Linden upends Washington County 13-12 with late TD

(Photo by Johnny Autery) Linden's Charles Blackmon shakes would-be Washington County tacklers Thursday night. Blackmon later hauled in an 11-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Robinson with 1:00 left in the game to give the Patriots a 13-12 victory.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Linden’s Charles Blackmon shakes would-be Washington County tacklers Thursday night. Blackmon later hauled in an 11-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Robinson with 1:00 left in the game to give the Patriots a 13-12 victory.

LINDEN  — James Jones and Dequan Charleston took turns batting down Kevin Howard heaves in the final series Thursday night, icing a 13-12 Linden victory over Class 2A Washington County to open the season.

(Photo by Johnny Autery) Jaleel Jones streaks for the end zone to open the scoring Thursday, polishing off an 81-yard touchdown throw from C.J. Robinson.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Jaleel Jones streaks for the end zone to open the scoring Thursday, polishing off an 81-yard touchdown throw from C.J. Robinson.

“It’s a non-region game. We’ve got to continue to go back to work and get better,” Linden coach Andro Williams said, downplaying the magnitude of the victory.

Linden took the lead with 1:00 left on the game clock when Charles Blackmon hauled in a C.J. Robinson pass to the left side for an 11-yard score. The point-after attempt failed, setting up the game’s closing sequence.

Linden opened the scoring with 3:28 to play in the first half when Robinson found Jaleel Jones for an 81-yard touchdown strike off a play action fake. Isaiah Scott connected on the PAT after a roughing the kicker call gave the Pats a second chance at the bonus point.

(Photo by Johnny Autery) Linden's Charles Blackmon heads for running room Thursday night against Washington County.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Linden’s Charles Blackmon heads for running room Thursday night against Washington County.

The Bulldogs answered with 1:03 to play when Howard made the most of a fourth down roughing the passer call against the Pats when he found Curtis Anderson for a 17-yard strike. Washington County missed the point-after, leaving the deficit at 7-6.

“That’s what you work for is to try to give yourself a chance. These guys showed some resilience tonight and I’m real proud of their effort,” Williams said.

Washington County appeared poised to take control of the game early in the second half when it snuffed a Linden drive and quickly moved the ball down to the Patriot 11. Fortune favored the Pats when a WCHS running back coughed the ball up on a handoff, allowing Christopher Virgess to pounce on the gift and halt the march.

(Photo by Johnny Autery) A pair of Linden defenders drop Washington County ball carrier DHeir Kinsey for a lost Thursday night.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
A pair of Linden defenders drop Washington County ball carrier DHeir Kinsey for a lost Thursday night.

The teams went scoreless through the third and Linden scrambled to burn its final timeout with 11:53 to play in the fourth quarter only to watch Austin Kinsey reel off a 62-yard touchdown run on the next play to give the Bulldogs a 12-7 lead. Blackmon broke up the conversion pass to keep the deficit at five, a play the would prove crucial in the game’s closing moments.

Kinsey led all rushers with 120 yards on 15 carries. Henry Lee led Linden with 56 yards on 16 carries DeVonta Poole led the Pats with six total tackles, including three for loss in the game.

Linden hits the road next week to open region play at Keith.

YARDSTICK

Washington County 

Firsts – 7

Rush – 34-118

Pass – 6-11-113

Total – 231

Penalty – 7-39

Fumbles/Lost – 1/1

INTs thrown – 0

Punts/Avg. – 3/33.67

Linden

Firsts – 8

Rush – 45-170

Pass – 3-6-101

Total – 271

Penalty – 10-77

Fumbles/Lost – 0/0

Ints thrown – 1

Punts/Avg. – 5/30.2

SCORE BY QUARTER

WCHS 0 6 0 6 12

LHS     0 7 0 6 13

SCORING SUMMARY 

LHS – 2ND – 3:28 – JALEEL JONES 81 PASS FROM C.J. ROBINSON (ISAIAH SCOTT KICK) – 7-0

WCHS – 2ND – 1:03 – CURTIS ANDERSON 17 PASS FROM KEVIN HOWARD (KICK FAIL) – 7-6

WCHS – 4TH – 11:40 – AUSTIN KINSEY 62 RUN (PASS FAIL) – 7-12

LHS – 4TH – 1:00 – CHARLES BLACKMON 11 PASS FROM C.J. ROBINSON (KICK FAIL) – 13-12