Bishop Shanahan vs. Jersey Shore
Shanahan Road to States: In District 1, beat No. 2 Pottsgrove, 56-24, and No. 4 Upper Moreland, 35-0.
Shanahan PPG–26.2, YPG–293.5; PPA–20.3, YPA–244.1
Shanahan facts: Like Jersey Shore, Shanahan is pursuing the first state tournament win in program history. The Eagles captured their first District 1 championship a week ago and have won three straight games after enduring a tough regular-season schedule. Three of the team’s five losses are to District 1 6A semifinalists Downingtown West and Coatesville, as well as 11-win Downingtown East. The Eagles have played their best football at the right time and have outscored their last three opponents, 126-31. The Eagles have bounced back from last year’s 4-7 finish and have won at least seven games for a third time in four years. Shanahan runs a spread offense and spreads the ball around, another similarity it shares with tonight’s opponent. Quarterback Cooper Jordan is a dual threat who has thrown for 1,240 yards and 13 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He also has run for a team-high 561 yards and nine touchdowns. Running back Brandon Choi is close behind Jordan in rushing with 560 yards and five touchdowns. He also has caught 14 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. Choi and Garrett Glendenning are both versatile players who often carry and catch the ball. Glendenning has a team-high 24 catches for 554 yards and four touchdowns. He also has run for 447 yards and three scores. The offensive and defensive lines were outstanding a week ago and Shanahan built a 28-0 halftime lead. The defense forced four turnovers, intercepting two passes.
Shanahan player to watch–Gus Ross: Another player who will see carries in the backfield and passes out of the backfield, Ross has totaled 336 yards and five touchdowns. Ross has 19 catches for 239 yards and three touchdowns and also has run for two scores.
Jersey Shore Road to States: In District 4, beat No. 4 Shikellamy, 72-25, and No. 2 Selinsgrove, 33-14.
Jersey Shore PPG–38.1, YPG–426; PPA–22.4, YPA–262.1
Jersey Shore facts: A team that has made history twice already this season is trying to do so again tonight. The Bulldogs have repeated as HAC-I and District 4 champions this season and are trying to make a state tournament breakthrough. Jersey Shore has won five straight games and has played a difficult schedule similar to Shanahan’s. The three teams that have defeated Jersey Shore are still playing and are a combined 33-3. The Bulldogs finished strong against Selinsgrove a week ago, scoring the final 19 points and completing a season sweep while earning their third championship in four years. Jersey Shore went undefeated in league play and it has non-conference wins against District 6 Class AAAA and AAA champions Bellefonte and Bald Eagle Area. Quarterback Tanner Lorson has produced 3,687 yards and 45 touchdowns this season and threw and ran for two touchdowns each last week. Stanton Westlin leads the area in touchdown catches (11) and hauled in seven passes for 164 yards and a score against Selinsgrove. Cayden Hess’ 52 catches are the second-most by a Jersey Shore receiver in the 2000s. Owen Anderson and Anthony Shaffer both have topped 30 catches and Shaffer caught a touchdown last week. Anderson clinched the championship with an interception return for a touchdown that put the exclamation point on a strong defensive performance. That unit allowed just one touchdown, 195 yards and five first downs in two victories against Selinsgrove. Linebacker Dawson Sechrist has gone over 100 tackles for a second straight season, averaging 11.7 per game. Defensive end Ryan Kerschner consistently has been a passing game disruption and had 11 tackles, along with his eighth sack a week ago. Linemen Lee Springman, Karter Peacock and Colin Samar have played well on both sides of the ball and Gabe Packer continued his late-season surge, recovering a fumble. Shaffer and Brett Guthrie form a strong cornerback tandem and have combined for nine interceptions.
Jersey Shore player to watch–Dalton Dugan: The junior defensive end has flourished at his new position, giving Jersey Shore two strong presences on the outside. Dugan is second on the team with 89 tackles and also has produced three sacks and three tackles for loss. Dugan has 41 quarteback hurries and has reached 10 tackles in a game three times.
Winner plays: District 11’s champion Allentown Central Catholic or Pottsville
Outlook: This teams seem similar in so many ways. Both are eager to make a state tournament splash and one has the feeling this game could come down to the final minute or two like Jersey Shore’s first rounder a year ago.