Freshman defensive back Joey Blount returned a fumble for a touchdown and Darius Smith had a rushing TD as the War Eagles improved to 4-0 by holding off Mount Paran 14-7 at home last Friday.
With a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter, Landmark quickly extended that margin to double digits when Blount scooped up what was ruled a lateral pass by Mount Paran’s Jake Allen and returned it 30 yards to the end zone for a 14-0 advantage with 1:27 left in the frame.
“I was talking to some of our offensive guys and I didn’t even see the play happen,” Brantley said. “All I heard was the crowd going crazy and I looked up and we had a guy going into the end zone.”
Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan definitely saw the play and believed it was a forward pass.
“The referees do a great job and it could’ve gone either way,” Jordan said. “Sometimes those breaks go for you and sometimes they are against you but there were other plays in the game we could’ve made.”
But with 4:11 left in the second quarter, the Eagles cut into Landmark’s advantage when Allen hooked up with Emoni Williams for a 12-yard TD completion.
From thereon, the War Eagles had two real good chances to stretch their lead but failed to execute. First, McGuire missed a 34-yard field goal in the third quarter. Then with just over 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter, William Higbie fumbled on Mount Paran’s 2-yard line.
However, Landmark’s defense would make a final stand even though Mount Paran would get into the red zone. Drew McMurrain sacked Allen for a five-yard loss and the defense forced him into consecutive incompletions to give the ball back to the War Eagles with just 1:07 to go.
“I’m just so proud of our guys because they fight so hard and no matter what situation we’re in even if our backs are against the wall we still seem to fight,” Brantley said. “This team just seems to find a way to get it done.”
“That is one of the best defenses we will see this season,” Jordan said.