Seneca Valley runs past Fox Chapel
Seneca Valley senior running back Forrest Barnes rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half, as Class AAAA No. 5 Seneca Valley defeated Fox Chapel, 54-15, in a Quad North game Friday night at the James A. Burk Complex.
Seneca Valley (8-1, 6-1) will compete in the WPIAL playoffs for just the 10th time since the school was formed in 1964.
Barnes carried 16 times, highlighted by a 92-yard run in the final minute of the first half.
“He's really talented,” said Seneca Valley coach Don Holl, a former coach at Kiski Area. “We knew that, and we caught them in some looks that we thought were favorable to run in. When he gets the ball and has a chance to break out, it's hard to catch him.”
Fox Chapel (1-8, 1-6) fell victim to Seneca Valley's no-huddle offense, giving up 502 yards — 384 in the first half. The Foxes were haunted by big plays, allowing seven of 20 or more yards.
“The no-huddle wasn't the issue,” Fox Chapel coach Eric Ravotti said. “The issue was it's a good offense. Whether they went back and huddled up or not, it was irrelevant to me. The aspect of how talented they are offensively and defensively is what makes them a force.”
With the score 19-0 after Seneca Valley junior defensive lineman Steven Gaviglia intercepted Fox Chapel quarterback Brandon Mitchell and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown, the Foxes needed a spark. They found it in junior running back Nigel Garnett.
One play after the turnover, Garnett took the handoff and sprinted 64 yards for a touchdown. Garnett wasn't done. He later scored on a 2-yard run with 4:40 left to make it 54-15. Garnett finished with 82 yards on nine carries.
“He was an all-conference performer last year,” Ravotti said. “He's better than he was last year, and he gives us an offensive spark. We need more players like that.”
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.