Football preview

September 24, 1998|By John W. Stewart

Westminster (3-0) at Thomas Johnson (1-2)

When: 7: 30 tonight

Outlook: For Westminster, this game will be its best yardstick of the season for judging how far its rejuvenated program has progressed. In their three wins, the Owls have seen a number of players come through with strong performances, from senior veterans to untested sophomores.

Getting all their points in the second quarter against Old Mill last week, the Owls had four different scorers, including sophomores Brad Durden, Mike McGinnis, and Jemal Smalls. A major factor so far has been the line play on both sides of the ball. Westminster, which has achieved its success against Anne Arundel County schools, now goes to work against the Frederick County half of its Central Maryland Conference schedule.

TJ will provide a reality check, because the Patriots, last year's state Class 3A runner-up and a perennial power, are off to -- for them -- a slow start, at least in terms of losses, although the schedule has been tougher. They have sandwiched defeats by Middletown, the state's No. 8-ranked team, and Loyola, which moved from No. 14 to No. 13 in the Baltimore area, around a 28-6 decision over Crossland. Leroy Ambush (11 rushing yards) scored the only TD in the 17-6 loss to Loyola. Thomas Johnson had seven fumbles, lost five of them, and three led to the Dons' 17 points. The last time Westminster defeated TJ was in 1990 -- the last time it started 3-0.

Pub Date: 9/24/98

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