Seneca Valley place kicker John Duke was told to take Thursday off to rest his leg. But the senior, who had missed his only two attempts of the season, decided to spend the day practicing. The extra work paid off handsomely.

Duke kicked a 27-yard field goal in the second period and the hustling Screaming Eagles defense shut down Churchill and held on to defeat the seventh-ranked Bulldogs, 3-0, in a Montgomery AA league game last night at Churchill.

The fifth-ranked visitors (4-0) managed only 134 total yards, seven of which came in the third period when the Screaming Eagles had only three offensive plays. Fortunately for Seneca Valley, it cashed in on one of Churchill's two turnovers.

Tom Norris made a diving interception of Jim Kemp's pass to give the Screaming Eagles possession at the Churchill 29-yard line. A 14-yard run by John Joppy moved the ball to the 15 where Churchill (3-1), which also played wonderful defense, stiffened. Duke then came on to try his field goal. The left-footed soccer-style kicker hit the ball perfectly and the Screaming Eagles led, 3-0, with 7:53 left in the second quarter.

"I spent three extra hours practicing even though Coach {Al Thomas} told me to take the day off," Duke said. "The extra work helped me. I hit it pretty good. I figured it would be a close game and come down to me. I needed one like this because I hadn't been kicking too well. I made the one that counted."

The Screaming Eagles defense also made the plays when it counted. In addition to Norris' big interception, defensive end Shane Henson made numerous tackles, had two sacks, a lot of hurries and recovered a fumble. The hard-rushing Henson chased Kemp (eight of 14 for 96 yards) all night and the junior was never able to get the passing game untracked.

"I knew Kemp was pretty good and I went after him every time he rolled out," Henson said. "We are pretty small and the three straight shutouts is pretty good. The game plan was to force Kemp to run inside, try to contain him."

Churchill had two good scoring chances but was turned away both times. With 10 seconds left in the first half, Tony de Guzman missed a 54-yard field goal try.

Early in the third period, Kemp, who also handled the punting duties, faced a fourth and 11 at his own 39. Instead of kicking, Kemp took off and raced 23 yards. Three running plays netted nine yards, bringing up a fourth and one situation. Kemp rolled out but his pass was incomplete.

Neither team threatened again until the host's final possession. The Screaming Eagles used more than six minutes on the clock before punting the ball away with less than two minutes to play in the game.

Taking over at his own 16, Kemp completed passes to Seth Kulakow, Mark Mason and Fred Sollock to move the ball to the Seneca Valley 43. But Henson and Kenny Freeman led a tenacious charge that forced Kemp into three straight incompletions. On a fourth down play, Kemp tried a screen pass over the middle to Mason. The pass was complete, but Freeman was standing right there to make the tackle before the tailback could take a step.

Seneca Valley ran off the final 35 seconds to assure itself of its big triumph.

"They had run the same play {screen pass} before and beat us," Freeman said. "We had worked to defend it all week. My job was to sit back and wait."Seneca Valley (4-0) 0 3 0 0 3 Churchill (3-1) 0 0 0 0 0

SV -- FG Duke 27