On Thursday night the Independence Patriots football team traveled to East Mecklenburg High School for a Southwestern 4A Conference game with the Eagles. Both schools entered the game with an 0-1 conference record.
Indy took the opening kickoff and drove for a first down. Then the Eagles stopped the drive by picking off an Indy pass and returning it for a touchdown. However, the play was called back by for a block in the back by one of the East Mecklenburg players. After the penalty yardage mark off, the Eagles took over on their own 25 yard line but were unable to move the ball and had to punt.
On Indy’s second possession, the Patriots drove the ball down to the Eagle’s three yard line where they were facing a fourth and one. Indy’s Wes Cook handed off to Chase Rappe who ran off right tackle before being stopped by the Eagle’s defense. The referee called for a measurement and Rappe was stopped inches short of the first down turning the ball over to the Eagles with seven seconds left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, East Meck’s quarterback Khalil Gilliam dropped back into the end zone and threw to the right side of the field. Indy’s defensive back Zach Repak intercepted the pass on the ten yard line and returned it for the touchdown. Dino Silva’s kicked the extra point which gave Indy the lead 7-0 with 10:35 left.
On the kickoff Silva kicked the ball to East Meck’s two yard line but the Eagles returned the kick to Indy’s 39 yard line. Indy’s defense held forcing the Eagles to go for it a fourth and one. Indy’s defense held and the Patriots took over with 9:01 left in the first half.
Not being able to keep the drive going, Indy’s Dylan Bryan punted the ball away and pinned the Eagles back on their own five yard line.
The Eagles took possession on the five and drove down the field to Indy’s 15 yard line. East Meck scored on a 15 yard run to tie the score 7-7 with 1:23 remaining in the first half.
East Meck received the second half kickoff and took possession on their own 35 yard line. The Eagles drove the ball down the field and scored on a nine yard run to make the score 13-7 with 9:37 left in the third quarter.
The Patriots took the ensuing kickoff and drove to the Eagle’s 35 yard line before turning the ball over on downs with 8:39 to go in the quarter.
The Eagles drove the ball down to Indy’s nine yard. After the Indy defense sacked East Meck’s quarterback, the Eagles were facing a fourth and goal from the eleven yard line. On the fourth down play, the Eagles’ quarterback Khalil Gilliam found Khalil Woods open in the end zone for the touchdown. East Meck went for the two point conversion. Marques Fleming’s run was good and East Meck increased its lead 21-7 with 5:51 left to play in the third quarter.
With 7:45 left in the game, Indy took possession on their own 35 yard line and started moving the ball down the field. Wes Cook got the ball to the 25 yard line on a quarterback keeper. The Patriots moved the ball to the 19 yard line on a pass play to Brian Morgan. With the ball on the 19 Cook attempted to hit Morgan in the end zone, but East Meck intercepted the pass and took possession on their on twenty with 6:10 left in the game.
East Meck moved the ball but ran out of steam and had to punt. The punt pinned Indy back on their own eleven yard line with 3:12 remaining in the game.
Wes Cook dropped back to pass, but East Meck picked off the pass and ran it back for the touchdown. The kick was no good and the Eagles took a 27-7 lead with 3:01 left in the fourth quarter.
On their next possession Indy turned the ball over on downs with 1:34 left, and East Meck ran out the clock to take their first conference win 27-7.
On Friday Indy will travel to Porter Ridge for another Southwestern 4A Conference game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Independence 0 7 0 0 – 0
East Mecklenburg 0 7 14 6 – 27