St. Joe’s Wins the PCL, AAAA over LaSalle
Plymouth Meeting, Pa., The St. Joe’s Hawks ended LaSalle’s five year, PCL, AAAA championship win streak, 30-20 last night at Plymouth Whitemarsh stadium. The win will enable the Hawks to secure a date next week for the District 12 championship and a chance to pursue their dream of a state championship.
Although LaSalle ran an astounding 85 plays to the Hawks 34, this game was decided on the Hawks ability to cause a couple of early special teams turnovers which put the Explorers in an immediate hole. After the Hawks Pat Walsh booted a 25 yard field goal he recovered Charles Headon’s fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the Explorer 30. One play later, Hawk QB Chris Martin hit Jawaan McAllister, who was running a skinny post for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead only four minutes into the game.
The Explorers for their part were able to maintain ball control with some long play drives which kept the Hawks defense on the field for large chunks of the game. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur led them on an 11 play, seven minute drive which culminated with the QB’s 1 yard touchdown pulling them to within 3 points before the first quarter ended.
St. Joe’s next special teams highlight came during LaSalle’s next possession when Dillon DeIuliis blocked a punt deep in Explorer territory. Martin then hit John Reid with a 9 yard touchdown pass on the next play.
The Explorers were presented a golden opportunity when Steve Hudak intercepted a Martin pass at the Hawk 23 to open the third stanza. St. Joe’s defense held firm and caused LaSalle to turn the ball over on a loss of downs when Shurmur’s final two passes of the drive fell incomplete at the 15.
Five plays later, Martin hit McAllister again for a 57 yard TD pass which took most of the steam out of the Explorer team and large contingent of fans who came out in droves to support their team. Olamide Zaccheaus scored on the Hawks next possession which gave them a 30-7 advantage which LaSalle could not overcome.
The Hawks victory came at a price though. Starting LB, Nick Vandevere (collarbone) and Martin (knee) left the game with injuries and did not return. Martin’s could be a major issue because he is a two year starter and a true leader of this team. Hopefully, he will be able to return for their playoff run.
The Hawks secured a date next week vs. the Frankford/George Washington winner and District championship.
Scoring by Quarter
SJP- Walsh- 25 FG- 8:31
SJP- McAllister- 30 pass from Martin- Walsh kick- 8:17
LS- Shurmur- 1 run- Raczak kick- 1:59
SJP- Reid- 9 pass from Martin- Kick- missed- 11:00
SJP- McAllister- 57 pass from Martin- Walsh kick- 3:01
SJP- Zaccheaus- 12 run- Walsh kick- 9:50
LS- Rinella – 2 run- Raczak kick – 5:54
LS- Herron – 1 pass from Shurmur- 2 pt con.- no good – :17
Notes: Both Matt Raczak and Walsh had excellent hang time on their punts. Each had punts which pinned the opposing team within their own 5 yard line. Explorers Hudak played a spirited game for the Explorers. The DB played very physical on the Hawks WR’s and his interception was of the high point variety at the beginning of the second half. The Hawks Vince Moffett played a stalwart game at safety with multiple tackles and pass breakups. In the midst of the Hawks injuries, defensive leader Tom Johnson, who was plagued all year with a foot injury, returned and played a major part in stopping many of LaSalle’s drives.
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