JACKSON TWP — How did the Seneca Valley football team celebrate the highest-scoring effort in program history?
By getting back to work.
The Raiders' 64 points in last week's nonconference victory over Connellsville surpassed the previous record of 56, which SV managed twice in 1995 in wins over Ambridge and Indiana.
But this week, the Raiders (3-1, 2-1) will delve back into Northern Eight Conference play when they host undefeated Central Catholic (4-0, 3-0). Making the matchup even more intriguing is that both teams will be operating on a short week, as the game will be played at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Following a loss at North Allegheny Sept. 14, SV wants to avoid dropping two straight conference games to teams which are legitimate WPIAL Quad A title contenders.
“If your guys don't have a built-in sense of urgency every time they take the field, then they're playing the wrong sport,” said SV coach Don Holl. “This game is a great opportunity for us. If we win, it would put us in a good position in the standings.”
Forrest Barnes paved the way to last Friday's win with a school-record 306 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, but will find the path to paydirt littered with more speed bumps this week.
Central Catholic defeated Fox Chapel last Friday 35-3. The field goal kicked by the Foxes broke a streak of three consecutive shutouts turned in by the Vikings' defense.
“That's a credit to their scheme,” Holl said, “but it also says that they are fundamentally sound. They are very physical and they tackle well. It helps when you have a lot of good athletes on the field.”
While Holl is impressed with his opponent, he also knows that his offense will pose the biggest challenge the Vikings will have faced to date.
Three of Central's victims (Shaler, Canon-McMillan and Fox Chapel) have yet to win a game this season. The team's other win was a 14-0 decision over North Hills Sept. 7.
The Raiders' offensive line played with confidence last week and hopes to make it a habit.
“We executed well,” Holl said. “We only had one or two missed assignments all night, so we were blocking the right guy and were recognizing stunts. That's what I was most impressed with.
“When we got Forrest into the secondary, with his speed, he's going to be hard to catch.”
One area Holl hopes to improve in is punt and kickoff coverage.
“We've gotten better since the first week,” he said, “but we're not exactly where we want to be. It's a work in progress.”
With three of its wins coming via blowout, Central has not had to throw the football much. Quarterbacks Joseph Consentino and Graham Adomitis have combined to complete 12-of-32 passes for 135 yards through four games.
The Vikings' ground attack features four backs — Luigi Lista-Brinza, Riley Redman, Todd Coles and Leo Loughrey — who have combined for 760 yards on just 98 carries, an average of 7.7 yards per attempt. Coles leads the team with five touchdowns.
Note: The Raiders are hoping to get tight end/safety R.J. McCauley and lineman Nick Dahlstrom back this week. They missed last week's contest with undisclosed injuries.