WESTMINSTER -- Host Westminster (6-3, 4-1) extended a 12-7 halftime lead to 25-7, then held on to defeat visiting Linganore (6-3, 4-2), 25-19, in a key Central Maryland Conference game.
If the Owls beat South Carroll on Friday, they would clinch a share of their second straight conference title with the winner of the Frederick-Thomas Johnson game next week. Both those teams also are 4-1 in the conference. The victory eliminated Linganore, co-conference champion last season with Westminster.
"We were really up for this game," said the Owls' Mike Rodgers, who rushed for 76 yards on 17 carries. "We knew this was the key to the CMC championship, and we played our hearts out."
Two quarterback keepers by Marty Brennan set up Calvin Warfield's 1-yard run to give the Owls a 6-0 lead with six minutes left in the first quarter. Linganore appeared to have Westminster stopped on the Owls' next possession, but a bad snap on a 20-yard field goal attempt led to a 19-yard pass completion by reserve quarterback and holder Steve Kearns to Rodgers at the 1. Rodgers scored one play later to give the Owls a 12-0 lead.
Linganore cut the margin to 12-7 in the second period after its scored on a fourth-and-six play from the Westminster 21. Richard Coffey faked a handoff to Duane Musselman, then hit him with a 5-yard pass that he carried to the end zone.
Linganore's Ronnie McGarvey fumbled a punt, and Westminster's Andy Ingalls recovered it to give the Owls the ball at their 32. Westminster scored on a 10-play drive, which ended with Brennan's 21-yard pass to Shane Liddick, increasing the margin to 19-7.
Boomer Warfield's 13-yard run on the Owls' next possession made the score 25-7.