nate Lose recovered fumble in end zone. (Koch kick) :47
JS — Smith 23 pass from English. (Koch kick) 6:18
JS — Zach Miller 9 run (Costa kick) 3:38
CM — Neff 85 kickoff return. (kick failed) 3:19
JS — Dylan Richardson 3 yard fumble return (Koch kick) 1:10
Team Statistics JS CM
First Downs 24 6
Rushes-Yards 53-187 31-43
Passing Yards 177 63
Passing 8-10-1 2-6-1
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-3
Penalties-Yards 4-30 7-65
JS: Levi Lorson 27-133; Bryce Charles 10-53, Zach Miller 5-13, 1 TD; Jarrett Guthrie 3-7, Chris Braim 1-1, Logan English 7-minus 20, 1 TD.
CM: Hunter Weaver 20-67, Loc Long 1-9, Bryce Hanley 1-0, Justin Neff 2-0, J. J. Harris 1-minus 1; Devin Yandell 1-minus 6, Bryce Bitner 5-minus 26.
JS: Logan English 8-10, 177 yards, 1 interception 4 touchdowns.
CM: Bryce Bitner 2-6, 63 yards, 1 interception.
JS: Brody Smith 4-120, 3 TDs; Boone Costa 1-28, 1 TD; Levi Lorson 1-16, Travis Bradley 2-13.
CM: Devin Yandell 1-40, J. J. Harris 1-23.
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