By Kevin O’Rourke
Coach Fred Kim’s Seneca Valley team knew that last week’s game against Sherwood was important to keep any hope of making the playoffs alive, but beating a previously unbeaten team did more than just keep hope alive.
“We needed that in a big way, not only for the playoff picture, but also for some self-confidence after getting humiliated by Northwest,” said Kim. “It was a must win and our kids rose to the occasion. We are very proud of them.”
Breaking with what had become a tradition of slow starts this season, the Screaming Eagles came out hot the first quarter against Sherwood. Seneca Valley staked a 21-0 lead by putting the ball in the end-zone three times early in the game.
“We had the best practice week of the year,” said Kim on the strong start. “We went hard, minimized distractions, competed with each other, challenged each other, and picked each other up. It was simple.”
Kim said the staff didn’t do anything different in terms of preparing the team other than stressing the significance of the game and the implications of losing. “There was no fairy dust or magic wand, simple hard work was all it was,” said Kim.
The 27-17 win over Sherwood, who had been ranked sixth in the county by MoCoFootball.com and boasted the top rated quarterback and receiver in the county, in Neven Sussman and Marcus Simms, kept Seneca Valley’s postseason hopes alight.
“It was huge,” said Kim. “We needed the 4A points, with South Hagerstown killing it, Damascus, Linganore, and Urbana all hot, we had to win a big game to stay in the playoff picture. 7-3 is not good enough, as we found out last year.”
This Friday, Seneca Valley will travel to 1-4 Northwood. The Gladiators have struggled this year, with the only win a 25-15 victory over Einstein. But they will be looking to save some face after getting blown out by Rockville 62-7 last week.
Seneca Valley is 3-0 over Northwood since 2011, with the last meeting ending in a lopsided 51-0 Seneca Valley victory.
Caption: Seneca Valley holds their helmets high after last week's 27-17 over Sherwood High School.
Photo by Germantown Pulse.