JACKSON TWP — With its most dangerous weapon on the sideline for all but two plays, Seneca Valley's offense was no match for Central Catholic.
Only a touchdown pass from backup quarterback Brian Olan in the final minute of the game kept the Raiders from getting shut out in a 33-7 loss to the Vikings at NexTier Stadium Friday night.
Senior Ethan West, who rushed for over 200 yards in last week's victory over Norwin, did not start against Central due to a leg injury and left the game for good after two plays early in the second quarter.
“He didn't practice at all during the week, but he tried to go,” said SV coach Ron Butschle. “I'm not sure what's wrong. Hopefully, we'll find out next week.”
Even with West's absence, Butschle was disappointed in his team's effort on offense. The Raiders had just 22 yards by halftime. Thirty-two of the team's 90 yards in the game came on Olan's touchdown pass to Brady Skalos with 53 seconds left.
“That's not who I think we are, but that's what we put out there,” said Butschle. “When they have nine guys in the box, it's very tough to run, and we struggled throwing the ball.”
The Vikings (3-1) opened the scoring with Matt Schearer's 37-yard field goal late in the first quarter.
SV's deficit was 10-0 by halftime thanks to Gannon Carothers' 56-yard return on an interception of a Dustin Horn pass with 9:49 left in the second quarter.
Central was without its own star running back, Eddy Tillman, who rushed for over 2,000 yards last year. But Carothers filled in with a very strong effort. He gained 174 yards on 22 carries, including a 70-yard scoring run in the third period.
Apparently, Carothers is several spots down on the Vikings' depth chart.
“I didn't even know who he was before tonight,” said Butschle.
SV's defense played well for much of the game. Connor Lyczek intercepted an Adam Obrin pass at Central's 32 late in the first half, but the Raiders promptly turned the ball over on downs.
Seneca (2-1) forced the Vikings to turn the ball over on downs twice in the second half.
“With our lack of production on offense, we couldn't flip the field and put our defense in some bad positions,” Butschle said.
Horn completed eight of 18 passes for 36 yards and the one interception.
Obrin was 8-of-18 passing for 58 yards and two interceptions, the second snagged by Cole Mrkonja on a desperation pass on the final play of the first half.
Central coach Terry Totten was not available for comment.
The Raiders visit Canon-McMillan next Friday.
Central Cath. 3 7 14 9 — 33
Seneca Valley 0 0 0 7 — 7
CC — Matt Schearer 37 field goal, :13
CC — Gannon Carothers 56 interception return (Schearer kick), 9:49
CC — Carothers 70 run (Schearer kick), 6:37
CC — Eric Benson 23 pass from Adam Obrin (Schearer kick), :00
CC — Safety, Kairos Beasley tackled Dustin Horn in end zone, 3:49
CC — Robinson Waddell 60 free kick return (Schearer kick), 3:38
SV — Brady Skalos 32 pass from Brian Olan (Adam Davies kick), :53
Rushing:Central Catholic, JD Younger 1-3, Anderson Cynkar 7-46, Gannon Carothers 22-174, Adam Obrin 5-14, Malachi Missouri 4-11, Brandon Jackson 1-2, TEAM 3-(-6). Seneca Valley, Nolan Dworek 12-9, Dustin Horn 7-(-23), Ethan West 1-(-1), Mitch Curran 2-6, Cole Mrkonja 1-3, Jaydon Fischer 4-28.
Passing:Central Catholic, Obrin 8-18-58-2. Seneca Valley, Horn 8-18-36-1, Brian Olan 1-1-32-0, Mrkonja 0-1-0-0.
Receiving:Central Catholic, Benson 5-42, Carothers 1-6, Jackson 1-(-1), Matt Schmitt 1-11. Seneca Valley, Dworek 2-10, Luke Lawson 1-2, Connor Lyczek 1-6, Josh Miller 1-8, West 1-3, James Sprentz 2-7, Brady Skalos 1-32.