South Carroll came up short once again last night against a quality football team.
The Cavaliers committed seven turnovers as visiting Damascus breezed to a 46-12 victory.
South Carroll gave the defending state 2A champions excellent field position all evening with three interceptions, three fumbles, a muffed punt and a 14-yard punt. Damascus never had to go more than 56 yards for a touchdown.
Damascus (7-1) turned six of the seven turnovers and the short punt into touchdowns against the reeling Cavaliers (4-4), who have lost three straight.
In building a 25-6 halftime lead, Damascus went 33, 56, 26 and 19 yards for touchdowns.
"I'm not very happy with this game," said South Carroll coach Gene Brown. "They took away what we tried to do. I guess that's why they are the defending state champions. It seems like we're playing a lot of state champion caliber teams lately."
Brown called Damascus nose guard Erik Bickle "a Division I player. . . . We couldn't run against him."
Bickle took away the inside running game of Chris Lyerly, leaving South Carroll to rely on the outside running of Greg Mihalko.
Mihalko scored both South Carroll touchdowns, on runs of 24 and 31 yards.
The short 14-yard punt by Corey Hill in the opening minutes of the game gave Damascus the ball on the South Carroll 33. The Hornets scored on a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Kevin Thompson for a 7-0 lead.
Then Cavaliers quarterback Tom Luster was intercepted, setting up a 9-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Dean Turnbull for a 13-0 advantage with 22 seconds left in the first quarter. Turnbull missed the extra point.
Before the half ended, South Carroll muffed a punt 26 yards from its end zone, and Luster was intercepted again on a lucky bounce for the Hornets.
Luster hit Jeremy Esworthy in the hands at the South Carroll 27-yard line, but the ball bounced off Esworthy to Damascus' Brian McMahon, who returned it eight yards to set up the fourth touchdown of the first half for the Hornets.
Mihalko ran 24 yards for a South Carroll touchdown with 1:19 left in the first half. But the Hornets came storming back in the fourth quarter to score 26 points to make the game a complete rout.
"We had to get out of our game plan on offense because of some injuries," said Damascus coach Al Thomas. "But we moved the ball pretty well when we had to. I don't think the score is indicative of the difference between these two teams. We just had a lot of breaks."