By Kevin O’Rourke
Last week, the Screaming Eagles were victimized for six turnovers against Damascus., This week, Seneca Valley spun the turnover ratio around against Einstein, to the tune of six turnover that lead to touchdowns.
The ball-hawking began early in the first as senior defensive end Cory Neal intercepted a pass to give the Screaming Eagles the ball on deep in Einstein territory with 9:40 remaining in first quarter. Seneca Valley would turn that into 7 points when Darius Golston powered into the endzone, for the first of his three touchdowns.
Earlier this week Seneca Valley Head Coach Fred Kim said he was disappointed in the way his defense played. “I felt we played hard, especially at the second half on defense, but not hard enough,” said Kim of last week’s game against Damascus. “We turned the ball over six times and did not force any turnovers on defense. We had 5 opportunities when the ball hit the ground for Damascus and came up with none.”
Kim and the Seneca Valley coaching staff must have been preaching the importance of winning the turnover battle at practice all week, because Neal’s interception was the first of two, and Screaming Eagles would recover three Einstein fumbles, and a blocked field goal attempt on Friday.
“When you lose the battle of turnovers against a good team and play defensively with a short field all night, you will lose and by a lot,” said Kim earlier this week. It was a lesson his team taught Einstein tonight coming up with six takeaways and turning them into six touchdowns on the way to a 52-0 win.
Seneca’s sophomore quarterback Zack Robinson would throw two touchdown passes, the first was a 16-yard pass to sophomore Dawayne Kelley Jr. and another a 23 yard toss to senior Michael Elbert. The passes gave the Eagles a 20-0 lead.
Soon Seneca was back to ball-hawking as junior James Chase returned an interception to the Einstein two-yard line, which set Golston up for his second score of the night.
With nine minutes remaining in the half, junior defensive tackle Michael Hoffman-Hackett recovered a fumble, giving the Eagles the ball on their own 27 yard-line. Three minutes later Gloston plowed his way into the endzone from the one-yard-line. Seneca Valley lead 33-0 with 6:20 remaining in the half.
Einstein would drive down and attempt a field goal, which was blocked and picked up by Adrian Feliz-Platt, who would return it 89 yards to extend the lead to 39-0 at half time.
Feliz-Platt would get his second touchdown after Antonio Fox forced the first of two fumbles, which was recovered by sophomore Jason Corbin. Feliz-Platt would score from 28 yards out with 6:38 remaining in the third quarter.
Fox would strike again, and senior Kenji Matthew would recover the sixth Seneca Valley takeaway. Later junior Quantay Person would end the scoring at 52-0.
Coach Kim said his team need to continue to work hard to finish with pride and character, after his team fell to Damascus last week. The win this week keeps the slim hopes of making the Division 3A playoffs alive.
“We still have a chance,” said Kim earlier this week. “We do not want to be bitterly disappointed if limp into the play offs and embarrass ourselves. Unfortunately, we have to count on other teams to win, but that is where we stand now. Therefore, we will practice and play as if we are going to the playoffs. We will always work to get better as a team.”