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Mission not accomplished

Friday night marks one of the bigger nights in recent history for the Patriots (7-0, 6-0) as they will look to clinch the 1A, Region 3 championship with a win over Homecoming opponent John Essex.

The significance of the evening is anything but lost on Patriot players.

“It’s big,” junior Kendall Raby said. “Especially to come out and do it on Homecoming.”

For Linden, the chance to clinch the region crown comes as little surprise.

“We talked about it early this summer and worked at it all summer long,” Raby said.

“That’s what we worked for and talked about in that summer heat, being region champions” senior Maurice Tate said.

Still, even though they are two games away from completing a perfect region schedule, the Patriots openly admit they are nowhere close to satisfied with their accomplishments this season.

“We ain’t as good as we could be,” Tate said. “That’s our goal is to get better and better. But we’re getting there.”

“We’ve just got to get better at the little things,” head coach Andro Williams added.

Including Friday night, the Patriots have only three more games to work out any kinks before they head into the playoffs in November.

“We’re just working on our depth and continuity,” Williams said.

Linden hosts John Essex Friday night before welcoming Autaugaville a week from tonight and then ultimately rounding out the season against 3A Aliceville.

“We want to be undefeated,” Tate said. “(The game against Aliceville is) just like a playoff game. We treat it just like a playoff game, same approach as in the region games.”

“That game is going to have to be be a playoff type game,” Williams said.

“Our first road playoff game, that’s what we’re going to treat it like.”

However, Williams said that in the interim his team’s focus remains squarely upon John Essex.

“We just want to stay focused. You know how Homecoming can be with distractions here and there,” Williams said. “I think (Linden players are) ready to get back on the fied and play.”

“We take it one game at a time,” Raby said. Linden and JEHS kick off at 7 p.m.