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No. 5 Raiders hurry past Connellsville

Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier - Connellsville's Christopher Russell moves the ball from the backfield for a short gain in the first half against Seneca Valley on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Falcon Stadium.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier</em></div>Connellsville's Christopher Russell moves the ball from the backfield for a short gain in the first half against Seneca Valley on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Falcon Stadium.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier - Connellsville's Michael Parlak (8) works to gain yardage and carries Seneca Valley's Brandan Clough (6) and Sam Henson (32) before being brought to the ground for a short gain in the first half on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Falcon Stadium.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier</em></div>Connellsville's Michael Parlak (8) works to gain yardage and carries Seneca Valley's Brandan Clough (6) and Sam Henson (32) before being brought to the ground for a short gain in the first half on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Falcon Stadium.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier - Seneca Valley's Dom DiTommaso (22) moves the ball upfield for a significant gain in the first half against Seneca Valley on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Falcon Stadium in Connellsville.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier</em></div>Seneca Valley's Dom DiTommaso (22) moves the ball upfield for a significant gain in the first half against Seneca Valley on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Falcon Stadium in Connellsville.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier - Seneca Valley's Mason Dehart (7) is tackled by a group of Connellsville players Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Falcon Stadium.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier</em></div>Seneca Valley's Mason Dehart (7) is tackled by a group of Connellsville players Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Falcon Stadium.

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By Dave Stofcheck
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 12:15 a.m.
 

Connellsville couldn't slow down Seneca Valley's hurry-up offense Friday night, as the host Falcons were blanked, 36-0, in nonconference action.

Seneca Valley quarterback T.J. Holl tossed a 13-yard scoring pass to Brad Hensler and added scoring runs of 10 and 12 yards.

Holl completed 12 of 19 passes for 212 yards and rushed for 88 more, while Dom DiTommasso added a pair of short scoring runs.

The No. 5 Raiders are 4-0 for the first time in school history heading into next week's Quad North showdown with Central Catholic.

“I didn't know that … but we could wind up 4-5,” Seneca Valley coach Don Holl said of his team's fast start. “The important thing is we need to be 5-0 at the end of next week.”

The Raiders jumped to a 22-0 first-half lead on scoring drives of 78, 70 and 76 yards.

Seneca Valley ran 44 first-half plays and rolled to 254 yards of total offense.

Connellsville's offense sputtered as the Falcons (0-4) totaled just 79 yards of offense in the first half with one turnover.

The Falcons forced a pair of third-quarter turnovers, but turned neither into points.

“We were down 22-0 at halftime and I told the team to let's go out and get a three-and-out on defense, and then drive down the field on offense like we're capable of doing,” Connellsville coach Dave McDonald said. “We got the turnover and drove down the field, but we didn't capitalize on it.”

After Seneca Valley fumbled on the second play of the third quarter, Connellsville took over at the Raiders 32 and converted a fourth-and-4 at the 15 to set up a first-and-goal at the Seneca Valley 9.

But three plays netted just 4 yards, and Jade Maher's fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

On Seneca Valley's next series, Connellsville's Steve White intercepted Holl to set up Connellsville at its own 46.

But again, the Falcons came away with nothing after gaining just 5 yards over the next four plays.

“We had a first-and-goal at the 9 and we came away with no points,” McDonald said. “If we score there, all of a sudden it's 22-7 and it gets interesting.

“We're better than an 0-4 team. Our defense played well and played physical, but we struggle when the kids get open space. If we could line up and play 1980s football between the hash marks, we could probably have a better record.”

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