Linden falls to Brantley
Sat. November 24, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | By Jeremy D. Smith
Brantley’s Judson Owens (56) grabs the jersey of Linden’s Jamal Lewis during their Class 1A playoff game Friday night at Linden. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter )
LINDEN | Linden turned in an authoritative first half before getting shut out in the second half and falling 20-14 to Brantley in a Class 1A quarterfinal playoff game Friday night.
After gaining only four yards on eight plays in the first two quarters, Brantley found life on a 52-yard drive in the third quarter. Andrew Parker got Brantley on the board with a 2-yard scoring plunge. Andrew Lowery tied the game with a 2-point conversion run.
On their next possession, the Bulldogs posted with a 56-yard march that lasted 15 plays, including 12 carries by Parker. The junior tailback then put Brantley up to stay with a 3-yard scoring run with 6:09 to go in the game.
“He’s our go-to back, has been all year,” Brantley coach Andrew Lowery said. “When the game is on the line, you’ve got to give it to your best player. That’s what we did.”
The Patriots got one final shot after a Brantley punt put Linden 95 yards away from a potential game-tying touchdown with 2:49 to play.
The effort ended when time expired for the Patriots with the ball at the Brantley 28.
The Patriots started their first three possessions in Brantley territory, finally cashing in on a nine-play drive that covered 48 yards and ended with a 1-yard scoring run by Anthony Robinson midway through the second quarter.
“First half, we had some opportunities to finish some drives. I thought we left some things out there in the first half,” Linden coach Andro Williams said.
“I thought we had a great plan going in. I just think in the second half they found a little niche. They found a way to keep the ball away from us offensively.”
Brantley wasted little time answering as Guice took the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a score before a missed extra point left Linden up 7-6.
The Patriots then went 92 yards on 15 plays to take a halftime lead when Craigh hauled in a 5-yard pass from Robinson with 7.5 seconds to go in the second quarter.
Parker led Brantley with 22 carries for 69 yards. Shelton paced all rushers with 79 yards on the ground. Robinson added 75.
The loss caps an 11-2 season for the Patriots.
“It was a great year. These guys — I hate to use the word overachieved — but this is a bunch that lost seven out of eight guys up front,” Williams said. “They had to come back and go into football games with a lot of young faces and I thought we responded well.”
Brantley (13-0) advances to the state semifinals next week.