Disappointment follows Owls QB Gibson hopes to salvage season

October 20, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Brad Gibson didn't expect miracles when he took over as quarterback of the Westminster football team last season.

But he sure anticipated a better fate than the first 16 games (2-14) of his varsity career.

Westminster, once the dominant team in Carroll County, has fallen on bad times, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of hope the rest of the season.

The Owls (1-5) play at Liberty Friday night, a game they have a chance to win. After that, the Owls wind up the season against Central Maryland Conference power Linganore and South Carroll.

South Carroll's Cavaliers and bruising running back Mike Dodd are easily the best team in the county, as well as an emotional rival for the Owls.

"We thought we would do better this season," said Gibson, who endured a 1-9 record last year. "We're faster than last season but smaller. We need to concentrate more on what we're doing."

Westminster may have more speed than last season but compared to the likes of a Woodlawn, the Owls are painfully slow. The Warriors ran circles around Westminster in the first game of the season.

Even Westminster students are beginning to lose confidence in the football team.

"They are kind of down on us," said Gibson. "[But] they're not out there doing anything, so they have no room to talk."

The quarterback said the parents and friends of the players are still behind the team.

About the only thing they've had to cheer about this season is Gibson's passing. Through six games, he has completed 30 of 69 passes for 421 yards and seven touchdowns.

Gibson, 5 feet 10, 185 pounds, missed all of the Springbrook game and half of the Thomas Johnson game with a sprained ankle.

His top performance came against winless North Carroll in the Owls' lone victory this season. Gibson threw three touchdown passes in the first half.

His favorite target is junior receiver Micah Shaffer, who leads the team with 10 catches for 195 yards. Hayward Hinkhouse is second with six receptions for 106 yards.

"Brad is the unquestioned leader of the team," said Westminster coach Jeff Oeming. "He was frustrated a little with the ankle injury but he got through it, and now we've still got a chance to win the county title if we beat Liberty and South Carroll."

Oeming and the Owls at least can take solace in the fact that their five losses this season came against teams with a combined record of 23-7.

Woodlawn, Springbrook, Thomas Johnson and Laurel got off to 5-1 starts and defending state 4A champion Quince Orchard started 3-3.

Four of the Owls' losses were to tough opponents outside the Central Maryland Conference.

Oeming said that it may be time for the Owls to change their habit of playing a rugged non-league schedule.

"Maybe we need to find a Dulaney, Franklin or Dundalk for our schedule," he said. "We used to have trouble getting teams to play us, but now they'll probably line up to play us."

Through it all, Gibson said the friendships of his teammates has made the two years worthwhile.

"No matter how many games we lose, I still have a good time talking to the other players about the game," said Gibson. "We do things together and have fun. That means a lot."

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