Seneca Valley, Barnes blast Hempfield
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No. 4 Seneca Valley defeated Hempfield in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs Friday night, 50-20.
No. 13 seed Hempfield (4-6) came in excited to make their first playoff appearance since 2008, but the Spartans had no answer for Seneca Valley running back Forrest Barnes.
Barnes, who is receiving multiple Division I offers, finished with 100 rushing yards, 104 receiving yards and scored five touchdowns — all in the first half. He didn't touch the ball on the first five plays, but he made his presence known inside the 15-yard line and eventually scored from 1-yard to give the Raiders a 6-0 lead.
“We didn't plan to keep the ball out of his hands. It just worked out that way,” Seneca Valley coach Don Holl said. “Our offense is based on reads, and Jordan Brown, our quarterback, made some good reads and let the game come to him.”
On the ensuing drive, Barnes gained 70 rushing yards, capped with second touchdown of the first quarter from 12 yards out. He finished the first quarter with 85 yards and two touchdowns.
“You can't gameplan against a kid like that,” Hempfield coach Rich Bowen said. “You can try to stop him, but you have to be at your best and score points, a lot of points, to beat a well-coached football team like this.”
Brown continued to make outstanding reads in the second quarter as he connected with Barnes on a 44-yard touchdown pass that gave the Raiders (9-1) a 27-0 lead.
Later, Brown connected with Barnes for another touchdown, this time from 35 yards. Brown finished with 141 passing yards on 6 of 13 attempts. He surpassed 5,000 yards for his career, making him the all-time leading passer at Seneca Valley.
Seneca Valley pulled its starters at halftime, leading 43-0, and Hempfield's starters went to work on the Raiders' second-stringers, scoring 20 points in the second half.
Seneca Valley advances to play No. 5 Mt. Lebanon (8-2) in the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals.
“The staff and I looked a film on both possible opponents this week after practice, and we are very familiar with Lebo,” Noll said. “They are very good. Obviously, we have some ideas, and we are very excited to get to the next round and prepare for them.”
Jonathan Cyprowski is a freelance writer
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