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Loss to Landmark Keeps Wesleyan Home for the Playoffs

Wesleyan's season ends with 16-7 loss in Region 5-A play-in game.

Landmark Christian used first-half touchdowns from Chase McFarlin and Donald Payne, then held at bay with a smothering defense to take a 16-7 victory over the Wolves in a Region 5-A play-in contest at Henderson Stadium.

The loss prevented Wesleyan from making the first playoffs for the first time in four seasons.

The War Eagles (8-2, 4-2 in Region 5-A) took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards in 12 plays, taking a 6-0 lead on McFarlin's 6-yard scoring run with 7:16 left in the first quarter.

Wesleyan responded with a drive to the Landmark 35-yard lie, but Eric Sunderman's 52-yard field goal try sailed just wide right.

Wesleyan (7-3, 5-1) finally got on the board midway through the second quarter. Following a Landmark punt, the Wolves took over on their own 46-yard line. Erik Gossett was stopped for no gain on first down, but on the next play, he got behind the War Eagles' defense and Will Anderson hit him in stride for a 54-yard touchdown pass and a 7-6 Wesleyan lead with 7:28 remaining in the half.

A turnover cost the Wolves late in the half. Anderson fumbled the snap at the Landmark Christian 41 and the War Eagles recovered with 2:43 left on the clock. Seven plays later, Payne rolled into the end zone from 3 yards out to put Landmark ahead 13-7 with just 11 seconds left in the second quarter.

Wesleyan took the second-half kickoff and drove to the Landmark 37, but Anderson was picked off by Payne in the end zone, killing the drive. The War Eagles then mounted a methodical, 19-play drive capped by a 30-yard Garrison Adams field goal that gave Landmark a 16-7 lead with 42 seconds left in the period.

Wesleyan would not threaten again. The Wolves gained just 17 yards total offense the rest of the way as Landmark's defense slammed the door on Wesleyan's season.

"I told our guys that they aren't failures, that they didn't do anything wrong," said Wolves coach Franklin Pridgen. "We just lost to a better football team."

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