Looking at the Explorers
As expected, the Explorers dazzled in their 24-12 win over the Knights. La Salle used all of their weapons offensively to come together with a solid team win. Winston Eubanks finished with two touchdowns. The first came at the end of the first half with a 51-yard bomb thrown by Ferguson while the second came after North Penn cut the Explorer lead to 5, when he returned the ensuing kickoff for a 90-yard score. Eubanks will be a key target this week as La Salle is faced against a very solid Pennsbury defense with a great secondary. Look for a lot of ground action into the hands of newcomer Syaire Madden. Madden ran in a 24 -yard touchdown against the Knights and put on a show that we can all hope for more of throughout the year. He also will be a potent threat along with Sr. Nick Rinella and Sr. Charles Headen. At the quarterback position, Chris Ferguson remained quiet Friday knight completing five of seven passes for 136 yards. Come Friday night, the Explorer's need to come out full of energy if they want to stop the Pennsbury team in their tracks. They will need another all around team effort both on the ground and in the air to keep the ball rolling.
On the defensive side of the ball, La Salle also looked pretty experienced. They held the Knights to only 12 points on two touchdowns. This week although will be a totally different story. The Pennsbury defense will be nothing like North Penn. They will run the ball 99% of the time and they will run it well. They are returning a nice sized running back and fullback, both of whom are can get behind the Explorer defense if they aren't careful. La Salle will also need to rely on a strong secondary performance. Even though Pennsbury will try to run the ball all night long, they occasionally will have some targets down field to move the chains.
Looking at the Falcons
Winning 13 games, the District One Championship, and another division title is always pretty good. That's what the Falcons came off of last season. They had a stellar 13-2 season but fell to St. Joe's Prep in the state playoffs (St. Joe's went on to win the state championship). In 2015, they look to do the exact same thing once again and nobody is stopping them.
On offense, they are losing Pennsylvania Running Back of the Year and Rutgers red-shirt freshman, Charles Snorweah. Snorweah was arguably the greatest weapon for the Falcons last year. To replace him, they are returning another dynamite ground unit. The run game consists of Sr. Daulton Hose, Jr. Zeek Kershaw, Sr. Chris Rupprecht and senior fullback Rob Daly. All four of these men are going to control the pace of the game and depending on how they run the ball will determine how the night will go for Pennsbury. But lets not forget, Sr. Quarterback Mike Alley. The 6-4 220lb senior can have his way in the air and on the ground. He will have tight end Vinnie Ratamess and wide out Quentin Davis to reach in the air. In all, if the Explorers look to succeed on defense, they will need to shut down the ground game early and establish themselves as solid and well protected on the Falcon's down field.
On the other side of the ball, Pennsbury returns six starters on defense. At the line Pennsbury has seniors Joe Mauer and Jeremiah Wells. Both Mauer and Wells will likely have a tough night against the Explorer line. In the secondary are Daly and the Gren Lichtenstein. Lichenstein really stood out in the District One championship win over Coatesville last November. La Salle will need to once again use all of there artillery to get around a very solid defense.
After seeing La Salle establish themselves against North Penn, I pick them topping the Falcons Friday night. The defense will need to shut down the run game very early and the offense will need to spread the field from Madden to Eubanks to Headen. Pennsbury will be looking to come in and roll right over La Salle riding the momentum of last season. They should not under estimate any part of this Explorer team as before you know it La Salle will be in the end zone. All in all, this game will be a very high energy, fast paced, and physical game. Their will be a lot of buzz on the field and I am expecting it to be fun to watch. I have it La Salle over Pennsbury 31 - 19.
Be sure to come out to Plymouth Whitemarsh high school Friday night at 7:30! If you can't catch the game, tune into Bob Long Sports for an audio broadcast starting at 7:30! You can also follow @LaSalle_Sports on twitter for game updates and continue to follow the site for game previews and post games!
- Christopher Sanders
Follow Chris on Twitter @sandman285
Follow Whiz Whit on Twitter @whizwhitsports