PLAINFIELD — Juwan Dolbrice rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns, helping Linden upend Plainfield 14-12 Saturday afternoon.
Dolbrice helped ice the game down the stretch for Linden, carrying it four times on their final drive, which ate away at the clock and limited the amount of time Plainfield had to make a comeback. The sophomore tailback had 24 carries in the game to pace Linden. For the game, Linden out-rushed Plainfield 165-75.
“He’s a young talented kid,” Linden Head Coach Deon Candia said. “I think we put a lot on him, but he can take it. He started to cramp up at the end, but he’s a hard worker and likes to have the ball in his hands when it’s crunch time. So I’m happy for him.”
Plainfield made the game interesting late in the fourth quarter, scoring on a trick play to cut into Linden’s lead. With the ball on the 24 and facing fourth-and-10, quarterback Jonathan Roldan threw a short pass to tight end Al-Azeez Thorne, who then pitched the ball back to Thomas Fabyan. The senior tailback did the rest, rumbling down the left sideline untouched for the score. But on the two-point conversion, the Cardinals were whistled for offensive pass interference, leaving them two points behind.
The Tigers used two long drives to get their touchdowns in the first half. On their opening possession of the ballgame, Linden went 10 plays, covering 63 yards, capped off by Dolbrice’s 2-yard rush. Aside from one carry by Stefan Hill, Dolbrice gained all of Linden’s yards on the drive.
On their second scoring drive of the game, the Tigers worked the clock down to the end of the first half, scoring with just four seconds remaining. The nine-play drive covered 57 yards and was capped off when Dolbrice bounced to the outside and out-ran the Plainfield defense for the 17-yard score.
Plainfield got themselves on the board midway through the second quarter, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive to cut into Linden’s lead. Roldan completed two long passes on the drive, one for 37 yards down the left sideline to Jerome Allen-Jordan, helping the Cardinals get into scoring position. Three plays later, Steve Jones went in untouched from four yards out, making the score 7-6. On the ensuing extra point try, the snap was low, and Plainfield couldn’t attempt the kick, keeping Linden ahead.
“We’re still trying to figure out our identity here, but we tell our kids to battle,” Candia said. “A game like this builds character and Plainfield has some kids that can make plays, so you have to do everything and watch them at all times.”