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Red Raiders comeback to beat the Bulldogs

JERSEY SHORE – It could have been called the “War at the Shore” Friday night as the Bellefonte Red Raiders’ football team took to the road to go head-to-head with former District 4 champs Jersey Shore in the season opener for both teams in grid iron action.
Both teams are coming off post season visits the year before and opened the year where they left off as there was a post season atmosphere already swelling through the Bulldogs home field.
After a battle that lasted all four quarters, Bellefonte used a 14-0 fourth quarter to overcome an early deficit to take home the 17-13 victory, avenging a loss from last season.
“When you play Jersey Shore you don’t get a play off. You don’t get a series off. You don’t get a down off,” said Bellefonte coach Shanon Manning. “I’ll tell you something, Coach Bumgardner did a great job in practice repeating and practicing the no-huddle..These were two evenly matched football teams.”
So evenly matched that Bellefonte finished with 181 total yards while Jersey Shore tallied 180.
The Red Raiders got their yards on the ground while the Bulldogs aired things out.
Leading the way for the Red Raiders were the running of Dexter Gallishaw and Dylan Dietrich. Gallishaw muscled his way on the ground for an 80-yard performance while Dietrich found the end zone on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth for a 50-yard touchdown run.
Bellefonte forced Jersey Shore to turn the ball over three times while they lost the ball only once.
Quarterback Elijah Shemory found his favorite targets in Darren Stetts and Hunter Frantz for a Bulldog air attack that mustered 176 yards. Stetts had four catches for 61 yards while Frantz caught it four times for 75 yards.
Coming out of the intermission, Bellefonte looked primed and ready to go as the game restarted.
Its defense forced two of the three turnovers in the second half.
Defensively both teams dominated most of the third quarter.
However, Bellefonte’s offense started to build some momentum behind it as the third quarter came to an end. But as the horn sounded ending the quarter, the Red Raiders drove the ball down into Midfield.
It took one play in the fourth for the visitors to get closer when Dietrich blazed his way through the line and then the secondary for the 55-yard touchdown run, cutting it to 13-10.
Minutes later Bellefonte’ defense got its team another shot on offense when Noah Badger recovered a fumble.
However, Jersey Shore took it back on the next play when Frantz intercepted the ball to get the ball back to the home team.
But another miscue was about to take place as Bellefonte once again recovered a fumble and then marched it down field.
Leading the drive was a Gallishaw run that would have him drag a gang full of Bulldog tacklers to the one.
One play later, Nic Palosky scored from one yard out for the winning touchdown.
Despite one last chance at the end zone, Jersey Shore could not get its offense going to post a winning drive.
In the first, it would be the Bulldogs that got scoring underway to start things out.
After an early Dietrich interception of Shemory, Jersey Shore got the ball back and marched quickly down the field on its second possession of the game when Shemory hit Frantz on a 50-yard TD hook up, taking a 6-0 advantage after the PAT was blocked with 8:23 left in the opening period.
However, Bellefonte would get back into the game by the end of the quarter driving the ball all the way to the 10-yard line before having the kick a field goal. Chris Perisko’s kick was picture perfect, cutting the Bulldog lead to 6-3 with just over three minutes left.
Defensively, both teams took over the game by forcing the other to punt.
But Jersey Shore would have the final say in the half as the Bulldogs upped its lead by seven when Shemory found Stetts for the 32-yard TD. With the Cameron Griffin PAT, the home team took a 13-3 advantage into the lockerooms at the half.
“You go give Bellefonte a lot of credit. They really battled hard and they have some tough kids. We knew that and we told our kids that. We knew they would be a tough outfit,” Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish said. “We thought we could have been more poised and kept our composure on both sides of the ball. This isn’t the kind of feeling we like leaving Thompson Street Stadium but we told our guys to learn through this like men do and we’ll learn from this experience. We weren’t undefeated last year and there is still a lot of football left to play.”

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