In the opening round of the Private Class A playoffs, Landmark (7-3) aims to avenge its first loss of the season against 9-1 Calvary Day.
On Aug. 24 at Bill Thorn Stadium, the War Eagles jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead but lost 28-21 to the Cavaliers.
“We had several guys out injured to start the game and throughout the course of the game the injuries kind of mounted on us a little,” LCS coach Wayne Brantley said. “By the end of the game we had eight starters off the field and not playing.”
One of those players was top rusher Jeremiah Kirkland, who had 104 rushing yards and a touchdown before leaving the game in the second quarter.
But Brantley understands injuries come with the territory and the team still has to finish.
“We just weren’t real sharp in the second half,” he said. “I think with a 21-point lead at halftime our guys mentally kind of relaxed. Then they started making a comeback and we couldn’t turn that switch back on.
“It was a good lesson for our guys to learn that you got to play four quarters no matter what the score is,” Brantley said. “Hopefully, we can do a better job of that this time around with them.”
Due to the finalizing of the power rankings and brackets, both teams had last week off yet more time to possibly prepare for each other.
“We had done our own calculations,” Brantley said. “There were three teams we thought we possibly could play and Calvary was one of them. So we had a Plan A, B and C that we looked at. But we were pretty certain it was going to be Calvary so we went ahead and started prepping for them.”
This will also be the rubber match for the schools since Landmark knocked the Cavaliers out of the playoffs last year en route to the championship game.
“We got a lot of game film on them so we feel like we know them pretty well,” Brantley said. “We’re going to have to be our very, very best. We have to be well prepared and play our best game in order to have a shot to beat them.”