Maplesville wins battle of top teams

Published 1:45 am Saturday, September 19, 2015

QB keeper: Maplesville quarterback Cole Spencer (right) runs for yardage Friday at Linden. (Photo by Nicholas Finch)

QB keeper: Maplesville quarterback Cole Spencer (right) runs for yardage Friday at Linden. (Photo by Nicholas Finch)

By Nicholas Finch | The Demopolis Times

Turnovers proved to be costly for the Patriots as Linden fumbled the ball four times and fell short in an upset bid to Maplesville, 20-7, on Friday at the Linden Athletic Field.

Maplesville moves to 4-0 and 2-0 in Class 1A, Region 4 competition while Linden falls to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the region.

Maplesville came into the game ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, and Linden was ranked No. 2.

“The more disciplined team won here today—not just tonight, but in life. We have to do a better job mentally,” Linden coach Andro Williams said. “We have to figure out a way to be more disciplined throughout the course of the game.”

The teams had one drive each in the first quarter, yielding no score, but on the first play of the second quarter, Maplesville scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Cole Spencer.

However, John Schoener missed his PAT, but the Red Devils took a 6-0 lead with 11:55 on the clock.

Linden just kept plugging away, and finally with 3:08 before the half, Christopher Robinson kept the ball on an option play up the middle for a 38-yard Patriot touchdown.

Isaiah Scott added the extra point to give Linden its only lead of the night.

The third quarter went by with no score with both teams having scoring chances squandered due to turnovers.

The Red Devils ended the drought with an 8-yard romp by Corey Hall for a touchdown. Terence Dunlap pushed in for a two-point conversion to give Maplesville a 14-7 advantage.

“I’m proud of our kids for fighting and clawing,” Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert said.

That effort was rewarded on the final play of the game when Dunlap broke free for a 43-yard touchdown as time expired.

The win preserves a 28-game regular season winning streak and also extends the Red Devils’ overall winning streak to 19 in a row.

When asked if his teams was feeling the pressure of keeping those streaks alive, Hubbert said, “If they don’t, they’re not human. The kids are used to winning and they’ve won so much. It’s a constant battle.”

Dunlap finished as the game’s statistical leader, finishing with 158 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for Maplesville.

As a unit, the Red Devils gained 267 yards of total offense with 234 of those yards coming on the ground.

“We weren’t as consistent as we needed to be on defense,” said Williams.

Christopher Robinson finished the night 9-of-13 with 127 yards through the air and scored a touchdown on the ground along with 36 yards on 11 carries.

Xavier McIntosh paced the Linden rushing offense with 71 yards on 16 carries.

The Patriot offense finished with 266 total yards, but the aforementioned turnovers handicapped production.

“We feel good about where we’re going and where we’re trying to get to, but we had our opportunities tonight,” Williams said.

The Patriots won’t have too much time to dwell over this loss, as they have to prepare for a trip to Mobile to take on a 5A school in St. Paul’s Episcopal.

Maplesville will host Tanner in a non-region matchup.