Patriots plunder Pirates
DIXON’S MILLS — The Patriots made Marengo High School their home early Friday evening, dropping 57 points in the first half en route to a 64-0 win over Fruitdale.
The game, the first home game of the season played at Marengo High School by Linden, saw the Pats hang 22 points on the board in the first quarter with a relentless offensive attack and a punishing defense.
Linden got its first score of the evening when Jamal Lewis sprinted in from 10 yards out with just over eight minutes to play in the first quarter. Ryan Preston added the extra point to make it 7-0 in favor of the Pats. Linebacker Terris Lewis took over on the ensuing Fruitdale possession, dropping the running back five yards behind the line of scrimmage on one play and intercepting a Pirate pass on the next. The Lewis pick set up a three-play, 36-yard drive that culminated with a four-yard scoring run by Marquise Shelton. The Preston kick made it a 14-0 Linden lead. The Pats upped the advantage to 16-0 just over two minutes later when Terris Lewis beat everyone to the point of attack and dropped the Fruitdale ball carrier in the end zone for a safety. Julian Little took the obligatory safety punt 65 yards to end zone to stretch the lead to 22-0.
On the first play of the second quarter, Shelton punched the ball in from three yards out. The Preston point after left Linden up 29-0.
The next Patriot possession lasted only one play as Robinson hooked up with Little on a 38-yard touchdown pass to stretch the lead to 35-0.
Little followed some three minutes later with a 34-yard touchdown run, marking the second straight possession in which the Pats held the ball for one play.
“We want to try to get the ball in his hands one way or another,” Linden head coach Andro Williams said of Little, who scored touchdowns three different ways Friday night. “Whether it is defense or special teams. He’s got a plan and he’s got a mission. He is stepping into that leadership role on this team.”
Robinson popped a pass across to Jeremy Carr for the two-point conversion, making the lead 43-0.
Fruitdale’s best opportunity to score saw the Pirates go 0-for-6 through the air on a six-play drive that drew a pass interference and a defensive holding penalty before the kicker came in and missed a 32-yard field goal attempt.
Linden answered with an 85-yard scoring run by Shelton that was negated by a blocking infraction. Two plays later, Shelton scored on a 10-yard sprint that capped a three-play drive in which he totaled 100 yards on three carries.
The extra point from Preston made it 50-0 in favor of Linden. Jamal Lewis made his presence felt again with less than a minute to go in the first half when he scored on a 20-yard run, allowing Preston’s kick to make it 57-0. Linden’s starters returned for one possession of the second half. That turn saw Jamal Lewis carry the ball three times for 59 yards, capping it with a 20-yard touchdown run.
Jamal Lewis finished the night with 135 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries. Shelton finished with 131 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries. Little had 145 all-purpose yards and three scores.