This is one in a series of articles previewing Butler County high school football matchups this Friday
Overcoming adversity is part of competition.
Coming off a lopsided loss to Central Catholic, Seneca Valley's football team is hoping to face whatever lies ahead with its best player.
Running back/linebacker Ethan West entered last week's game against the Vikings hampered by a leg injury. He did not start and left the game after one rushing attempt and one reception as the Raiders fell, 33-7.
“He's day-to-day,” said SV coach Ron Butschle. “We're a different team with him in there, but with or without him, we need to execute our plays.”
That was something the Raiders struggled to do last week, totaling just 22 yards of offense by halftime and rushing for just 22 yards in the game.
The lackluster performance came after a promising 2-0 start to the season. The Raiders will look to get back on track Friday when they visit Quad County Conference foe Canon-McMillan for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The Big Macs beat Hempfield last week, 45-14, to move to 2-1 on the season. Their record is not the only thing the Bigs Macs have in common with the Raiders, according to Butschle.
“I see a team that's very good at running the football,” he said. “They have an athletic kid at quarterback and really good skill guys on the perimeter. They're a lot like us.”
Ryan Angott, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound junior halfback, carries much of the load for Canon-Mac. He's rushed for 444 yards in three games, including 262 last week.
“He's a four-tool back,” said Canon-Mac coach Mike Evans. “He's good in pass protection, catching the ball and can run with power and some speed. He ran for almost 900 yards last year, which is pretty good for a sophomore-debut in our league.”
Lamont Lyons is in his first full season as a starting quarterback and brings mobility to the position.
But the player who really caught Butschle's eye is Big Macs' 6-3, 230-pound senior defensive end Connor McMahon, who will play at the U.S. Naval Academy. He also starts at left tackle on offense.
“He's one of the best linemen I've seen. He's a dominant player,” Butschle said.
“Connor has strength and size,” Evans said. “We count on him to hold things down for us defensively.”
The Raiders will look for senior quarterback Dustin Horn to rebound after passing for just 36 yards and an interception last week. His play would obviously be helped by a more-effective ground game.
Nolan Dworek rushed for 100 yards in a Week 2 win over Norwin.
“We got Nolan and Mitch Curran, who we like to mix in ... and hopefully, we'll have Ethan, too,” said Butschle. “We just had some breakdowns last week that we need to fix. I'm confident we'll do that Friday.”
SV defeated the Big Macs last year, 27-7.
The Eagle sports staff's third season of Upon Further Review, a weekly show discussing Butler County area high school football, can be viewed on the Butler Eagle Sports Facebook page.