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LaSalle pummels State College, 24-7

Written by: on Saturday, December 19th, 2009

HERSHEY, Pa. – In talking with a Philadelphia reporter following the “AAAA” state championship game, Sam Feleccia said he was thinking about a major in some area of business.

 

Speaking of business, LaSalle College (14-1) was very businesslike in handling District 6 champion State College (12-3), holding the Little Lions to just 120 yards of offense in a 24-7 romp in the PIAA “AAAA” championship game Saturday afternoon from snow-covered Hersheypark Stadium.

 

The victory brought the Philadelphia Catholic League its first PIAA championship.  State College failed to become the first-ever District 6 big school team to win a PIAA final.  District 6, as a whole, is just 1-5 all-time in PIAA title games.

 

State College coach Al Wolski said that the playoff run went further than anybody would have expected for his team.

 

“If you had honestly asked anybody before the season how long our season would be, they probably would have said we’d win one or two playoff games,” Wolski said.  “But we took it further than that.”

 

State High’s impressive playoff run, with dominating victories against Woodland Hills and Cumberland Valley, was ended with a dominating 17-point first half by the Explorers.

 

The game’s first three points came via a bit of luck.  Explorer place kicker Mike Bennett booted a 37-yard field goal as he was falling down.  The line-drive kick bounced off and over the crossbar, and LaSalle led by 3.

 

“A little charm,” said LaSalle head coach Drew Gordon.  “I’ll take luck over being good.”

 

Jamal Abdur-Rahman’s 22-yard scoring run pushed the LaSalle lead to 10-0.  Rahman finished the game with 60 yards on7 carries, but left the game with a knee injury.  Gordon said Rahman will likely need an operation on the knee.

 

Tim Wade’s seven-yard run with 1:10 left in the half pushed the Explorer lead to 17-0, and State College’s hopes of a gold medal had long fallen to the wayside.

 

“Their offense was probably more geared for the weather conditions,” Wolski said.  “They were a little more north and south (than we were).”

 

Feleccia’s 55-yard touchdown run with four minutes left in the third quarter pushed the LaSalle lead to 24-0.  But the shutout was not to last. Alex Kenney returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown.

 

“We gave #21 one opportunity,” Gordon said.  “And he took advantage of it.”

 

Kenney’s kickoff return was the longest in the history of the AAAA state finals and the second-longest in PIAA finals history – Drew Astorino had a 97-yard kickoff return in the 2006 AAA title game against Pottsville.

 

LaSalle’s career 5,000-yard passing quarterback, Drew Loughery finished the game 5-of-11 for 109 yards, with all five completions coming in the first half.  But LaSalle’s ground game, a very under-rated part of the offensive attack, chewed up 242 yards.

 

Feleccia finished with 156 yards on 20 carries.  Wade finished with 14 yards on four carries and Loughery 12 yards on eight carries.

 

The LaSalle defense limited State High to just 96 yards on 31 carries.  The Lions’ passing game, which exploded for over 170 yards last week against Cumberland Valley, finished with just 24 yards on three completions.

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