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Jersey Shore Uses Strong Second Half To Take Down Wildcats @bradyjordan09 @CaydenHess1

Written by: on Saturday, October 30th, 2021

 

Jersey Shores Hayden Packer runs the ball in Friday’s 24-0 victory over Central Mountain. Photo by: Crissy Walker. Friday, October 29, 2021.

With rain pounding the field, players slipping and sliding. Friday night at Thompson Street Stadium proved to be a good rivalry matchup in a class Mud Bowl. The Jersey Shore Bulldogs led with a strong second-half performance to take down the Central Mountain Wildcats 24-0. Leading the offense for the Bulldogs on the ground was Hayden Packer. Packer finished the game with 16 attempts for 125 yards and a touchdown. The Bulldogs defense also managed to get two interceptions, two sacks, and a fumble recovery. 

Before the game, the Bulldogs had honorary captain Caleb Leone for the coin toss. Leone was injured in 2018 when he was a Senior at Jersey Shore. “He was so pumped up, to see a smile on his face and we miss seeing him. It meant a lot to our players and I like how the Central Mountain fans and players were so courteous, all the applause he got.” Head Coach Tom Gravish said. 

On the opening drive of the game, it looked promising for the Wildcats. On fourth down the Bulldogs punted the ball but it was blocked by the Wildcats and recovered at the 22-yard line. However, the Bulldog’s defense would hold. Two sacks by Zach Rooney and Karter Peacock would force a fourth down. The Wildcats would convert with a pass down to the three-yard line. The Bulldogs would hold on defense and force a turnover on downs at the one-yard line. Neither team could do much and many speculated that the first team to score would ultimately win the ball game. 

To start the second half the Bulldogs were able to capitalize. On the Wildcats opening possession, quarterback Brett Gerlach had problems with the snap resulting in a fumble recovered by Bulldogs Luke Springman. A few plays later Brady Jordan would connect with Cayden Hess from 37 yards out for the Bulldog touchdown. Breck Miller nailed the pat giving the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead right out of halftime. On the very next play, Gerlach was intercepted by Dathan Tyson at the 34-yard line. Jersey Shore would manage three points off the turnover with a Miller 20 yard field goal to extend the lead to 20-0. 

“The first thing we did was I wrote on a whiteboard 10-0 or 9-1 and they realized who we were playing. Central Mountain is a good team full of tough kids and we didn’t play the best especially the muddy part of the field. We’ll come out of it and don’t press the panic button.” Coach Gravish said after the game.  

Jersey Shore would add two more scores on the night. Packer would get a 28-yard touchdown with a little over two minutes to go in the third quarter to go up 17-0 after the Miller pat. Connor Griffin would get an interception and a 28-yard touchdown with three minutes to go in the game to seal the rivalry victory over Central Mountain. 

After the game, Jersey Shore’s Cayden Hess commented about the game as well as being able to give Coach Gravish the water bath. “It was a battle, we were prepared but nothing like this. We gave it our all. It felt great to get coach he puts us out here in the mud so we decided to return the favor.”

The Jersey Shore Bulldogs finish the regular season 10-0 for just the fourth time in program history. The Bulldogs have the #1 seed heading into the District Four Class 4A playoffs. For the Central Mountain Wildcats, they will look to win the District Six 5A Championship against Hollidaysburg next Friday.

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