La Salle defeats Frankford for City crown
For Montgomery Media
A series of injuries have held down Jordan Meachum for large portions of this La Salle High football season.
But Saturday in the District 12/City Championship Class AAAA title game at Northeast High School, with his teammates down early with a case of “Win-OverSt. - J oseph’s- Prep- LastWeek-itis,” Meachum not only got up, he pulled the Explorers along with him.
The sophomore running back rushed for one score and set up two others with long runs as La Salle shook off an early funk and sped past Frankford, 37-20, giving the Explorers their fourth straight city title.
“It feels real good,” said Meachum, who started in place of the injured Jared Herrmann. “I didn’t know I was going to get the ball as much as I did, but with Jared hurt (with a rib injury), I seemed to have a bigger role.”
And the Explorers needed something to kick them in the pants after the underdog Pioneers got an interception from Marquise Poston and EHJDn WKHLU fiUVW SRVVHVVLRn at the La Salle 43.
Frankford quarterback Tim DiGiorgio (16-for-27, 252 yards) quickly moved Frankford inside the Explorers 10. But an end zone interception by Dad Poquie ended the early scare.
“That was a huge play right there,” La Salle coach Drew Gordon said. “In this kind of game, you give (Frankford) a jump start and they start thinking they’re all Tarzans.”
With the early threat averted, Meachum went to work, breaking off a 72-yard run that led to a Ryan Winslow 27-yDUG fiHOG JRDO, SuWWLnJ La Salle in front to stay with 7:32 left in the opening quarter.
That didn’t seem to deter the Pioneers, however, and keyed by a 26-yard run by Julian Santos, Frankford was soon knocking on the Explorers’ door again, this time getting as far as the La Salle 18.
But facing fourth-andsix from the 20, a hurried DiGiorgio threw an incomplete pass, and the Explorers dodged another bullet.
“I think we were still pumped up about the St. Joe win,” said La Salle lineman 7RP 6SLWHUL, wKR finLVKHG the game with three sacks, “and we hadn’t gotten it out of our heads.”
“I think we were expecting it to be easy, and you just can’t come out slow like that.”
“I don’t know if (the slow start) was related to (last weekend’s win),” added quarterback Chris Kane, “but we didn’t come out like we should have.”
Three plays after the fourth-down stop, Kane found Jimmy Herron across the middle, and the sophomore outraced everyone to the end zone to complete a 77-yard scoring play.
After stopping Frankford again, a 37-yard punt return by Sean Coleman set up the Explorers at the Pioneers 15.
Meachum scored from there, and some early fretting was quelled via a 16-0 La Salle lead by quarter’s end.
“(Frankford) plays a very fundamental defense,” Gordon said. “It was just a matter of executing at that point.”
And execute the Explorers did.
With the La Salle defense taking it up the necessary notch or two, the Explorers WRRN WKHLU finDO 14 VnDSV RI the half in Frankford territory.
And they scored on their finDO fivH SRVVHVVLRnV (nRW including the perfunctory run into the line on the half’s finDO SODy).
Kane found Coleman for a 26-yard score with 9:03 left in the half, then a wide-open
Jon Naji for strike at 4:35.
A 41- yard run by Meachum set up Nick Buckley’s 1- yard scoring plunge with 1: 37 left before intermission, and with a 37- 0 lead, the second half was played with La Salle’s reserves and a running clock.
“Jordan’s big run early helped,” Kane said. “We started slowly, but once we
28-yard got going we knew we were finH.”
“We had a slow start, but we picked it up,” Meachum said. “And I have to thank my offensive line. I wouldn’t have done anything without them.”
Meachum, his offensive line and all of the Explorers now get next weekend off before resuming play with the PIAA Class AAAA semifinals on the weekend of Nov. 30.
La Salle’s Jordan Meachum carries the ball during the Explorers’ victory over Frankford in the District 12/City Title game.