Seneca Valley Tops North Allegheny 20-6


Eleven years of misery came to an end for the Raiders on Friday, September 13, at NexTier Stadium as Seneca Valley defeated the North Allegheny Tigers 20-6, a day that will not soon be forgotten at Seneca Valley.

The game was far from normal as, right from the start, turnovers proved none too difficult to come across.  North Allegheny turned the ball over 6 times, which obviously hurt them in the long run.  One of these turnovers was a diving interception made by sophomore safety Corbin Kessler that really turned the momentum in Seneca’s favor.  When asked about the interception, Kessler said, “I picked up the receiver coming across and when he threw it, I was a little behind him so I dove out and it ended up in my hands.  Right when he threw it I knew I was [going to] get a good break on it and make a play.”

Seneca struck twice in the first half, once on a T.J. Holl touchdown pass to Eric Mrkonja for 24 yards followed by a failed two-point conversion.  With the Raiders up 6-0, junior running back Mason Dehart leapt into the end zone and Chad Izenas put the ball through the uprights for the extra point.  The Raiders took a 13-0 lead heading into the second half.  “We knew NA was a great second half team going into the second half but we were fortunate to go into the half with a 13-0 lead…We always say it’s 0-0 going into the second half and that half we really took care of business,” said Kessler about the team’s second half mindset.

The Raiders didn’t miss a beat in the third and fourth quarter, as the defense stood strong and forced more NA turnovers.  They were able to score some insurance on an eleven yard touchdown pass, with Holl hooking up with junior wide receiver Brad Hensler.  The Raiders held tight throughout the entire half, surrendering only a Hail Mary touchdown pass from North Allegheny’s quarterback, Jeff Clemens, who threw an interception with five minutes left that all but ended the game for the Tigers.

As time winded down, the student section from the Seneca Valley abandoned the bleachers they had rocked the entire night out of passion for their classmates on the field.  They made their way onto the sidelines where they waited to congratulate their football team.  As the teams finished shaking hands, the students raced out onto the field to give their school heroes a well-deserved celebration.