Lions edge out Explorers in Friday night football game

The College’s name was seen scrolling across many networks’ tickers on Saturday afternoon after the football team’s 13-12 win over the Division I (formerly DI-AA) La Salle University Explorers Friday night at McCarthy Stadium in Philadelphia.

“Nothing feels better than when you see your name flashing across the ticker on ABC,” head coach Eric Hamilton said.

With the win, the Lions have outscored the Division I La Salle University Explorers (0-3) two years in a row.

Senior kicker Matt Dalessio led the Lions to victory. He connected on a career-long 43-yard field goal in the first quarter to cap off a 10-play drive, then hit a 29-yard field goal with 42 seconds left in the game.

Following Dalessio’s field goal in the first quarter, sophomore quarterback Chris James hooked up with sophomore running back Lee Jones on a 39-yard play-action pass to give the College a 10-0 lead.

James, who connected on 12-of-22 attempts for 143 yards and a touchdown, attributes the offense’s recent success to his big guys up front.

“Our offensive line has really gelled,” he said, “and they’re the reason we’ve been so successful in putting up huge yardage the last two weeks.”

With 1:08 left in the second quarter, La Salle scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Lions’ special teams unit blocked the extra point.

Following halftime, La Salle took the lead for the first time of the night as junior quarterback Chris Hanson threw for his second touchdown pass. After an unsuccessful extra point attempt, the Explorers were on top 12-10.

Dalessio connected on his second field goal of the game toward the end of the fourth quarter to give the Lions the final edge, 13-12.

Allowing only 194 total yards on 63 plays, the Lions’ defense has been dominant this year.

Senior lineman Joe King had two sacks while senior defensive back Andrew Larkin recorded eight tackles.

“We felt we could have played a lot better,” sophomore linebacker Joe Spahn said of the defense. “There’s definitely room for improvement. We like to apply pressure and get after it.”

The team can also attribute the win to its impressive offense, which has put up over 850 yards in the last two games.

Senior running back Daniel Dornacker had his second straight 100-plus yard game Friday night, running for 119 yards on 17 carries.

“It was a good game,” Hamilton said. “We played well, but we need to try to force some turnovers in our (New Jersey Athletic Conference) opener on Friday.”

The Lions will host Montclair State University (3-0) on Friday at 7 p.m.