Linden cant hold against 6A Fairhope

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 20, 2007

FAIRHOPE &8212; With the end of the season and beginning of the playoffs approaching, Linden High School head football coach Andro Williams decided to trade an off week for some stout 6A competition to sharpen his squad, resulting in a road game against Fairhope Thursday evening.

Williams, whose team has played shortened second half quarters in the two games prior to Fairhope, said the game was a way to get his group some playing time against a tough, playoff level opponent as well as find late season weaknesses his team can improve upon.

Williams said his group lead at the half, but the team had opportunities to widen the gap but they couldn&8217;t take advantage of them. And then there was the injury of Maurice Tate.

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Not only a defensive asset, Tate leads the team in scoring and rushing this season as a fullback for the offense. Williams said he is sure Tate could have racked up 100 yards on the ground in the game, not that it hampered the run game too much. Tailback Darrius Fountain stepped up, though he is an extremely close second in yards and touchdowns this season to Tate, and ran for 224 of the 365 Linden rushing yards in game, 20 yards shy of the first half rushing total of the entire Patriot squad.

Most of the action for the Patriot offense happened in the second quarter, when Fountain ran in two touchdowns (one for 80 yards) and back up fullback Korey Fountain, who ran for 63 yards filling in for Tate, ran in one. Fairhope scored twice in the third giving the Patriots the 18-14 edge.

The Fairhope adjustments shut down any more trips to the end zone for the Patriots, while finding the point strip three times in the third half and once in the fourth.

Tate&8217;s injury

Williams said Tate&8217;s injury is actually a re-injury sustained originally in the group&8217;s game against John Essex High School.

Williams said the injury rehabbed quickly both after the John Essex game and when it came up at a later practice prior to the Fairhope game. He said Tate is going to the doctor to see the extent of the injury after re-irritating it Thursday.