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Linden shuts out ALJ in top 10 matchup

By TIERRA ROBINSON
Special to The Demopolis Times

The Linden Patriots defeated the A.L. Johnson Eagles 52-0 in a matchup between Class 1A top 10 teams Friday night.

After a slow first quarter, Linden got on the board first with 38 seconds to play in the quarter on a Dewayne Charleston run.

Linden’s Devontae Knox intercepted a Zynell McGhee pass early in the second quarter and returned it to the 23 yard line.

Prentiss McCuiston scored from on a reverse with 8:08 to play in the half to put Linden ahead 14-0.

McGhee was sacked by a swarm of Patriots on third down on the Eagles next drive to force a punt on fourth down.

Charleston connected with a wide open Tywan Smith for a 36-yard touchdown pass, bringing the score to 20-0. The Eagles blocked the extra point attempt.

On Linden’s next drive, McCuiston scored again, this time from 9 yards out. The Patriots attemped a two-point conversion, but it was no good, and Linden led 26-0 with 1:25 to play in the half. The score held until halftime.

In the third quarter, Charleston found Devonta Poole for a 15-yard TD pass with 5:30 to play in the third to go ahead 32-0.

With 11 seconds to play in the third, Cordarius Scruggs scored on an 18-yard run to give Linden the 38-0 lead.

A 15-yard Scruggs run set up a Keishaun Scott score on the next play with 5:06 to play to put Linden ahead 45-0. The Patriots added their final score of the night on an inteception by Smith that was returned for a score.

“We want to line up and continue to work on what we do,” Linden head coach Andro Williams said. “It’s our job to teach these kids how to do it the right way. It doesn’t matter who our opponent is, we just need to play football.”

Williams credited A.L. Johnson for their play in the game as well.

“They’re a good footbal team and they worked hard,” he said. “We’re just trying to jockey for position. These young men work hard each and every week.”

ALJ head coach Johnney Ford said his team played out of character.

”We were unfocused and undisciplined,” he said. “We wanted to set the run up with the pass, but we had some penalties that put us in bad spots. We pretty much shot ourselves in the foot.”

He added that his team didn’t come in prepared.

“In a game like this, you have to come in ready to go,” he said. “We just weren’t ready to play tonight.”