Rick Conner joked that he had stopped petting his cat and his dog.
Christian Petruzzello said the team was angry and anxious to get a bad taste out of its mouth.
Ethan Arneson said the team was energized, motivated and now had a chip on its shoulder.
It was a strange week at Linganore, where the Lancers were rebounding from a rare early season loss — just their second in the regular season in three years — at Westminster.
"I flat out told the seniors, 'It's Week 3 already. This could be over before you know it. How do you want to play the rest of the season?'" said Conner, the Lancers' longtime coach.
Linganore responded with a full team effort in a 24-21 home win Friday night over Walkersville.
Petruzzello, the team's 6-foot-3 junior quarterback, completed his first 12 passes, including touchdown strikes of 50 and 27 yards to senior receiver Dylan Reyes, whom Conner said was "no longer a secret."
The quarterback also found Nicholas Mele for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown on a 19-yard pass with 8 minutes, 4 seconds to play in the third quarter.
A pass from Petruzzello did not hit the ground until there was 2:31 to play in the third quarter. He finished 12 of 15 for 191 yards, the three touchdowns and an interception.
"It was big to get the taste of that loss out of our mouth," he said.
Meanwhile, Arneson, the team's junior running back and the leading rusher in Frederick County last season, did his part in helping to set up the scoring opportunities, as well as wearing down the defense and killing the clock at the end of the game.
He finished with 170 yards on 34 attempts.
The 44-28 loss at Westminster "was good for us, in a way," Arneson said. "The tempo had been down. It put us in our place, and we had a much better week of practice."
However, the victory over Walkersville was not sealed until the final minutes when the Linganore defense came through with the stop it had to make.
Senior lineman Trevor Jenkins sacked Lions quarterback Brad Dawson on third-and-10 from the Walkersville 40-yard-line with just under two minutes to play.
Then, senior defensive back Kelsey Bannon broke up Walkersville's desperation pass on fourth-and-20 to seal the win.
Linganore was able to pick up the slack for their missing linebackers and offensive linemen, who were out due to injury or illness, to improve to 2-1 overall.
Junior kick Brian Blum opened the scoring for the Lancers with a 20-yard field goal with 4:25 to play in the first quarter.
The Lions, on the other hand, fell to 0-3.
"Man, it was big," Petruzzello said of getting the win. "The defense stepped up when it needed to and got the stops in the fourth quarter."
Before Westminster last week, Walkersville was the last team to beat Linganore during the regular season.
The Lions did it on the Lancers' home field, 21-7, on March 26, 2021, during the shortened spring season.
And they had chances to do it again following a blocked field goal at the end of the first half that Collin Sewell returned 52 yards for a touchdown, an 11-yard scoring pass from Dawson to Eubank and a 2-yard scoring run by Malik Bowie on fourth down.
They just couldn't make the play they needed near the end of the game.
"We are battling," Walkersville coach Joe Polce said. "We are figuring stuff out on offense, and we definitely got better on defense. It's one or two plays here or there. Our early season schedule was really hard, figuring out our identity with a new quarterback. ... We are building and heading in the right direction."