Eagles beat Wildcats in fight for playoff home field advantage

Freshman running back Dylan Byrd breaks a tackle. Byrd had success running the ball multiple times against Seneca Valley and will make an effort to perform similarly in the regular season finale against Wootton.

Photo by Sanir Byanjankar

Freshman running back Dylan Byrd breaks a tackle. Byrd had success running the ball multiple times against Seneca Valley and will make an effort to perform similarly in the regular season finale against Wootton.

In their fight for home field advantage in the playoffs, the Wildcats (6-2) earned their second loss of the season at Seneca Valley as they were bested, 41-20.

Seneca Valley received the ball to start the game. The Screaming Eagles (6-2) were able to convert on an early fourth down and score a touchdown. On WJ’s opening drive, the Wildcats fumbled the ball which was recovered by the Eagles. Seneca Valley scored their second touchdown as a result of regaining possession.

As a response to the Eagles leading 14-0 early in the first quarter, the Wildcats scored a touchdown of their own. Junior quarterback Charlie Blessing connected with junior wide receiver Reid Wisniewski, for six points, and the extra point by senior kicker Kevin Lukash was good.

“Every game I feel more and more connection with my quarterback, Charlie. I have trust in him and he has trust in me,” Wisniewski said. 

During the second quarter, the defense made multiple good plays, starting with a pass broken up by senior captain and defensive back Jalen Scott. Later in the game Scott suffered an injury. Therefore, he is unable to play for the rest of the regular season and possibly future playoff games. Senior defensive end Shane Barrios then blocked a Seneca Valley field goal attempt. After the offense couldn’t get anything going, junior defensive back Nick Zayas caught an interception.

“Against a strong offense like Seneca it [the interception] brings a lot more energy and momentum for me and the team to play in a game,” Zayas said.

When the offense stepped back on the field after the interception by Zayas, Blessing threw an interception of his own. This led to the Eagles finding the endzone again. Seneca Valley missed their extra point attempt, which made the score 27-7 going into halftime.

The Eagles extended their lead after the Wildcats failed to convert on an important fourth down. After an interception by junior linebacker Dylan Minnick, WJ was able to score another touchdown of their own.

It feels great to help the team late in the game and keep us fighting even when we’re down, which is super important.”

— Dylan Minnick

On the following Seneca Valley drive, the Eagles scored their last touchdown of the game. To end the game, senior quarterback Andrew Plotnick threw a touchdown pass with 18 seconds left.

This Friday, Oct. 28, at 7:00 p.m. the Wildcats hope to bounce back from this loss as they face Wootton. This game will conclude the regular season and will be both the homecoming game and senior night. The Wildcats are currently undefeated at home and will compete to keep this streak alive against the Patriots (3-5).

“We’re doing our best to help this loss make us improve as a team. We’ve been working super hard to improve our discipline and keep it through the playoffs,” Minnick said.

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