Thanks to their 35-7 romp over Ridley in Saturday's PIAA Class AAAA state semifinal, the La Salle Explorers became the first Class AAAA school in District 12's six-year history to advance to the state final.
La Salle will take on State College for the championship at 7 p.m. Saturday at HersheyPark Stadium. State College, of District 6, was a 35-13 victor over District 3's Cumberland Valley on Saturday.
What will be the key to that game? Judging from La Salle's work on defense against Ridley, it might be whether the Explorers' defense can repeat their performance.
Here is one last look at how well the La Salle defense dominated Ridley:
The Explorers' defense yielded only 89 yards rushing and 89 passing through three quarters against the Green Raiders.
Overall, coordinator John Steinmetz' unit forced four turnovers, all fumbles.
Linebackers Shane Brady and Ryan Saraceni, and safety Kevin Forster each posted five tackles.
End Steve Sinnott produced four solo tackles, including a third-quarter sack, and batted down a pass.
Sinnott and tackle Steve Szostak had solo sacks. Brady was joined on his first-quarter sack by end Cameron Cappo.
Both of linebacker Anthony Cognetti's fumble recoveries came in the fourth quarter. The first was forced by end Joseph Naji's hit on quarterback Colin Masterson. The second, which Cognetti returned 36 yards to the Ridley 22, was caused by Saraceni's tackle of wideout Norm Donkin after a 7-yard gain.
Ridley's three first-half fumbles were forced by, in order, Brady (recovery by Szostak), Mark DiFrangia (on a punt return, recovery by Patrick Resch), and Forster (recovery by cornerback Vinny Migliarese).
If La Salle can dominated State Collge that way, its offense may not need to score 35 points.