SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - Scotch Plains-Fanwood was one quarter away from springing one of the biggest upsets of the high school football season on Linden Saturday.
But undefeated Linden scored three touchdowns in the last 13 minutes to overcome a 14-point deficit, winning the game on a 33-yard TD pass off a fake punt with 23 seconds left for a 20-14 victory over Scotch Plains-Fanwood.
After allowing 93 points in its last two games, SPF (2-3) had Linden shut out through nearly three quarters. Emendo Thomas scored the Raiders' first TD on an 8-yard run around left end with 6:26 left in the second quarter, then extended its lead to 14-0 midway through the third quarter when tight end Ryan Jensen jumped on teammate Thomas' fumble in the end zone after Thomas was hit and had the ball jarred loose at the goal line.
All three of Linden's touchdowns came on pass plays, and Linden's second TD drive, when the Tigers tied the game with 2:51 left in the fourth quarter, was set up by consecutive pass interference penalties against SPF totaling 30 yards.
Linden (5-0) 0 0 7 13 -- 20
SPF (2-3) 0 7 7 0 -- 14