Linden dumps Kinston in playoff opener

Published 12:24 am Saturday, November 6, 2010

By David B. Snow

Special to The Times

LINDEN — The Linden Patriots scored on their first play from scrimmage, and the LHS defense did its job as homestanding Linden beat Kinston 48-0 in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs on Friday.

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Senior Kendarius Fritts had 190 yards on 12 runs and scored four touchdowns. He had 133 yards in the first half on eight runs and three TDs.

Linden (10-1) held Kinston to one first down in the first half, that coming on a Patriot penalty in the last minute of the half.

The Patriots got the ball rolling after the Bulldogs (6-5) went three and out on its first possession and had their punt partially blocked to give Linden good field position. On the first snap from scrimmage for Linden, Fritts made a 40-yard romp into the endzone. The extra-point attempt failed, but Linden led 6-0 with 9:33 left in the first quarter.

On its next possession, LHS drove 67 yards, scoring on a five-yard run by Julian Little, giving the Patriots a 13-0 lead.

On the Patriots’ next possession, Fritts capped a five-play, 73-yard drive with a 30-yard TD run, giving Linden a 21-0 lead after the two-point conversion with 11:24 left in the first half.

On the next Linden drive, a 27-yard run by Fritts set up a 29-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Robinson to Najee Bright to give the Patriots a 28-0 lead with 5:27 left in the half.

Linden’s last first-half score came on a one-yard run by Fritts with 3:02 left in the half.

Fritts ran all four plays of Linden’s first drive of the second half, capping it with a one-yard run to give LHS a 41-0 lead with 6:24 left in the third quarter. Each of the last two quarters was eight minutes long.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, junior Jeremy Carr made a 4-yard run into the endzone to close out the Patriot scoring with 7:45 left in the game.
“I thought that our leaders were playing with the intensity that they needed to play with,” said LHS head coach Andro Williams. “We’ve been playing with a high level in practice. Our kids come out and play hard.

“Our offensive line continues to get better. I’m pleased with the effort our kids put out there for us. We’ve got some things that we can help ourselves with, special teams-wise, but for the most part, our defense is what’s going to carry us at the end of the day.”

Linden will travel to McKenzie (10-0) on Friday for the second round of the state playoffs. McKenzie beat Marengo 51-12 on Friday.