Patriots roll over rival Eagles

Published 12:58 am Saturday, September 12, 2009

LINDEN – In his first game for the Patriots, Linden senior Justin Delaine got past the line and blocked A.L. Johnson’s punt on the first drive of the game, knocking it out of the endzone for a safety. That was the way the game would go for the visiting Eagles, as Linden shutout ALJ 56-0 Friday night.

Junior Kendarius Fritts was a workhorse, running for 265 yards on 22 carries and scoring six of Linden’s eight touchdowns. Twelve of his carries were for 10 yards or more.

Sophomore Julian Little tacked on 81 rushing yards on nine carries with a touchdown. Linden (3-0 overall, 2-0 in 1A Region 3) ran for 380 yards on 43 carries. The Patriots scored on eight of their first nine drives.

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“Our intensity was up, and we played the entire game,” said LHS head coach Andro Williams, who pushed his career mark to 26-4. “We feel like we’ve got to be a little more disciplined than what we are, make sure we are coming off the football.

“Our offensive line did an excellent job tonight. That’s something we talk about and do a good job of, is having our kids be accountable for each other.”

On the other side of the ball, A.L. Johnson (2-1, 2-1 1A Region 3) ran 28 times for 25 yards. The longest play from scrimmage allowed by the Patriot defense was a 10-yard run by Richard McGhee in the first half.

Linden began its first drive from the ALJ 38-yard line, using runs of 11 and 22 yards from Fritts to get to the Eagle 10 after a five-yard LHS penalty. Three plays later, Fritts took it in from the 5 for the first touchdown of the night. The extra-point kick failed, but Linden led 8-0 with 7:47 left in the first quarter.

On its next drive, Fritts punched the ball in from the 1 on a drive featuring a 28-yard run by him and an 18-yarder by Little. The kick by junior Gerald Bruno made the score 15-0 with 4:23 left in the period.

On the next LHS drive from the ALJ 49, Fritts took two runs – one for 17 yards and another for 32 – to score again. The extra-point attempt was blocked, but Linden had a 21-0 lead with 5:06 left in the second quarter.

An 18-yard run by Fritts led to a 36-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Robinson to Larente Taylor, pushing the Linden lead to 27-0 with 1:14 left in the half.

With time running out in the half, Robinson found Terris Lewis on a 38-yard pass that brought the Patriots to the Eagle 1-yard line. Fritts took it over the line with 4.3 seconds left for his fourth TD of the half. The two-point conversion failed, but Linden took a 33-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Linden opened the second half with possession of the ball and drove down the field until Fritts ran three yards for another Patriot score with 7:07 left in the third. The kick from Bruno made the score 40-0.

Fritts’s final run of the game was a 30-yard touchdown run with 1:12 left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion pass from Robinson to Rashad Hollins made it 48-0.

The final score of the game came with 9:16 left in regulation, when Little took the ball 20 yards to the endzone. The two-point conversion pass from Robinson to Najee Bright capped the scoring at 56-0.

The only thing slowing Linden down were the Patriots themselves, who were flagged 11 times for 80 yards.

“Our defense did a good job as well,” Williams said. “I don’t think (A.L. Johnson) got past the 50-yard line tonight. That’s something we talk about, is imposing our will on the defensive side of the ball. Also, our coaches did a good job of seeing things and adjusting to that.”

Fritts was quick to praise the offensive line for helping him amass his yardage.

“The offensive line stayed on block,” he said. “We’re capable of running through a team. Plus, the defense stepped up, and we shut them out.”

Linden stays in region play this Friday when the Patriots visit Holy Spirit in Tuscaloosa. A.L. Johnson also visits a region rival, going to Akron on Friday.