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Special Teams Mishaps Lead to Seneca Valley Loss to Damascus

The score reflects a 44-20 victory for Damascus over Seneca Valley. Many folks who were not at the game might surmise that Damascus had its typical machine like a victory over the Eagles, and Seneca’s points came in garbage time against the Hornets’ second-string JV players.

To borrow a phrase from Lee Corso on ESPN College GameDay, “Not so fast my friend.”

This game consisted of three-quarters of good football on both ends, and three minutes of a championship team showing why they are champions.

The opening drive of Friday night’s game in Gaithersburg began much like just about every Damascus opening drive had begun all season. The drive was a strong ground game pounding out yards, with a pass play thrown in keep the defense on its toes. Damascus ate up yards on the drive toward the endzone.

But the tone of the game changed as Damascus’ sophomore running back Aiden Beall crossed the line of scrimmage at the Seneca Valley six-yard line, he was hit by Seneca’s Manaseeh Jaquin, which popped the ball free. The fumble was recovered by Seneca’s Ryan Padilla at the four-yard line. Beall injured his right knee and wound not return to the game.

The Screamin’ Eagles and the Swarmin’ Hornets have been bitter rivals for decades, but to many, it was a foregone conclusion that Damascus would win by 30 points. Seneca Valley came into this game with 5-3 record, Damascus is undefeated since 2014. The Hornets are back-to-back Maryland State champs and are 88-8 since 2010, under Coach Erick Wallich.

However, after stopping the Damascus opening drive, Seneca Valley started to believe.