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. *