La Salle hosts No. 2 IMG Academy Friday

MONFORT HEIGHTS – With opening wins against Colerain and Winton Woods, La Salle High School’s football program is out to a quick, positive start. However, the only cupcakes Lancer football players get tend to come from the team mom’s club.

Friday night, IMG Academy out of Bradenton, Florida, ranked No. 2 in the country by MaxPreps, comes to Lancer Stadium. This past Saturday, in an ESPN-aired contest at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, IMG’s Ascenders slammed an online charter school based out of Columbus, 58-0.

La Salle running back Gi'Bran Payne runs the ball during their football game against Winton Woods, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

Coach Pat McLaughlin and staff watched the tape of the dismantling, which served to only identify key players to watch. Bishop Sycamore is now 0-3 and was 0-6 last season playing the likes of Cleveland St. Ignatius, Aurora, Lakewood St. Edward, Warren Harding and again IMG, who defeated them 56-6 in 2020.

“We didn’t get much out of it,” McLaughlin said of the video. “They did a couple of different formations and a few different things on defense. In terms of what Bishop Sycamore was doing, it didn’t help us out a ton.”

Even ESPN’s commentators questioned the validity of the matchup, which was put together by Paragon Marketing Group, a third-party, according to various online reports.