The Westminster Owls last night did what they set out to do -- run the football.
Steve Kahler rushed for 146 yards, including second-half touchdown runs of 33 and 44 yards, and Chris DeGasperi ran for 86 and a touchdown as the Owls came away with a 24-0 win over host North Carroll.
The win evens the Owls' record at 2-2. North Carroll (0-4) dropped its 14th straight.
The Owls' defense allowed North Carroll 58 yards of total offense, and a patient offense behind the running of Kahler eventually wore out the pesky Panthers defense.
"We've stressed working on defense all year long because in the past couple of years we've given up a lot of points," said Westminster coach Jeff Oeming.
"We had some players out and others step in and do the job for us. The defense played consistent all game long, and particularly in the second quarter when we were only up 8-0."
A big play came midway through the third quarter when North Carroll went for it on fourth-and-two at its 36-yard line. Trailing 8-0 and struggling to establish any offense, the Panthers sent Martin Ibanez right, and he was stopped by Mat Matthias for a 3-yard loss.
"At that point we really needed something to happen, and it was one of those things where if it works, I'm a hero and, if not, I'm a bum," said North Carroll first-year coach Bill Rumbaugh.
"It was my call and I don't know if I'd do it again, but at the time I thought we just needed something to happen."
On the next play, Kahler got around the left side for a 33-yard touchdown run. Jason Knight ran around the same left side for the two-point conversion to make it 16-0 with 5:56 left in the third quarter.
Kahler scored his second touchdown of the game with 10:16 left on a 44-yard run to make it 22-0.
"He's a fast kid," said Oeming. "I think they were really looking to stop Chris [DeGasperi], and Steve really stepped up."
Aside from the Owls' opening series, defense dictated the first half.
DeGasperi, who entered the game as the county's leading rusher with 316 yards, scored on a 6-yard touchdown run on the Owls' opening drive to give them an 8-0 lead.