Bulldogs score quickly and often

SPENCER MCCOY/For The Sun-Gazette Jersey Shore plays defense against Troy Friday night.

JERSEY SHORE — Jersey Shore sprinted to the line, Troy walked. Jersey Shore snapped the ball within seconds, Troy took nearly took the entire play clock. Jersey Shore rarely huddled, Troy always huddled.

Heck, Jersey Shore even scored quickly as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead en route to a 48-7 win over Troy Friday night at Thompson Street Stadium.

Just because Jersey Shore (2-1) ran an up-tempo offense, doesn’t mean the Bulldogs just aired it out. The Bulldogs had a nice balance with 40 rushes and 27 passes. The offense was led by junior running back Kyle Tomb, who ran for a career-high 243 yards on 32 carries with two touchdowns. It’s his second consecutive 200-yard game after rushing for 218 last week against Mifflinburg.

“When we do run the ball well and run no huddle, it can take its toll. You’re running the ball and you’re playing physical,” Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish said. “That’s what we do in practice every day. We don’t really huddle in practice. We force our guys to run the ball pretty fast in practice which sometimes they’re like, ‘Come on, we need a break.’ We think our guys are in pretty decent shape. We’re going to continue to do that.”

While Troy pounded the ball with a punishing running style and a large offensive line, Jersey Shore took a more balanced approach with Tomb running through would-be tacklers and Elijah Shemory chucking the ball all over the field to the tune of 166 first-half yards and three first-half touchdowns. Hunter Frantz was the beneficiary of many of Shemory’s bombs as he surpassed the century mark in receiving yards midway through the second quarter. Frantz finished with 142 yards on seven catches and two touchdowns while Shemory had 241 passing yards and four touchdowns.

On Jersey Shore’s first drive, Shemory drove the Bulldogs down the field on an 8-play 69-yard drive, capping it with a 12-yard pass to Koby Peacock. Peacock, providing a good compliment to Frantz, added another touchdown later in the half, a 20-yard back-shoulder pass from Shemory to make it 28-7.

Tomb paved the way in the first half on 17 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns, providing a nice balance and contrast to the air-raid attack provided by Shemory and his receivers.

“He’s physical, he’s faster than people think and he’s a little bit shifty. We’re hoping he continues to do that in the coming weeks,” Gravish said of Tomb. “The offensive line played really well tonight. Tight end Jason Dincher played really well, so did Dawson Sechrist. He’s a young full back. He’s only a sophomore. He hit some real good blocks.”

The Bulldog defensive front held up against the Troy ground and pound attack against a large offensive line. Troy racked up just 114 rushing yards on 49 attempts, just a 2.3 average, and struggled to sustain any scoring drives. Troy’s lone score came on a 16-play, 78-yard drive that ate up nearly eight minutes of clock. But the Trojans were aided by five Jersey Shore penalties for 52 yards, including three personal foul penalties. The drive ended with a 1-yard quarterback sneak from Clark Jackson on 4th down.

“I think we had 45 yards in penalties at least (on that drive),” Gravish said. “Unacceptable, even at the end there I think our defense almost kept them out. They ran like seven plays down there inside the 5-yard line. It was just one too many plays at the 1-yard line and they barely got in. Overall I thought our defense did well and our coaches did a good job of getting them ready.”