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Pats anticipate spread attack from Cottage Hill

LINDEN – It will forever be in the record books that Linden handed Cottage Hill its first official loss in Alabama High School Athletic Association play. That game took place in week one last season when the Patriots downed the Warriors 38-20. This time around, Andro Williams’ bunch will have to load up and make the trek to Cottage Hill Christian Academy where the 3A Warriors will undoubtedly seek to celebrate the anniversary of their landmark loss with a taste of redemption.

“We’ve got to prepare for everything,” Williams said.

The Warriors showed themselves a spread team under then-head coach Stephen Sorrells. This season, CHCA will be under the guidance of Rusty Mason, who returned to the school after spending a season at nearby Faith Academy.

Williams has a profound respect for the Warriors’ skill players and believes the key to beating Cottage Hill lies in pressuring the team’s young quarterback.

“They’ve got some pretty good looking skill players,” Williams said. “We’ve definitely got to help ourselves and make that quarterback make some decisions.”

As much as the Patriots need to pressure Cottage Hill’s young quarterback, they will also have to sufficiently protect their own young signal-caller, freshman Anthony Robinson, Jr.

“We’ve got a lot of things that are correctable that we need to work on. There were definitely some things (in the Jamboree game against Central-Tuscaloosa and Demopolis) that we could have done better that would have helped,” Williams said. “We had a few busted assignments that we can correct. We want to get (Robinson) outside the box a little bit where he can see a little.”

Against the Tigers and Falcons, the Patriots showed a penchant for running the ball, utilizing four different backs an intervals throughout the evening.

“We’re going to play all four of them in the backfield,” Williams said of the strategy that will allow him to rest Julian Little, Keiunta Goodwill, Rashad Hollins and Kendarius Fritts. “All four of them start on defense for us somewhere. Every other series, they are out of the game.”

While the Patriots gave up only six points total in their exhibition outing against Central and Demopolis, the defense did not have its full complement of starters. Transfer and Auburn commit Justin Delaine, who did not play in the Jamboree, figures to step into a defensive end position against Cottage Hill, allowing Fritts to move to outside linebacker.

Still, Williams believes the greatest strength for the Patriot defense may lie in the secondary. The Pats’ secondary scored a pair of interceptions against Central. If the Warriors’ offense holds true to form Friday night, the Linden DBs will be tested often, a challenge for which Williams believes the group is ready.

“(New assistant coach Roosevelt) Moore has gotten here and is doing a great job with the defensive backs,” Williams said. “They trust what he is teaching them.”