In 2002, the Seneca Valley Raiders beat conference rival the North Allegheny Tigers. It would take 11 years for the Raiders to see it happen again.
No. 26 Seneca Valley stunned the ranked No. 1 team in Pennsylvania North Allegheny. Junior quarterback T.J. Holl helped break the losing trend on Friday, September 13 with his head coach and father, Don Holl, on the sidelines.
It was surprisingly easy to find the quarterback through the crowd of family, friends and fans waiting to congratulate the team after the big victory. Holl was jumping from group to group talking to whomever about the game with the biggest smile planted on his face. Eventually, Holl came over and was eager to continue chatting about the game.
The 6-1, 205-pound quarterback and safety finished the night with 201 total yards and 2 touchdowns. The Raiders almost shut out the Tigers, but in the remaining final seconds of the game North Allegheny scored making it 20-6.
"It feels amazing to win this game," said Holl. "I told everyone we could do it.. We came out and we executed. After eleven years, we finally did it. I got a lot of experience out of just this one game. Our team played with so much power and respect. Even after throwing the interception early in the game I took on the next play mentality. I came off the field and went right back out on defense, and I made sure to forget about that play."
Experience is what will help the young quarterback trade in those interceptions for completed passes. It's also exactly what Holl needs to get noticed by college recruiters. Holl has yet to receive any offers. His goal for right now is to focus on this season, and so far a 3-0 season is not a bad place to start.
From week one to week two, Holl is already looking more impressive. In game one against Butler, 241 total yards and in game two against Pine-Richland he recorded 429 total yards. The third week against North Allegheny, he racked up only 201 total yards, but he also faced a much tougher conference opponent. Holl is hoping the hard work not only pays off for this season, but also at the next level.
"It's my dream to play beyond high school and at the college level," said Holl. "I'm trying to play the best I can this year and hopefully some colleges will see that. I went to the Penn State camp, the Temple camp and some 7-on-7 camps this past summer. I talked to some of the people at the camps, and their message was "to go out, have a great season and lead your team, then we can talk after the season."