Linden trounces St. Luke's

LINDEN — Linden High School’s Marquise Shelton and Jamal Lewis each rushed for more than 100 yards as the Patriots built a 27-0 halftime lead before prevailing 34-14 over St. Luke’s Friday.

Shelton picked up 140 yards on 16 carries, while Lewis added 118 yards on 14 attempts.

Despite the heavy ground assault, it was the Patriot air attack that opened the scoring on LHS’ first offensive play. After a Patrick McIntosh Jr. fumble recovery following the opening kickoff, Linden quarterback Anthony Robinson Jr. hit Jalen Lewis in the seam for a 29-yard touchdown pass and the game’s first points. Shelton kicked the extra point to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead a mere 26 seconds into the contest.

Robinson finished the game with a 5-of-7 passing slate for 76 yards.

On the following series, St. Luke’s Wildcats mounted a short drive before Robinson intercepted Wildcat quarterback Blake Fitzgerald’s deep pass at the Patriot 10. From there, Linden mounted an impressive 90-yard drive – highlighted by Jamal Lewis’ 44-yard run to the Wildcat 46 on the first play. The score came moments later on Shelton’s seven-yard run, and an errant PAT attempt left the tally 13-0.

In the second quarter, Shelton’s 35-yard carry to the St. Luke’s 20 set up Anthony Robinson’s two-yard keeper on fourth-and-goal. Prentiss McCuiston ran the two-point conversion, and Linden added another score before the half on Shelton’s seven-yard run. A failed try for two left the score 27-0 at the break.

After a scoreless third quarter, Linden added to the lead on Jamal Lewis’ seven-yard run early in the fourth. As tempers began to flare on both sides, St. Luke’s added two late scores on a Dalton Becker-to-Fitzgerald touchdown pass and a one-yard Fitzgerald run.

After the game, in a show of sportsmanship, both head coaches gathered their teams at the 50-yard line. Linden coach Andro Williams addressed both squads, then a St. Luke’s assistant coach led the teams in a prayer.

“I’m proud of our team,