Bald Eagle Area’s meeting with Jersey Shore on the football field Friday night went pretty much as one might have predicted.
For the Eagles, it proved to be another long night, while for Shore, it was the Bulldogs ninth win in as many games.
At the final whistle at Thompson Street Stadium, the Bulldogs blanked the Eagles 33-0 to improve to 9-0 on the season, while BEA’s tough season continues at 2-7.
.Mistakes have been a thorn in the side of the Eagles for much of the season, and it was the case again against Shore.
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“Mistakes has been our Achilles Heel this year,” said BEA head coach Ron Hoover. “The kids played four quarters and they played hard. It was a physical game, but the bottom line is that you just can’t make mistakes like we made and hang with a football team as good as Shore is. The penalties (nine for 86 yards) killed us and there is no reason for that.”
If there was a bright spot for the Eagles in the loss, it would have been the third quarter when they ran off 22 plays, while the Bulldogs only had five snaps during the 12 minutes. The unfortunate thing for the Eagles was that although they controlled the action during the period, they didn’t put any points on the scoreboard.
“We got close, but again, the little things hurt us,” Hoover said. “We got sacked and then we had a penalty and that put us in a fourth-and-long situation. We completed a pass on fourth down, but it just came up four yards short. We had a good chance to score there and we should have put some points on the board. Although we didn’t score, I was real happy to see the way we moved the ball against their defense.”
Going into the game, the Eagles had to alter their passing attack because Hoover knew they were going to get a lot of pressure from Bulldog lineman Bryce Charles and defensive ends Zach Miller and Dominic Loffredo.
“We didn’t have time to throw from our five-step drop and if we tried, we would have been sacked every time,” said Hoover. “They gave us so much pressure and we knew it was coming. They just have some superior athletes up front so we had to go with the three-step drop and the one-step drop and when you are forced to that, you can’t get your routes going long enough.”
Winding down a difficult season can be difficult enough to deal with, but when facing the likes of Tyrone, Clearfield and Shore on consecutive Friday nights, it makes it even more difficult.
“It has been really frustrating for us down the stretch,” Hoover said. “I just told the team I was proud of them because in the last three or four weeks they could have packed it in, but they didn’t. That was a brutal stretch for us, but it was good to see the way the kids fought and battled. It could have been 50-0, but they hung in there, battled and showed some of the things they can do. We close out the season against Bellefonte so they will be ready to go.”
The Bulldogs scored on four of their first five possessions, tallying a pair of touchdowns in each of the first two quarters before tacking on another six-pointer in the final stanza.
The Bulldogs showed a balanced offensive attack en route to the win as junior tailback Levi Lorson rushed the ball 30 times for 189 yards and a pair of scores, while quarterback Logan English completed eight of 11 pass attempts for a pair of scores, a 35-yard effort to Derek Leese followed by a 24-yard toss to Brody Smith.
For the Eagles, Mitchel Struble led the offense with 67 yards on 17 carries, while quarterback Jason Jones completed seven of 11 attempts for 66 yards.
BEA travels to backyard rival Bellefonte on Friday.