Football glance

October 24, 2003|By Rich Scherr

Today

Walkersville (6-1) at No. 8 South Carroll (6-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: In a game for first place in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League's Piedmont Division, South Carroll will search for its fifth straight win as it pushes toward a spot in the Class 2A state playoffs. Walkersville, however, is coming off a 45-8 dismantling of county power Francis Scott Key. In that game, fullback Antoine Crawford rushed 12 times for 182 yards, and the Lions' defense held Key's vaunted running game in check. Cavaliers quarterback T.J. Swanson leads the county in passing (1,184 yards, 11 touchdowns) and is also his team's top rusher, with 330 yards and another seven touchdowns.

North Hagerstown (7-0) at Francis Scott Key (5-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Things won't get any easier this week for Key following two losses in the past three weeks. The Eagles face an unbeaten North Hagerstown team that last week handed Catoctin its first conference defeat. North Hagerstown's Quielan Gantt had 103 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns, and Bryan Slater added 105 rushing yards and a touchdown, in the win. The Eagles are coming off a deflating 45-8 loss to Walkersville, in which Josh Rutter and Layton Hersh, statistically the county's two top rushers, were held to a total of 116 yards.

Liberty (3-4) at Frederick (3-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Following last week's disappointing loss to North Carroll, Liberty will try to get back to the .500 mark against a Frederick team coming off a blowout loss to Urbana. The teams appear evenly matched. On average, the Cadets are giving up 29 points a game, but the pass-oriented Lions score only 15.

Westminster (1-6) at Urbana (6-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Another week, another brutal opponent for Westminster. This time, it's Urbana, ranked No. 20 in the state by the Associated Press. Over the past two seasons, the Hawks have beaten the Owls by a combined score of 58-13. This season, Urbana is sporting the top defense in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League, allowing an average of just eight points a game. Westminster lost last week to Linganore, 49-13.

Linganore (7-0) at Winters Mill (1-6)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: On paper, this game would appear to be very much one-sided. Linganore is ranked No. 3 in the state by the Associated Press, and has outscored opponents this season, 310-64. Despite picking up its first varsity win last week, beating Boonsboro in overtime, 9-6, Winters Mill is still in the early stages of development. The Falcons have averaged less than seven points a game.

Thomas Johnson (0-6) at North Carroll (2-5)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: North Carroll has a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since 2000. Last week, the Panthers held off Liberty, 20-19. Thomas Johnson has scored just 19 points in six games and already has been soundly beaten by county opponents Liberty and Westminster. The Patriots, however, did manage to beat the Panthers a year ago.

Middletown (2-5) at Century (2-5)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Middletown is far from the same team that advanced to the Class 2A state finals a year ago, but the Knights still can be formidable at times. Earlier this season, they gave powerful Francis Scott Key a run for its money before falling and are coming off a 23-7 win over Thomas Johnson a week ago. Century is trying to break a two-game losing streak following consecutive wins against North Carroll and Winters Mill.

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