South Carroll finds groove in 2nd half for 35-16 win

Swanson passes for 4 TDs, 305 yards vs. Walkersville

Football

High Schools

October 25, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After a lackluster offensive performance in the first half of last night's pivotal game against Walkersville, South Carroll coach Gene Brown told his team to keep trying the pass.

Led by senior quarterback T.J. Swanson, the host No. 8 Cavaliers found their mark, scoring four second-half touchdowns to pull away from Walkersville in a 35-16 win.

"It had been a long time since we were in a football game, and we were a little flat," said Brown. "We just told them to jack it up, because the patterns were open. T.J. just put it together in the second half."

Swanson threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns, including three to wide receiver Ryan Mullen. As the Cavaliers had virtually no rushing offense - save for a 27-yard touchdown run by Swanson - it was the quarterback's strong arm that made the difference.

The victory gave South Carroll (7-1) the title in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League's Piedmont Conference, and put the Cavaliers in a strong position in their battle for a Class 2A West playoff spot.

They entered the night ranked third in their region; Walkersville (6-2) is fourth.

South Carroll started the scoring late in the first half by riding the arm of Swanson.

On a second down from midfield, Swanson hit Mullen on a 32-yard crossing pass. Three plays later - after Mullen was ruled out of the end zone on an apparent touchdown catch - Swanson again hit Mullen, this time with a sharp pass to the front of the end zone with 5:35 left.

Mike Niffenegger's extra point made it 7-0.

Near halftime, however, South Carroll's miscues helped Walkersville take the lead.

After pinning the Cavaliers at the 1 following a punt, the Lions made it 7-2 when Cavaliers running back Thomas Geary fumbled a handoff in his end zone, then fell on the ball.

After getting the ball back on South Carroll's 45, Walkersville quickly advanced, with Antoine Crawford's 26-yard run to the 17 the key play in the scoring drive.

After halftime, however, South Carroll began to roll.

"In the first half we were just making some mistakes," said Mullen. "Then in the second half, we pulled it together and played some good football."

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