Day lights up La Salle win

Posted: September 01, 2007

New year, new Day, for La Salle High football.

Gone are nine of the starters that last season helped to produce a Catholic Red championship. But one who's back is Matt Day, a 6-foot, 170-pound senior cornerback, and now he's different.

"You have to change when you're a leader," Day said. "You have to make sure everything's going right, and show more responsibility.

"If you're in the weight room and you see guys aren't doing what they're supposed to, you have to say something. Maybe even yell. Yes, I've done that. You have to make sure their energy's up."

When the Explorers last night visited Plymouth-Whitemarsh for their nonleague opener, the game was almost played in Day's backyard. He lives 2 minutes away. And his performance wasn't too shabby.

Day made seven tackles (five solos) and recovered an early, momentum-changing fumble as La Salle triumphed, 27-7.

Among the surprised? Not Matt Day.

"I go into every game expecting our defense to get a shutout and our offense to score a lot of points," he said. "Our only other returning starter is [linebacker] Andrew Wood, but I'm friendly with all of the new guys and they've shown we can have confidence in them. They have heart and talent."

P-W opened the game with two quick first downs and even the next play went for 9 yards. But Matt Alba (seven solos) forced a fumble and Day recovered on the Colonials' 36. Soon, sophomore Mike Bennett was putting the Explorers ahead for good with a 22-yard field goal.

"They were getting a bunch of yardage right off," Day said.

Mike Donohoe added six stops for La Salle. John Harrison led the offense by passing 17-for-29 for 184 yards and one touchdown apiece to Joe Migliarese and Tyler Houchins. Sam Feleccia added 93 yards of rushing and receiving.

P-W's stadium now features an artificial surface and Day, who's receiving preliminary contact from colleges on all three levels, was perhaps the first Explorer to, well, explore it.

"I was here [Thursday night]," he said. "I ran around on it a little to decide whether to wear sneakers or cleats. It's pretty nice. I was able to go with cleats.

"I had a lot of La Salle friends at the game, of course. Also watching was a good friend from my neighborhood. He graduated last year from P-W, but didn't play football. He said he'd be rooting for La Salle."

Did the guy keep his promise?

Hey, Matt Day was too busy providing heroics to check. *

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