Linden lambasts Sunshine in Region 4 finale

NEWBERN — Linden (5-3, 5-1) had little trouble shutting down Sunshine (2-5) Thursday night in what is expected to be the final home football game for the SHS program.

“We’re still learning how to be even keel throughout the course of the game,” Linden coach Andro Williams said of his team. “We can’t control a lot of the situations we’re in, but we can handle them.”

Linden opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game when Prentiss McQuiston scored on a 20-yard run.

Keishaun Scott stretched the Linden lead on an 11-yard touchdown run with 3:13 to go in the opening quarter

Eddie Fikes Jr. got Sunshine on the board on the ensuing kickoff when he returned the kick 76 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Tiger deficit to 14-6.

Cordarius Scruggs scored on a 30-yard run with 9:45 left in the second quarter before Steve Edwards found the end zone at the end of a 17-yard sprint to set the Linden advantage at 28-6.

“When we got motivated to play, I thought we did a pretty good job,” Williams said.

Jalen Bell accounted for the final points of the opening half when he recovered a fumble in the end zone to put Linden up 24-6.

“I was real pleased with our defense overall. We’ve got to be a little more stingy all over the field,” Williams said.

McQuiston scored from 35 yards out on the only play of Linden’s first drive of the third quarter. Scruggs then ran it in from 42 yards out a minute later. Henry Lee capped the Linden scoring on a 33-yard run to put it at 52-6. All three Linden touchdowns in the third quarter came on one-play possessions.

Jesse Jackson punched the ball in from a yard out with 1:17 to play in the game for what might be the final points in Sunshine history.

Scruggs led all rushers with 108 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries.

The Linden offense accounted for 395 yards, including 376 on the ground. Linden held Sunshine to 61 yards of total offense and only nine rushing yards on 25 carries.

The Tigers wrapped their regular season at 2-5, including a forfeit win over Ellwood Christian, and are currently tied with Keith at 2-4. An Ellwood Christian loss to A.L. Johnson Friday night would send the Tigers into a three-way tie for the final playoff spot out of Class 1A, Region 4.

Linden, which has clinched the No. 2 seed in Region 4, travels to Dora next Friday night before hosting a first round playoff game.