NEW MARKET -- As last night wore on at Linganore, it became more and more apparent the home-team Lancers were accustomed to winning while Liberty was still getting used to the idea.
"This is new territory for us," Liberty coach Ken Johnson said. "[Linganore] has been in this situation before. I thought most of our mistakes were out of being overly intense."
Linganore running back Jerit Siedor ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Lancers to a 28-7 win. No. 12 Liberty (4-1) suffered its first loss.
The Lancers' defense, which forced six Liberty turnovers, had an answer for a Liberty running game that hadn't been previously stopped and also came up with two big plays that resulted in 14 points in the first half.
The Lancers (5-0) made it clear from the start what they were looking to do offensively, challenging the Lions' defense to shut down Siedor.
On the Lancers' 71-yard opening drive, Siedor carried the ball six times for 51 yards and capped it with a 12-yard touchdown run.
The drive was interrupted for 20 minutes when Liberty's Dave Johnson was taken out of the stadium by ambulance after suffering a neck strain. He was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital but returned before the end of the game.
The Lions' offense struggled in the first quarter, failing to get a first down on the team's first two possessions and fumbling on the third. On third-and-six inside the Liberty 20, Linganore linebacker Kevin Carpenter picked up a Bill Shaffer fumble and ran 19 yards for a score to give the Lancers a 14-0 lead.
Liberty got on track midway through the second quarter when Shaffer went 20 yards for a score to make it 14-7.
The drive started at the Liberty 43 after Justin Barnowski intercepted a Justin Brown pass and got a boost when Linganore was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Another Liberty fumble just before the half and deep in its own territory provided the Lancers with another seven points and a 21-7 halftime lead.
Ryan Green recovered the fumble on the Liberty six with 3:12 left and Siedor carried it in from the one two plays later.
The Lancers put the game away late in the third quarter when Siedor ran seven yards for his third touchdown.
The Lions never quit and had the ball at the Linganore one late in the fourth quarter after Justin Barnowski ran 53 yards down the left sideline, but the Lions fumbled on their very next possession.