North Hills hasn't missed a playoff berth since 1998. Both teams entered Friday night's game with 2-2 conference records—and both teams needed the win.
With the final score 21-14, the Raiders' victory guarantees them a spot in the playoffs. The win also eliminates North Hills from playoff contention.
The Raiders came out blasting early with a fumble recovery by junior Carson Kessler during kickoff. Two minutes later, senior Oliver Philogene made a 9-yard touchdown run on a reversal from quarterback Jordan Brown. The extra point by Michael Denny put Seneca Valley up 7-0.
Forrest Barnes made a 97-yard touchdown run at the beginning of the second quarter, giving Seneca Valley a 14-0 lead with 10:50 minutes left in the half. Barnes is Seneca's lead rusher, with 727 yards this season going into Friday's game.
Tyler Reddick had one of the deepest Indian possessions of the half on a 50-yard return. He was taken down by Raiders defenseman Ben Hodges.
The Raider defense managed to hold back several more runs by Reddick and Jordan Blackmon, but North Hills broke through the end zone with 2:25 left on the clock. Blackmon carried the ball in for a touchdown on a 31-yard pass from quarterback Anthony Rizzitano.
Wayne Carney's extra point put the Indians on the board for a 14-7 contest.
While Seneca Valley's Brown came into the game as one of the top passing quarterbacks in the WPIAL, the North Hills defense held him to 32 passing yards in the first half of Friday's game.
In their first drive of the third quarter, the Raiders stalled out at the 30-yardline.
A big 23-yard pickup by tight end Miller on a Rizzitano pass landed North Hills in SV territory with less than 30 seconds to go in the third. Blackmon registered his eighth touchdown of the season with two seconds left on the clock, leaving the score tied at 14-14.
After a drive by Seneca Valley was hampered by a holding call, the Raiders were unable to capitalize on their next series. A run by Reddick got the Indians in Raider territory, but Seneca's Ryan McCauley was able to stop a potential Blackmon touchdown.
An interception by Tyler Bommer followed by a 14-yard pickup by Troy Witt culminated in a third Raider touchdown by David Hall on a pass from Brown, putting the Raiders back in the lead.
Blackmon had a big run that was called back as an illegal forward pass. Late in the fourth, Rizzitano had a big first-down throw to Blackmon with less than a minute to go, but a key tackle on Reddick by SV's McCauley was one of the last plays of the game.
Final score: 21-14
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