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Bulldogs end Linden’s season

For the second time in as many weeks Linden faced a staunch defense that was willing to let the Patriots move the ball, but refused to let them score with it.

But last Friday night, what would have been the Patriots’ second last-minute, game-winning drive in the last two games fell one-inch short, and the Brantley Bulldogs handed the Patriots their first loss of the season and a third round exit from the 1A playoffs, 13-6.

With the seconds ticking down, and the Patriots down by seven on the Bulldogs’ 12 yard line, Anthony Robinson hit Terris Lewis in stride headed into the endzone, but the Bulldog defense hauled Lewis to the ground just inside the 1-yard line at the sound of the final horn.

“That’s a good football team right there,” Patriot coach Andro Williams said of the victorious Bulldogs. “But that’s a good football team right there,” he said as he gestured toward his Patriots as they walked to the locker room.

“I’m proud of our guys. They played hard all year. They’re a good group, but we’d hoped to get a little farther (in the playoffs) than this.”

It wasn’t supposed to end like this for the Patriots, who dominated their way to a Regional Title and emerged as a favorite to contend for a 1A title.

But the Patriot offense that dominated their first 11 opponents never got back to full throttle as the playoffs progressed, scoring 13 points in their last two games combined.

“They played good defense,” Williams said of Brantley. “They would bend, but we couldn’t make them break.”

The first half was a defensive slugfest that sent both teams back to the locker room at the half scoreless.

The Patriots fumbled away the opening kickoff of the second half and it only took three plays for the Bulldogs to convert that into their first score of the night.

Tailback Devonte Porter took a third and long handoff 32 yards and gave Brantley a 7-0 lead. Driving on their next possession Bulldog quarterback Chase Hall was intercepted by Robinson, giving the Patriots the ball on their own 39 yardline.

With some momentum suited up in red, white and blue, the Patriots struck back, sparked by a 58 yard bomb from Robinson to Larente Taylor that set the Patriots up on the Bulldogs’ 2 yard line.

Two plays later, Robinson found the endzone on a quarterback sneak, pulling the Patriots to within 1 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

Fast forward to the final two minutes of the game, which is when Hall dove through the endzone from 2 yards out, putting the Bulldogs up 13-6. Justin Delaine and Najee Bright blasted through the line to block the point after attempt.

Robinson finished the night with 105 yards passing. Senior tailback Kendarius Fritts was held scoreless in back to back games for the first time this season and was held to 69 yards on the ground. Taylor led the receiving unit with 66 yards on two catches.

Hall led the Bulldog offense with 60 yards rushing and 34 yards passing. Porter finished the night with 56 yards rushing.

The Brantley Bulldogs now face the Loachapoka Indians Friday night in Bulldog Stadium as they enter the AHSAA Class 1A Semi-final playoffs.

Game time is 7 p.m.