Central Catholic defense dominates in victory over Seneca Valley
Friday, October 1, 2021 | 23:26
There’s a litany of players with NCAA Division I offers on the central Catholic defense, and these players have shown why they are going to play at this level on Friday night.
The Vikings forced four turnovers in the first quarter that led to four touchdowns in a 35-0 Seneca Valley rout in a Class 6A game at Gesling Stadium in Carnegie Mellon.
“Our guys were very aggressive with the boards, and we’re flying all over the place on defense,” Central Catholic coach Terry Totten said. “They were excellent tonight. They put us on a few coins, but we never broke up.
Central Catholic (5-1, 3-0) scored twice on one play after a Seneca Valley turnaround (4-2, 2-1). The first time came after the game’s first turnaround when Catholic center quarterback Payton Wehner found a Vernon Settles wide open for a 38-yard touchdown.
Then, following an interception, Wehner hit Josh Altsman on a 38-yard shot to make it 21-0.
Gannon Carothers scored on a 10-yard run sandwiched between the two practices in one play.
“Our attack was opportunistic on these turnovers,” Totten said. “We got some scores early on, which is important in a game like this.”
After having established several scores, the defense of the Vikings completed the first quarter by registering a touchdown. Robert Fulton IV stripped Seneca Valley quarterback Graham Hancox, recovered the ball and ran 70 yards to the end zone, making it 28-0.
“It was about as bad in the first quarter in terms of how things turned out as I’ve been in a long time,” said Seneca Valley coach Ron Butschle. “We had four turnovers and gave them short field another time because of bad special teams. Look, they’re a good team, but we gave them short pitches and opportunities.
Neither team scored again until the Central Catholic defense put the offense in first place one last time midway through the fourth quarter. Devin Barren knocked out Hancox near midfield and sent him back inside the 10-yard line. Three games later Antonio Pitts scored on a 4-yard run and Matthew Schearer’s extra point put the game in the mercy rule with six minutes remaining.
“Our defense the rest of the night after that first quarter until the last turnover, put up a donut,” said Butschle. “They didn’t go out on the pitch or give us a rough ride after the first quarter. Take nothing away from Central Catholic. It’s a very good team. But I don’t think it was any indication of who we are. I take full responsibility. We need to clean up turnovers, penalties and poor execution in general. “
Wehner was 9 of 15 passing for 141 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, and the majority of that was in the first half. He only attempted three passes after halftime. Brandon Jackson caught seven passes for 60 yards. Hancox finished 19 of 36 for 266 yards and two interceptions. Brandon Ross had six receptions for 102 yards.
Notre Dame rookie Devin Hinish had five sacks for a Viking defense that invaded Hancox overnight. Matt Aulicino, Fulton IV, and JD Younger were also ransacked.
Central Catholic will travel to Mount Lebanon next Friday for what is shaping up to be a battle for the regular season top spot in Class 6A.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer
Tags: Central Catholic, Seneca Valley