The scoring for the Explorers started quickly. They received the opening kick off and five plays later a 41 yard pass and run from senior Kyle Shurmur to senior Jordan Meachum put them on the board 6-0 after the missed PA. North Penn quickly struck back four plays later with a 56 yard touchdown run from Nick Isabella putting them up 7-6. After this series of events you may have thought you were in for a tight contested game back and forth. You would have thought wrong as that was the last big offensive play North Penn made all night. With less than two minutes left in the second quarter, Kyle Shurmur lofted a pass up to senior receiver Jimmy Herron and a fantastic leaping catch in the endzone put the Explorers up 13-7 going into the half. Something must have clicked on the final play as the Explorers offense continued to pound the North Penn defense in their own side of the field. Though the offense was strong in the third quarter, the only source of scoring was a 20 yard field goal by junior kicker Matt Savage which put the Explorers up 16-7 mid way through the third. The fourth quarter brought more excitement early. Less than two minutes into the final quarter a 28 yard pass from Shurmur to senior tight end Charlie Hemcher put the Explorers on the board again, increasing their lead to 22-7. North Penn's offense continued to struggle giving the Explorers ample time with the ball to make the plays they need. And they continued to make the plays they needed. With 7:25 left in the final quarter, a short 17 yard pass from Shurmur to junior Nick Rinella put the final touchdown on the board for the Explorers further increasing their lead to 29-7. That was all the offense needed and they ended the night with their fifth straight opening win against North Penn.
While the spotlight usually goes to the offense, the Explorer defense was absolutely stellar. The 56 yard touchdown run would prove to be the only highlight the North Penn offense would have to discuss. After that play the defense, led by seniors Ryan Brady, Jimmy Herron, and Keith Wagner, would go on to allow only 107 rushing yards and 12 passing yards throughout the game. Yes you read that right, 12 PASSING yards. The North Penn offense struggled to keep the Explorer defense in check. The North Penn line allowed three sacks, a fumble, and gave up two interceptions made possible by Jimmy Herron and Jordan Meachum. Any questions you might have had about the Explorer defense were tossed away quickly after this game against North Penn. They shut down North Penn star Nyfease West who only had 73 yards on 22 carries. A huge hit from junior Anthony Piscopo late in the fourth quarter set the tone for the final minutes and anything prior to that. They proved to be a dominant force and North Penn really had no answer to it.
While the defense proved to be as strong as ever, we can't skip out on the offense which was clearly led by senior QB Kyle Shurmur. At the end of the night he was 23-36 on passing with 334 yards and 4 touchdowns. Four touchdowns to four different receivers. Shurmur spotted Jimmy Herron, Charlie Hemcher, Nick Rinella, and Jordan Meachum all with touchdowns. The doubt going into this game was the offensive line, but they proved to be just fine for Shurmur. They rarely let in defensive pressure and only let up one sack all game giving Shurmur plenty of time to spot his receivers down field. Senior running back Jordan Meachum ran for 86 yards on 13 carries and caught for another 86 and a touchdown. The leading receiver was Jimmy Herron who caught 8 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. The Explorer offense will be scary thing if they continue to improve past their first game of the season.
The Explorers will next take on a tough opponent in New Jersey's Bergen Catholic Saturday, September 6th. Look for a game preview later in the week for that game as La Salle hopes to improve to 2-0 on the season.
- Carter Fillman
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