Regardless of the wins and losses on their respective records, the ICC Pirates and the CCC Red Ravens have always made their annual Montgomery County Showdown a memorable game, and Saturday night's contest was no different. Independence clinched the Kansas Jayhawk Conference league title with their home win over Coffeyville, 27-22 in an exciting battle.
Although Indy suffered a late-season setback in a road loss to Butler last weekend, which effectively put them out of National Championship consideration, their final contest of the season versus their cross-county rivals still had the league crown on the line. CCC has dealt with a rash of injuries, and was even without Head Coach Aaron Flores for much of the season due to illness, however the Ravens would be more than happy spoiling things for the Pirates.
After forcing the Pirates to punt on their first possession, Coffeyville's Justin Henderson put the visitors on the board first with a short touchdown run to give CCC a 7-0 lead with 12:15 left in the opening stanza. Indy responded on their next drive, as freshman quarterback Drake Smith connected with Carlos Thompson for a twenty-five yard touchdown, making the score 7-7 with 6:11 to go in the first.
The Independence offense started to gain some steam, particularly the running game on a slippery night on the field. Pirate running back Rakeem Boyd broke off back-to-back first down runs to move ICC into the redzone, then Jamal Scott finished the drive with a score and put his team in the lead, 14-7, with 9:06 remaining in the first half.
On their ensuing drive, the Red Ravens marched down the field, but the Indy defense stiffened up inside the redzone, forcing CCC to settle for the field goal. Independence tried to increase their cushion before the half, but after driving into Coffeyville territory with around two and a half minutes left, the Pirates' field goal attempt sailed wide right and the Ravens found themselves down 14-10 going into halftime.
CCC began the second half with a nice drive, however it was cut short as the ICC defense forced a fumble and recovered it at their own twelve yard line. Moving back down the field quickly, Jamal Scott found the endzone for the second time on the night to put the Pirates up 21-10 with 5:16 to go in the third quarter.
Independence forced the Ravens to punt on their next possession, and redshirt sophomore Thompson picked up a nice chunk of yardage on the return, giving the Pirates the ball at the CCC thirty-three with 3:31 in the third. Unfortunately, the hosts could not capitalize, turning the ball back to Coffeyville on a fumble with a little over two minutes in the quarter.
The Ravens were able to find the endzone to open up the fourth, but couldn't convert the two-point try, leaving the Pirates with the 21-16 lead with 14:35 to go in regulation. After being forced to punt on their next drive, Indy took advantage of a fortuitous play by recovering the ball after it was deflected at the line, giving the Pirates the ball at their own forty with twelve and a half minutes left.
This time, ICC made the most of the opportunity as Rakeem Boyd earned his second score of the contest. A bad snap on the PAT allowed CCC to scoop up the loose ball, but Indy stopped the return and moved ahead 27-16 with just under eight minutes on the clock. Not willing to go away, CCC stormed back down the field and scored on a keeper by quarterback "Action" Jackson, but the conversion try was no good and left Independence up 27-22 with 5:56 in the game.
Coffeyville had one last chance to steal the game in the closing seconds, but one pass into the endzone was tipped and eventually fell to the ground outside of anyone's reach, then the final pass was hauled in but well out of bounds and the Pirate faithful celebrated the victory.