Lancer Spotlight 10/31/22: Varsity football suffers loss in I-70 Championship, remains hopeful for playoffs

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Andrew McCadney

Ben Lawn (14) and Casey Willet (11) participate in a pre-game drill.

by Mack Mullinix, Editor

The Linganore Lancers’ varsity football team (4-5) fell to coveted rival Urbana High School Hawks (8-1) in their last regular season matchup before both teams head off into their separate playoff divisions.

Urbana’s 28-13 win over the Lancers marks the first time since 2012 that the Hawks beat Linganore and regained the I-70 trophy.

 

Linganore’s first drive was snuffed early after a 10-yard sack, followed by an incompletion leading to a 4th down and 20.

Urbana would be held at the 8-yard line, only to miss a field goal far left of the goalpost. After a quick 3 and out, Urbana would get the ball back and score after only 4 plays to put themselves up 7-0.

Linganore running back Ethan Arneson would bolt for a 31-yard run after getting the ball back, only for the offense to stall again for another 3 and out. Linganore’s defense would answer back by forcing the Hawks to a 3 and out as well.

With short field position, the Lancers would give the ball back after a fumble on only their second play of the drive. An interception by Mason Farster would set the Lancers up at the 17-yard line.

The Lancers would tie the game after a 3-yard run by quarterback Christian Petruzzello.

With the game remaining tied at the half, both teams had a promising shot at upending the other.

Urbana would find the endzone again with a 3-yard run after a Linganore 3 and out and a less than optimal punt that set them up at the 31-yard line.

Urbana would score 2 more unanswered touchdowns by the end of the game, setting them comfortably in the lead with a score of 28-7 with only a few minutes left in the 4th quarter.

In the final minutes, Linganore scored a late touchdown on a 4-yard run by Arneson, finishing with a final score of 13 Linganore, 28 Urbana.

The game closely resembled previous matchups with Frederick and Oakdale high schools, in which the game remained close until a 2nd-half slump by the Linganore offense.

Members of the Linganore football team wathcing film from the Urbana game. (Mack M)

Varsity coach Rick Conner shared a similar sentiment.

“You know, we just gotta finish. We’ve been playing 24 minutes instead of 48,” said Conner.

Since football is still operating under the rule changes made during Covid, all of the teams will make it into the playoffs. Linganore is set to face Rockville High School this upcoming Friday.

Conner sees this as an opportunity for the team.

“It’s a new season. Everyone is 0-0 now. So we’re gonna practice on Monday to win on Friday,” said Conner.

Along with the new season comes a group of new players. As nine JV players were moved up to help rejuvenate the varsity squad.

One of the JV players selected is sophomore lineman Daniel Gelhard, who recorded a pick six in his last game on JV against Urbana.

“I wanna show Coach Conner what I can do. Show him I can hang with these older kids,” said Gelhard.

Following a tough losing season, the Linganore varsity football team is looking to prove themselves to doubters and push for a long playoff run.