Tonight’s contest is no different.
For the third straight week, the Eagles will face a team they have never faced before when they host Landmark Christian tonight at Mount Paran Stadium.
Much like Mount Paran’s opponent last week, Brookstone, Landmark Christian is a perennial playoff team. The War Eagles haven’t had a losing season since 2000, and just last year, reached the Class A state final, where they lost 20-3 to Savannah Christian.
According to Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan, the reason there are so many new opponents filling out the Eagles’ non-region schedule is because of Mount Paran’s recent success over the years.
“It was tough scheduling this year,” he said. “I didn’t get callbacks from a lot of guys that we’ve played before, I guess because we’ve had some success the past couple of years. I had to look elsewhere to round out our non-region schedule, and tried to get some really good teams that have had postseason success or were expected to be in the postseason.
“We knew Landmark was going to be tough. They always do a good job. They have a lot of kids back from that state finalist team. They’re a balanced team that can throw the ball as equally (well) as they can run the ball, and they always play tough defense. We have our work cut out for us moving the ball and stopping them on offense. We’re going to have to play a smart football game and not turn the ball over, like we did in our first two football games, and expect to be in the game.”
Even through two games, Jordan has seen some of the benefits gained through putting his young team against such strong non-region opponents.
“Practice has been good,” he said. “The kids are very positive and excited about the season. I haven’t seen any negative effects from the first two losses. They know they were against two good football teams and they see the signs that we’re getting better.
“We’re looking at these early-season games as ones to prepare us for region play. I was hoping to get one or two of these. But, we knew they were going to be tough games and they could go either way. Landmark is probably the most talented of the three.”
It should help Mount Paran that Landmark Christian is coming to Kennesaw rather than the Eagles having to go on the road for the third straight week.
“I think (the players are) excited and the coaches are excited as well as the families (to finally play at home),” Jordan said. “We’ve been on the road the first two games and it’s always a phenomenal atmosphere at Mount Paran. It’s a great community, so we’re expecting a great crowd. It should be a lot of excitement, and we’re looking to perform well in front of the home crowd. We typically play well at home, but we know it’s going to be a tough football game.”