JACKSON TWP — Looking to even its conference record at 2-2, Seneca Valley focused on its ground game in Friday's home game against Butler.
On their first play from scrimmage, the Raiders were rewarded for that strategy when Ethan West raced 38 yards for a touchdown mid-way through the first quarter.
It was a sign of things to come as SV piled up 345 rushing yards in a 55-0 blanking of the Golden Tornado at NexTier Stadium.
With the win, the Raiders earned the Butler Eagle Traveling Trophy for the 13th straight season.
Following a bad second half on both sides of the ball in a loss to Mt. Lebanon the previous week, Raiders' coach Ron Butschle was pleased to see his squad get back to good, fundamental football.
“We give the guys 24 hours to either celebrate a win or think about a loss,” he said. “After last week, I was proud of the way we practiced this week. It was nice to get the running game going.”
West tallied seven carries for 102 yards, all in the first half. Quarterback Gabe Lawson and Matt Stanger also scored rushing touchdowns in the first half, after which the Raiders (2-3, 2-2) led 35-0.
Lawson threw a pair of touchdown passes in the game, 29 yards to Connor Lyczek in the first quarter and 12 yards to Stanger just before halftime.
“We watched a lot of film this week and just focused on getting back to winning football,” said Lyczek.
Butler's best drive of the game spanned the first and second quarter. Trailing 14-0, a 12-yard run by Justin Kabay and Baxter's 15-yard pass to Colin Look on 3rd-and-8 were key plays in a 42-yard march to SV's 34. On fourth down, however, Baxter's pass bounced off the fingertips of Anthony Daviduk and was intercepted by Connor Lyczek at SV's 15.
The Tornado (0-5, 0-3), who dressed just 27 players, would not reach SV territory again until late in the third quarter.
“A lot of our drives ended because of (lack of) execution,” said Butler coach Eric Christy. “We try to play kids on just one side of the ball if possible, but it's tough when you're dressing that few players.
“We had some new faces in there tonight and it was a learning experience.”
The Raiders inserted their second string at the start of the second half. Backup quarterback Dustin Horn ran for two touchdowns and running back Nolan Dworek gained 113 yards and one score on just four carries. Zaire Agrate halted a Butler drive with an interception near midfield and Luke Berbach recovered a fumble.
“When our young guys get into a game, they're hungry and want to make plays,” said Butschle.
Butler's Colin Look recovered a Raider fumble late in the game, but the mercy clock ran out with the Tornado at SV's 25.
“These kids are young and still impressionable,” said Christy. “They see the scoreboard and know how good the teams are that we're playing. It's a challenge, but we're excited about going to Norwin next week.”
Seneca Valley hosts North Allegheny Friday.
Prior to the game, members of the Seneca Valley Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2019 were honored on the field. They include Jenny (Weyman) Gilmore, Tony Sunseri, Larry Wendereusz Jr., Jill (Colbert) Brown, Robert Magerko, Bob Harsh, Clair Altemus and the 1974-75 boys swimming and diving team.
Butler 0 0 0 0 — 0
Seneca Valley 14 21 20 0 — 55