Buckley’s 4 TDs Pace LaSalle Over North Penn in Thriller

Written by: on Sunday, September 4th, 2011. Follow Armand Vanore on Twitter.


Plymouth Whitemarsh, Pa. A quarterback benching, three interceptions by one quarterback, three lost fumbles by another quarterback, over 200 rushing yards for a running back and four touchdown receptions by a receiver all contributed to the LaSalle Explorers wild 44-27 showcase game victory over the North Penn Knights at Plymouth Whitemarsh stadium in what may eventually point to a potential rematch of their AAAA eastern championship from a year ago.

What makes players stand out has been the ability to forget about the past mistakes and begin to make plays. LaSalle Quarterback Matt Magarity found himself in that situation and he looked for an old buddy in Senior Colin Buckley to help him turn around his game.

After a scoreless first quarter,  Magarity threw the first of his three interceptions giving the ball to the Knights on LaSalle’s 35. Six plays later North Penn’s Ralph Reeves blasted in from the two for a 7-0 lead. LaSalle came right back on their next drive with Magarity connecting with Junior Sean Coleman for gains of 20 and 24 and a Tim Wade 18 yard TD run and a 7-7 tie. North Penn countered immediately with Junior Kyle Mayfield’s 71 yard TD run down the right sideline and later in the quarter with a 16 yard TD pass from Corey Ernst to Don Gevirtz and a 21-10 lead going into the half.

Magarity started the second half on the bench after his second interception. Gordon inserted him back into the lineup after replacing him with Junior Chris Kane for a couple of series. At that point in the game the Explorers needed someone to step up and make a play. Enter Magarity’s childhood friend, Buckley. Getting his second chance, Magarity, found the 6-foot-3 receiver on a nine yard fade pattern for a touchdown. The team pulled to within 21-16. The Knights responded immediately with another long run by Mayfield (75 yards) putting the ball on the five before James Fielder punched it in for a touchdown and a nine point Knight lead. However on LaSalle’s next possession Magarity sold the run with a beautiful play fake and lofted a pass over the outstretched arms of a Knights defender right into Buckley’s hands and a 64 yard TD to bring them to within 27-23.

After a 40 yard punt return by Explorer Casey Eidenshink putting the ball on the Knights 10, LaSalle took their first lead when Magarity rolled the dice on third down from the one with another beautiful play fake and hit Buckley on a hitch pattern in the end zone and an Explorer 30-27 lead.

As one quarterback started to hit his mark, the other began to struggle. Ernst then lost a fumble at their 31 and Magarity went right back to work with his favorite target ending with another nine yard TD to Buckley. Another late touchdown by Tim Wade put the game out of reach for the Knights.

Besides Buckley’s four TD’s Magarity threw for 227 yards. The Knights Mayfield (only a Junior) ran for 206 yards and a touchdown. Reeves played a monster game with a touchdown, an interception and a load of tackles at MLB. Sean Burke was in on a host of tackles for LaSalle. The LaSalle Offensive line of Dan Wasylenko, Connor Kerrigan, Tyler Kern and Patrick Hoffman provided great protection for Magarity in the second half.

Originally North Penn was supposed to have wrapped up a two year, start of season series with western Pa. power Gateway high school. When that didn’t happen these two schools decided to make this showcase series to shape. In addition to their wild eastern AAAA final last year (38-35 LaSalle), this has now become a major league rivalry.

North Penn (SOL Continental Conference) looks to be as formidable as they have been for the last 10 years. No doubt they will contend for the D1 district title. LaSalle will be in the mix of a very competitive PCL schedule.


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22 Responses to “Buckley’s 4 TDs Pace LaSalle Over North Penn in Thriller”

  1. Billy From South Philly says:

    All in all, the takeaways were critical, but by that reasoning ,then LaSalle should have beaten N Allegheny IF you take away the turnovers.

    Didn’t happen and the PIAA Class4 Trophy lives in the west.

    NP also looked winded and out of gas in the second half, just like they did in the first game last year.

    Beck was out coached again. Why didn’t he keep running the ball and milking clock? LaSalle has proven they can put points on the board in a short time with their passing attack?

    Kudos to Lozier, Kerrigan, Kern and Spliteri. They seem to be a Perfect compliment to the Geiger, Naji, Marino & Maginnis D Line from last year.

    As far as NP having a tougher schedule than LaSalle in league..Who are you kidding? Its a weak league and NP will cruise with little challenge.

    NP/LS meeting again in the playoffs will be a test to see if Beck can improve his team again like they did last year. Otherwise LaSalle 29 -NP 21

  2. Deo says:

    Red…I have the same sentiments as Buddy…”whatever you say”…but please say no more!

  3. Buddy says:

    Good point Ed. Although if that wasn’t LaSalle’s best, I hate to see it. That probably wasn’t NP best, I certainly hope not. I can’t remember them having 5 fumbles in a game in the past 10 years. Anyway, the only way they can meet again is the Eastern Final. Maybe a little easier for the explorers then NP. District one’s playoff scenerio is brutal. LaSalle’s road to final even has a bye built in. Not as hard. However, I hope they do meet again. I wanna see if we ( NP) can get this monkey off our back!

  4. Ed says:

    I don’t think either team played their “A” game, which is understandable given that the season just started. LaSalle had two turnovers in the first half, couldn’t score a touchdown after having a first and goal on the one, and tackled horribly at times. My take is that despite sloppiness by both teams, they both are very talented and with the high level of coaching at both schools, will improve significantly as the year goes on. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a fourth meeting in December.

  5. Red says:

    well said

  6. billy splain says:

    pretty simple guys, no matter how it happened, lasalle was the better team that night…they won. thats the goal…..i once attended a game where the winning team was blown away in stats…it was like 450- 150 in yardage, 5-1 on lost fumbles…but they had more points….thats the goal

  7. Red says:

    “This was North Penn’s game to win but (they decided to lose) by turning the ball over at least four times in the 2nd half on top of committing some stupid penalties.”

    You may call them as you see them. So do I. If you didn’t mean it literally, don’t say it then. And Deo, I also graduated from La Salle, and it sound to me like you’re more of a North Penn fan. Just saying.

  8. Buddy says:

    Yo guys:

    Let Red have the last say. It’s OK. Somehow he needs it more than us.

  9. Red says:

    This is high school football. Nothing philosophical or rhetorical about it. It’s a matter of right and wrong. You and deo were wrong. There is a difference between venting and complaining. Seems like a lot of North Penn fans are complaining and trying to make excuses about why they lost. It’s simple, LaSalle was the better team SAturday night. Is North Penn an excellent team? Of course. There is no argument there. I’m sure they will have an excellent season. You gotta give credit where credit is due. La Salle beat North Penn. La Salle played hard all four quarters, and came out on top. Trying to make the argument that North Penn would have won if they didn’t turn the ball over as many times is a ridiculous statement. That’s like saying that North Penn would have won is they scored more points that La Salle. Duh. Well guess what everyone, they did turn the ball over, whether they were forced or mental mistakes. The scoreboard is the great equalizer. The better team had more points on the board at the end of the game, and that was La Salle. Go Explorers!

  10. paul from philly says:

    “All the turnovers killed NP….” “Without all the turnovers, La Salle doesn’t win.” I got news for you boys. Without the turnovers, that game was anyone’s to win or lose. It was 27 to 20 in the third quarter before all the turnovers and had the look of another classic like last year’s playoff game. When Ralphie Reeves intercepted that ball on the goal line, all it did was stop a La Salle drive. But if you were at the game, you knew that wasn’t the last drive La Salle was gonna get. All the turnovers did was make it a blowout rather than a really great game

  11. Deo says:

    Red…I don’t do rough drafts and then rewrite and I am not literally saying NP chose to lose (that would be silly) and I am sure you would have to be the only one to take it literally. And I did credit LaSalle for capitalizing on the turnovers so I see you did not take that literally. Don’t think too much Red as you might hurt yourself as I am sure you will analyze this for mistakes or whatever. Simply put NP was not a great football team or even a good one in the 2nd have as even a good football team doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes including stupid penalties and 4 turnovers at crucial times in the last quarter and/or half. I went to LaSalle and if things go as both teams hope and they meet again I know NP will be ready and they will be very tough to beat a 4th time in a row. I call them as I see them.

  12. Buddy says:

    @ Red:

    We’ll just leave all the heavy philosophical rehetoric to you. We were too busy venting ( which is what these blogs are all about).

  13. Red says:

    @Buddy + @Deo

    Last time I checked, a win is a win, no matter how you do so. Deo, I’m pretty sure North Pennn didn’t choose to not win. That’s a pretty poor choice of words. And Buddy, it seems like you are trying to downplay LaSalle’s defenses efforts against North Penn. It seems everyone is willing to try to make excuses and complain about how North Penn lost the game. No one seems to be willing to give credit to LaSalle for WINNING against a very good North Penn team. North Penn’s coach, Beck, is included. His quotes in the Philadephia Inquirer were shameful. Hey beck, would you like a tissue? Way to go LaSalle, keep it up. As for another rematch of LaSalle vs. North Penn this year, well both teams gotta get that far in order for another showdown to happen.

  14. phillyboy says:

    Got to admit, was rooting for NP against LaSalle. But will be totally rooting for LaSalle this week against Bergen Catholic. Hope LaSalle creams them especially after how last year’s game ended.

  15. Buddy says:

    @ Johnny:

    But LaSalle COULD still lose.

  16. Johnny says:

    @buddy “North penn just wasn’t ready for prime time……..D-town East was…… LaSalle could lose next two games, hopefully acquiring some humility………and the beat goes on…..” Very classy man. Bergan Catholic isnt what they were last year and West Catholic is also very down this year.

  17. PCL PROUD says:

    If the season goes well for both these teams they may meet again in States and if LaSalle can beat a team as good as North Penn again to make it 4 in row would be an unbelievable feat. You would figure NP is overdue.

  18. Buddy says:

    @ JB:
    North penn was outplayed, but comments like yours just goes to prove they weren’t outclassed!

    @ rick:
    North Penn’s 5 fumbles had very little to do with LaSalle’s defense, NP just mis-handled the ball all on their own.

    @ Deo:

    Agreed. LaSalle’s victory had more to do with North Penn’s turnovers then to LaSalle’s passing prowess. Realize this: If NP doesn’t keep giving LaSalle the ball back, LaSalle has no oppurtunity to make those passes.

  19. John Rizzo says:

    Forgot Tom Spiteri on OL….played great DL too. The line gave Magarity all day to pass most of the game. The DL really toughened up in the 2nd half. Andrew Carlone, Spiteri and Dave Losier put pressure on Ernst in the 2nd half.

  20. rich says:

    deo, do you think the lasalle’s defense had something to do with those fumbles like sacking the qb, stripping the ball ? lasalle had turnovers and still managed to win . north penn is an awesome team don’t insult them by coming up with those excuses , turnovers are part of the game . lasalle made adjustments and truth be told if magarrity was accurate the first half lasalle would have scored 2 more times . it was a great game to watch comcast did a great job broadcasting it can’t you just accept that .

  21. JB says:

    North Penn was outcoached, outplayed and outclassed!

  22. Deo says:

    This was North Penn’s game to win but they decided to lose by turning the ball over at least four times in the 2nd half on top of committing some stupid penalties. You must give La Salle credit for taking advantage of the NP blunders but cut out most of the blunders and NP wins hands down…but they must have a 2nd half mind block when it comes to playing LaSalle which seems to have their number which is be patient and eventually NP will give you many opportunities to win.