Football: Seneca Valley downs Northwest, 26-13, to retain the King’s Trophy
By Eric Detweiler,
The Seneca Valley football team’s offense looks a bit different this season, more diverse than ever with a variety of creative formations. The 20th-ranked Screaming Eagles might have three running backs lined up behind quarterback Calvin Reighard on one play and none the next.
Joppy excelled in a part wide receiver, part running back role, scoring on a pair of explosive touchdown runs. The 5-foot-9, 165-pounder also had a long punt return to set up another score and intercepted a pass as the Eagles won the Battle for Germantown for the sixth straight year, retaining the King’s Trophy.
“We’ve got to find a way to get him the football as many times as possible in many different situations,” Kim said as his team finished up posing for pictures with the trophy that’s become a mainstay at the school. “He’s such a big-play athlete. Any time he touches the ball he can go.”
After Seneca Valley (2-0) lost an early red zone fumble, Joppy swung the momentum back with his dynamic play. On the first snap of the second quarter, he broke free down the sideline on a 31-yard touchdown run.
Joppy was just getting started on his breakout performance. When Northwest (1-1) moved into Seneca Valley territory seeking its first points of the game later in the quarter, he leaped over a Jaguars wide receiver to come down with an interception in the end zone.
Early in the third quarter, Joppy got loose again, this time scoring from 47 yards out on a run down the left sideline. He finished with 115 rushing yards on eight carries.
Northwest tried not to kick to him in the return game, but he soon picked up a bouncing punt at his own 8-yard line and returned it deep into Jaguars’ territory. Six plays later, Reighard found senior Kellen Staton on an 18-yard touchdown pass that gave the Eagles an 19-0 lead.
“I really hate Northwest,” said Joppy, who played running back and quarterback during his youth league career. “They talk so much trash. They underestimate us, but tonight we came out and did what we could do and came out with the victory.”
Northwest, which returned 16 starters off last season’s 5-5 squad, believed this was the season to take back the King’s Trophy, but the Jaguars never got on track in front of a packed crowd at Seneca Valley.
Senior quarterback Matty Callahan, one of the area’s top passers last season, finished 20-of-39 passing for 236 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. His scoring pass, an eight-yard strike to senior Josh McDonald, came in the final two minutes of the game.
“They just outplayed us,” Northwest Coach Mike Neubeiser said. “They were more disciplined and more physical. We have a lot of work to do. We’re not as good as we thought we were.”
On his touchdown catch, McDonald took a helmet-to-helmet hit and was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported by ambulance to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. Neubeiser said the measures were precautionary and that McDonald was alert on the field with full movement in his extremities.
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