LaSalle Downs St Joseph Prep Again
WHITEMARSH PA: Heading into Saturday afternoons Philadelphia Catholic League AAAA Semi Final match-up between the LaSalle Explorers and the St Joseph Prep Hawks Explorers Quarterback Drew Loughery was looking to do something that not many QB can say they did and that’s defeated the Hawks for the second time in a season. What would make this defeat even special is that the Explorers are the archrival of the Hawks and Loughery would have done it in his first two starts against the Hawks. Well it took a 374 yard passing effort and pair of late turnovers for the 2nd seed Explorers to defeat the 3rd seed Hawks 31-28 in heavyweight fight that took part in front of a pack house at Colonial Stadium. “Its something I’m very proud of I been around this program for a long time I had family play here a lot of LaSalle teams lost to these guys its something I’m very proud of.” Is what Loughery would say when asked about defeating the Hawks for the second straight time.
Loughery would start out hot on the first has he would complete his four passes for 78 yards including hitting Jr. Jamal Abdur-Rahman from 37 yards out. Mike Bennett would add the extra point giving the Explorers the 7-0 lead. Loughery would continue to be hot has he completed 6 of first 7 passes for 106 yards.
The Explorers would add to their early lead when Loughery hit Sam Feleccia from 37 yards out. Bennett would add the extra point giving the Explorers the 14-0 lead.
The Hawks would respond behind the arm of Temple recruit Mark Giubilato who would throw a beautiful ball that fell in the hands of Anthony Johnson for a 74 yard touchdown. The extra point was good cutting the lead down to 14-7.
The Explorers would add to their right before half time when they drive deep in the Hawks territory before stalling forcing a Bennett field goal from 37 yards out to give the Explorers the 17-7 lead.
After forcing the Hawks to a three and out the Explorers would need only one play to add to their lead when Loughery would hit Abdur-Rahman for a 70 yard touchdown. Bennett would add the extra point giving the Explorers the 24-7 lead.
The Hawks would respond like any tough team playing their arch rival. On the ensuing drive the Hawks would drive 78 yards on 7 plays on the legs of Mike Yeager who account for 68 of the yards including the plunge from a yard out. The extra point was good giving cutting the lead down to 24-14.
The Hawks would proceed to make things a little more tighter has they drove 44 yards on 6 plays with the big play being a 16 run by Giubilato. It would be Garrett Compton who would end the drive with his 1 yard plunge the extra point was good cutting the Explorer lead down to just 3 at 24-21.
Early on in the final frame it looked has if the Hawks would take the lead as the Hawks had the ball at their own 49 yard but Giubilato would be intercepted by Kevin Farrington. The Explorers wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the turnover. “ There’s nothing like game changing plays, It was all because of Steve Sinnot got a tip on the ball” is what Farrington said about the interception.” Explorer Drew Gordon called the interception a “big turning point”
The Explorers would add to their one play after a fumble Compton. On the first Loughery hit Mike Donohoe from 10 yards out. Bennett would add the extra point giving the Explorers the 31-21 lead. When asked if he saw any of offensive coordinator and former Explorer signal calling in Loughery Gordon responded “His arms strength is about the same he’s very accurate and I think that was Brett’s greatest asset was and very smart playing QB and Drew is getting smarter.”
However, the Hawks would not die as they drove 82 yards on plays including a 31 yard pass from Giubilato to Compton followed by 46 yard completion to Johnson. Two plays over Giubilato would take it in from 5 yards out along with the extra point cut the lead down to 31-28. Giubilato would finish with the game with 164 yards through the air.
Up next for the Explorers is the Crusaders of Father Judge who are coming off a 30-14 victory over Cardinal O’Hara. The Crusaders defeated the Explorers 28-14 in the regular season.
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