Imhotep vs. LaSalle Complete Review and Analysis
Philadelphia, Pa., Anyone who was able to witness last night’s non conference District 12 showcase game between the LaSalle Explorers and Imhotep Panthers were treated to more than the five dollar charge to get into Cedarbrook area’s Benjamin Johnson stadium. Showcase is a term that can truly be used when describing this classic in Imhotep’s dramatic 40-28 victory.
Momentum is crucial in high school football and this one had more momentum changes than the amount of wins these two teams had combined in 2012. Momentum and the ability to make a play when a team needs it are what sets teams like these apart and last night was no different. Highly rated stars and sensational coaching staffs littered the field in this one and the overall skill level that both teams implored gave the audience a night they will remember for years.
Coach Drew Gordon, who has guided his Explorers to four consecutive Eastern Pa, AAAA championship games and two Hershey appearances had the task of rebuilding an offensive line depleted by graduation. The new line is a work in progress but the group played stellar in last week’s dismantling of North Penn. New addition, junior quarterback Kyle Shurmur appears the perfect fit for this squad, replacing last year’s incumbent QB Chris Kane. Shurmur now compliments a skill core of players that will perfectly suit his talents for the next two years.
Albie Crosby’s Panthers boast a huge offensive line and skill positions he effectively runs by committee which will give any team they play this year and next, more obstacles than they may be able to handle. The job he has done with this small AA school in not only developing talent but molding kids into responsible students is truly remarkable.
Imhotep got off to a quick 14-0 lead when QB Andre Dreuitt-Parks connected on a beautiful 62 yard pitch and catch to Denniston Moore which set up Nasir Bonner’s TD. They then ran off a nine play drive ending with Soph Mike Waters 12 yard scamper.
Everything seemed to be going Imhotep’s way but the next six minutes provided the first momentum change. Almost as if a light switch was turned on, Shurmur, in only his second high school start hit a streaking Levi Hardy for a 74 yard touchdown followed by Jordan Meachum’s 18 yard touchdown.
If that six minute span got the Explorers going, the last minute and a half of the second quarter proved to be their greatest nightmare. Tied at 14, LaSalle had the ball on the Panther 1 and were stuffed on three consecutive plays. The last one, a sneak by Shurmur was held up by a referees meeting. The end result, a controversial fumble in the end zone and a switch in possession. The play eventually turned into a 14 point turnaround when The Panthers Moore made a sensational juggling act, 52 yard TD reception a couple plays later. Five seconds later, Shurmur was sacked and fumbled away to the Panthers Qwamere Wright- Downing which was followed by Bonner’s 35 yard reception TD from Dreuitt Parks.
LaSalle is a football team that will never, ever be counted out. That can be corroborated with their almost come from behind win in last year’s Eastern championship versus Coatesville. After forcing an Imhotep punt, Gordon had Shurmur throw on five consecutive plays, the last a strike to Meachum for a TD and crawling to within 26-21. Momentum took a double shift on the next few plays on the Explorers next possession when Randell Hunter intercepted a Shurmur pass taking it to pay dirt and giving the Panthers the lead that would not be challenged from that time on.
This sudden rivalry may turn out to be the first for these two programs. What a night enjoyed by all including the assortment of college recruiters who were in attendance. All in all, what a way to start the season in SEPA.
Imhotep (2-0) starts conference play next week vs. Roxborough while LaSalle takes on non conference foe Cardinal O’Hara.
Long Hitters: Noticeably absent in most of the Explorer game plan was Herron who did not run at all out of the wildcat. That will certainly be added in time in Coordinator Brett Gordon’s scheme. Shurmur and Herron didn’t seem to be on the same page with their connections but rest assured the two will be a force in time. LaSalle LB Zaire Franklin (Syracuse commit) did not play due to a broken finger and was a huge loss for the Explorer D. Shurmur is all of the 6″4″ listed in the LaSalle guide. He threw for 381 yards. He has a terrific arm and at times lacked touch on a few incompletions that could have gone for long gains. His upside is huge for this team. He should get serious Division 1 interest. All three of Moore’s receptions were circus catches that had the crowd gasping. Imhotep’s starting offensive line averages over 275 and may most likely be the largest, most athletic line in the state, regardless of classification. Imhotep receivers were heard on the sideline telling Dreuitt-Parks to just throw the ball deep and they will get under the throws. Junior Ryan Brady played a monster game for LaSalle with 13 tackles, a few eye popping hits, and two receptions on offense. Ditto for Soph Shaka Toney and Tyrone Barge for the Panthers. Barge and Toney created havoc the entire game for Shurmur. Dreuitt-Parks has made tremendous strides in his play in the last year. The junior is also getting Division 1 looks. Hardy’s combination of size, speed and hands will make him an effective bookend with Herron in LaSalle’s passing scheme.
Scoring By Quarter
IM- Nasir Bonner- 3 yard run – (2 Pt.- Bonner-Run) – 8:44
IM- Mike Waters – 12 yard run – (PAT- Blocked) – 2:48
LS- Levi Hardy – 74 pass from -Kyle Shurmur (PAT- Matt Raczak) – 1:55
LS- Jordan Meachum – 18 yard run- (PAT- Raczak)- 9:23
IM- Denniston Moore – 52 pass from Andre Dreuitt-Parks-(PAT- blocked)-:32
IM- Bonner- 35 pass from Dreuitt-Parks (PAT- no good)- :04
LS- Meachum- 33 pass from Shurmur- (PAT- Raczak)- 7:50
IM- Randell Hunter – 26 interception return- (2 Pt-Moore pass from Dreuitt-Parks)- 4:11
LS- Hardy- 14 pass from Shurmur- (PAT-Raczak)- 11:22
IM- Moore- 14 pass from Dreuitt-Parks (2 Pt- no good)- 8:36
Passing: Shurmur- 20-38-381- 3 TD’s, 3 int’s sacked 5 times, Dreuitt-Parks- 7-12-214-3 TD’s, sacked 2 times
Running: LaSalle: Meachum, 11-42, 1TD, Nick Rinella, 2-5, Ryan Brady, 1-1, Imhotep: DeAndre Scott, 8-92, Bonner, 17-65, 1 TD, Waters, 13-52, 1 TD, Tyliek Raynor, 9-31,
Receiving: LaSalle: Meachum, 6-129, 1 TD, Hardy, 5-133, 2 TD’s, Brady, 2-37, Herron, 2-31, Charles Headen, 1-16, Nick Buckley, 3-32, Walls, 1-3, Imhotep: Moore, 3-128, 2 TD’s,Bonner, 3-65, 1 TD, Kalihf Clemons, 1-21
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