Football preview



No. 11 Liberty (6-1) at Westminster (1-6)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: It looks to be the Lions' year. Liberty has never defeated Westminster and tonight appears to be a prime opportunity. "We're very optimistic, but still taking this as they are still the big kid on the block," Liberty coach Ken Johnson said. The Lions' running game has been virtually unstoppable with Bill Shaffer (1,174 yards and 18 TDs) leading the way. The Lions have plenty of other weapons with running backs Josh Denning (449 yards and eight TDs) and Justin Barnowski (422 yards) not allowing defense to key on Shaffer. Quarterback Ryan Pagels can throw and scramble. Westminster is rebuilding with a young nucleus that is still trying to come together. The Owls have dropped six straight after opening with a win over Woodlawn. Westminster ended a 12-quarter scoring draught last week against Frederick when sophomore quarterback Billy Mays found senior tight end Denny Bowers on a 4-yard touchdown throw.


South Hagerstown (4-3) at Francis Scott Key (4-3)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: The Eagles got a big night from senior running back Cortney Woodyard in their 30-14 win over North Hagerstown last week. He ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles finished with nearly 400 yards of total offense and 23 first downs. The Key defense produced a big stop in the second quarter after the Hubs took over deep in Eagle territory. South Hagerstown is coming off a 21-17 loss to Catoctin in which it turned the ball over six times. The Rebels trailed, 21-7, late in the third quarter before rallying with a safety and a 50-yard kick return for a score from Danny Moore. The Rebels ran for 150 yards last week with Donnie Wright leading the way with 77 on 18 carries.

Frederick (2-4) at North Carroll (1-6)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: North Carroll coach Bill Rumbaugh has issued a challenge to his Panthers. "We're putting a lot of pressure on our kids and we don't usually do that, but this could be a big moment for our program with a chance to beat a Frederick County team," Rumbaugh said. "This is a great opportunity for them and I think they feel that way, too." Both teams have strong running games with Frederick relying on Alton McCallum and fullback Andre Daniels. McCallum ran for 182 yards and two TDs last week in a 28-7 win against Westminster and Rumbaugh is just as concerned with Daniels, who returned last week from an injury. Frederick can throw the ball when defenses key on the running game with quarterback Mike Frownfelter. "We have to set the tone defensively early on and we feel if we can keep them away from the big play, we'll stay in the ball game," Rumbaugh said. The Panthers will rely on senior running backs Bryan Hall (90 carries, 497 yards) and Mike Green (96 carries, 384 yards) and also look from big plays with quarterback John Etzel throwing the ball to wide out Jason Gelb.

Damascus (4-3) at South Carroll (2-5)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: A big thing these two teams have in common is a very difficult schedule. The Cavaliers have been overwhelmed the past two weeks against Central Maryland Conference powers Linganore and Thomas Johnson. South Carroll coach Gene Brown said the Damascus record is deceiving with losses to powers Churchill and Bethesda-Chevy Chase. The South Carroll defense gave up over 450 yards of total offense against Thomas Johnson last week and will see another multi-faceted offense against Damascus tomorrow. Sophomore quarterback Jason Thompson got the start for Damascus in its 7-0 win over Walter Johnson with previous starter Mike Weiser switching to split end. Thompson found Weiser with a 7-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter for the game's only score. The Cavaliers will try to run the ball on offense with Mike Chenoweth and Bryce Baker.

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