But if the Eagles’ first two playoff games are any indication, the Independence team hosting Hendersonville on Friday in the 6A quarterfinals is a much different team than one that was 3-3 a little more than halfway through the regular season.
Independence’s playoff resurgence has come thanks to its key offensive players and a outstanding half-season by former backup quarterback Andrew Bunch.
Bunch replaced former starter Caleb Hollis after a 47-6 loss to Blackman and has been a key asset for the Eagles, going 69 of 129 for 1,056 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
A great deal of those yards came because of receiver and Tennessee commitment Rashaan Gaulden, who had an outstanding first round with five catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
Independence’s last win, however, did not come because of a major offensive effort.
In their 17-14 round two win over Overton, the Eagles’ defense shut out the Bobcats’ normally strong rushing game, allowing 261 rushing yards but only one rushing touchdown.
If the Eagles repeat that performance against Hendersonville, they will likely keep the scoring down, as Hendersonville’s Jeremias Elston has only thrown five touchdowns all season.
Hendersonville is playing its third straight playoff game on the road as a 6-seed and coming off a dramatic 29-28 overtime upset of Station Camp in the second round where head coach Bruce Hatfield called a two-point conversion in overtime that sealed the victory for the Commandos.
Friday night’s game kicks off at 7 p.m.