SVC opener for Dwight and Seneca

e Irish were separated by one touchdown at the end of a wet game with Seneca winning 22-15 Friday night.
    This edition of the rivalry was the first to take place in the Sangamon Valley Conference. DTHS head coach Luke Standiford was looking to pick up his first SVC victory as was Ted O’Boyle’s Irish, who are new to the conference this year after departing the Interstate 8.
    Things started promisingly for the Trojans when Dakota Wahl returned the opening kickoff 59 yards to the Seneca 19. Carson Crouch capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run and JC Santos booted the conversion kick through to put the Trojans up 7-0 at 8:45 in the first quarter.
    O’Boyle’s Irish squad does nothing pretty on offense. It packs their tight ends in, has three backs in the T-formation backfield and runs a variation of plays that leather-helmeted gridders of yore would immediately recognize.
    Seneca ate up the remainder of the first quarter on a 66-yard drive powered by their Cerberus backfield of fullback Cole Underhill and tailbacks Logan Bruss and Brody Baudino. Baudino capped the drive with a 2-yard scoring run and the Irish were able to convert their two-point run to go up 8-7 with 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
    The Trojans were able to put together their own long drive to eat up the last half of the second quarter with a steady diet of Logan Graham, mixed with runs from Crouch. Graham would give the Trojans a touchdown with 1:03 remaining in the second on a 2-yard run. He then converted the two-point play to put the Trojans in the lead, 15-8, going into halftime.
    Seneca opened the second half by hammering its way to a 66-yard scoring drive with Baudino picking up his second tally. The Irish were unable to convert the two-point conversion play and trailed 15-14.
    Dwight looked poised to bounce back by putting together a long drive. That was stopped when Crouch’s halfback pass attempt (one of three attempts by the Trojans all night) was intercepted at the Irish 13.
    The Trojans looked to have the Irish stopped at the 20, forcing a punt. On the snap the ball hit the ground and DTHS end Chris Bement got to the kicker before he was able to pick it up.
    “I think we will see on tape that it was a clear block. Chris came off the edge and put his hands down and the kicker kicked his leg up into Chris’s arms. They (the officials) called roughing the kicker and we got flagged for it,” Standiford explained.
    That 15-yard penalty gave the Irish new life and they quickly moved the ball down the field, keyed by a 44-yard dash by Bruss.
    Bruss scored on a 6-yard run and added the two-point conversion to put Seneca ahead for good with 7:36 remaining in the game.
    Dwight drove within the Seneca 15 late in the game but was turned away, handing the ball over on downs, and the Irish were able to run out the clock.
    Graham led the Dwight with 104 rushing on 21 carries. Crouch added 61 yards.
    Baudino paced Seneca with 110 yards and Bruss added 109.
    Things don’t get easier for the Trojans (1-2, 0-1) as they host Clifton Central next week.