South Carroll runs past Liberty Lyerly, Mihalko star in 28-14 win

South Carroll won this neighborhood football tussle by quickly establishing how it was going to run the ball at the Liberty Lions.

The Cavaliers came out and pounded Liberty with running backs Chris Lyerly and Greg Mihalko one play after another to set the mood for the evening.


It was Lyerly up the middle and Mihalko running outside, making life miserable for Liberty (0-4).

In a little more than seven minutes, South Carroll (3-1) had already rambled to a 13-0 lead. The Cavaliers held off the charging Lions in the fourth quarter for a 28-14 victory.


On the first play from scrimmage, Lyerly darted 55 yards to the Liberty 4-yard line and two plays later, he went into the end zone from 1 yard out. Mike Robitaille kicked the extra point for the Cavaliers.

Next it was Mihalko who would take off on a 23-yard run for a touchdown to run the lead to 13-0.

Before the night was over Lyerly carried the ball 19 times for 118 yards and one touchdown and also intercepted a pass.

Mihalko had 16 carries for 70 yards and one touchdown and scored the Cavaliers' final touchdown on a 79-yard kickoff return with seven minutes, eight seconds left in the game.

L On the kickoff return for the touchdown, Mihalko was superb.

He took the ball up the middle of the field, stutter-stepped briefly at his 40-yard line -- leaving two would-be tacklers grasping hopelessly for him -- and then going virtually untouched the final 60 yards.

Even South Carroll coach Gene Brown, who is usually laid-back, was impressed by the Mihalko show.

"You wonder why the good teams win so much," said Brown. "It's because they have speed and tonight we had that speed in Mihalko. He was something else on that kickoff return."


Mihalko topped off the night by intercepting a Ryan Jones pass with 1:45 left in the game.

That interception ended any hopes the Lions had of making the game closer in the final minutes.

LIberty had reduced the South Carroll lead to 28-14 with 3:52 left when sophomore running back Brandon Scarborough ran 18 yards for a touchdown and Jones ran for a two-point conversion.

Jones, a sophomore quarterback who started the season on the junior varsity, got the start last night and did a decent job.

He set up the first Liberty touchdown with some excellent ball-faking before handing the ball to Scarborough, who went around right end 65 yards for a score with 7:20 remaining.

That began the Liberty rally, but it was too little, too late for the Lions and their first-year coach, Ken Johnson.


Johnson saw his team battle back from a 21-0 half-time deficit, but it turned out to be nothing more than another moral victory for the winless Lions.

Johnson quickly took his team into the locker room for a closed door meeting after the game.