The Liberty tandem of quarterback Joe Brown and receiver Matt Schilling accounted for only four completions, but Shilling's four catches for 74 yards were the difference as visiting Liberty (3-1, 1-0) defeated South Carroll (3-1, 0-1), 14-7, yeseterday in a Central Maryland Conference and Carroll County League game.
"It's really just been recently that we've been clicking," said Schilling. "We were a little shaky early in the year, but it's starting to come together."
Eric Snyder led Liberty with 56 yards on 15 carries. Paul Marcum led South Carroll with 64 yards on 14 carries.
"Our passing game hasn't clicked all year, but it did tonight," said Liberty coach John Magee. "This is by far the best passing game we've had."
The Lions opened the scoring, when, on fourth-and-three from the South Carroll 29, Brown found Schilling alone at the 2 and Schilling walked in for a 6-0 lead.
The Cavaliers took the lead when, after tackling Liberty punter Jim Howe at the Liberty 17, Troy Jones scored on a 2-yard run and Bill Frizzell kicked the extra point.
Liberty took the lead again on its next possession, putting together a 15-play, 61-yard drive.
On first down from the Cavaliers' 22, Brown hit Schilling again for a 17-yard gain to the 5-yard line. Four plays later, South Carroll appeared to have held the Lions at the 2, but on fourth down Eric Snyder bounced off a wall of defenders and spun into the end zone to give Liberty a 14-7 lead with 41 seconds left in the half.
Liberty appeared to be on the way to another touchdown early in the fourth quarter after Shilling recovered a fumble at the South Carroll 38, but the Lions could only reach the 9-yard line before the South Carroll defense closed the door.
The Cavaliers took over and moved the ball 24 yards in five plays, but was forced to punt with 6 minutes, 50 seconds left.
Liberty got the ball back at its 30 and used the clock. A 10-yard gain by Snyder gave Liberty a first down with 51 seconds left, and that settled matters.
"They controlled the ball, and that was the difference," said South Carroll coach Ken Parker. "They made the big plays when they had to and we didn't. Each game is a challenge and it's up to us to forget this one and bounce back next week."