La Salle takes down North Penn

Jimmy Herron of La Salle finds an opening in the North Penn defense in the second quarter. Herron caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Shurmur in the second quarter as the Explorers took the season opener. RON TARVER /Staff Photographer
Jimmy Herron of La Salle finds an opening in the North Penn defense in the second quarter. Herron caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Shurmur in the second quarter as the Explorers took the season opener. RON TARVER /Staff Photographer
Posted: September 02, 2013

Kyle Shurmur stood in the shotgun formation, hands at his sides, his gold helmet cocked toward the La Salle sideline as he awaited the play. He spent a lot of time in that pose Saturday night.

What happened next was more often than not excellent in La Salle's 34-7 rout of North Penn at Plymouth Whitemarsh.

Shurmur's debut created the perfect storm of anticipation: The 6-foot-4 junior made his first start after transferring from Ohio powerhouse St. Edward. He did so for arguably the area's premier program against a marquee opponent before a standing-room-only crowd. And he's the son of Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

The results will do little to dampen the excitement. Shurmur went 16 for 25 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He hummed the ball to six receivers and showed little trouble running the Explorers' no-huddle offense.

Aside from a late fumble and a miscue on a shotgun snap, it was a smooth debut.

"Some good, some bad," Shurmur said. "I really need to get better, take care of the ball more. Starting Monday, this game is behind me."

The Shurmur era got off to a slow start as the Explorers went three and out on their first possession. He warmed to the task as the half progressed.

Shurmur completed a 22-yard pass on fourth down from the 27-yard line to set up Jordan Meachum's 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

In the second, Shurmur threaded a 5-yard touchdown pass through a tight lane to wide receiver Jimmy Herron on a slant route.

"He puts the ball right on your numbers every time," Herron said.

Shurmur got plenty of help from an offense that returned just one starter. Meachum carried 19 times for 110 yards and a touchdown.

The defense, led by Syracuse recruit Zaire Franklin, allowed just an early fourth-quarter touchdown.

"We help each other out. We trust each other," Shurmur said. "I feel like we're going to be a special team this year."

Shurmur stood six-deep at the back of the postgame huddle as his teammates bobbed up and down. He might not be at the center of the celebrations yet, but that, too, seems just a matter of time.

North Penn 0 0 0 7 – 7

La Salle 7 7 13 7 – 34

LS: Jordan Meachum 5 run (Matt Raczak kick)

LS: Jimmy Herron 5 pass from Kyle Shurmur (Raczak kick)

LS: Jared Walls 16 run (kick failed)

LS: Meachum 8 pass from Shurmur (Raczak kick)

NP: Luke Berry 1 run (Andrew Kirsch kick)

LS: Charles Headen 20 pass from Chris Ferguson (Raczak kick)


Contact Tim McManus at tmcmanus@philly.com. Follow on Twitter @ByTimMcManus.

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