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ELCA dominates in Region 5-A win over rival Landmark Christian

By Derrick Mahone

dmahone@news-daily.com

Ask any Eagle's Landing Christian player to give you their assessment of Friday's Region 5-A South win over Landmark Christian and they will say it was a hard-fought game.

However, the scoreboard would indicate that it was a one-sided fight.

Eagle's Landing 49, Landmark Christian 3.

"The scoreboard made it seem easier than it was," ELCA senior wide receiver Christian Reeves said. "They had some better athletes than the previous teams that we beat real bad. They could have hurt us if we didn't come out uptempo and ready to play."

The Chargers certainly made it look easy as they continued their 15-game winning streak in winning the Region 5-A South contest at home as the team observed senior night. ELCA is 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the subregion.

ELCA rolled up 521 yards of offense, 394 on the ground. The Chargers got several big plays as the first team scored on six of its eight possessions. ELCA only punted once in the contest and lost the ball on downs once.

"I'm pleased, but there were some things we could have done better," ELCA coach Jonathan Gess said. "I always look at the negative things like we punted. We don't like to punt. Hey, our kids played hard and they were a very well coached team."

Landmark Christian was the first team to score on the Chargers in 14 quarters. In the previous three games, ELCA had outscored its opponents 150-0.

The War Eagles finally got on the scoreboard with 6:54 remaining in the game, and kicker Gabriel Cobb booted a 39-yard field goal. Cobb's kick hit one of the post and bounced through.

"That's not really a big deal," Gess said of not getting a shutout. "We love having zero points and all that kind of stuff. It was like the Lord's will that that thing went in. We want to play our best football. I'm proud that our defense held, and that we only gave up those three points."

The players said they would have loved not to have given up the score.

"Of course we wanted the shutout, we don't want anyone scoring any points on us," linebacker Cole Carrera said. "They were a good team. We have a real special team with a great group of seniors."

The fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

ELCA jumped out to a quick 21-0 score before its fourth drive of the game resulted in the team turning the ball over on downs after driving to the Landmark 39.

Chargers quarterback Aaron Spratlin threw two quick touchdown passes on the first two drives. He connected with Cole Walker on a 33-yard with 8:22 remaining in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. On the Chargers next drive, he hit Reeves for a 39-yarder as ELCA lead 14-0 with 4:35 remaining.

On the final drive of the first quarter, Keyante Green burst up the middle for an 80-yard touchdown. For the game, the sophomore had 12 carries for 169 yards and three touchdowns.

Reeves closed out the first-half scoring with an 45-yard scoring run, his first rushing touchdown of the season.

Green opened the second half scoring with a 94-yard kickoff return. He also had a 5-yard touchdown run later in the quarter.

"I tell you, if there is a tell better than them, then they are going to be really, really good too," Dallas said. "They have so much speed going in so many directions. They are a special team."