Hickory Ridge’s four first half touchdowns turned out to be enough offense for the Ragin’ Bulls as they took a 42-6 road win over the Independence Patriots in the opening game of the Southwestern 4A Conference.
Indy took the opening kick off but was unable to move the ball and had to punt. The Bulls took over on their own 45 yard line and drove the ball down to the two yard line where the Bulls faced a fourth and one. Hickory Ridge’s junior running back Mookie McWilliams took the hand off and ran in for the score. Riley Stubbs’ extra point was good, and the Bulls took a 7-0 lead with 5:17 left in the first periord.
After the Bulls’ kick off, Indy’s offense took over on its own 22 yard line and drove the ball to the Bulls’ twenty yard line. Indy’s quarterback Arnold Taylor attempted a pass to tie the score, but Hickory Ridge’s Tyrell Davis picked off the pass and returned it to mid-field with 2:37 remaining in the first quarter.
With 1:01 showing on the clock the Bulls’ Mookie McWilliams ran for a twenty yard touchdown. Riley Stubbs made the point after, and the Ragin’ Bulls took a 14-0 lead.
Indy took over with 53 seconds left in the first stanza. On the Patriots’ first play from scrimmage, senior receiver Trevor Bryan cut across the middle of the field. Quarterback Arnold Taylor connected with Bryan who ran for a 62 yard touchdown. The Patriots attempted a 2-point conversion that was no good, and the Bulls led 14-6 as the first quarter came to an end.
In the second period the Bulls’ offense picked up two more scores. Mookie McWilliams scored his third touchdown on a three yard run with 6:12 left in the half. With 3:24 to go in the first half, Ick Cirino ran for a twenty yard score. Riley Stubbs kicked both extra points to put the Bulls up 28-6 at the end of the first half.
Hickory Ridge took the second half opening kick off and fumbled on its own 28 yard line where Indy took over. The Bulls defense held the Patriots for no gain. Indy attempted a 33 yard field goal that came up short, and the Bulls took over on their own 20 yard line with 9:13 showing on the clock.
The Patriots’ defense held and forced a Bulls’ punt. On Indy’s first play quarterback Arnold Taylor hit Brevin Caldwell for a 47 yard pick up that put the ball on the Bulls’ two yard line. Indy tried to catch the Bulls in transition and made a quick snap. Indy fumbled the ball in the end zone, and the Bulls’ Cooper Williams recovered the loose ball stopping Indy’s drive with 4:44 left in the third quarter.
The Patriots had another scoring opportunity with 11:34 remaining in the game. After moving the ball down the field, Arnold Taylor attempted a pass into the end zone, but the Bulls’ safety Jaylen Nicholson cut in front of the receiver and made the interception at the four yard line and returned it to Indy’s 48 yard line.
With 6:58 left in the game Hickory Ridge’s Nolan Carey Jr. ran for a 38 yard touchdown to make the score 35-6.
With the game already decided and time running out, Hickory Ridge called for a pass play that saw the Bulls’s Kobe Clifton hit Malik Tobias for a 47 yard touchdown pass that made the final score 42-6.
Independence fell to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play. Next Friday the Patriots will travel to East Mecklenburg to take on the Eagles in a Southwestern 4A Conference game.
Hickory Ridge 14 14 0 14 – 42
Independence 6 0 0 0 – 6
HR – Mookie McWilliams 4 yard run (Riley Stubbs kick)
HR – McWilliams 20 yard run (Stubbs kick)
Indy – Trevor Bryan 62 yard pass from Arnold Taylor (2-point conversion failed)
HR – McWilliams 3 yard run (Stubbs kick)
HR – Ick Cirino 22 yard run (Stubbs kick)
HR – Nolan Carey Jr 38 yard run (Stubbs kick)
HR – Malik Tobias 47 yard pass from Kobe Clifton (Stubbs kick)