[singlepic=318,320,240,,left]If there was any question who the best football team was in Mint Hill and North Carolina, those doubts were put to rest Friday night as Independence beat the previous undefeated Butler 42-31. The Patriots solidified their No. 1 state ranking and are the hands-down favorite to win its 8th state title in nine years. Independence is now 10-0 on the season, while Butler fell to 10-1,
It wasn’t the prettiest performance of the year by the Patriots. On the first play of the game they fumbled at the seven yard line. But Butler couldn’t capitalize and had to settle for a Kyle Searles field goal. The Patriots were also called for several key penalties, and the defense gave up the most points of the season. Quarterback Anthony Carrothers threw a key interception to Nate Charest which was returned to the 1-yard-line.
“It wasn’t his best game of the season,” Coach Tom Knotts said of Carrothers, “but he’ll bounce back.”