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    Independence knocks off Beachwood for third straight win

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    INDEPENDENCE–The Independence Blue Devils defended their home field when they beat Beachwood 31-6 on Friday. With this win, Indy has rattled off victories in their last three contests after an 0-6 start, a testament to the team’s resiliency.

    “It means a lot, especially with how we started the season,” said Independence head coach Rick Adams of the win. “The kids haven’t given up. They battle every week, and we kept telling them good things are going to happen. The past three weeks, we’ve gotten the ‘W’ and built that confidence going into week 10.”

    The Blue Devils got the game off to a fast start offensively when Dom Narduzzi found Sam Crooks down the right sideline for 45 yards on the first play from scrimmage and Xavier Wilson took it the rest of the way from 10 out to make it 6-0.

    “We wanted to come out aggressive,” Adams said. “The first few plays were scripted, and we wanted to see how Beachwood would adjust and go from there.”

    The Independence front seven controlled the line of scrimmage.

    Plays such as a tackle-for-loss from Ronen Tschetter forced a three-and-out. On the punt, the snap sailed over the head of Beachwood’s punter and Jack Korinek was able to recover it for a Blue Devil touchdown.

    Again, Beachwood was forced to attempt a punt when another snap went awry, this time rolling through the end zone for a safety.

    On offense, Independence kept it on the ground as Korinek would pick up 25 yards and another score to make it 22-0.

    “Coach Burns, our defensive coordinator, did a great job getting our defense prepared for their best offensive plays,” Adams said. “We put them in a lot of fourth-and-long and forced punts, and fortunately for us and unfortunately for them, they had bad snaps, and we were able to turn them into scores.”

    For the third consecutive drive, a Beachwood punt attempt was unsuccessful due to a bad snap, resulting in another safety. With the ball back, Narduzzi called his own number from 15 out to make it 31-0 less than halfway through the second quarter.

    The Bison would manage a splash play on offense. Larry Clark would hit Jonathon Owens who racked up some major yards after catch to take it 68 yards to the house to get Beachwood on the board.

    Beachwood threatened deep in Independence territory at the start of the fourth, but an interception by Rocco Ressler ended that attempt.

    In addition to the third straight win for Independence, tonight’s game was also Senior Night. Coach Adams spoke highly of the Blue Devils’ seniors.

    “They’re very resilient,” he said. “They’ve done everything we asked them from day one. It would’ve been really easy to just pack it in after the first six games, but they stayed together and rallied the team.”

    The Blue Devils will look to make it four straight next Saturday at Trinity. For Beachwood, the season will wrap up at home against Wickliffe.

     

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