By Phil Albert
Eagle's Landing's second-half problems continued Friday night against visiting Warner Robins in a 45-16 setback.
Warner Robins (5-3 overall) tallied 21 third-quarter points in breaking open a 17-9 halftime lead and propelling themselves to a 38-9 lead entering the final quarter.
Overall, Warner Robins scored 31 straight points in building a 45-9 lead before the host Golden Eagles scored a late fourth-quarter touchdown.
A third-quarter gamble didn't pay off for the Golden Eagles (1-5 overall), who opened the quarter with an onside kick. Warner Robins recovered at its own 49 yard line.
"We gave them field position and that hurt us," Eagle's Landing coach Bob Stinchcomb said. "After they scored, it was just too tough to fight back."
But that was true throughout the game.
In the first quarter alone, Warner Robins opened drives in Eagle's Landing territory three times.
The Warner Robins trio of Alton Sanders, Kyle Hicks and Dominique Davenport created problems for Eagle's Landing's defense all night with their ability to gain big yards on sweeps.
Hicks gained 94 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns on runs of one and nine yards.
Sanders added 81 yards on nine carries, including a 12-yard touchdown run.
Davenport finished with 60 yards on four carries, including a 29-yard touchdown run.
Warner Robins finished with 319 yards offensively, 278 coming on the ground.
For the Golden Eagles, Drew Glen pounded out 132 yards on the ground, including a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Golden Eagles finished with 142 total yards, 124 coming on the ground. The team lost 21 yards on running plays.
Adarius O'Neal returned a kickoff 97 yards for a first-quarter touchdown and Evan Kay booted a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter for the other Golden Eagle points.
The field goal capped a 10-play drive which accummulated 53 yards and over five minutes of the clock. Seven rushing plays by Glen, including runs of 19, 12 and 12, led the attack and cut Warner Robins' lead to 14-9 with 1:25 remaining in the half.
But Jake Grubbs ended the half with a 45-yard field goal for the Blue Devils on the last play.
Warner Robins outgained Eagle's Landing 145-26 in third-quarter yardage and had nine first downs as the Blue Devils tallied its three scores in the quarter and added an early fourth-quarter score for its 45-9 lead.
But Eagle's Landing would finish the scoring on a five-play drive, with Glen scoring on his one-yard run. Glen started the drive with a nice 43-yard sprint up the left sidelines.
"Drew and Adarius have been our workhorses," Stinchcomb said, happy about the seniors' performances. "Drew has a lot of power. They're good kids and our offensive line did a good job."
Eagle's Landing will attempt its third county AAAAA championship on Friday against Stockbridge, having already beaten Henry County earlier this year.
"We're already putting this game (against Warner Robins) behind us," Stinchcomb added. "It's nice to beat the people you live near and our guys hope to feel good by beating Stockbridge."