Football: Miscues make the difference in Westminster's loss to Linganore in 3A West final

Mistakes were going to likely become magnified in Friday’s Class 3A West Region final between Westminster and Linganore, where the Owls were looking to put together a near flawless performance and grab a big road playoff win.

The Lancers limited their miscues. Westminster did not.


Four first-half turnovers put the Owls in an early hole, one that proved too difficult to overcome. Linganore took full advantage — the Lancers scored on five of their six drives in the half and rolled to a 52-20 victory to capture the regional championship.

Lancers running back Davon Butler had more than 200 rushing yards in the first half and scored two touchdowns in the game. Speedy wideout Joseph Felton had five catches for 91 yards and a TD. Ryan Leyh, Linganore’s senior quarterback, fooled the Owls’ defense with a long touchdown run on fourth down.


Also thwarting Westminster’s chances were the turnovers — two interceptions and two fumbles, which led to 17 points from Linganore.

The Lancers committed a turnover of their own late in the half, but Westminster gave it away on its first play after the miscue and Linganore’s offense took over. The home team got to the Owls’ 10 before Bennett Formulak drilled a 27-yard field goal, and the Lancers led 31-7 at the break.

Senior quarterback Christian Etchison threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Owls, one of which went for 69 yards to senior receiver Ryan Clatterbuck in the third quarter. Clatterbuck had more than 100 receiving yards, while fellow senior wideout Tavian Montgomery hauled in more than 100 of his own.

Montgomery added a short touchdown catch late in the contest to halt the running clock.

The stats were shiny, but they weren’t enough to keep pace with Linganore.

Butler stayed on his feet along the near sideline on the game’s first carry and reeled off a 42-yard gain down to Westminster’s 30. Three plays later, on third-and-8, Leyh found Felton down the middle for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

Westminster got into Linganore territory on its first possession, backed by an 11-yard catch from Ryan Clatterbuck, but Etchison tossed an interception on third-and-4 from the Lancers’ 49. William Coletti hauled in the pick, and Linganore marched the ball deep into Westminster territory.

The Lancers crafted a 10-play drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown plunge from Jackson Ambush.

Westminster answered with Etchison’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Haden Hoff on the visitors’ next possession, only to have Linganore score quickly. Butler raced in fo a 23-yard score with 1:13 to go in the first quarter, and it was 21-7.

Leyh’s 33-yard run along the hash marks with 5:47 to play in the half on that short fourth-down play gave the Lancers a 28-7 edge.

Linganore extended its winning streak over Westminster to eight consecutive games. The Lancers are back in the state tournament and going after a seventh championship, and second in a row.

They won the 3A West final last season at Ruby Field with a 16-14 victory over Westminster.


The Owls played Linganore for the third time in their playoff history, having beaten them in 2005 before losing last season.

Westminster 7 0 6 7 — 20

Linganore 21 10 14 7 — 52


L-Joseph Felton 28 pass from Ryan Leyh (Bennett Formulak kick)

L-Jackson Ambush 1 run (Formulak kick)

W-Haden Hoff 4 pass from Christian Etchison (Joey Long kick)

L-Davon Butler 15 run (Formulak kick)

L-Leyh 33 run (Formulak kick)

L-Formulak 27 field goal

L-Butler 17 run (Formulak kick)

W-Ryan Clatterbuck 69 pass from Etchison (conversion failed)

L-Xander McClure 36 run (Formulak kick)

L-Anthony Bruscia 19 run (Formulak kick)

W-Tavian Montgomery pass from Etchison (Evan Warren kick)

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