Hoffman’s Hard Work Pays Off For LaSalle
Written by: Willie McGonigle on Sunday, November 15th, 2009. Follow Willie McGonigle on Twitter.
WHITEMARSH: While some people spent the whole summer laying out on the beach doing absolutely nothing LaSalle Senior Wide Receiver Connor Hoffman was working hard to prepare for the up coming season. Hoffman’s work out included meeting with Quarterback Drew Loughery, fellow receiver Sam Feleccia, Tight End Steve Jones, and Running Back Jamal Abdur-Rahman at Sparks Field in Upper Dublin three times a week for an hour and half each day to work on throwing. Hoffman’s work didn’t just stop there he also attended the very prestigious Football University camp that was held at Widener University. It was there that Hoffman improved his skills. “ Football University helped me with the little things such as blocking” is what Hoffman would say about his experience at FBU. On Saturday night in front of packed house at Plymouth Whitemarsh High Hoffman put his skills on display as his Explorers rolled to 31-21 victory over Cardinal O’Hara for second time in two weeks this time in Semifinals of the Philadelphia Catholic League AAAA Division.
Last week the Explorers jump fast right out of the gate and steamrolled to a 21-0 lead over the Lions at the end of the first quarter this time the Lions defense held the high power Explorer attack off the scoreboard for the first 12 minutes of the game. On the first play of the second quarter the Explorers would strike when Loughery and Hoffman showed what throwing all summer long can do for chemistry has they connected for a 19 yard strike giving the Explorers the 7-0 lead.
The Lions would respond on their ensuing drive driving 72 yards on seven plays including a 25-yard scamper by QB Ryan Laughlin, but it would be the Lions powerful fullback Dan O’Hara who capped the drive by powering his way through the Explorers defense from 14 yards out
The Explorers would respond on their ensuing drive that went for 65 yards on ten plays before Loughery would make the most of busted play and use his legs to take in from an yard out to make 14-7 Explorers with 3:33 to go in the opening half.
The Lions would strike back with 59 seconds left in the first half when Laughlin would connect with Corey Brown for the 28 yard touchdown that capped a eight play 79 yard drive that included a 28 yard gallop by Adam Dempsey and an 21 yard bruising run by O’Hara. Brown’s touchdown appeared to give the momentum heading to half.
Any momentum that the Lions had entering second half quickly went away as on the opening series the Lions went three and out. On their opening, drive of the second half the Explorers went down the field fifty yards on four plays when Abdur-Rahman capped the drive with his two-yard plunge to make 21-14 Explorers.
After the Explorers defense forced the Lions to another three and out for the second time in a row the Explorers padded their lead when Loughery connected with Hoffman in mid strive on a slant pattern that went for 74 yards to cap a four play 78 yard drive to give the Explorers the 28-14 lead. Hoffman would finish the game with five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lions would respond behind the legs of O’Hara who would bulldoze his way through the Explorers defense from a yard out to make it 28-21 Explorers. The next two Lions drive would end the same that’s with interceptions by Vince Milgliaresse including one that led to the final nail being put in the Lions coffin in the form of a 31 yard field goal by Mike Bennett to make it 31-21.
With the win, the Explorers advance to the championship game for the second year in a row and the third time in Head Coach Drew Gordon’s tenure. The Explorers will face a familiar foe in the Championship in the form of Arch rival St Joseph Prep Hawks. “The rivalry is tense it’s the championship game so everyone going to pick up their game.” Is what Loughery would say about-facing the Hawks. Kickoff is set for Friday night 7 pm at Northeast High’s Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium.
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