WEXFORD — Crunch time belonged to Seneca Valley.
The Raiders were nursing a 23-13 lead over Mt. Lebanon midway through the final period of Friday’s WPIAL Quad A quarterfinal playoff at North Allegheny when they shut the door on the Blue Devils.
Mt. Lebanon had just blocked a field goal attempt by Chad Izenas and took over at its own 5-yard line with 5:14 remaining in the game.
On second down, Blue Devil quarterback Tyler Roth dropped back into his own end zone and was flushed to his left before throwing a desperation pass.
He was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone and the raiders were awarded two points thanks to the pressure of Carson Kessler and Tucker Van Dyke.
On the first play after receiving the ensuing free kick, Forrest Barnes broke off his longest run of the night, a 43-yard touchdown run that capped the scoring in a 32-13 win.
The victory sent Seneca Valley (10-1) to the WPIAL semifinals for the first time since 1997. They will face North Allegheny, a 42-14 winner over Bethel Park, Friday at a site and time to be determined.
“We have a lot of guys with a lot of pride,” said Seneca valley coach Don Holl. “They performed like
The Raiders defense frustrated the best passing attack in all of Quad A, holding Roth to 11-of-31 passing for 134 yards. He threw one touchdown and two interceptions, the second of those came moments after Izenas’ 22-yard field goal had give SV a 10-point lead with 9:26 to go in the game.
R.J. McCauley stepped in front of a pass intended for Dmitri Orfanopoulos, setting SV up at the Blue Devil 18.
But the biggest source of frustration for the Blue Devils (8-3) came in Raiders territory. Mt. Lebanon reached SV’s 30-yard line or deeper five times in the game, but came away with just 13 points.
“Our guys made a point to go out and get the stops tonight,” said Holl. “Our defensive coaches had a great gameplan and the players executed it. We really stifled them tonight.”
SV grabbed a 13-0 lead in the first quarter after quarterback Jordan Brown found McCauley and Jon Dorogy on scoring passes of 5 and 44 yards, respectively. The pass to McCauley came on a fourth-and-goal and capped the Raiders’ 14-play drive to start the game.
Dorogy added an 84-yard touchdown catch late in the second quarter while the Blue Devils had to settle for two Orfanopoulos field goals in the first half and trailed 20-6 at the break.
Brown ended the game 12-of-14 passing for 233 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Barnes carried the ball 28 times for 137 yards while Dorogy had three catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns.