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PIAA Class 4A State Championship Preview: Thomas Jefferson vs Jersey Shore @shoresports2 @TJHSJaguars

Written by: on Friday, November 27th, 2020

 

 

The Skinny (strengths, weaknesses, the stars):  

For Thomas Jefferson:

The Jaguars come into the game with a balanced attack on offense they average 189 yards rushing and 181 yards passing per game. Senior Quarterback Jake Pugh has thrown for 1,706 yards and 24 tds, averaging 17 yards per throw. The rushing attack is led by Conner Murga who has ran for 700 yards this season averaging 8.2 yards per carry and has scored 14 times. Also look out for DeRon VanBibber who has ran for 617 yards this season and has 3 scores.

Through the air, the Jaguars are led by Youngstown State commit Preston Zandier who is also the younger brother of former standout player Zane Zandier. This year he has 40 catches for 630 yards averaging 15.8 yards per catch and has 12 scores. Another main guy is Ian Hansen who has 36 catches for 696 yards averaging 19.3 yards per catches and has scored 8 times.

On Defense the Jaguars have several key playmakers some of which have already been mentioned. Preston Zandier has 26 tackles this season 18 of those being solo and also has 2 INT’s. Ian Hansen and Conner Murga both have 23 tackles this season. The Jaguars are led by Isaac Eckley who has 63 tackles this season 38 of those being solo. Also look out for McClain Flinn who had the game clinching interception in the WPIAL 4A Championship game against Aliquippa.

 

For Jersey Shore:

The Bulldogs come into this game with a fairly balanced attack averaging 177 yards rushing and 159 through the air. Senior quarterback Branden Wheary has thrown for 1,843 yards and 23 tds, averaging 14 yards a throw. Cam Allison is the go to guy to carry the ball on a steady basis. His 1,54 yards and 9 scores have been key for the Bulldogs. Look for Owen Anderson and Brody Jordan to also carry the rock. They’ve combined for 16 scores, 8 each.

Through the air, it’s Cayden Hess and Anderson that have been the main targets, collecting 96 passes and 1,500 of Wheary’s throwing yards and 18 tds. Dungan Dungan is also a player to watch here as is Kooper Peacock who has been missing with an injury but returned last week.

Defensively, the Packers, Hayden and Gabe are a force at their linebacker slots. The defensive line for Jersey Shore is outweighed by quite a bit but they’re fast and can cause disruptions when needed.  Dungan plays a lot bigger than his frame from the LB spot and had a key pick 6 against Lampeter-Strasburg last week. Overall the Bulldogs defenders have combined for a total of 33 sacks. Hess is a dangerous DB with 6 interceptions this year.

Thomas Jefferson Offensive Plan:

For the Jaguars to win they have to do what they’ve done for the majority of the season keeping it balanced and get their run game going and rely on their big playmakers. In addition to that they have to avoid turning the ball over which they have struggled with occasionally this season.

Thomas Jefferson Defensive Plan:

This defense can’t underestimate the Bulldogs offense. Taking them lightly would be a mistake.  This is a quick strike offense they’re facing so keeping everything in front of them is key.  They will definitely benefit if their line gets in and annoys Wheary early and throws off his timing. They’ll need to contain the edges and keep everything in the middle.

Jersey Shore Offensive Plan:

The Bulldogs have to do what they do best, keep it balanced.  Their short throws to the outside are a key component to keeping the defense honest but open up the long ball and run game. Ideally they’ll control the clock and keep the ball away from the high powered TJ offense.

Jersey Shore Defensive Plan:

Assignment ball will be key as TJ has playmakers all over the field. Containing the big play is key here. They can’t let RB Connor Murga get in open space, he’s run for 12 tds in just 8 games. The backfield will have their hands full with Preston Zandier running routes. Ian Hansen is another dangerous weapon they’ll have to keep in front of them.

 

Starting Lineups:

Head Coach: Bill Cherpak                                                  Head Coach: Tommy Gravish

Thomas Jefferson Jersey Shore
OFFENSE OFFENSE
# NAME POS HT WT YEAR # NAME POS HT WT YEAR
12 Jake Pugh QB 5-11 170 SR 17 Branden Wheary QB 6 185 SR
23 Conner Murga RB 6-0 185 JR 7 Cameron Allison RB 5-10 188 SR
20 Isaac Eckley FB 5-11 185 JR 44 Hayden Packer RB 5-10 190 SO
56 Nicholas Bryan OT 6-3 265 JR 15 Owen Anderson WR 6-0 178 SR
55 Jake Krawczyk OG 6-4 270 SR 24 Cayden Hess WR 6-2 193 JR
66 Nicholas Trainor C 6-0 205 SR 38 Connor Davis TE 6-2 190 JR
64 Alby Breisinger OG 6-2 260 SR 55 Colin Samar OL 5-11 205 SR
77 Owen Myer OT 6-0 255 JR 52 Lee Springman OL 6-0 235 SR
33 Jordan Mayer TE 6-4 235 SO 60 Cadan Smith OL 6-1 225 SR
2 Preston Zandier WR 6-2 195 SR 56 Eddie Woodring OL 6-2 238 SR
10 Ian Hansen WR 5-7 170 SO 62 Joe Lorson OL 6-0 215 SR
DEFENSE DEFENSE
33 Jordan Mayer DE 6-4 235 SO 57 Karter Peacock DL 6-1 230 JR
56 Nicholas Bryan DT 6-3 265 JR 51 Ben Webb DL 6-1 255 SR
67 Seth Lieberum DT 6-3 245 SR 25 Quincey Myers DE 6-1 190 SR
23 Conner Murga DE 6-0 185 JR 23 Dalton Dugan LB 6-0 180 SR
2 Preston Zandier LB 6-2 195 SR 55 Colin Samar LB 5-11 205 SR
5 McClain Flinn LB 6-2 190 JR 44 Hayden Packer LB 5-10 190 SO
20 Isaac Eckley LB 5-11 185 JR 43 Gabe Packer LB 5-8 170 SR
16 Joseph Lekse LB 5-9 165 JR 24 Cayden Hess DB 6-2 193 JR
3 Deron Vanbibber DB 6-0 175 SR 2 Kooper Peacock DB 5-10 175 SO
24 Rex Miller DB 5-11 175 SR 7 Cameron Allison SAF 5-10 188 SR
10 Ian Hansen DB 5-7 170 SO 15 Owen Anderson SAF 6-0 178 SR
Special Teams SPECIAL TEAMS
88 Andy Graham K/P k Cameron Allison
89 Jack Sella K p Owen Anderson
12 Jake Pugh P/H ls Gabe Packer
33 Jordan Mayer SN h Cayden Hess

How They Got to Hershey

 

2020 Thomas Jefferson Jaguars Schedule

OVERALL LEAGUE HOME AWAY STREAK
9-1 5-1 5-1 4-0 W4

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME/SCORE

09-04 Gateway  vs. Gateway (SCR) 7:30 pm
09-11 West Mifflin  @ West Mifflin (2-4) * W 52-0
09-18 Trinity  @ Trinity (3-4) * W 51-14
09-25 Belle Vernon  vs. Belle Vernon (6-2) * W 42-21
10-09 Laurel Highlands  vs. Laurel Highlands (2-5) * W 58-0
10-16 Ringgold  @ Ringgold (2-7) * W 41-0
10-23 McKeesport  vs. McKeesport (6-2) * L 14-20
10-30 Mars  vs. Mars (6-2) (P) W 41-6
11-06 Plum  vs. Plum (8-1) (SP) W 20-17
11-14 Aliquippa  @ Aliquippa (9-1) (SP) W 35-28
11-20 Oil City  vs. Oil City (10-1) (SP) W 62-0
11-28 Jersey Shore  @ Jersey Shore (10-0) (SP) 3:30 pm

2020 Jersey Shore Bulldogs Schedule

OVERALL LEAGUE HOME AWAY STREAK
10-0 4-0 5-0 5-0 W10

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME/SCORE

09-05 Mount Carmel  @ Mount Carmel (SCR) 10:00 am
09-11 Shamokin  vs. Shamokin (5-4) * W 41-7
09-18 Shikellamy  @ Shikellamy (3-6) * W 53-0
09-25 Central Mountain  vs. Central Mountain (4-4) * W 55-7
10-02 Selinsgrove  @ Selinsgrove (4-4) * W 33-0
10-16 Shikellamy  vs. Shikellamy (3-6) W 16-0
10-23 Central Mountain  @ Central Mountain (4-4) W 21-9
10-31 Mifflinburg  vs. Mifflinburg (5-5) (P) W 48-7
11-06 Shamokin  vs. Shamokin (5-4) (SP) W 54-0
11-13 Crestwood  @ Crestwood (8-1) (SP) W 26-14
11-20 Lampeter-Strasburg  @ Lampeter-Strasburg (9-1) (SP) W 39-35
11-28 Thomas Jefferson  vs. Thomas Jefferson (9-1) (SP) 3:30 pm

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