Football: Imes runs Francis Scott Key to season's first win

Francis Scott Key's Nate Imes splits two Liberty's players on _a long run at Liberty on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016.
Francis Scott Key's Nate Imes splits two Liberty's players on _a long run at Liberty on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. (Alan White / Carroll County Times)

First, FSK players emptied a Gatorade jug on coach Josh Rutter.

Then the Eagles surrounded junior running back Nate Imes, kicking off a celebration an entire season in the making.


Imes rushed for a career-high 317 yards and four touchdowns in FSK's 26-21 win over Winters Mill on Friday night. It was FSK's first win of the season. And it came in a thrilling back-and-forth season finale, where both teams traded leads and huge plays.

Imes had more than his fair share. His first carry was a 74-yard touchdown run that gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead. His fourth touchdown, a 20-yard scamper, included a spin-move to elude a Winters Mill defender. It gave the Eagles (1-9, 1-4 county) the lead for good with 4 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Winters Mill (3-7, 1-4) had a chance to answer. But a Kane Richardson interception near midfield sealed victory for the Eagles, their first triumph since knocking off Winters Mill in last year's season finale.

This was also the first win in Rutter's coaching career. He left the field covered in Gatorade but smiling from ear-to-ear.

"It's like bathwater," said Rutter, who has delighted to be drenched on a chilly night.

Rutter, a former FSK all-county running back, perhaps never had a game as noteworthy as the one Imes had Friday night. Imes is a quiet-but-productive junior who has played well all season long for the Eagles despite their struggles.

When FSK played Silver Oak earlier in the season, most players suffered cramps while playing in near 90-degree heat.

Not Imes. He showed more toughness Friday night, churning his legs for extra yards while dragging defenders who were in some cases 30-40 pounds heavier than he was.

"Nate is the first guy in the weight room," Rutter said. "And then he is the last guy in the weight room. You need a few kids who are self-motivated like that."

Much to Rutter's delight, he can get Imes back next year.

"I wouldn't take anybody over him," said Rutter, meaning anyone in the county.

This was an emotional win for FSK's seniors, who have stuck with the program despite scant wins and a coaching change.

The Eagles had just three wins the last two years. But none of that mattered Friday night.

"Much better circumstances tonight, aren't they," senior lineman Tommy Mahoney said, a defensive tackle who overcame a broken leg his junior season to return for his senior year.


Richardson was wiping away tears after the game in between hugs from teammates. He started getting emotional long before that.

"After the interception, I started tearing up," he said.

Winters Mill took the lead early in the fourth quarter after receiver Cody Freels ripped a potential interception out of a FSK defender's hands. Instead, that meant a 20-yard touchdown for Freels that gave Winters Mill a 21-20 lead. Freels had 6 catches for 108 yards.

But then came more tough Imes carries, a fourth Imes touchdown and an epic postgame celebration, one similar to the one FSK enjoyed in its last win, the 2015 season finale against Winters Mill. After hearing from euphoric coaches, the FSK players walked past a line of smiling Eagles cheerleaders and prepared for a gregarious bus ride back to Uniontown.

This, players said, was a win the program can build upon.

"Let's let this springboard us into next season," Rutter said to his players. "I am proud of every single one of you."

FSK 7 6 7 6 — 26

Winters Mill 8 0 7 6 — 21


FSK- Imes 74 run (Kris Barmoy kick)

WM-Troy Blessing 18 run (attempt failed)


FSK-Imes 10 run (attempt failed)

FSK-Imes 12 run (Barmoy kick)

WM-Dimeon Wright 15 pass from Alex Barnes (Grayson Lehr kick)

WM-Cody Freels 20 pass from Barnes (Lehr kick)

FSK-Imes 20 run (attempt failed)



FSK-Imes 32-317, Steven Keeney 1--2 Bobby Sylves 7-32, Sam Coibion 6-13, Kane Richardson 1--2, Jacob Pirrung 1-10; WM-Glen Acha 10-42, Nate Forte 13-70, Dimeon Wright 2-26, Troy Blessing 2-78, Barnes 1--2.


FSK-Jacob Pirrung 2-5-0 23; WM-Alex Barnes 13-23-1 218.


FSK-Coibion 2-23; WM-Forte 1-15, Blessing 2-46, Wright 4-43, Cody Freels 6-108, Byron Ellis 1-6.