Last season, after coming over from Ohio powerhouse St. Edward, Shurmur threw for 2,474 yards and 25 TDs. Against North Penn, he impressively spread the ball among Jimmy Herron, Jordan Meachum, Charles Headen, and Charlie Hemcher.
"We have great coaches who know how to get the ball to our top playmakers," Shurmur said. "I'm just making what they draw up work."
The Explorers, ranked No. 3 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, improved their lead in the head-to-head series against the No. 7 Knights, always a force in the Suburban One League, to 6-1.
After fullback Nick Isabella ripped off a 56-yard scoring run early to give North Penn a 7-6 lead, La Salle's defense allowed only 115 yards on the ground the rest of the way. Meachum and Herron made third-quarter interceptions.
"It was guys making plays, doing what they're coached to do," said Gordon, whose squad went 8-3 and reached the Catholic League final last year.
Early in the fourth quarter, with La Salle ahead by 16-7, Shurmur found Hemcher along the sideline for a 28-yard TD. The tight end neatly stayed in bounds and sidestepped a defender.
On the Explorers' next possession, Shurmur found Rinella, a speedy halfback, for his fourth scoring pass, this one covering 17 yards.
After connecting with Meachum for a 41-yard tally, Shurmur hooked up with Herron, who will play baseball at Duke, for a 10-yard score that produced a 13-7 advantage in the first half.
La Salle 6 7 3 13 – 29
North Penn 7 0 0 0 – 7
LS: Jordan Meachum 41 pass from Kyle Shurmur (kick failed)
NP: Nick Isabella 56 run (Matt Ammendola kick)
LS: Jimmy Herron 10 pass from Shurmur (Matt Savage kick)
LS: FG Savage 20
LS: Charlie Hemcher 28 pass from Shurmur (kick failed)
LS: Nick Rinella 17 pass from Shurmur (Mike Raczak kick)