POTW: Kendarius Fritts

Published 11:55 am Thursday, October 29, 2009

The east end zone at Autaugaville’s field should have a flag placed in its corner bearing the image of Kendarius Fritts, because Thursday night in the Linden junior tailback owned that particular piece of real estate. In the first quarter alone, Fritts visited the 30-by-160-foot area four times.

From the outset, Fritts looked like a grown man playing a child’s game. Every time he touched the ball, Fritts ran with a purpose and intensity that far exceeded what would have amounted to a meaningless game for most.

Linden clinched the Region 3 crown a week earlier. No matter what happened, the Patriots were going into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in their region. But head coach Andro Williams wanted more from his players than complacency. He wanted perfection. He wanted the Patriots to approach the Autaugaville Eagles as if they were the Maplesville Red Devils or the Sweet Water Bulldogs. He demanded effort and intensity throughout the game. And Kendarius Fritts provided both, setting the tone early and often for his teammates.

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It didn’t matter the play call. Fritts showed off his brute strength on runs up the gut. He flashed his blazing speed on runs to the edge. On play-action passes, he sold play fakes with astonishing commitment. Pulled with the rest of the Linden starters in the second quarter, Fritts finished his night with 229 yards and four touchdowns on just seven carries.

The good news for Autaugaville? The AHSAA announces its reclassification plan next month. With a little luck, a lot of prayer and a strategic letter-writing campaign, maybe the Eagles can keep Fritts out of their end zone for good.