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Big-play offense helps South Carroll football to 42-0 win over Liberty

There was a chance for a five-way tie at the top of the Carroll County football standings depending on the outcomes of Friday's game.

South Carroll made sure that wasn't going to happen.

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Playing on the road at backyard-rival Liberty, the Cavaliers broke out with three scores in the second quarter alone, capping the evening with a 42-0 victory to remain alone atop the county standings.

"That was what was on them," South Carroll coach Steve Luette said. "Tonight, I told them they were playing for themselves. This game is for you, if you guys want to be on top, you take it."

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Chris Gavin entered as the county's leading rusher for the Cavaliers (5-2, 4-0 county), and before being pulled in the third quarter, he lived up to that title. The senior rushed for 128 yards on 15 carries and two scores.

The bruising back noted the performance of everyone around him, including his offensive line and quarterback Andrew Louder, who completed 7 of 10 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

"We just want to, I guess I should say, assert our dominance in the county," Gavin said. "I guess we kinda did that with the score up there today. We're just looking on to the next game."

The first quarter didn't feature much offensive action, but that all changed on South Carroll's first play to open the second.

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On his third carry of the game, Gavin ran 42 yards for a touchdown to put the first points on the board.

The Cavaliers forced Liberty (4-3, 2-2) to punt on its next possession, setting the visitors up on their own 28-yard line.

On the first play of the drive once again, Jamar Williams got the call.

The Lions' front applied the pressure, but after two separate cuts to avoid the tackle for loss, Williams used a burst of speed that carried him 72 yards for the score.

The two-plays, two-touchdowns model fits right into the South Carroll scheme, according to Luette.

"The big plays, our offense is designed that way," the coach said. "We can march it down the field, but we can also score real quick."

On its third possession of the quarter, South Carroll needed seven plays to cash in. With the ball on his own 38-yard line, Louder rolled out to his right, away from the Lions rush.

Louder then set himself and launched a pass to Garrett Snell, who recorded the catch, threw off the defender and ran another 20 yards for the score.

Everything seemed to be clicking for the Cavaliers. Aside from the two fumble recoveries, the defense also intercepted Liberty quarterback Austin Bode twice, including one by Louder.

The home team's best chance came on its opening drive, when Logan Sweeney returned the kickoff down to the South Carroll 20-yard line. From there, the Lions couldn't punch it in, killing the team's momentum, according to coach Larry Luthe.

"We gotta let this one go," Luthe said. "Obviously this was not a very good showing for us. I don't think we did a great job getting them ready to play. They didn't do a great job playing."

South Carroll got three more scores to finish the contest: Gavin's 5-yard run, Louder's short pass to Patrick Kelly and Steven Baca's sprint from midfield.

Now, sitting one game ahead of Manchester Valley, North Carroll, and Westminster in the county standings, Luette said his team is hungry for its remaining competition.

"We want to go as far as we can," he said. "All the players are working hard trying to get better week in and week out."

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