Bulldogs reclaim the title

JERSEY SHORE – Jersey Shore football found a way to overcome a week six loss and the last two district title games to Selinsgrove beating the Seals, 31-15, and capturing their first District 4 title since 2013, taking the trophy in Class AAAA.

“It was a total team effort.  We were able to run the ball this time better than last game and keep them off balance with play action, and that was the difference,” said Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish.

Up next is Johnstown next weekend at a time and place to be determined.

Offensively the Bulldogs kept their ground game strong, utilizing running backs Jarrett Guthrie and Kyle Tomb.  Guthrie with the bulk of the carries had 28 for 119 yards and Tomb had 23 rushes, adding 77 yards from the backfield.

When it seemed Selinsgrove was slowing down the run, junior quarterback Elijah Shemory would get a pass play called and finished the night with 11 completions on 25 attempts and 123 passing yards, one touchdown, but four interceptions.

“Those interceptions didn’t concern us at all because we were going to take our chances,” said Gravis. “If they got it, we played outstanding D and I’m proud of the way our guys responded.”

Shore scored late in the first off a 23-yard pass from Shemory to Hunter Frantz, then went up 14 to 0 with eight minutes in the third quarter.

It wasn’t until after the eleventh minute in the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs kicked a field goal for a 17-0 lead that the Seals got on the board.

Selinsgrove offensively could not sustain its rhythm behind guarterback, Logan Leiby.  Leiby started off completing seven of his first eight passes  for 37 yards, until the Bulldogs defense created good pressure up front and tight coverage in the secondary, making it a long night for the Seals’ offense.

After that, Leiby finished 20 for 45 and 217 yards, but could not get them in big chunks. Running back Garrett Campbell struggled with Shore’s defense, finishing with 54 yards.

Selinsgrov scored on a 10-yard strike from Leiby to wideout, Kody Sowers, in the ninth minute of the fourth. But Jersey Shore quickly responded with two quick touchdowns of its own, including an pick six by linebacker, Dominic Williams, to seal the game with four minutes left.  With just under two minutes left Leiby pushed the pile for a one yard score to make it 31-15, but time was not on the Seals’ side.

“It was a classic game.  We played each other eight times in four years, we’ve split four championship games, two apiece. It was just a really good game,” said Gravis.