MINT HILL, NC – On Friday night the Independence varsity football squad traveled to Garinger High School and looked to bounce back offensively after being shut out the previous week. Going up against winless Garinger on its homecoming night, the Patriots offense posted a season-high in points in a 31-0 shutout win over the Wildcats.
After both teams punted, the Patriots had the ball on Garinger’s 29-yard line. Indy’s quarterback Arnold Taylor passed to Cyrus Sanders who ran for the touchdown. On the point after attempt, Indy lined up for a 2 point conversion. Again the ball went to Cyrus Sanders on a pitch out to make the 2 point conversion, and the Patriots took an 8-0 lead with 6:30 remaining in the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Garinger had the ball on its own 12-yard line.
On the first play from scrimmage, the ball was snapped over the quarterback’s head. After regaining possession of the ball, the Wildcats’ quarterback was tackled in the end zone on what appeared to be a safety. However, the referee ruled he was down on the 1-yard line thereby erasing the safety. Unable to mount any offense, the Wildcats had to punt out of their own end zone. Indy’s defense applied pressure on the punter who pushed the punt out-of-bounds on Garinger’s 25-yard line. The Patriots moved the ball to the 16-yard line and a natural zone violation against the Wildcats moved the ball to the 11-yard line. Facing a 4th and 5, Indy attempted a pass into the end zone which was intercepted at the one and returned to the 20-yard line.
The Patriots’ defense held and Garinger had to punt out of its own end zone. Indy returned the kick to Garinger’s 20-yard line as the first quarter came to an end with the Patriots leading 8-0.
Early in the second quarter the Patriots had moved inside the five-yard line and were facing another 4th and goal. Indy’s Arnold Taylor on a quarterback keeper was hit short of the goal line. Before going down, Taylor stretched the ball across the goal line for the score. Again the Patriots lined up for the 2 point conversion. The snap went to Josiah Perez who started around his right end. As the Wildcat defense closed in, Perez pulled up and lobed a pass to Divine Allah for the 2 point conversion, and Indy led 16-0 with 10:48 left in the second quarter.
After Indy’s kick-off, Garinger took over on its own 26-yard line and moved down to the 41 before fumbling the ball. Indy’s Ronnell Garrett picked up the loose ball and returned it 40 yards for a Patriots’ touchdown. The kick for the point after was good, and Indy increased its lead to 23-0 with 5:54 left in the first half.
On Garinger’s next possession, the Wildcats moved into the red zone and attempted a pass to the back of the end zone. Indy’s DeWayne Gissendanner intercepted the pass and ran out of the end zone and crossed the 50-yard line before being brought down. However, a block in the back brought the ball back to Indy’s 46-yard line with 1:18 left in the second quarter. The Wildcat defense held, and Indy had to punt the ball away.
As the half came to an end, Indy’s Jeremy Phillips and Chance Jordan sacked the Wildcats’ quarterback with Indy having a 23-0 halftime lead. As the third quarter got underway, Garinger snapped the ball over the quarterback’s head. Indy’s Diego Barahona recovered the ball on the Wildcats’ on the 27-yard line with 10:12 showing on the clock. With 8:47 remaining Indy had the ball on Garinger’s 17-yard line. Arnold Taylor completed a pass to Will Brown for the score. The extra point attempt was no good and Indy led 29-0.
The Patriot’s final score came with 4:12 remaining in the period. Again a bad snap over the quarterback’s head rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety to make the final score 31-0. With the win, Indy moved to 2-3 in the conference and will face rival Rocky River on Thursday night.
Independence 8 15 8 0 – 31
Garinger 0 0 0 0 – 0