CHARLOTTE – – The Independence Patriots football team played their first game of the season on the road in a non-conference game against Marvin Ridge. The Mavericks took control of this football game early, as their big strong offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage throughout the entire contest when it mattered.
The Mavericks playmakers including quarterback Evan Medders and a bunch of talented wide receivers took advantage of solid pass protection and a very suspect Patriot defensive secondary who was beaten deep repeatedly.
On a first down from the Maverick’s own 45-yard line on their second possession, Medders hooked up with his 6’4″ 190 senior wide receiver Luke Raykovicz for a 55-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff from their own 20-yard line the Patriots began to put together a drive of their own with a 5 yard run from Amari Hakeem, followed by a pass reception to Bryson Tisdale from quarterback Cameron Kromah for a gain of 10 yards. However, on the next play a pass caught by a Indy wide receiver 15 yards downfield was fumbled when he was hit hard by a Maverick defender trying to pick up extra yardage. The ball was recovered by Marvin Ridge on their own 45 yard line.
The Mavericks during this possession took control of the football game. A 25 yard pass reception and run after the catch by speedster Alex Meeks for a first down to the Patriots 35, the Patriots defense jumped offside and now it was 1st and 5 from the 30 yard line. Marvin Ridge drove the ball down to the 14. On the next play QB Medders would locate Meeks again who would catch the ball inside the five and scamper into the end zone to increase their advantage to 14-0 with 2:36 remaining.
In the second quarter, Indy put together their only drive of the game. It was a nice 68-yard drive that highlighted what Cameron Kromah can do on the football field. He connected with junior wide receiver Joe Moraglia for 12 yards, Jaylen Springs for another 19 yards, a 9 yard pick-up on a QB keeper, a 5 yard gain on a shuffle pass to Kaden Thomas, another 5 yard rush by Kromah, followed by a QB sneak for a key first down. From the 11 he connected with Springs to the six yard line. Then on third down and 5 for a first down, Kromah took off down the left side of the field running with authority, and dove across the goal line for the touchdown to cap off an impressive drive.
The Patriot defense stopped the high-powered Maverick offense and forced a punt when LB Moshay Saw and DL Coriawn Griffen would drop Medders for a 7-yard loss. However, on a first down play from their own 23 yard line, Kromah made an errant throw which was intercepted by a Maverick defensive back and returned to the 16 of the Patriots. A pass interference call in the end zone gave the Mavs a first down on the 8. The Mavericks scored on the next play giving them a 21-6 lead. This series of plays starting with the pass interception was a huge momentum swing that favored Marvin Ridge.
The Mavs would add a 42 yard field goal by Jackson Moore who showed plenty of range with his high long kicks throughout the entire contest. The field goal gave the home team a comfortable 24-6 lead at the half.
In the second half this game was all but over. The Mavs would add a touchdown in each quarter. The first came off a blocked punt giving Marvin Ridge great field position on the Patriot 23 yard line. An outstanding over-the-shoulder catch by Luke Raykovics in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown put the Mavs up 31-6. They would add another score in the fourth quarter to put the icing on the cake in the 38-6 blowout.
This is not the way head coach DJ McFadden wanted to start his career at Indy. However, the Patriots were defeated by a better and more talented football team. They will play the team’s home opener next Friday, September 3rd against West Charlotte at 7:00 pm. While Marvin Ridge 2-0 on the season, beat Monroe 37-6 in week one, will now take on Ardrey Kell at home next Friday night in a big non-conference clash.