BUTLER TWP — Once the rain subsided, Seneca Valley's offense ignited.
The Raiders scored three touchdowns in the final 13 minutes of the first half, then scored on their first three possessions of the second half in rolling to a 37-0 Quad County Conference football win over Butler Friday night at Art Bernardi Stadium.
Seneca Valley (4-1, 3-1) claimed the Butler Eagle Traveling Trophy — given to the winner of the SV-Butler game — for the 12th consecutive year.
“I like looking at that thing every time I go down to the office at our football field,” SV coach Ron Butschle said. “We don't want to give it up. We want to keep this rolling.”
Early on, the Raiders didn't have an easy time of it.
Heavy, blowing rain swept in shortly after the opening kickoff and both teams had trouble moving the football. When play was halted for 30 minutes due to lightning at the 3:08 mark of the first quarter, the game was scoreless.
Butler (0-5, 0-3) had two first downs, Seneca Valley one at that point.
“That rain was the great equalizer,” Butschle said. “We couldn't run any of the plays we designed to use coming in here.”
Raider quarterback Gabe Lawson agreed.
“Man, that was a hard rain,” he said. “We had trouble holding on to the ball. But it was that way for both teams.
“It was just weather and weather is a part of football.”
When play resumed, the rain was gone. So were Seneca Valley's offensive struggles.
Facing fourth-and-8 at midfield, Butler opted to go for the first down rather than punt. Quarterback Kyler Callihan was nailed for a 3-yard loss with 24 seconds left in the first quarter.
On the next play, Lawsdon found Josh McLean deep for a 47-yard touchdown strike for the game's first points.
Butler's regular punter, Emery Douthett, suffered a concussion during the week and was unavailable Friday night.
“We had our backup punter in and had trouble with a snap earlier,” Golden Tornado coach Eric Christy said. “We had a quick-kick play in for Kyler, but that was all.
“It was a momentum thing, too. We wanted to keep the ball.”
A 31-yard run by Lawson set up Matt Stanger's 6-yard touchdown run with 4:11 left in the first half. A 20-yard Lawson scramble set up his 4-yard scoring pass to Jake Stebbins,with 48 seconds left in the half.
“Once the rain quit, everything was meshing for us,” Lawson said. “We had great blocks, our receivers ran good routes, we were making sure tackles.”
The Raiders put the game away in the third period. Stebbins returned the kickoff 41 yards to set up a 23-yard Seth Winters field goal. McLean's 15-yard punt return set up a 37-yard drive that ended with a Stanger 1-yard touchdown run.
Lawson left the game at that point and Caden Smithco finished up behind center.
“We found some first-quarter energy at home again,” Christy said. “Now we need to find a way to carry it through.”
SV's defense forced two turnovers, including an interception by Ryan Kristobak. Butler did not reach the Raider 40-yard line until the third quarter.
“We played a solid, all-around game tonight,” Butschle said. “We were able to put a lot of things together.”
The Tornado did not force a turnover.
Lawson threw for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Stanger ran for 87 yards and two scores for the Raiders.
The Raiders travel to North Allegheny Friday for another Quad County Conference game.
Seneca Valley 7 13 10 7 — 37
Butler 0 0 0 0 — 0
SV —Josh McLean 47 pass from Gabe Lawson (Seth Winters kick), 1:16
SV — Matt Stanger 7 run (Winters kick), 4:11
SV — Jake Stebbins 4 pass from Lawson (kick blocked), :48
SV — Winters 23 field goal, 9:13
SV — Stanger 1 run (Winters kick), 4:43
SV — Mitchell Curran 7 rrun (Matt Bickert kick), 9:37
Rushing: Seneca Valley, Gabe Lawson 7-59, Matt Stanger 21-87, TEAM 1-(-10), Caden Smithco 4-3, Mitchell Curran 1-7, Matthew Hughes 2-(-3). Butler, Kyler Callihan 28-66, Chris Mertz 1-6, Cade Gratzmiller 1-11, Darin Skidmore 3-10, J.R. Herold 1-4, Bryan Presco 7-51.
Passing: Seneca Valley, Gabe Lawson 6-9-103-0, Caden Smithco 2-5-45-0. Butler, Kyler Callihan 0-7-0-1, Bryan Presco 0-4-0-0.
Receiving: Seneca Valley, Josh McLean 2-63, Matt Stanger 1-0, Jake Stebbins 2-17, Ryan Kristobak 1-23, Jake Good 1-6, Josh Miller 1-39.