Linden falls to Marion County
Published 4:15 pm Thursday, December 1, 2011
TUSCALOOSA – The Linden Patriots’ first run to the Class 1A state title ended in heartbreak as the team’s hopes fell one game short with a 23-12 loss to Marion County Friday night.
The Linden defense forced the vaunted Red Raider rushing attack to punt its first possession of the game.
The Patriots took the ensuing punt to midfield before the Red Raider defense forced a punt of its own.
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Raider quarterback Sean Wallace broke a 49 yard run to set up at the six and two plays later hit Ready Swanigan on a fade route for the score as time expired in the first quarter.
Linden defender Jamal Lewis and Swanigan both went up for the pass but officials ruled Swanigan came down with possession.
Marquis Shelton took the ensuing kickoff 70-plus yards to set the Patriots up at the 8 on the opening play of the second quarter. Julian Little took the next play the remaining 8 yards to the end zone to tie the game at 6-all.
The Red Raiders, a 1A rushing powerhouse, took to the air on their next drive and Jalen Lewis made the pay for it. Lewis plucked the ball from the receiver to kill a Raider drive near mid-field but the Patriots turned the ball back over on the next play.
The Patriots defense held the Raiders to a 35 yard field goal as Marion took a 9-6 lead with 5:26 left in the half.
Shelton took the kickoff to the Patriot 45 and Anthony Robinson scampered 55 yards on the next play to give Linden its first lead off the ballgame, 12-9.
A roughing the kicker penalty took the game-tying field goal off the board and gave the Raiders a fresh set of downs and the ball on the 5 with 1:35 left in the half.
Wallace made Linden pay with a 5 yard rushing score with a minute left in the half to give the Raiders a 16-12 lead.
The Raiders scored the final point of the game in the third quarter following a Linden interception.