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Written by: Chris Masse sungazette.com/ on Sunday, November 1st, 2020
The players are as studious as the coaches. A team with several standout students attacks film work the way it does algebra or chemistry. And when all that knowledge comes pouring out on the football field, Jersey Shore often earns high marks. The Bulldogs certainly aced their first playoff exam Saturday night against Mifflinburg.
Brady Jordan scored four touchdowns, Cam Allison ran for 149 yards and the defense swarmed as Jersey Shore routed Mifflinburg, 48-7, in its District 4 Class AAAA semifinal at Thompson Street Stadium. The two-time defending champions scored 28 second-quarter points, inflicted the mercy-rule at halftime and led 48-0 in the fourth quarter while earning a spot in next weekend’s championship, back at home, against Shamokin. The state’s No. 1-ranked 4A team will be playing in its seven final in eight years.
“We watch a lot of film in there throughout the week and we get a good look of what they’re doing”, two-way starter Dalton Dugan said after making five tackles, recording a sack for a safety and catching a 10-yard touchdown. The coaches always give us a good look of what we’re going to see Friday or Saturday. We want to go 1-0 every week and we got it done tonight and now we have to get ready for Shamokin.
Jersey Shore survived challenges the last two weeks against Shikellamy and Central Mountain, but looked dominant last night. The starting defense allowed no first downs, Branden Wheary threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns and the offensive line surged. It is a testament to how far this program has come the past eight seasons that Jersey Shore was as annoyed with some of the plays it did not make as the many it did. Still, for opening playoff acts this is as complete a performance as it was impressive.
“We liked how the kids practiced this week, Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish said. Their focus was good and that will be the kind of focus we’ll need next week each of the practice days.
Mifflinburg (4-4) had won three straight games, but it had not played against a defense like Jersey Shore. And while the offense was explosive, it felt like the defense especially took the game over in the second quarter and set a ferocious tone. Dugan drove that point home when his safety made it 16-0. That was the play which sent the Bulldogs into overdrive and they scored touchdowns on three straight series while closing the half up, 35-0.
Mifflinburg was facing a third-and-14 at its 9 when Dugan proved he is as good a student as he is a football player. The team’s sack leader knew what was coming, burst through the line and chased Reitz into the right corner of the end zone, bringing him down before he could try throwing the ball away.
“Coach Jackson (defensive coordinator Alex Jackson) told us during the week that if he opens his body up he’s probably going to run a bootleg”, Dugan said. “I saw him coming out and got my hands extended and when I saw him running out it was just full pursuit on him and I knew I had him.”
Jersey Shore had Mifflinburg from that point on and an offense soared, piling up 322 yards by halftime. Offensive linemen Eddie Woodring, Cadan Smith, Lee Springman, Colin Samar and Ben Webb surged, opening good holes which Allison, Jordan and Owen Anderson darted through at will. Allison had 125 yards by halftime, Jordan scored three first-half touchdowns and Wheary capped the second-quarter flurry when he found Dugan for a 10-yard touchdown that made it 35-0 with 5.5 seconds remaining in the half.
Jordan capped Jersey Shore’s first two scoring drives with 4 and 15-yard touchdowns before Allison followed up Dugan’s safety with a 2-yard score. Jordan added a 5-yard touchdown run on the third-quarter’s opening series before Wheary hit Anderson with a 19-yard touchdown that made it, 48-0. Cayden Hess added six catches for 70 yards and the offense displayed the explosiveness and balance that it so often featured throughout the season’s first four weeks.
We saw a few things they showed that we speculated that they would do or could do, Gravish said. We just basically said this week and right before the game started that if we see a look like we think we might see we’re going to run out of our spread and we did and Cam got some big yards and Brady got some big yards.
“Our offensive line stood in there and blocked hard and we had Cam and Brady running all over the place”, Dugan said. “Brady is only a sophomore and is going to be a great football player. Everything just started clicking tonight.”
Jersey Shore did hurt itself with some offensive penalties and those are the little things it will be focusing on fixing moving toward the final. The defense also keeps seeking improvement, but it looked like the 1970s Steel Curtain last night. The starters allowed just 10 yards on 28 plays and only two plays gained more than three yards with the longest gain being a 7-yard pass.
Dugan, Quincey Myers, Ben Webb, Conner Davis and Jared Palski all had sacks as Jersey Shore shined at all three levels and bottled up everything Mifflinburg tried. It was the kind of performance which would make Bill Belichick smile because each player skillfully did its job, making it feel like Mifflinburg had to try navigating a 400-yard field in order to score.
“I thought we did pretty good in practice this week and it showed”, Dugan said. “Coach Jackson will be watching film tonight and all weekend. He gets us good looks and he has a good view and a good look of what they’re trying to run each week.”
Jersey Shore 48, Mifflinburg 7
Mifflinburg 0 0 0 77
Jersey Shore 7 28 7 648
JBrady Jordan 4 run (Cam Allison kick), 3:05
JJordan 15 run (Allison kick), 11:54
JDalton Dugan sacks Jacob Reitz in end zone, safety, 10:02
JCam Allison 2 run (kick blocked), 4:40
JJordan 9 run (Allison kick), 1:11
JDalton Dugan 10 pass from Branden Wheary (kick failed), :5.2
JJordan 5 run (Allison kick), 9:50
JOwen Anderson 19 pass from Wheary (kick failed), 9:38
MJacob Reitz 1 run (Gabe Stetler kick), 2:58
First Downs 4 24
Rushes-yards 26-50 47-261
Passing yards 32 165
Total yards 82 426
Comp-Att-Int 8-13-1 14-24-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-1
Penalties-yards 7-61 5-40
RUSHING: Mifflinburg, Jacob Reitz 8-21, TD; Colin Miller 8-16; Andrew Diehl 8-11; Quintin Doane 1-1; Tyler Foltz 1-1. Jersey Shore, Cam Allison 20-149, TD; Brady Jordan 11-68, 4 TDs; Owen Anderson 5-37; Nick Williams 2-13; Hayden Packer 4-13; Gabe Packer 1-2; Team 1-(-3); Brandon Wheary 3-(-12).
PASSING: Mifflinburg, Reitz 6-14-0, 32 yards. Jersey Shore, Wheary 14-24-0, 165 yards, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING: Mifflinburg, Diehl 2-(-2); Carter Breed 1-14; Cannon Griffith 1-11; Miller 1-7; John Darrup 1-2. Jersey Shore, Cayden Hess 6-70; Dalton Dugan 3-29, TD; Anderson 3-44, TD; Quincey Myers 1-13; Conner Davis 1-9.
SACKS: Jersey Shore, Dugan, Myers, Ben Webb, Davis 1/2, Jared Palski 1/2.
RECORDS: Jersey Shore 7-0. Mifflinburg 4-4.
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