By CAMDEN JOINER Photos by DOUG HOSLER
Independence continued its reign of dominance in Thursday’s Region 5-5A matchup against Shelbyville Central.
With a 48-20 win, the Eagles moved to 7-0 on the season and 22 consecutive victories.
“We have this whole idea of us getting better and that’s what we’re worried about,” Indy head coach Scott Blade said.
“When our offense is on the ball we want to dictate the pace and the tempo of the game. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s the attitude we’re trying to create.”
Independence’s defense set the tone early in the matchup, forcing Shelbyville’s offense back to the goal line on their opening possession.
Running back Troy Henderson and Indy’s offense took advantage of the favorable field position, and converted a fourth down for the night’s opening score.
Henderson scored on Indy’s first possession, and went on to score three more touchdowns in the opening half, including a 12-yard touchdown reception.
“It’s always important on the first drive to set the tone,” Henderson said. “We wanted to make sure our effort was there.”
One key for Indy’s victory was the red-zone offense, which never settled for a field goal.
“We studied a lot of film this week,” Henderson said. “You can’t score touchdowns without all of us completing our assignments and doing our jobs.”
Indy quarterback Brandon Hines added four passing touchdowns to Indy’s total, connecting with Henderson, Kendrell Scurry, Owen Murphy, and Landon Guidry.
“I think we cut down on mistakes from last week,” Blade said. “We’re trying to get this team a little bit better each week. Tonight, I felt like we did that offensively and defensively. That’s the most efficient we’ve been on offense and I thought the defense was lights out.”
Shelbyville was able to shift the game’s momentum after Luke Davidson returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but Indy quickly answered with another score, and kept a comfortable lead for the duration of the game.
Jamal Harden also scored for the Golden Eagles on a 73-yard touchdown.
While Indy gave up a couple of big yardage plays to Shelbyville, the defense didn’t allow the Golden Eagles to put drives together, and kept their offense on the field for most of the game.
Independence will look to continue its win streak against Columbia Central next Friday.