Trib HSSN Football Team of the Week for 2022 Week 7

Monday, October 17, 2022 | 4:50 PM

The Seneca Valley football team entered the 2022 season with high hopes and great expectations with several key players returning and many picking the Raiders as the team to beat in Class 6A.

Those good vibes continued after a hard fought 15-13 Week Zero victory over Penn Hills, a top-five team in Class 5A.

But then all of the title talk came to an abrupt end when Seneca Valley suffered back-to-back home losses to Peters Township and Canon-McMillan in the Class 6A conference opener.

“These are teen-age kids and to tell them not to read the press clippings and not to pay attention to the anointing of them as the chosen ones is tough,” Seneca Valley coach Ron Butschle said. “We told them, we haven’t done a thing.

“As much as I hated losing those two games at the beginning of the year, I think that may have been such a wake-up call for our kids in terms of refocusing on what’s important. And that’s really what they’ve done.”

The players put more effort and detail into their practices since and have now won five straight games, including a 53-13 win over visiting North Hills in Week 7.

The Raiders made it a special homecoming weekend with the win after four straight victories on the road.

On Friday, Seneca Valley scored 26 points in the opening quarter to take control.

When the Raiders added 21 points in the third quarter, they turned their sixth win of the season into a rout.

Quarterback Graham Hancox was heavily involved in the Raiders’ offensive success, as he has been all season.

The senior connected on 18 of 26 passes for 282 yards and four touchdown passes, two to Aiden Lyzcek and two to senior wide receiver Luke Lawson. Hancox also scored on 3-yard and 2-yard touchdown runs.

The victory improved Seneca Valley to 6-2 overall and 1-1 in 6A with two remaining conference games left in the final two weeks. The Raiders could finish as 6A regular season champs with two wins, or could be on the outside of the four-team playoff bubble and looking in if they lose at North Allegheny in Week 9 and at home to Central Catholic in Week 8.

Central Catholic is Central Catholic,” Butschle said. “They’ve got talent; they’re going to be ready to play. They are playing for their lives, as we all are. It’s going to be fun on Friday.”

WPIAL Week 7 Honorable Mentions

McKeesport Tigers

The Trib HSSN Team of the Week from Week 3, Class 4A McKeesport gets an honorable mention in Week 7 after another impressive victory, this time over one of the top teams in Class 5A. Harkening back to the old Quad East battles between George Smith and Pete Antimarino, the Tigers remained undefeated with a win over the visiting Gators.

McKeesport senior quarterback and safety Jahmil Perryman was a factor on both sides of the ball with 159 yards on 12 carries, plus three touchdowns on runs of 75, 85 and 1-yard, plus he returned a Gateway fumble 44 yards for a fourth touchdown as the Tigers improved to 8-0 with a convincing 41-17 win over the Gators.

Mohawk Warriors

Back in the heat of late August, before the first ball was kicked in Week Zero, every team across the WPIAL was filled with the enthusiasm and energy of a new season. However, there was one exception. The Lawrence County district attorney’s office announced they were investigating hazing allegations at Mohawk as school officials shut down the program while answers were sought.

As the team waited and hoped, Week Zero and Week 1 games were canceled. The Warriors were given the OK to resume their season in preparing for Week 2. Mohawk lost its first two games but has now won 3 of 4 after beating Freedom in Week 7, 42-13. While the victory did not clinch a playoff berth, the Warriors have put themselves in great position for one of five playoff berths in the Class 2A Midwestern Athletic Conference.

Laurel Spartans

In the big showdown for first place in the Class A Big Seven Conference, Laurel flexed its green machine muscles and blew open a tight game with a big fourth quarter to not only clinch a playoff spot and take over sole possession of first place, they also handed South Side its first loss of the season.

Trailing 16-14 heading into the final quarter, Laurel’s Landon Smith kicked into high gear. For the night, Smith rushed for 253 yards on 29 carries and scored five touchdowns, including three fourth quarter runs of 28, 16 and 10 yards as the Spartans bucked the Rams, 33-16.

2022 HSSN Teams of the Week

Week 6 – Sto-Rox Vikings

Week 5 – Laurel Highlands Mustangs

Week 4 – West Mifflin Titans

Week 3 – McKeesport Tigers

Week 2 – Ellwood City Wolverines

Week 1 – Bethel Park Black Hawks

Week Zero – Mars Fightin’ Planets

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