PHILADELPHIA >> The older than dirt motto in sports is that you play as you practice.
La Salle’s football team had what everyone termed a “great” week of practice.
The results were visible in the Explorers’ 48-6 win over Archbishop Ryan Saturday night at Northeast High School.
The Explorers blew open a 14-point game with a 34-point second half and cruised past the Raiders, who were playing with more than a handful of starters on the disabled list.
“Ryan’s a tough city team,” said Explorers head coach John Steinmetz, “but we really worked hard in practice this week, and we played like we practiced.”
“We had a great week of practice,” added junior lineman Chris Maloney, “and we played tonight like we did in the second half against Carroll last week.
“We knew we had to play like that for four quarters tonight.”
It didn’t take long for La Salle to show off the fruits of its week-long labor.
On their opening drive, the Explorers went 66 yards in 14 plays to take the lead.
Quarterback Tom Lamorte passed and ran La Salle down the field, ultimately hitting Troy Holland for a 4-yard touchdown with 4:35 left in the opening quarter.
After a quick three-and-out forced by the Explorers defense, La Salle doubled its advantage in just four plays, with Lamorte connecting with Brett Mallee for a 22-yard score on the next-to-last play of the opening quarter.
Ryan held the Explorers scoreless for the remainder of the half, and actually left points on the field at the end of the half, when the Raiders failed to score from the La Salle 18, then bollocksed up a field-goal attempt on the half’s final play.
The second half was all La Salle, as Syaire Madden (11 rushes, 202 yards, 3 TDs), who played sparingly in the first half, got it going, ripping off a 59-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter, then scored on a 15-yard jaunt on the Explorers’ next series.
His third TD of the quarter, a 53-yard gallop, could have triggered the mercy clock, but the extra point was missed.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Raiders fumbled and Explorer Brennan Daly returned it 26 yards for a 41-0 lead.
The game didn’t get prettier after that.
“We had a lot of kids out this week,” said Ryan head coach Frank McArdle. “We’re down to third and fourth-string guys at some positions, and that’s not how you want to go into a game against La Salle.
“We had a hard time getting off the field on defense, and that’s never a good thing.”
For the Explorers, it’s another potentially tough game next week when they meet Father Judge, while the Raiders go after Archbishop Wood.
“We’re going to have to get our act together for then,” Steinmetz said.
Although Saturday, La Salle’s act looked pretty together.