Mifflinburg’s strong second half, downs Jersey Shore
By BILL ALBRIGHT
Eastern/Western PAfootball Senior Writer
JERSEY SHORE — It was a clash between the Cats and Dawgs Friday night when Mifflinburg invaded Thompson Street Stadium for its annual Heartland Conference football battle with Jersey Shore.
When the issue was settled, the ‘Cats had the better of it as Mifflinburg used a strong second half to down Shore by the final of 21-13.
“We had our chances, especially in the first half, but we didn’t take advantage of them,” said Shore head coach Tom Gravish. “We drove the ball at times, but then we would miss an opportunity to keep things moving. We are still a young team and we believe in these guys so we’ll get back and we will get better because we have some young guys with real good talent. I am confident that we will bounce back because we don’t want Mifflinburg to beat us twice. We will watch tape, we will learn from this and get ready to head to Troy next Friday night.”
The Bulldogs broke on top on their first possession when Jarrett Guthrie broke loose for a 22-yard touchdown scamper. The kick by Cameron Griffin was good for a 7-0 Shore lead.
Neither team threatened on the next four possessions until Mifflinburg took advantage of excellent field position at the Shore 41-yard line.
On the first play following the punt, Miff quarterback Josh Foster and Cole Laubach got together for a 41-yard pitch-and-run for the score. The PAT was no good and the Bulldogs hung on to a 7-6 lead at the first turn.
During the second and third periods, the defenses of both teams took over as the 7-6 Shore lead held into the fourth period until the Wildcats scored a pair of touchdowns in a span of little more than three minutes to go on top 21-7.
The Bulldogs had the best opportunity to put points on the board during the 24 minutes when they drove to the Mifflinburg 9, but a 26-yard field attempt was wide to the right.
Brayden Pierce tallied the first of the two scores on a 5-yard run. Pierce was held in check during the first half with only 20 yards to his credit before breaking loose in the second half to finish with 114 yard for the game.
“They ran him (Pierce) more out of the shotgun in the second half and we didn’t adjust to it,” said Gravish. “Instead of him running straight ahead, it gave him some better angles on us. He (Pierce) is a tough kid and you have to give their guys credit because they played hard. We just had a couple of plays where the ball bounced their way like the interception return. We know our kids won’t quit and you saw that tonight. They played hard right to the end.”
Then came the backbreaker for Shore as they were deep in their own territory at the 26-yard line.
On the first play following a Mifflinburg punt, Cole Laubach stepped in front of a Shemory pass and returned the theft for a “pick six” from 17 yards out. Ryan Oliver’s kick made it Mifflinburg 21, Shore 7 with 6:44 left in the game.
Following the “pick six”, the young Bulldogs gathered themselves and promptly put together a 73-yard, nine-play drive, Shemory tossing a TD pass to Austin Breon covering eight yards.
Shore’s defense stiffened following the Breon score and the Bulldogs took over on their own 37 with one last chance to tie the game.
However, after moving the ball into Wildcat territory, Mifflinburg again picked Shemory’s pocket for an interception before taking a knee to set the final.
“Any time you allow a team to play as deep in coverage as they did plus put a good pass rush on you, it is hard to make some of the plays like we tried at the end,” said Gravish. “We’ll get back to it and be ready to play hard next week.”
For Shore, Guthrie and Sanford turned in big offensive efforts as Guthrie rushed for 119 yards and one touchdown, while Sanford hauled in 11 Shemory aerials for another 136 yards.
Mifflinburg 6 0 0 15 — 21
Jersey Shore 7 0 0 6 — 13
JS — Jarrett Guthrie 22 run. (Cameron Griffin kick). 8:57
M — Cole Laubach 41 pass from Josh Foster. (kick failed). 1:32
M — Brayden Pierce 5 run (Foster rush). 9:41
M — Laubach 17 interception return. (Ryan Oliver kick). 6:14
JS — Austin Breon 8 pass from Shemory. (pass failed). 3:44
Team Statistics M JS
First Downs 11 19
Rushes-Yards 36-119 38-163
Passing Yards 80 226
Passing 7-13-1 20-38-3
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-10
Penalties-Yards 8-60 5-35
Miff: Brayden Pierce 31-114, 1 TD; Clayton Sheesley 4-17, Josh Foster 1-minus 12.
JS: Jarrett Guthrie 27-119, 1 TD; Max Mason 5-6, Kyle Tomb 1-2, Elijah Shemory 5-minus 4; Team 0-40.
Miff: Josh Foster 7-13, 80 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception.
JS: Elijah Shemory 20-38, 226 yards, 1 TD, 3 interceptions.
Miff: Cole Laubach 3-60, 1 TD; Chris Day 2-16, Rylee Stahl 1-4, Brayden Pierce 1-0.
JS: Todd Sanford 11-136, Austin Breon, 5-46, 1 TD; Koby Peacock 3-22, Jason Dincher 1-22
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