Adrian Feliz-Platt and the Seneca Valley football team travelled to Linganore on a mission to earn the right to make things even — to earn a rematch with rival Damascus next week. However, they would have to get through the unbeaten Linganore Lancers to earn that rematch.
Feliz-Platt and Eagles came out screaming and jumped to a 20 point lead in the first quarter. Feliz-Platt scored three of his four touchdowns in the first quarter.
“We just don’t want to go home. We want to play next week,” said the junior running back after the victory.
Seneca Valley took the opening kickoff and marched down the field to score on just four plays on an impressive drive against a Linganore defense that had given up only 20 points over the last four games. Feliz-Platt carried the ball twice, and senior quarterback Petey Gaskins passed to senior receiver Cortez Lee Chase-Ervin, who brought the ball down to the Linganore 11-yard line. One play later Feliz-Platt would score on an 11-yard off-tackle run. An extra point from Rey Genovese would make it 7-0 after four offensive plays.
After both teams traded punts, the Lancers senior quarterback Nathaniel Musselman threw a pass that was intercepted by Seneca Valley’s Antonio Fox giving the Eagles the ball in Lancer territory. The turnover would lead to Feliz-Platt’s second rushing touchdown.
“I feel like he is the most dynamic football player in the county,” said Seneca Valley Head Coach Fred Kim after the game. “The combination of speed and quickness and football awareness. You know the old Madden “Awareness” ranking — his goes off the chart. The guy knows where he is on the field. It is great having a guy like that, and I would hate to have to play against him.”
Feliz-Platt would score his third touchdown of the first quarter after the Seneca Valley defensive unit came up with another turnover. Senior defensive back Donovan Beckett-Sims would come up with a fumble recovery giving the Screaming Eagles the ball at the 34 yard-line in Lancer territory again. A few plays later, Feliz-Platt would be back in the end zone extending the Seneca Valley lead to 21-0.
The Seneca defense would stop the Lancers on a fourth-down try at the Seneca Valley 10 yard line on two consecutive drives. After the second stop, Pete Gaskins and company would drive the ball down to the Lancers one-yard line, but a combination of penalties and good defensive stops would push the Eagles back to the 11-yard line. On fourth down, Rey Genovese in to knock in a 28-yard field goal to extend the Seneca lead to 24-0 with 2:18 remaining in the half.
Linganore would find the end zone on the ensuing series as Musselman would hit receiver Wade Stieren with a 32-yard touchdown pass get the Lancers on the board. The kick would fail. Seneca Valley would take a 24-6 lead into halftime.
The second half would feature a whiplashing change of momentum. Linganore would be forced to punt after taking the kick that they deferred in the first. On the Seneca Drive, Daniel Ross would pick up a fumble and return it for a touchdown. A two-point conversion would succeed, and the Seneca lead would be cut to 24-14 with 9:49 remaining in the third quarter.
Momentum would swing the other way with 5:19 left in the quarter, as Feliz-Platt would find a seam in the Linganore defense and break a 75-yard touchdown on a run that went right through the A-gap. Seneca was up 30-14.
The pendulum would swing back to Linganore after third Seneca fumble was recovered by Noll Stieren to give the Lancers the ball close to midfield. A few plays later. Musselman would connect with Jack Staub, the Lancers top receiver for a 25-yard fourth-down touchdown pass. The two-point conversion would be snuffed out by Seneca Valley, but the lead was cut to 30-20 with 1:14 left in the third quarter.
Linganore would cut the lead to three points after Seneca Valley’s Gaskins attempted to throw a screen pass that would drift backwards and not connect with Antonio Fox but fall on the ground incomplete. However, an alert Josh Faulconer scooped up the ball and ran 64-yards into the end zone. The officials ruled that Gaskin’s pass was a lateral and Linganore scored. Seneca Valley still led 30-27, with 10:42 remaining.
Both teams would get the ball back again before time expired. But Seneca controlled the ball for the final 4:25, as they fed the ball to Darius Golston, who churched out chunks of ground to ensure that Seneca would maintain possession and cement away the win.
The first thing that Coach Kim said to his team after the win was “Well boys, we’ve got our rematch!”
Seneca will travel to Damascus next week to play the unbeaten Swarming Hornets again. The two teams met just two weeks ago on Oct. 31 at Seneca Valley when Damascus won 21-3. For their part, Damascus defeated Oakdale 44-21 on Friday night to solidify the rematch of what was one of the most anticipated games of the football season.
Top: Seneca Valley’s Adrian Feliz-Platt (7) runs for the second of his four touchdowns during the 3A West playoff game at Linganore.
Next: Seneca’s Antonio Fox (3) and Dione Jordan (10) combine to tackle Linganore’s quarterback Nathaniel Musselman.
Next: Senior receiver Donovan Beckett-Sims (6) runs for extra yards after catching a pass from Petey Gaskins.
Next: Senior defensive tackle Michael Hoffman-Hackett (57) swings Linganore’s quarterback to the ground for a sack.
Next: Senior receiver Kendall Pinales (6) runs behind the block of junior Dawayne Kelley (13) during Friday’s playoff game against Linganore.
Next: Junior running back Darius Golston (32) pounds the ball up through the hole to get some tough yards during Seneca’s final drive to cap the victory.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.