NEW MARKET, Md. (WDVM) – Overcoming a hard-fought second half, the Linganore Lancers hung in against the Frederick Cadets, winning 23-14, and advancing to their fourth straight 3A State title game.

“It’s special.” said Head Coach Rick Conner, “This is a great group of kids, they’re awesome. They’re awesome in the classroom, they’re awesome in the hallway, they’ve come so far. Just really proud, and happy for them.”

Linganore held onto a 16-14 lead heading into halftime, but both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter, as they traded defensive stops between each other on each drive. The Lancers were without sophomore Ethan Arneson, who has been their main stay in the backfield this season, and lost senior Luke DeMember to a shoulder injury.

“Everybody gets coached in practice all week.” said Rick, “Josh [Little] did a great job, and he was awesome. And Ben Lawn came in, and played really well for us as well. So we felt like, that’s why everybody gets reps.”

Josh Little stepped in for Arneson midway through the second quarter, and had an impressive showing for the Lancers, rushing for 236 yards on 35 carries, including the game-sealing 10-yard touchdown run that put them up 23-14 late in the fourth.

“I was ready to go.” said Josh, thrpugh tear stained eyes, “You know it sucks he’s out, cause he’s a heck of a running back. He got hurt, and I did my part, and we did great in the end.”

The Lancers will compete against Northern Calvert (11-1) in the 3A State Final next Saturday, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

“A lot of us have dreamed about this for a very long time.” said senior Chase Schultz, “Linganore is just one big family when it comes to football. A lot of us have been growing up watching Linganore football going to states every year, and losing sometimes. But some of us have dreamt of this day for a long, long time.”

This will be Linganore’s shot at a seventh state title, in program history.