Photo by Brian Paglia / Woodland quarterback Taylor Poff barrels through the line of scrimmage on a quarterback keeper Friday at Eagle’s Landing.
McDONOUGH — In a battle with playoff implications, the Eagle’s Landing Golden Eagles pulled off a mild upset Friday, defeating the Woodland Wolfpack 30-28 for their first win.
The much-maligned Golden Eagles defense rose to the occasion several times, stopping Woodland on fourth down three times in their own territory and intercepting Woodland quarterback Taylor Poff twice in the last two minutes of the game to preserve the narrow victory.
Bradley Dewberry’s 13-yard scoring run with 2:42 left in the game provided the Golden Eagles their first winning margin. The wide-open 4-AAAA, Division A subregion still has multiple possibilities, but the Golden Eagles (1-7, 1-2) made it very difficult for the Wolfpack (2-5, 1-1) who could have finished first in the subregion by running the table.
Woodland, fresh off a victory over Locust Grove that put them into the playoff picture, had flashes of brilliance but sputtered at inopportune times.
Woodland, which snapped a four-game losing streak last week, put together a drive consuming eight-plus minutes of the first and second quarters, scoring at 10:36 of the second on a Poff-to-Darrow Ramsey 5-yard pass. Later in the second, the Wolfpack rode a 33-yard run by Malcolm Miller to the Golden Eagles’ 10 and Poff tossed another touchdown pass to Ramsey from there with 2:51 before the half.
But Eagle’s Landing moved quickly down the field and scored on a Corey Holloway 4-yard run with 14 seconds left. Dewberry tossed a quick pass to Fontayne Washington for a two-point conversion and the halftime score was 13-8, Woodland.
Woodland’s Mark Bussey gathered in the second-half kickoff at his 4-yard line, burst through the wave of Golden Eagles for a 96-yard touchdown and the Wolfpack built a 21-8 lead once Bussey also ran in the conversion. Eagle’s Landing methodically moved back downfield, scoring at 6:40 of the third on a Dewberry-to-Warren Wright 9-yard pass. Another two-point conversion made it 21-16.
The lead changed hands three times in the fourth. The Golden Eagles took their first lead on a 10-yard Holloway touchdown run for a 24-21 lead. Woodland bounced right back with another Poff touchdown pass (eight yards to Ricardo Murphy) for a 28-24 lead.
Dewberry provided Eagle’s Landing’s final offensive answer with his 13-yard scoring burst up the middle. The Eagles’ defense bent but didn’t break the rest of the way, intercepting Poff twice (Dewberry and Wright) to preserve the much-anticipated first win.
Holloway ran 29 times for 147 yards for Eagle’s Landing, and Wright caught six passes for 85 yards. Dewberry was also a star on defense, leading the team with seven tackles.
Woodland’s Miller rushed 23 times for 105 yards, and Poff completed 13 of 23 passes for 174 yards. Ramsey caught six balls for 61 yards. The leading Wolfpack tackler was Damon Young with 10. Bussey contributed on defense with eight stops.