Bobcats claw Independence in Sonic Bowl showdown (with slideshow)

Last Thursday night, Independence High School played host to the Sonic Bowl, an exhibition game sponsored by the area drive-ins of the same name.

The Independence Eagles, with a 7-4 record but without a play-off spot, took on the Overton Bobcats (6-5). The first quarter started out actively, with the Bobcats’ running offense matched against the Eagles’ passing game. The Bobcats were the first to score, with Daniel White running in a touchdown eight minutes into the first quarter. Independence responded two minutes later when Isaac Baugh scored on a long pass from quarterback Zac Cordell. Despite the constant pressure from the Bobcats’ running plays, the Independence defense was able to hold them well throughout the rest of the first quarter and into the second.

But they couldn’t hold Daniel White, who ran one in for the Bobcats with four minutes left in the half. The Eagles responded in suit though, passing down the field and scoring with a lob to Jeff Veres with three minutes on the clock. The quarter wasn’t over yet though, and Bobcat Charles Jackson ran the ball in for another touchdown with two minutes left in the quarter, leaving the score 13-18 Overton at the half.

The second half saw the Bobcats widen their lead, although it started out with a touchdown pass by Eagles’ quarterback Zach Cordell to Chris Darnell a minute into the third quarter. The Bobcats responded quickly, grinding away at the Independence defense and running in two more touchdowns in the third quarter, scored by Daniel White and Charles Jackson respectively. Although Darnell scored again for the Eagles in the fourth quarter after a passing drive, Independence could not overtake the Bobcats, who won the game 32-27.

The Sonic Bowl marked the last game this season for the Independence Eagles, who had an excellent season despite failing to secure a spot in the play-offs.

“It’s tough for us,” said Eagles head coach Scott Smith, concerning the 7-4 record without a play-off spot. “Due to some misfortunes, and not taking care of the ball like we should have, we’re out, so that’s something for us to build next year.”
This year also saw the graduation of Independence’s first class of seniors.

“We had so much invested in them,” commented Smith, “They have been seniors the last four years for us, and its going to be tough-going without having them to lead us out on the field, and I’m hoping that they have taught our juniors a good lesson and our juniors have learned.”

Despite not making the play-offs Smith was pleased with his seniors and his team’s performance, and their winning record this season.

“We’re awful proud of our seniors for getting us there,” he said.

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