Selinsgrove routs Jersey Shore 35-7 for District 4 Class AAA title
SELINSGROVE – It wasn’t the way Jersey Shore wanted things to go.
Two drives, two big turnovers.
For Selinsgrove, it was all the momentum the team needed.
Cameron Benner had a 53-yard interception return in the first quarter, and a JS fumble just a few minutes later led to another seven points. Those two plays gave the Seals all the momentum they needed for a 35-7 victory over the Bulldogs in the District IV Class AAA championship Friday in Selinsgrove.
“I told the kids that step No. 1 was a league championship, and step two was a district championship,” Selinsgrove head coach Dave Hess said. “I said to the guys about taking the next step, and they all said yes.”
That next step will involve facing Hollidaysburg, a 39-14 winner over Johnstown in the District VI Triple-A championship. Shore will graduate 19 seniors, and end its campaign with a 4-7 record.
As soon as Selisngrove (11-1) put up those 14 first-quarter points, the Bulldogs were in trouble.
Offensively, the Seals were blitzing and rushing quarterback Taylor English in the pocket. On defense, the Bulldogs could do nothing to stop Selinsgrove’s potent attack.
Signal-caller Cory Briggs completed 11-of-15 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Both his strikes were to Ryan Keiser – the first being a 27-yard throw in the second, while the other was a 47-yard bullet that gave the junior the school record for TD passes with 26.
That TD gave the Seals a 35-0 lead, putting the exclamation point on another offensive onslaught.
Selinsgrove put up 402 yards of offense to Shore’s 134, with over half those yards coming from the arm of Briggs.
“Our defense was a little sloppy in terms of their tackling. We were leaving our feet and letting the quarterback escape a few times,” Hess said. “Overall, they got the job done. They got good field position for us all night long. Really, that’s been the hallmark of our team this year. Our offense is very very effective when the defense puts them in good field position. That’s common knowledge about our team. That’s what our team is able to do. The defense was a little sloppy. We have some thing to get a grip on before we face Hollidaysburg.”
While Jersey Shore did manage to plunge into the end zone at the start of the fourth quarter, it was really a struggle up until that point.
Selinsgrove allowed the Bulldogs into its territory only three times in the game. Two of those drives came in the first quarter, and both times Shore got to the Seals’ 48-yard line.
On its first drive of the game, Shore drove into Seals territory, but Benner’s interception put a sudden hault to that drive.
The next series resulted in another big play, as a JS fumble on its own 25 led to more points for a quick, 14-0 lead in favor of the Seals. Along with Briggs’ strikes, Bryant Troutman also found the end zone twice in the game – with both rushes being 1-yard scampers for paydirt.
“Those 14 points at the beginning we killers. It was like somebody stuck a dagger in our hearts,” Shore skipper Steve Eck said. “We came back and battled, and they got a couple there in the second quarter. Some bad things happened there. Hopefully, we’ll get things going for next year.
“We knew they were going to blitz. Later on, there were sometimes where I wasn’t sure we were blocking anybody. Two, three or four guys were in there and were making it real miserable for Taylor. Hopefully, we can get things started and start over again.”
Shore’s lone touchdown drive started at its own 29-yard line with 2:57 left in the game. A couple of rushes stalled, and on third-and-5 Taylor English found Eli Skinner downfield for a 57-yard gain, putting Shore at the Seals’ 9.
Two plays later, Logan Shay pulled in an English pass from 10 yard out for the score
“We weren’t going to kick a field goal. We were going to go for it,”Eck said. “We wanted to salvage seven points at least. We didn’t get shut out all year, and have played against some tough opponents.”
English completed 8-of-18 passes for 112 yards with one interception. Ian Berry had a theft in the game, intercepting a Briggs pass in the third period.
District IV Class AAA Final
SELINSGROVE 35, JERSEY SHORE 7
JS 0-0-0-7 – 7
S 14-14-7-0 – 35
S – Cameron Benner 53-yard interception return (Matt Salsman kick), 10:36
S – Bryant Trautman 1 run (Salsman kick), 9:03
S – Ryan Keiser 27 pass from Cory Briggs (Salsman), 9:35
S – Trautman 1 run (Salsman), 2:45
S – Keiser 17 pass from Briggs (Salsman kick), 3:04
JS – Logan Shay 10 pass from Taylor English (Eli Skinner kick), 11:52
First Downs 6 18
Rushes-Yards 13-17 39-195
Yards Passing 117 207
Passing 8-18-1 12-17-1
Total Offense 134 204
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 1-0
Rushing – JS, Jake Potter 4-18; English 2-(-4); Ian Berry 1-(-4); Kasey Kemmerer 1-(-2); Logan Mariano 3-4; Cody Ulmer 2-3. S, Dylan Elliott 3-9; Matt Wenrich 2-59; Trautman 4-11 2 TD; Benner 2-6; Kyle Reinard 14-56; Briggs 1-7; Seth Lauver 6-35; Grant Fleetwood 6-22; Tyler Kerstetter 1-1; Ben Morrow 1-(-2).
Passing – JS, Taylor English 8-18-112-1-1. S, Briggs 11-15-205-2-1; Morrow 1-2-2-0-0.
Receiving – JS, Berry 3-17; Cody Wheeler 2-18; Logan Welshans 1-10; Skinner 1-57; Logan Shay 1-10. S, Keiser 5-106; Teighler Doak 2-8; Lauver 1-25; Kyle Reinard 2-34; Kyle Shuck 1-4; Matt Ruby 1-2.
Interceptions – JS, Ian Berry. S, Benner.
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