Bill Wasylenko

Wyzard of Wyndmoor
Football 2018

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  Bill Wasylenko, a 1969 grad, has done an incredible amount of work to research La Salle High's football history and share it with the school community. Now he's writing game recaps and they'll be posted on this page. Thanks for officially joining us, Bill!
  You may contact Bill at explorerfb@gmail.com.
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The picture in the upper left of Bill's mug shot shows the 2007 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Romans, with his son, Dan (No. 44). No. 3 (off his ear) is none other than Ryan Arcidiacono. The team also featured All-Catholics Joey Monaghan and Colin Thompson from Wood, Luke Hutkin from the Prep, and Sean Coleman from La Salle.

This season, 34 La Salle High products can be found on college football rosters. Click here for a
poster as created by school football historian Bill Wasylenko ('69).
Or here for a larger version.
Or
here for a gigantic version.
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OCT. 19
CATHOLIC RED
Wood 31, La Salle 12

  Running back Tom Santiago led the Archbishop Wood rushing attack, and quarterback Jake Ross tossed two touchdowns to tight end Bill Cook, as the Vikings shut out the Explorers in the second half on their way to a 31-12 victory at Upper Dublin High School. Here’s how the game went down:
  The Vikings won the toss, and elected to receive. Jake Gandolfo’s kickoff reached the 2-yard line, and was returned to the 30 by Ryan DiVergilis before being tackled by Luke Hardy and TJ Meachum. QB Jake Ross handed off to RB Tom Santiago, who gained 7 yards off left tackle before being stopped by Tyson Goldstein. Santiago then took a pitch on the right side, got the edge, and motored to the La Salle 32 before Griffin Zobel caught up with the Viking speedster. Fullback Leroy Pendleton, at 5’-11” and 230 lbs, bulled in the middle for 14 yards to the La Salle 18 before being brought down by Frank Joyce, and Wood was rolling on the ground. Ryan Savage and Jalen De Vose, both in on many tackles all night, stopped Santiago up the middle, but Santiago, who ran low to the ground, leaned forward to gain 5 yards. Ross kept the ball on an option up right tackle for 4 yards before Savage hit him down. On third and one at the La Salle 9, Santiago gained 3 yards up right tackle for a first and goal at the 6, with tackle again by Savage. Ross ran an option keeper for a yard before Liam Trainer made the stop. Santiago gained a tough 2 up right tackle, as Savage and De Vose again combined for the stop. On third and goal at the 2, Santiago went up right guard and was denied the end zone by about a foot by Frank Joyce. On fourth and about 12 inches, Ross ran a sneak, and was finally ruled in the end zone for a touchdown by a slow-acting officiating group. Kicker Bob Hennessey booted the extra point, and Archbishop Wood drew first blood, leading 7-0, with 6:03 left in the first period.
  Hennessey’s kickoff reached the 10, where Manny Quiles returned the pigskin to the 22, and La Salle’s offense would get to test the Ryan defense. With an empty backfield, a fake jet sweep to Sam Brown resulted in a pass from QB Sean Daly to WR Kahlil Diarrah, but the ball was dropped. Daly came back to Diarrah on an out pattern on the right side for a first down on the La Salle 33. Manny Quiles was hit immediately on a sweep for a 6-yard loss. Daly then swung a pass to Brown, who had the fortune of two Wood defensive backs tripping themselves, as Brown skirted the right side for a first down to the Explorer 46. Daly, with his receivers spread out across the line of scrimmage, then faked a handoff and kept the ball up the middle, as Wood over-committed to the fake. Daly broke into the clear, and ran like a scalded dog into the end zone for an electrifying 54-yard touchdown. However, Gandolfo’s PAT attempt sailed wide left, and La Salle had crept to within a point of Wood, who held a 7-6 lead, with 4:28 left in the first period.
  Gandolfo’s boot got to the 5, where Cardel Pigford returned it to the 40-yard line in an open lane before Hardy tackled him from behind. Ross recovered the ball after a high snap for a 6-yard loss. Then, Ross overthrew receiver Brad Otto, setting up a third and 16 at the Wood 34. Ross had to scramble to the right, and was pursued by Savage, and Ross tossed the ball out of bounds, but was ruled for intentional grounding since the ball did not reach the line of scrimmage, and the momentum was switching to the Explorers. Hennessey’s punt was returned by Hardy for 2 yards to the La Salle 48, as the Blue and Gold would seek to take the lead with their next drive, with 2:59 left in an active first stanza.
  Hardy ran an end-around to the left for 3 yards after Daly faked a pass to Diarrah. But tragedy loomed: Daly kept the ball, found a hole, and got to the Wood 40, but he fumbled, and the Vikings took over on their own 39. As it turns out, La Salle was to be flagged for holding on the play, anyway, the first of many holding calls against the Explorers.
  Pigford jetted right for 4 yards before a tackle by Brendan Frusco. On the play, LB Tyson Goldstein was injured, and he did not return. On a blitz, Frusco sacked Ross for an 8-yard loss, setting up a third and 14 for Wood on their own 35. Santiago ran a draw that was smelled out by Ronnie Ross and Isaiah Turner for a one-yard loss. The punt was fair-caught by Hardy on the La Salle 39, with 18 seconds left in the opening period.
  After a fake jet sweep, Daly gained 5 yards up right guard, as the quarter ended, with the Vikings clinging to a 7-6 lead. On the first play of the second quarter, in a wide formation, Daly took off again, caught from behind at the Wood 8-yard line, but the referee stayed at midfield, having tossed a yellow flag to the ground. La Salle was called again for holding, and the ball came back to their own 40. Daly tossed a swing pass to Brown for just a yard, as the Viking defense was bottling up the La Salle speedsters on the edge. On third and 8 from their own 41, after an Explorer time out, Daly was hit immediately by an untouched lineman for a 5-yard loss. Gandolfo’s punt was downed on the Wood 35, and the Vikings would go to work.
  Out of an I-formation, Santiago was hit immediately by De Vose for no gain. The powerful Pendleton gained 4 yards up the middle, two-teamed by Joyce and Savage. On third and 6, Ross swung a pass to an open Pendleton on the right side, and Pendleton rumbled to the Wood 48 for a first down. Frusco stopped Santiago after a 3-yard gain up the middle. Santiago slashed through a hole up the middle for a first down at the La Salle 38, Joyce making the stop, and Wood was marching. Cardel Pigford ran a jet sweep, but was stopped for a two-yard loss by Savage and Abdul Carter. Santiago, on his pet play, took a pitch to the left side, found a seam and got down to the La Salle 14 before a Zobel tackle. Santiago ran the same play for 5 yards, with Trainer and Joyce making the stop. Ross rolled right, and tried to hit TE Bill Cook in the end zone, but Joyce made a fingertip breakup. On third and 5 at the La Salle 9, Santiago ran that pitch left again, stopped at the La Salle 1-yard line for a first and goal. Wood was then called for a false start, setting the ball back to the 6. Then, Ross, patiently rolling right, found Cook on a drag pattern in the back of the end zone for a 6-yard Viking touchdown. Hennessey’s extra point made it 14-6, Vikings, with 4:47 left in the half.
Hennessey’s pooch kick was fair-caught by Grant Hughes on the La Salle 28, and the Explorers would seek to get that touchdown back. But they were called for 12 men on the field for the first play, costing them 5 yards. Daly hit Hardy on a nice slant for 13 yards to the 36. Eschewing the huddle, Daly handed off to Quiles up the middle for 3 yards and a first down. La Salle, self-destructing, was called for procedure. Daly scrambled for a yard. Daly’s swing pass to Brown was overthrown, setting up and third and 14 at their own 35. Daly, feeling the pressure, scrambled for no gain, and the Blue and Gold would be forced to punt. Gandolfo’s punt was returned three yards to the Wood 31 by DiVergilis, with tackle by Carter, and Wood had 2:33 left in the half to expand their lead.
  Ross threw deep to Pigford, but led him too much, with Joyce on the cover. Santiago took a pitch to the right side this time, got the edge, and racked up a first down to the Wood 45 with tackle by De Vose. Ross, on an option keeper, gained 8 yards before being stopped by freshman Chris Thompson. Ross scrambled to the left while under a big rush, and Trainer and Jordan Headen got him for a two-yard loss, as Wood took a time out with 1:10 left in the half. Then, Santiago, back to his bread and butter, took a pitch left and got a first down to the La Salle 44, with tackles by Paul Jennings and Frusco. It certainly seemed like the Vikings were in control, and on their way to extending their lead before half. Ross, a little greedy, threw deep to Colin Murt, but the pass was overthrown, with 54 seconds left. Ross then fired a pass in the right flat. The ball was tipped in the air by the Viking receiver, and into the hungry hands of Griffin Zobel, who raced with the interception from the La Salle 40 to the Wood 13, and the imminent Viking scoring opportunity was replaced with one for the Explorers, with 43 seconds left in the half.
  But La Salle stepped on their foot again with a delay of game penalty. Daly hit Diarrah on an out pattern for 7 yards, stopping the clock. Then Daly kept the ball up left tackle through a wide-open hole, and scored from 11 yards out, with 34 seconds left in the half. The Explorers went for two to tie the game, but Brown’s throw-back pass to Daly in the end zone was intercepted, and the score remained at 14-12, Vikes.
  Gandolfo’s low line-drive kick was returned from the 30 to the 41 by DiVergilis, with stop by Hardy. DiVergilis then ran a counter, broke into the clear, and was stopped by De Vose on the La Salle 38, and Wood threatened again. Ross spiked the ball to stop the clock at 19 seconds. Ross rolled left, and found Pigford on the sideline for a gain to the La Salle 28 and a first down with 14 seconds left. Ross overthrew Cook on the right side. Then Ross fired into the end zone for Pigford, but Zobel broke up the pass, with 4 seconds left. Hennessey came on to try a 45-yard field goal, but was short, and Archbishop Wood took a 14-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.
  Though it felt like Wood had the edge in play, La Salle had hung in there, and had a fighter’s chance at pulling this out. With La Salle receiving the second-half kickoff, it also felt like the first series of downs for the Explorers in the second half would set the tone of the game. Bob Hennessey’s kick sailed into the end zone, and La Salle would start from their own 20. Sean Daly kept the ball off right guard for 2 yards. Daly then kept it again, around the right side for 7 yards. On third and 1, Manny Quiles wormed his way up the middle for two yards and a first down at the 31. With an empty backfield, La Salle was hit with another false start penalty. Daly’s rollout pass to Hughes was batted down. Off a fake jet sweep, Daly ran on the right side for a yard. On third and 14 at their own 27, Daly, sensing a rush, scrambled up the middle for just 3 yards. Jake Gandolfo’s punt was returned 7 yards to the Wood 45 by Ryan DiVergilis, with tackles by Chris Thompson and Dillon Trainer.
  Tom Santiago took a pitch from QB Jake Ross on the left side, cut back, and gained 5 yards to midfield, with tackles by Trainer and Brendan Frusco. Leroy Pendleton, a low-running locomotive, got a first down with a 7-yard ride up the middle, with Trainer and Ryan Savage on the hit. Santiago was hit immediately for a 3-yard loss by a hard-charging Savage. He gained back that three yards on a pitch left, as Jordan Headen and Paul Jennings combined for the stop. On third and 10 at the La Salle 43, Ross found tight end Bill Cook wide open in the middle of the field for a gain to the La Salle 8 for a first and goal, with tackle by Frank Joyce. Pendleton trundled up the middle for four yards, with tackles by Jennings and Savage. Santiago took his familiar pitch left and cut back, but gained just a yard, as Frusco and Jalen De Vose combined on the hit. On third and goal at the three, Ross kept the ball up the middle, but was stuffed for a yard loss by Thompson and Savage. On fourth and goal, Wood went for the field goal, and Hennessey booted a 25-yarder, giving Wood a 17-12 lead with 4:27 left in the third stanza.
  La Salle was just one score away from taking the lead, and needed to move the ball on offense. Hennessey’s kick carried to the 14, and Quiles returned it to the 26. Daly swung a pass to Sam Brown, but Wood sniffed out the play for a two-yard loss. FB Liam Tatlonghari was hit immediately for no gain. On third and 12, Daly threw a screen pass to Diarrah which gained just 6 yards, and La Salle would be forced to punt. Gandolfo’s low punt to the Wood 43 was grabbed by DiVergilis, who raced down the left side to the La Salle 16, and the Vikings were in great shape to increase their lead. But Santiago, going up left tackle, fumbled the ball, recovered by Trainer, and La Salle dodged a bullet, with 2:47 left in the third quarter.
  Quiles, out of a deep set, was stopped for no gain up left tackle. La Salle was called for a holding penalty on the play, setting themselves back to the 7-yard line. Daly’s pass to Luke Hardy was deflected, but Hardy made the diving catch for a 4-yard gain. Daly’s slant pass to Diarrah gained 9 more. With third and 6 on the 20, Daly dropped back, but scrambled, and gained 4 yards, two short of a first down. Gandolfo’s punt was downed on the Wood 48.
  The Vikings then were guilty of a delay of game penalty. Santiago tested right guard, and gained just a yard, being bear-hugged by De Vose. The third quarter ended with Wood on top, 17-12. Ross ran an option keeper for 4 yards, with tackles by Leland Mersky and Hardy. On third and 10 at the Wood 48, Ross scrambled to the right, and Mersky tackled him for a 4-yard gain, but a penalty flag shot up into the air, and La Salle was called for unnecessary roughness, giving new life to the Wood drive with a first down on the La Salle 33. Santiago, running low to the ground, gained 7 yards on a good push up left tackle, as Griffin Zobel made the stop. Ross fumbled the next snap for no gain. On third and 3 at the La Salle 26, Santiago took a pitch to the right for 4 yards and a first down, with tackle by Frank Joyce. DiVergilis ran the counter again to the La Salle 9 for a first and goal, with Joyce on the hit again. Santiago ran a pitch left again for just a yard, as De Vose and Savage combined for the tackle. On play action, Ross rolled right slowly, and again found Bill Cook on a drag pattern across the back of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown, putting the Explorers into a real hole. Hennessey’s extra point made it 24-12, Wood, with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
  Quiles returned the kickoff from the 9 to the 37, but again, the holding bugaboo brought the ball back to the 23. Daly gained a yard on a quarterback draw. Daly threw deep beyond Diarrah down the left sideline. On third and 9, Daly rolled right, and threw beyond Brown, but Wood was flagged for a change this time, with an interference penalty. With new life and a first down on his own 39, Daly corralled a high snap and fell on it for a 7-yard loss. Daly then scrambled to the right while under a big rush and tossed the ball out of bounds. On third and 17, Daly overthrew Hardy on the left side. Gandolfo’s punt was returned two yards to the Wood 32 by DiVergilis, with 6:13 left in the game.
  Santiago took a pitch left for 16 yards and a first down, with tackle by De Vose. Cardel Pigford was stopped for no gain on a jet sweep by a Trainer bearhug. Ross ran an option keeper for 7 yards, with tackle by Joyce. On third and three, Pendleton burrowed up the middle for 4 yards and a first down, with stop by Tim Barrett. Santiago gained two up left tackle, stopped by De Vose. La Salle called their second time out, with 4:14 left. But it was to no avail. Santiago shot up left guard through a big hole, into the open and into the end zone from 39 yards out. Hennessey’s PAT made the Wood lead insurmountable at 31-12, with 4:09 left.
  The pooch kickoff was fair-caught at the La Salle 25 by Grant Hughes. Daly hit Hardy on a slant pattern for 12 yards and a first down. Scrambling away under a big rush, Daly was sacked for a huge 16-yard loss. Daly found Diarrah for a 9-yard gain while scrambling left. On third and 17 at their own 30, Daly overthrew Brown over the middle. On fourth down, La Salle went for it, but Daly’s pass to Hardy deep over the middle was overthrown, and Wood took over at the La Salle 30, with 2:10 left.
  DiVergilis went up left tackle for 10 yards and a first down. Pigford ran a counter for three yards, with stop by Trainer. Ross ran an option keeper for 7 yards and a first down at the 10, and then knelt down to end the game. Archbishop Wood held La Salle scoreless in the second half, pulling away from the Explorers in a 31-12 Viking victory.
 
NOTES: La Salle’s spread offense in the first half resulted in several Sean Daly runs through the line, but Wood seemed to spy him in the second half to negate that option. The Explorers committed too many infractions, and their ball-control offense was stymied with a lot of long-yardage situations. Impressive in this loss was the play of the linebackers; Dillon Trainer, Jalen De Vose, Brendan Frusco were especially notable, as well as the play of Ryan Savage on the defensive line. La Salle is a very young team, and the freshmen and sophomores getting meaningful playing time will really benefit from this experience, and will get bigger, stronger, faster, and, most importantly, wiser.

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OCT. 13
CATHOLIC RED
La Salle 35, Ryan 0

Daly “King of Swing”; La Salle Flyin’ Over Ryan, 35-0
 
The Explorers entered a muddy Mickey Young Memorial Stadium at George Washington High School, and they knew that a “ground and pound” offense was required on the slick grass against the Raiders of Archbishop Ryan.
  And though the running attack was featured throughout the game, QB Sean Daly proved to be the master of the swing pass, and there were a few other “aerials” flying through the air that helped to break the spirit of the Raiders. Here’s how the game went down:
  Ryan won the toss, and deferred to the second half, and would force La Salle to head into a westerly breeze for the first quarter. Gavin Dionisio’s kickoff was returned by Sam Brown 9 yards to the La Salle 29, and QB Sean Daly, wearing well the mantle of a leader each game, would start the drive. Daly handed off to Abdul Carter up the middle for 3 yards, and then Carter sliced up left guard for 5 more. With third and two, Daly swung a pass on the right side to Manny Quiles, gaining 6 yards and a first down to the 43. Brown was stopped for no gain on a jet sweep. Daly then bootlegged on the right side for a 7-yard gain, setting up another makeable first down with a third and three. Daly kept the ball up left tackle for 4 yards and another first down to the Ryan 46. Daly swung a pass on the left side to Brown for 7 yards. Then Kahlil Diarrah, at 6’-6”, lined up in the Wildcat, and bounded up the middle for 8 yards and a first down at the Ryan 31. Quiles, in a deep set, gained 8 yards up the middle; Quiles seems to always gain 1 or 2 yards more than he should. Daly kept the ball up left tackle for 3 yards and another first down at the Raider 20, as the offensive line, with some replacements due to injury, were winning their battles. Daly swung a pass to Quiles on the right, but overthrew the mercurial senior. Brown gained just a yard on a jet sweep, and La Salle was challenged with their first 3rd and long, needing 9 yards for a first down. After utilizing a time out, Daly, on play action threw to Quiles on the right side, who used the sidelines to get down to the 5-yard line for a first and goal. Brown went up the middle before being stopped at the 1-yard line, and then Quiles completed the long drive with a 1-yard plunge up the middle for a touchdown. Jake Gandolfo’s extra point attempt was wide, so La Salle led, 6-0, with 4:40 left in the quarter, utilizing 7 minutes and 20 seconds in the 15-play drive.
  Gandolfo’s kickoff into the wind carried just to the 30, and Nathan Kennish returned it to the 42. QB Jahlil Sanders handed off to Tyreek Chappell for a 2-yard gain, tackled by LB Dillon Trainer, who was in on about every other tackle all day. Chappell gained 6 yards up right tackle, stopped by Carter. On third and two at midfield, Sanders kept the ball on the left side on an option, but was stopped for no gain by SS Zaire McLaurin. Ryan decided to punt, and Dionisio’s punt rolled dead on La Salle’s 15, with 2:40 left in the first stanza.
On the first play, Daly threw deep into the wind, but the “jump ball” that ensued was intercepted by Justin Collier, who returned the ball to the Explorer 35 before being tackled by Carter, and Ryan would have their best field position for the whole game. But the Raiders were flagged for delay of game before getting a snap off. Then, Sanders’ pass to the middle was deflected by Trainer and fell incomplete. On third and 15, Sanders kept the ball up the middle, but LB Tyson Goldstein’s tackle shook the ball loose, and McLaurin scooped the ball up, headed down the sideline, and stumbled, falling at the Ryan 14, and hurting his ankle in the process.
  The Explorers would take advantage of McLaurin’s long return immediately. Daly swung a pass to Brown, and Brown bolted into the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown. This time, La Salle would go for 2, and Daly swung a pass to Quiles on the right side, and Quiles raced across the goal line at the flag for the 2-point conversion, and the Explorers led, 14-0, with 1:55 left in the first period.
  Gandolfo pooched a kick to the 35 that was fair-caught by Collier. Mekhi Lang ran a jet sweep for 3 yards before Trainer dragged him down. Julian Jones gained two yards up right guard before being double-teamed by Isaiah Turner and Brendan Frusco. On third and 5, Sanders found Kyron Long on the right side for a 10-yard gain and a first down, but Ryan was flagged for holding. On third and 15, Sanders missed Collier on a slant over the middle. Dionisio stuttered a few steps before punting, and Luke Hardy fair-caught the ball on the La Salle 35.
  Daly went to the swing pass again, this time to Brown, who gained 7 yards, but now La Salle was cited for holding, as the first period ended with La Salle on top, 14-0. Daly missed Brown on another swing pass. Daly then gained 16 yards by keeping the ball on the left side in a wide-open lane. On third and 4, Daly swung a pass on the right side to Carter, and the freshman gained 11 yards to the Ryan 47 for a first down. Quiles was hit immediately after taking the handoff for a 3-yard loss. Daly, the king of swing, hit Brown in the right flat for 11 yards. On third and two, Daly found an opening up the middle for a 15-yard gain and a first down on the Raider 30. Diarrah entered the game in the Wildcat again, but this time he fumbled after a two-yard gain, and the Raiders recovered on their own 21, squelching the drive, with 9:06 left in the half.
  Sanders threw incomplete to a falling Chappell. Chappell then went off left tackle for two yards before the ubiquitous Trainer closed him down. On third and 8, Sanders scrambled for 7 yards on the left side before Carter took him down. On fourth and one at their own 30, Ryan would punt, and Dionisio’s kick rolled dead on the La Salle 44.
  Quiles slithered up the middle for 4 yards, and then went off right tackled for 5 more. On third and one at the Raider 47, Quiles gained 4 yards and a first down to the 43. Daly’s keeper was snuffed out by Ryan’s defense for just a gain of one. La Salle was then called for a procedure penalty. Then more laundry, as Daly scrambled to the 35 but the Explorers were flagged for holding, setting up a second and 28 at the La Salle 39. Daly hit Diarrah across the middle for 9 yards. On third and 19, the back of the playbook was used: Daly lateraled to Diarrah, and the big man threw down the left sideline to Quiles, who motored to the Ryan 15 for a first down. Brown went up right tackle for 2 yards. Daly kept the ball up the middle for 4 more. On third and 4 at the 9, Carter tested the middle and gained 5 yards and a first and goal at the 4. Daly rolled right but was nudged out of bounds for no gain, as no one was open. Daly then swung a pass to Old Reliable, Quiles, on the left side, and Quiles scored from 4 yards out. Gandolfo’s PAT was good, and the Explorers expanded their lead to 21-0, with 1:47 left in the half, and a 3-touchdown lead entering the locker room was quite satisfactory. But not satisfactory enough.
  Gandolfo’s kickoff was returned from the 20 to the 35 by Jones, with Goldstein on the tackle. Sanders fired deep down the left side to Chappell, but Carter broke the play up nicely. Sanders, on play action, rolled right and had to throw the ball out of bounds while under pressure. Sanders then missed Chappell up the middle, and the Raiders would have to punt again. Dionsio’s punt rolled dead on the La Salle 39, and the Explorers would try to add more points with just 1:11 left in the half.
  Daly’s swing pass on the left side to Brown was blocked down by Chris Brown. Daly then scrambled into wide open territory, and was finally taken down on the Ryan 30 for a first down. Daly, finding running room all day long, bootlegged on the left side to the Ryan 15 for a first down, and Ryan had to take a time out, with 42 seconds left in the half. Daly, scrambling, was sacked for a 3-yard loss. Then, shades of RC Owens, the original “Alley-Oop” receiver of about 60 years ago for the 49ers: Daly dropped back, and arced a pass to the deep left corner of the end zone. Diarrah leaped up, and came down in the field of play for an 18-yard touchdown, breaking the backs of the Raiders. Gandolfo’s PAT made it 28-0, La Salle, with 27 seconds left in the half.
  Gandolfo’s kick was returned from the 15 by Long, and he found a hole up to the Ryan 45 before being tackled by TJ Meachum. Jones gained 4 up the middle before being stopped by Ryan Savage, and the clock ran out on the half, with the Explorers coasting, 28-0.
  Just before the second half kickoff, Ryan was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. A coach was heard across the field “complimenting” the officials on their job so far. That “progress report” allowed La Salle to kick off from the Ryan 45. Santi Steria inherited the kicking honors for the second half, as Jake Gandolfo was resting a sore left foot. Steria booted to the Ryan 5, where Kyron Long returned the pigskin to the 20, tackled by Tim Mehlmann. Jahlil Sanders went back to work against the defense that held the Raiders scoreless in the first half. Sanders missed Long on a slant across the middle. Tyreek Chappell tested the middle for two yards, stopped by Dillon Trainer. On third and 8, Sanders rolled left but missed Mekhi Lang with his pass. Gavin Dionisio’s punt went off the side of his foot, and was downed on the La Salle 47.
  The Explorer offense went back to work. Manny Quiles started right, and then veered left for 7 yards. Sam Brown swept the right side, but was tackled for a 5-yard loss by John O’Brien, who burst through untouched. On third and 8, Sean Daly faked a jet sweep and kept it up the middle for 5 yards. On fourth and three, La Salle would go for it, but Daly had to corral a high snap and gained just a yard, and the Raiders would take over on their 42.
  Julian Jones, who ran hard for Ryan all day, was hit immediately by who else but Dillon Trainer for no gain. Sanders threw low in the left flat to Chappell. On third and 10, La Salle dialed up a blitz, and Sanders was sacked for a 5-yard loss by Trainer and Jalen De Vose. Ryan’s punt was fair-caught on a diving catch by Luke Hardy on the La Salle 41.
Daly, off of play action, hit Kahlil Diarrah on a screen for 3 yards. FB Liam Tatlonghari eagerly took the handoff and powered his way for 6 yards up right tackle. On third and one, Tatlonghari gained 4 yards up left tackle for a first down at the Ryan 47. Daly then dropped back and threw a long pass down the right side, which, though deflected by a Ryan defender, was captured on a great catch by Hardy as he was falling down on the Ryan 25 for a first down. Diarrah then lined up as a Wildcat, but he surprised everyone by firing a swing pass to the left to Daly for 3 yards. Quiles went up the middle for a yard. On third and 6 at the Ryan 21, Quiles, always “money” when a first down was needed, gained 10 yards to the 11. Diarrah wildcatted off of left tackle, pushed into the pile, and the pile moved its way into the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown. Steria’s extra point made it 35-0, La Salle, and started the mercy-rule clock with 3:37 left to play in the third quarter.
  Steria pooched a kick to the 30, where Jones returned it to the 35, tackled by De Vose. Sanders hit Long in the left slot, but the pass was dropped. Chappell gained 5 yards up the middle, stopped by Abdul Carter. On third and 5, Sanders, under a heavy rush, was sacked by LB Shane Hagan and DL Patrick Troy. Luke Hardy made a fair catch of the punt by diving backwards on the La Salle 40.
  Freshman Byron Hopkins took over as quarterback, and handed off to Hardy on a jet sweep for a 16-yard gain and a first down on the Ryan 44, as the third quarter ended with La Salle leading, 35-0. Hopkins went left on an option, but slipped for a 5-yard loss. Soph Matt Bowes plunged up the middle for 4 yards. On third and 11, Hopkins bootlegged right, but was stopped for no gain. Steria’s punt was downed on the Raider 29, as the running clock went below 9:45 left in the game.
  On play action, Sanders’ pass was intercepted by De Vose on the Ryan 34. Soph Jalen Hanton, got his first touch of the game, a 3-yard jet sweep to the left. Tim Mehlmann went off right tackle, broke some tackles, and gained 12 yards and a first down to the Ryan 19. Hanton bounced outside right for a 5-yard gain. Mehlmann shot up right tackle for 3 yards. On third and two at the 11, Hopkins kept the ball up right tackle for 4 yards and a first and goal at the 7. Freshman Bill Whiteley pushed up the middle for 2 yards. Mehlmann lost 2 as the handoff was not smooth. On third and goal at the 7, Hopkins ran an option keeper for no gain. Hopkins again kept the ball around the right side, but gained just two yards, and the ball would turn over on downs to Ryan at their own 5, with 2:30 and counting left in the game.
  Cole Lowe entered as the Raider QB, and handed off to Jones for a 4-yard gain, with stops by Hagan and Troy. Jones tested the middle and gained 6 yards and a first down, tackled by soph Tim Barrett. Jones then gained two more, with tackles by Matt Eckert and soph Colin Sitler, and the Raiders would not get another play off. La Salle whitewashed Archbishop Ryan, 35-0, to improve their record to 3-4.
 
NOTES: The defense played a lot tighter than previous games, and hopefully is coming together at the right time. Daly is looking more and more like the leader on offense, and makes a lot of great decisions on his option plays. Diarrah is getting more opportunities to do everything (run, catch, throw), and the threat of an “Alley-Oop” to him in key situations will hopefully create nightmares for the opposition. Next game is Friday night, October 26, at 7 PM, versus Archbishop Wood at Upper Dublin, a key game for La Salle, as this improving, young team will be tested by the Vikings.

OCT. 5
CATHOLIC RED
La Salle 55, Judge 20

The Kids Are All Right: Youthful La Salle Passes Judge-Ment, 55-20
 
La Salle’s “Kiddie Corps” ran through and around the Crusader defense all night long at the Ramp Athletic Complex, 55-20. Here’s how the game went down:
  Father Judge won the toss, and deferred to the second half, hoping to stop the La Salle offense on their first set of downs. Well, that didn’t work, and it didn’t work all night long. The Judge kickoff found the end zone, and the Explorers would start at their own 20. Out of a trips left formation, QB Sean Daly tossed left to WR Kahlil Diarrah, touching the ball more frequently each game, for a 9-yard gain. With a trips right, Daly handed off to RB Manny Quiles for a three-yard gain and a first down. Freshman sensation Sam Brown entered the game, and out of a trips right formation, Brown took the handoff to the left, found the edge, and scored from 68 yards out. Jake Gandolfo’s extra point made the score La Salle 7 – Father Judge 0, with 10:50 left in the first period.
  Gandolfo’s kickoff was returned from the 15 to the 25 before tackles by Jalen De Vose and Zaire McLaurin. La Salle was assessed a personal foul, and Father Judge would start at their own 40. On a counter play, RB Dameir Johnson gained 25 yards to the La Salle 35 before being stopped by McLaurin. QB Shane Dooley kept the ball up the middle for 5 yards, with stops by DB Frank Joyce and LB Chris Thompson. Johnson was hit immediately for a one-yard loss on a hit by LB Tyson Goldstein. On 3rd and six at the La Salle 31, Dooley found WR Darrell Tripline on a deep post for a 31-yard touchdown. Jack Isdell’s extra point tied the score at 7-7, with 9:03 left in the first period, and the game had all of the makings of a shootout.
  The Judge kickoff made it to the 4-yard line, where Quiles returned it up the middle to the 29. Daly ran an option keeper up the middle for 7 yards. Out of a no-huddle for the first time this year, Daly handed off to FB Liam Tatlonghari off right tackle behind good blocking for 7 yards and a first down. Quiles swept the left side and cut up the field to the Judge 46 for another first down. Daly kept the ball up left guard for 4 yards. Quiles swept the left side again, and his extra effort got another first down at the Crusader 34. With trips left, Daly tossed to Diarrah for just a one-yard gain. Then, Quiles swept the right side this time, and behind good blocking, got the edge and sauntered into the end zone from 33 yards out for a touchdown. Gandolfo’s extra point made it 14-7, La Salle, with 5:55 left in the first stanza.
  The kickoff was returned by Shane McGovern from the 3 to the 25, with tackles by De Vose and Tim Mehlmann. Dooley swung a pass to the right to WR Dan Foy, who dodged some missed tackles for a first down to the Judge 44. Dooley kept the ball up left tackle, veered outside, and got down to the La Salle 37 before being stopped by Joyce. Dooley fumbled the handoff, and Judge recovered for a two-yard loss. Dooley then scrambled for 4 yards, bringing up a 3rd and 8 from the La Salle 35. Judge was called for a procedure penalty. On third and 13, Dooley tossed a bubble screen to Foy on the right side for no gain, with stops by Jordan Headen and McLaurin. On 4th and 13, Judge chose to punt, and the ball was downed on the La Salle 4, with 2:35 left in the first period.
  Tatlonghari got outside on the right to gain 15 yard and a first down to the La Salle 19. Brown, getting more touches, took a pitch on the left side for a 14-yard gain and another first down to the 33. Brown then took a pitch to the right, broke a tackle, and got open down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown, one yard less than his previous jaunt. Gandolfo’s PAT put La Salle on top, 21-7, with 1:35 left in the first period.
  La Salle was offsides on the kickoff, and Gandolfo then pooched the kick to the Judge 32, where Majid Muhammad returned for just one yard, with tackle by Mehlmann. Johnson went up left guard for 5 yards, with tackles by Goldstein and McLaurin. Johnson was stuffed for a two-yard loss by Liam Trainer and Ryan Savage. On third and seven at the Judge 36, Dooley scrambled left and was tackled a yard short of the first down at his own 42-yard line by Trainer, ending the first period with La Salle on top, 21-7. On fourth down, Dooley snuck for two yards and a first down. Then, Dooley found his favorite target Foy down the left sideline for a long gain to the La Salle 21. Dooley hit McGovern for an 8-yard gain, with Joyce on the stop. Dooley then fired to McGovern, wide open on a slant pattern in the end zone, but the pass was overthrown. Johnson ran up the middle for 12 yards before tackles by Goldstein and Joyce gave Judge a first and goal at the 5. Dooley kept up the middle for no gain, with stops by Paul Jennings and Isaiah Turner. But Dooley found Tripline open in the middle of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown. Isdell’s PAT made it 21-14, La Salle, with 8:50 left in the half.
  Judge would need to be able to stop La Salle’s offense. The kickoff was returned by Quiles from the 5 to the 35, but La Salle was hit with a holding penalty that set them back to the 15. Brown ran a jet sweep on the left side to the 33 for a first down. Daly hit Diarrah on a slant pattern to the Judge 47, and La Salle was marching again, but La Salle was hit for a holding penalty downfield, resulting in a first and 8 at their own 35. Quiles gained 3 off left tackle. Daly found an open lane around left tackle for a first down to the Judge 45. Tatlonghari was hit immediately for a one-yard loss. On trips right, Diarrah gained 10 yards on a bubble screen from Daly. On third and one at the Judge 36, Quiles got 8 tough yards up the middle for a first down. Quiles notched 3 more up right tackle. Daly, rolling left, tried to find Diarrah but overthrew the big man. On third and 7 at the Crusader 25, Brown took a pitch on the left side, made a great cut, and scored his third touchdown, this time from 25 yards out. Gandolfo’s extra point gave La Salle a 28-14 lead, with 4:59 left in the half.
Gandolfo pooched the kick to the 16, where Johnson returned it just to the 19, with tackles by De Vose and McLaurin. The Crusaders would need to score before half to keep within shouting distance of the Explorers. Dooley kept the ball on the left side for no gain, with stop by Savage. Dooley threw another bomb down the left side to Foy, but this time it was broken up by Headen. On third and 10, on a big rush, Dooley scrambled left, and threw a deep pass while landing out of bounds, but La Salle was called for roughing the passer, giving the Crusaders new life with a first down on their own 34. Dooley threw to Tripline for a 6-yard gain, with tackle by Headen. Dooley then scrambled and dodged La Salle tacklers for a while, but Abdul Carter finally pinned him down for 2-yard loss. On third and 6 at their own 38, Dooley, on a mad scramble, forced many Explorer defenders to miss tackles on his way to a first down at the La Salle 36, but Judge was set back 10 yards on a block in the back. Dooley was finally sacked on a rush up the middle by Savage for an 8-yard loss, as Judge called time with 1:35 left in the half. On another wild scramble, Dooley was hit down by Goldstein for a 3-yard loss. On third and 21, Dooley missed Foy on an out and up. On fourth down, Dooley lined up in the pistol, and quick-kicked to the La Salle 28, with 1:03 left in the half.
  Daly ket the ball up the middle with wide open spaces to the Judge 45, and La Salle looked to score before the end of the half. Daly swung a pass to Diarrah, but Judge finally smelled out this play for a 5-yard loss. Daly scrambled right and threw under pressure out of bounds, with just 32 seconds left. Daly then threw low to Diarrah on a scramble. A La Salle penalty for ineligible receiver downfield was declined by Judge. On fourth and 15 at the 50, Gandolfo’s punt, under pressure, went out of bounds at the Judge 30, with 11 seconds left in the half, Dooley knelt down to run out the clock, and La Salle went into halftime with a 28-14 lead.
  Father Judge would get the ball back to start the second half, and La Salle’s defense needed to make a stand. Jake Gandolfo’s pooch kick, finding a seam in the Crusader alignment, was fallen on by Judge at the 22-yard line. Shane Dooley fumbled the first snap, a low one, for a loss of 8 yards, as Tyson Goldstein registered the tackle. Dooley, accurate all night, found Shane McGovern on a short slant-in for 6 yards before being stopped by Jordan Headen. On third and 12, Dooley threw just a little high to McGovern, and Frank Joyce broke up the pass with a big hit, and the Crusaders would be forced to punt. A big rush by Abdul Carter forced a short punt, downed on the Judge 43, and the Blue and Gold offense would take over in great shape.
  Manny Quiles blasted off right tackle with a lot of extra effort for a 12-yard gain and a first down. QB Sean Daly swung a pass to TE Grant Hughes for 5 yards. Quiles that went off the right side again for 4 yards. On third and 1 at the Judge 22, FB Liam Tatlonghari powered up left tackle through a good hole to the Judge 8 for a first and goal. Carter entered the game at tailback, and the freshman got down to the 2. Carter then went up left tackle and into the end zone for a two-yard score. Gandolfo missed the extra point due to an out of sync hold, but La Salle had increased their lead to 34-14, with 7:04 left in the third period.
  Gandolfo found the end zone on his kickoff. RB Dameir Johnson tested the middle for no gain, with another tackle by Goldstein. Dooley, with plenty of time, hit WR Darrell Tripline over the middle for 9 yards. On third and one, Dooley tried to run a keeper, but TJ Meachum hit him hard, forcing a fumble that was recovered by DE Ryan Savage, and La Salle was in business on the Judge 23, seeking to increase their big lead.
  Carter ran a jet sweep to the right side for a first down on the Crusader 13. Sam Brown jetted the other way for 5 yards. Daly, off a fake jet sweep, raced up the middle and into the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown. Gandolfo was good this time, and the 41-14 lead had the Crusaders back on their heels, with 4:32 left in the third quarter.
  Gandolfo’s kick to the 5 was returned by Johnson to the 25, with tackles by Joyce and Dillon Trainer. Dooley fired a pass over the middle, but it was dropped by Kevin Kelly. Dooley, undaunted, went deep again down the right side to Tripling for a gain to the La Salle 40. A quick screen to McGovern gained three, with a hard hit by Zaire McLaurin. Dooley rolled left and went deep to McGovern, but the pass was overthrown. On third and 7 at the Explorer 37, Dooley was forced to scramble, and McLaurin nearly intercepted his hurried pass. On fourth down, Dooley threw deep to Dan Foy, and the pass was incomplete, but flags came in, and there were offsetting penalties for offensive and defensive interference, the first time that these old eyes ever saw that call. On fourth down again, with a big La Salle rush that was gaining in intensity, Dooley threw incomplete, and La Salle would take over on downs.
  Jalen De Vose entered the backfield and gained two hard yards up the middle. Kahlil Diarrah, all 6’-6” of him, lined up in the Wildcat, and sliced up the middle and to the right for a first down at the Judge 49. De Vose swept left behind a good block by Kenny O’Kane for 9 yards, breaking tackles along the way. Diarrah wildcatted his way up the middle for 4 yards and a first down at the Crusader 36. De Vose was hit immediately for a one-yard loss, as the third quarter ended with La Salle on top, 41-14. De Vose took a pitch left for 2 yards. On third and 9, Daly swung a pass to the right to RB Tim Mehlmann, who got the edge down the sideline to the 4-yard line for a first and goal. De Vose went up left guard for 4 yards and a touchdown. Gandolfo was true with his kick, and the La Salle lead grew to 48-14, with 10:57 left in the game.
  Santi Steria took over the kicking honors, and sent the ball down to the 5, where John returned the ball to the 25 before being stopped by Joey Cassizzi. Dooley was under more pressure by the La Salle line, and was sacked for a 9-yard loss by Isaiah Turner. Dooley threw deep to McGovern, but the pass was overthrown, with good coverage by Carter Kenney and Giacomo Ward. Dooley scrambled right for 7 yards before being stopped by Shane Hagan. Dooley limbered up his deep arm again, finding Foy in traffic, with Foy making a great catch down to the La Salle 12. Dooley, scrambling right, sailed an incomplete pass in the end zone. But La Salle was flagged for a personal foul for roughing the passer, placing the ball on the 6. Dooley then tossed an alley-oop pass to the back of the end zone to McGovern for a 6-yard touchdown. The two-point try was snuffed out by Kenney, and the score was now 48-20, La Salle, with 7:55 left in the game.
  The onsides kick was recovered by La Salle’s Luke Hardy on the Explorer 47, and La Salle would conduct a musical quarterback symphony. Freshman Byron Hopkins handed off to soph RB Jalen Hanton for 7 yards up right tackle. Then soph Gavin Daly handed off to freshman Bill Whiteley up the middle for a yard. On third and two, freshman Alan Paturzo rolled right and found Mehlmann with a swing pass for a first down at the Judge 33. Hopkins took his turn, and went up right tackle and into the clear, racing into the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown, the fifth freshman 6-pointer of the game, certainly a La Salle record, maybe even for a freshman game! Steria’s extra point was good, and with 6:02 left, the mercy rule would take effect with the 55-20 Explorer lead.
  Steria’s kick sailed to the 10, where McGovern returned the ball to the 32. Soph Aiden Dooley entered the game as the Crusader quarterback, and handed off to Johnson for no gain, with tackles by TJ Meachum and Chris Thompson. The younger Dooley scrambled to the left for a 6-yard gain, with stops by Matt Eckert and Nick Anderson. On third and 4, Aiden Dooley fired an accurate pass up the middle to Foy, but it was broken up by Cassizzi. On fourth down, Aiden Dooley scrambled to the right, but was thrown down for a 3-yard loss by Tim Barrett, and La Salle would take over with a couple of minutes to play, and a running clock.
  Hopkins took a couple of knees, and the Explorers claimed their second victory of the season with a convincing 55-20 win over Father Judge.
 
NOTES: More and more, the freshmen are getting meaningful playing time, and Sam Brown and Abdul Carter, along with others, are getting to show their abilities more each game, and this bodes well long-term for the La Salle football fortunes. The defense stiffened up in the second half, putting more pressure on Shane Dooley than in the first half, but the secondary will need to tighten up on their deep coverage. La Salle will take on Archbishop Ryan, who had defeated Father Judge earlier this season, next Saturday at 1 PM at George Washington High School.

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SEPT. 29
CATHOLIC RED
SJ Prep 49, La Salle 12

  Back in 1972, Philadelphia’s own great boxer, Joe Frazier, would find himself in the ring with a menacing young slugger named George Foreman.  It was slated to be a battle of two very powerful men, but it didn’t work out that way.  Foreman stunned Frazier and the boxing world by knocking down our local favorite six times in the first two rounds to win by technical knockout, as referee Arthur Mercante stopped the one-sided fight.
After niceties were exchanged at the football luncheon two days ago, St. Joseph’s Prep, playing the role of George Foreman, devastated La Salle, as Joe Frazier, with a barrage of touchdowns that knocked out the Explorers by halftime in a 49-12 rout.  Here are the gory details:
  St. Joe’s won the toss, and elected to receive.  The Explorers needed to make an early statement on defense to build some confidence that they could hang with the Prep.  The defense didn’t even get the chance, as Marques Mason took the kickoff at the 11, veered to the right and bolted down the sideline for an 89-yard touchdown.  Michael Campbell’s extra point gave the Hawks a 7-0 lead just 17 seconds into the game, played at Quick Stadium on the campus of Widener University.
  Campbell’s kickoff sailed out of bounds, and La Salle would try to retaliate from their own 35.  Out of the pistol, QB Sean Daly handed off to Manny Quiles, who was bottled up for just a one-yard gain.  Daly then arced a bomb down the right side to WR Kahlil Diarrah, and the ball just glanced off the angular receiver’s fingertips.  On third and nine, Daly rolled right and threw low to a diving Luke Hardy, and the Explorers would have to punt.  A high snap was corralled by punter Jake Gandolfo, who got off an ad lib punt that rolled to a stop at the Prep 40, only 1:15 into the game.
  The Hawks were looking for another knockdown, and soph QB Kyle McCord, on play action, tossed a long pass down the left sideline to former Explorer Marvin Harrison, Jr., but the pass was overthrown.  McCord unloaded again, this time in the left flat for a completion to Jack Sutton for 6 yards, with tackles by Jordan Headen and Zaire McLaurin.  On third and four, McCord fired on a quick look-in on the right side to Johnny Freeman, who broke a tackle and made his way down to the La Salle 30 for a first down.  McCord then swung a pass to Harrison for a 6-yard gain, with tackle by Griffin Zobel.  After a procedure call against the Crimson and Gray, McCord again threw a deep fade to Harrison, but Zobel broke up the pass.  On third and nine at the Explorer 29, McCord gunned a look-in to Mason, which was dropped, bringing up a fourth down.  McCord tried to hit Harrison on a deep post, with the pass being overthrown, but La Salle was called for pass interference, giving the Hawks new life at the Explorer 15.  McCord, throwing on every down, rolled right and found Harrison cutting across the field, and Harrison bolted into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown, and Campbell’s PAT made it 14-0, St. Joe’s, with 9:01 left in the first period.  Foreman had knocked Frazier down again.
  Freshman Sam Brown ran the kickoff back from the three to the 21.  Sean Daly faked a handoff and kept the ball off left tackle for 11 yards and a first down.  RB Manny Quiles also went off left tackle, kicked outside, and made his way to the Hawk 47 for another first down.  Quiles then found that same hole again to about the Prep 30, but La Salle was flagged for holding, and the ball was placed at midfield.  Quiles gained a yard up left guard.  On third and 12, Daly ran a QB draw, but a blitz stopped him in his tracks.  Jake Gandolfo punted to the 25, and Mason raced all the way to the La Salle 25 on another long return, but the Prep was called for holding, and would start their next series at their own 32.
  Operating all game so far in a no-huddle offense, McCord was at it again, hitting Harrison deep down the right side to the La Salle 33.  Before the next play, the Prep was called for a false start.  Their first running play was given to Kolbe Burrell, who gained just one yard before being stopped by DL Jalyl Dawkins.  Mason gained three more before Ryan Savage dragged him down.  On third and 12 at La Salle’s 35, McCord scrambled to his left, and made a low toss to Mason, who made a diving catch at the Explorer 20 for a first down.  Harrison caught a McCord pass on a slant in for 7 yards.  Burrell went off left tackle for a first down on the 8, with tackles by Savage and LB Brendan Frusco.  Burrell went up right guard to the one.  The Prep was then called for procedure, setting the ball back to the 6.  In a power formation, Burrell gained to the two up the middle.  Again, Burrell tried the middle, and blasted into the end zone for a 2-yard score.  Campbell’s PAT made it 21-0, as Foreman knocked down Frazier for the third time in the first round.
  Brown ran the kickoff back to the 35 after receiving it at the La Salle 13.  A jet sweep by Brown was sniffed out by the Prep defense, losing 5 yards.  A swing pass from Daly to Quiles went for no gain.  Daly scrambled to his left but was sacked for an 8-yard loss.  Gandolfo, under a big rush, pooched his punt dead at the La Salle 48.
  Mason slashed off the right side for 11 yards, and the first round, or first quarter, ended, with the Hawks holding a commanding 21-0 lead.  Noble House made a diving catch of a McCord pass for 4 yards.  Off play action, McCord went to Freeman deep, and the ball just went off his fingertips, as Zobel provided good coverage.  On third and 6, McCord stepped up in the pocket and fired to an open Harrison in the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown.  Campbell made good again, and the fourth knockdown made the score 28-0, Prep, with 11:23 left in the half.
  Brown returned Campbell’s kickoff from the 15 to the 27.  Quiles went up left guard for two.  Daly kept the ball around the left side for six.  On third and two, Daly was hit immediately on a blitz, losing 3 yards.  Gandolfo punted to the Prep 30, where Zach Bouggess made a good return to the La Salle 32 before being tackled by Liam Tatlonghari.
  McCord hit Harrison off of play action to the 6 for a first and goal, and the Hawks seemed unstoppable, seeking to mercy-rule the Explorers in the first half.  Bryheem Barr gained three yards up the middle.  He gained one more before being stopped by Isaiah Turner.  On third and goal at the two, Barr was bottled up for just a yard by Frank Joyce and Abdul Carter, as the Explorer defense tried to fight back.  But on fourth down, Barr went up left guard for a one-yard touchdown.  Campbell’s extra point made it 35-0, with 7:28 left in the first half, and Frazier was down again, with some people wanting to call the fight.
  A short kickoff by Campbell was returned by an aggressive Jalen De Vose from the 18 to the 38, and La Salle would start a drive that showed they had some life.  Daly kept the ball off the left side for 7 yards.  The 6’-6” Diarrah lined up in the Wildcat position, and gained three yards up the middle for a first down.  Daly’s slant-in pass to Diarrah was too high.  Daly swung a pass in the left flat to Quiles for 9 yards.  On third and one at the Prep 43, De Vose plunged ahead for a yard and a first down.  In an empty backfield, Daly was blitzed and got off a pass, but it was touched illegally by a La Salle lineman.  The Prep declined the penalty, taking the play instead.  Daly kept the ball but ran into yet another Hawk blitz, losing 4 yards.  On third and 14, Daly scrambled right, bolted down the right side, veered to the middle and got down to the Prep 8 for a first and goal.  De Vose went up right guard for no gain.  Then, Daly floated a ball to the left corner of the end zone to Diarrah.  The big man, with the Prep defender hanging all over him, made an incredible one-handed catch of the ball for an 8-yard touchdown, as the pass interference call would be applied on the kickoff.  The Explorers went for two, but Daly dropped the snap and the attempt failed.  But Frazier was off the canvas, and the score was now 35-6, Prep.
  A 35-point lead after halftime starts the mercy-rule clock, where the time clock runs continuously when the ball is put in play by the referees.  Once a 35-point lead is achieved in the second half, the mercy rule stays enforced, even if the trailing team reduces the lead.  La Salle would need to stop the Prep in the remaining 3:28 of the half to avoid the mercy rule.
  Gandolfo’s kick from the Prep 45 sailed through the uprights for a touchback.  The Prep was then called for another procedure penalty.  McCord found his favorite target, Harrison, on a look in, a tackle was missed and Harrison was finally caught from behind by TJ Meachum at the La Salle 22.  Burrell tried the right side, but was thumped for no gain by Headen and Dillon Trainer.  But Burrell took the next handoff, veered right, and streamed into the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown, with 2:31 left in the half.  Campbell’s kick made it 42-6, Prep, reinstituting the second-half mercy rule.  And Frazier was down for the 6th time.
  La Salle, fighting to avoid the mercy rule had one last chance in the first half.  Quiles returned the kickoff to his own 32.  Daly fired a low throw to Hardy up the middle, who made a good diving catch on the Explorer 48.  Daly’s next pass was batted down by another Hawk blitz.  Daly scrambled left for 4 yards.  On third and 4 at the Prep 48, Daly swung a pass left to Quiles for 3 yards.  On fourth and three, Daly scrambled up the middle, but was boxed in for a two-yard loss, and St. Joseph’s would take over, with 47 seconds left.
  Satisfied with their 36-point lead, the Prep would have McCord kneel twice, and take their 42-6 lead into the locker room, and the mercy rule would start in the second half.
  Manny Quiles returned the second-half kickoff to the 35.  Sean Daly swung a pass on the right side to Luke Hardy for 3 yards.  Quiles went up left guard for a yard, setting up and third and six.  Daly, scrambling to the right, found Hardy coming back to the ball for 7 yards and a first down.  With a trips formation to the left, Daly rolled left and threw over Quiles while under great pressure.  With a blitz coming up the middle, Quiles skirted left end for 7 yards.  On third and 3 at the Prep 47, Daly faked a handoff and kept the ball up the middle for 5 yards and a first down.  Freshman Byron Hopkins came in as Wildcat quarterback, and kept the ball up the middle for 5 yards.  Daly returned at the helm, and handed off up the middle to Quiles for a good gain, but he fumbled the ball, and La Salle lineman Kenny O’Kane fell on it for a net of three yards.  On third and two at the Prep 39, Quiles tore around the left side for a 30-yard bolt to the 9-yard line for a first and goal.  Daly tried to hit Diarrah on the left side, and the pass fell incomplete as Diarrah was bumped.  Daly scrambled up the middle for two yards.  On third and goal at the 7, Quiles went up left guard for two.  On fourth down, Daly scrambled left, and would not be denied, diving into the end zone through tacklers for a 5-yard touchdown.  The two-point play was botched, and the Prep had a 42-12 lead, with 4:57 left in the third period.
  Gandolfo’s pooch kick was fair caught on the 30.  Kyle McCord, still in the game, handed off to Bryheem Barr for a 6-yard gain, with tackle by Jordan Headen.  Barr then went off right tackle for three, stopped by Dillon Trainer and Isaiah Turner.  On third and one, Barr tried the middle for 5 yards and a first down, with tackles by Chris Thompson and Lucas McNally.  Barr, continuing his own drive, went off left tackle for 5 yards, hit down by Ryan Savage.  Barr tried left guard, and Sam Graham made the hit.  On third and one at the La Salle 47, the Hawks were called for procedure yet again.  Joshua Barlow entered the game for the Prep, and gained 8 yards and a first down at the Explorer 40.  A jet sweep to the right by Noble House gained four before Graham cracked him down.  After the play, there was a little “tussle” resulting in a personal foul against La Salle.  The freshman “assailant” was known but will remain nameless in this writeup, and I’m sure was reprimanded sternly by his coaches, but the La Salle partisans in the stands were appreciative of his “fighting demeanor”.  The third quarter ended with the Prep on top, 42-12, driving at the La Salle 21-yard line.
  Malik Cooper entered the game at quarterback for the Crimson and Gray, and handed off to Joshua Barlow, who lost two yards on a stop by Headen.  Cooper swung a pass to House for 8 yards, with tackles by Zaire McLaurin and Frank Joyce.  On third and four at the 15, Cooper kept the ball around the left side for a first and goal at the 7.  Cooper then tested the middle himself, and scored on a 7-yard touchdown run.  Campbell’s PAT made the score 49-12, Prep, with 10:09 left in the game.
  The kickoff was returned by Justin Machita from the 13 to the 32.  Quiles tested the right side for 3 yards.  Jalen De Vose bulled up the middle for 8 yards and a first down.  Daly rolled right, and found TE Grant Hughes for a first down to the Prep 43.  Byron Hopkins entered as QB, and gained 4 on a keeper on the left side.  Hopkins fumbled the next snap, and was recovered by the Hawks’ Alejandro Garcia, who seemed to be in on every defensive play in the second half.
  From their own 44, the Prep brought in Nick DiMarino to call the signals, and he handed off to Barlow for 8 yards, with tackle by Liam Tatlonghari.  DiMarino kept u the middle to the La Salle 40 for a first down, stopped by McLaurin.  Barlow was pummeled for no gain up the middle by Trainer.  DiMarino lost three yards on the left side with Tyson Goldstein making the hit.  On third and 13 at the La Salle 42, Isaac White ran a jet sweep to the right for 4 yards, stopped by Declan Smith and Trainer.  On fourth down, White lost four yards, with TJ Meachum and Goldstein administering the tackle, and La Salle stopped the Prep for the first time on downs.
  With the clock running, La Salle brought in sophomore QB Gavin Daly, younger brother of Sean.  De Vose gained a yard up left tackle.  Gavin Daly, on play action threw on the right side to Tim Mehlmann, who gained a first down to the Hawk 44.  Hopkins came back in as Wildcat quarterback, and broke into open field up the middle for 28 yards and a first down to the Prep 16, as La Salle would seek to score before the running clock, now at 2:40, would run out.  Jalen Hanton ran a jet sweep around the left side for two yards.  Gavin Daly came back in as QB, rolled right, and overthrew TE Matthew Bowes.  On third and 8, Hopkins, back in as QB, was hit deep in the backfield on a blitz, losing 10 yards.  The fourth down play would be the last play of the game.  Gavin Daly threw down the right sideline to Liam Kennedy, but the pass was short.
  St. Joseph’s Prep knocked down La Salle early and often, winning convincingly, 49-12.
  NOTES:  these types of games have happened before in the La Salle-St. Joseph’s rivalry (39-0 in 1947, an identical 49-12 in 2002, 37-0 in 2003, and 48-7 in 2007).  They are awful to experience on the field as well as the stands, and right now it’s hard to imagine that any good will ever come of this game.  But the real “fighter” in every La Salle player will get off the canvas, bandage his wounds, and get ready for Father Judge, hoping for another chance to beat the Prep some day.  Maybe later this year, or in a subsequent season.  And maybe that freshman involved in that “tussle” will have that opportunity as an upperclassman leader someday to defeat the Hawks and gain retribution for that night at Widener when his team was knocked down several times, but wouldn’t give up on their own.

Next game on Friday, October 5, at 6 PM, at Ramp Playground, right across from the school.  Get there early to get seats, as they are limited.

SEPT. 15
NON-LEAGUE
La Salle 58, Haverford School 28
 
It was an old-fashioned Homecoming Day game, at an old familiar site, Springfield High School, but with a new wrapper of a turf field, that resembled more of a old-fashioned pinball machine on the verge of tilting, as La Salle’s rushing attack overtook the Haverford School, 58-28.
  With the Haverford Fords visiting the La Salle Explorers, it would have been perfect if an automobile dealer sponsored the game with the featured car being a Ford Explorer, but maybe next year, as the two teams provided the Homecoming crowd with thrills, chills, and even a Philly Special. Here’s how it went down:
  La Salle won the toss, and deferred to the second half. Jake Gandolfo’s kick bounced around at about the 2-yard line, and the Fords’ Nate Whitaker finally scooped it up and ran out to the 20. Then the pinball machine was plugged in. Quarterback Ben Gerber tossed a seemingly innocuous swing pass on the right side to Whitaker, who got the edge on the sideline and raced 80 yards for a shocking first-play touchdown. Kicker Chris Clark added the extra point, and Haverford was on top of La Salle quickly, 7-0, after just 15 seconds of play.
Clark’s kickoff sailed out of the end zone, and the Blue and Gold would start at their own 20, with senior Sean Daly at the controls, as junior Jack Machita was still out with a wrist injury. Out of a trips right formation, Daly hit angular receiver Kahlil Diarrah on a quick slant-in, much like Malvern executed the previous week, and Diarrah got a first down at the 32. Then, pinball again: freshman Sam Brown, on his first-ever carry, looking like a Ford Thunderbird instead of a Ford Explorer, took a jet sweep around the left, got the edge, and sprinted down the sideline for a 68-yard score. Jake Gandolfo’s boot split the uprights, tying the score at 7-7, with just 41 seconds played so far. Whew!
  Gandolfo’s kickoff carried to the two, where Daiyaan Hawkins weaved his way out to the 33 before being stopped by Joey Cassizzi. Gerber, with an empty backfield, fired a short pass on the right side to WR Chris Sims for a “modest” 7-yard gain, stopped by LB Dillon Trainer. On a read option, Gerber handed off to Hawkins for a first down to the 43, with tackle by DB TJ Meachum. Gerber again optioned to Hawkins on the right side, but DL Ryan Savage stopped him for a gain of a yard. Again, with La Salle blitzing Hawkins took the ball up the middle, and LB Brendan Frusco made an ankle tackle after a three-yard gain. On third and six, Gerber threw complete deep down the left side to WR Bryce Broadus, with Cassizzi making the tackle on the La Salle 25. Gerber ran an option keeper up the middle for 6 yards, with LB Tyson Goldstein sliding over to make the stop. Whitaker swept the left side, but Meachum pulled him down from behind for a loss of two. On third and six at the 21, Gerber, on another read option, handed off to Hawkins, who cut upfield at left tackle for 7 yards and a first down, with another tackle by Meachum. Gerber then hit Broadus, flanked way to the left, with a quick look-in, and Broadus took it into the end zone for a Ford score. Clark’s PAT made it 14-7 for Haverford, with still 6:44 left in an eventful first stanza.
  Clark’s kick again found the end zone, and La Salle would start at the 20, seeking to match Haverford score for score at this point. The Explorers had their brand-new Mustang in the game, freshman RB Abdul Carter, who jet-sweeped the right side with good blocking to gain 12 yards and a first down. Then, back to the T-Bird Brown, who went outside left tackle for 20 yards to the Ford 48, but the Blue and Gold were called for holding, bringing the ball back to their own 22. Daly kept the ball on a fake jet-sweep and was hit immediately for a 4-yard loss. Now, La Salle’s F-150, RB Jalen De Vose bulldozed up the middle for 7 yards. On third and 17 at his own 25, Daly scrambled to the right, veered to the wide-open middle, and was finally tracked down at the Haverford 48 for a 27-yard gain and an apparent first down, but again the Explorers were flagged for holding. On third and 27 at their own 15, La Salle ran a screen play that was dropped, and they would be forced to punt. Gandolfo’s boot was fair-caught at the La Salle 47, and the Fords were in excellent position to increase their lead.
  RB Logan Keller pushed up the middle for three yards, with stop by Frusco and DL Sam Graham. Gerber then went deep left again, to WR Matthew McKenna, and there was a collision with DB Rob Tatum, but no laundry landed on the field. On third and 7 at the La Salle 44, with a full backfield, Gerber handed off to Whitaker up the middle, and he was tackled by DB Griffin Zobel after a 4-yard gain. Now a fourth and three and decisions to make. And the Fords would go; Gerber was flushed out of the pocket and hurriedly threw a pass on the right sideline that was incomplete, and the La Salle defense held, giving the offense great field position at their own 40, with still 2:39 left in an endless first quarter.
Another jet sweep to the right by Brown gained 7 yards. Daly swung a pass to Manny Quiles on the left side, and the mercurial Quiles (Mercury is a Ford product) dodged (not Dodge, sorry, wrong company) some tacklers for a first down on the Haverford 44. This time, the Mustang Carter ran the jet sweep right, and smoothly drove to the 29 for another first down. Daly faked the jet sweep and handed off to De Vose, who plowed up the middle for 5 yards, and the La Salle ground game was in high gear. A quick out from Daly to WR Luke Hardy netted 4 more. On third and 1 from the Haverford 20, Quiles, out of a deep set, followed FB Liam Tatlonghari’s block for a first down at the 14. Brown jet-sweeped left for a one-yard loss, as the quarter ended with Haverford clinging to a 14-7 lead.
  The O-line, featuring Ronnie Ross, Declan Tuffy, Leland Mersky, Kenny O’Kane, and Ryan Wills, were taking control of the line of scrimmage, and the running game was reaping great benefits. On the next play, center Tuffy blew a hole in the middle of the line big enough for an F-250, and Quiles pranced into the end zone untouched for a 15-yard touchdown. Gandolfo’s boot tied the score at 14-14, with 11:55 to go in the half.
  Now, could the defense stop the Fords? Gandolfo planted the kickoff into the end zone. Frusco and Trainer met Whitaker in the hole for no gain. Whitaker swept the left side for 7 yards, with stop by DL Isaiah Turner. On third and a long three, Gerber shoveled a pass forward to Hawkins that was smelled out by DL Lucas McNally for no gain and a big stop, forcing a punt. Clark’s punt, under a big rush, sliced out of bounds on the Ford 42, and La Salle had a chance to take the lead for the first time.
  A slant-in screen from Daly to Diarrah was too low. Tatlonghari went off left tackle for 5 yards. On third and five at the Ford 37, Quiles went inside for 4 tough yards, bringing up a fourth and one. Deep in the I formation, Quiles bashed over right tackle for a first down at the 30. Daly then bootlegged left and spotted Diarrah beyond his coverage. Diarrah made the catch, and veered toward the middle and into the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown to give La Salle the lead. But no; the Explorers were flagged for a 5-yard penalty; Diarrah possibly lined up offsides. No problem: Daly faked a handoff to Carter and kept the ball around the left side, and angled along the sideline before being forced out of bounds after getting a first down on the 17. Carter jet-sweeped his way to the 8, but another flag came down. It looked like Hardy was called for holding downfield, and the ball came back to the 23. Daly again kept after a fake jet sweep, this time on the right side, and he found a seam down to the 5-yard line for a first and goal. In a tight formation, Daly handed off to De Vose who was bulldogged down for no gain. Daly rolled left, and found soph TE Tim Barrett open at the goal line, but the ball glanced off his fingertips. On third and goal at the 5, in a trips left formation, Daly gunned a bubble screen to the middle receiver Diarrah, but the Fords sniffed that out, and the play lost 2 yards. Gandolfo came on and boomed a 24-yard field goal to give La Salle a 17-14 lead for real this time, with 4:54 left in the half.
  Again, Gandolfo found the end zone on his kick. Gerber, with plenty of rest, fired a deep post pattern to WR Dan Whaley, but Whaley could only get one hand on the slightly overthrown ball. RB Mekhi Ajose-Williamson went off right tackle, but a three-linebacker sandwich of Frusco, Goldstein, and Trainer crunched the runner for just a one-yard gain. On third and nine, Gerber, on a deft fake, fired downfield to Hawkins, and La Salle was ruled for pass interference, and the Fords had new life with a first down on their 36. The Explorers jumped offside on a blitz to give the Fords five more yards. Gerber kept the ball up right tackle for 4 yards before a stop by McNally. RB Logan Keller was stuffed for a one-yard loss by Savage. On third and a long 2, Gerber faked a handoff, and an all-out blitz chased him to the left, and he was finally tossed down by Trainer for a 5-yard loss. Clark faced an all-out rush on his punt, but his boomer with a roll stopped on the La Salle 8-yard line, with 2:25 left in the half.
  Quiles gained just one yard on the left side. Out of a deep set, Quiles burrowed for 5 yards up the middle. On third and four, Daly slow-rolled to the right, but had to dump the ball out of bounds, and La Salle would have to punt. Combating a big rush, Gandolfo punted to the La Salle 46 where the Fords fair-caught the ball, with still a chance to take the lead into the locker room, cradling a precious 57 seconds.
  But Gerber fired deep down the middle, and the pigskin pin-balled off of 3 or 4 players before being grabbed by Meachum for an interception, and now La Salle had the last chance to score from their own 39, with 46 seconds left. Daly gained 7 on a quarterback draw with an empty backfield as La Salle called time out. Daly scrambled to the right, tight-roped down the sideline for a while, and then angled to open field down the middle, gaining 25 yards to the Haverford 29, and then Daly hurriedly spiked the ball. Daly again ran a draw up the middle, gaining 9 yards to the 20, and La Salle called a time out. Surprisingly, Daly handed off on a quick opener up the middle to De Vose, who stampeded all the way to the 3-yard line. The clock stopped to move the chains, and then Daly again spiked the ball, leaving a big decision to be made with just about 12 seconds left in the half. Daly, in the pistol, took the snap, waited, and then gingerly bootlegged to the left, and he saw a sliver of an opening to slide through and dive onto the goal line for a touchdown. Gandolfo’s PAT gave La Salle a 24-14 lead, with 4.6 seconds left in a zany first half.
  A slow-bounding kick was covered by Haverford at midfield. Gerber scrambled downfield to the La Salle 29 before Meachum and Tatum grabbed him, and the half ended with La Salle leading, 24-14.
  At this point in the game, the Explorers seemed to have taken control of the game, as their multi-pronged rushing game was in full throttle, led by QB Daly. Time to refuel and rev those engines for the second half.
  Chris Clark of the Fords kicked off to the 2, where Manny Quiles returned the ball to the 26. Sam Brown took a quick pitch to the left for three yards. Manny Quiles, the all-terrain vehicle, plowed up the middle for 4 more. On third and 3, QB Sean Daly bootlegged around the open right side for a first down to the La Salle 49. Then Quiles broke through a hole on the right side, veered to the sideline, and outran the Ford defenders for a 51-yard touchdown. The drive was quite a statement on what the Explorers would do all game long with their rushers. After the Fords jumped offsides on the first attempt, Jake Gandolfo’s PAT increased the La Salle lead to 31-14, with 10:03 left in the third period.
  Gandolfo’s kickoff came to the 12, where Nate Whitaker returned the ball to the 29, tackled by Dillon Trainer. The Fords would try to get back in this game that was slipping away from them. New Dante Perri tossed a bomb down the left sideline that was overthrown. An offensive lineman moved before the snap, costing the Fords a five spot. On a blitz, Abdul Carter leaped to bat down a Perri pass. On third and 15, Perri swung a pass to the left side to Whitaker for a five-yard gain, with a great form tackle by DB Rob Tatum, and the Fords would have to punt. Clark’s boot was downed on the La Salle 24, and the Explorers would have a chance to dismantle the Fords.
  Jalen De Vose running like the truck he is, turned the left side through some tackles for 7 yards. Manny Quiles was stuffed with his wheels spinning for a two-yard loss. On third and five, Quiles took a handoff up the middle for a first down, and was towed by the offensive line for more yardage to the 45. Quiles then went off left tackle, and weaved his way up the middle to the Ford 32. There seemed to be no stopping the La Salle rushing machine. Daly, the caretaker of the fleet, handed off to his F-150 De Vose, who battered his way to the 25. Haverford jumped offsides, giving the Blue and Gold a first down at the 20. Daly faked a handoff and kept the ball on the right side for a first and goal at the 9. De Vose then powered his way up the middle and into the end zone for the touchdown. Gandolfo’s boot made it 38-14, La Salle, with 4:27 left in the third quarter, and the game seemingly in control. But not just yet.
  Gandolfo’s pooch kick was fallen on by the Fords at their own 30, where they would try to gain back some control of the game. QB Perri fired a quick look-in to Bryce Broadus, who turned back outside and went down the sidelines for a gain to midfield. Perri handed off to Daiyaan Hawkins, who was plastered immediately by an onrushing Ryan Savage for a 4-yard loss. An out from Perri to WR Dan Whaley misfired. On third and 14, Perri threw a bomb down the left side to Broadus, which fell incomplete due to great coverage by DB Frank Joyce, but Joyce was called for interference, giving the Fords new life at the La Salle 39. A bubble screen on the left was batted down by a marauding Savage. Perri hit Whaley on a slant-in on the right side, and Whaley powered his way to the La Salle 20 for a first down. Perri overthrew TE Matt Carlino, but La Salle was again flagged for interference. On first and goal at the 9, Perri made a nice adjustment and located Broadus crossing in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Clark’s extra point brought the Fords back to 38-21, with 2:21 left in the third stanza.
  A short kickoff was returned by Justin Machita to the 30. Quiles pushed his way forward for 3 yards. With trips right, Daly flared a pass to the right to Sam Brown, but Brown was stopped for a two-yard loss. On third and 9, La Salle was called for procedure. Brown ran a jet sweep for 5 yards, and La Salle would have to punt, as the third quarter ended with the Explorers on top, 38-21. Gandolfo’s punt to the Ford 34 was caught by Jake Spencer, who started up the middle, swung to the right, and got the edge down the sideline for a 66-yard touchdown. Clark’s extra point brought the Fords to within 10, 38-28, with 11:42 left in the 4th period, and the partisan Homecoming crowd now concerned.
  Quiles took the kickoff from his own 2 to the 28, and the La Salle running engines would have to get back in gear. De Vose rumbled up the middle for 9. De Vose then ran with power off left tackle for a first down at the 44. There was no stopping the runaway truck as De Vose, seemingly running downhill, powered over left tackle for 8 yards to the Ford 48. Yet again, De Vose took the ball and veered left and down the sideline for a 21-yard gain to the 27. Quiles, giving De Vose a breather, skirted the left side to the 12, but La Salle was called for holding, setting them back to the Ford 36. Quiles took a jet sweep to the 31. Daly gained two yards on a keeper to the right. On third and 12, Quiles was bottled up for just 4 yards on a sweep around the left side. It was now fourth down, 8 to go, on the Ford 25, and a change in momentum could happen with a Ford stop. It was time for something special. Daly lined up in the pistol formation in an empty backfield, 3 receivers to the left and two to the right. Quiles came in motion from the right side, and took a handoff from Daly, who innocuously wandered to the right flat. Quiles pitched the ball on a reverse to Liam Tatlonghari, who came from the left flanker position. Tatlonghari shot-putted a pass to a wide-open Daly on the right side, and Daly skittered into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. Whether it was the Eagles’ Philly Special, or the Philly-Philly, or a newly-baptized Wyndmoor Special, La Salle’s first pass of the second half broke the backs of the Fords. Gandolfo’s kick made it 45-28, Explorers, with 7:26 left in the fourth period.
  Gandolfo pooched a kick that was returned for short yardage to the 25 by Jake Spencer. Perri’s first pass was intercepted by a blitzing Abdul Carter; “eaten” may be a better description, as the pass traveled only about 2 yards, and La Salle was back in business at the Ford 19. Carter was rewarded for his pick by lining up at tailback, and the Mustang took the handoff screeched to a halt at the 8-yard line. Carter then banged his way through the line and into the end zone for yet another Explorer touchdown. Gandolfo’s tired foot was off the mark for the extra point, but La Salle now led, 51-28, with 6:29 left in the fourth period.
  The Fords brought the kickoff out to the 22. Clark dropped back to pass, and fired a post pattern down the middle. The pass glanced off the receiver’s hands and into the welcoming hands of DB TJ Meachum at the Ford 40, and Meachum eagerly raced to the right and into the end zone for a touchdown. Gandolfo put it through this time, increasing the lead to 58-28, with 6:13 left in the game.
  The pooch kick was returned by Spencer from the 28 to the 44. Perri lofted a pass on a wheel route to the left by Hawkins, but Rob Tatum made a leaping interception before stepping out of bounds at the La Salle 43. Freshman QB Byron Hopkins took over the helm, and kept the ball up the middle for 5 yards. He then handed off to RB Tim Mehlmann up the middle for 6 yards and a first down to the Ford 46. Hopkins then bootlegged right, and showed great speed in getting down to the 30. RB Matthew Bowes then rumbled out of a deep set for 7 yards. A fumbled snap was recovered by the Fords’ Ben Murphy at the Ford 35.
  Perri overthrew Whaley down the right side. RB Mekhi Ajose-Williamson went off right tackle, and was stopped for a 2-yard gain on a shoestring tackle by DB Giacomo Ward. On third and 8, Perri threw an out to Whitaker on the right side for a first down to the 48. Perri hit Whitaker on a short crossing pattern to the La Salle 34. Ajose-Williamson burst through a hole and was tripped up after an 11-yard gain to the 23 by DB Marlow Freyre. Perri rolled left and overthrew WR Dylan Lepore in the end zone. Perri then overthrew Jordan Berry in the end zone, with good coverage by Ward. On third and 10, Perri, under a blitz by Ward, threw the ball away. Thomas Ward came in to attempt a 40-yard field goal, but the kick was off to the right.
  From the 20, Hopkins handed off to Bowes for a yard. Soph QB Gavin Daly came in for a few snaps, and handed off to Mehlmann for 2 yards. Gavin Daly then took a knee, the engines were turned off, and the La Salle rushing machine notched their first victory of the season, defeating the Haverford Fords, 58-28, on Homecoming at Springfield.
  NOTES: people will always remember the “Wyndmoor Special” from this game, but the play of the offensive line should really be remembered, as the La Salle fleet of vehicles gained over 500 yards on the ground, looking like Oklahoma or Texas or, at least, Archbishop Wood, back in their rushing prime years. This coming week is a bye week, an extra week to prepare some surprises for St. Joseph’s Prep on Friday, September 28 at 7:30 PM at Widener. Plenty of time to tune the engines up!!

SEPT. 8
NON-LEAGUE
Malvern 35, La Salle 23

The Friars won the toss, and elected to defer to the second half, the "in vogue" coin toss selection these days. Sebastian Costantini's kickoff made it into the end zone for a touchback, and La Salle would start at their own 20, with Wildcat quarterback Sean Daly, a senior, starting the game, because junior Jack Machita was nursing an injury. Daly's quarterback duties usually were handoffs and keepers, with nary a pass sailed into the air. That changed dramatically, as, on the first play from scrimmage, Daly arced a bomb down the right sideline that landed into WR Kahlil Diarrah's outstretched hands on a fly, and the 6'-6" receiver shook off some would-be tacklers and loped down the sideline and into the end zone for a shocking 80-yard touchdown. Jake Gandolfo's extra point made it 7-0, La Salle, just 16 seconds into the game.
  Gandolfo's kickoff was caught at the 5 by Malvern's Lonnie White, who returned it to the 26 before being tackled by Joey Cassizzi. Heralded junior QB Drew Gunther took the reins, and handed off to RB Nicholas Gueriera, who, after a hit by LB Tyson Goldstein, fumbled the ball after a 4-yard gain, but the Friars maintained possession. Gueriera ran again off left tackle and broke into the open down to La Salle's 47 before being tackled by DB TJ Meachum. Gunther's flare pass to WR Keith Maguire fell short on first down. Gueriera's attempt up the middle was stopped immediately by DE Paul Jennings for no gain. On third and 10, Gunther's slant to WR Ryan iacone was too far, and the Friars would punt. But the snap was bad, and the ensuing scramble for the ball gave the Explorers a first down at the Malvern 36, with a chance to extend their early lead.
  Daly's play action pass to WR Luke Hardy was behind him. Daly called his own number, broke a tackle up the middle, and gained 3 yards. On third and 7 at the Friar 33, Daly called Diarrah's number again, and threw deep, but the pass was overthrown. On fourth down, Daly scrambled to the right, and tossed a pass to Hardy, but the pass was slightly behind him, and Malvern would take over at their own 33, with 9:11 to go in the first period.
  Gunther now took charge. He found Iacone on a look-in for 8 yards with a stop by LB Dillon Trainer. On play action, Gunther hit Iacone on a slant to the La Salle 44 for a first down. Keith Maguire went off left tackle for three yards, with Jordan Headen and Dillon Trainer on the hit. A quick toss in the right flat to Iacone went for no gain, as SS Zaire McLaurin laid the wood. On third and 7, Gunther sailed a post-pattern pass to Ryan Maguire, who outran La Salle defenders to get down to the Explorer one-yard line. Keith Maguire tested the middle for no gain, but he then burst into the end zone on the next play for a one-yard touchdown. Costantini's extra point was good, tying the score at 7-7, with 6:43 left in the first period. Malvern was assessed a 15-yard penalty after the play, and would kick from their own 25-yard line.
  Costantini's kick was grabbed by Manny Quiles at the 17, and Quiles, playing in his first game of the season, went up the right side to the La Salle 38. Quiles charged up left tackle for 5 yards. Daly threw a quick out to Hardy for 3 yards. On third and 2, Daly rolled left and slightly overthrew FB Liam Tatlonghari, and the Explorers would be forced to punt. Gandolfo's punt spiraled to the Malvern 20, where D'Angelo Stocker returned it to the 30.
  Gueriera got just one yard up the middle, with Ryan Savage and Paul Jennings on the tackle. Gunther used play action to fire a slant to Iacone for a 13-yard gain and a first down. From his own 44, Gunther set up a quick bubble screen on the left side to WR TyGee Leach, and Leach bolted up the middle into the clear for a 56-yard touchdown. The snap for the extra point was fumbled, and holder John Boyle's run attempt was stopped for no gain by DB Rob Tatum. But the Friars now led, 13-7, with 3:32 left in the first period.
Quiles caught Costantini's kickoff at the 3, and skated out to the 25. Quiles then swept the left side for a 10-yard gain, but La Salle was flagged for holding. He gained 12 yards by sweeping the left side, and then went up the middle for 3 yards. On third and 5, Daly, seeing no one open, scrambled to the right for just 2 yards. Gandolfo's punt was downed on the Malvern 37, with 1:43 left in the first stanza.
  Malvern brought in Lonnie White as a Wildcat quarterback, and his keeper on the right side gained two yards, with Trainer and Meachum stopping him. With Gunther back in as quarterback, Gueriera took his handoff off right tackle for 4 yards before being stopped by DL Brian Grady. On third and four, Gunther's pass on the right side to Leach was overthrown. Luke Hardy returned the punt from the 17 to the 23.
  Quiles was stuffed for no gain on a sweep left, as the first quarter ended with Malvern on top, 13-7. Daly kept up the middle for three yards. On third and 7, Daly, again sensing that no one was open, scrambled for just 3 yards, and La Salle would be forced to punt. After a procedure call against the Blue and Gold, Gandolfo's punt was returned from the Friar 37 to midfield by White, as the tackle was made by Goldstein.
  On first down, Gunther was sacked on a blitz by freshman Abdul Carter, a heat-seeking missile of a linebacker. Gueriera gained 4 yards up right tackle, with stop by Tatum and McLaurin. On third and 12, Tatum broke up a pass from Gunther to Keith Maguire, and Malvern would punt. Hardy made a fair catch of the punt at his own 17, with 9:01 left to play in the half.
  Quiles, becoming the workhorse, bolted off right tackle for 10 yards and a first down at the 27. On play action Daly scrambled to the left for 9 yards. FB Liam Tatlonghari rumbled up the middle for three yards and a first down. Daly again scrambled on the right side for 1 yard, and then hit Tatlonghari with a flare pass off play action for 2 yards. On third and 7 at their own 42, Daly scrambled left and tossed a swing pass to Quiles, who was hit hard and couldn't hold onto the ball. Gandolfo's punt was fair-caught at the Malvern 10-yard line, with 5:53 left in the half, and Malvern clinging to a 6-point lead.
  Gueriera gained some yardage up the middle on first down, but Malvern was flagged for procedure. Keith Maguire gained 3 off left tackle, stopped by Goldstein and Meachum. Gunther's pass to Iacone was low. On third and 12 at his own 8, Gunther overthrew White on a bomb down the left side. The ensuing punt was shanked, and La Salle would have excellent field position at the Friar 26, and would take full advantage.
  Quiles went off left tackle and followed a good block by Hardy for 20 yards and a first and goal at the 6. Quiles then went into the end zone untouched from 6 yards out up right guard. Gandolfo's extra point gave La Salle the lead at 14-13, with 4:47 left in the half.
  The kickoff was caught by White on the 5, and returned to the 29. Then, a big break for La Salle: Gunther's slant pass to WR Tyler Tinson was bobbled, and intercepted by Meachum, and the Explorers were set up to extended their lead with the ball at the Friar 32. Quiles went up right guard for 2 yards. On play action, Daly's deep pass to Hardy was overthrown. On third and 8 at the Friar 30, Daly ran a draw, and gained 5 yards, but he fumbled when he was hit, and Malvern recovered the ball on their 25. This would prove to be the turning point of the game.
  Gunther hit White on an out pattern on the left side, and White skirted past defenders for a 23-yard gain to the Malvern 48. Gunther then found Iacone on a slant/bubble screen, and Iacone ran down the left sideline and into the end zone for a 52-yard touchdown. The Friars would go for two, and Gunther made it look easy by firing a slant pass to Keith Maguire, and Malvern regained the lead, 21-14, with 3:05 left in the half.
  Quiles returned the kickoff from the two to the 18. On an extraordinary play, Quiles seemed stopped after a 2-yard gain, but kept his feet, and the entire pile of linemen and Quiles moved forward for an additional 10 yards and a first down at the 30. Daly scrambled to the right and found RB Jalen De Vose for a first down at the La Salle 46. Daly bootlegged right for 2 yards. He then scrambled up the middle and then to the left, getting out of bounds at the Malvern 38. Daly rolled right and tossed a screen back to the left for Quiles, who gained just a yard, but got out of bounds, with 1:04 left in the half. Daly then threw one of his best balls of the game, a nice out to soph WR Justin Machita to the Friar 25 as Machita got out of bounds. Daly scrambled right, and tossed the ball out of bounds, but he was called for intentional grounding, as the pass apparently did not get as far as the line of scrimmage. With second and 20 at the 35, Daly hit Justin Machita for a 4-yard gain in the left flat, and La Salle called time out with 39 seconds left in the half. On third and 15, Daly swung a pass to Quiles for 6 yards, and La Salle allowed the clock to march down to 3 seconds before calling time out. Gandolfo came out to attempt a 42-yard field goal, with a slight breeze behind his back. He did not need the wind, as his booming kick was good, and would have been good from another 10 yards out. Malvern took a slim 21-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
  Jake Gandolfo's kickoff drove Lonnie White back to the 1, but White found a lane up the right side and got out to the 40 before being stopped by Tyson Goldstein. Nicholas Gueriera gained a yard off right tackle with hits by Dillon Trainer and Kenny O'Kane. O'Kane tackled Gueriera again on a 3-yard bolt up left tackle. On third and 6, Drew Gunther fired a low pass on a slant pattern while being rushed hard by Ryan Savage. The punt was muffed by Luke Hardy on the La Salle 25, and Malvern was in great position to extend their lead. But on play action, Gunther was sacked by an on-charging Savage for a 7-yard loss. Gunther connected with Ryan Iacone on an under-screen for 10 yards, with DB Frank Joyce making the tackle. On third and 7 at the La Salle 22, Gunther, on play action fired a slant to Iacone for a first down and goal on the La Salle 9. Gunther then hit the 6'-2" Keith Maguire on an alley-oop pass in the deep right corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown. Sebastian Costantini's extra point was good, and Malvern extended their lead to 28-17, with 8:52 left in the third period.
  The kickoff sailed out of bounds, and La Salle would start at their own 35. Freshman RB Abdul Carter entered the game, and gained 9 yards on a jet sweep to the right. Carter then plunged up the middle for a 3-yard gain and a first down. On a fake jet sweep, QB Sean Daly bootlegged down the left side and gained 12 yards, but La Salle was again flagged for holding. Carter ran a jet sweep to the right for 3 yards. Daly then went to his big target, WR Kahlil Diarrah, deep down the right side, but overthrew him. Daly then scrambled to the left, and arced a pass to Hardy, who caught the ball for a first down at the Malvern 25. Daly kept the ball up the middle for no gain, and then gained just one yard up the middle after a fake jet sweep. On third and 9 at the Friar 24, Daly's pass up the middle was intercepted by Keith Maguire, but Maguire fumbled during his return, and Jalen De Vose recovered for La Salle for a new first down at the Malvern 41. Carter gained 6 yards on a jet sweep to the left. Manny Quiles went up left tackle for 2. On third and 2 at the Malvern 33, Quiles was hit immediately for a 2-yard loss, as the Malvern line timed the snap well. On fourth and 4, Daly's deep pass to Hardy on the left side was intercepted by TyGee Leach, who returned the ball to the Malvern 16.
  Keith Maguire gained 5 up the middle, with tackles by Trainer and Brian Grady. Malvern was then called for a procedure penalty, as they fell victim to Gunther's double count. Keith Maguire ran up the middle, broke a few tackles, and gained out to the 28 for a first down before being stopped by Rob Tatum. Gunther then hit Tyler Tinson on the right side, and Tinson broke a tackle for a 6-yard gain, stopped by TJ Meachum. Keith Maguire tested the middle again, and Paul Jennings took him down for a 2-yard gain. On third and two at their own 37, Keith Maguire, with some power, pushed his way to the 44 for a first down, as the third quarter ended with Malvern on top, 28-17. Gunther's slant pass to Iacone was tipped and fell incomplete. Gunther tracked down a high snap, and scrambled, but Carter chased him down for a 2-yard loss. On third and 12 at his own 42, Gunther tried a bubble screen to White, but Savage made a good tackle for a 2-yard loss. Costantini's punt was returned by Daly from the 15 to the 28, and La Salle would need to get something going, trailing by 11 with 10:32 left in the fourth period.
  De Vose swept the left side for 2 yards. Daly threw too short to Diarrah on a bubble screen. On third and 8, Daly scrambled, and tossed down the right side to Hardy, who made the catch but was ruled out of bounds. However, Malvern was flagged for a roughing the passer penalty, and La Salle had new life with a first down on their own 45. Quiles showed great power up the middle for 10 yards and another first down. Daly then rolled out the first play of the game, arcing a bomb to Diarrah down the right side. Diarrah alley-ooped the catch, and got down to the Malvern 10-yard line for a first and goal. Daly faked a jet sweep and kept up the middle for 4 yards. Daly scrambled to the right and threw the ball away while under pressure. On third and goal on the 6, the momentum turned back to the Friars. Daly scrambled to the left, and tried to find Hardy on a short toss, but DB James Hayes stepped in and intercepted the ball, falling out of bounds at his own 7, with 7:45 left in the fourth stanza.
  Keith Maguire, now the Friar workhorse, gained 3 up the middle. Gueriera swept the right side and gained two before being tackled by O'Kane and Joyce. On third and 5 at their own 12, Gueriera gained a crucial first down with a 6-yard bolt up the middle, with stops by LB Brendan Frusco and O'Kane. Gueriera gained 12 more off left tackle before being hit down by Tatum and Meachum. Gunther missed White on an out pattern to the right. Gueriera went off left tackle and got out to his own 40 before an O'Kane tackle, and another first down. Frusco stopped Gueriera for no gain off left tackle. Gueriera picked up three off left tackle before being pulled down by Jordan Headen. On a third and seven draw, Gueriera gained three up the middle as Carter made the hit. La Salle called time out, with 3:33 left in the fourth period. Costantini's punt, skipped to the 12-yard line, but Daly couldn't field it cleanly, and DB Kellen Mathias recovered the ball for the Friars on the 10-yard line for a first and goal, sealing La Salle's fate.
  On play action, Gunther hit White on his favorite pattern, a slant, for a 10-yard touchdown. Costantini's PAT was good, and Malvern now had an insurmountable lead of 35-17, with 3:16 left in the game.
  Quiles returned the kickoff from the 1 to the 16. Daly flared a pass to Quiles, but Quiles was hit hard and the ball fell incomplete. Daly then threw a pass that was blocked, and he caught his own pass, but was tackled for a 7-yard loss. On third and 17, the Explorers were called for a procedure penalty, sending the ball back to their own 5. De Vose was stopped for no gain up the middle. Gandolfo's punt rolled dead on the 50-yard line, with 2:09 left.
  RB D'Angelo Stocker lost a hard up the middle, with tackles by Trainer and Savage, as John Boyle entered as quarterback for the Friars. A bad snap to Boyle was recovered by Savage on the Malvern 40, and La Salle would come out with freshman quarterback Byron Hopkins at the helm for the last two minutes.
On a fake jet sweep, Hopkins gained two yards up the middle. Soph RB Jalen Hanton then ran a jet sweep down the left side and went out of bounds on the Malvern 18 after a 20-yard gain. Hopkins rolled right and went out of bounds after gaining two yards, with 32 seconds left. Hopkins scrambled, but was hit for a loss of 9 yards, as the clock wound down. Hopkins, on the last play of the game, scrambled, set himself, and threw into the end zone, where soph TE Tim Barrett made a leaping catch for a touchdown from 25 yards out. The extra point was not attempted, and La Salle lost their third game of the year, 35-23, to the Friars of Malvern Prep.
  NOTES: High-school football features a lot of emotional ups and downs, and this game was a great example. La Salle had the misfortune of committing some key turnovers at times when they were regaining the momentum from the Friars, and the emotional swing was costly. There are some incredibly gifted underclassmen on the team, and some of them got to show their talents in this game. It was truly great to see two of La Salle's greats from the past, Pete Uzelac '74, an All-Catholic end, and Bernie Burke '53, an All-Catholic fullback and linebacker. Pete went on to play at Temple, and Bernie played at Dayton. The Explorers will take on the Fords of the Haverford School on Homecoming Day, Saturday, September 15, at 7 PM, at an old home, Springfield High School, with a brand new turf field. The Homecoming picnic will be held at 4 PM prior to the game. A subsequent email will provide more details on Homecoming Day, as well as the Hall of Athletics induction ceremony on Sunday, September 16 at 1:30 PM. Stay tuned.


AUGUST 31
NON-LEAGUE
North Penn 21, La Salle 13
 
On a rainy, raw night at Crawford Stadium, La Salle fell short of a fourth quarter comeback, as North Penn defeated the Blue and Gold, 21-13.  Here's how the game went down:
  North Penn won the toss, and deferred to the second half.  Ayoub Cherradi's kickoff sailed to the 17, where Luke Hardy bobbled the ball but returned it to the 25.  RB Jalen De Vose took the handoff up the middle and gained just one yard.  QB Jack Machita rolled to the right, and hit soph TE Tim Barrett for an 8-yard gain.  On third and one at the 34, FB Liam Tatlonghari got a hard-earned yard up the middle for a first down.  De Vose took a pitch left for three yards.  De Vose showed some power, bulling up left tackle for three yards.  On third and four, Machita found Hardy on a buttonhook to the North Penn 48 and a first down, and La Salle was marching.  De Vose then bounced outside to an open field and scooted 18 yards to the North Penn 30.  De Vose tried the middle, but was stopped for no gain, as a procedure call on La Salle was declined by Dick Beck, North Penn head coach.  Machita scrambled, but was stopped for no gain, and the Explorers were flagged for holding.  Then, they lined up offsides, resulting in a second and 28 on the North Penn 48.  Machita then swung a pass on the right side to De Vose, who had an open field in front of him, but the Knights' RJ MacNamara made a great shoestring tackle to prevent a long gain and kept the play to two yards.  Machita was sacked for a 5-yard loss as the coverage downfield didn't provide him with any options.  From the La Salle 47, Jake Gandolfo punted to the North Penn 17, with a return to the 23 and tackle by Chris Thompson.
  North Penn has always been renowned for their "ground and pound" offense, and on a rainy night and a grass field, they would certainly stick to their tradition.  Big back Julian White, at 215 lbs, took a handoff from QB Solomon Robinson and went off right tackle for 9 yards before being tackled by LB Tyson Goldstein and SS Zaire McLaurin.  The same play then gained 10 yards, with tackles by LB Brendan Frusco and DE Paul Jennings.  White gained just two yards up left tackle before being stopped by DL's Brian Grady and Sam Graham.  On a hard count, La Salle jumped offside to set up a second and three for North Penn.  RB Nate Brown was stuffed for just a one-yard gain by Graham.  On third and two at midfield, Robinson bootlegged on the right side, but was thrown for a three-yard loss by LB Dillon Trainer, whose name was called out all night long for his takedowns.  On fourth and five, RJ MacNamara hurried a punt on a big rush, and the ball went out of bounds on the La Salle 40, with 1:58 left in the first period.
  Machita rolled right and tossed to Tatlonghari, who gained a yard.  De Vose ran up the middle for 4 yards.  On third and five, Machita rolled right, and pulled his arm back to throw, but the wet ball slipped out.  What was first ruled as a fumble and a North Penn recovery was changed to an incomplete pass.  Jake Gandolfo's punt rolled dead on the North Penn 26, with 49 seconds left in the first period.
  And then North Penn struck.  MacNamara went up the middle, broke through some tackles, veered to the right side, and was knocked out of bounds by DB Frank Joyce, but not before he gained 45 yards to the La Salle 29.  RB Erik Laughlin gained three yards up left tackle before a Trainer stop, as the first quarter ended in a scoreless tie.  White again went up right tackle, this time for 8 yards and a first down before being stopped by Frusco.  White tried the middle, but was plugged up for a one-yard gain by DL Ryan Savage.  On a little counter, Brown gained just 2 yards before a tackle by Trainer.  On third and seven at the La Salle 15, Robinson tried his first pass, and threw low to end Jon Haynes.  On fourth down, Robinson fired a strike to Macnamara, who was tackled at the 2-yard line by DB Sean Daly.  On first and goal, White went over right tackle for a two-yard touchdown.  Cherradi's extra point made it 7-0, North Penn, with 9:39 left in the second period.
  The kickoff was fielded by Luke Hardy on the 10, but his knee touched down here.  De Vose got the Explorers away from their own end zone with a bolt over a big hole at left tackle for a 22-yard gain to the 32.  He powered up the middle for 7 yards out of a deep set, and then went up left guard for 3 yards and another first down, and La Salle was marching again.  But Machita was sacked for an 8-yard loss after rolling right and not finding anyone to throw to.  The Explorers took a time out.  Machita then swung a pass to De Vose, but the pass was overthrown.  On third and 18, Sean Daly came in as the Wildcat quarterback, and gained 8 yards up the middle.  Gandolfo's punt was received by Dante Moore at his own 17, and Moore evaded a few tacklers to get the ball to the 24, with 6:48 left in the second stanza.
  Robinson rolled right, and tossed an incomplete pass, but the Knights were flagged for holding, setting themselves back to the 9.  Trainer stuffed Brown up the middle for a gain of just a yard.  North Penn was then flagged for motion.  MacNamara went up left guard for three yards, hit by Frusco.  On third and 26 at their own 8, Robinson ran an option, and was stopped for no gain by Grady.  The punt got out to the North Penn 35, and Sean Daly returned it 3 yards to the 32, setting up La Salle in good shape, with 3:41 left in the half.
  Sean Daly faked a handoff on a jet sweep and went up the middle for two yards.  Daly then handed off to De Vose, who was hit immediately for a 4-yard loss.  On third and 12, Machita re-entered, and threw a wheel route to De Vose on the right side.  De Vose made a sensational diving catch for a first down at the Knight 21.  Wildcat Daly ran an option keeper up right guard for 5 yards, and then ran up left tackle for 5 more and a first down at the 11, and La Salle was marching yet again.  Daly gained 5 on a keeper on the left side, but La Salle was nailed for holding.  Machita hit De Vose on the right side for 4 yards, but La Salle had to burn a time out, with just 32 seconds remaining in the half.  Machita tossed a screen on the right side to Barrett, but the play was out of sync, and was stopped for a 2-yard loss, and Machita was forced to spike the ball, setting up a 4th and 18 at the North Penn 19, with just 6 seconds left in the half.  Gandolfo was asked to attempt a 36-yard field goal, and he split the uprights with a powerful boot, and La Salle was on the board, trailing 7-3 with a second left in the half.  Gandolfo's kickoff was fallen on by North Penn, bringing the half to an end.
  La Salle had moved the ball well in the first half, sustaining several drives, so scoring just a field goal was frustrating.  And they would have to kick off to North Penn to start the third quarter.
  Jake Gandolfo's kickoff sailed to the 8, where Dakari Luby ran out to the 20 before he slipped down.  Julian White tried that familiar right side, and gained just a yard, as Sam Graham made the hit.  White then tested the middle, and gained two with Brendan Frusco making the stop.  On third and 7, Solomon Robinson threw a bomb to Jon Haynes down the right side, and the pass was overthrown; good coverage was provided by Frank Joyce.  La Salle was putting on a good rush on the Knight punter, and this time, the punt was blocked, and the Explorers recovered on the Knight 17.
  Sean Daly started the second half as Wildcat quarterback, but was stopped for no gain on a sweep left.  Jack Machita came back in, and handed off to Jalen De Vose up the middle for 5 yards.  On third and 5 at the North Penn 12, Machita's pass to De Vose at the goal line was broken up.  Gandolfo came in and blasted a 29-yard field goal, and La Salle drew within a point, trailing 7-6, with 9:09 left in the third period.
  Gandolfo's skimmer was downed on the North Penn 22.  Robinson's bootleg up the middle gained 5 yards before being tackled by Joyce.  Nate Brown ran a draw and got out to the 33 for a first down.  RJ MacNamara was stopped for no gain up the middle, with hit by Ryan Savage.  Robinson then bootlegged off left tackle, and raced in a wide-open area for a 65-yard touchdown, but La Salle breathed a sigh of relief as North Penn was flagged for holding.  North Penn then breathed their sigh of relief.  Robinson's pass was intercepted by SS Zaire McLaurin.  McLaurin fumbled, but Brendan Frusco recovered at the North Penn 30, and La Salle was in business, but all was for naught, as the Explorers were penalized for roughing the passer, and North Penn had new life with a first down on their own 40.  The defense, despondent over the loss of the interception due to the penalty, then allowed Robinson to skirt the right side into a wide open field for a 60-yard touchdown, and no flags would bring the play back.  Cherradi's extra point was good, and North Penn had a 14-6 lead, with 6:58 left in the third period.
  The kickoff sailed out of bounds, and La Salle would start their next drive at their own 35.  Machita fired a pass to Luke Hardy down the deep right slot for a first down at the North Penn 39, and the Explorers were in business again.  Sean Daly, in for the Wildcat, chased after a bad snap, and lost 15 yards.  Machita then found 6'-6" receiver Kahlil Diarrah over the middle for 14 yards, as Diarrah ran strong and broke some tackles.  On third and 11 at the North Penn 40, Machita scrambled on the right side and dove for a first down at the Knight 30.  Sean Daly ran the jet sweep, but was thrown for a 2-yard loss.  Machita's pass to Diarrah on the left side was overthrown.  On third and 12 at the 32, Machita was sacked for a 10-yard loss, as again he couldn't find an open receiver.  Gandolfo's punt was downed inside the North Penn 1-yard line.  The Knights were 99 yards away from a score, with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.
  White ran his favorite play up right tackle for 9 yards.  Nate Brown gained two yards and a first down off left tackle, with stop by Dillon Trainer.  Robinson kept the ball off left tackle, and gained five before a TJ Meachum stop.  RJ MacNamara gained three up the middle to set up a third and two.  MacNamara just got a first down to the 22, with tackle by Ryan Savage, as the third quarter ended with North Penn holding a 14-6 lead.  White, on a delay, went off left tackle for a 6-yard gain before Meachum made the stop.  Erik Laughlin gained 5 yards and a first down, as the Knight "ground and pound" was taking control of the game.  La Salle would bring more people up in the box, and Solomon could only gain a hard on a bootleg, as Savage made the hit.  Then, the Knights struck:  Robinson aired out a bomb down the middle and hit Jon Haynes down to the La Salle 27, and the Knights now had the momentum.  MacNamara went off left tackle, breaking through some arm tackles, and gained 13 yards before Trainer made the stop.  With first and 10 at the La Salle 14, White broke some tackles up the middle and scored from 14 yards out.  The PAT by Cherradi was good, and North Penn held a commanding lead of 21-6, with 8:52 left in the fourth period.  The 99-yard drive would prove to be fatal to the Explorers.
  The kickoff was a popup to the 30, and Hardy returned it to the 41.  Machita's pass to Sean Daly on the right side was overthrown.  Machita then found his big target Diarrah on the left side for 7 yards.  On third and three at his own 48, Machita popped a pass across the middle to Hardy for a first down at the Knight 46, and a roughing the passer penalty took the ball down to the 31.  Machita scrambled up the middle for a yard.  Machita, sharper now, fired a post pattern to Hardy to set up a first and goal at the North Penn 9.  Machita used a post route again, this time to Diarrah for La Salle's first touchdown, this from 9 yards out.  Gandolfo's extra point was good, and the Explorers were just one score away at 21-13, with 7:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.
  Dante Moore received Gandolfo's kickoff, and was stopped in his tracks at the 19-yard line by Meachum.  La Salle's defense would have to stop the Knights here.  Robinson bootlegged right and gained 16 yards and a first down to set La Salle back.  Brown was stuffed up the middle for no gain.  Robinson scrambled for a 12-yard gain and a first down, but the Knights were flagged again for holding, and then a motion call set them back another 5 yards.  Robinson gained 5 yards up left guard, with Trainer providing the stop.  On third and 20 at his own 25, Robinson was stopped for no gain by Savage, and La Salle expended one of its time outs, with 4 minutes to play in the fourth period.  After a procedure call, North Penn's punt was received by Sean Daly on his own 40, and he returned the ball to the North Penn 44, but the Blue and Gold were assessed a block in the back penalty, and would start their series with a first down at their own 40, just 60 yards from a possible tying touchdown.
  Machita's short pass to Hardy was overthrown.  On play action Machita fired deep to Hardy over the middle, and Hardy made a fantastic lunging catch for a first down at the Knight 37.  De Vose tested the middle for 4 yards, and the clock continued to run.  Machita's deep pass down the right sideline to Diarrah was overthrown.  On third and 6 at the North Penn 33, with 2:36 left, Machita fired an out pattern on the right side to Diarrah for an 8-yard gain and a first down on the 25.  Machita tried Diarrah again, but the pass was broken up.  Machita rolled left and overthrew Sean Daly.  On third and 5 at the 20, a pass from Machita to De Vose was broken up, setting up a fourth down.  Machita rolled left, and threw to the middle, but the pass was intercepted on the 5-yard line by Erik Laughlin, who returned it to the 35, and North Penn took over with 2 minutes to play.
  MacNamara went up the middle for 5 yards, and La Salle burned their second time out.  White then went to his bread and butter off right tackle for 8 yards and a first down, and the Explorers used their last time out.  Brown gained a yard up the middle, but, with La Salle unable to stop the clock, Robinson took a knee twice to end the game.  North Penn used a couple of big plays to defeat La Salle, 21-13, and go 2-0 on the season, while La Salle drops to 0-2.
  NOTES:  Last time La Salle started off the season with two losses was in 2004, when Plymouth-Whitemarsh and George Washington beat the Explorers to start the season.  From the stands, this was a very frustrating game, as the La Salle offense moved the ball consistently, but could only punch it in once.  Meanwhile, the La Salle defense stifled the Knight offense, but a few big plays, much like the Imhotep game, doomed the Explorer defense for the second straight week.  Next week is at Malvern Prep, on Saturday at 1 PM.  Let's hope the Explorers get their first one in the win column against the pesky Friars.

AUGUST 24
NON-LEAGUE
Imhotep 34, La Salle 10

  The prognosticators who doomed La Salle to a convincing loss did get their way, if you trust the final score, but the game was a lot more an even matchup than the score implied. Let me tell you the story:
  Imhotep won the toss, and deferred to La Salle, hoping to stop the Explorers in their tracks on their opening drive. The kickoff was corralled by Sean Daly at the 15, and he made a solid return to the 37. QB Jack Machita handed off to RB Jalen De Vose after a fake jet sweep, gaining a yard. RB Liam Tatlonghari tested the middle, but got just a yard. On third and 8, Machita found his angular target WR Kahlil Diarrah over the middle on a drag pattern for a first down on the La Salle 47. De Vose, running hard, went up a big hole over left guard to the Imhotep 31, and La Salle was driving. Machita rolled right and fired over WR Sean Daly. The duo hooked up on the next play, as Daly made a good catch of a low throw on the left side for an 8-yard gain. On third and two at the 23, La Salle burned a time out to rethink the play call. Machita then fired a strike to WR Luke Hardy on the right side, after looking left to move the defense, and Hardy gained a first down on the 16 with a 7-yard snag. Machita missed connecting with De Vose on a swing pass to the left. Sean Daly, out of the Wildcat, faked a handoff and went up the middle for 4 yards. On third and 6 at the 12, De Vose showed his power by bolting up the middle for 5 yards and a fourth and one at the 7. De Vose gained two more up the middle on fourth down to set up a first and goal at the 5. Machita's arm was hit on the next play for an incompletion. De Vose slammed the middle for two yards. On third and goal at the 3, Machita, on play action, rolled right and swung a pass to Tatlonghari toward the right flag for a 3-yard touchdown. Jake Gandolfo's extra point was good, and the Explorers undid the Panthers' deferment plan to take a 7-0 lead with 6:29 left in the first period.
  Gandolfo's kick sailed and then bounced into the end zone for a touchback, as the Imhotep return men did not set up deep enough. The Panthers, rotating a passel of quarterbacks all night, started the game with North Penn transfer Steve DePaul at the helm. DePaul, who played against La Salle in last year's season opener, overthrew WR D'Shaun Seals after play action. Premier RB Tykee Smith swept the right side, but LB Dillon Trainer stopped him for no gain. On third and 10, DePaul found WR Yusuf Terry on a bubble screen for a 9-yard gain. On fourth and one at their own 29, the Panthers lined up to go for it, and got the Explorers to jump offside for a first down. DePaul swung a pass on the right side to WR Zymier Cobbs, who used his speed to get to the La Salle 44 before being stopped by DB Frank Joyce. Smith gained just two yards up the middle, stopped by LB Brendan Frusco. The Panthers were then hit with a delay of game penalty, and then an illegal procedure call. Smith gained 14 yards on a bolt around the left side before being stopped by DB Rob Tatum. On third and 4 at the La Salle 38, another delay of game was assessed to the Panthers. No problem, though, as DePaul fired a deep strike to a wide open Terry, who raced in from 43 yards for a touchdown. Imhotep was successful on the two-point try, but was flagged for holding, and the subsequent two-point effort was stopped. La Salle maintained the lead at 7-6, with 3:40 left in the first stanza.
  The Panther kickoff traveled to the 10, where Tatum got the ball out to the 33 to start the next La Salle drive. A jet sweep to the right by Daly gained two yards. Machita then threaded the needle between two defenders on a look-in to Hardy for 7 yards. On third and 1 at the 42, the Panthers jumped offsides on a double count for a La Salle first down. On a big rush, Machita was sacked for a 7-yard loss, and the Panthers' aggressive defense was awakening. Machita hit De Vose for a 7-yard gain in the left flat. On third and 10, Machita was sacked again, this time for a 9-yard loss. the first period ended with La Salle leading Imhotep, 7-6.
  Gandolfo's short punt was downed on the Imhotep 41. Smith tried the left side on a sweep, but sophomore SS Zaire McLaurin, visible on defense all night, stopped him for a 3-yard loss. DePaul tossed to Terry on a bubble screen right, and after a few missed tackles, McLaurin made the hit, but Terry had gained 11 yards. On third and two, the Panthers imploded for the first time with a fumbled snap, and DL Ryan Savage came up with the ball for the Explorers at the Imhotep 48, putting the Blue and Gold in great field position.
On play action, Machita hit Tatlonghari in the left flat, and the big back broke some tackles to gain a first down on the Panther 38. Machita swung a pass out to De Vose, but Tykee Smith blew the play up for a two-yard loss. De Vose was hit immediately after taking the handoff by Nasier Dean for another two-yard loss. On third and 14, the Panther blitz sacked Machita for a 6-yard loss. Gandolfo's punt was fair-caught at the Imhotep 17, with 7:41 left in the half.
  RB Khadarius Sampson swept the left side, but Frusco stopped him cold for no gain. DePaul scrambled left and gained a yard, with tackle again by Frusco. On third and 9, DePaul fired to Smith for a first down at the 29, as TJ Meachum made the tackle. DePaul, in charge, scrambled up the middle for 9 yards. DePaul then found WR Kenyatta Kirkland up the middle for a first down at the Panther 48 before being stopped by McLaurin. La Salle took a time out to slow the Panther surge and get their defense set. Amazingly, the subsequent snap from center was fumbled, and Frusco recovered to stop the Panther drive, and give the Explorers the ball back on the Imhotep 47.
  Sean Daly came in as the Wildcat quarterback, and was stopped for no gain after a fake handoff. RB Brad Vespe gained six yards around the right side on a jet sweep. Daly then kept the ball after a fake jet sweep, and raced around the right side for a first down at the Imhotep 33. De Vose ran a jet sweep on the left side for 4 yards. Now the Panther defense called a time out to slow down the Explorer drive, with 3:33 left in the half. Machita re-entered the game, and hit Hardy for a two-yard gain. On third and 4 at the 27, Machita's deep pass to Diarrah on the left side was overthrown. On fourth down, Machita was flushed out of the pocket, scrambled, but tossed the ball out of bounds, and the Panthers would take over.
DePaul was back throwing again, and hit Kirkland for a 7-yard gain on the left side, with tackle by Jordan Headen. Damir Green gained 11 up the middle for a first down. DePaul was sacked by Paul Jennings and Isaiah Turner for a 5-yard loss. Smith ran the Wildcat and gained 7 yards before being stopped by Joyce, as the Panthers burned another time out. On third and 5 at midfield, Terry, out of the Wildcat, was nailed by Trainer for a one-yard loss, and Imhotep burned their last time out with 53 seconds left in the half. On fourth and six on their own 49, DePaul hit Sampson over the middle, but Frusco and Trainer stopped him just one yard short of the first down, and the Explorers would take over at their own 46.
Machita hit Hardy on the fight side for 7 yards, but the Explorers had to burn their last time out, with 33 seconds left in the half. Machita then fired too high for McLaurin, who almost snagged the ball with one hand. On third and 3, McLaurin ran the jet sweep, and was stopped for no gain, but Imhotep was flagged for a late hit, and La Salle had a first down on the Panther 32, with 25 seconds left. Machita was sacked when he couldn't find anyone open for a 4-yard loss, and he then spiked the ball to stop the clock, and incredibly, the Panthers were called for another roughness penalty, moving the ball to the 21-yard line, with 3 seconds to go in the half. Coach Steinmetz sent out Gandolfo to try a 38-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide left, and La Salle headed to the locker room clutching the slimmest of leads, 7-6.
  The Panthers had been self-imploding in the first half, and one wondered if they would explode out of their doldrums when the second half started. Well, I guess that's what sort of happened.
  Jake Gandolfo's kickoff traveled to the 13, and D'Shaun Seals returned it to the 25, with another good tackle by Zaire McLaurin. New QB Jalen Sutton-Christian entered the game, and gained 3 yards on a scramble around the left side. The Panthers were flagged for a motion penalty with two men moving at one time, OK only in Canada and the Philadelphia Soul. Sy'mear Williams took a handoff, went up the middle, veered to the left, and gained 23 yards before being stopped by Frank Joyce, but a personal foul against the Explorers moved the ball to their 39. On play action, Steve DePaul, back in at QB, hit Sy'mear Williams for a 21-yard gain to the La Salle 18, with Joyce again on the tackle. On the Wildcat, Tykee Smith swept the right side, and scored from 18 yards out. The two-point effort by Williams up the middle was good, and Imhotep led for the first time, 14-7, with 10:55 left in the third period.
  The kickoff was picked up on the ground by Brad Vespe at the 4, and Vespe scooted to the 41 before he was stopped. Again, La Salle started out a drive with good field position. But the Explorers were flagged for a delay of game penalty before getting off a play. No problem, as Jalen De Vose swept the left side with good seal blocking for 17 yards and a first down at the Imhotep 48. De Vose lost a yard when tripped up the middle. Vespe gained two up the middle. On third and 9 at the Imhotep 47, a fumbled snap caused Vespe to fall on the ball for a 15-yard loss, and Gandolfo's punt was downed at the Panther 24, with 8:20 left in the third, and momentum now on Imhotep's side.
  DePaul had to scramble on first down, and was sacked for a 6-yard loss by McLaurin, all over the field tonight. DePaul tossed a screen to Smith, who was bounced out of bounds after a three-yard gain by DL Ryan Savage. On third and 13 at his own 21, DePaul was forced to scramble, and threw deep, but the pass was overthrown. The Panther punt sailed to La Salle's 45, and Sean Daly raced left to the Imhotep 40, with 7:07 left in the third period.
  Vespe took a pitch right, and was hit immediately for a 6-yard loss. Imhotep then gave five yards back by jumping offsides. Machita then fired a strike to WR Kahlil Diarrah for 12 yards and a first down. Machita tossed to Luke Hardy, but the ball was dropped. Jalen De Vose ran up the middle for a yard. With third and 9 on the Panther 28, a low snap caused Machita to misfire to Diarrah. On fourth down, Machita and Hardy could not connect, and Imhotep took over on downs, with 5:13 left in the third period.
  Khadarius Sampson was hit immediately after a handoff for a two-yard loss, the hit administered by Isaiah Turner and Ryan Savage. DePaul tossed a screen to Karam Cummings, but Rob Tatum smelled it out and stopped the play for a 5-yard loss. On third and 17, DePaul's long pass to D'Shaun Seals was overthrown. The Panther punt rolled dead at the La Salle 35, with 3:59 left in the third period.
  De Vose powered his way up the middle for 7 yards. Vespe snaked his way forward for four yards and a first won. Vespe then gained 1 and 5 yards up the middle on the next 2 plays. On third and 4 at the Imhotep 48, Machita, on play action, threw left to Liam Tatlonghari for a first down on the Panther 38. Vespe gained two up the middle. Machita hit Hardy on a quick out pattern on the left for 7 yards. On third and one at the Panther 29, in an I-formation, Tatlonghari gained three yards up the middle for a first down. Machita rolled right and found Sean Daly for 8 yards, as the third period ended, with Imhotep on top, 14-7.
  The break seemed to help the Panther defense, as called time outs earlier seemed to benefit the defensive sides of the ball. Machita rolled right and swung a pass to Vespe for 5 yards and a first down to the 13. Machita's deep corner pass to Hardy was ruled incomplete, as Hardy came down with the ball out of bounds. Machita rolled left and fired to Daly, but the ball was dropped. On third and 10, Machita fired low to Vespe. Gandolfo came on to try a 30-yard field goal, and the kick was good, and Imhotep's lead was sliced to 14-10, with 10:07 left in the fourth, and La Salle still definitely in this game at this point.
  Yusuf Terry took Gandolfo's kick from the 3 to the 27. Then lightning struck. Smith swept the right side, and got down the sidelines. With his great speed, he bolted into the end zone from 73 yards out to put a stake through the Explorer's heart. The two-point play, a pass from Jalen Sutton-Christian to Yusuf Terry, was good, and Imhotep now took a 22-10 lead over the Explorers, with 9:38 left in the fourth period.
  Sean Daly raced the kickoff out from the 12 to the 38. Tatlonghari got a yard off left tackle. Machita tossed to Tatlonghari on the right side for 6 yards. On third and 3, a pass from Machita to Daly was dropped. On fourth down, Machita's pass to Diarrah on the left side was short, and the Panthers would take over on downs.
  DePaul fired to Seals for a first down on the La Salle 27. DePaul scrambled for two yards, with Trainer making the tackle. Smith tested the right side, and gained 10 yards with a couple of missed tackles. Seals swept the left side for 8 yards, stopped by McLaurin. Jalen Sutton-Christian, back in at quarterback, scrambled right, then headed back up the middle for a 7-yard touchdown. The two-point attempt was not good, but the Panthers now had a commanding lead at 28-10, with 6:04 left in the fourth period.
  Vespe returned the kickoff from the 14 to the 33. Machita was sacked by Zymier Cobbs for a 9-yard loss. Vespe gained 3 up the middle. Machita and Hardy couldn't connect over the middle, and La Salle would have to punt. The punt was shanked, but an Imhotep player tried to scoop up the ball on the run, fumbled, and La Salle recovered on their own 33. Again, Machita and Hardy couldn't connect. Machita scrambled right, but was forced to throw out of bounds. On third and 10, a pass from Machita to Vespe was low. On fourth down, Machita tried to find De Vose on a wheel route down the right side. The pass was overthrown, but the Panthers were flagged for interference. Machita hit Daly for a 2-yard gain, and then scrambled right for 6 yards. On third and two at the Imhotep 44, De Vose blasted up the middle for a first down on a 3-yard gain. Machita hit Tatlonghari over the middle for 3 yards. Machita and Hardy didn't connect over the middle. On third and 7, Machita's screen pass to Vespe was complete, but Vespe was dropped immediately for no gain. On fourth down, Machita hit Hardy for an apparent first down over the middle, but both teams were flagged for holding. A deep pass from Machita to Vespe was overthrown, and Imhotep took over on downs, with 2:18 left in the fourth period
  The Panthers would not take their foot off the pedal, and came out firing for another score. DePaul's pass to Karam Cummings on the left side was overthrown. Nasier Dean ran up the middle for 5 yards, as Brendan Frusco made the tackle. Sutton-Christian was back in at QB, and he found Cummings on the left side deep for a first down at the La Salle 12. Damir Green gained 5 up the middle. He then ran to the right, cut back up the middle, and scored from 7 yards. The PAT kick was missed, and the Panthers increased their lead to 34-10, with 21 seconds left.
  Grant Hughes took the kickoff back for a short return to the La Salle 40. Freshman Byron Hopkins came in for a cameo appearance at quarterback, and ran a bootleg for a 10-yard gain, as the game ended, with Imhotep defeating La Salle, 34-10.
  NOTES: La Salle easily had the time of possession advantage, and moved the ball well, but couldn't get the ball into the end zone. The defense played tough for most of the game, but certain long plays doomed the Explorer efforts at pulling this game out. Overall, the coaches should be happy at seeing a lot of good things in this game, with a lot of new faces making a good impression. Things will get better for this team as they continue to play together. There's a lot of talent on this team, and they should feel confident going to play against North Penn next week, as the final score of this game doesn't really tell the story.