Westminster hangs on, tops Liberty, 21-15; Durden gains 161 yards as Lions suffer first loss


Westminster came out and scored on its first two possessions of the second half to break up a 7-7 halftime deadlock and then held on to post a 21-15 victory last night over previously unbeaten Liberty.

Played before a packed house at Liberty (3-1), it was the Carroll County and Central Maryland Conference opener for both schools.

Junior tailback Brad Durden rambled for 161 yards and three touchdowns, two of them in the third period, to pace the Owls (3-1), who suffered a non-conference loss to No. 9 C. Milton Wright, 21-8, last week.

"We needed to come out and grind it down their throats tonight," said the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Durden. "People said we were the underdogs, because we lost last week and that got us pumped. It was by far my best game, but I have to give all the credit to my offensive line. They were clicking tonight."

From tackle to tackle, Kevin Riley, Brian Jasilaitis, center Jordan Blevins, John Fitzgerald and Mike McFeeley opened gaping holes as the Owls amassed nearly 200 yards rushing.

"I can't say enough about our offensive line and Brad," said Westminster coach Scott Tobias. "We needed to play 48 minutes of football tonight in what was a Pennsylvania-like atmosphere. And that's what we did."

Westminster senior quarterback Scott Carnegie (5-for-12, 151 yards) set up the two opening scores after the break with key pass completions. Carnegie hit Mike McGinnis with a 12-yarder for a first down at the Liberty 35 on the first drive of the second half.

Three plays later, Durden capped a seven-play, 59-yard drive by racing in from 28 yards out.

The Lions coughed up the ball on their ensuing possession, and the Owls recovered it at the Liberty 44. Faced with a third-and-20, Carnegie lofted a perfect pass down the left sideline, and Jason Jarrett gathered it in for a 51-yard gain and a first-and-goal at the 3.

Durden carried the ball twice to get the touchdown with four minutes remaining in the third period.

Liberty's ball-control offense sputtered in the third period but got going in the fourth on the hard running of junior Nate Lang. Lang only got the call twice in the first half, running for 30 yards, 25 yards on one carry, but carried nine times for 48 yards in the final 12 minutes of the game.

Lang had gains of 10 and 14 yards to set up Drew D'Anthony's 14-yard touchdown jaunt with 9: 36 remaining in the game. Lang's subsequent two-point conversion run made it 21-15.

Westminster was four downs and out with Liberty taking over at its 45. Faced with a fourth-and-nine with 5: 28 left, Lions coach Ken Johnson called a timeout to order a strange call.

The Lions kept it on the ground and tried Lang outside left, but he was stopped after picking up a yard to the Westminster 34. The Owls would run out the clock.

Pub Date: 9/25/99

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