Shurmur spurs La Salle past Malvern

MALVERN – It is very rare for a visiting football team to win a game in which the players commit more penalties and turnovers more than their opposition. However, that is exactly what La Salle did on Saturday afternoon, rolling past Malvern Prep, 27-8, in the nonleague contest.

When you hear the last name Shurmur, you may think of the Eagles’ successful offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmur. On Saturday, the fans in attendance at Quigley Field learned the apple does not fall far from the tree. His son, Kyle, is the quarterback for the Explorers and showed off his talents for everyone, airing the ball out for 228 yards, and tossing three touchdowns.

After Malvern Prep opened the game with a three-and-out, Shurmur marched his team down the field, then connected with Nick Rinella for a 13-yard touchdown pass, giving La Salle an early 6-0 lead.

The La Salle offensive onslaught continued in the second quarter. With just under six minutes remaining in the half, halback Jordan Meechum blasted in from the one. The Explorers struck again with 90 seconds remaining in the quarter, when Shurmur hit his trusty wide receiver, Jimmy Herron, in stride for a 62-yard touchdown.

“I thought our offensive did a really good job today. We definitely have things we have to work on, but they (Malvern) are a really good team and we were tested today. It was big for us to have success on them today,’ Shurmur said.

Malvern broke through on the final play of the first half. QB Alex Hornibrook rolled out to his right and delivered a strike to Trevor Morris in the back corner of the end zone. Morris did an amazing job keeping his feet in bounds and controlling the catch the entire way through.

With Malvern Prep trailing 20-8 at halftime, there were hopes among the hometown crowd that a comeback was looming. However, the La Salle offense quickly put those thoughts to rest when they opened up the third quarter with an 18-play, 80-yard drive that concluded with another Shurmur to Herron touchdown connection, this time from six-yards out. The drive lasted just under eight minutes, included two fourth-down conversions.

“It really just comes down to doing our job,’ Herron said. “I just try and make sure I am always in the right spot and Kyle is so good he will get me the ball. Today was just a matter of executing, and I thought our offense as a whole did that this afternoon.’

Malvern Prep moved the ball well, but was unable to reach the end zone.

“I am really proud of all my players. That team we just played is one of the best in the state and we gave it our all the entire game.,’ Malvern coach Aaron Brady said. “Our defense did a lot of great things this afternoon. If you told me we were going to hold Shurmur and that offense to under 30 points, I would have honestly thought we would come out on top. That just shows you how good of a team they have over there. The difference in today’s game was that when they had third or fourth and short situations, they converted. We weren’t able to do that. It is the little things like that, that change games. But I cannot stress enough how proud I am of our kids fighting all game.’

The win boosts La Salle’s record to 3-1, while Malvern Prep drops to 2-2. Up next, the Explorers will play a home game versus McDonogh of Owings Mills, MD. As for the Friars, they will faceoff against rival, St. Joseph’s Prep, in two weeks at Villanova University.

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