Championship Preview: Class A-Private

Photo by ELCA Chargers

Eagle’s Landing Christian 7-6, No. 5 Seed

Eagle’s Landing Christian got off to a very slow start to the season as they opened with six straight losses. The Chargers first game was against their state title opponent, Mount Paran Christian, and resulted in a 31-14 loss. From there the Chargers would face Class AAAAA semifinalist Stockbridge, Class AA state finalist Greater Atlanta Christian, Mount Pisgah, Whitewater and Class AAAA semifinalist Woodward Academy and would score more than 20 points only once in that span. Once Chargers got into region play however, they won the next four games to win the region title and lock up a No. 5 seed in the playoffs.  In the Chargers first round game against Athens Christian, they won easily 34-0. Quarterback D.J. Hammond rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns while Trevor Gear added a 25-yard score. In the quarterfinal matchup against Prince Avenue Christian, the Chargers won big again 47-17. Hammond was nearly unstoppable, completing all eight of his passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 82 rushing yards and three touchdowns. ELCA visited top-seeded Calvary Day for the semifinals and held on for a 14-7 win. Hammond ran for an 8-yard score in the first quarter and threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Evan Lewis in the second quarter. Hammond and Gear were not part of the team to start the season because they were both transfers and did not gain eligibility until October. Hammond has nine touchdown passes and has over 900 yards passing since taking over in the fourth game of the year. Gear has also been big for the Chargers, rushing for 102 yards and one touchdown in the win over Prince Avenue. Other players that have contributed are linebacker Chase Burdette and defensive lineman Nick Dawson. Burdette has over 120 tackles and Dawson is one of the more sought after recruits in the state.

Mount Paran Christian 13-0, No. 3 seed

Mount Paran head coach Mitch Jordan has built the program into a force in Class A and the Eagles are looking to win their first ever state title. Since the Eagles lost to Aquinas last year in the quarterfinals, they have appeared to only be getting better week-to-week. Mount Paran started the season with a convincing win over their state championship opponent Eagle’s Landing Christian and never looked back, finishing the regular season with a 10-0 mark. The Eagles started the playoffs with a first round matchup against Strafford Academy and won 45-14. Quarterback Jake Allen threw two touchdown passes while running back Emoni Williams scored all three of his touchdowns in the first half. The Eagles went on to take on Savannah Christian and won big again 35-14. Williams had a 99-yard kickoff return to open the game and scored two touchdowns in the third quarter. In the semifinals, the Eagles got a rematch against Aquinas and this time they were able to come out on top with a 34-14 win. Dorian Walker scored four touchdowns to snap the Irish’s 26-game win streak. The Eagles rushed for 414 yards on 54 carries in the win. Mount Paran has only won 26 games coming into the 2013 season, but the Eagles are 22-3 since. The Eagles are also the first team from Cobb County to reach the state finals since Walton did it in 2011. One of the reasons for their success is the play of Walker who has rushed for over 2,000 yards this season. Walker has gotten offers to play at Cincinnati, Memphis and Purdue. Williams has also been a force as a running back and receiver, and Allen has been one of the more efficient quarterbacks in the state. Another player to watch is Taylor Trammell who has rushed for over 700 yards this season.


The Skinny

This is not the first time these two teams have met this season as both Mount Paran and Eagle’s Landing Christian faced off in the regular season opener, and the Eagles came out on top 31-14.  Dorian Walker was big for the Eagles, rushing for 147 yards and one touchdown in the win. Emoni Williams was also a key player for the Eagles as he scored on a 66-yard reception. The biggest difference between their previous meeting and the game on Saturday is Eagle’s Landing Christian will have two players they didn’t have in the season opener. Quarterback D.J. Hammond and running back Trevor Gear could not play until October, but when they were ruled eligible, the Chargers rolled and have never looked back. Both teams can run the ball effectively, have efficient in the passing game and are stout on defense. This has the makings to be the best finals game of the weekend.


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One Response to “Championship Preview: Class A-Private”

  1. Morrell Productions
    December 8, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    ACC Championship Fanfare Blog with Amazing Street Entertainment Talent!!!


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