It didn't matter which side of the ball it came from, but the entire La Salle Explorers football team did its job on Saturday.
The running game was top-notch, the passing game was rather efficient and the defense was stellar for the Explorers, who outgained Archbishop Ryan 203-95 in total offense in a first half which saw La Salle build up a 21-0 lead going into the locker room.
The final result was a 28-14 win for La Salle over the host Raiders in a Philadelphia Catholic League Class AAAA afternoon meeting at George Washington High School.
Jordan Meachum and Nick Rinella ran in touchdowns in the first quarter and quarterback Kyle Shurmur found Jimmy Herron for a 23-yard touchdown pass late in the first half to open the game up and give La Salle its three-touchdown lead.
Shurmur then found athlete Jimmy Herron for a 34-yard pass — the first of two touchdown catches for Herron, who led the way with 54 rushing yards on eight carries to go along with his 90 receiving yards and two touchdowns on six catches.
"Jimmy has been great the last two weeks,' La Salle coach Drew Gordon said. "He was sick for awhile, but now, he's back and he's just a player. Offensively, defensively and even on special teams — we put him in anywhere and he does his job. We put him in at wildcat today and he did more than he has done in the past with that, so he did a really great job today.'
The Raiders (4-1, 0-1) managed to get a pair of touchdowns through the air in the third quarter, but it was too little, too late, as the Explorers' run defense did its job from start to finish.
"Our pass defense was atrocious at times,' Gordon said. "We missed some plays, but I just thought that our run defense did well and we had a great stop at the end of the first half in our red zone that really helped.'
By the end of the first half, La Salle (4-1, 1-0) had allowed only 95 total yards from scrimmage on defense. By the end of the game, the Explorers had racked up 362 total yards of offense to 244 for the Raiders, who were undefeated entering Saturday afternoon's game.
"This was a huge win because we really thought we could've played better in our previous four games,' Herron said. "We are really focused on playing strong now. With this win, I think we can get it rolling in the Philadelphia Catholic League.'
The Explorers, despite using Herron and Nick Rinella for a majority of the handoffs, used a running back-by-committee-type offense, something which Herron said really helps out the offense.
"Using a bunch of running backs really helps because it keeps everybody fresh,' Herron said. "Everybody gets the ball and it really helps a lot. It was a good game today and we did some good things, but you always have to keep getting better. We'll go to the film and try to work on stuff and get better every week.'
Besides Herron's big day, Shurmur played well for La Salle, completing 15 of 24 passes for 174 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Rinella ran 17 times for 81 yards and a score, while also catching three passes for 24 yards. La Salle managed 21 first downs on the afternoon.
The Explorers will look to remain undefeated when they face Father Judge next Saturday.
"We just have to work harder at it,' Gordon said. "We'll take this win, but we have a lot to work on.'
La Salle 14 7 7 0—28
Archbishop Ryan 0 0 14 0—14
L — Meachum 4 run (Raczak kick)
L — Rinella 1 run (Raczak kick)
L — Herron 34 pass from Shurmur (Raczak kick)
AR — Golden 36 pass from Ostaszewski (Stock kick)
L Herron 25 pass from Shurmur (Raczak kick)
AR — Golden 25 pass from M. Romano (Stock kick)
La Salle Ryan
First downs 21 13
Rushing yards 188 120
Passing yards 174 124
Total yards 362 244
Passing 15-24-2 6-17-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 3-20 3-35
Punts-avg. 0-0 5-32.6
La Salle: Meachum 5-20, TD; Shurmur 4-(-5); Herron 8-54; Rinella 17-81, TD; Brady 2-7; Walls 5-21; Buckley 3-10.
Archbishop Ryan: Bullock 18-62; M. Romano 1-15; B. Romano 1-9; Ostaszewski 10-34.
La Salle: Shurmur 15-24-2; 174, 2 TD.
Archbishop Ryan: Ostaszewski 4-13-0, 86m TD; M. Romano 2-3-0, 48, TD; B. Romano 0-1-0.
La Salle: Herron 6-90, 2 TD; Buckley 3-18; Headen 1-17; Walls 1-16; Coonahan 1-9; Rinella 4-24.
Archbishop Ryan: Golden 5-129, 2 TD; Smith 1-(-5).
La Salle: Dones, Golden.
Archbishop Ryan: Done.
La Salle: None.
Archbishop Ryan: None.
Follow Mike Prince on Twitter @mike_prince21