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Lions Sports

Inconsistent O'Hara No Match for LaSalle

OHara Varsity vs La Salle College HS on 9/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2012 by www.delcotimes.com
 

H.S. Football: Inconsistent O’Hara no match for La Salle

 

SPRINGFIELD TWP. — The Cardinal O’Hara offense had its bright spots Saturday. Unfortunately for the Lions, consistency wasn’t among them.

The O’Hara attack sputtered and crawled for large stretches Saturday, hardly able to keep up with La Salle’s well-oiled passing machine in a 38-6 Catholic League crossover loss at Springfield Township High School.

The Lions got their yards, including the first touchdown of the game on an easy-as-you-like, five-play, 80-yard march capped by Lamont Veal’s 27-yard touchdown.

From there, though, La Salle was the only team able to find pay dirt, and with regularity.

 

“It’s kind of been for the three games, it’s much of the same,” O’Hara head coach Danny Algeo said. “At times we’ve looked good, but we’re way, way too inconsistent.”

Highly touted La Salle signal-caller Chris Kane was on the run often in the first half, but some halftime adjustments to better pick up O’Hara’s blitz packages and get Kane out of the pocket on his own terms made the difference. He finished 11-for-19 for 179 yards, including touchdown strikes to Sean Coleman and Jimmy Herron.

Coleman added a back-breaking 80-yard punt return in the third quarter that blew the game wide open, and Ryan Coonahan put the icing on the cake after ripping the football away from O’Hara reserve running back Matt Penza and returning it 36 yards to the house.

“I think we had a good game plan for them,” La Salle coach Drew Gordon said. “I think we had good speed and were able to match their speed, so they weren’t able to outrun us on the corner or anything. We kept it under control. They didn’t try to throw the ball that much, but I think when we did, we were able to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback.”

The grinding halt to which Gordon’s defense brought O’Hara (2-1) was staggering. Take Veal, whose third carry of the game was the 27-yard scoring scamper. From there, he toted the ball six times for a total of minus-3 yards.

Likewise, O’Hara quarterback Dashawn Darden completed his first three passes, all to Tarron Dunbar.

 

The final completion was a 13-yard strike on O’Hara’s first play from scrimmage in the second half, looking to exploit an opening left by La Salle (3-0) after its drive petered out, a first-and-goal at the 10 turning into a missed 37-yard field goal with the margin still manageable at 17-6.

After that hookup, Darden went ice cold.

He misfired on his next four attempts, his receivers not doing him any favors with a couple of drops. The final pass was an interception by Herron that sounded the death knell for O’Hara’s comeback attempt. He finished 3-for-7, limited in attempts by La Salle’s defense and an unfavorable wind to much fewer chances than in the previous two games when he averaged 21.5 attempts per.

“It’s a little bit frustrating, but we’ve just got to get back on track,” Dunbar said. “We’ve got a lot of mistakes that we couldn’t get back together in the second half.”

All told in the second stanza, O’Hara’s starters moved the ball all of 38 yards (15 coming on a penalty) and amassed two first downs (one by penalty) in a quarter and a half. The scout team piled up 51 yards and three first downs in the final six minutes (two series) of the game.

The defeat leaves Algeo and his team licking their wounds after a loss for the first time this season with plenty of improvements to make going forward.

“I thought our kids kept playing,” Algeo said. “We had a fumble after that that led to a touchdown. I don’t question our kids’ efforts. I think our kids played hard. (La Salle) is really good, but you can’t drop passes and have self-inflicted wounds. That’s just going to add to the misery.”

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