JACKSON TWP — Seneca Valley is not used to being involved in close football games when the fourth quarter rolls around at NexTier Stadium.
That was the test encountered by the Raiders Friday night, and they passed with flying colors.
Mired in a 14-all tie with Bethel Park, the Raiders outscored the Black Hawks 21-0 in the final 12 minutes to post a 35-14 non-conference victory.
SV (7-1) scored on the first play of the final period — a 3-yard pass from T.J. Holl to R.J. McCauley — to cap a 55-yard drive that began with 2:07 left in the third quarter.
The possession was set up when Bethel Park's Danny Emma muffed a punt near midfield and Seneca's Hunter Long made the recovery.
After taking a 21-14 lead, the Raiders turned to their defense for the next big play.
Bethel Park quarterback Levi Metheny had just given his team a first down at SV's 45 with a 29-yard run, but Zach Enick fumbled away the possession on the very next play. This time, John Madeira fell on the prize for the Raiders.
It took the hosts just four plays to score this time, all runs by Forrest Barnes, the last a highlight in itself as Barnes took an option pitch to the right from Jordan Brown. Finding no daylight there, he cut back to the left and scampered through an empty secondary for a 32-yard score.
“Seneca Valley is a good team and well-coached,” said Bethel Park coach Jeff Metheny. “You can't make mistakes against them. We didn't play our best tonight, but you have to give them credit.”
Barnes rushed for 135 of his 187 yards in the second half. He added three touchdowns on the night.
“We had 74 snaps on offense tonight and that's a lot for a high school game,” said Raiders' coach Don Holl. “Those turnovers put (Bethel Park's) defense back on the field. I think it was just a question of wearing them down.”
Mason Dehart ended the competitive aspect of the game with a 1-yard scoring run with 3:32 left. Chad Izenas kicked his fifth point after of the night.
Brown completed 15 of 21 passes for 161 yards for Seneca Valley.