North Allegheny stomps Seneca Valley
Before North Allegheny quarterback Mack Leftwich could take the first snap of the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinal Fright night at North Hills, officials tossed flags and whistled the play dead.
Seneca Valley drew a penalty for having 12 men on the field.
Presumably, it wasn't intentional. But perhaps it was sound strategy. After all, the Raiders struggled to stop Leftwich and the Tigers using the conventional 11 players.
Leftwich accounted for 439 yards of offense and seven touchdowns as two-time defending WPIAL champion North Allegheny routed Seneca Valley again, 47-17.
Top-seeded North Allegheny (12-0) will play for its third consecutive WPIAL title next Friday at Heinz Field against Woodland Hills.
“I don't care what his size is, he's a Division I player,” Tigers coach Art Walker said of the 5-foot-11 Leftwich. “He's an unselfish player, and he has all the intangibles you want in a quarterback.”
It was North Allegheny's 12th consecutive win against Quad North rival Seneca Valley.
The Raiders' frustrations with losing to North Allegheny boiled over after the game, Seneca Valley coach Don Holl and Walker had a heated exchange.
Holl was upset with a Leftwich touchdown pass to Skylar Cox with 1:30 left.
“I'd like to give a ton of credit to North Allegheny's — and I emphasize this — players,” Holl said. “You can give a guy great players, but you can't give him class and scoring a touchdown with less than a minute to go with a 23-point lead, to me, says all you need to know about that coaching staff.”
Walker said he didn't want to risk a field goal attempt and that North Allegheny ran the clock down as much as it could.
“We made a call, and I heard from an old coach a long time ago, ‘Their defense isn't my problem,' ” Walker said.
“We made the call collectively as a staff from the box all the way down. If it was incomplete, we were going to make them drive the field.”
Leftwich was 18 for 23 for 360 yards and five passing touchdowns. He also had 19 carries for a team-high 79 yards and two rushing touchdowns for the Tigers.
On the game's first official snap from scrimmage — after the 5-yard penalty on Seneca Valley — Leftwich hit Elijah Zeise streaking down the left sideline for a 64-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Tigers' lead they would never relinquish.
Seneca Valley was averaging 43.5 points per game in its previous eight contests since a 45-3 loss to North Allegheny Sept. 14, and the Raiders made it interesting. They got within two scores when Jordan Brown hit Jonathan Dorogy for a 4-yard touchdown late in the third.
Brown closed out his brilliant high school career by going 12 for 24 for 166 yards and a 57-yard rushing touchdown.
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
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