Montoursville pulls away from Shore
By BILL ALBRIGHT
JERSEY SHORE — For the previous 27 meetings with Montoursville on the football field, Jersey Shore came out on the short end of the final score.
For the first three quarters of Friday night’s meeting between the Bulldogs and Warriors, it appeared that the long string of losses might be snapped.
However, only holding a lead of 17-14 heading into the fourth quarter, the Warriors exploded for 14 unanswered points to walk off the field with a hard-fought 31-14 win over the canine crew before a SRO crowd at Thompson Street Stadium.
“I don’t think we played very well tonight,” said Shore head coach Tom Gravish. “We are capable of playing a whole lot better in all phases of the game. It all comes down to the simple fact that we need to tackle and block and we need to out-hustle people on special teams. We always try to tell our kids that games are more than just a couple of plays. Sometimes five plays can separate the winner and loser in a game. If we could take out five plays they had that were game changers, it might have been a different outcome. Unfortunately, you have to play all of them.”
While Gravish wasn’t pleased with the overall performance of his squad, Montoursville head coach J. C. Keefer was pleased with the way his troops held things together.
“I thought our kids did a great job of keeping their composure and holding everything together,” Keefer said. “We were sloppy early and our guys weren’t mentally in it. But I thought our guys did a great job not panicking because until tonight, we hadn’t been behind at all (this year). I thought our kids did a nice job of holding things together, going in and making adjustments at halftime and then coming out and executing those adjustments. In the end, it worked out for us.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Warriors drew first blood with a 22-yard field goal off the foot of Devin Marriott with less than two minutes left before the break. However, Shore came right back to answer those three-points with seven of its own when they put together a 51-yard, eight play drive, culminated by a Logan English to Troy Rowan 7-yard pass for the score with 17 ticks of the clock left before the break. English’s PAT made it 7-3 Bulldogs at halftime.
But then it happened as the Warriors, behind the legs of Cameron Ott, outscored Shore 28-7 in the second half to set the final.’
“It didn’t surprise us because of the running back (Ott) they have,” Gravish said about the Warriors taking it right to his defense. “He is a very talented running back and when things get a little sticky, you go to where your best player is and he is surely one of the best players they have.”
Ott, who scored on runs of four and 35 yards, also caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Griffin Dunne that covered 45 yards. For his busy evening, Ott finished with 184 yards on 16 touches and two scores while adding another 68 yards on three receptions and one touchdown.
“We tried to hand him the ball and run out the clock (before his final touchdown), but every time we hand him the ball it is a potential score,” said Keefer. “We just handed him the ball, he popped through and when he gets past the front line, he is gone. He is able to do that at any time.”
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors scored both defensively and offensively when Ethan Jones picked off an English aerial and returned the theft 48 yards for a score before Ott scored the final TD of the game with his 35-yard jaunt to paydirt.
As for letting the Warriors get away from his club, Gravish again alluded to the fact that the Orange & Black didn’t play tough, hard-nosed football.
“We are well aware that we didn’t play great football in the fourth quarter,” he said. “They brought the steam in the fourth quarter and we didn’t.”
Now 1-2, the Bulldogs will be right back at Thompson Street Stadium Friday night when they host the Bloomsburg Panthers in a 7 p.m. start.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board and get after working on Bloomsburg,” said Gravish. “We are looking forward to playing next week, but we aren’t going to sugar-coat it by saying that we played great and this is a moral victory. Someone in the local media said this would have been a big upset if we would have won the game, but we didn’t see it that way. We thought we had a great chance to win this game so we are disappointed that we weren’t able to come away with the victory. We are going to get after it, put a good, solid game plan together and get excited for playing Bloomsburg.”
Montoursville 0 3 14 14 — 31
Jersey Shore 0 7 7 0 — 14
M — Devin Marriott 22 field goal. (3-0)(1:25)
JS — Troy Rowan 7 pass from Logan English. (English kick) (3-7)(:17)
M — Cameron Ott 4 run (Jimmy McMahon kick)(10-7)(8:17)
M — Ott 45 pass from Griffin Dunne (Devin Marriott kick)(17-7)(4:53)
JS — Utoa Agae-Naipo 5 run (English kick)(17-14)(2:52)
M — Ethan Jones 48 interception return. (McMahon kick)(24-14)(8:33)
M — Ott 35 run (Marriott kick)(31-14)(1:30)
Team Statistics MTV JS
First Downs 13 13
Rushes-Yards 34-268 44-223
Passing Yards 137 127
Passing 8-16-1 10-25-3
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-2
Penalties-Yards 8-85 6-60
Individual Statistical Leaders
MTV: Cameron Ott 16-184, 2 TDs; Alec Rothrock 12-71.
JS: Utoa Agae-Naipo 19-143, 1 TD; Levi Lorson 16-53.
MTV: Griffin Dunne 8-16-1, 137 yards, 1 touchdown.
JS: Logan English 10-25-3, 127 yards.
MTV: Cameron Ott 3-68, 1 TD; Alex Erb 3-53.
JS: Brody Smith 6-97
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