Landrum loses season-opener against West Oak
Landrums trouble began on its first possession. After a near turnover, an errant snap that went over quarterback Taylor Pates head resulted in a safety, giving the Warriors two points and the ball.
A big defensive play by Riley Parsons forced a turnover on downs for the Cardinals.
After a Landrum three and out, West Oak continued its charge on Landrums defense. This time, the Warriors made it all the way to the nine-yard line, but the Cardinals shut the door again, forcing a fumble and recovering it at the seven.
Blake Mistretta, a junior tailback, then flew up the sideline on second down for 41 yards, but a short run was followed by a penalty and two incomplete passes, which led to a punt. West Oak returned it all the way for a score, and it was 9-0 with 8:27 left in the second quarter.
Parsons almost reciprocated on the kickoff return, slicing his way to the West Oak 45. Two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the Warriors had the Cardinals at the ten, where Pate dropped back and threw a pinpoint fade route to Parsons in the back of the endzone. A low snap on the PAT cost the Cardinals a point, but the score seemed to be a potential momentum shifter.
It wasnt. The running attack continued for West Oak, as two long rushes set them up for their second TD of the game. Pate was intercepted on the next possession, which also resulted in a rushing score and a 23-6 West Oak lead at the half.
Landrums defense was fired up to begin the second half, this time stuffing the Warriors on three running plays. Coy Jones, a junior linebacker, made two of the three stops that series, and was around the ball all game. At the Landrum 39-yard line, West Oak decided to go for it again on fourth down, but a flock of Cardinals pushed the ballcarrier backwards for a loss.
Neither team did much offensively in the third quarter, until, with 26 seconds remaining, a 56-yard touchdown pass by West Oak made it 30-6.
But the Cardinals werent hanging heads yet. Landrum seemed to come alive after a big kick return by backup tailback Brandon Cannon. After fielding the kickoff, Cannon broke tackles and was finally taken down at the West Oak 37. A long third down pass was caught by Tyler Burrell to move the chains and another fade pass found the hands of a streaking Tyler Logan for a touchdown. On the two-point try, good blocking resulted in a successful Burrell conversion. It was now a two-possession game, 30-14.
On perhaps the most decisive series of the game, Landrum could not keep the Warriors out of the end zone. A late-hit penalty was followed by a 30-yard score, and with ten minutes left, the Cardinals had quite a hill to climb.
Landrum scored its final touchdown after two catches by Adam Pitts and a short run by Burrell. At 37-21, the last points of the game had been scored, and with 3:21 remaining, there wasnt enough time for a comeback.
We made more mistakes than I can count, Landrum coach Russell Mahaffey said. But were a very young team and weve got some great guys, we just have to work hard and play better.
After his first game as a head coach, he was quick to share that Its exciting. Im excited any time I can come and coach football. Im proud of our boys.
Landrum plays at Chesnee Friday night at 7:30 p.m.