Westminster running game overtakes Liberty, 42-38

October 29, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

Westminster coach Tim Ebersole said he wants his team to be able to find ways to win. Last night, thanks to Eric Jones, the Owls did.

Jones, who rushed for 169 yards, scored the second of his two fourth-quarter touchdowns on a 14-yard run with 6:59 left to give visiting Westminster a come-from-behind 42-38 victory over Liberty in a Carroll County matchup.

The teams scored 62 points in the first half and finished the game with 730 yards -- 370 for Liberty and 365 for Westminster -- and 11 touchdowns.

But Westminster (5-3) made the key plays. The Owls trailed, 38-30, heading into the fourth quarter but scored 1:50 into the last period when Jones ran in from 4 yards out. Steve Mays' pass for two points was knocked down, and Westminster still led by two.

Liberty (3-5) was forced to punt on its next series, and Westminster took over at its 33.

Jones ripped off consecutive runs of 19, 22 and 12 yards to put the Owls at the Liberty 14. Jones then broke free off left tackle and raced into the end zone for the winning score.

"It opened up as soon as I got there," said Jones. "My coach said just attack the holes."

Jones did that on the first drive of the night. He ran seven times for 72 yards, before Mays scored from the 2 for a 7-0 lead.

The teams kept trading touchdowns for the remainder of the half. The Owls appeared in command when Justin Sholkoff made a diving catch for a 39-yard touchdown and a 22-8 lead with 11:11 left in the half.

Liberty came right back and marched 70 yards on 10 plays, capped by a 2-yard run from Eric Cook (104 yards on 13 carries). Quarterback Ryan Pagels then passed to Tyrone Ellis for the two-point conversion.

Mays gave Westminster a 30-16 lead with a 26-yard run, but Liberty staged a late first-half rally. The Lions drove 69 yards on nine plays, scoring when Cook ran 14 yards on an inside reverse. Brandon Scarborough ran for two to cut the lead to six with 28 seconds left.

Ellis then intercepted Mays two plays later and returned it to the Westminster 20. Two plays after that, Pagels rolled right and found Ellis for a 10-yard score in the front of the end zone as time expired. Scarborough ran for two again and the Lions took a 32-30 lead at halftime.

Liberty took the second half kickoff and drove deep into Westminster territory, but Mays intercepted Pagels at the 1. The Lions got the ball back after a short punt and scored on a 1-yard run for a 38-30 lead with 1:36 to go in the third quarter.

But the Owls made several big plays in the fourth quarter. In addition to the two touchdowns, they three times stopped Liberty on fourth-down plays.

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