Football: High stakes for Carroll County teams in Week 10

Football: High stakes for Carroll County teams in Week 10
Liberty's McClain Butler, left, and Jacob Liska tackle South Carroll's Tyler Hogan during the first half of their game in Eldersburg Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Four football teams in Carroll history all have one thing in common — North Carroll, Century, South Carroll, and Westminster have each posted an undefeated regular season.

Liberty is looking to join the group.


The Lions (9-0, 5-0 in the county) concludes the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record if they defeat crosstown rival Century on Friday.

The Panthers were the first team to go undefeated in 1978, and the Knights reached such status in 2008. The Cavaliers got to 10-0 in 2010, and the Owls did it two years later.

“For this group of kids, they’ll get to leave a legacy at Liberty High,” Lions coach Larry Luthe said. “To do something that’s never been accomplished here and only been accomplished in Carroll three other times, to me that gives them a tremendous sense of pride when you can do something like that. It’s an awesome opportunity and this is such a close team, they have great chemistry and it’s awesome they get to share that with each other.”

There are playoff implications surrounding three teams going into Week 10.

The top four teams in each region advance to the postseason using the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s points system. Teams accrue points for wins during the year (eight for beating a Class 4A team, seven for a 3A, six for 2A, five for 1A). Bonus points are awarded for every win from a previously defeated opponent.

The total is divided by the number of games played to determine a point average.

Damascus (9-0, 104 points) sits in the No. 1 spot in the Class 2A West Region playoff standings with an 11.56 average, and Liberty (90) is second with 10.0. The Lions could reach at least 104 points with a win, and get as many as 108 with some bonus points.

The Knights (6-3, 4-1) have 56 points and are fourth at 6.22, so a victory over Liberty will be crucial. If Middletown defeats Walkersville, however, Century could likely still hold that fourth and final playoff spot.

The Frederick County foes are fifth and seventh in the standings, while South Carroll (5-4, 3-2) is sixth.

The Cavaliers (4.67 point average) travel to Westminster for the annual matchup between Carroll’s oldest rivals. SC is on a two-game win streak, but the Cavs are already out of a playoff spot.

The most points they can accumulate is 59, which is the least amount Century can get even with a loss.

If the county foes were to finish tied in playoff points, the Knights would get the final spot because they defeated the Cavaliers in Week 7 (head-to-head is the MPSSAA’s first tiebreaker criteria).

Last season marked the 50th meeting between Westminster and South Carroll, and the Owls lead the all-time series 31-19.

The Owls (6-3, 4-1) are fourth in the 3A West standings with 61 points and a 6.78 average. They can reach 73 points with a win over SC, and could get as many as 79. They can clinch a playoff spot with a win, or losses from Blake and Tuscarora.


Should third-place Watkins Mill (65 points) lose to Blake, the Owls can move into that slot with some bonus point battling.

Week 10 kicked off a day earlier than scheduled for Francis Scott Key (3-6, 0-5) and Winters Mill (2-7, 1-4) — the Falcons hosted the Eagles on Thursday to avoid a potential threat of inclement weather.

Manchester Valley (2-7) visits Poolesville to close out its season.

Luthe said it’s not the amount of wins and losses that matter, but the bond shared among the Lions and how it will stick with them after they’ve left the program does.

“You want your kids to play their best football and get better every week,” Luthe said. “You just want them to continue to grow as football players and go out to give their best effort and hopefully we do that and will be rewarded for it. The big thing is we control what we do every day and we need to focus on getting better and working hard to make sure we have the proper work ethic and hopefully that carries over to the games.”