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Linden cruises past Maplesville

DIXON’S MILLS – For the third time this year, top-ranked Linden took down the next in line.

The Patriots outlasted the No. 2 Maplesville Red Devis 21-7 Friday night.

The game was similar to that of a heavyweight title fight between the division’s top two contenders. Like Muhammad Ali’s “Thrilla in Manilla”, this one became “Dishin’ Out Thrills in Dixon’s Mills.”

“Defense came through,” said Linden head coach Andro Williams. “The line did well most of the night.”

While the defense held the line, on the offensive side of the ball Julian Little was the rock star.

The Patriots continued to turn to their senior tailback against an equally impressive Maplesville defense, and he continued to eat up yard after impossible yard.

Little racked up 125 yards on 28 carries as the Patriots looked to chew up real estate and clock while clinging to a lead for most of the game.

Linden opened the game with two big defensive penalties that walked the Red Devils right into the redzone. However, the unit regrouped and forced a turnover on downs.

The first quarter ended scoreless but less than three minutes into the second, Anthony Robinson hit Terris Lewis for a 17 yard touchdown strike to give the Patriots the 7-0 lead.

Maplesville bounced back to notch a score of their own with less than a minute left in the half, knotting the score at 7-all at halftime.

The Patriots too their first offensive possession nearly 80 yards down the field in less than six minutes thanks to a steady diet of handoffs to Julian Little. The drive was capped by a 1-yard sneak by Robinson and the Patriots took a 14-7 lead.

The teams traded punts late into the fourth when Little put the game away on a three yard run with just more than a minute to play.

Robinson finished the night with 70 yards passing on 11 attempts.

The Patriots’ win over Maplesville sets up a Round 4 rematch with Sweet Water next week, marking the fourth time in two years the two teams have met.