The WPIAL's defending AAAA champion North Allegheny Tigers roared past Seneca Valley Friday at Martorelli Stadium—ending the Raiders' hopes of moving on to the semifinals.
The Tigers took the lead early in the matchup played at the North Hills High School stadium and never gave it back. The final score was 35-10.
Tigers quarterback Mack Leftwich connected with running back Alex DeCiantis with 6:42 remaining in the first quarter. The extra point by kicker Jason Buchert made the score 7-0. On the Raiders first series, Tigers defensive back Brendan Coniker picked off quarterback Jordan Brown's first pass of the night.
Seneca Valley capitalized on the next series, with Brown completing passes to receivers Forrest Barnes, Oliver Philogene and Troy Witt. Barnes ran in a touchdown, and Michael Denny's extra point put the Raiders on the board.
Seneca Valley would go on to narrow the Tigers' lead with a Denny field goal early in the second quarter, but that was the end of Seneca's scoring for the night.
The Raiders defense could not contain DeCiantis, Gregg Garrity and Coniker. Led by Chas Smith, Jarred Lux and Elijah Zeise, North Allegheny's defense stymied Seneca's offense.
Near the end of the half, the Leftwich-DeCiantis combination struck again. As the teams retired to their respective benches, the Tigers were up 21-10.
The second half saw a more aggressive Raiders defense. Key tackles by Carson Kessler, Tyler Bommer, Zach Bredl, Nick Dahlstrom and David Hall challenged the Tigers, but that wasn't enough to keep DeCiantis from scoring his third touchdown of the night on a series that began with an interception by Zeise.
Fellow running back Nick Passodelis added another six points for the Tigers before the end of the third quarter.
After Barnes left the game with an injury, Hall made an impresson while carrying the ball for the Raiders in the fourth quarter.
This was the second time the rivals have met this season. In September, the undefeated Tigers beat the Raiders by a score of 49-28. After defeating Penn-Trafford on Friday, the Gateway Gators will take on North Allegheny in the semifinals.