The Eagles will play their first home playoff game in the six-year history of the program and will also seek to win its first playoff game after dropping their contests to Athens Academy in 2010 and Eagle’s Landing Christian in 2011. The winner of this contest will face either Aquinas (10-0) or Savannah Christian Prep (5-4-1) in the quarterfinals.
“There’s genuine excitement about hosting a postseason game for the first time,” Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan said. “Winning the playoff game would be good for the community and an important step in the growth of our program.”
The teams met in the season opener, with the Eagles gaining the 36-7 home victory behind 26 second-half points. Taylor Trammell had 141 all-purpose yards and an interception, while Emoni Williams caught four passes for 133 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
“I think we surprised (Our Lady) in our first game of the season,” Jordan said. “Both teams have improved since the season opener.”
The Eagles have averaged more than 32 points per contest this season with their spread offense. Quarterback Jake Allen has thrown for 12 touchdowns this season while Williams ranks among the top receivers in Cobb County with 38 catches for 825 yards and eight touchdowns. Mount Paran has scored at least 24 points in each of its last seven games. Both players will have to step up tonight as Our Lady of Mercy has allowed only 18 points a game.
“OLM has a talented defense and will be prepared for us,” Jordan said. “We have to run the football and be physical upfront.”
That means Dorian Walker will likely see a lot of action. He comes into the game needing 89 yards to reach 1,000 for the season, and he has 17 touchdowns.
Defensively, Mount Paran fields one of the stingiest defenses in Class A, allowing only 14 points per game and opponents have scored more than 21 points only twice this season.
Our Lady of Mercy’s offense scores 20 points a game with dual-threat quarterback Jameson Vest having 13 total touchdowns and running back Jordan Thomas posting seven rushing scores.
“We’re going to have to contain the big play because they’re the fastest team we’ve played all season,” Jordan said.
Game: Our Lady of Mercy (5-5) at Mount Paran Christian (8-2), 7:30 PM
Last meeting: Mount Paran 36, OLM 7 (Aug. 30)
All-time series: Tied 1-1
Prediction: Mount Paran 32, OLM 20