By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
MILTON — Milton coach George Goodwin wants his team to rebound from last week’s loss to unbeaten Mifflinburg. But he knows that Friday night’s Heartland Athletic Conference Division I opponent, Jersey Shore, could cause a number of problems for the Black Panthers.
“(The Bulldogs) are very good defensively. They put a ton of guys in the box and the way they are doing things, from the film we have seen on them, they present some problems for us,” Goodwin said.
He said the film of Jersey Shore playing Shikellamy gives Milton a good idea of what they are up against because the Braves and Black Panthers do similar things on offense.
He said Jersey Shore (2-6, 1-4 HAC-I) is a scrappy team that comes to play every week. “Their record does not reflect how good they are,” Goodwin said.
Bulldogs quarterback Logan English does a good job of scrambling and keeping plays alive. “Teams seem to be able to get pressure (on English), but if his first read isn’t there, he is looking downfield when he is scrambling and he does a real good job. He doesn’t look to run, but he will still attack the line of scrimmage. We have to be disciplined and have to maintain our coverage for what seems like a long time,” Goodwin said.
Like most coaches, Goodwin believes the play of his line will make the difference but he added “That’s been our forte all year; we put it on our linemen and every ballgame we’ve won we’ve been able to control the line of scrimmage and not turn the ball over.”
Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish agrees with that assessment.
“Milton is an excellent team. They do a really great job with the execution of their offense. Their offensive line is really tough and they have great running backs. When they decide to pass they have been very effective,” Gravish said.
“Defensively, they are fundamentally sound and get people to the football. Milton had a great comeback victory just a few weeks ago against Selinsgrove and appear ready for the District 4 AAA playoffs again.”
Gravish said his team is continuing to feel better about itself. “We have gained some confidence from games where we played Danville and Selinsgrove and lost. We were disappointed that we don’t win those games. We are an extremely young team but need to come out with confidence and get a win against a really good team like Milton.”
Goodwin said it is ironic that his team is finishing the regular season with three possible District 4 Class AAA playoff teams in the last four weeks.
Milton is now leading the point standings, just ahead of Selinsgrove and next week’s regular-season finale opponent, Shikellamy.
“We don’t want to show our whole hand, but we want to win ballgames and try to get home field (advantage) throughout the playoffs,” he said.