Jersey Shore at Bald Eagle Area preview
Jersey Shore PPG–42.0, PPA–10.4; YPG–429.8, YPA–185.3
Jersey Shore facts: Another week, another strong opponent. Jersey Shore (8-0) continues its four-week stretch against teams ranked near the top of their respective district fields, facing a streaking team which has won seven straight games. Rare is the week Jersey Shore plays a team allowing fewer points per game than it does, but BEA is that team. The three-time defending District 4 Class AAAA champions are coming off a hard-fought 42-21 against defending District 4 Class AAA champion Danville in which they erased a seven-point second-quarter deficit. Quarterback Brady Jordan totaled 334 yards with three touchdowns and is second among area leaders in passing yards while being 10th in rushing. Fullback Haydn Packer ran for three touchdowns and Cayden Hess caught his seventh score. Kooper Peacock had a big night, catching four passes for a career-high 92 yards. The offensive line has no starters back from last season’s state final run, but has meshed well and becoming a strong unit which has paved the way for the area’s highest-scoring offense. Senior Donald Steinbacher helps anchor that line which took a toll on Danville throughout the final three quarters as Jersey Shore produced 427 yards. Center Luke Springman also is making a big defensive impact and leads the team with 5 1/2 sacks. Dierk Stetts added a sack last week. Linebacker Karter Peacock has made a smooth transition from the line to linebacker, averaging 7.1 tackles per game while making seven tackles for loss. Connor Davis helps anchor the line and his interception set up an early touchdown two weeks ago against Milton. He and Springman both made seven tackles a week ago while Zach Rooney added five. Jersey Shore has forced 18 turnovers and Dathan Tyson intercepted a pass against Danville. BEA and Jersey Shore have split their last two games, the road team winning each time.
Jersey Shore player to watch–Tate Sechrist: The latest Sechrist to make a big impact at Jersey Shore, Tate has excelled up front defensively and played one of his best games last week. Sechrist made four tackles for loss and added a sack, helping the Bulldogs slow an explosive offense. He is second on the team with 4 1/2 sacks as well as tough against the run.
BEA PPG–29.8, PPA–4.6; YPG–303.8, YPA–124.7
BEA facts: The Eagles (7-1) are a young team which has made rapid growth, already winning five more games than a year ago. BEA has won six straight games, since dropping a 21-0 decision against Clearfield. The Eagles are playing stifling defense, surrendering just 16 points in seven wins. They also have five shutouts and have held three opponents to fewer than 100 yards. That includes Bellefonte, which BEA limited to seven yards in last week’s 48-0 victory. Edward Greene has a team-high seven sacks as well as 12 tackles for loss. Kaleb Mattis and Hunter McCool have combined for seven sacks and Mattis has 14 tackles for loss. The offense is as explosive as the defense is stingy. Freshman quarterback Carson Nagle has made a sudden and big impact, throwing for 1,397 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has topped 100 yards in all eight games and completed 18 of 29 passes for 177 yards against Bellefonte. Nagle has a deep receiving group at his disposal with four receivers producing at least 20 catches. Elliott Splain has added 15 catches for 181 yards. Although it has put up some big passing numbers, BEA is anything but one-dimensional. Senior Garrett Burns has run for 885 yards and eight touchdowns, topping 100 yards four times. Nagle’s emergence allowed BEA to utilize Burns’ legs after he played quarterback a year ago and threw for 1,455 yards.
BEA player to watch–Camron Watkins: The 6-foot-2 sophomore is a matchup problem on both sides of the ball. Watkins has caught a team-best 27 passes for 358 yards and seven touchdowns, possessing quality size and speed. He is just effective coming off the edge as a defensive end. Watkins has been a difference-maker all season, collecting 5 1/2 sacks and making 16 tackles for loss. He has made at least three tackles for loss in a game three times, including last week against Bellefonte.
Outlook: Considering the defenses they feature, it would not be shocking if this one was a defensive stalemate. But looking at their offenses, one could say it may be a shootout. The answer is probably somewhere in between. Either way, this looks like a marquee matchup.