Linden tops 5A Dora 38-24

10-30-15 -- Linden, Ala. -- Linden's Dequan Charleston (7) runs the ball against Dora on Friday in Linden, Ala. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

10-30-15 — Linden, Ala. — Linden’s Dequan Charleston (7) runs the ball against Dora on Friday in Linden, Ala. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

LINDEN, Ala. — Daquan Charleston amassed 126 yards over the span of three first-half touchdown plays to lead his and his fellow Patriots to a 38-24 victory over the 5A Dora Bulldogs Friday night.

“We knew they had bigger, more experienced guys than us up front coming into the game. We also knew they hadn’t won a game all season,” said Andro Williams, head coach of the Patriots. “Our guys came out a played solid football and as a result, their size and experience didn’t matter.”

Linden jumped out to an early lead when Charleston found the end zone from 17 yards out at the 10:18 mark in the first quarter. A failed PAT attempt made it 6-0.

Charleston again found himself putting points on the board when he broke loose for a 41-yard rush. A bad snap led to a failed two-point conversion and Linden led 12-0 with 5:37 to go in the first.

Junior Charles Blackmon made it 19-0 when he ran it in from 13 yards out, putting the Patriots up 19-0.

Charleston again broke through the Dora defense on a 68-yard touchdown run with 10:02 to play in the first half, giving Linden a comfortable 25-0 lead.

On the ensuing drive, a failed Dora field goal gave Linden the ball at their own 20 yard line. A Linden fumble on the first play of the possession was recovered by Dora on the 20, setting the Bulldogs up with excellent field position for what would become their first score of the night. With 1:32 to play in the half, Dora QB Alex Russell ran it in from 6 yards out on a quarterback keeper. At the half, Linden led 25-7.

The second half was marked by a Dora team that seemed to have found life during the half. Defensively, the Bulldogs were able to slow the Linden run game.

In their second trip to the red zone for the night, Dora came away with a 15-yard field goal at the 6:07 mark in the third, making it 25-10; however, Dora’s limited offensive game was no match for Linden. Davontae Poole reeled in a 53-yard touchdown reception from QB C.J. Robinson. Poole’s touchdown put the good guys up 32-10 with 4:01 left to play in the third.

Dora found the end zone twice more in the fourth with a 1-yard run by Caleb Danner and a 9-yard pass to Cody Parr. Linden punctuated their scoring for the night on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Poole.

“Getting this win tonight is big for us building up some momentum going into the playoffs,” said Williams. “Tonight was a great win for us.”

Linden plays host to McKenzie High School Friday night for the first round of AHSAA playoffs. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.