Linden High School nabs first-ever Alabama high school football state championship

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Linden beat Pickens County 32-8 on Thursday at Bryant-Denny Stadium to win Alabama’s 1A high school football state championship. It was the first-ever high school football championship for the Patriots, who finish the season 14-0.

Linden beat Pickens County 36-0 during the regular season.

Below is a game recap from our friends at

Tuscaloosa, AL – The Linden Patriots claimed the first state football championship in their program’s 100 year history in a 32-8 drubbing of the Pickens County Tornadoes Thursday afternoon in Tuscaloosa. 

The Super 7 showdown was rematch for the west Alabama programs.  Linden blanked the Tornadoes 36-0 in their week one regular season meeting. 

The Patriots, who finished the regular season ranked second in class 1A closed out their historic season at 14-0 capping the program’s first undefeated season in school history.  10th ranked Pickens County closed out 2020 at 11-4 finishing second in 1A region 6.

The Patriots lit up the Bryant-Denny scoreboard first on a 1 yard Joshua Williams touchdown bolt three minutes into the first period.  The Tornadoes answered back with three minutes and change remaining in the opening stanza as Kajaveion Byrd pulled down a 13 yard pass from Javion Belle.  Xerrance Washington tacked on the two point conversion to put Pickens County up by a pair with 3:23 left before the break. 

Linden reclaimed the the advantage on their next possession on a Josuha Williams to Savion McIntosh 35 hard scoring strike.  Jamar Williams hooked up with Tim Thurman for the two pointer to give the Patriots a 14-8 lead heading into the locker room.

The second half was all Linden.  Zelly Aldridge began the Patriots 18 point second half run with a 3 yard scoring scamper.  Championship game Most Valuable Player Jemarcus Williams put the game on ice scoring a pair of defensive touchdowns at the end of the third.  The first was an 18 yard pick-six followed by a five yard fumble recovery for a score.  

Patriots signal caller Joshua Williams finished the game with 90 yards though the air completing 5-of-8 passes with one touchdown and an interception.  Zelly Aldridge lead the Linden rushing attack running for 43 yards and a score on 11 carries.  Johnny Blackmon was Williams favorite target hauling in two Williams passes for 39 yards.  

Pickens County quarterback Javion Belle completed 12-of-25 throws for 151 yards including a touchdown pass and a pair of interceptions.  Xerrance Washington and Kajaveion Byrd added 10 rushing yards apiece and Byrd pulled down 8 catches for 121 yards and a score. 

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.