Many Jersey Shore followers, in addition to this reporter, didn’t perceive why the Bulldogs have been enjoying Allentown Central Catholic on the Vikings dwelling discipline final Friday. It was an identical story all through the state with many groups on the higher facet of the state match bracket internet hosting video games, however that didn’t make it any much less logical.
Whereas Central Catholic loved its regular sport day routine, Jersey Shore boarded a bus and drove 2 1/2 hours, enjoying at legendary J. Birney Crum Stadium. The one individuals who by no means frightened about it have been the Bulldogs.
They merely relished the chance, enjoying at a stadium which seats 15,000 folks and whose discipline is called after Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Andre Reed. Then Jersey Shore owned the chance Friday evening.
The Bulldogs once more have been street warriors, rallying from a four-point halftime deficit and defeating Central Catholic, 20-7 of their state match opener. Jersey Shore (13-0) received at Crestwood and Lampeter-Strasburg on its solution to the state remaining a 12 months in the past and once more turned a street journey right into a enterprise journey. And after taking good care of enterprise, Jersey Shore loved fairly a enjoyable experience again dwelling.
“I went to a gathering this week and as quickly as I am going on this assembly everyone seems to be asking me ‘Why do we have now to go down there?’ I mentioned, ‘We’re happening to play on a historic discipline at J. Birney Crum Stadium and should you can’t get pumped as much as play at Andre Reed Area one thing is incorrect,’”Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish mentioned after his Bulldogs secured their fifth state match win in three years. “I mentioned we have been meant to come back right here to play in a stadium with all this historical past and all this custom. There’s been so many faculty soccer gamers who’ve performed on this stadium and lots of NFL gamers, too. We simply embraced it.”
Jersey Shore will strive doing it once more, because the PIAA once more confirmed little logic or consistency and despatched it packing for its quarterfinal in opposition to Meadville Saturday at Clarion College. Meadville has an hour much less drive regardless of Jersey Shore being on the higher facet of the bracket which over the previous twenty years has assured these groups video games of their respective districts. And nevermind that a number of state match groups are internet hosting playoff video games because the PIAA seemingly continues making issues up as they go alongside.
However the backside line is Jersey Shore doesn’t care the place it goes. Put the sport on Mars and the Bulldogs will eagerly pursue the chance.
Jersey Shore has constructed its custom upon toughness and taking over each problem thrown its manner. So, the Bulldogs by no means blinked after hitting the street once more in opposition to Central Catholic. That remained the case after Vikings took a 7-3 halftime lead. Jersey Shore simply stored hammering away and dominated the second half, scoring 17 straight factors whereas incomes a quarterfinal showdown in opposition to District 10 champion Meadville.
“Our coaches have been saying all week, ‘They need us to carry it to them,’” defensive finish Tate Sechrist mentioned. “That’s what we tried to do and ended up doing it.”
“It’s further motivation at that time,” linebacker Karter Peacock mentioned after enjoying an amazing sport and making 15 tackles. “We need to beat them at their home.”
Jersey Shore has received at three groups’ homes the previous two years, overcoming deficits every time. Jersey Shore has rallied for 4 comeback wins in these 5 state match victories the previous two seasons. The Bulldogs began breaking Central Catholic down on either side of the ball all through the second half because the strains took management. Haydn Packer ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns, Brady Jordan totaled 100 yards and Cayden Hess made 4 essential catches which helped spark scoring drives.
As soon as once more every little thing got here collectively removed from Thompson Road Stadium. As soon as once more, enemy territory positive felt like Thompson Road Stadium. Even in a cavernous stadium which seats 15,000, the loyal Bulldog followers made the presence felt and the submit sport principally turn out to be a neighborhood celebration on that hallowed turf in Allentown.
Clarion once more is an extended journey however so what? It’s one other nice facility and, extra essential, one other monster alternative. Jersey Shore doesn’t actually care the place it performs. They simply need to embrace the second and final Friday they positive did.
“We mentioned it’s similar to final 12 months once we needed to go to Lampeter-Strasburg and went virtually three hours,” Gravish mentioned. “We embraced that. That simply made that celebration that a lot better on the best way dwelling.”
Sechrist watched from the sidelines a 12 months in the past when Jersey Shore made its state remaining run. The junior, like most of the present starters, was good however was caught behind older gamers who additionally had shined. He needed to anticipate his time and Sechrist stored working. All that tough work has paid off with a breakout season and Sechrist picked the right time to play possibly his greatest sport but.
Sechrist collected two huge fourth-quarter sacks in opposition to Central Catholic. The junior was a constant disruptor all evening, making use of eight quarterback hurries as Jersey Shore slowed the passing sport. He additionally was an enormous a part of a stingy run protection and made six tackles, together with three for loss.
“It was superb. It was my first time, so it was superb to soak all of it in and play at this superb stadium,” Sechrist mentioned. “It was simply nice to soak all of it in.”
Sechrist stored soaking into the backfield and each his sacks have been well timed ones which produced 18 yards in losses. He additionally broke up a display go on Central Catholic’s penultimate sequence which helped Jersey Shore power a turnover on downs and run the clock inside two minutes. Combining with fellow linemen Connor Davis, Luke Springman, Dierk Stetts, Zach Rooney and Jared Palski, Sechrist is a part of a new-look however sturdy line which has helped Jersey Shore give up only one landing since Week 8. He has a team-high seven sacks in addition to 16 tackles for loss.
“We observed that they had been gashing folks with the counters and Tate Sechrist performed excellent,” Gravish mentioned. “He was reducing down some counters again the opposite manner.”
NTL LOVE: Canton made historical past twice Saturday when it dethroned defending state champion Steelton-Highspire and received a riveting 32-27 Class A state match contest. The Warriors (12-0) not solely received the primary state match sport in program historical past, but additionally tied the Northern Tier League report for wins by a workforce in a single season. Additionally they earned a spot in opposition to District 2 champion Previous Forge in subsequent weekend’s quarterfinals as the highest two-ranked groups within the state collide.
Canton performed its second straight playoff sport in its dwelling away from dwelling at Towanda’s Infinite Mountains Complicated. Warrior followers made their presence felt however so did soccer followers throughout the Northern Tier League. They’re rivals through the season however all of them Warriors proper now as Canton continues constructing on among the finest seasons in its program’s historical past.
“It felt fairly nice,” linebacker Michael Davis mentioned after breaking apart the sport’s remaining go and dropping two punts contained in the seven-yard line which helped arrange eventual Canton touchdowns. “We had everybody from the Northern Tier right here for us. It was fairly loopy.”
Dr. Masse’s Remaining Prime 5
1. Jersey Shore (13-0): Offensive linemen Luke Springman, Dierk Stetts, Zach Rooney, Donald Steinbacher and Jared Palski modified the sport’s complexion within the second half at Central Catholic. The road surged and began imposing its will whereas Haydn Packer began piling up the yards. Brady Jordan scored on a go-ahead 3-yard third-quarter landing earlier than Jersey Shore put collectively a 68-yard scoring drive and went up 20-7 on Packer’s 1-yard fourth-quarter rating.
“Offensively, the road did an exceptional job within the second half. They did a fantastic job within the first half, too, however within the second half they only turned it up,” Packer mentioned. “Holes have been opening up and every little thing was simply type of going our manner.”
2. Canton (12-0): When Metal-Excessive scored within the first-half’s remaining 30 seconds, Canton discovered itself trailing for the primary time all season. That claims rather a lot about how good the Warriors have been this 12 months. Canton was not flustered both. The Warriors recovered two third-quarter fumbles, rapidly scored after every one and constructed an 11-point lead they by no means relinquished. Metal-Excessive options some super athletes, together with 3,000-yard quarterback Andrew Erby and 1,300-yard receiver Tyrone Moore. Nonetheless, Canton neutralized an explosive offense and held the Rollers 20 factors beneath the typical of 47 factors per sport. Austin Allen and Bailey Ferguson lined properly and security Weston Bellows intercepted two passes.
“I believed we did an especially good job of not letting them get excessive a lot,” two-way lineman Mason Shultz, who recovered a kind of third-quarter fumbles, mentioned. “And our corners did a fantastic job retaining them contained for probably the most half.”
3. Montoursville (7-6): The Warriors produced a valiant effort at Danville, dropping a 35-28 District 4 Class AAA championship heartbreaker. Danville repeated as champions, however Montoursville did every little thing attainable to win the sport and totally different gamers battled by way of accidents to just about pull the upset in opposition to a workforce which had defeated it by 21 in Week 7. Montoursville twice led by seven within the first half and twice pulled inside seven after Danville had gone up 14 within the second half. Montoursville’s seniors graduate having helped this system attain 4 consecutive district finals whereas capturing two district crowns and three league championships. Maddix Dalena threw for 218 yards and two touchdowns in his remaining sport, throwing a landing go in an eighth straight contest. Brayden Brown capped a brilliant postseason by scoring three touchdowns, Marco Pulizzi caught 4 passes for 120 yards and Rocco Pulizzi closed a superb scholastic profession second on this system’s all-time speeding listing and as its high landing producer. Linebacker Kayden Body excelled offensively when known as upon late this season and ran for 76 yards in opposition to Danville.
4. Williamsport (6-6): Chuck Crews and his workers resigned final week following a profitable seven-year run. Crews and his workers circled what had a been a dormant program, main it to 18 wins their first two seasons after Williamsport had mixed for 5 the earlier two seasons. The 2016 season included this system’s first district title since 1995, a Wyoming Valley Convention championship, the primary state match win in program historical past, 12 wins and 6 all-state picks. The Millionaires reached a second straight district remaining this previous season and return a high quality nucleus subsequent season, so the incoming workers may have one thing sturdy with which to work.
5. Muncy (10-2): Though its three-year district championship reign ended, Muncy nonetheless received a title for a sixth straight season, capturing the NTL-II crown. The Indians additionally received 10 video games for the primary time within the 2000s, successful 10 straight at one level. The seniors graduate with three district championships, 4 district remaining appearances, the primary state match win in program historical past and 35 victories.
Gamers of the Week
Haydn Packer, Jersey Shore and Riley Parker, Canton: What propelled Jersey Shore and Canton most was their full workforce performances, however Packer and Parker discovered a solution to stand out. Packer ran for 130 yards and a landing whereas going over 1,000 this season. The all-state linebacker additionally was a defensive power, making a game-high 16 tackles and including a sack. Parker ran for 138 yards and 4 touchdowns, changing into simply the second Warrior within the 2000s to eclipse 20 touchdowns in a season. He was simply as robust defensively, making three tackles for loss.
–Masse could also be reached at email@example.com. Observe him on Twitter at @docmasse
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