Independence remained unbeaten by defeating East Meck 35-14 on Friday, and set up a season finale with Butler next week at Memorial Stadium. The Patriots failed to score 40 or more points for the first time all
season, but there was no shortage of offense for Independence. The win moves Independence to 9-0 on the year.
Junior quarterback Anthony Carrothers led the attack and finished the game throwing for 201 yards on 17 of 26 passing. His legs were the story of the game, however, as he ran for a game-high 128 yards on 20 carries. He added four touchdowns on the ground, scoring from 11, two and twice from seven yards out.
“He finds holes and hits them,” said Patriot head coach Tom Knotts. “He is kind of like some of those NFL backs; he gets behind those big guys and goes. He ran the ball great and he has become my main man; I am just real proud of him.”
The defense bottled up the Eagles for most of the night and allowed just 76 total yards in the second half and only 226 for the game.
“I didn’t think they had very many in the second half,” Knotts said. “Our guys are starting to do exactly the things they are being coached to do. East Meck is a good football team and I am pleased with our effort.”
Jayme Watson led a balanced defensive effort, recording six tackles and getting a fourth quarter interception on the goal line that sealed the Eagles fate. Taylor Caldwell also had six tackles, and Courtland Carson
East Meck was led on offense by tailback Ronald Howard who tallied 99 yards rushing on 16 carries and caught two balls for eight yards. Olen Little completed 12 of 27 passes for 119 yards, and Nick Bratton caught four balls for 67 yards.
The Eagles cut the score after Tim Sanders returned a punt 35 yards.This followed a Carrothers fumble that lost 25 yards on the previous play. The return set up a J. Mozee touchdown catch and cut the lead to 21-14.
But the Patriots would answer back.
Lawrence Martin returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards, setting up a Carrothers touchdown run and bringing the lead back up to 14 points. The Eagles never could recover, and dropped to 8-2 on the season.
Next week is the time Knotts says his team starts to excel. He is excited for the showdown and feels that the Patriots are ready.
“This is our playoff time,” Knotts said. “We have a big game but we are ready for it. I think we feel like this is when we start to excel and this is our time of year.”