From the early going of the opening game at UNC Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson Stadium, it looked like Independence was poised to take this one. The Patriots got on the board early with a three-yard touchdown run by Antwan Watson midway through the first quarter (PAT good). The Ragin’ Bulls offense was not able to get going in the first half.
The Patriots were in position to extend their lead over Hickory Ridge later in the second quarter. But that’s when the Ragin’ Bulls defense rose to the challenge. Chris Massey picked off a Luke McPhail pass and took it 77 yards for a touchdown. The Bulls would go for two, but it would be stopped. The Patriots would hold a 7-6 advantage going into half-time.
That lead would not last very long because the Hickory Ridge offense got going in the second half. Isaiah Littlejohn’s nine-yard touchdown run gave the Bulls a 12-7 lead. The two point conversion try was stopped, however. But it didn’t seem to matter. Logan Cruce would score two touchdowns for the Ragin’ Bulls before this one was over. His first was a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dylan Ellis (PAT no good). His second was an eight-yard touchdown run. He was also score on a two-point conversion to help Hickory Ridge take a commanding 26-7 lead.
Ick Cirino would ice it with a 31-yard touchdown run (PAT good) to make the final score 33-7. The defense would not allow Independence to get any drives going in the second half. Nick Campany would record the Ragin’ Bulls second interception of Luke McPhail in the second half.
Independence will host East Mecklenburg. Hickory Ridge will travel to Garinger.