Four games into the 1997 season, South Carroll football coach PTC Gene Brown believes his team has made a lot of improvement. Now he says it's time to turn those improvements into wins.
The 1-3 Cavaliers, who lost to Linganore, 42-7, Friday, will open their county schedule Friday night at neighborhood rival Liberty (1-3).
"We've been playing really good ball, but we have to get to the point where, in those close games, we make that tackle or score that touchdown," said senior wide receiver Lee Windsor. "It's the difference between winning and losing."
For the past two years and two games into the current schedule, it was quarterback Lee Windsor. He had received all-county recognition as a junior, and came into the preseason looking to have a strong senior year.
Two weeks ago, at Rockville, Windsor started at wide receiver and junior John Luster took over at quarterback.
"I didn't anticipate it. It was a decision of the coaches, but I feel comfortable with it," the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Windsor said of the shift after a recent practice. That showed in his first start as a receiver where he caught seven passes for 156 yards, including a 71-yard scoring play.
"The pass was working so we went with it," Windsor added. Soft-spoken senior center Andy Taylor (5-8, 200) concurred, noting that, "The line was doing a good job of pass blocking and we were able to take advantage of [some things we saw in] their secondary."
Against Linganore (3-1), South Carroll fell behind, 21-0, in the first half, then had a solid second-half defensive effort, as two of the visitors' scores came after a fumble recovery and an interception return.
Obviously, game plans are subject to change, but right now Brown says Windsor is a receiver "until further notice." The 22-year coach, in his sixth season as head coach of the Cavaliers, says of the hard worker, "I didn't realize how valuable he was until we got him out from under center."
Brown is in the process of putting together offensive and defensive units, and although perhaps one or two players go both ways right now, the coach is pointing toward the time when they will be two separate groups.
"It's a positive squad -- the best I've had for attitude," the coach said.
Although the defense was rated ahead of the offense early, more recently there have been definite highlights on both sides of the ball. And some breakdowns. "Good defense causes the offense to make mistakes," Brown said.
"Our defense has forced some turnovers, and they always boost the offense," Windsor said.
"There were a couple of fourth-down sacks in early games, too," said two-year regular Taylor, a near-4.0 student, an Eagle Scout and a young man of few words.
"He lets his actions talk for him on the football field," Brown said. "He's as good a center as we've had."
Brown considers this an outstanding group of seniors. Windsor and Taylor are offensive leaders, and end Tom Crown, linebacker Scott Armstrong, and backs Keith Long and John Gue solidify the defense.
Pub Date: 9/28/97