In October, when (23) Independence and (6) Butler faced off, Butler scored 35 points to secure a 35-23 victory.
On Friday night, the two teams played against each other again on the same field, but the outcome was significantly different. The Patriots’ defense dominated the game and managed to pull off an upset over the Bulldogs with a final score of 10-7.
In the first half, the Patriots dominated and took a 10-0 lead going into halftime.
Independence took an early 3-0 lead thanks to a successful field goal by Lyric Kopera on their first drive of the game.
Justin Little’s 6-yard scramble resulted in the only touchdown for the Patriots during the game, increasing their lead to double digits right before halftime.
Zach Lawrence and Dequadre Currence connected on the first drive of the second half for the Bulldogs. This resulted in a score that reduced the gap to 3 points, but Butler was unable to get any closer.
The defense of Independence successfully prevented multiple scoring opportunities to maintain their lead. They effectively shut down Butler’s attempts on fourth down, even foiling a fake punt due to a poorly executed snap.
The Bulldogs were granted a final opportunity in the game due to a failed field goal attempt by the Patriots.
Lawrence successfully advanced Butler past midfield, but the Independence defense prevented them from scoring. In the final minute, junior defensive back Bryce Lofton secured the victory with an interception, propelling the Patriots to the regional round.
The Bulldogs suffered a tough loss after remaining undefeated since Week 1 and winning 12 consecutive games. Their season concludes with a record of 12-2.
Independence seeks to maintain its winning streak with a final away win next week. They will face (1) Weddington for the opportunity to compete in the 4A State Championship.