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Defense Stands Out In Jaguars Back To Back PIAA Title Clincher 21-14

Written by: on Saturday, November 28th, 2020

 

By Nathan Grella

Bill Cherpak’s Resume gets longer and longer with a Thomas Jefferson PIAA title, and his second back to back title streak

Last week’s 62-0 blowout win over Oil City showcased a vaunted Thomas Jefferson offense, Saturday night’s PIAA title victory showcased the defense. The Jaguars did not allow a score on defense in 59 minutes as the Jersey Shore Bulldogs only Touchdown in that time came off of a Pick 6.

“They’re a really good football team, one of the best teams we’ve played all year,” Jake Pugh said following the vicotry ” We battled, most people don’t even win one let alone two in a row. The feeling is amazing, I’m so proud of my guys, I couldn’t have done it without any of them.”

“Defense is something we take pride in by coming off hard off the ball every play,” said DB Conner Murga “We do what we can to make a play.”

The Jaguars defense was humming all day holding the Bulldogs to -66 rushing yards, 13 TFLs with Six sacks on the night. The offense did what it had to in the first half, scoring on a 4 yard Conner Murga run, followed up 7 minutes later with a 29 yard catch and run by Preston Zandier to head to the half with a score of 14-0.

Jake Pugh talked about the tough Bulldogs defense. “They were quick off the ball and giving good pressure, their linebackers blitzed a lot and a few of them got through and had me on the run, but that’s football. Our line did a good job picking them up.”

 

The Bulldogs would get on the scoreboard when an errant Jake Pugh pass landed in the arms of Dalton Dugan who would take it 51 yards to the house.

“Our defense played great,” Bill Cherpak said following the win. “I made a bad call and they picked it and scored and it kind of gave them momentum. We came back and scored, we fumbled down there, we just had penalties, turnovers, but found a way to win again.”

A long Thomas Jefferson drive that would end with a Conner Murga fumble on the goal line would make things interesting, but once again the Jaguars defense would come up big and force a turnover on downs with 6 minutes left.

On the following play, the third Jaguars member to score would be Deron Vanbibber, this time from 4 yards out.

“We wanted to draw them offsides with one of our packages but the ball was snapped,” said Bulldogs Head Coach Tom Gravish. “It wasnt to be snapped, we were going to call a timeout with a certain time left on the clock but it was what it was.”

The Bulldogs wouldn’t be completely held out of it on offense as the Bulldogs brought the score within 7 with 30 seconds left off of a one yard pass to Owen Anderson.

Hoping for a miracle, the Bulldogs onside kick wound up in the hands of Jersey Shore’s Gabe Andrus. A quick pass to Cayden Hess put the Bulldogs in the redzone with 21 seconds left.

Once again, the Jaguars defense came up big. On their own 21 yardline, 3 straight Brendan Wheary passes wound up incomplete before a pressure from Connor Murga put the ball on the ground, and the medals on the necks of the Jaguars for the second year straight.

In 5 appearances, Thomas Jefferson remains undefeated in Titles as Coach Bill Charpak now has a ring on every finger. 2005, 2007, 2008, 2019, and now 2020.

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