Independence Football Rolls Vance

Mint Hill Times

Isaah Robinson alludes the Vance defense in Tuesday's game. Photo by Mark Sward.

The Independence Patriots beat Vance 58-27 Tuesday night in Mint Hill.  Evan Guest threw for 128 yards and three touchdowns.  Austin Duke caught two touchdowns and amassed over 100 yards of all-purpose yards.  RJ Baker and Isiah Robinson combined for over 150 yards and a score each on the ground.

Indy’s offense could not have been more balanced.  Head Coach Bill Geiler wants to keep things this way as the season continues.

“I like that we ran the ball tonight.  I think we should get behind our big linemen who’ve worked hard in the weight room and say ‘we’re gonna run it over top of you, and if you can’t stop us we’re gonna keep doing it.’  It also runs the clock and gives our defense a break.”

The win gives Independence a 3-0 record on the season, and matches their win total from last year.

Indy’s “Season of Redemption” continues Friday night as the Patriots host West Charlotte.  It will be a rare contest, with both teams only having a two-day break between games.

“We’ve gotta prepare for West Charlotte who’s as fast as lightning,” said Geiler.  “They run a good offense, but we’ve got a better defense to show them.”

Kickoff at Patriot Stadium on Friday is 7:00.

Follow Independence Football on Twitter at @JJamisonMHTimes

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Patriots Pummel North Meck

Mint Hill Times

Photo by Tim Long

A scary first quarter for Independence’s football team quickly turned into a 37-7 rout for the Patriots in Huntersville Friday night.  A fumbled handoff on Indy’s first play from scrimmage led to a turnover and the Vikings quickly capitalized, taking a 7-0 lead.  On the next series, starting quarterback Evan Guest left the game with muscle spasms.  From then on, both the offense and defense for Independence stepped up and the game was over by halftime.

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Indy defeats Hough 38-33 to open the season

Independence’s varsity football team defeated Hough 38-33 Friday night in front of a hostile crowd in Cornelius.

The Patriots’ defense was solid early, shutting out the Huskies in the first half.  Kahlil Gonzales and Jack Tocho both had interceptions for Indy.

After rushing touchdowns by RJ Baker and Evan Guest, the Patriots took an early 14-0 lead.

Hough made some amazing halftime adjustments and put 31 points on the board in the last 24 minutes, scoring 21 in the fourth quarter.

The hot, humid weather looked to take its toll on both teams’ defenses.  The Indy unit looked exhausted at the end of the game, having spent the majority of time on the field.

Brandon Jackson’s two sacks and Austin Duke’s late interception sealed the win for the Patriots.  The result was a pleasant contrast from the first game Indy played last season.

“We were in the first game last season and we just wore out,” said Head Coach Bill Geiler.  “This year we wore out a little bit, but our seniors just refused to lose.  They had to make the plays at the end and they did.”

Quarterback Evan Guest threw for 237 yards and one touchdown.  Baker rushed for two scores, and Duke went 95 yards receiving with a touchdown and a kickoff return for a score.

“The coaches asked me to step up, so I have to make some plays to help the team win,” said Duke.  “It’s not about me, it’s about the team.  We’ve gotta keep working hard right now.  This wasn’t a satisfying win, but we got the win.”

Even with Duke’s versatility on the field, he was not considered as valuable as the new kicker by Coach Geiler.  Morgan Boyle is a junior on Indy’s soccer team who played his first football game on Friday.

“I can’t say enough about my kicker,” said Geiler.  “I’ve never had a soccer player before.  Kicking in the end zone on kickoffs, and that field goal was huge.  He was awesome today.  I think the MVP was the kicker.”

As the weather cools and the players develop more stamina, look for the Patriots’ defense to play more effectively at the end of games this season.  This Friday at North Meck will be the perfect litmus test for Indy’s defensive unit.

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Independence to Host Green & Gold Game

The Independence Patriots will hold their first annual “Green & Gold Game” this Saturday, August 13th.  Admission is $2 and gates at the school’s stadium will open at 4:00.  All fans and families will have the opportunity to meet the Patriot coaches and players.  Cameras are permitted in the media-day type atmosphere.
Mint Hill youth football teams and cheerleaders will also be performing.
At 6:00 the varsity football team will hold a scrimmage.  The offensive players will go up against the defense.
The entire football squad invites the residents of Mint Hill to come out and support their team as they prepare for the upcoming season.

Read more about the Patriots’ 2011 football season in this week’s edition of The Mint Hill Times.  Follow updates on Indy Football, as well as other local sports on Twitter at @JJamisonMHTimes

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Independence looks to get its swagger back

Photos By Tim Long
After a very tough 2010 season, the Independence Patriots appear to have rejuvenated their football team. At a 7-on-7 scrimmage last Thursday night at Charlotte Christian School, the Indy squad had the opportunity to showcase their quarterbacks, receivers, linebackers, and defensive backs.
The Patriots suited up 39 players, and lined up against six other local schools, including South Meck and Charlotte Catholic.
After a positive showing, Head Coach Bill Geiler thinks the 2011 Patriots can put the school back in the spotlight.
“We took some lumps last year with some young kids. They’re mature now. We’re fast and strong and more confident in ourselves. It’s great to see these guys playing with intensity and flying all around the field. They’ve brought the swagger back to Independence.”
The Patriot defensive unit stole the show last week, shutting down offenses on roughly 95 percent of plays. Indy’s squad was clearly the most enthusiastic and vocal of all the teams at the scrimmage.
Starting Quarterback Evan Guest, who looks like he’s lived in the weight room this off-season, threw crisp passes to multiple receivers all night long. Continue reading

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Mike Newsome Accepts Coaching Position at A.L. Brown

the Mint Hill Times

Coach Mike Newsome

On Monday A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis announced Butler’s Mike Newsome would be taking over as head coach of their football team.

“It was an extremely tough decision.  My wife and I sat down and we discussed the pros and cons.  In the end I think this is the best decision for me.  The opportunity to move to a school with such a huge football tradition doesn’t come around very often.”

Newsome is leaving quite a legacy at Butler.  The Bulldogs are the reigning two-time North Carolina 4AA state champions.  They have a 31-game winning streak.  Newsome has been their head coach for the past nine seasons.  He has been a member of Butler’s coaching staff since the school opened in 1997.  Newsome was named the national high school football coach of the year for the 2009 season.

When asked about his time at Butler, Newsome has strong feelings about the school.

“What we were able to accomplish was unbelievable.  It was awesome to start-up a program.  The whole experience helped me grow as a coach.  I just hope the kids learned as much from me as I learned.”

Read more about Coach Newsome’s move in this Thursday’s edition of The Mint Hill Times.

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