Shikellamy at Jersey Shore
Shikellamy PPG–8.0, PPA–31.0; YPG–211, YPA–319.6
Shikellamy facts: The Braves have shown improvement under first-year coach Jim Keiser, blanking Milton in Week 3, taking a 13-point against Shamokin a week later and allowing just 14 offensive points against Selinsgrove last Friday. Shikellamy is trying to work its way into the District 4 Class AAAA playoff picture and try for some payback after Jersey Shore blanked it, 53-0, four weeks ago. Quarterback Drew Balestrini is a mobile threat who has totaled 649 yards and four touchdowns. He threw for 110 yards when Shikellamy built a 13-0 first-quarter lead against Shamokin. The defense allowed just 183 yards against Selinsgrove, forcing three turnovers.
Shikellamy player to watch–Duncan Weir: The senior middle linebacker averages a team-best 12 tackles per game, topping 10 in four of five games. He also has played three offensive positions during his scholastic career and made his debut along the offensive line last week.
Jersey Shore PPG–45.5, PPA–3.5; YPG–434.3, YPA–74.5
Jersey Shore facts: The two-time defending District 4 Class AAAA champions are again perched atop the points standings and are trying to secure homefield advantage. Jersey Shore is playing for the first time in two weeks after last week’s Milton contest was postponed an hour prior to kickoff. The state’s No. 2-ranked team has built off last season’s state semifinal run, outscoring opponents, 182-14. Jersey Shore has shutout two opponents and not allowed more than seven points in a game. The Bulldogs also are closing in on a third straight HAC-I title and their defense leads District 4 in yards allowed. In addition to forcing 12 turnovers, Jersey Shore also has collected 13 sacks and scored as many touchdowns (2) as it has allowed (2). Dalton Dugan recorded four sacks in a 55-7 win against Central Mountain and Cayden Hess has intercepted three passes. Hess also leads the area in catches (28) while quarterback Branden Wheary does in touchdown passes (14). Running back Cam Allison has topped 100 rushing yards in each game while Hayden Packer and Brady Jordan also have run well behind a strong offensive line. Owen Anderson has produced five touchdowns as a receiver and a rusher and has 63 catches the last two seasons.
Jersey Shore player to watch–Lee Springman: A valuable two-way starter the past two seasons, Springman provides some muscle and experience up front. He is an excellent run stuffer at defensive tackle and consistently has opened up big holes for running backs while providing Wheary quality pass protection.
Outlook: Shikellamy has improved since Week 2, but Jersey Shore perenially does a good job staying focused on the task at hand. Don’t expect anything different from coach Tom Gravish’s team tonight.