The days of Feliz-Platt left, Feliz-Platt right, and Golston up the middle are over as both Adrian Feliz-Platt and Darius Golston have moved on from Seneca Valley, and new personnel requires the team adapt to the talents of its players.
That is what Seneca Valley’s Head Coach Fred Kim has done for the 2017 season. After missing all of last season because of a knee injury which was suffered in pre-season, the Screaming Eagles quarterback, Michael Kapneck Jr. allows Seneca to change things up.
In Friday’s 42-0 road win over the Rockville Rams, Seneca Valley 21 times. Senior starting quarterback Mike Kapneck was six for 18 for 62 yards. He scored once on a QB sneak from the Eagles first points, and once through the air hooking up with fellow senior Harold Dotson on a seven-yard pass to put Seneca up 14-0.
“Mike Kapneck had a great spring season, and he is ready to roll this season,” said Fred Kim. “We have to be able to throw the ball a little bit more. We obviously don’t have Adrian and Darius anymore. We have some young backs, but we have to be a little more versatile and not so one-dimensional.”
Dotson also threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Manasseh Joaquin. “We feel that Harold is one of the top wide-outs in the county,” said Kim. “We are a little bit more balanced, because we don’t have that star tailback this season, and Harold is going to be one of those guys that leads the charge.” Dotson ran for one TD, threw for another, and caught a third in Friday’s game.
However, don’t think that Seneca Valley has completely abandoned the running game, while Friday’s game saw 21 pass plays, the Eagles also pounded out 211 rushing yards. Led by junior Semaj Meannu who carried the ball 18 times for 118 yards and one touchdown.
The toughness of Screaming Eagles football is still there as evidenced by the game Mannasseh Joaquin turned in. The senior defensive back had two fumble recoveries and three interceptions on the defensive side. On offense, he caught a 61 touchdown pass on a halfback option from Dotson on the final play of the first half. He also went six-for-six kicking extra points Friday night.
“I was just playing my defense the way coach told me to play,” said Joaquin after the game. “The ball found my zone every time, and I made a play.” Joaquin, a senior, has been a starter on the Seneca defense since he was a sophomore. Now playing in the defensive backfield, although undersized he played nose guard and defensive tackle last year said Kim.
“He was small for a lineman, but one of the toughest kids on the team. He is a remarkable player because he does what is needed knowing that he was more talented for other positions, but he stepped up and played where we asked him to and never said a word. That is a team player,” said Kim.
Joaquin said he’d been kicking field goals since youth football. “It is just what I do.”
The Eagles also got a special teams touchdown as Derell Becket-Sims ran back a 50-yard punt return in the second quarter to stretch the lead.
Seneca finished the scoring on a 12 yard run by junior Semaj Meannu in the third to make the final score 42-0.
Seneca will have a “home” game next week in Gaithersburg against Gaithersburg. The Eagles will be playing all of the home games at Gaithersburg due to the construction of the new Seneca Valley High School.
Gaithersburg lost in its season opener 17-7 to Einstein.
“We have to be road warriors,” said Kim. “We can only focus on our games. We can’t focus on things we can’t control. It is hard because everyone on the team wants to play home games, but it is such a great lesson for them, they get to play under adverse situations. We are not going to be playing in the comfort of our own home. We tell them to get comfortable being uncomfortable. That is the way life works, most of the time you are going to be uncomfortable, get used to it.”
Top: Seneca Valley’s senior quarterback Michael Kapneck Jr. (6) threw for 61 yards and a touchdown in the season opening win over Rockville on Friday.
Video: Quarterback Mike Kapneck (6) dives in for one-yard touchdown to open the scoring for Seneca.
Next: Senior defender Mannasseh Joaquin (10) had three interceptions of the Rockville quarterback, including this one which he caught on his back, during Friday’s game.
Next: Joaquin (10) also recovered two fumbles, including this one which came after an Ibrahim Kouyate sack of Rockville’s junior quarterback Cole Fairchild.
Video: Kapneck (6) connects on a long pass to Harold Dotson (11).
Next: Senior Derrell Becket-Sims (31) returned this punt return 50 yards for a touchdown.
Next: Junior running back Semaj Meannu (20) ran 118 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s game.
Photos and videos by Germantown Pulse.
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