Linden preparing for Keith

LINDEN — The Linden High School Patriots (7-3) are spending their week in preparation for a 4-6 Keith team that head coach Andro Williams finds to be very dangerous.

“They’re a football team that’s got a lot of guys back off a team they had two years ago that was pretty good that almost went to the second round,” Williams said of a Keith squad that has seen first round playoff exits against Sweet Water and St. Jude in the last two seasons.

The Bears have hit some hard luck this season, seeing three of their five losses come by a combined 16 points. But Keith is guided by a senior at quarterback in Maurice Crumpton and a sizable offensive line that gives it an opportunity to move the ball against almost anybody.

“The quarterback is a senior. He’s a real heady player. He’ll hurt you with his legs and his arm,” Williams said of Crumpton. “You’ve got a lot of linemen that I didn’t realize how huge they were. You’ve got two 300 pounders. You’ve got three guys 280 and they’ve got two guys 270. I did not realize they had that kind of size on their football team. But, at the same time, they can hurt you with their size and their mobility. They’re a big play threat every time.”

In order to contain Keith, Williams said his defense will need to maximize its abilities by playing its assignments sharply.

“We’re going to have to play above ourselves in order to control that football game like we want to control it on both sides of the ball. Again, it starts up front. We’re going to have to play well up front on both sides of the football,” Williams said.

As for what defense Keith will throw at the Patriots, Williams relayed that it could e just about anyone’s guess as the Bears have been known to employ a multiple front.

“I really don’t have a clue exactly what they’re going to do. It’s one of those weeks where we’ve seen several different looks,” Williams said. “We’ve just got to get in the course of the game and kind of feel our way. It won’t be anything that we haven’t seen. We’ve just got to get in the game and make our adjustments over the course of the game and go from there.”

Linden will have to generate its own momentum heading into the game as the Patriots had their four-game winning streak halted by a loss to Southern Choctaw a week ago. The setback means the Pats’ three losses on the year have all come in non-region action by a total of 21 points.

“That’s something that we’ve got to continue to work on,” Williams said of the mental resilience of his team. “We’ve been in every game we’ve played thus far. At the end of the day, we’ve got to know how to respect every opponent and impose our will on every opponent when we have an opportunity to. We’ve got a lot of younger guys and we’ve got a lot of older guys that are going to have to grow up and take some responsibility.”

The Patriots are scheduled to host Keith Friday night at 7 p.m. at Linden Athletic Field.