TURTLE CREEK — An easy tune-up before the final two weeks of Quad County Conference play didn't present itself to the Seneca Valley football team.
Playing a previously reeling Woodland Hills program Friday night at the Wolvarena proved to be a vicious challenge.
Six times, the Raiders marched into the red zone. The Wolverines didn't concede any points during those drives in a 36-7 non-conference victory. Seneca Valley's lone score came on a 27-yard run by Ethan West with 3 minutes, 24 seconds left in the first quarter.
“We turned it over and weren't able to finish,” Raiders coach Ron Butschle said. “Those are things we have to do. We've talked about it all year. When you get inside the 5-yard line, you have to come away with points. We gave up big plays is why the result was the way it was.”
Woodland Hills (2-6) lost its first four home games and is off to the worst start in school history. Before beating Kiski 28-2 last week, the Wolverines had suffered three straight single-digit losses.
This win didn't convince Woodland Hills coach Tim Bostard they had turned the corner.
“I don't know if we figured things out,” Bostard said. “We are still making mistakes here and there. I'm proud of our guys. We lost three games by eight points. Our backs are against the wall and that's when we are going to fight the most.”
The Wolverines showed the fight after forcing Seneca Valley into a three-and-out to start the game. On the ensuing drive, Woodland Hills went 60 yards in nine plays, culminating with a 27-yard scoring run by William Clark.
Clark led all rushers with 125 yards on 16 carries. West's touchdown and Adam Davies' ensuing extra point on Seneca Valley's next drive would give the Raiders their only lead, 7-6.
Woodland Hills outgained the Raiders 235-165 on the ground. Gabe Lawson led Seneca Valley with 78 yards on 12 carries.
“We didn't run the ball as well as I wanted to,” Butschle said. “We didn't throw the ball as well as I wanted to. We ended up inside the 10-yard line enough to score points. We didn't do that.”
Woodland Hills went ahead for good following a Seneca Valley miscue. Clark recovered a fumble on the Raider 19 late in the first quarter. Deontae Williams then found T'Rek Scipio for a touchdown pass on the next play.
After Taelen Brooks converted the 2-point conversion, Woodland Hills led 14-6 with 1:45 left in the first quarter.
Seneca Valley's next three drives, all before halftime, went inside the Wolverine 20. Two ended with turnovers-on-downs, while a fumble halted another one at the 4-yard line.
“That's a tribute to those guys,” Bostard said. “Backs against the wall, that's when the Wolverines play their best football. It's a tribute to our defensive staff.”
Another touchdown pass from Williams to Scipio gave Woodland Hills a 22-7 lead at halftime. The Wolverines tacked on two more scores in the fourth quarter on runs from Williams and Brooks.
Seneca Valley was left seeking its identity.
“We have to figure out who we are,” Butschle said. “We've been up-and-down all season. We've been able to rebound before and that's hopefully what we are going to do the next two weeks.”
Seneca Valley 7 0 0 0 — 7
Woodland Hills 14 8 0 14 — 36
WH — William Clark 27 run (run fauiled), 6:28
SV — Ethan West 27 run (Adam Davies kick), 3:24
WH — T'Rek Scipio 19 pass from Deontae Williams (Taelen Brooks run), 1:15
WH — Scipio 4 pass from Wiliams (Brooks run), 4:38
WH — Williams 3 run (Clark run), 7:08
WH — Brooks 14 run (run failed), 4:36