Trailing 8-6 at the start of the fourth quarter, Independence scored the game’s final 16 points to avoid the upset and beat No. 10 seed Roane County 22-8 in the Class AA playoff quarterfinals Friday night in Coal City.
After forcing a turnover on downs with just under nine minutes left, the Patriots’ quick-strike offense finally found a rhythm as quarterback Logan Phalin connected with Judah Price on a 66-yard touchdown pass to stake the hosts to a 14-8 advantage.
An interception on the next Roane drive, courtesy of Cyrus Goodson, led to a 56-yard scoring run by Atticus Goodson to cement the game with 6:30 remaining. Atticus, the elder Goodson, finished the game with 148 yards rushing on 18 carries to pace the Patriots.
Roane County’s potent rushing attack was held to just 72 yards on 47 carries. Skyler Delk scored the visitor’s lone touchdown from a yard out just 11 seconds into the second quarter.
The Patriots advance to next week’s Class AA semifinal, where they’ll host Bluefield.
Fairmont Senior 33, Robert C. Byrd 28: No. 16 Fairmont Senior defeated No. 8 Robert C. Byrd in an instant classic Class AA quarterfinal in Clarksburg.
The Polar Bears blew a 21-0 halftime lead, and the Flying Eagles looked to have pulled off a stunner when Nick George dived in for a 2-point conversion to make it 28-27 RCB with 1:31 to play. But on the ensuing kickoff, Dylan Ours ducked and dodged his way down the left sideline before breaking free and heading to the house for a 97-yard score.
It was the second dramatic road victory in as many weeks for defending champion Fairmont Senior, which eliminated top seed Herbert Hoover 30-28 last Saturday with a late game-winning safety. Quarterback Dom Stingo threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns Friday and added a rushing score for the Polar Bears.
The Eagles complete their season at 7-4. The game marked the end of the career of record-breaking running back Jeremiah King, who was held to 39 yards rushing.
Bluefield 35, North Marion 21: Thanks to four forced turnovers and a 21-0 scoring run between the third and fourth quarters, the 14th-seeded Bluefield Beavers knocked off the sixth-seeded North Marion Huskies in the Class AA quarterfinals in Rachel.
Bluefield’s win resulted in the second consecutive year the Beavers (6-3) have eliminated the Huskies (8-3) from the postseason, this time setting up a semifinal. Amir Hairston ran the ball 16 times for 139 yards, good for 8.7 yards per carry, setting the tone for the Bluefield offense. Ryker Brown added 35 rushing yards while completing 10 of 12 passes for 105 yards.
For the Huskies, who outgained the Beavers 331-296 in total yardage, Brody Hall completed 9 of 26 passes for 118 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions.
Tariq Miller was his top target with three catches for 58 yards, while Dylan Kincell caught two passes for 34 yards to go along with five carries for 29 yards.
Williamstown 44, East Hardy 24: Maxwell Molessa pierced the Cougars for 321 yards with a ground assault, including a pair of runs of over 65 yards for touchdowns as No. 6 Williamstown dominated No. 3 East Hardy in the Class A quarterfinal victory in Baker.
Molessa garnered four touchdowns, and carried the ball 16 times for 321 yards to lead the Yellowjackets.
Williamstown’s Rickie Allen netted 22 carries for 109 yards with two touchdowns.