Offense, special teams lift Linden over Washington County

09-29-17 — Linden, Ala. — Linden’s Isaiah Scott (1) returns a punt 65 yards for a touchdown late in Friday night’s game against Washington County. The Patriots went on to win by a final score of 49-34. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

LINDEN — The Bulldogs of Washington County set the tone early in the opening drive Friday night against Linden as a high snap sailed over the punter and through the back of the end zone in a fourth-and-long situation, giving Linden the early 2-0 lead.

Once ahead, the Patriots never looked back, upending the Bulldogs 49-34.

After an early start, the Pats went on to return the ensuing free kick 60 yards, making it 9-0 with only 2:35 off the clock.

“It was nice for us to get ahead quick, but what I stressed to my guys is that we couldn’t let up,” said first-year Linden head coach Demetrice Jackson.

Washington County answered with a Cade Glass quarterback sneak from a yard out, making it 9-7 at the 7:44 mark.

Douglas Johnson would give the Pats their next score on a 3-yard rush. A failed PAT made it 15-6 with 3:46 to play in the opening period.

Senior Isaiah Scott then pulled in a 54-yard pass from Graderius Brown, giving Linden a solid 21-6 lead with only 36 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Not to be outdone, the ‘Dawgs found the end zone from 6 yards out and successfully converted a two-point conversion, making it 21-14 in the second quarter.

An ensuing onside kick attempt recovered by Linden gave the good guys the ball at their own 36.

A series of turnovers would see Linden’s Brown fumble, giving Washington County the ball on their own 46. Linden’s Markell Williams then intercepted a Glass toss on the ‘Dawgs 41-yard line. Driving again, Linden fumbled and Washington County recovered on their own 32, but would not find their way to six as Timothy Thurman went up to intercept a pass on the Pats’ own 42-yard line.

A fourth-and-2 attempt by Linden failed and gave WCHS possession on the 50-yard line.

09-29-17 — Linden, Ala. — Linden’s Timothy Thurman Jr., (24) looks for running room in Friday night’s game against Washington County. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Glass once again found the end zone from a yard out, tying it up at 21 all with 2:23 to play in the opening half, but the Pats would have none of that. Kevin Green took it 55 yards for a touchdown, and with a successful PAT, the Patriots went to the locker room with a 7-point lead at 28-21.

“We wanted to come out tonight and put together a good showing in all three phases of the game—offense, defense, and special teams. I feel like we were able to do that,” said Jackson.

Linden took the opening kick of the second half but came up empty-handed, and allowing Washington County to again tie the game at 28 when Glass scored on a 17-yard run.

Three minutes later, a 30-yard pass from Brown to Scott on a 4th-and-one from the 30 put the Pats back on top at 34-28.

The final period saw Linden score twice, once on a 7-yard rush from Brown, and again on a 65-yard punt return by Scott.

Washington County rounded out scoring for the night on a 14-yard touchdown run, finalizing the game at 49-34.

“I think our kids were up for the competition tonight, especially after we lost last week to Millry,” said Jackson.

Linden (3-2, 2-1) travels to face region foe Sweet Water (3-1, 3-0) next Friday.

“We’ll enjoy this one tonight, but it’s back to work for us on Monday,” said Jackson.

Greene County falls to A.L. Johnson despite late rally (gallery included)

10-29-15 -- Eutaw, Ala. -- Greene County QB Denzel Davis (2) is sacked by A.L. Johnson's Lewis Anderson (24) and Terry Herelle (11) during Thursday night's game. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

10-29-15 — Eutaw, Ala. — Greene County QB Denzel Davis (2) is sacked by A.L. Johnson’s Lewis Anderson (24) and Terry Herelle (11) during Thursday night’s game. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

EUTAW, Ala. — A 22-point fourth quarter rally was not enough for the Greene County Tigers to outscore the visiting Eagles of A.L. Johnson Thursday night as the Tigers suffered a 32-30 homecoming loss to the Eagles.

“Our guys came out and put together a great drive there at the end and that’s what matters,” said A.L. Johnson head coach Johnney Ford of the win.

ALJ got off to an early start, jumping out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter. After a scoreless second period, the Eagles went to the locker room up by 12.

The third period saw ALJ’s Desmond Mair find the end zone on a 50-yard run with 8:12 remaining in the third. A Greene County fumble on the ensuing drive put ALJ back in business on their own 37-yard line. On the first play following the recovered fumble, an ALJ fumble resulted in Greene County’s first trip to the end zone with 5:44 to go in the third. A two-point conversion made it 20-8.

If the first three quarters were boring, the fourth was anything but.

The quarter opened with the Eagles scoring on a 13-yard run with 11:52 to go in the game. A failed two-point conversion left it at 26-8.

The next three consecutive scores would be all Greene County, making it 26-16 at the 7:38 mark and 26-22 at the 5:23 mark before GC claimed the lead for the first time in the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion at the 2:53 mark, making it 30-26.

ALJ took the next 2:53 to put together an impressive 60-yard drive, which culminated with a 1-yard rush by Desmond Mair, giving the Eagles the go-ahead two points needed.

With 23.2 seconds remaining, the Tigers took the kickoff and took three stabs towards the end zone from their own 45-yard line.

“We’ve got a young team and they were doing some pretty uncharacteristic stuff letting Greene County gain the momentum in the fourth, but they found a way to win in the last two minutes,” said Ford.

Mair paced the Eagle ground game with 202 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries. He also added four tackles, a fumble recovery and a sack on the defensive side of the ball.

Lewis Anderson ran 16 times for 57 yards and a touchdown to go along with 11 tackles on the defensive side. Edward London was 6 of 12 through the air for 72 yards and a score.

Deandre Croom had six tackles while Jeremiah Smith had five.

With the win, the Eagles of ALJ will face Brantley next week in the first round of the AHSAA playoffs.

After a win at Ellwood Christian last week and Greene County this week, the Eagles are going into the playoffs with a two-game winning streak under their belt.

“I told our guys that what matters is how you finish. Most of our games this season were close games, we went into overtime twice, but having this momentum going into next week against Brantley is huge,” said Ford. “We just can’t go in and make boneheaded mistakes.”