Mifflinburg Holds off Shore
MIFFLINBURG – Sometimes in the game of football, you simply run out of time. For Jersey Shore, that was the scenario it faced in its game with Mifflinburg Friday night as the Wildcats hung on for a 20-13 win in a Heartland Conference matchup.
Mifflinburg scored on its first three possessions to take a 20-0 lead midway through the opening period. However, as it turned out, that was all the scoring the Wildcats would do as Shore scored 13 unanswered points before the Bulldogs had three fourth-quarter drives stall in Mifflinburg territory down the stretch.
Jersey Shore head coach Tom Gravish was disappointed with the loss, but certainly not with the effort from his team.
“We just feel that we ran out of time,” said Gravish. “Our kids battled hard and they gave us every ounce of effort they had in their bodies. We just made too many costly mistakes in the first half and that put us behind the eight ball.”
On the other side of the field, Mifflinburg head coach Jason Dressler saw some good things from his team, especially in the first half.
“Our offense did a good job in the first half and as a result, they did some good things,” said Mifflinburg head coach Jason Dressler. “We got a little sloppy in the second and we didn’t execute the way we needed to coming off the ball. Despite that, we did some good things to keep the clock ticking, but in the second half, our defense stepped up and made some big plays when we needed them.”
Shore scored its first touchdown in the final seconds before halftime and Dressler felt that gave the Bulldogs an edge going into the second half.
“When they scored right before the half, it gave them a lot of energy going into the second half,” said Dressler. “We bent a little, but overall, the kids played a heckuva defensive game as a team. Everybody stepped up when they needed to and preserved the win for us.”
Mifflinburg came out of the locker room at the outset of the game to score on its first three possessions to take a 20-0 lead midway through the second period.
Jordan Wagner and Cole Walter each scored on a one-yard run for the first two Wildcat scores before Patrick Crissman hauled in a 15-yard scoring aerial from Wagner for the third touchdown. The Wildcats defense set up Crissman’s scoring effort on a fumble recovery by Nazar Mironenko.
With Shore already trailing 20-0, it appeared as the Bulldogs were going deeper into the hole when Mifflinburg drove to a first-and-goal at the Shore 4-yard stripe.
However, that is when Boone Costa stepped in front of a Wagner aerial and took the theft 99 yards to the house for the pick six.
“Boone made a real nice catch on that interception,” said Gravish. “He made some good moves to get loose and then just outran everyone for the score.”
With the momentum of Costa’s touchdown carrying over to the second half, Shore was able to score on its first possession, marching 74 yards on 11 plays, tailback Levi “Chuckie” Lorson going in from three yards out for the game’s final score.
“We felt confident coming out (for the second half) and put on a good drive for the score,” said Gravish. “You have to give them a lot of credit because they are a pretty tough team too. We still believe in these guys and that is never going to change. We’ll go back to work, come back out next week and try to beat Danville whether they are undefeated or not. We are looking forward to playing them.”
As for the Mifflinburg domination in the first half, both coaches agreed that it resulted from the Wildcats controlling the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively.
“The battle up front is something we knew we had to win to be able to move the ball the way we wanted to and win the game,” said Dressler. “We were definitely looking for our line to step it up this week and they did a good job getting it done.”
Shore had two more possessions in the final minutes of the game, but both drives were stopped when the Bulldogs couldn’t keep the chains moving.
For Mifflinburg, Cole Walter, probably better known for his outstanding exploits on the Resilite as a state-ranked wrestler, carried the bulk of the mail for the ‘Cats with 76 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown.
“He is a real tough kid and tonight, he had a real good game,” said Dressler. “That wrestling toughness showed in his competitiveness and he has been a great addition to our program this year by coming out. Not only did he do a good job offensively, but he also played some good defense as well.”
For Shore, Lorson led the rushers with 73 yards on 20 carries and one score, while quarterback Logan English completed 10 of 15 attempts for 142 yards. English’s favorite target was Costa who hauled in five aerials for 73 yards to go along with his cross country gallop for the score following the interception.
Jersey Shore 0 6 7 0 – 13
Mifflinburg 7 13 0 0 – 20
M – Jordan Wagner 1 run. (Brett Luhrman kick)(7-0)(9:15)
M – Cole Walter 1 run. (Luhrman kick)(14-0)(11:55)
M – Patrick Crissman 15 pass from Wagner. (kick failed)(20-0)(7:41)
JS – Boone Costa 99 interception return. (kick failed)(20-6)(:18)
JS – Levi Lorson 3 run. (Logan English kick)(20-13)(7:32)
Team Statistics JS M
First Downs 13 16
Rushes-Yards 32-71 44-176
Passing Yards 142 137
Passing 10-15-1 8-13-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 1-0
Penalties-Yards 4-35 9-90
JS: Levi Lorson 20-73, 1 TD; Utoa Agae-Naipo 2-15, Logan English 10-minus 17.
M: Cole Walter 22-76, 1 TD; Tanner Bingaman 11-65, Brayden Pierce 2-16, Chris Temple 3-16, Brett Luhrman 3-7, Jordan Wagner 3-minus 4.
JS: Logan English 10-15-1, 142 yards.
M: Jordan Wagner 8-13-1, 137 yards, 1 TD
JS: Boone Costa 5-73, Stephen Baier 2-38, Derek Leese 1-15, Brody Smith 1-9, Troy Rowan 1-7.
M: Patrick Crissman 2-51, 1 TD; Brett Luhrman 3-48, John Punako 1-20, Tanner Bingaman 2-18.
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