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Patriots look for consistency in Jamboree

The Patriots get their final regular season test Friday night when they host 5A teams Central-Tuscaloosa and Demopolis in a Jamboree game.

“We want to play hard,” Linden head coach Andro Williams said. “I think we have sort of an idea of what we’re up against. If we test our wares against those kind of people, that helps us.”

Williams said his team is still in the process of revealing what kind of squad it will be, but has yet to put together the consistency necessary to make a run.

“We show spurts of being a decent football team,” Williams said.

The Jamboree date will be the Patriots’ final barometer before diving into regular season play against 3A Cottage Hill Friday, Aug. 28. This week, Williams will get his first opportunity to see freshman quarterback Anthony Robinson Jr. in a starting role against an unfamiliar opponent.

“We aren’t going to ask a whole lot of him,” Williams said. “We just want him to be a general. We want him to just operate what we’re doing.”

Against the Tigers and Falcons, the Patriot offensive front will see perhaps its toughest test of 2009 when it lines up against a pair of large, athletic defensive lines.

“We know the game is going to speed up Friday up front,” Williams said. “We don’t get the looks in practice to simulate what we’re going to see on Friday.”

While the game is the final preseason affair for Linden, Williams said his team will not use the contest to determine starting alignments. Instead, he said, those decisions will be made on a weekly basis.

“We are just going to play it from week to week,” Williams said. “I’ve seen some younger guys step up (in recent weeks). I’ve seen some younger guys regress.”

Overall, Williams said his coaching staff is seeking intensity and consistency from its players.

“We’re going to treat it like a Jamboree game, but we’re going to play to give it our all each snap,” Williams said. “(Linden players) know they’re going to have to hit somebody in the mouth because they know they’re going to get hit in the mouth against both these teams.”

The Jamboree is schedule to start at 6 p.m. when Linden plays two quarters against Central. Demopolis will follow with two quarters against Central before the Tigers and Linden square off for the final two quarters.