LaSalle Rally’s To Top Imhotep
Written by: Mark Carfagno on Sunday, August 25th, 2019
The LaSalle College High School Explorers came back from a 12-3 halftime deficit to defeat perennial Philadelphia Public League powerhouse Imhotep Charter 15-12. After a scoreless first quarter the first points arrived early in the second when the clock read candlesticks 11:11. The Panthers QB Jalen Sutton walked into the end zone rather easily from the 1 yard line. The easy score was set up by a 36 yard punt return by D’Shaun Seals. The PAT kick failed and ‘Tep led 6-0. After a quick three and out by the Explorers the men from the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia moved the ball when Saint McLeod ran 3 times for 37 yards. However penalties killed the drive and the Panthers were forced to punt. Thirteen thrown flags in the direction of the home squad totaled 85 yards while the visitors were charged with 3 for 25 . Unable to move the ball for the first 19 minutes of the contest resulted into just one first down for LaSalle but they got their act together and drove from their own 25 to the Panthers 20 mostly on the running of QB Jack Machita , RB Jalen Devose and a 15 yard infraction against Imhotep. The drive stalled when Panthers Freshman DB Rahmir Stewart caught Sam Brown in the backfield for a 4 yard loss. Imhotep head coach Nick Lincoln said earlier that Stewart may be the best player he has ever coached. So watch out for Stewart in the future. LaSalle lit up the scoreboard for the first time when Senior Kicker/Punter Jacob Gandolfo nailed a 37 yard field goal with just over a minute to play before intermission. Gandolfo was impressive as the punter , punting 4 times for a 38.2 average. With most people believing that the score would be 6-3 at the break LaSalle had other ideas. Using their remaining 2 timeouts the Explorers got the ball back with just over 27 seconds to go. The move backfired when Machita hit Robert Tatum for 11 yards near midfield. Tatum tried to lateral the ball but it fell to the ground as was scooped up by Shakeef Smith who then raced 49 yards to pay dirt with the clock reading 0:00. The run conversion was unsuccessful as the Panthers left the field ahead 12-3. Led by Nose Guard Ryan Savage who led all players in tackles with 10 including 2 sacks and another for a loss the stingy Explorers defense shut out the usually high powered Panther offense in the second half.
LaSalle’s Ryan Savage makes play of the game with sack on 4th down with 1:46 remaining as Explorers hold on with 15-12 win @PaFootballNews @pplathletics @LaSalle_Sports @DHuntTrib pic.twitter.com/0IsGsYlY4t
— Mark A. Carfagno (@markcarf) August 25, 2019
In fact Imhotep was limited to 134 yards of total offense while LaSalle didn’t fare much better numbering just 176. The punting fest continued [ Imhotep’s Shakeef Smith punted 6 for 28.2 average ] until late in the third quarter when Brown scored from the 12 yard line bringing LaSalle within 12-9 after the PAT failed at the 1:43 mark of period number three. On the ensuing kickoff Kenyatta Kirkland zigzagged 71 yards all the way down to the visitors 28 yard line. The Panthers ended up going backwards on three plays and punted on fourth down at the LaSalle 35. Following the punt which was the first play of the fourth stanza LaSalle took over at their own 5. On third and six from the nine Machita connected with Devose for 14 yards and a first down at the 23 but a 15 yard personal foul against the Panthers advanced the pigskin to the 38. Still 62 yards from the end zone the Explorers never panicked by running the ball 9 times while throwing just twice with a completion of 7 yards to Tatum. Two scampers by Machita totaling 19 yards and a quick 6 yards from Brown set up the games final TD. On first down from the Panthers 15 Machita dropped back to pass and quickly looked to his left, but that was just a decoy when he turned to his right and found Timothy Mehlmann wide open for a touchdown putting the Explorers ahead for good 15-12 after the run failed on the conversion with 4:59 remaining. Following the TD LaSalle kicked off but the ball went out of bounds. A dead ball personal foul against the Panthers resulted into the Explorers now Kicking off from midfield. Naturally Gandolfo kicked it put of the end zone thus making ‘Tep begin their final drive from their own 20. On first down Sutton ran for 4 yards he then completed an 8 yard pass on second down to McLeod for a first down at his own 32. Three consecutive carries by McLeod moved the ball to the 43 and another first down. With a under three minutes to go McLeod was tackled for a one yard loss by Dillon Trainer on first down. Second down saw Sutton completed a 5 yard toss to Seal. On third down Savage and Michael Quirk pushed Sutton back one yard. Now facing a fourth and 7 from their own 46 the home team needed a big play. LaSalle would call a time out at 1:46 to discuss the situation. When play resumed it was again Ryan Savage who made the big play. Savage said ” I knew I was going one on one with the center who looked to be tired and had trouble all day with the snap. So I hit him with a jab step to the left and a swim move to the right and was able to dive and tackle their versatile QB”. The visitors then took 3 knell downs to kill the clock and went back to Springfield Montgomery County, PA with their first win of the season .
NOTES: For LaSalle Sam Brown led the team in rushing with 13-43-TD. Jack Machita passed 9-16-59-TD . Along with Savage, Dillon Trainer notched 8 tackles with 2 for losses while Tyson Goldstein, Brad Vespe and Abdul Carter all had 5. Carter had 2 TFL’S. Imhotep’s Saint McLeod rushed 18-73. Jalen Sutton passed 5-9- 58. The Panthers defense was led by Enai White with 7 tackles including 2 TFL’s. McLeod also had 7 . Shawn Williams numbered 6, Rahmir Stewart 5 – TFL, Shakeef Smith 5 and Kamar Green had 3 with a sack.
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