By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
JERSEY SHORE — Mike Kogut has been at Bloomsburg since April, the same amount of time that Chip Kelly has been the head coach of the Eagles.
The two have one thing in common: they like to keep the defense guessing.
Kogut has the Panthers at 2-1 heading into a Heartland cross-over game against an improved Jersey Shore team.
“Last week we threw for 242 yards and ran for 223 yards,” Kogut said. “I still want to throw more and pick up the pace a bit.”
Bloomsburg, which is a point away from being undefeated, has scored 25 points in each of the last two wins.
This year’s Panthers team is playing a 4-4 defense compared with the 3-5 of last year while having more of a balanced running attack and passing game.
“Jersey Shore has a bunch of skilled kids that can make plays, we have to play discipline football to stop them,” Kogut said. “Their defense is very aggressive with a 5-2 scheme and two solid linebackers. They come off the ball very well on both side. It will certainly be a challenging game for us. They play enthusiastic, hard-nose football and we can’t take this team for grant it.”
Kogut is in his 16th year of coaching and sixth as a head coach after five years at Tri-Valley.
“We liked to open things a little wider with a one-back attack and a more option attack in the Tri-Valley League but not so much here,” he said of the difference in football between the HAC and TVL. The Heartland is old-school I-formation and run it at you and with some Wing-T.”
The Bulldogs (1-2) beat Shamokin on the road on Sept. 6 for their lone win of the year. They have given up 30 or more points in their two losses.
“We are capable of playing a lot better that last week and we are disappointed with the outcome against Montoursville,” Tom Gravish said.
Gravish’s concerns with Bloomsburg start at the quarterback position.
“Ricky Klingerman is a pretty good quarterback who is highly talented, he can run, throw, he’s a proven winner and leader,” he said. “He’s off to a good start. He’s the biggest concern we have.”
While Gravish noted the team has made progress since training camp, they would like to have some more wins under their belt at this point in the season.
“We are pretty young and our JV is doing pretty well and we expect to get better every day,” he said. “The kids have bought into the idea that they are pushing to improve on a daily basis. Bloomsburg is going to bring their A-game on Friday and we have to do the same.”