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Beech, mistakes over come Independence in 28-21 loss

Beech running back Dorian Carter ran 54 times for 317 yards and all four Buccaneer touchdowns as they gave Independence (3-1) its first loss of the season 28-21.

Carter was basically the entire offensive threat for Beech (3-1) as they failed to complete a single pass during the game. Carter did most of his damage in the first half running wild for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns with the Bucs leading 21-7 at the break.

“We weren’t hitting our gaps the first half and not doing out assignments,” Independence coach Scott Blade said. “A good team and a good running back will expose you for that. We just went back to the basics and made sure everybody knew their job and had a little better effort and were able to correct some of those things.”

The second half was different. Beech came out with the same attitude, but  that was matched by Rashaan Gaulden and the Eagle defense. Gaulden made the tackle on Carter after his first eight carries in the second half and that theme continued.

Gaulden then caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Caleb Hollis on the Eagles’ first drive of the half to make it. 21-14.

“He’s a big time player and those guys need to make big time plays every once in a while,” Blade said of Gaulden. “The game is on the line you want those guys to make those kinds of plays.”

The Independence defense continued making stops in the second half and in the opening minutes of the 4th quarter the offense struck again. Hollis hit Deion Sims for a 10-yard score to tie the game at 21.

On the following Beech drive, Carter woke back up. On a 4th and 1 at midfield he busted through for a 35 yard run. Later on he would score his fourth touchdown of the night from 13 yards out with five minutes left.

The Independence offense was hampered by five turnovers and it hurt them most late,  throwing interceptions on the last two possessions of the game.

“Good football teams are going to make you make mistakes,” Blade said. “Obviously they are the defending 5A Champs and they know what it’s like to be in pressure situations and they responded real well.”

The Eagles had a scoring opportunity late. With less than a minute on the clock and near midfield a half-back pass from Vic Wharton was just too long for Gaulden to reel in. Gaulden would have scored to tie the game.

“I was real happy with our kids,” Blade said. “We made some critical errors and shot ourselves in the foot a little bit and still came out and was able to gets some stops and put some drives together. That’s by far the toughest team we’ve played all year and we grew up tonight. We gave ourselves a chance and that’s all you can ask for.”

With Ravenwood (3-0) next week and the district schedule thickening, experience against a team like Beech only results in positives.

“Consider it battle tested.” Blade said. “Our kids are getting on the job training, so to speak. There were a ton of positives out there.”

Posted on: 9/14/2013


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