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Patriots drop Jags, fall to Tigers in Jamboree event

The Patriots visited Memorial Stadium Friday night, splitting its two games in the Demopolis Jamboree event with a 20-0 win over Wilcox Central and 20-0 loss to DHS.

Linden established the running game early against the Jaguars, handing the ball to senior Maurice Tate on its first two plays from scrimmage. The senior fullback tallied 77 yards on two carries before a Patriot fumble turned the ball over in the red zone.

On their next possession, the Patriots went to the other half of it tandem backfield, Shan-trell Braxton. The newest Patriot covered 34 yards on his first two carries, finding the end zone on the second for a 6-0 Linden lead.

After the teams traded punts, Wilcox Central had its drive stalled when Dante Keller forced and recovered a fumble to set up the Patriot offense.

Tate started the drive with a 14-yard run before senior quarterback Ajalon Bruno had back-to-back carries to cover the final 12 yards of the drive and push the lead to 12-0. Tate followed with the conversion run to make it 14-0.

The Patriots rounded out the scoring with a five-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Braxton. During that drive, Bruno connected with three receivers for 52 yards.

The Patriots sat during the contest between Demopolis and Wilcox before returning to the field against the Tigers. During that scrimmage, the Patriots lost three fumbles, preventing the offense from establishing a consistent rhythm.

“It takes care of itself,” Linden head coach Andro Williams said of his team’s confidence level following the game. “That’s what we tell our kids is go out and play hard. We’ve got to learn how to play even keel football. I think we are learning that as a team.”

While the unit did struggle for intervals Friday, Williams was confident in the ability of his offensive line.

“We lost a lot of guys up there. We’ve got one senior on that offensive line,” he said. “But I’m excited about that offensive line because they’re going to get better as the year goes on.”

Tate led the way Friday, amassing 115 yards on the ground and adding 21 more in receiving yardage. Braxton finished with 65 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns while Bruno racked up 32 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Linden opens the regular season Friday when it hosts 3A foe Cottage Hill.