By MADISON BROWDER | Photos By KINDELL BUCHANAN
The fifth-annual Border Battle saw the Summit Spartans (1-1) beating the Independence Eagles (0-2) for the first time ever, and doing so in a convincing fashion, winning 31-17.
“They rallied around each other and they didn’t fold,” Summit head coach Brian Coleman said. “It started with the senior class last year laying the foundation. The senior class this year has taken it to a different level.”
Summit jumped out to an early lead, capitalizing on Independence’s inability to get things done on offense, as well as its struggles to stop running back Tai Carter.
Carter had 23 carries for 135 yards before going down hard halfway through the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury. He returned to the game for limited action.
“It’s a surreal feeling,” Carter said about beating Independence. “I couldn’t expect more than this and just to get the win capped off a perfect night.”
Summit quarterback Ethan Cash added to the success, completing 5 of 7 pass attempts for 139 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown pass to George Odimegwu to put the Spartans up 21-10 with 7:52 left in the second quarter. He also had an 8-yard touchdown run.
On the other side of the field, the 5A runners-up struggled both offensively and defensively.
Independence quarterback Nathan Cisco went 20-35 for 267 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked five times.
The Eagles’ defense gave up 388 rushing yards and 139 passing yards.
Odimegwu put Summit up 7-0 with an 8-yard run with 5:07 left in the first quarter.
Independence running back Troy Henderson tied the game with a 3-yard touchdown run 10 seconds into the second frame.
Summit’s Jatevion Hayes returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a 14-7 advantage.
Indy’s Weston Landry hit a 35-yard field goal to cut his team’s deficit to four.
Following Odimegwu’s touchdown grab, Cisco connected with Harold Arana for a 31-yard touchdown strike with two seconds left in the half.
Cash’s touchdown run extended Summit’s lead to 28-17 with 2:25 remaining in the third frame.
Summit’s Quinn Slaugenhoupt capped the scoring with a 29-yard field goal with 3:16 to play.
The Spartans visit White County (0-2) next week, while Independence seeks its first win of the year when it hosts Centennial (1-1).