If Seneca Valley needed an emotional boost this summer, the team's Week 1 schedule was enough.
“Your kids' minds are in the right place when they know the opener is North Allegheny,” coach Don Holl said. “You know you're going to have the right focus and motivation.”
The Quad North neighbors meet Friday night in Harmony. With Seneca Valley considered the favorite, the early-season matchup also provided North Allegheny a sense of urgency this summer.
Maybe more so than usual, camp carried a focus for Week 1.
“You have to make the most out of camp,” said NA coach Art Walker, whose Tigers return senior quarterback Jeff Clemens, an 1,100-yard passer who tore a knee ligament last season. “It's not like you're going to have two scrimmages and then a nonconference game where you can still do some evaluations. You've got to get guys ready, and you don't have Week 1 to do it.”
Seneca Valley enters Friday ranked third in Class AAAA and five spots ahead of North Allegheny, even though NA dominated this series for more than a decade.
NA strung together 12 consecutive victories over Seneca Valley before the Raiders broke the streak with a 20-6 win last September.
“They have more returners than we do and it's at their place, so they'll be the favorites,” Walker said. “That's fine with us.”
Raiders quarterback T.J. Holl, now a senior, rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown to beat North Allegheny for the first time since 2002.
It was a confidence-building win for a young Seneca Valley roster that reached the WPIAL quarterfinals.
“It was big to get that win, without question,” Don Holl said. “They're NA and they've earned the right to have the target on them. A win over them for any program is big.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.