Defensive stand leads to win for SV

October 30, 2021 Cranberry Local Sports


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Seneca Valley ball carrier (7) Brandon Ross evades a North Allegheny tackler at Seneca Valley High School on September 24, 2021.

JACKSON TWP — Having already turned in a great performance, Seneca Valley's defense was called back onto the field for one final round Friday night.

Leading 17-10, the Raiders were attempting to run out the clock when running back Nolan Dworek fumbled and North Allegheny's Nick Frisco recovered at SV's 35 with one minute, 28 seconds left in the game.

The Tigers drove the ball to the Raiders' 3-yard line, but on 3rd- and 4th-and goal, quarterback Logan Kushner was held short of the goal line.

Defensive lineman Aiden Lyczek made the initial hit to drop Kushner on fourth down and the Raiders took over at their own 2 with just two seconds remaining.

SV elected to kneel down in the end zone on the game's final play. The safety meant nothing as the Raiders celebrated a 17-12 victory over the rival Tigers at NexTier Stadium.

“Our defense was incredible tonight,” said SV coach Ron Butschle. “Our offense found ways to make plays and put together scoring drives when we needed it.

“This was a fantastic game.”

The win earns for the Raiders (5-2, 7-3) a bye into the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals. They will take on Central Catholic Nov. 12.

The Tigers (4-3, 6-4) will open the playoffs next Friday at home against Canon-McMillan,

NA's final series marked the third time in the game the Tigers drove the ball inside SV's 5-yard line and failed to score a touchdown.

With the game scoreless in the first quarter, a 1st-and-goal from the 5 soon turned into fourth down and the Tigers elected to run a play after initially lining up to kick a field goal. Harron Lee was dropped for a yard loss.

In the third quarter, NA's drive stalled at the 3-yard line and Lee's field goal knotted the game at 10.

For the game, the Tigers were held to 86 yards rushing on 32 carries.

“I'm not going to pin this loss on any one area of our team,” said Tigers' coach Art Walker. “Offense, defense, special teams, they all have responsibilities.

“If one area is struggling, the others have to pick it up.”

Dworek had two fumbles in the game, but he also rushed 28 times for 160 yards. His 3-yard scoring run, followed by Camden Bush's point after, gave the Raiders a 17-10 lead with 6:38 left in the game.

On that decisive drive, Dworek carried eight times for 54 yards.

“I'm so proud of him,” Lyczek said of Dworek. “The fumbles ... we had his back. The whole offense knows we have their back.”

“Nolan's worked through some things this year,” said Butschle, “but I think he's peaking. We can't put the ball on the ground twice, but we've got two weeks to fix it.”

The Raiders got on the board first, using a flea-flicker play on Sean O'Shea's 19-yard toss to Luke Lawson early in the second quarter.

NA responded with a 9-play, 56-yard drive capped by Kushner's 5-yard pass to Dwayne Taylor.

The teams traded field goals in the third and SV's defense then stepped up with another key play.

One play after O'Shea's overthrown pass was intercepted by Taylor at SV's 46, Wayne Pirt picked off Kushner's pass to send SV's offense back onto the field for the final touchdown drive of the game.

O'Shea, a sophomore making his third start in place of the injured Graham Hancox, completed 10 of 16 passes for 117 yards.

Senior wideout Brandon Ross caught six passes for 74 yards for the Raiders.

No. Allegheny 0 7 3 2 — 12

Seneca Valley 0 7 3 7 — 17

Second Quarter

SV — Luke Lawson 19 pass from Sean O'Shea (Camden Bush kick), 10:55

NA — Dwayne Taylor 5 pass from Logan Kushner (Harron Lee kick), 4:36

Third Quarter

SV — Bush 29 field goal, 9:42

NA — Lee 19 field goal, 3:56

Fourth Quarter

SV — Nolan Dworek 3 run (Bush kick), 6:38

NA — Safety, SV downed ball in end zone, :00

Individual Statistics

Rushing: North Allegheny, JR Burton 8-33, Aiden Buggey 4-14, Khiryn Boyd 7-4, Kolin Dinkins 1-3, Logan Kushner 11-33, Harron Lee 1-(-1); Seneca Valley, Nolan Dworek 28-160, Sean O'Shea 9-30, Wyatt Craver 3-17, TEAM 2-(-4).

Passing: North Allegheny, Logan Kushner 17-30-212-1; Seneca Valley, Sean O'Shea 10-16-117-1, Luke Lawson 0-1-0-0.

Receiving: North Allegheny, Dwayne Taylor 2-44, Khiryn Boyd 8-79, Connor Casten 3-38, Kyrell Hutcherson 2-12, Cole Dorn 2-39; Seneca Valley, Luke Lawson 1-19, Aiden Lyczek 2-20, Brandon Ross 6-74, Chris D'Appalonia 1-4.

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Derek Pyda

Derek Pyda

- Graduated from Connellsville High School in 1996
- Graduated from Clarion University in 2000 with a Bachelors in Communications
- Have also written for Clarion News (Clarion, PA) and the Herald-Standard (Uniontown, PA)
- Started at the Butler Eagle on April 2, 2002
- Interests include sports, history and geography