HEMPFIELD TWP — Hitting the reset button turned out to be exactly what Seneca Valley's football team needed.
Coming off a lopsided loss to North Allegheny and owning a 2-4 record entering Friday's Quad County Conference game at Hempfield, the Raiders received spirited play on both sides of the ball in a 40-12 thumping of the host Spartans.
“We wanted to find our identity for the last four games of the regular season,” said SV coach Ron Butschle. “If this is it, I like what I saw.”
SV scored touchdowns on its final three drives of the first half. Versatile threat Ethan West was a key on all three marches, which covered 68, 72 and 77 yards.
On the initial scoring drive, he caught a 45-yard pass from Gabe Lawson to set the Raiders (3-4, 3-3) in the red zone. He capped the series with a 14-yard scoring run.
He picked up enough yards to keep the chains moving on a pair of third-down runs on the second drive, which ended with Lawson's 1-yard plunge.
West then caught a 16-yard pass on 3rd-and-12 to help set up Lawson's second touchdown for a 19-0 lead just before halftime.
West ended the game with 144 yards from scrimmage and two scores.
“That kid's a player, hands down,” said Lawson. “He's a great athlete and opens things up for the rest of the offense. The best part is, he's only a junior.”
Meanwhile, Hempfield's offense had been slowed to no more than a trickle by the Raider defense. The Spartans (2-5, 1-5) drove 44 yards on their first drive, which ended with an interception by defensive lineman Felipe Junqueira at SV's 32.
Hempfield's next four drives, which extended well into the third quarter, produced just 12 combined yards. The result was three 3-and-outs and another drive halted by Conor Hayes' interception in the third quarter.
“We simplified things tonight,” said Butschle. “We focused on things like gap integrity, bracketing the ball and making sure guys didn't squirt out on us. Defense doesn't have to be complicated if you do the little things well.”
Hempfield running back Nathan Roby felt the clutches of SV's defense more than anybody. The senior was averaging 6.5 yards per carry coming in, but was held to a paltry 21 yards on 11 carries. He did score Hempfield's first touchdown — a 37-yard pass from Blake Remaley — but it came late in the third quarter when the game had already been decided.
Remaley threw for 175 yards, but had just 42 yards at halftime.
“Our defense was all about attitude tonight,” said Lawson, a safety. “Everyone was running around, giving 100 percent and having fun.”
Lawson was 10 of 16 passing for 250 yards and a touchdown pass to Marciano McCowan in the third period. He hit several receivers with clutch passes in the first half when the game was still in doubt, including Nic Cook, Seth Baic and James Sprentz.
Baic's 14-yard reception came on a 4th-and-9 from Hempfield's 17 on SV's second scoring drive.
The Raiders play out of conference Friday at Woodland Hills.
Seneca Valley 7 12 14 7 — 40
Hempfield 0 0 6 6 — 12
SV — Ethan West 14 run (Adam Davies kick), 4:15
SV — Gabe Lawson 1 run (kick failed), 6:46
SV — Lawson 1 run (pass failed), :34
SV — West 2 run (Davies kick), 7:17
SV — Marciano McCowan 33 pass from Lawson (Davies kick), 4:01
H — Nathan Roby 37 pass from Blake Remaley (kick failed), :18
SV — Lawson 10 run (Davies kick), 10:41
H — Roman Pellis 10 pass from Remaley (kick failed), 6:29
Rushing: Seneca Valley, Lawson 14-48, West 14-73, Seth Baic 3-0, Matt Stanger 8-20, Nolan Dworek 2-7, Dustin Horn 2-(-2), Kyle Cichra 3-5, TEAM 1-(-2). Hempfield, Nathan Roby 11-21, Randy Nelson 2-7, Murphy 1-(-2), Blake Remaley 1-2, Lucas Guy 4-21, Bryce Andrascik 1-5.
Passing: Seneca Valley, Lawson 10-16-250-0, Horn 1-3-12-0. Hempfield, Blake Remaley 13-25-175-2.
Receiving: Seneca Valley, West 3-71, Nic Cook 2-60, Baic 2-34, James Sprentz 1-17, McCowan 1-33, Connor Lyczek 1-35, Brandon Weaver 1-12. Hempfield, Roby 6-73, Nelson 3-48, Pellis 4-54.