Westminster didn’t waste any time handling Manchester Valley at Ruby Field on Friday.

The Owls scored on every drive in the first half except for one, and used a powerful effort on both sides of the ball to shutout the Mavericks 40-0.


Senior Ben Flowers rushed for 41 yards (unofficially) and a touchdown — he also caught a 66-yard touchdown from junior quarterback Jalen Bradford. The Owls also got touchdowns from junior Erick Stranko, senior Nate Mattingly, and senior Haden Hoff to spread the wealth.

“The first quarter we just came out strong,” Flowers said. “The next three quarters we just kept pounding them up front every single drive, every single play.”

The Owls (3-2, 2-0 in the Carroll County Athletic League) used three plays on their first drive to find the end zone when Bradford found Flowers for the 66-yard reception. Senior kicker Evan Warren kicked an extra point and the Owls led 7-0.

Manchester Valley senior quarterback Garrett Deltuva’s pass intended for senior receiver Josh Chanaud was fumbled and recovered by the Owls on the Mavericks’ second play of their first drive. Westminster responded with a 41-yard touchdown from Stranko to put the Owls up 14-0 after an extra point from Warren.

Backed by a strong offensive line, Mattingly scampered through the Mavericks’ defense for a 9-yard touchdown with 1:45 left in the first quarter.

“It was a great team effort and we all spread it out,” Mattingly said. “Everyone showed up tonight, and everyone played well.”

Westminster scored on every drive in the first half except for one, and Warren attempted a 35-yard field goal but it sailed wide right. The Owls forced a three-and-out on the Mavericks’ next drive, and Hoff blocked Deltuva’s punt in the end zone.

The ball skittered out of bounds for a Westminster safety.

As time expired in the second quarter, Warren set up to take a 43-yard field goal and was successful — the Owls led the Mavericks 26-0 at the half.

Manchester Valley drove the ball seven times on the opening drive of the second half until Owls senior Matt Annulis intercepted a Deltuva pass and returned it to the Mavs’ 33-yard line.

Westminster went three-and-out on its next drive, but Hoff blocked a second Deltuva punt, picked it up and carried it across the goal line. Warren’s kick gave the host team a 33-0 lead.

A second score from Flowers sealed the victory for the Owls. The Mavericks dropped to 4-1 overall, and 2-1 in county play. Running back Nathaniel Costley led the team with 10 carries for 41 yards (unofficially).

“I think for us we’re we’re really trying to be the best football program we can,” Owls coach Chris Bassler said. “It’s not about one guy, two guys or three guys, it’s about 43 guys we have coming-out every Friday and playing their hearts out and when we do that, we’re pretty tough.”