By the time the Liberty Lions found a way to hang onto the football last night, it was too late.
The Lions were their own worst enemy, with four fumbles in the first half that resulted in 21 Westminster points. Liberty never recovered, and the Owls came away with a 40-26 win.
The Owls (3-5) scored on their first three possessions and took a 27-0 lead before Liberty (0-8) scored a late second-quarter touchdown.
Running back Steve Kahler ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and Steve Mays ran for a score and threw two more to lead the Owls on their homecoming night.
"It was the last time all these seniors will play at home so it was big in that respect. We're also still in it for the county," said Westminster coach Jeff Oeming, whose team is 2-0 in the county.
"Scoring two times in our first three plays was the key."
Westminster senior running back Chris DeGasperi got things started with a 14-yard touchdown run on the Owls' first offensive play after Liberty punter Brian Berling couldn't handle a high snap. It was DeGasperi's fifth touchdown of the year.
Following another Liberty fumble on its next possession, the DTC Owls only needed two plays as Steve Kahler took a pitch down the right sideline 39 yards for a score.
Mays ran eight yards for a touchdown, and followed that up with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Denny Bowers to give the Owls the 27-0 lead.
Liberty answered with an 83-yard drive in the final three minutes of the half to cut the lead to 27-6. Brandon Scarborough accounted for 59 of those yards on the ground and then caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Darnell Brockington. Scarborough finished the night with 108 yards rushing.
The Lions had a chance to get back into the game early in the third quarter. Matt Muse scored one of his two touchdowns on the night -- a 25-yard run -- to make it 27-12 with 5:22 left.
Kahler fumbled on the Owls' first play of the next possession at their 35, but the Lions couldn't capitalize. On fourth and 11 at the Owls' 36, Larry Devilbiss intercepted a Ryan Jones pass and brought it back to the 37. Six plays later, Mays found Justin Sholkoff on a slant pattern for a touchdown from 16 yards out.
Kahler made up for his fumble late in the game with a 20-yard run to close Westminster's scoring.