Pirates Fall To Grizzlies In Shootout Heartbreaker
October 6, 2018
EL DORADO, Kan. - Riding a roller coaster season, the Independence Pirates traveled to El Dorado to take on the #19 Butler Grizzlies. The Pirates battled it out to the very end but dropped the contest, 17-14.
In the first quarter, Butler began with a handoff, but Kelvin Johnson took down the running back with ease. Johnson continued to be a force for the Pirates' defense and after a completion, Independence recovered a fumble as Jamar Montgomery ran the ball back to the nine-yard line.
The Pirates plowed into the endzone the following drive on a one-yard rush from quarterback Chase Hildreth. Ryan Redman's extra point sailed through the uprights and took a 7-0 lead with 11:53 remaining in the period.
The following drive, the Grizzlies attack with huge runs from Ja'kevious Vickers and scored on a 17-yard run from Makiya Casear and with the extra point good the game was tied at 7-7 at the 10:24 mark.
Penalties and a sack by Jacoby Jones pushed the pirates back but a 23-yard completion from Hildreth to Matthew Wilcox gave Independence a huge first down. The Butler defense knocked Independence back and a bad snap to punter Adam Barry had the Grizzlies begin the drive at the two-yard line.
Montgomery attacked again for a loss and the Grizzlies settled for a 37-yard field goal from Tyler Zentner to take a 10-7 lead with 6:54 remaining in the period. The Pirates went three and out the next play and Butler began the drive at the Independence 40-yard line.
Dishon McNary delivered a hit to quarterback Trae Self and the defense forced a turnover as Self's pass on fourth down was incomplete. The Pirates threatened but were force to punt again and once more the Grizzlies began a drive with good field position.
Butler rumbled into the other side of the field with big runs from Casear, but a 15-yard penalty pushed them back. Self completed a pass picking up big yards but KIon Holder was there for the stop forcing the Grizzlies to attempt a field goal that was blocked by Antonio Wallace with one second remaining. Hildreth handed off to Davijuan Dean for an eight yard gain to end the quarter with the Grizzlies leading 10-7.
The second quarter began with Dean picking up a first down and two plays later another first down as Hildreth found Marqwell Odom in the flat. Dean continued to rumble with another big gain of eight yards, but an intentional grounding call and a sack forced another punt from Barry.
Butler went three and out as Jermaine Johnson and Kailon Davis answered the call and the offense returned to the field. Dean exploded for Independence on a huge run to the Butler 22-yard line and converted a fourth down with another run from Dean to the nine-yard line. The Pirates faced another fourth down from the three-yard line but were turned away by the defense as the Grizzlies took over.
The Independence defense forced a punt off the side of Zentner's foot and The Pirates took over at the Butler 26-yard line. Independence went for it again on fourth down but were denied again as the pass was caught outside of the back of the end zone. The Grizzlies took a knee and the score at halftime had Independence trailing 10-7.
In the third quarter, the Pirates found a burst of life as Hildreth found Ruben Flowers for a catch and he drug the entire Butler team down to the 40-yard line. Dean continued to surge with an 11-yard run and another run to the nine-yard line had Independence in the red zone, but the Pirates settled for a field goal that was blocked and the Grizzlies continued to lead.
The defense held strong forcing a three and out as Kelvin Johnson slammed Vickers backwards and following the punt Independence took over at their own 46-yard line. Another three and out for the Pirates occurred as the defensive battle continued. And this time Barry's punt was fielded ideally at the five-yard line.
On the very next play, a huge gallop from Casear took Butler across midfield, but the defense tightened up forcing another punt. Independence was unable to get anything going and went three and out, but the defense answered back as McNary came up huge with a tackle on third down forcing a punt, but the Pirates fumbled it back on a muffed fair catch and as the clock expired in the period, Independence continued to trail 10-7.
The fourth quarter began with Butler in the red zone and despite several defensive plays by the defense, the Grizzlies scored on a nine-yard completion to Kaden Davis extending their lead to 17-7 with 13:25 left to play.
Hildreth completed a big pass to Flowers to move the chains and Dean followed with a 12-yard rush keeping the momentum going, but a block in the back pushed the Pirates back and Independence punted away again after another stand from the Butler defense.
The Pirates' defense continued to battle with a huge tackle by Kuony Deng followed by an incompletion to force the punt. Another monster run from Dean took Independence across midfield to the 34-yard line. A catch by Wilcox and runs by Joshua Thomas got the Pirates down to the six-yard line and on a 6-yard pass to Dontrell Johnson Independence scored cutting the Butler lead to 17-14 with 4:57 left to play.
The defense came out strong as Ben Hutch Jr. stopped the run with authority and Jermaine Johnson did the same on the next play as another punt occurred. A reverse to Odom saw a completion to Hildreth to keep the chains moving on fourth down and catches by Flowers and Raekwon Heath took Independence across midfield, but on fourth down an incomplete pass would cause a turnover and the Pirates saw the opportunity slip away.
Independence is now 1-4 and travels to Council Bluffs, IA next week to take on the Iowa Western Reivers.