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Linden ends Brantley’s season Friday night

BY ANDREW EDWARDS

The Brantley Bulldogs had an incredible year, tallying a 13-2 record and making it the semi-finals of the 1A playoffs. But they came up just short heading to the championship in a 22-7 defeat to the undefeated Linden Patriots.

The average margin of defeat for the Bulldogs for the first 12 games was nearly 44 points, as they blew out their competition week in and week out.

That changed in their matchup against Maplesville in the quarterfinals of the playoffs, where Brantley was challenged in a 21-19 victory.

This led us into the matchup against Linden in the semi-finals, who head coach Roland Jones said was extremely good football team.

“Linden is a really good, well-coached football team who got the better of us Friday night. We felt like we had a really good game plan, and if not for a few key mistakes we may have pulled this one out,” Jones said.

Those mistakes were, in fact, crucial. Especially on a wet and windy night like last Friday.

Brantley started the game the way that you would want to, with a key interception and a return to the Linden 34 yard line. However, after making it the patriots 2-yard line, Bulldogs Quarterback Tucker Kilcrease would throw a 98 yard interception to Linden defender, Joshua Williams. After Williams would run in the two-point conversion, the Patriots would take an 8-0 lead with 4:07 in the first quarter.

Linden’s second score of the night would also come from their defense. Brantley had another key mistake, as they fumbled the ball on their own 46-yard line. Linden scooped up the ball and raced into the end zone for the touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion, Linden would lead 14-0.

Brantley seemed to have some life right before the half, as they were able to drive the ball down the field, mistake free, and score in the closing minutes. Kilcrease would call his own number and take the ball up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown run, cutting the patriots lead to 14-7.

The beginning of the 3rd quarter would be the end of the scoring for the night as Linden’s Joshua Williams took a QB draw right up the middle for a 70 yard touchdown run. After a successful 2-point try, Linden would lead 22-7.

Brantley was just not able to have an efficient, mistake free offense throughout the game – which ultimately spelled their doom.

Kilcrease would finish 4-11 with 42 passing yards, 1 rushing TD, and an interception. He would also have a fumble.

Kenuwyn Dixon had 12 carries for 35 yards and Kedrick Brown had 16 carries for 64 yards.