By SKIP ANDERSONThe Independence Eagles scored a touchdown or more each quarter to hammer cross-county visitors Page Patriots 38-10.
Photos by JAMES CLEMONS for FHP
The Independence Eagles scored a touchdown or more each quarter to hammer cross-county visitors Page Patriots 38-10.
The Class 6A Eagles wasted no time in taking control of the game in the wake of last week’s 20-7 loss to Blackman. Senior speedster Kenton Brown ran the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown to establish a lead Indy would not relinquish. Jack Laster answered for the Class 4A Patriots by kicking a 26-yard field goal near the end of the first quarter, making the score 7-3. But the Page offense would not establish the consistency necessary to threaten the high-scoring Eagles.
Eagle running back Jalen Wade singlehandedly provided enough firepower for Independence to even its season record 1-1. Wade rushed for a game-high 165 yards and two touchdowns. Midway through the second quarter, Wade broke free for an impressive 65-yard run to extend the Eagles’ lead to 14-3. He would score again late in the third quarter, carrying two defenders into the end zone with him.
“You see the progress in [Wade’s] game,” said Kevin Dyson, Eagles head coach. “He’s anticipating cutback lanes and turning five-yard gains into 20-, 30-, and 40-yard runs.”
Wade credited the offensive line for making his big night possible.
“The line blocked well,” Wade said. “The holes were there.”
Friday marked the return of Indy senior quarterback Chase Swayze, who missed last week’s opener with a leg injury. Swayze completed four of eight passes for 48 yards with one interception. He rushed for 20 yards.
Vic Warton, III, shared time under center, completing three of six attempts for 51 yards with one interception and connecting with Connor Wainauski for a 26-yard touchdown pass. Warton rushed for -7 yards. Drake Dormann also kicked a 35-yard field goal with five seconds left in the first half. Versatile Independence sophomore Dom Childress broke loose for 58 yards in the final minute of the game for a touchdown.
Patriot quarterback Zak Mizell spread the ball around, targeting 10 different receivers for 170 yards. He completed only 16 of 45 passes, none for touchdowns. He threw two interceptions, thanks to the Eagles persistent pass rush that kept the junior scrambling every series. Mizell rushed for -61 yards. The Patriot’s lone touchdown came midway through the third quarter, when Connor Morss crossed the goal line on a 10-yard run.
“I think we had the team to win tonight,” Mizell said. “But we didn’t execute. We missed a lot of opportunities.”
The Patriots managed to record 12 first downs, but had difficulty gaining ground when it counted, converting only three of 16 third downs.
Page falls to 1-1, and hosts Spring Hill next week for its home opener. The 1-1 Eagles face Brentwood High at home in the district opener Thursday.