Manchester Valley's Garrett Deltuva rushes towards the goalline, setting up his own rushing touchdown in the following play, against South Carroll during Manchester Valley High School's homecoming football game on Friday, September 27.
Manchester Valley's Garrett Deltuva rushes towards the goalline, setting up his own rushing touchdown in the following play, against South Carroll during Manchester Valley High School's homecoming football game on Friday, September 27. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Manchester Valley won its fourth straight game Friday to remain undefeated this season, but this victory was exceptionally sweet for the Mavericks.

They defeated South Carroll for the first time in program history.

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Senior quarterback Garrett Deltuva led the Mavs with 192 passing yards and a touchdown against the Cavaliers. He also rushed for two touchdowns in Man Valley’s 34-3 victory.

Deltuva has 553 passing yards (61.1% completion rate) and five touchdowns this season, to go with 158 rushing yards and six TDs. He said the Mavericks they have yet to show their best football.

“There’s loose ends that we need to tie up, like every game, but we’re pretty happy with [Friday],” Deltuva said. “Stuff happens but we all know that we can do way more than what we’ve shown after every penalty, sack or fumble. We just keep looking forward, we don’t look back.

“If you look in the rear view mirror for too long, you might crash.”

Deltuva’s first exposure to football came when he played for in the Carroll County Youth Football League at 5 years old. He said he endured a series of concussions when he was 8, and stopped playing for about four years.

He resumed playing in eighth grade, joined the Mavericks’ freshman football team a year later, and worked his way up to varsity as a junior. He played outside linebacker as a junior last year while former teammate Dallas Engel took the starting spot at quarterback.

Engel graduated, and Deltuva’s chance to make the switch came forward.

“He’s doing a good job and he’s a leader on and off the field,” Mavericks coach Bernie Koontz said. “He’s done a good job stepping in at quarterback and last year he was first team all-county as an outside linebacker. Knowing that as quarterback he still plays some defense at times, but the priority is to have him on offense right now.

“He understands that and is willing to do whatever is best for the team.”

Westminster takes its turning point: Owls coach Chris Bassler said his program took a big step forward in Friday’s 36-29 win over Glenelg.

Westminster appeared headed to its third loss in four games when the Gladiators took advantage of back-to-back personal foul penalties and scored a touchdown to take an eight-point lead. Glenelg mishandled the snap on the point-after attempt, however, and the Owls remained one score behind.

Bassler said he gathered the Owls for a quick motivational message, hoping it might spur them on for the remainder of the game.

“We had to decide right there what the rest of our season was going to be like,” Bassler said.

Westminster embarked on a 70-yard scoring drive that ended with a touchdown run from Erick Stranko and a two-point conversion pass from Jalen Bradford to Matt Annulis. The Owls drew even with Glenelg, 29-29, then made a defensive stop to get the ball back.

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This time it was an 80-yard drive, with Stranko scoring his fourth touchdown of the game with 43 seconds to play.

“It was an awesome high school football game,” Bassler said. “It was fun to be a part of.”

Bassler said Stranko had eight tackles on defense to go with his 186 rushing yards and four TDs. Nate Mattingly added 132 rushing yards, and Bradford went over 100 passing yards.

Knights putting up their shield: Century’s 28-7 win over Winters Mill was one built on power. The Knights established a strong running game, led by fullback Dylan Wardle’s three touchdowns. Century features Landon Bruce, who reeled off a 46-yard scoring sprint, as its main back but utilized its size along the offensive line to create holes in Winters Mill’s defensive front.

Wardle had scoring runs of 6, 4, and 3 yards behind a line that consisted of junior center Chris Gernand (5-foot-11, 230 pounds), guards JK Kidd (5-10, 225) and James Galanakis (6-2, 275), and tackles Andy Kristian (6-3, 245) and Brandon Diehl (6-3, 270).

“That was the game plan the whole week,” Wardle said. “We were just trying to pound it and pound it, running the ball. Basically, that’s our game plan every time.”

Century coach Todd Edmondson said he was pleased with the Knights’ performance coming off a lopsided loss to Liberty in Week 3.

“We are just trying to build this thing week to week,” Edmondson said. “We want to come out fast and play our style of football. We have to keep staying on course.”

Week 5 on the horizon: Westminster (2-2) hosts Manchester Valley (4-0) at Ruby Field on Oct. 4 in a big matchup. The Owls and Mavericks are both 1-0 in county play.

Century (2-2) hosts Francis Scott Key (1-3), while Liberty (2-2) visits Winters Mill (2-2). South Carroll (0-4) has an out-of-county home game with Poolesville at Parker Field.

Eric Bem contributed to this article.

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