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La Salle takes on St. Joseph’s Prep in PCL Red showdown

La Salle's Troy Holland runs across the goal line with a touchdown reception against Roman Catholic on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (Rick Cawley/For Digital First Media)

In a battle of the top two teams in the Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division as well as the top two teams in the Pa. Prep Live Top 20, La Salle will take on St. Joe’s Prep Friday night in a PCL clash at Widener University.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

“We’ll find out a whole lot about ourselves Friday night,” Explorers coach John Steinmetz said. “We’ll see how good we are then. Looking forward to it. I think everybody’s kind of excited that it’s here.”

“It’s definitely a big game for us, as all Prep-La Salle games are,” La Salle quarterback Danny Solecki said. “We’re excited. We’re gonna get after it, have a solid week of practice and get down to Widener on Friday.”

The Explorers, No. 2 in the Pa. Prep Live Top 20, come into this one 6-1 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the division. Top-ranked St. Joe’s is also 4-0 in the PCL Red, with a unbeaten 6-0 mark overall.

Solecki and the Explorers came out firing last Saturday at the South Philly Super Site, with Solecki connecting for four touchdown passes and 162 yards. Wide receivers Troy Holland and Marvin Harrison Jr. were both inviting targets — Holland caught two passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns, Harrison Jr. snagged three balls for 63 yards and two scores.

La Salle won its fifth straight — its only loss this year coming to McDonogh (Md.) — with tough running by Joey Burnham, who reached the end zone twice.

The Explorer defense has held its last four opponents to seven points or less and now faces its toughest test in the Hawks.

Marquez McCray, a Lansdale product, was a key piece of last year’s 6A State Title run and has filled an even bigger role this year. Last week he threw for four scores in a 42-7 rout of Father Judge.

The winner of this game takes over sole possession of first place in the PCL Red with one game to go. Next week, La Salle is at Archbishop Wood and St. Joe’s is at Archbishop Ryan.

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