On Thursday evening the Independence junior varsity football team opened its conference season with a 40-6 home win over the East Mecklenburg Eagles.
The Patriots got on the board as the first quarter came to an end. Indy’s quarterback Harrison Gates connected with Donovan Foster for a 54 yard touchdown pass. Indy’s 2-point conversion attempt was no good, and the Patriots led 6-0 heading into the second period.
With 7:23 left in the first half Indy’s Raimon Garrett sacked the Eagles’ quarterback who coughed up the football. Messiah Lopez made the recovery, and the Patriots took over on the Eagles’ 22 yard line.
After the turnover, Amari Hakeem took the handoff from Harrison Gates for a 22 yard touchdown run. Joe Moraglia ran for the 2-point conversion to make the score 14-0 with 6:56 left in the first half.
On East Meck’s next possession Indy’s defense created another turn over. With 6:20 showing on the clock, Indy’s Donovan Foster picked off an Eagles’ pass on East Meck’s on 24 yard line.
On Indy’s first play from scrimmage, quarterback Harrison Gates found Donovan Foster open and delivered the 24 yard touchdown pass. Indy went for the 2-point conversion, and Joe Moraglia ran in for the score to put Indy up 22-0.
With 58 seconds left in the first half, Indy turned the ball over on downs on East Meck’s 15 yard line. After losing yardage on their first two plays, the Eagles’ quarterback attempted a pass inside the end zone. As the quarterback dropped back to pass, the Patriots applied strong pressure and forced the quarterback to the back of the end zone. With no one open, the Eagles’ quarterback threw the ball toward the left sideline. There was no East Meck receiver in the area, and the referee called the quarterback for intentional grounding. With the pass coming from the end zone, the call resulted in a 2-point safety to make the score 24-0 with 43 seconds left in the half.
After the safety, the Eagles had a free kick from itheir own 20 yard line, and Indy took over on its own 31 yard line with 33 seconds left in the period. After moving the ball to the 10 yard line, Indy snapped the ball with three seconds showing on the clock. As time expired, Amari Hakeem scored on a touchdown pass from Harrison Gates. Once again Joe Moraglia ran for the 2-point conversion to make the halftime score 32-0.
There were only two scores in the second half. The first score came in the third quarter. At the 6:37 mark East Meck scored but failed on the 2-point conversion to make the score 32-6.
The Patriots scored the final touchdown with 9:07 left in the game. East Meck had held Indy to a fourth and nine at mid-field. Indy’s quarterback Harrison Gates connected with Joe Moraglia, who was wide open across the middle, for the touchdown and with the 2-point conversion, Indy took the conference win 40-6.
The junior varsity improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play.