yards and a pile of muck
Butler's Dorondo runs wild vs. Raiders on soggy night
Eagle Sports Editor
BUTLER TWP— On a perfect night for a mudder, Aaron Dorondo looked the role — and played the role.
Rain, heavy at times, began falling two hours before the game and never stopped.
Butler captured the Butler Eagle Traveling Trophy for a fourth consecutive year, but the Golden Tornado (3-6, 1-4) were denied a WPIALplayoff berth when Plum rallied to defeat Fox Chapel, 21-14.
""I was hoping we'd finally get the break we needed and have Fox Chapel win,"Butler coach Garry Cathell said. "These kids worked so hard.
"They were outstanding tonight. I'm so happy for them."
Dorondo's 5-yard scoring run with 11:50 left in the first half capped a four-play, 38-yard drive that was set up when the Raiders were forced to punt from inside their own 10-yard line.
Butler punter Chris Haley booted the ball out of bounds at the Seneca Valley 4-yard line to set up the field position.
"With weather like this, field position is important, and (Butler) had it most of the time,"Raiders coach Ron Butschle said.
The Tornado missed chances to extend their 7-0 lead twice. They drove 82 yards on 13 plays late in the first half. On second-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Butler quarterback Nick Monteleone rolled right and had a clear path to the end zone, only to have SV's Derek Peluso drag him down from behind.
After Monteleone lost three yards on third down, Haley attempted a 24-yard field goal. The snap was high and the kick sailed wide left with 43 seconds remaining in the half.
Joe Titler blocked a punt early in the fourth quarter and Butler gained possession on the SV25. On second down from the 11, Monteleone was intercepted in the end zone by Sean Gress with 8:24 left in the contest.
Eric Petanovich's third-down sack of Raiders quarterback Ted Pynos quickly got Butler the ball back — and Dorondo quickly iced the game.
He took a handoff, bounced outside, escaped a bevy of tacklers along the right sideline and ran 54 yards for the back-breaking touchdown with 5:49 left.
"All of a sudden, I saw open field, glanced behind me and there was nobody there,"Dorondo said.
Butschle could only shake his head while describing the play.
"We had three or four defenders all around him,"he said. "I wish I could run out on the field and make the tackles, but I can't."
Seneca Valley possessed the ball in Butler territory only twice.
Butler jumped offside with the Raiders in punt formation, extending a 12-play drive that took the ball inside the Tornado 20-yard line during the second quarter.
Two runs by Bill Burns netted short yardage and Lee Stalker stopped James Daniels four yards short of a first down on a pass play. A fourth-down pass from the 14-yard line fell incomplete.
The Raiders didn't return to Tornado territory until they were down by two touchdowns. Jim Burry returned a kickoff 65 yards to the Butler 25, but Seneca Valley moved backwards from there.
Petanovich and Dan McPherson sacked Pynos on first down, McPherson nailed Burns for a 2-yard loss on second down and Pynos threw a pair of incompletions.
"I can't say enough about our defense,"Cathell said. "They didn't give up much."
Seneca Valley was limited to 97 yards and seven first downs. The Raiders netted just 51 yards rushing.
By comparison, normally pass-happy Butler had 235 yards on the ground and threw the ball only six times.
"The credit should go to (fullback) Ben Ashcraft and our offensive line,"Dorondo said. "We had holes to run through all night."
Senior center Ryan Miller was unavailable Friday because of injury, so sophomore Jake Skunda played center for the Tornado, who did not have a bad snap all night. The Raiders mishandled four center exchanges.
"For a sophomore to step in under these conditions and perform that consistently ... my hat's off to him,"Cathell said.
Notes:McPherson recovered a fumble for Butler while Stewart Myers did likewise for SV. ... The Tornado likely will host Erie Cathedral Prep to close the season next Friday night