Lancers bring home 3A title


BALTIMORE, Md. -- The game was never in doubt as Linganore's defense stifled the state's leading rusher and its offense ran over the Hurricanes' defense en route to a 31-14 victory in the Class 3A state championship game.

Kevin Myers rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown for Linganore and Zach Zwinak rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

"This is too good to be true," Linganore head coach Rick Conner said of the championship. "It's living a dream."

The Lancers' defense held Huntingtown's Greg Goodwin, the state's leading rusher entering the game, to 33 yards and two touchdowns. Goodwin had rushed for 2,559 yards and 35 touchdowns prior to the championship game.

Linganore started on defense, but it did not take them long to make a statement -- forcing Huntingtown into a 3-and-22 quick kick that quickly turned into a 10-0 first quarter lead.

On Huntingtown's first possession, the Lancers' defense sent the Hurricanes' backwards, forcing them into a 3-and-22 from their own 9. Huntingtown elected for a quick kick rather then run a play.

Linganore's Alex Eckard got the Lancers on the board with a 30-yard field goal, the 24th of his career, which sets a Maryland state record.

A one-yard plunge by Kevin Myers put Linganore up 10-0.

"This is the best possible thing that could ever have happened to me in my football career," Zwinak said.

The Lancers continued their strong play in the second quarter, marching 90 yards on 11 plays to take a 17-0 lead into halftime.

Neither team scored during the third quarter, but Zwinak scored on an eight-yard rush only 1:12 into the fourth to extend the lead to 24-0.

A one-yard touchdown plunge by Goodwin on Huntingtown's next possession cut the lead to 24-8, but Zwinak added another touchdown late in the fourth to cement the victory.

Goodwin added another touchdown to cap the scoring for both teams.

The victory comes one year after the Lancers fell to Sherwood in the Class 4A state championship game. Many of the same players, including Zwinak, Myers, Nick Marth and Ryan Dixon returned with the goal of winning a title.

"The day after the last year's state championship we were in the weight room getting ready for this game," Dixon said.

The win gives Conner his second state title as Linganore's head coach and his sixth overall. Conner won four titles as defensive coordinator at Urbana starting in the late 1990s.

So where does this Linganore team rank among his title teams?

"We're pretty dag-gum good," Conner said, using language made famous by former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden. "We were pretty powerful on offense, defense and on special teams we had that weapon [Alex Eckard who has state records for career extra points and field goals]."