Linden shuts out AL Johnson
LINDEN — Linden senior Kendarius Fritts ran 11 times for 265 yards and seven touchdowns — all in the first half — as the top-ranked Patriots routed regional rival A.L. Johnson 82-0 Friday night.
On Linden’s first play from scrimmage, Fritts broke through for a 62-yard touchdown run. He added scoring runs of 13, 14, 6, 33, 35 and 40 yards before being pulled from the game at halftime when Linden (3-0 overall, 2-0 in 1A Region 1) held a 55-0 lead.
Near the end of the first half, Linden head coach Andro Williams used all three of his timeouts to enable his team to set up one more scoring drive. The Patriots had touchdowns called back twice on penalties, but were able to get the ball in the endzone with 3.2 seconds remaining on a 40-yard Fritts run.
The one first-half touchdown that Fritts did not score came when Joshua Hill blocked an A.L. Johnson punt and returned it 6 yards for a score.
A.L. Johnson (1-2, 0-2 1A Region 1) mustered minus-16 yards of offense in the first half and finished with minus-17 for the game.
The Patriots opened the second half with Najee Bright returning the kickoff 73 yards for a Linden score. On the Eagles’ ensuing drive, Jamal Lewis returned the punt 33 yards for another LHS touchdown.
“Our kids really and truly haven’t played a full game yet,” Williams said. “We can’t punish our kids for that. We’ve got to do some conditioning to get our kids prepared for the playoffs.
We had some things that we did that were good things, and we had some things that we just not smart plays at times.
“I thought we worked hard. We saw some things that we’ve gotten better at from Week 1 to Week 2 and from Week 2 to Week 3. That’s what’s important.”
One problem that Linden had in the first half was penalties, getting flagged 11 times for 109 yards in the first 24 minutes, extending A.L. Johnson drives twice when the Patriots were flagged during Eagle punts.
Linden, ranked No. 1 is last week’s ASWA Class A poll, visits No. 3 Sweet Water (2-1, 2-0 1A Region 1) on Friday, while A.L. Johnson hosts Fruitdale (1-2, 1-1 1A Region 1).