WEST VIEW — Beating an old rival on the road was important for Seneca Valley quarterback Graham Hancox.
Though, ultimately, the Raiders' 17-7 victory over North Hills Friday night at Martorelli Stadium provided value beyond the non-conference win.
Seneca Valley's offense showed balance, the team overcame several inopportune blunders and the Raiders gained momentum heading into Quad County Conference play next week.
Hancox, who finished 17-of-22 passing for 242 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception, saw growth overall.
“We were able to run the ball and last week we had complications with it,” Hancox said. “This week it was flowing better. We have things to come fix and I think we are going to come back better each week. We were stacking better and executing.”
The Raiders (2-1) converted their most important drive following a stretch where they had gotten themselves in hot water.
Raiders running back Nolan Dworek couldn't pull in a backwards pass cleanly and Seneca Valley had to scramble to fall on the ball on first down, resulting in an 8-yard loss from the Raider 40.
After being forced to punt, the North Hills punt returner fumbled and it was scooped by Indians running back Chase Foskey, who took the ball to the Seneca Valley 35. Following a 1-yard loss and two incomplete passes, North Hills quarterback John Green evened the game.
Green bought time and heaved a pass to Robert Dickerson that tied the score at 7 with 1:46 left in the first half.
The Raiders marched the ball down the field and got into field goal range on a 16-yard pass from Hancox to Lawson, who got out of bounds at the Indians' 22-yard line.
“I think we are used to that situation,” Hancox said. “Last week we drove down the field in the last minute and a half. We are used to going fast.That was nothing new to us.”
Camden Bush then converted a 38-yard field goal to give Seneca Valley a 10-7 edge going into halftime.
Raiders coach Ron Butschle was glad they were able to find a way to score points. Many of their drives were halted by their own mistakes.
“I was proud of our guys for getting that drive,” Butschle said. “Our kicker, Camden Bush, has been money all year. He's a first year kid and is saving my behind.”
North Hills coach Pat Carey said the momentum swing was tough to stomach.
“It was a change,” Carey said. “ It gives them a chance to get the lead going into half. Even walking into the locker room, the kids lost that pizzaz a little bit. We had to get them back up. They quickly move it down the field and get points, it was a killer.”
Neither team was able to get the ball moving in the third quarter. The Indians were limited to 180 yards of total offense.
But North Hills' defense kept making stops to keep them in the game.
“I think basically it was run and tackle and sometimes get pressure on the quarterback,” Carey said. “The pace they run over there is difficult to adapt to. We had timely stops in the game. They were able to make some yards on us and outgained us initially, but we were able to make stops and get the ball back.”
Seneca Valley broke through after a big defensive stop. North Hills (2-1) had driven the ball to the Raiders' 9-yard line with 6 minutes left, but saw a 30-yard field goal attempt by Damon Mickail go wide.
Ross scored two plays later to put the game away.
“We were trying to get out of our own way,” Butschle said. “We get some big chunks, then we'd have a penalty or negative yardage play. We were trying to string things together and get some flow in our offense.”
Seneca Valley 0 10 0 7 — 17
North Hills 0 7 0 0 — 7
SV — Nolan Dworek 24 run (Camden Bush kick), 11:18
NH — Robert Dicketrson 36 pass from John Green (Damon Mickail kick), 1:46
SV — Bush 38 field goal, :00
SV — Brandon Ross 60 pass from Graham Hancox (Bush kick), 5:42
Rushing: Seneca Valley, Nolan Dworek 14-68, Zekai Edwards 3-7, Graham Hancox 12-6.
Passing: Seneca Valley, Graham Hancox 17-22-242-1. North Hills, John Green 10-22-111-1.
Receiving: Seneca Valley, Luke Lawson 11-121, Brandon Ross 2-70, Jacob Rape 3-40, Aiden Lyczek 1-4, Nolan Sworek 1-2. North Hills, Robert Dickerson 3-56, Logan Thompson 2-21, Cooper Thompson 2-12, Alec Apodaca 1-8, Liam Tracey 1-7.