Maplesville defends No. 1 ranking, defeats No. 2 Linden 20-6

9-18-15 -- Linden, Ala. -- Maplesville QB Cole Spencer (11) is tackled by Linden's Henry Lee (9). Linden fell to Maplesville, 20-7.

9-18-15 — Linden, Ala. — Maplesville QB Cole Spencer (11) is tackled by Linden’s Henry Lee (9). Linden fell to Maplesville, 20-7.

By Rob Pearson

Special to The Watchman

LINDEN, Ala. — The Maplesville Red Devils scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to defeat the Linden Patriots 20-6 in front of a near-capacity crowd at Linden Athletic Field Friday night.

With just under 11:00 to play in the game and trailing 7-6, Maplesville capped an 11-play, 58-yard drive with an 8-yard TD run by Corey Hall. Terence Dunlap’s two-point conversion run gave Maplesville a 14-7 lead.

After forcing a Maplesville punt with 7:46 to go, Linden mounted one final offensive attack from their own 21-yardline. Quarterback C.J. Robinson found Charles Blackmon open for a 17-yard pass completion, followed by consecutive completions to Dequan Charleston to move the ball into Red Devil territory.

9-18-15 -- Linden, Ala. -- Linden's Xavier McIntosh (14) pushes his way through Maplesville's Jerry Nix (3) and Trevor Wallace (15). Linden fell to Maplesville, 20-7.

9-18-15 — Linden, Ala. — Linden’s Xavier McIntosh (14) pushes his way through Maplesville’s Jerry Nix (3) and Trevor Wallace (15). Linden fell to Maplesville, 20-7.

Three plays later, the Patriots failed to convert a fourth-and-one play on the Maplesville 31-yardline, turning the ball over on downs with 4:08 to go in the game.

Maplesville was able to milk the clock until they faced a fourth-and-9 from the Linden 43-yardline with 10 seconds remaining. In desperation, Linden brought all eleven defenders up on the line of scrimmage for the play, but Dunlap broke through the line into open field to score on the game’s final play.

Despite the scoreboard, the game resulted in a statistical dead-heat. Maplesville gained 267 yards of total offense (234 rushing, 33 passing) to Linden’s 266 (139 rushing, 127 passing). It was the inability to finish drives, however, that ultimately cost the Patriots.

“We had our opportunities,” Head Coach Andro Williams said after the game. “We put it on the ground (four) times, and we just didn’t finish drives and do the little things we needed to do tonight.”

From the opening drive, Linden proved strong enough to compete with the state’s No. 1 team.  Runs by Henry Lee, Xavier McIntosh and Charles Blackmon moved the ball into Maplesville territory. A 14-yard Robinson-to-Ca’Terius Hinton pass completion moved the ball inside the Red Devil 30-yardline, before the Red Devil defense forced a turnover-on-downs at their own 28-yardline.

From there, Maplesville mounted a 12-play, 72-yard drive that consumed 7:29 of play clock and ended on a quarterback-sneak by Nicholas Spencer from the 1-yardline on the first play of the second quarter. The PAT failed, and Maplesville held a 6-0 lead.

The Patriots averted disaster on the following sequence, as a fumble on their next offensive play gave Maplesville first-and-goal from the 5-yardline, but Devonta Poole and the Patriot defense forced a turnover-on-downs.

9-18-15 -- Linden, Ala. -- Linden's Dequan Charleston (7) attempts to break the tackle of Maplesville's Nathaniel Watson (13). Linden fell to Maplesville, 20-7.

9-18-15 — Linden, Ala. — Linden’s Dequan Charleston (7) attempts to break the tackle of Maplesville’s Nathaniel Watson (13). Linden fell to Maplesville, 20-7.

Later in the second quarter, a defensive three-and-out gave the Patriots momentum and the football back at their own 23-yardline. Robinson connected with Poole for a 20-yard gain, then McIntosh pounded out another first down across the 50-yardline.

Faced with a fourth-and-three from the Red Devil 38-yardline, Robinson kept on a read-option and ran through the defense for a touchdown. Isaiah Scott’s extra point gave Linden a 7-6 lead that would hold until the fourth quarter.

“Kids fought hard… both teams,” said Maplesville Head Coach Brent Hubbert.  “I’m as proud as I can be for our kids. We kept fighting and kept clawing and was able to put some more points on the board.”

“We felt good about the run game tonight, so we kind-of stayed away from some of the passing. We were excited about our offensive line and they did a good job. And Terence (Dunlap), it just takes one block and he has a chance to take it (for a touchdown).”

Dunlap led all rushers with 158 yards on 23 carries and a TD. Spencer added 29 yards and a TD on 11 carries, and was 5-of-11 passing for 33 yards. In his debut with the Patriots, Xavier McIntosh led Linden on the ground with 71 yards on 16 carries. Robinson had 36 yards on 11 carries and a TD to go with 9-of-13 passing for 127 yards. Linden’s Dequan Charleston’s interception to end the first half was the only turnover forced by the Patriots’ defense.

Hubbert, speaking of a possible playoff rematch, “We expect another game (against Linden) somewhere down the line.”

Coach Williams added, “We played a pretty good football team here tonight. We know where we’re at, and know where we’re trying to go.”

“The more disciplined team won here today.”

GAME STATS
Maplesville High School vs. Linden High Patriots
9/18/15, 6:59 PM
Regular Season
Linden

 1  2  3  4 Total
Maplesville High School 0 6 0 14 20
Linden High Patriots 0 7 0 0 7

SCORING SUMMARY:
1st Quarter
2nd Quarter
Map: Nicholas Spencer 1 yd Rush (TD) 6-0
LHS: Christopher Robinson 38 yd Rush (TD) 6-6
LHS: Isaiah Scott (PAT) 6-7
3rd Quarter
4th Quarter
Map: Corey Hall 8 yd Rush (TD) 12-7
Map: Terence Dunlap 3 yd Rush (CNV) 14-7
Map: Terence Dunlap 43 yd Rush (TD) 20-7

Game Summary Maplesville High School Linden High Patriots
First Downs 16 14
Rushes-Yards 45 234 40 139
Recep-Yards 5 33 9 127
Passing Yards 33 127
Comp-Attempts 5 11 9 13
TD-INT 0 1 0 0
Fumbles-Lost 0 0 4 4
Penalties-Yards 5 40 6 35
3rd Down Conv 3 13 3 11
4th Down Conv 2 4 2 8
FG Made-Att 0 0 0 0
Tackles 0 2.0
Sacks-Yards 0.0 0 0.0 0
Time of Possession 31:58 25:45

 

RUSHING LEADERS:
No. Player Rushes Yards TDs Fumbles No. Player Rushes Yards TDs Fumbles
28 Terence Dunlap 23 158 1 0 78 Xavier McIntosh 16 71 0 0