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Seneca Valley's Barnes runs over Connellsville

| Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, 12:20 a.m.

Connellsville had no answer for Seneca Valley's Forrest Barnes.

The Division I prospect rushed for a school-record 306 yards and seven touchdowns on 16 carries, leading the Raiders to 64-14 win Friday night at NexTier Stadium.

The previous record was 301 yards set by Bill Davis in 2002.

The teams entered the game with vastly different mindsets. Connellsville (1-3, 0-1) was coming off a 14-10 comeback win over Hempfield, while Seneca Valley (3-1, 1-0) was looking for redemption after losing, 45-3, to conference rival North Allegheny.

Barnes ran for just 11 yards against North Allegheny, so he was eager to produce Friday.

“Last week was a big disappointment because we knew we could have played better,” Barnes said. “We flipped the switch as soon as we went in the locker room and said we are going to show everybody that that's not how we play Seneca Valley football. This week, we are going to come out here and execute.”

Seneca Valley took less than a minute to score, as Barnes rumbled into the end zone from 10 yards out.

Later, Connellsville pinned the Raiders on their 4-yard line with a punt, but Barnes ran for a 96-yard score on the first play of the drive.

Barnes scored four more times in the first half — on runs of 50, 31, 55, and 27 yards — while accumulating 278 rushing yards before halftime.

The Raiders led at the break, 43-0.

The second half didn't bring much relief for Connellsville despite a running clock.

The Falcons fumbled the second-half kickoff at their 18. Barnes then scored his school-record seventh touchdown on a 5-yard run to make the score 50-0.

Connellsville finally found the end zone with 4:09 left in the third quarter on a 5-yard run by James Stevenson.

Barnes then broke the school single-game rushing record on the next drive. Seneca Valley coach Don Holl promptly pulled his running back off the field.

“It seemed like (Barnes) kept finding another gear out there,” Holl said. “He's a true track sprinter, and our offensive line gave him a chance to get out in the open, and he really made some things happen for us tonight.”

Connellsville scored again in the fourth quarter on a 69-yard run by Jordan McCrae.

“There are two good things to take away from this,” Connellsville coach Dave McDonald said. “First, this one is over, and second, we have an opportunity to play next weekend. We're going to Norwin. We are back into conference play, and we have to focus on us getting better this week like we have been.”

Jonathan Cyprowski is a freelance writer.

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