St. Paul’s throttles Linden in 32-0 win

Charles Blackmon, Jr. breaks through a hole in the St. Paul's defense.

Charles Blackmon, Jr. breaks through a hole in the St. Paul’s defense.

LINDEN — Linden (1-3) started drives but could not finish them Friday night as it fell 32-0 to St. Paul’s, the No. 1 team in Class 5A.

Dewayne Charleston, Jr. follows through after launching a pass against St. Paul's.

Dewayne Charleston, Jr. follows through after launching a pass against St. Paul’s.

“We didn’t perform like we needed to perform tonight to get the win. We just weren’t consistent,” Linden coach Andro Williams said. “We’ve got to try to stay on blocks. We haven’t been as consistent as we needed to be to knock out first downs and finish drives.”

The Patriots put together 11 first downs despite gaining only 161 yards of offense, all on the ground.

Linden held the visiting Saints to a 31-yard field goal off the foot of Wilson Beaverstock in the first quarter. Early in the second frame, the Saints turned to the passing game where Christian Mosley went over the top to Jalen Thompson for a 42-yard touchdown pass to set the advantage at 10-0.

Linden saw its fortunes take a turn for the worse with 6:27 to play when Darius Whitfield blasted into the backfield, stripped the ball and proceeded to head for the end zone. As the defensive lineman fumbled some 15 yards later, the bounce of the ball told the tale of the Linden evening when Walter Little scooped it up and sprinted 17 yards for a St. Paul’s score.

Prentiss McCuiston hauls a St. Paul's defender for extra yardage.

Prentiss McCuiston hauls a St. Paul’s defender for extra yardage.

“St. Paul’s has a great team. If we’d have been a little more consistent, I’d have like to have seen us give them a better look,” Williams said.

The Saints took advantage of a Ryan Johnson fumble recovery in the third quarter when Mosley sprinted in from 17 yards out. Little added the conversion run for the 25-0 advantage.

Ostin McPherson, who led all rushers with 95 yards on 12 carries, scored the game’s final touchdown on a 29-yard run with 1:15 left in the third quarter.

“We’ve got to continue to work on our craft and continue to do a better job,” Williams said.

Charles Blackmon tallied 74 yards on 16 carries to lead Linden.

The Patriots are set to host Ellwood Christian Thursday night.

The Patriot defense swarms a St. Paul's runner.

The Patriot defense swarms St. Paul’s Ostin McPherson.