Prep’s Marvin Har­ri­son Jr. torches for­mer team in blowout win over La Salle.

Sopho­more posts 123 yards, two TDs in blowout win over La Salle

The Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed Mor­lock emor­lock@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @emor09 on Twit­ter

CH­ESTER >> Marvin Har­ri­son Jr. was on the wrong side of both St. Joseph’s Prep vs. La Salle games last year.

The wide re­ceiver lined up for the Ex­plor­ers when they lost by two touch­downs in the reg­u­lar sea­son and again when they lost by two touch­downs in the Dis­trict 12 Class-6A semi­fi­nals.

Now with the Prep, Har­ri­son was on the win­ning side Fri­day night. The sopho­more caught five passes for 123 yards and two touch­downs in the Hawks 4912 Philadel­phia Catholic League Red Di­vi­sion win over La Salle on Widener Uni­ver­sity’s Hirschmann Field.

“It’s just an­other game,” he said. “We fo­cus and pre­pare for ev­ery team just the same, noth­ing re­ally spe­cial.”

Har­ri­son was in­volved right from the jump. The Prep game­planned to hit him down the field on the first of­fen­sive play from scrim­mage. Sopho­more quar­ter­back Kyle McCord tar­geted his class­mate with a deep pass, but just over­threw him.

The 6-foot-3 175-pound re­ceiver was thrown to three more times on the open­ing drive. He caught a six-yard pass, drew a pass in­ter­fer­ence penalty on fourth down and reeled in a 14-yard touch­down.

“All the hard work pay­ing off in prac­tice ev­ery day,” Har­ri­son cred­ited for his big game. “Get­ting bet­ter and that’s just that.”

On the score, he ran a cross­ing route from left to right. McCord rolled right and found Har­ri­son, who ini­tially bob­bled the ball short of the end­zone but se­cured it and avoided tack­lers for six points.

On the third play of the sec­ond quar­ter Har­ri­son caught an­other touch­down — this one from 32 yards out.

His big­gest play of the game came late in the first half. Af­ter a false start penalty backed the Hawks up to their own 15-yard line, Har­ri­son had a 63-yard catch and run to flip field po­si­tion and set up a St. Joe’s score.

There ap­peared to be no hard

feel­ings be­tween for­mer team­mates. Af­ter the teams shook hands at the end of the game and play­ers fin­ished meet­ing with their po­si­tional coaches, Har­ri­son jogged over to La Salle’s side of the 50 and talked with some play­ers and coaches.

“I still have feel­ings for coach Stein­metz, he was a good coach for me while I was there,” Har­ri­son said. “Ev­ery­thing is good.”

“If you don’t want to be at La Salle — you don’t want to be at La Salle,” Ex­plor­ers coach John Stein­metz said. “That’s as sim­ple as that. If he didn’t want to be here that’s fine. It’s his de­ci­sion.”

Early flight

St. Joe’s (3-0, 1-0), the No. 1 team in PA Prep Live’s Top 20, didn’t waste much time get­ting ahead of No. 9 La Salle (1-4, 0-1).

Se­nior Mar­ques Ma­son re­turned the game’s open­ing kick­off 90 yards for a touch­down.

“We em­pha­size spe­cial teams so much on this team,” Har­ri­son said. “It’s good to see it pay off.”

Af­ter forc­ing an Ex­plor­ers three-and-out, the Hawks went on a nine­play, 60-yard scor­ing drive — capped by a touch­down pass from McCord to Har­ri­son — to take a 14-0 lead less than three min­utes into the game.

They added seven more points in the first quar­ter on a Kolbe Bur­rell two-yard run with 2:19 re­main­ing in the first.

“It cer­tainly de­flates us a lit­tle bit,” Stein­metz said of fall­ing be­hind right away. “Here we come all fired up, (the kick­off re­turn) just de­flates us.

“They scored ev­ery pos­ses­sion. They didn’t punt. I don’t think we stopped them. They scored ev­ery time they had the ball. We’ve got to fix our de­fense. We’ve got to get some­thing go­ing here.”

It was more of the same in the sec­ond quar­ter. St. Joe’s scored on all its pos­ses­sions ex­cept when McCord kneeled the ball two times with a 42-6 ad­van­tage.

Ex­plor­ers of­fense

La Salle wasn’t able to do much of­fen­sively un­til the game was al­ready de­cided.

The of­fen­sive play of the day was an eight-yard touch­down pass from Sean Daly to Kahlil Diar­rah. Diar­rah, a 6-foot-6 re­ceiver, out-mus­cled his de­fender to bring down a jump ball in the front cor­ner of the end­zone.

Mov­ing for­ward

La Salle will look to im­prove af­ter suf­fer­ing a lop­sided loss to its archri­val and fall­ing to 1-4 mid­way through the sea­son.

“They’re one of the best teams and we did a lot wrong,” Stein­metz said. “That’s why it’s a 49-point game. I thought it could have been a lit­tle bit closer. They’re a re­ally good foot­ball team — we don’t want to take any­thing away from that — but we made a lot of mis­takes and that didn’t help any­thing.”

Marvin Har­ri­son Jr.

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