Football: Linganore, mistakes keep Westminster from winning region title

Megan Woodward
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

Westminster senior tight end Logan Nave said the Owls have preached trust in one another all year — fight for your brother, just as he would fight for you.

Trust got the Owls to the Class 3A West Region final Friday night against Linganore, a highly-anticipated matchup from an Owls loss to the Lancers in Week 3. The Lancers came out victorious once again and held off the Owls 16-14 to capture the 3A West title at Ruby Field.

It was a somber post-game for the Owls, who saw their season end after winning nine straight games. There were tears and there were plenty of hugs between players, coaches, and their loved ones who gradually gathered onto the field to console each other.

“I couldn’t ask for a better effort from my teammates all the way down to the last play of the game,” Nave said. “We came in from halftime and said, you know it’s a nine-point deficit and us seniors, a lot of us have been through worse. We’ve been through 10-point deficits, 20-point deficits and we came back and won so there was never a thought in my mind that we were going to lose this game.”

Linganore picked up four first downs on the game’s opening drive, but the Owls pressured junior quarterback Ryan Leyh, who threw two incomplete passes to set up a 26-yard field goal attempt for kicker Bennett Formulak. His kick was good, and the Lancers picked up a quick 3-0 lead.

The Lancers (10-2) forced a Westminster three-and-out and the Owls reciprocated on the Lancers’ next drive. Quarterback Christian Etchison found senior receiver Zane Lewis for a 26-yard touchdown with less than five minutes to play in the first.

Davon Butler, the Lancers’ speedy junior running back picked up 30 carries for 256 yards and a touchdown on the night. His score came late in the first quarter on a 20-yard carry. Formulak’s kick collided high with the right upright and failed, leaving the Lancers with a 9-7 lead over the Owls.

Etchison was sacked with 25 seconds remaining in the first half and sustained an apparent injury to his left knee. He remained on the sideline surrounded by assistants and trainers as his knee was tended to during halftime. Sophomore Nathan Kent stood in for the remainder of the game — and made a statement.

“Nate is a great quarterback and he’s been a leader back in the spring when he was coming up through,” Study said. “We brought him up as a freshman and he got a couple snaps last year. He was fighting for that starting job so we knew he could get the job done.”

Kent carried the ball in for a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter to bring the Owls within two, 16-14. The score would stand, but coach Matt Study said there were missed opportunities that could have been avoided through the night.

“There were dropped balls, overthrown balls,” he said “We shot ourselves in the foot tonight and we had a lot of open plays we should have made.”

Added Nave: “Our defense kept us in the game. Our offense started off slow and we weren't really clicking right away and that’s why we had to rely on our defense and thank God we have such a strong defense. Yeah, we made some bad plays but overall, we made some great plays tonight. The defense kept us in the game and I couldn’t be more thankful for the defense to give us more opportunities to win this game.”

In his third year at the helm of the Owls program, Study led the team to a 10-2 record that included nine straight wins and a county championship.

“I’m proud of these guys, they really devote themselves in the offseason and it’s the core of what we’ve said,” Study added. “They didn’t stop fighting tonight and we want to build that culture. They had a lot of fight in them out on that field and at the end, you had at least four sophomores on offense in a regional title game, so we’ve got the foundation to move in the right direction.”

Linganore 9 7 0 0 — 16

Westminster 7 7 0 0 — 14

SCORING SUMMARY

L-Bennett Formulak 26 field goal

W-Zane Lewis 26 pass from Christian Etchison (Evan Warren kick)

L-Davon Butler 20 run (Kick failed)

L-Ben Musselman 6 run (Forumulak kick)

W-Nathan Kent 19 run (Warren kick)

mwoodward@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7893

twitter.com/mwoodwardCCT

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
39°