Carter Mazalewski came up big for South Carroll football Friday evening. His touchdown with 4 minutes, 21 seconds left in regulation gave the Cavaliers a 24-21 victory over Westminster in the Carroll County Athletic League opener for both..

Carter Mazalewski saw the play develop before it happened. He thought it might be the most important play of the game.

Mazalewski wanted to make a play. It was fourth-and-five, and South Carroll was trailing Westminster Friday evening.

He saw the linebackers float toward the right side of the field, and the hole open in the left side of his offensive line. Mazalewski broke free, pushed out of bounds 40 yards down the field, setting up the Cavaliers at the three-yard line.

Three plays later, Mazalewski took it in himself from a yard out. His score, with 4 minutes, 21 seconds left in regulation was the difference as the Cavaliers got past host Westminster, 24-21, in a Carroll County Athletic League football battle.

“I knew we had to make a play,” Mazalewski said. “It was fourth-and-five. I think that was the game on the line.”

Cavaliers coach Jim Carnes preaches to his team to start fast and finish faster. Mazalewski was the fastest finisher in the game.

The Cavaliers (3-0 overall, 1-0 CCAL) got out to a fast start, too. On their first offensive play of the game, senior AJ Rodrigues found a hole and ran for a 62-yard touchdown. On the next drive, Mazalewski hit Drake Hebron for a 42-yard touchdown pass.

“Don’t stop. Don’t take your foot off the gas,” Carnes said. “I think our guys bought into that.”

South Carroll had a 14-0 lead, but Westminster (2-1, 0-1 CCAL), coming off an impressive victory at Class 3A power Linganore last week, fought back.

Owls quarterback Kyrece Walker found Raquan Warfield for an 11-yard touchdown, and KeyonDre Groomes scored from five yards out to tie the game. Ryan Carrado’s 27-yard field goal regained the lead for South Carroll at the half.

“We don’t have one quitter on our roster,” Westminster coach Chris Bassler said. “I knew we were going to fight back.”

The Owls took the lead when Walker threw a deep ball that was caught by Mason Fisher for a 75-yard touchdown.

South Carroll and Mazalewski had more than enough time. The Cavaliers’ defense did the rest, giving the Sykesville school the inside track to the Carroll County crown as well as bragging rights in the league’s longest rivalry (54th meeting).

Mazalewski took over the quarterback role this season for the Cavaliers, who reached the Class 2A/1A state final in 2021.

He’s made his mark early.

“He’s an awesome kid,” Carnes said. “He’s a great player. He’s a great leader. He’s a huge body, and we have to take advantage of that. Now teams have to understand that it’s not just the AJ show. It’s the AJ, Carter, and Drake Hebron show.”

South Carroll 24, Westminster 21

South Carroll 14 3 0 7 — 24

Westminster 7 7 7 0 — 21

First quarter

South Carroll - AJ Rodrigues 62 run (Ryan Carrado kick)

South Carroll - Drake Hebron 42 pass from Carter Mazalewski (Carrado kick)

Westminster - Raquan Warfield 11 pass from Kyrece Walker (Owen Harris kick)

Second quarter

Westminster - KeyonDre Groomes 5 run (Harris kick)

South Carroll - Carrado 27 field goal

Third quarter

Westminster - Mason Fisher 75 pass from Walker (Harris kick)

Fourth quarter

South Carroll - Mazalewski 1 run (Carrado kick)