On the road, down one point in the fourth quarter, and with just about 40 seconds left to go in the game, the stage was set for the Landmark War Eagles to do what they had done all season long and snatch victory from the hungry jaws of defeat Friday night.
As the War Eagles placed the pieces to yet another storybook ending drive together, this time defeat clamped down and wouldn’t allow the previously undefeated bunch out of Fairburn to escape without a blemish on their record as a 52 yard field goal attempt fell just short and the final seconds ticked off the clock, giving Holy Innocents’ a 29-28 victory.
Holy Innocents’ scored late in the fourth to pull within one point and converted the 2-point conversion with their playoff lives at stake.
Offensively, the War Eagles got into a rhythm early, orchestrated by sophomore quarterback Stockton McGuire who helped lead Landmark to a 17-7 advantage at halftime.
McGuire finished the game with 113 rushing yards and a touchdown, in addition to completing 13 passes for 183 yards and two scores. He also made good on field goals of 24 and 34 yards to keep the War Eagles alive in the back and forth ballgame.
Junior wide receiver Sam Dobbs was the recipient of 10 of those completions and a touchdown to go along with his 111 receiving yards, several highlight catches and a two point conversion reception.
Senior receiver Austin Luckie caught his second touchdown of the season in the back of the end zone for the first touchdown of the night for the Landmark team.
The defensive unit had their hands full with a tough option attack all night, but never stopped playing the physical brand of football that they are known for and has brought them this far.
The defense forced one turnover thanks to a leaping interception by senior linebacker William Higbie, who played through an injury that happened in the game without ever missing a snap, and then stopped the Golden Bears twice for turnovers on down and turned away a fake punt attempt.
Along with Higbie, fellow inside linebacker Titus Creamer and senior defensive back Nolan Bryant were the leading tacklers on the night.
This Friday night the No. 8 Landmark squad looks to get back on the winning track during Senior Night at Bill Thorn Stadium in Fairburn, GA as they host the No. 1 Eagles Landing Christian Academy Chargers in the Region 5-A Championship game at 7:30 p.m.
These two teams have combined to represent Region 5-A as its Champion in eight of the past 10 seasons and both teams have made it to at least the semifinals in the state playoffs each of the past two seasons with each having earned a Championship Game appearance.