The marching orders were simple enough, and the troops executed them flawlessly.
Locked in a tie with Western Tech, Lansdowne coach Ted Bell told his players at halftime they needed to march down the field and score.
With running back Matt Swanke shouldering the load, the Vikings did exactly that on their first drive of the second half.
Swanke's 1-yard touchdown run with 7:14 left in the third quarter - and the extra point - proved to be the difference as Lansdowne (4-0) remained undefeated with a 14-13 win over a depleted Western Tech team in Baltimore County 1A-2A action last night at CCBC-Catonsville.
Swanke, a junior who carried the ball 32 times overall, got the call on all eight plays of that scoring drive, piling up 63 of his 212 yards. The Vikings, 2-8 a year ago, were able to control the line of scrimmage against a Western Tech team that lost starting tight end/linebacker Zack Oleszczuk (ankle) and center Ryan Heaney (concussion) to injuries in the second quarter.
"We told them we need to come out and drive down the field in the second half and get a touchdown, no mistakes, no penalties," Bell said. "And they did it. Then we held on."
Western Tech closed the deficit to 14-13 with 7:06 left in the game on a 6-yard keeper by quarterback Justin Mills, but the Vikings blocked the extra-point try.
Western Tech, now 2-2 after an 8-2 season last year, was left to lament missed opportunities. The Wolverines scored just once in the first half despite starting three straight drives inside the Lansdowne 30-yard line.
The Wolverines blocked two consecutive Lansdowne punts, but had nothing to show for it as the Lansdowne defense, which surrendered only six points in its first three games, stood firm. The Vikings contained Western big-play threat Dominique Foxworth, holding him to 121 yards on 16 carries.
The missed chances left Western Tech coach Jason Blind fuming about his team's performance in the red zone.
"It's something that's been plaguing us all year," Blind said. "I don't know what it is. It's something we thrived on last year."
Western Tech finally cashed in after Lansdowne quarterback Boomer Hladkey fumbled at the Vikings' 14-yard line. Four plays later, Mills threw a 12-yard touchdown to Oleszczuk with 5:01 left in the half.