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Athens' Raupers too much for Shore.

 

By: Tim Lyter | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | October 15, 2006

 

JERSEY SHORE - Behind the arm and legs of sophomore quarterback Shane Raupers, Athens spoiled Jersey Shore's homecoming, 35-7 at Thompson Street Stadium Friday night.

Jersey Shore head coach Steve Eck wanted to contain the sophomore inside the pocket. However, Raupers threw a wrench into the Bulldogs plans scoring two touchdowns on the ground and eluded the pass rush to pick on defensive backs down field with long passes.

"We knew (Raupers) could throw the ball, but we felt we had the defensive backs to cover," Eck said. "The Athens' receivers were not that big but they just threw the ball up and they made plays."

Raupers connected on 11 of 18 passes for 167 yards and a fourth-quarter score. Three of his passes were for 30 or more yards. His counterpart, Jersey Shore's Eric Jarrett, attempted 13 passes, completing only seven for 50 yards and three interceptions. Jarrett had no time to pass as Athens applied constant pressure, breaking up any attempts of sustaining long drives.

"Athens pretty much controlled the line of scrimmage," Eck said. "Offensively, I thought all week we needed to control the line and we didn't. They came off the ball and made things happen."

One of the things Athens made happen was a late second-quarter score that set the tone for the second half.

"We let (Athens) get that score at the end of the half and it was certainly a downer," Eck said.

Raupers kept Athens going with his legs, gaining two first downs on runs of 11 yards each. The sophomore finished the drive off at the 1-yard line with a quarterback keeper.

"There was a couple of times we had Raupers in our sights," Eck said. "We just dropped our heads or lost sight of him. We had people there but we couldn't make the tackle."

The ground game for Athens balanced the passing attack in the fourth quarter as senior tailbacks Davaun Stedge and Nate Townsend wore down the Bulldog defense, running for 61 and 40 yards respectively. Stedge also added two scores on the ground.

Jersey Shore runners were less effective, as Colby Williamson ran 11 times for two yards. The Bulldogs gained some yards down the stretch behind Jason Bartges and Jake Barclay. Bartges rushed for 56 yards on five carries and Barclay added 32 yards on seven carries. Bartges was the key to the Bulldogs' only score, as he found a hole in a 48-yard run. Junior quarterback Derek Smith capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown.

Athens scored its first points on the night on Rauper's keeper with 3:48 left in the first quarter. Both teams fought back-and-forth until Raupers added another score on the ground and connected with Stedge on the 2-point conversion. Athens led 14-0 going into halftime.

After the homecoming festivities, Athens continued to add to its lead with Stedge running from the 6-yard line for the first of his two scores on the night. After failed drives from both team, Athens opened the fourth with a long drive that ended with Raupers connecting with Colin Repko for a score with three minutes gone in the quarter. On its next drive, Athens scored for the final time, as Stedge added another score, this time a 5-yard run to make it 35-0.

A change at quarterback and tailback sparked Jersey Shore only score as tailback Bartges and quarterback Smith led the Bulldogs from its own 15 down to the 5-yard line, where Smith rolled out of the pocket and kept it for the touchdown.