Taylor light in dark for 0-6 Winters Mill

Big game vs. Century gives Falcons a boost


High Schools

October 12, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Though still searching for its first win after Friday's shutout loss to Walkersville, the Winters Mill football team has nonetheless found something to cheer about.

Junior running back Joe Taylor last week established a school record that may last for some time, rushing 23 times for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 14-13 loss to Century.

"You look for positives any place you can find them," said Falcons coach Ken Johnson. "You try to use those as a springboard."

A slashing-type runner with breakaway speed, Taylor plays bigger than his 165-pound frame with his ability to shed tackles. He also rushed for more than 100 yards earlier this season against Liberty.

On an undersized team without any seniors, he has been a bright spot.

"He's obviously one of our developed and maturing weapons," Johnson said. "You want to try to give the person that's got the best speed and the best chance of scoring as many touches as you can in a game."

He again may play a large role this Friday, when 0-6 Winters Mill travels to 0-6 Boonsboro in what may be its best chance for a victory this season. For the young Falcons, the key word is patience.

"Everybody is anxious [for a win]," Johnson said. "It's a big challenge for adults, much less kids, to stay motivated, stay focused and keep a positive outlook when you're not getting much success. We're trying to focus on as much as we can that is a positive. We're definitely a better football team than we were at the beginning of the year."

Mean schedule

Few football teams in the state have had as tough a schedule this season as Westminster.

In six games, the Owls (1-5) have been beaten by No. 12 South Carroll; Martinsburg, the top-ranked team in West Virginia; previously ranked Francis Scott Key, and, on Friday night, Westlake, a team ranked No. 8 in the Maryland AP poll.

And the competition will get no easier, with games against Linganore -- ranked No. 2 in the state -- and perennial-power Urbana on the road the next two weeks.

"You could put a lot of patsies on your schedule and run over them and get a lot of feel-good wins, but we know we're playing good competition and we knew that we have a pretty good football team," said Westminster coach Scott Tobias. "I don't think we've played this many ranked teams before."

Tobias said his team has been hurt by injuries and overall low numbers, at times this season dressing just 31 or 32 players instead of the usual 47-50.

At times, the level of the opposition has been surprising, as well, as was the case in a 54-0 loss to Martinsburg.

"We knew they were good, but that was the best high school team I've ever seen," said Tobias, adding that his players still haven't exhausted their enthusiasm for this season. "The kids have a great attitude."

Fresh face

Century's Ashlee Horst may be just a freshman, but she's already beginning to create a buzz within the local cross country scene.

Despite never having run a 3.1-mile course before this season, Horst has consistently been the Knights' top runner. After missing a pair of meets for health reasons, she returned last week to take third place in the Liberty Invitational.

"[Her success] is surprising considering that she's so young, but she's just continuing to get better." said Century coach Joy Wiedemann, who has high hopes for her rookie in the coming postseason. "I feel like she's going to rise to that challenge. She does extremely well in the big meets."

Century is expected to get a further boost this week when Rachel Hawes, the two-time Carroll County Runner of the Year, returns to practice. She has been out for undisclosed health reasons.

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