Mihalko helps S. Carroll -- past Liberty, 26-6

October 01, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

It was Greg Mihalko left, Greg Mihalko right and Greg Mihalko up the middle last night as South Carroll bullied neighborhood rival Liberty into submission, 26-6, at South Carroll.

Mihalko and the Cavaliers established their superiority on the ground early and built a 26-0 lead at halftime.

Mihalko, the 1993 Carroll County Offensive Player of the Year, carried the ball 21 times for 107 yards and one touchdown in the first half.

South Carroll coach Gene Brown gave Mihalko most of the second half off and went to his second- and third-string players midway through the fourth quarter.

"Greg Mihalko's a great kid and it was good to see him have an outstanding game like this," said Brown. "He's had some tough times this season."

Mihalko said the game plan was to come out and run the ball straight at the Lions (2-2) and it worked perfectly.

"We didn't have to throw to win but I believe we will be able to throw the ball later in the season when we need to."

South Carroll took the opening kickoff and drove 70 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 3:35 left in the first quarter.

South Carroll (3-1) kept the ball on the ground for the entire 70-yard march, with quarterback Tom Luster scoring from 1 yard out.

Mihalko carried 10 times for 55 yards in the opening 17-play drive.

Then on Liberty's second offensive play, sophomore quarterback Ryan Pagels had a pass intercepted by Tom Lapato, who returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. Lapato weaved and bobbed his way through the entire Liberty team to score for a 13-0 lead with 2:13 remaining in the first quarter.

South Carroll's third touchdown drive of 75 yards featured a lot more of Mihalko, including a 29-yard burst off the right side to the Liberty 3-yard line.

It took four plays to get the ball into the end zone, but Mihalko finally rolled around the left side from 1 yard for the touchdown and a 19-0 advantage.

The final South Carroll touchdown came on a 20-yard scoring pass from Luster to Lapato on fourth-and-17. Luster threw the ball down the left side of the field where Lapato leaped into the air at the 3-yard line, taking the ball from Jon Barnowski and going in for the score.

Liberty coach Ken Johnson said, "The first quarter was very important for us but we couldn't stop them on the ground. I was pleading with Gene [Brown] to throw a pass instead of all those runs."

When Johnson was asked how Mihalko could be stopped, he said, "You have to build walls and string him out."

Liberty's most successful play of the night, a 52-yard run by Eric Cook was called back in the fourth quarter due to an illegal block.

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