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Football: Carroll wants success, improvement down the stretch

Liberty threw in complexity to its offensive methods this year, and things have been working in the Lions' favor.

"We talk about constantly getting better and improving every day," Lions coach Larry Luthe said. "We feel that we've improved every week and that's what we want to focus on more so than on the other team. It's all about control and last week we had a lot of mistakes but we feel that's where we truly played two halves of football.

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"You look at our other games and we've had great first halves or second halves but we've put together two halves last week and will continue to grow from there."

The Lions routed St. Paul's 39-0 last week, their first shutout this season. Senior quarterback Ben Agostino completed 14 of 21 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown. Noah Rohrer had five catches for 51 yards and a score, including a 68-yard kickoff return that followed a safety.

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Blaine Roach added 26 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Luthe said despite their losses in key players from last season, this year's group of seniors translated much of what they learned as junior backups into their starting roles. As a coach, he said it's rewarding to see.

"This group really bought into the weight room and our offseason program," Luthe said. "Our coaching staff has put in a college offense and the things we do are complex for a high school technique and what we demand these kids use is second to none on both sides of the ball. Not only do they find a way to master what we do, but we work on the little things.

"They've bought into that and as long as we do that hopefully we can get to that 11th or 12th game, that's our goal."

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The Lions (6-1, 3-0 county) have won five straight games after losing to Walkersville in Week 2. They've outscored their opponents 184-56 since then.

Francis Scott Key (0-7, 0-2) travels to Liberty with hopes to end its seven-game losing streak. Junior running back Nate Imes leads the Eagles with 709 yards and five touchdowns, second among Carroll's rushing leaders through Week 7.

Winters Mill defeated Manchester Valley 33-14 last week, ending a four-game losing streak. The Falcons (3-4, 1-2) face Century in Eldersburg tonight. Dimeon Wright's 40 receptions for 739 yards and nine touchdowns leads Carroll, and sophomore quarterback Alex Barnes is Carroll's passing leader with 1,301 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Knights (6-1) have a balanced attack with leading rushers Stephen Shinholt (646 yards, seven touchdowns) and Collin Ende (325, four TDs). At quarterback, Ende has 1,219 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Anthony Perrone's 32 receptions for 484 yards and two scores lead the Knights, and Bryce Harrell (25, 391, four touchdowns) is close behind. Jake Lettiere has scored seven touchdowns on 20 receptions for 327 yards.

Westminster suffered a 35-27 loss at Thomas Johnson last week that knocked the Owls (5-2) out of the Class 3A West playoff picture for now. The Owls travel to Tuscarora tonight and look to get back on track.

Manchester Valley (0-7) and South Carroll (4-3) each face non-county competition tonight, with the Mavericks hosting Surrattsville and SC hosting Boonsboro.

Jamar Williams has been a driving force for the Cavaliers all year. The senior running back leads Carroll in scoring (21 touchdowns, 126 points) and rushing (1,059 yards, 20 TDs).

With three games left in the regular season, Carroll's teams are prepared to make them count.

"A great quote I got from Nick Saban really sums this team up," Luthe said. "'How you do anything is how you do everything,' and that sums this team up in that these kids have been so successful in the things they've done in their lives on the football field and off. That outside success carried over and vice versa. As a staff, we've been blessed to work with a great group of kids and we're excited to see how far they can carry this team."

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Tonight's games

Winters Mill at Century, 7

Westminster at Linganore, 7

Francis Scott Key at Liberty, 7

Surrattsville at Manchester Valley, 7

Boonsboro at South Carroll, 7

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