Kane guides La Salle past North Penn

Posted: September 01, 2012

There were times during the first half when it looked as if La Salle quarterback Chris Kane's teammates were daring him to show what he was made of.

Through two quarters, La Salle was pegged with a touchdown called back for holding, a failure to convert on a fourth and 1, and a blocked extra point. Kane himself even lost a fumble in the first half.

They were the types of mishaps generally distracting to a first-year starting quarterback, especially on opening night against one of his team's biggest rivals.

But none of it appeared to bother Kane.

Through ups and downs around him, Kane stayed poised, showing arm strength and accuracy. He helped his team overcome what were perhaps some first-game jitters to top North Penn, 20-7, Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

The victory is La Salle's fourth over North Penn in five meetings since the teams began playing each other three years ago. La Salle's only loss in that span came in last year's PIAA Class AAAA state semifinals, by a 21-14 score.

Kane, a senior in the first start of his high school career at quarterback, was stellar.

He was 16 for 24 passing for 274 yards and three touchdowns, with zero interceptions.

He showed good chemistry with sophomore Jimmy Herron and senior Sean Coleman. Kane connected with Herron on a 28-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to give the Explorers a 6-0 lead. The pair also ended the game's scoring, on a 5-yard pass with 1 minute, 3 seconds left in the third quarter.

That final scoring drive was Kane's most definitive. He was 6 for 8 for 81 yards during the march. The 10-play drive was in contrast to the Explorers' previous scoring sequence, which lasted exactly one play: an 80-yard touchdown pass from Kane to Coleman, giving the team a 12-7 lead with 7:06 left in the first half.

Coleman was by far the team's leading receiver, grabbing nine passes for 164 yards. He looked equally strong returning kicks.

North Penn's quarterback, junior Austin Shearer, was also making his first career start. He had trouble finding a rhythm for most of the game - largely because of a strong pass rush and coverage by La Salle.

The Knights running game, particularly Kyle Mayfield (19 carries, 98 yards), looked strong at times.

North Penn's only scoring drive was a 10-play, 80-yard march in which Mayfield carried the ball six times for 32 yards.

The drive ended in a 2-yard touchdown run by fullback Luke Berry, giving the Knights a 7-6 advantage in the second quarter.

The lead, though, was brief, and La Salle was largely in control for the rest of the game.

La Salle   0 12 8 0 – 20

North Penn   0 7 0 0 – 7

L: Herron 28 pass from Kane (kick blocked)

NP: Berry 2 run (Mandes kick)

L: Coleman 80 pass from Kane (kick failed)

L: Herron 5 pass from Kane (Coleman pass from Kane)

Contact Chris Melchiorre at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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