Wyzard of Wyndmoor
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a 1969 grad, has done an incredible amount of work to research La Salle
High's football history and share it with the school community. Now he's
writing game recaps and they'll be posted on this page. Thanks for
officially joining us, Bill!
You may contact Bill at
(The picture in the upper left of
Bill's mug shot shows the 2007 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Romans, with his son,
Dan (No. 44). No. 3 (off his ear) is none other than Ryan
Arcidiacono. The team also featured All-Catholics Joey Monaghan
and Colin Thompson from Wood, Luke Hutkin from the Prep, and
Sean Coleman from La Salle.
This season, 34
La Salle High
products can be found on college football rosters. Click
poster as created by school football historian Bill Wasylenko ('69).
for a larger version.
for a gigantic version.
La Salle 58, Haverford School 28
It was an old-fashioned Homecoming Day game, at an old familiar site,
Springfield High School, but with a new wrapper of a turf field, that resembled
more of a old-fashioned pinball machine on the verge of tilting, as La Salle’s
rushing attack overtook the Haverford School, 58-28.
With the Haverford Fords visiting the La Salle Explorers, it would have
been perfect if an automobile dealer sponsored the game with the featured car
being a Ford Explorer, but maybe next year, as the two teams provided the
Homecoming crowd with thrills, chills, and even a Philly Special. Here’s how it
La Salle won the toss, and deferred to the second half. Jake Gandolfo’s
kick bounced around at about the 2-yard line, and the Fords’ Nate Whitaker
finally scooped it up and ran out to the 20. Then the pinball machine was
plugged in. Quarterback Ben Gerber tossed a seemingly innocuous swing pass on
the right side to Whitaker, who got the edge on the sideline and raced 80 yards
for a shocking first-play touchdown. Kicker Chris Clark added the extra point,
and Haverford was on top of La Salle quickly, 7-0, after just 15 seconds of
Clark’s kickoff sailed out of the end zone, and the Blue and Gold would start at
their own 20, with senior Sean Daly at the controls, as junior Jack Machita was
still out with a wrist injury. Out of a trips right formation, Daly hit angular
receiver Kahlil Diarrah on a quick slant-in, much like Malvern executed the
previous week, and Diarrah got a first down at the 32. Then, pinball again:
freshman Sam Brown, on his first-ever carry, looking like a Ford Thunderbird
instead of a Ford Explorer, took a jet sweep around the left, got the edge, and
sprinted down the sideline for a 68-yard score. Jake Gandolfo’s boot split the
uprights, tying the score at 7-7, with just 41 seconds played so far. Whew!
Gandolfo’s kickoff carried to the two, where Daiyaan Hawkins weaved his
way out to the 33 before being stopped by Joey Cassizzi. Gerber, with an empty
backfield, fired a short pass on the right side to WR Chris Sims for a “modest”
7-yard gain, stopped by LB Dillon Trainer. On a read option, Gerber handed off
to Hawkins for a first down to the 43, with tackle by DB TJ Meachum. Gerber
again optioned to Hawkins on the right side, but DL Ryan Savage stopped him for
a gain of a yard. Again, with La Salle blitzing Hawkins took the ball up the
middle, and LB Brendan Frusco made an ankle tackle after a three-yard gain. On
third and six, Gerber threw complete deep down the left side to WR Bryce
Broadus, with Cassizzi making the tackle on the La Salle 25. Gerber ran an
option keeper up the middle for 6 yards, with LB Tyson Goldstein sliding over to
make the stop. Whitaker swept the left side, but Meachum pulled him down from
behind for a loss of two. On third and six at the 21, Gerber, on another read
option, handed off to Hawkins, who cut upfield at left tackle for 7 yards and a
first down, with another tackle by Meachum. Gerber then hit Broadus, flanked way
to the left, with a quick look-in, and Broadus took it into the end zone for a
Ford score. Clark’s PAT made it 14-7 for Haverford, with still 6:44 left in an
eventful first stanza.
Clark’s kick again found the end zone, and La Salle would start at the
20, seeking to match Haverford score for score at this point. The Explorers had
their brand-new Mustang in the game, freshman RB Abdul Carter, who jet-sweeped
the right side with good blocking to gain 12 yards and a first down. Then, back
to the T-Bird Brown, who went outside left tackle for 20 yards to the Ford 48,
but the Blue and Gold were called for holding, bringing the ball back to their
own 22. Daly kept the ball on a fake jet-sweep and was hit immediately for a
4-yard loss. Now, La Salle’s F-150, RB Jalen De Vose bulldozed up the middle for
7 yards. On third and 17 at his own 25, Daly scrambled to the right, veered to
the wide-open middle, and was finally tracked down at the Haverford 48 for a
27-yard gain and an apparent first down, but again the Explorers were flagged
for holding. On third and 27 at their own 15, La Salle ran a screen play that
was dropped, and they would be forced to punt. Gandolfo’s boot was fair-caught
at the La Salle 47, and the Fords were in excellent position to increase their
RB Logan Keller pushed up the middle for three yards, with stop by Frusco
and DL Sam Graham. Gerber then went deep left again, to WR Matthew McKenna, and
there was a collision with DB Rob Tatum, but no laundry landed on the field. On
third and 7 at the La Salle 44, with a full backfield, Gerber handed off to
Whitaker up the middle, and he was tackled by DB Griffin Zobel after a 4-yard
gain. Now a fourth and three and decisions to make. And the Fords would go;
Gerber was flushed out of the pocket and hurriedly threw a pass on the right
sideline that was incomplete, and the La Salle defense held, giving the offense
great field position at their own 40, with still 2:39 left in an endless first
Another jet sweep to the right by Brown gained 7 yards. Daly swung a pass to
Manny Quiles on the left side, and the mercurial Quiles (Mercury is a Ford
product) dodged (not Dodge, sorry, wrong company) some tacklers for a first down
on the Haverford 44. This time, the Mustang Carter ran the jet sweep right, and
smoothly drove to the 29 for another first down. Daly faked the jet sweep and
handed off to De Vose, who plowed up the middle for 5 yards, and the La Salle
ground game was in high gear. A quick out from Daly to WR Luke Hardy netted 4
more. On third and 1 from the Haverford 20, Quiles, out of a deep set, followed
FB Liam Tatlonghari’s block for a first down at the 14. Brown jet-sweeped left
for a one-yard loss, as the quarter ended with Haverford clinging to a 14-7
The O-line, featuring Ronnie Ross, Declan Tuffy, Leland Mersky, Kenny
O’Kane, and Ryan Wills, were taking control of the line of scrimmage, and the
running game was reaping great benefits. On the next play, center Tuffy blew a
hole in the middle of the line big enough for an F-250, and Quiles pranced into
the end zone untouched for a 15-yard touchdown. Gandolfo’s boot tied the score
at 14-14, with 11:55 to go in the half.
Now, could the defense stop the Fords? Gandolfo planted the kickoff into
the end zone. Frusco and Trainer met Whitaker in the hole for no gain. Whitaker
swept the left side for 7 yards, with stop by DL Isaiah Turner. On third and a
long three, Gerber shoveled a pass forward to Hawkins that was smelled out by DL
Lucas McNally for no gain and a big stop, forcing a punt. Clark’s punt, under a
big rush, sliced out of bounds on the Ford 42, and La Salle had a chance to take
the lead for the first time.
A slant-in screen from Daly to Diarrah was too low. Tatlonghari went off
left tackle for 5 yards. On third and five at the Ford 37, Quiles went inside
for 4 tough yards, bringing up a fourth and one. Deep in the I formation, Quiles
bashed over right tackle for a first down at the 30. Daly then bootlegged left
and spotted Diarrah beyond his coverage. Diarrah made the catch, and veered
toward the middle and into the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown to give La Salle
the lead. But no; the Explorers were flagged for a 5-yard penalty; Diarrah
possibly lined up offsides. No problem: Daly faked a handoff to Carter and kept
the ball around the left side, and angled along the sideline before being forced
out of bounds after getting a first down on the 17. Carter jet-sweeped his way
to the 8, but another flag came down. It looked like Hardy was called for
holding downfield, and the ball came back to the 23. Daly again kept after a
fake jet sweep, this time on the right side, and he found a seam down to the
5-yard line for a first and goal. In a tight formation, Daly handed off to De
Vose who was bulldogged down for no gain. Daly rolled left, and found soph TE
Tim Barrett open at the goal line, but the ball glanced off his fingertips. On
third and goal at the 5, in a trips left formation, Daly gunned a bubble screen
to the middle receiver Diarrah, but the Fords sniffed that out, and the play
lost 2 yards. Gandolfo came on and boomed a 24-yard field goal to give La Salle
a 17-14 lead for real this time, with 4:54 left in the half.
Again, Gandolfo found the end zone on his kick. Gerber, with plenty of
rest, fired a deep post pattern to WR Dan Whaley, but Whaley could only get one
hand on the slightly overthrown ball. RB Mekhi Ajose-Williamson went off right
tackle, but a three-linebacker sandwich of Frusco, Goldstein, and Trainer
crunched the runner for just a one-yard gain. On third and nine, Gerber, on a
deft fake, fired downfield to Hawkins, and La Salle was ruled for pass
interference, and the Fords had new life with a first down on their 36. The
Explorers jumped offside on a blitz to give the Fords five more yards. Gerber
kept the ball up right tackle for 4 yards before a stop by McNally. RB Logan
Keller was stuffed for a one-yard loss by Savage. On third and a long 2, Gerber
faked a handoff, and an all-out blitz chased him to the left, and he was finally
tossed down by Trainer for a 5-yard loss. Clark faced an all-out rush on his
punt, but his boomer with a roll stopped on the La Salle 8-yard line, with 2:25
left in the half.
Quiles gained just one yard on the left side. Out of a deep set, Quiles
burrowed for 5 yards up the middle. On third and four, Daly slow-rolled to the
right, but had to dump the ball out of bounds, and La Salle would have to punt.
Combating a big rush, Gandolfo punted to the La Salle 46 where the Fords
fair-caught the ball, with still a chance to take the lead into the locker room,
cradling a precious 57 seconds.
But Gerber fired deep down the middle, and the pigskin pin-balled off of
3 or 4 players before being grabbed by Meachum for an interception, and now La
Salle had the last chance to score from their own 39, with 46 seconds left. Daly
gained 7 on a quarterback draw with an empty backfield as La Salle called time
out. Daly scrambled to the right, tight-roped down the sideline for a while, and
then angled to open field down the middle, gaining 25 yards to the Haverford 29,
and then Daly hurriedly spiked the ball. Daly again ran a draw up the middle,
gaining 9 yards to the 20, and La Salle called a time out. Surprisingly, Daly
handed off on a quick opener up the middle to De Vose, who stampeded all the way
to the 3-yard line. The clock stopped to move the chains, and then Daly again
spiked the ball, leaving a big decision to be made with just about 12 seconds
left in the half. Daly, in the pistol, took the snap, waited, and then gingerly
bootlegged to the left, and he saw a sliver of an opening to slide through and
dive onto the goal line for a touchdown. Gandolfo’s PAT gave La Salle a 24-14
lead, with 4.6 seconds left in a zany first half.
A slow-bounding kick was covered by Haverford at midfield. Gerber
scrambled downfield to the La Salle 29 before Meachum and Tatum grabbed him, and
the half ended with La Salle leading, 24-14.
At this point in the game, the Explorers seemed to have taken control of
the game, as their multi-pronged rushing game was in full throttle, led by QB
Daly. Time to refuel and rev those engines for the second half.
Chris Clark of the Fords kicked off to the 2, where Manny Quiles returned
the ball to the 26. Sam Brown took a quick pitch to the left for three yards.
Manny Quiles, the all-terrain vehicle, plowed up the middle for 4 more. On third
and 3, QB Sean Daly bootlegged around the open right side for a first down to
the La Salle 49. Then Quiles broke through a hole on the right side, veered to
the sideline, and outran the Ford defenders for a 51-yard touchdown. The drive
was quite a statement on what the Explorers would do all game long with their
rushers. After the Fords jumped offsides on the first attempt, Jake Gandolfo’s
PAT increased the La Salle lead to 31-14, with 10:03 left in the third period.
Gandolfo’s kickoff came to the 12, where Nate Whitaker returned the ball
to the 29, tackled by Dillon Trainer. The Fords would try to get back in this
game that was slipping away from them. New Dante Perri tossed a bomb down the
left sideline that was overthrown. An offensive lineman moved before the snap,
costing the Fords a five spot. On a blitz, Abdul Carter leaped to bat down a
Perri pass. On third and 15, Perri swung a pass to the left side to Whitaker for
a five-yard gain, with a great form tackle by DB Rob Tatum, and the Fords would
have to punt. Clark’s boot was downed on the La Salle 24, and the Explorers
would have a chance to dismantle the Fords.
Jalen De Vose running like the truck he is, turned the left side through
some tackles for 7 yards. Manny Quiles was stuffed with his wheels spinning for
a two-yard loss. On third and five, Quiles took a handoff up the middle for a
first down, and was towed by the offensive line for more yardage to the 45.
Quiles then went off left tackle, and weaved his way up the middle to the Ford
32. There seemed to be no stopping the La Salle rushing machine. Daly, the
caretaker of the fleet, handed off to his F-150 De Vose, who battered his way to
the 25. Haverford jumped offsides, giving the Blue and Gold a first down at the
20. Daly faked a handoff and kept the ball on the right side for a first and
goal at the 9. De Vose then powered his way up the middle and into the end zone
for the touchdown. Gandolfo’s boot made it 38-14, La Salle, with 4:27 left in
the third quarter, and the game seemingly in control. But not just yet.
Gandolfo’s pooch kick was fallen on by the Fords at their own 30, where
they would try to gain back some control of the game. QB Perri fired a quick
look-in to Bryce Broadus, who turned back outside and went down the sidelines
for a gain to midfield. Perri handed off to Daiyaan Hawkins, who was plastered
immediately by an onrushing Ryan Savage for a 4-yard loss. An out from Perri to
WR Dan Whaley misfired. On third and 14, Perri threw a bomb down the left side
to Broadus, which fell incomplete due to great coverage by DB Frank Joyce, but
Joyce was called for interference, giving the Fords new life at the La Salle 39.
A bubble screen on the left was batted down by a marauding Savage. Perri hit
Whaley on a slant-in on the right side, and Whaley powered his way to the La
Salle 20 for a first down. Perri overthrew TE Matt Carlino, but La Salle was
again flagged for interference. On first and goal at the 9, Perri made a nice
adjustment and located Broadus crossing in the back of the end zone for a
touchdown. Clark’s extra point brought the Fords back to 38-21, with 2:21 left
in the third stanza.
A short kickoff was returned by Justin Machita to the 30. Quiles pushed
his way forward for 3 yards. With trips right, Daly flared a pass to the right
to Sam Brown, but Brown was stopped for a two-yard loss. On third and 9, La
Salle was called for procedure. Brown ran a jet sweep for 5 yards, and La Salle
would have to punt, as the third quarter ended with the Explorers on top, 38-21.
Gandolfo’s punt to the Ford 34 was caught by Jake Spencer, who started up the
middle, swung to the right, and got the edge down the sideline for a 66-yard
touchdown. Clark’s extra point brought the Fords to within 10, 38-28, with 11:42
left in the 4th period, and the partisan Homecoming crowd now concerned.
Quiles took the kickoff from his own 2 to the 28, and the La Salle
running engines would have to get back in gear. De Vose rumbled up the middle
for 9. De Vose then ran with power off left tackle for a first down at the 44.
There was no stopping the runaway truck as De Vose, seemingly running downhill,
powered over left tackle for 8 yards to the Ford 48. Yet again, De Vose took the
ball and veered left and down the sideline for a 21-yard gain to the 27. Quiles,
giving De Vose a breather, skirted the left side to the 12, but La Salle was
called for holding, setting them back to the Ford 36. Quiles took a jet sweep to
the 31. Daly gained two yards on a keeper to the right. On third and 12, Quiles
was bottled up for just 4 yards on a sweep around the left side. It was now
fourth down, 8 to go, on the Ford 25, and a change in momentum could happen with
a Ford stop. It was time for something special. Daly lined up in the pistol
formation in an empty backfield, 3 receivers to the left and two to the right.
Quiles came in motion from the right side, and took a handoff from Daly, who
innocuously wandered to the right flat. Quiles pitched the ball on a reverse to
Liam Tatlonghari, who came from the left flanker position. Tatlonghari
shot-putted a pass to a wide-open Daly on the right side, and Daly skittered
into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. Whether it was the Eagles’ Philly
Special, or the Philly-Philly, or a newly-baptized Wyndmoor Special, La Salle’s
first pass of the second half broke the backs of the Fords. Gandolfo’s kick made
it 45-28, Explorers, with 7:26 left in the fourth period.
Gandolfo pooched a kick that was returned for short yardage to the 25 by
Jake Spencer. Perri’s first pass was intercepted by a blitzing Abdul Carter;
“eaten” may be a better description, as the pass traveled only about 2 yards,
and La Salle was back in business at the Ford 19. Carter was rewarded for his
pick by lining up at tailback, and the Mustang took the handoff screeched to a
halt at the 8-yard line. Carter then banged his way through the line and into
the end zone for yet another Explorer touchdown. Gandolfo’s tired foot was off
the mark for the extra point, but La Salle now led, 51-28, with 6:29 left in the
The Fords brought the kickoff out to the 22. Clark dropped back to pass,
and fired a post pattern down the middle. The pass glanced off the receiver’s
hands and into the welcoming hands of DB TJ Meachum at the Ford 40, and Meachum
eagerly raced to the right and into the end zone for a touchdown. Gandolfo put
it through this time, increasing the lead to 58-28, with 6:13 left in the game.
The pooch kick was returned by Spencer from the 28 to the 44. Perri
lofted a pass on a wheel route to the left by Hawkins, but Rob Tatum made a
leaping interception before stepping out of bounds at the La Salle 43. Freshman
QB Byron Hopkins took over the helm, and kept the ball up the middle for 5
yards. He then handed off to RB Tim Mehlmann up the middle for 6 yards and a
first down to the Ford 46. Hopkins then bootlegged right, and showed great speed
in getting down to the 30. RB Matthew Bowes then rumbled out of a deep set for 7
yards. A fumbled snap was recovered by the Fords’ Ben Murphy at the Ford 35.
Perri overthrew Whaley down the right side. RB Mekhi Ajose-Williamson
went off right tackle, and was stopped for a 2-yard gain on a shoestring tackle
by DB Giacomo Ward. On third and 8, Perri threw an out to Whitaker on the right
side for a first down to the 48. Perri hit Whitaker on a short crossing pattern
to the La Salle 34. Ajose-Williamson burst through a hole and was tripped up
after an 11-yard gain to the 23 by DB Marlow Freyre. Perri rolled left and
overthrew WR Dylan Lepore in the end zone. Perri then overthrew Jordan Berry in
the end zone, with good coverage by Ward. On third and 10, Perri, under a blitz
by Ward, threw the ball away. Thomas Ward came in to attempt a 40-yard field
goal, but the kick was off to the right.
From the 20, Hopkins handed off to Bowes for a yard. Soph QB Gavin Daly
came in for a few snaps, and handed off to Mehlmann for 2 yards. Gavin Daly then
took a knee, the engines were turned off, and the La Salle rushing machine
notched their first victory of the season, defeating the Haverford Fords, 58-28,
on Homecoming at Springfield.
NOTES: people will always remember the “Wyndmoor Special” from this game,
but the play of the offensive line should really be remembered, as the La Salle
fleet of vehicles gained over 500 yards on the ground, looking like Oklahoma or
Texas or, at least, Archbishop Wood, back in their rushing prime years. This
coming week is a bye week, an extra week to prepare some surprises for St.
Joseph’s Prep on Friday, September 28 at 7:30 PM at Widener. Plenty of time to
tune the engines up!!
Malvern 35, La Salle 23
The Friars won the toss, and elected to defer to the second half, the "in vogue"
coin toss selection these days. Sebastian Costantini's kickoff made it into the
end zone for a touchback, and La Salle would start at their own 20, with Wildcat
quarterback Sean Daly, a senior, starting the game, because junior Jack Machita
was nursing an injury. Daly's quarterback duties usually were handoffs and
keepers, with nary a pass sailed into the air. That changed dramatically, as, on
the first play from scrimmage, Daly arced a bomb down the right sideline that
landed into WR Kahlil Diarrah's outstretched hands on a fly, and the 6'-6"
receiver shook off some would-be tacklers and loped down the sideline and into
the end zone for a shocking 80-yard touchdown. Jake Gandolfo's extra point made
it 7-0, La Salle, just 16 seconds into the game.
Gandolfo's kickoff was caught at the 5 by Malvern's Lonnie White, who
returned it to the 26 before being tackled by Joey Cassizzi. Heralded junior QB
Drew Gunther took the reins, and handed off to RB Nicholas Gueriera, who, after
a hit by LB Tyson Goldstein, fumbled the ball after a 4-yard gain, but the
Friars maintained possession. Gueriera ran again off left tackle and broke into
the open down to La Salle's 47 before being tackled by DB TJ Meachum. Gunther's
flare pass to WR Keith Maguire fell short on first down. Gueriera's attempt up
the middle was stopped immediately by DE Paul Jennings for no gain. On third and
10, Gunther's slant to WR Ryan iacone was too far, and the Friars would punt.
But the snap was bad, and the ensuing scramble for the ball gave the Explorers a
first down at the Malvern 36, with a chance to extend their early lead.
Daly's play action pass to WR Luke Hardy was behind him. Daly called his
own number, broke a tackle up the middle, and gained 3 yards. On third and 7 at
the Friar 33, Daly called Diarrah's number again, and threw deep, but the pass
was overthrown. On fourth down, Daly scrambled to the right, and tossed a pass
to Hardy, but the pass was slightly behind him, and Malvern would take over at
their own 33, with 9:11 to go in the first period.
Gunther now took charge. He found Iacone on a look-in for 8 yards with a
stop by LB Dillon Trainer. On play action, Gunther hit Iacone on a slant to the
La Salle 44 for a first down. Keith Maguire went off left tackle for three
yards, with Jordan Headen and Dillon Trainer on the hit. A quick toss in the
right flat to Iacone went for no gain, as SS Zaire McLaurin laid the wood. On
third and 7, Gunther sailed a post-pattern pass to Ryan Maguire, who outran La
Salle defenders to get down to the Explorer one-yard line. Keith Maguire tested
the middle for no gain, but he then burst into the end zone on the next play for
a one-yard touchdown. Costantini's extra point was good, tying the score at 7-7,
with 6:43 left in the first period. Malvern was assessed a 15-yard penalty after
the play, and would kick from their own 25-yard line.
Costantini's kick was grabbed by Manny Quiles at the 17, and Quiles,
playing in his first game of the season, went up the right side to the La Salle
38. Quiles charged up left tackle for 5 yards. Daly threw a quick out to Hardy
for 3 yards. On third and 2, Daly rolled left and slightly overthrew FB Liam
Tatlonghari, and the Explorers would be forced to punt. Gandolfo's punt spiraled
to the Malvern 20, where D'Angelo Stocker returned it to the 30.
Gueriera got just one yard up the middle, with Ryan Savage and Paul
Jennings on the tackle. Gunther used play action to fire a slant to Iacone for a
13-yard gain and a first down. From his own 44, Gunther set up a quick bubble
screen on the left side to WR TyGee Leach, and Leach bolted up the middle into
the clear for a 56-yard touchdown. The snap for the extra point was fumbled, and
holder John Boyle's run attempt was stopped for no gain by DB Rob Tatum. But the
Friars now led, 13-7, with 3:32 left in the first period.
Quiles caught Costantini's kickoff at the 3, and skated out to the 25. Quiles
then swept the left side for a 10-yard gain, but La Salle was flagged for
holding. He gained 12 yards by sweeping the left side, and then went up the
middle for 3 yards. On third and 5, Daly, seeing no one open, scrambled to the
right for just 2 yards. Gandolfo's punt was downed on the Malvern 37, with 1:43
left in the first stanza.
Malvern brought in Lonnie White as a Wildcat quarterback, and his keeper
on the right side gained two yards, with Trainer and Meachum stopping him. With
Gunther back in as quarterback, Gueriera took his handoff off right tackle for 4
yards before being stopped by DL Brian Grady. On third and four, Gunther's pass
on the right side to Leach was overthrown. Luke Hardy returned the punt from the
17 to the 23.
Quiles was stuffed for no gain on a sweep left, as the first quarter
ended with Malvern on top, 13-7. Daly kept up the middle for three yards. On
third and 7, Daly, again sensing that no one was open, scrambled for just 3
yards, and La Salle would be forced to punt. After a procedure call against the
Blue and Gold, Gandolfo's punt was returned from the Friar 37 to midfield by
White, as the tackle was made by Goldstein.
On first down, Gunther was sacked on a blitz by freshman Abdul Carter, a
heat-seeking missile of a linebacker. Gueriera gained 4 yards up right tackle,
with stop by Tatum and McLaurin. On third and 12, Tatum broke up a pass from
Gunther to Keith Maguire, and Malvern would punt. Hardy made a fair catch of the
punt at his own 17, with 9:01 left to play in the half.
Quiles, becoming the workhorse, bolted off right tackle for 10 yards and
a first down at the 27. On play action Daly scrambled to the left for 9 yards.
FB Liam Tatlonghari rumbled up the middle for three yards and a first down. Daly
again scrambled on the right side for 1 yard, and then hit Tatlonghari with a
flare pass off play action for 2 yards. On third and 7 at their own 42, Daly
scrambled left and tossed a swing pass to Quiles, who was hit hard and couldn't
hold onto the ball. Gandolfo's punt was fair-caught at the Malvern 10-yard line,
with 5:53 left in the half, and Malvern clinging to a 6-point lead.
Gueriera gained some yardage up the middle on first down, but Malvern was
flagged for procedure. Keith Maguire gained 3 off left tackle, stopped by
Goldstein and Meachum. Gunther's pass to Iacone was low. On third and 12 at his
own 8, Gunther overthrew White on a bomb down the left side. The ensuing punt
was shanked, and La Salle would have excellent field position at the Friar 26,
and would take full advantage.
Quiles went off left tackle and followed a good block by Hardy for 20
yards and a first and goal at the 6. Quiles then went into the end zone
untouched from 6 yards out up right guard. Gandolfo's extra point gave La Salle
the lead at 14-13, with 4:47 left in the half.
The kickoff was caught by White on the 5, and returned to the 29. Then, a
big break for La Salle: Gunther's slant pass to WR Tyler Tinson was bobbled, and
intercepted by Meachum, and the Explorers were set up to extended their lead
with the ball at the Friar 32. Quiles went up right guard for 2 yards. On play
action, Daly's deep pass to Hardy was overthrown. On third and 8 at the Friar
30, Daly ran a draw, and gained 5 yards, but he fumbled when he was hit, and
Malvern recovered the ball on their 25. This would prove to be the turning point
of the game.
Gunther hit White on an out pattern on the left side, and White skirted
past defenders for a 23-yard gain to the Malvern 48. Gunther then found Iacone
on a slant/bubble screen, and Iacone ran down the left sideline and into the end
zone for a 52-yard touchdown. The Friars would go for two, and Gunther made it
look easy by firing a slant pass to Keith Maguire, and Malvern regained the
lead, 21-14, with 3:05 left in the half.
Quiles returned the kickoff from the two to the 18. On an extraordinary
play, Quiles seemed stopped after a 2-yard gain, but kept his feet, and the
entire pile of linemen and Quiles moved forward for an additional 10 yards and a
first down at the 30. Daly scrambled to the right and found RB Jalen De Vose for
a first down at the La Salle 46. Daly bootlegged right for 2 yards. He then
scrambled up the middle and then to the left, getting out of bounds at the
Malvern 38. Daly rolled right and tossed a screen back to the left for Quiles,
who gained just a yard, but got out of bounds, with 1:04 left in the half. Daly
then threw one of his best balls of the game, a nice out to soph WR Justin
Machita to the Friar 25 as Machita got out of bounds. Daly scrambled right, and
tossed the ball out of bounds, but he was called for intentional grounding, as
the pass apparently did not get as far as the line of scrimmage. With second and
20 at the 35, Daly hit Justin Machita for a 4-yard gain in the left flat, and La
Salle called time out with 39 seconds left in the half. On third and 15, Daly
swung a pass to Quiles for 6 yards, and La Salle allowed the clock to march down
to 3 seconds before calling time out. Gandolfo came out to attempt a 42-yard
field goal, with a slight breeze behind his back. He did not need the wind, as
his booming kick was good, and would have been good from another 10 yards out.
Malvern took a slim 21-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Jake Gandolfo's kickoff drove Lonnie White back to the 1, but White found
a lane up the right side and got out to the 40 before being stopped by Tyson
Goldstein. Nicholas Gueriera gained a yard off right tackle with hits by Dillon
Trainer and Kenny O'Kane. O'Kane tackled Gueriera again on a 3-yard bolt up left
tackle. On third and 6, Drew Gunther fired a low pass on a slant pattern while
being rushed hard by Ryan Savage. The punt was muffed by Luke Hardy on the La
Salle 25, and Malvern was in great position to extend their lead. But on play
action, Gunther was sacked by an on-charging Savage for a 7-yard loss. Gunther
connected with Ryan Iacone on an under-screen for 10 yards, with DB Frank Joyce
making the tackle. On third and 7 at the La Salle 22, Gunther, on play action
fired a slant to Iacone for a first down and goal on the La Salle 9. Gunther
then hit the 6'-2" Keith Maguire on an alley-oop pass in the deep right corner
of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown. Sebastian Costantini's extra point was
good, and Malvern extended their lead to 28-17, with 8:52 left in the third
The kickoff sailed out of bounds, and La Salle would start at their own
35. Freshman RB Abdul Carter entered the game, and gained 9 yards on a jet sweep
to the right. Carter then plunged up the middle for a 3-yard gain and a first
down. On a fake jet sweep, QB Sean Daly bootlegged down the left side and gained
12 yards, but La Salle was again flagged for holding. Carter ran a jet sweep to
the right for 3 yards. Daly then went to his big target, WR Kahlil Diarrah, deep
down the right side, but overthrew him. Daly then scrambled to the left, and
arced a pass to Hardy, who caught the ball for a first down at the Malvern 25.
Daly kept the ball up the middle for no gain, and then gained just one yard up
the middle after a fake jet sweep. On third and 9 at the Friar 24, Daly's pass
up the middle was intercepted by Keith Maguire, but Maguire fumbled during his
return, and Jalen De Vose recovered for La Salle for a new first down at the
Malvern 41. Carter gained 6 yards on a jet sweep to the left. Manny Quiles went
up left tackle for 2. On third and 2 at the Malvern 33, Quiles was hit
immediately for a 2-yard loss, as the Malvern line timed the snap well. On
fourth and 4, Daly's deep pass to Hardy on the left side was intercepted by
TyGee Leach, who returned the ball to the Malvern 16.
Keith Maguire gained 5 up the middle, with tackles by Trainer and Brian
Grady. Malvern was then called for a procedure penalty, as they fell victim to
Gunther's double count. Keith Maguire ran up the middle, broke a few tackles,
and gained out to the 28 for a first down before being stopped by Rob Tatum.
Gunther then hit Tyler Tinson on the right side, and Tinson broke a tackle for a
6-yard gain, stopped by TJ Meachum. Keith Maguire tested the middle again, and
Paul Jennings took him down for a 2-yard gain. On third and two at their own 37,
Keith Maguire, with some power, pushed his way to the 44 for a first down, as
the third quarter ended with Malvern on top, 28-17. Gunther's slant pass to
Iacone was tipped and fell incomplete. Gunther tracked down a high snap, and
scrambled, but Carter chased him down for a 2-yard loss. On third and 12 at his
own 42, Gunther tried a bubble screen to White, but Savage made a good tackle
for a 2-yard loss. Costantini's punt was returned by Daly from the 15 to the 28,
and La Salle would need to get something going, trailing by 11 with 10:32 left
in the fourth period.
De Vose swept the left side for 2 yards. Daly threw too short to Diarrah
on a bubble screen. On third and 8, Daly scrambled, and tossed down the right
side to Hardy, who made the catch but was ruled out of bounds. However, Malvern
was flagged for a roughing the passer penalty, and La Salle had new life with a
first down on their own 45. Quiles showed great power up the middle for 10 yards
and another first down. Daly then rolled out the first play of the game, arcing
a bomb to Diarrah down the right side. Diarrah alley-ooped the catch, and got
down to the Malvern 10-yard line for a first and goal. Daly faked a jet sweep
and kept up the middle for 4 yards. Daly scrambled to the right and threw the
ball away while under pressure. On third and goal on the 6, the momentum turned
back to the Friars. Daly scrambled to the left, and tried to find Hardy on a
short toss, but DB James Hayes stepped in and intercepted the ball, falling out
of bounds at his own 7, with 7:45 left in the fourth stanza.
Keith Maguire, now the Friar workhorse, gained 3 up the middle. Gueriera
swept the right side and gained two before being tackled by O'Kane and Joyce. On
third and 5 at their own 12, Gueriera gained a crucial first down with a 6-yard
bolt up the middle, with stops by LB Brendan Frusco and O'Kane. Gueriera gained
12 more off left tackle before being hit down by Tatum and Meachum. Gunther
missed White on an out pattern to the right. Gueriera went off left tackle and
got out to his own 40 before an O'Kane tackle, and another first down. Frusco
stopped Gueriera for no gain off left tackle. Gueriera picked up three off left
tackle before being pulled down by Jordan Headen. On a third and seven draw,
Gueriera gained three up the middle as Carter made the hit. La Salle called time
out, with 3:33 left in the fourth period. Costantini's punt, skipped to the
12-yard line, but Daly couldn't field it cleanly, and DB Kellen Mathias
recovered the ball for the Friars on the 10-yard line for a first and goal,
sealing La Salle's fate.
On play action, Gunther hit White on his favorite pattern, a slant, for a
10-yard touchdown. Costantini's PAT was good, and Malvern now had an
insurmountable lead of 35-17, with 3:16 left in the game.
Quiles returned the kickoff from the 1 to the 16. Daly flared a pass to
Quiles, but Quiles was hit hard and the ball fell incomplete. Daly then threw a
pass that was blocked, and he caught his own pass, but was tackled for a 7-yard
loss. On third and 17, the Explorers were called for a procedure penalty,
sending the ball back to their own 5. De Vose was stopped for no gain up the
middle. Gandolfo's punt rolled dead on the 50-yard line, with 2:09 left.
RB D'Angelo Stocker lost a hard up the middle, with tackles by Trainer
and Savage, as John Boyle entered as quarterback for the Friars. A bad snap to
Boyle was recovered by Savage on the Malvern 40, and La Salle would come out
with freshman quarterback Byron Hopkins at the helm for the last two minutes.
On a fake jet sweep, Hopkins gained two yards up the middle. Soph RB Jalen
Hanton then ran a jet sweep down the left side and went out of bounds on the
Malvern 18 after a 20-yard gain. Hopkins rolled right and went out of bounds
after gaining two yards, with 32 seconds left. Hopkins scrambled, but was hit
for a loss of 9 yards, as the clock wound down. Hopkins, on the last play of the
game, scrambled, set himself, and threw into the end zone, where soph TE Tim
Barrett made a leaping catch for a touchdown from 25 yards out. The extra point
was not attempted, and La Salle lost their third game of the year, 35-23, to the
Friars of Malvern Prep.
NOTES: High-school football features a lot of emotional ups and
downs, and this game was a great example. La Salle had the misfortune of
committing some key turnovers at times when they were regaining the momentum
from the Friars, and the emotional swing was costly. There are some incredibly
gifted underclassmen on the team, and some of them got to show their talents in
this game. It was truly great to see two of La Salle's greats from the past,
Pete Uzelac '74, an All-Catholic end, and Bernie Burke '53, an All-Catholic
fullback and linebacker. Pete went on to play at Temple, and Bernie played at
Dayton. The Explorers will take on the Fords of the Haverford School on
Homecoming Day, Saturday, September 15, at 7 PM, at an old home, Springfield
High School, with a brand new turf field. The Homecoming picnic will be held at
4 PM prior to the game. A subsequent email will provide more details on
Homecoming Day, as well as the Hall of Athletics induction ceremony on Sunday,
September 16 at 1:30 PM. Stay tuned.