JACKSON TWP — Returning to the starting lineup with an injured throwing shoulder, Seneca Valley quarterback Gabe Lawson proved anything but gun-shy.
On his first pass attempt Friday against Canon-McMillan, Lawson completed a 38-yard pass to Josh McLean. The former capped the drive four plays later with a 27-yard run for a touchdown.
It was the first score in a 31-0 shutout victory for SV at NexTier Stadium.
Lawson was injured in a Week Zero win over McDowell. He was held out the following week in a loss to Central Catholic.
“I practiced on Wednesday, enough to get everybody on the offense on the same page,” Lawson said. “There’s definitely some discomfort there (shoulder), but you have to fight for your boys. Any time you can score on the opening drive, it swings the momentum.”
Lawson finished the game with 37 rushing yards while completing 12 of 18 passes for 169 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
“Gabe’s not 100 percent,” said Raiders’ coach Ron Butschle. “His toughness is something I don’t take for granted.”
Lawson rebounded from an interception in the end zone on Seneca’s second drive to lead the Raiders on a 9-play, 57-yard drive that ended with his 16-yard scoring toss to Josh McLean.
By the time the first half was over, Matt Stanger had taken a screen pass 40 yards for another score for a 21-0 lead.
The Big Macs (0-2, 0-2) were not helped by having a number of starters out.
“We had seven two-way starters out and three other starters out,” said Canon-McMillan coach Mike Evans. “We had some players violate team rules. Our offensive line tonight averaged 216 (pounds). But Seneca Valley is a really good football team and we knew it would be a tough game even if we had those guys.
“A lot of coaches would have (ran up the score) on us. I respect Coach Butschle. He has a lot of class.”
Earlier in the week, Evans lauded his quarterback, Jon Quinque, for his efficient play against Mt. Lebanon. He struggled against the Raiders, completing 12 of 28 passes for 95 yards and an interception.
“We saw the tape from the Mt. Lebanon game and knew that defensively, we had to focus on the passing game,” said Butschle.
SV backup quarterback Caden Smithco threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Luke Smith in the third quarter.
Seneca Valley hosts Mt. Lebanon Friday.
Canon-McMillan 0 0 0 0 — 0
Seneca Valley 7 14 7 3 — 31
SV — Gabe Lawson 27 run (Seth Winters kick), 9:36
SV — Josh McLean 16 pass from Lawson (Winters kick), 9:57
SV — Matt Stanger 40 pass from Lawson (Winters kick), 1:17
SV — Luke Smith 27 pass from Caden Smithco (Winters kick), 2:36
SV — Winters 21 field goal, 6:48
Rushing: Canon-McMillan, Ryan Angott 4-4, Jon Quinque 3-(-21), Alec Hendal 2-(-3), Isaiah Chandler 1-(-4), Gerrit Nijenhuis 10-30, Trejahn Lewis 1-6. Seneca Valley,Matt Stanger 14-58, Gabe Lawson 7-37, Jake Mineweaser 3-14, Luke Smith 1-4, Mitchell Curran 2-45, Caden Smithco 2-6, Matthew Hughes 2-(-2), Dustin Horn 2-(-5), TEAM 1-(-26).
Passing: Canon-McMillan, Jon Quinque 12-28-95-1. Seneca Valley, Gabe Lawson 12-18-169-1, Caden Smithco 3-6-34-0, Dustin Horn 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: Canon-McMillan, Drew Engel 3-24, Blake Joseph 1-9, Litt Alred 4-50, Connor McMahon 2-2, Mason Shaffer 1-4, George Joki 1-6. Seneca Valley, Josh McLean 4-71, Jake Mineweaser 1-6, Matt Stanger 4-53, Jake Stebbins 4-43, Luke Smith 2-30.