By Joseph Santoliquito

PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — It hasn’t been easy, taking over as the starting quarterback of a defending state champion, trying to replace a strong leader, trying to play up to a standard when you’re getting your first chance to be a fulltime varsity starter.

Gradually, St. Joe’s Prep senior quarterback Jack Clements is checking off those boxes as this season has progressed. The Hawks’ schedule hasn’t exactly been helping. Prep plays the toughest schedule in the area—and it has prepared Clements for games like tonight, when Prep clashes with the No. 1 team and No. 1 quarterback in the area in La Salle and Vanderbilt-bound Kyle Shurmur, at 7 p.m. at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School.

Clements is coming off his best game this season throwing for a pair of touchdowns and running for two more in Prep’s 49-28 victory over Malvern Prep last week.

“Jack has really come along and he’s gotten better and better each week,” Prep coach Gabe Infante said. “Jack is learning from week to week and eliminating mistakes and not retaining those mistakes. The little things we talk about he’s taken to heart and that’s been the most promising thing; it’s very encouraging. The game is slowing down for him.

“We run periods where we work different things and periods he struggled with that he’s far better with. Chances are we’ll see La Salle again. This game is important, but we don’t get a trophy for Friday night. I do want to keep things in perspective.”

Hawks’ senior captain, linebacker Tom Johnson, is back. His first action was against Malvern Prep. This is the healthiest Prep has been going into a game this year.

Then there’s Shurmur, who has completed 122-of-191 passes for 1,616 yards and 21 touchdowns, according to TedSilary.com.

“Shurmur, the way he’s throwing the football, is the best I’ve seen a high school quarterback throw in my 17 years of coaching; that’s the task—stopping him and [Jimmy] Herron,” Infante said.

 

CBS Philly’s Area Top 10 Power Ratings For Oct. 10, 2014

  1. La Salle (Record: 5-1)
  2. Archbishop Wood (Record: 5-1)
  3. St. Joseph’s Prep (Record: 2-3)
  4. St. Joseph’s (Hammonton, NJ) (Record: 4-0)
  5. Pennsbury (Record: 6-0)
  6. Shawnee (Record: 4-0)
  7. Imhotep Charter (Record: 5-1)
  8. Timber Creek (Record: 4-0)
  9. Camden (Record: 4-0)
  10. Coatesville (Record: 6-0)

 

Under Consideration: Bonner-Prendergast (6-0), Cherokee (2-1), Haddonfield (4-0), Hammonton (4-0), Glassboro (4-0), Haverford School (4-1), Lenape (3-0), Quakertown (6-0), Central Bucks South (5-1), West Chester Henderson (5-1), West Chester Rustin (5-1), West Deptford (3-1).

Southeastern PA Top 10 Power Ratings For Oct. 10, 2014

  1. La Salle (Record: 5-1)
  2. Archbishop Wood (Record: 5-1)
  3. St. Joseph’s Prep (Record: 2-3)
  4. Pennsbury (Record: 6-0)
  5. Imhotep Charter (Record: 5-1)
  6. Coatesville (Record: 6-0)
  7. West Chester Henderson (Record: 5-1)
  8. Haverford School (Record: 4-1)
  9. Central Bucks South (Record: 5-1)
  10. West Chester Rustin (Record: 5-1)

 

Under consideration: Bonner-Prendergast (6-0), Springfield (D) (6-0), Quakertown (6-0), Ben Franklin (5-0), Springside Chestnut Hill (5-0), Council Rock North (5-1), Garnet Valley (5-1), Pennridge (5-1), Perkiomen Valley (5-1), Upper Dublin (5-1), Roman Catholic (3-3).

 

Game of the Week

La Salle (5-1) at St. Joe’s Prep (2-3) at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School, Friday, 7 PM

It’s the only game that matters this weekend. It’s Pennsylvania’s version of Michigan-Ohio State. La Salle is the area’s top team, and deservedly so, after coming back from a 31-14 fourth-quarter deficit to beat powerful Archbishop Wood, 35-31, last weekend. Vanderbilt-bound Kyle Shurmur, the area’s best quarterback, threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns—three in the fourth quarter to all-everything receiver Jimmy Herron, who caught eight passes for 132 yards and all four of Shurmur’s touchdowns.

Here is what La Salle has to concern itself with: Stopping Prep’s ground game. Wood smashed the Explorers for 388 yards rushing and if not for a costly Wood turnover, would have lost.

The Hawks are just finding themselves after a brutal national schedule. Depend on all-state and Penn State-bound John Reid to lock down Herron, no easy chore, and Prep to follow Wood’s way and pound with tailbacks Olamide Zaccheaus and D’Andre Swift, who have combined for 450 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. Quarterback Jack Clements appears to be settling in, after throwing two touchdowns and rushing for two more in Prep’s victory over Malvern Prep.

Prep plays keep-away from the dangerous Shurmur, whose physical attributes are already well known, but showed considerable poise in guiding the Explorers to three fourth-quarter scores against Wood. Shurmur jolts Prep with another scare, but to face two physically imposing teams back-to-back will carry a toll on the smaller Explorers. Shurmur and Herron can do almost everything—but this is a game that will be won up front.

Prediction: Prep 38, La Salle 35

 

2014 District One Seedings

AAAA– Top 16 qualify

School W-L PTS AVG

T1 Coatesville 6-0 770 128.3

T1 Pennsbury 6-0 770 128.3

3 Council Rock North 5-1 730 121.7

4 Quakertown 6-0 710 118.3

5 WC Rustin 5-1 700 116.7

6 Henderson 5-1 670 111.7

7 C. B. South 5-1 650 108.3

T8 Upper Dublin 5-1 640 106.7

T8 Downingtown East 4-2 640 106.7

10 Pennridge 5-1 630 105.0

11 Perk Valley 5-1 620 103.3

12 Garnet Valley 5-1 600 100.0

13 Downingtown West 4-2 570 95.0

14 Unionville 4-2 560 93.3

T15 Conestoga 4-2 550 91.7

T15 Ridley 4-2 550 91.7

 

AAA – Top 8 qualify

School W-L PTS AVG

1 Springfield (Delco) 6-0 800 133.3

2 Great Valley 5-1 700 116.7

3 Bishop Shanahan 4-2 630 105.0

4 Pottsgrove 4-2 590 98.3

5 Academy Park 4-2 580 96.7

6 Marple Newtown 4-2 560 93.3

7 Octorara 4-2 550 91.7

8 Upper Moreland 4-2 530 88.3

 

AA –Top 4 qualify

School W-L PTS AVG

1 Bristol 6-0 700 116.7

2 Springfield (Montco) 3-3 500 83.3

3 Valley Forge MA 3-2 390 78.0

4 New Hope 2-3 320 64.0

 

A –Top 4 qualify

School W-L PTS AVG

1 Calvary Christian 4-1 510 102.0

2 Delco Christian 3-2 460 92.0

T3 Bishop McDevitt 3-3 490 81.7

T3 Kipp-DuBois 3-3 490 81.7

 

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