JERSEY SHORE - It was an old school kind of win for the Jersey Shore Bulldogs Friday night. The run game accounted for 385 yards and the defense held the Central Mountain offense to 148 total yards. Utoa Agae-Naipo rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns and Jordan Tawney rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown to lead Jersey Shore to a 36-20 win over rival Central Mountain Friday night.
In the win, Agae-Naipo became the first Bulldog to have a 1,000 rushing yards in a season since 1999. He hit the 1,000 yard mark on a 55-yard touchdown run up the left side in the first quarter.
Jersey Shore will play in the first round of the District 4 Class AAA playoffs next week.
Utoah Agae-Naipo runs for Jersey Shore Friday vs. Central Mountain.
It was also Jersey Shore's first win over Central Mountain since 2006.
"We knew we could run the ball," said Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish. "We probably didn't have the greatest run per carry average that we wanted to have. We played close to the vest and we weren't going to do anything crazy or goofy, you know when we had the lead like we did."
It was the big plays on the ground that helped the Jersey Shore offense get going. Billy Boone Costa had a 58-yard touchdon run off a reverse and Agae-naipo's first touchdown run came from 55 yards out. His second from 20 yards out and third from six yards out. Jordan Tawney was in the Wildcat formation all night and his big run came on a 75-yard run on third-and-23 in the second quarter.
The Jersey Shore defense played well as it held Central Mountain to 42 yards on the ground and 106 through the air. The front seven was constantly putting pressure on quarterback Bryce Bittner. Jersey Shore ended the game with three sacks and two batted balls at the line of scrimmage.
"Yeah they did a real nice job," said Gravish of his team's defense. "I think coverage wise, you know for the most part we did pretty good. We didn't want to give (Tyler) Pavalko any plays over the top, he did get the one on the slant that got the first touchdown for them but we thought that we could keep him from having a whole bunch of big plays and (Nigel) English from having a bunch of plays."
Zach Miller was all over on defense for Jersey Shore as he had a sack and a half and three tackles for loss. The game ended fittingly for Jersey Shore as Agae-Naipo and Miller teamed up for the sack. Levi Lorson also played well having two tackles for loss and a batted ball.
Injuries piled up for Central Mountain as starting quarterback Travis Turchetta was injured on a sack in the second, lineman Luc Long was taken off the field in an ambulance in the third and Kyle Peters had a leg injury in the third. Backup quarterback Bryce Bitner played well as he had 100 yards, 51 coming on a touchdown pass to Tyler Pavalko. Pavalko also had the game's only interception.
English ran hard in the loss and ended the night with 56 yards and a forced fumble on defense.
Alex Honetor blocked a punt and Justin Lucas recovered it in the end zone for the Wildcats final touchdown.