Patriots defeat Eagles 34-0

LINDEN – Despite a strong defensive showing early, A.L Johnson’s Eagles fell to Linden High School 34-0 in Friday night’s intra-county match-up at Linden Athletic Field.

The visiting Eagles denied Linden on the home-standing Patriots’ first three trips into the red zone, before finally surrendering a touchdown with 3:52 to play in the first half when LHS’ Jalen Lewis scored on a four-yard run.
The score was set up by a bad punt snap that gave Linden the ball at the A.L. Johnson nine-yard line. The advantageous Linden field position had been the story throughout the first half, as the Patriots repeatedly drove deep into Eagle territory, only to be halted by miscues and a gritty ALJ defense.

“We played good defense in the first half,” said A.L. Johnson head coach Mose Jones. “We just stayed in a struggle for field position the whole game.”

Linden head coach Andro Williams also complimented A.L. Johnson’s defense. “You’ve got to give them credit,” he said. “They’re a good football team. But we also hurt ourselves by making mistakes.”

After Lewis’ touchdown broke the ice, Linden’s Dewayne Charleston Jr. picked up a bobbled snap on the extra point attempt and ran around right end for the two-point conversion.

The score just before half seemed to help the Patriots find their rhythm, and Linden added two more third quarter scores – a Kynard Craig fumble recovery in the end zone and an Anthony Robinson Jr. 13-yard run – to push the lead to 21-0.

In the fourth quarter, Linden again posted two scores, the first an electrifying 84-yard run by quarterback Robinson, and a 13-yard Jamal Lewis scamper with 6:30 to play.

Linden’s early offensive woes followed by the team’s second half offensive explosion overshadowed a stellar Patriot defensive performance. LHS allowed the visiting Eagles only 23 yards of total offense – 24 through the air and minus-1 on the ground.

“They just played real good defense,” Jones said of the Patriots. “They’re a good ball team. We just couldn’t get any field position.”

Linden rolled up 291 yards of total offense, with 259 coming on the ground. Robinson led the rushing attack with 123 yards on 12 carries, including the 84-yard touchdown run. Prentiss McCuiston added 70 yards on 16 carries.

Through the air, Robinson was 5-of-11 for 32 yards.

The Patriots (6-0) racked up 17 first downs to A.L. Johnson’s five.

Following the game, Williams declined to comment regarding the status of his players in the wake of a fight that prematurely ended the previous week’s game with Wilcox County. The coach neither confirmed nor denied suspensions.

“I’m not going to comment,” Williams said. “We’ve just got to take care of our business. We’ve got to take what we’ve got and go with it.”

The Alabama High School Athletic Association does not reveal disciplinary actions taken against players, leaving any release of such information to the schools involved.

Linden, 6-0, travels to Marengo Friday night, while A.L. Johnson, 3-3, hosts John Essex.