PikeView's Mickey Dickerson lets out a scream during the Panthers' narrow 6-0 loss to Independence on Friday night in Gardner. (Staff photo by John Nelson)
GARDNER - The PikeView Panthers were hoping to spoil the Patriots' playoff hopes and stop their winning streak at five games, but Independence was ratified Friday night, as the Patriots battled to a 6-0 victory.
“It was a hard fought game. PikeView was prepared and made us fight for our lives,” Independence head coach Scottie Cuthbert said. “We did a super job defensively and finally found a way to win the game. This makes six in a row and all were won by one touchdown or less.”
It was a defensive battle as rain poured from the sky, during the first half of action. The Panthers were able to hold the Patriots to nine yards, while Independence only allowed 48 yards for PikeView.
“The boys showed a lot of heart,” PikeView assistant coach Sam White said. “It's not coaching at all, it's heart. Defensively we had a pretty solid game and the guys deserve all the credit.”
With five seconds remaining before the half the Panthers set up for a field goal attempt, only to be blocked as time expired from the clock. Neither team was able to score during the first half.
“Defensively we played better than we've ever played,” PikeView senior Mickey Dickerson said. “No matter what we try to stick together as a team.”
The second half of play proved to be another defensive showdown. The Patriots held PikeView to 11 yards, while Independence was able to pick up 75 yards on the ground and 11 yards in the air.
With 7:44 left in the competition the Patriots found their way into the end zone, Shawn Combs busted through the Panther line to score from five yards out, giving Independence the victory.
“PikeView played real hard and put up a good battle,” Combs said. “We had to win this game, it was a must win for us. It wasn't pretty but we got the win.”
“We play Wyoming East next week to finish up the season,” Cuthbert said. “A win should guarantee us a spot in the playoffs, a loss will put us in a bubble.”
Independence (6-3)........0 0 0 6 - 6
PikeView (1-7)...............0 0 0 0 - 0
Combs 5 run (run failed) 7:44