Seneca Valley takes record 9th state title Eagles rip Suitland, 33-13, as Fleury hits 4 TD passes

Class 4A

November 29, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK -- Seneca Valley quarterback Brian Fleury had seen the banners on the gymnasium wall and the mountain of trophies in the Montgomery County school's showcase. They told of the Screamin' Eagles' success on the gridiron, including the most championships by any Maryland high school.

Until this fall, it was a story that the senior could only learn about second-hand. Last night, he became a part of the lore.

Fleury threw four touchdown passes, one shy of a state tournament record, to lead Seneca Valley to a 33-13 win over Suitland of Prince George's County in the Class 4A state championship game at the University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium.

With the victory, the Screamin' Eagles (13-0) added to their own state record with their ninth state title and improved to 27-6 all-time in the playoffs.

Fleury completed 11-of-20 passes for 190 yards, including touchdown strikes of 19, 1, 31 and 55 yards. With his team down 7-0 late in the first half, he threw two of them in a span of 24 seconds to change the game's complexion.

"I think we came out intimidated," said Fleury. "After we got through the butterflies, we settled down and basically did what we've done all year. Once we scored those 14 points, it let us know that we were back on our ballgame."

Seneca Valley runner Ty Washington added 145 yards on 32 carries, with a touchdown. The Eagles' offense produced 392 total yards.

Suitland (12-1) broke on top with 6: 20 to play in the first quarter when running back Germaine Bennett (119 yards, two touchdowns) took a handoff, broke three tackles, and raced 74 yards up the middle to make it 7-0.

But Seneca Valley took command near the end of the half by scoring 14 points in 24 seconds.

After getting the ball at their own 46, the Eagles drove 54 yards, capped by Fleury's 19-yard touchdown pass to Brendon Kennedy to make it 7-7 with 57 seconds to play before halftime.

Then, on Suitland's next play from scrimmage, Isiah Long's pass was tipped at the line and intercepted by John Kelley at the Rams' 38. After a 37-yard pass from Fleury to Fredy Del Villar, Fleury hit Durique Taylor from a yard out to make it 14-7 with 33 seconds left in the half.

Said Seneca Valley coach Terry Changuris: "We have that explosive potential, and it came out tonight. What a great night for it to come out."

Suitland 7 0 0 6 -- 13

-! Seneca Valley 0 14 12 7 -- 33

Bennett 74 run (Rose kick)

SV-Kennedy 19 pass from Fleury (Del Villar kick)

Taylor 1 pass from Fleury (Del Villar kick)

Neal 31 pass from Fleury (kick failed)

SV-Taylor 55 pass from Fleury (kick failed)

S-Bennett 1 run (pass failed)

SV-Washington 6 run (Del Villar kick)

Pub Date: 11/29/97

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