ICC continues to prove that they belong in talks for one of the best junior college teams in the country, pulling off another overtime victory in their 44-38 home win over Ellsworth on Saturday night. After needing extra football to knock off Dodge City on the road last weekend, the Pirates took three overtimes to defeat Ellsworth at home.
On their opening drive, Indy scored on a touchdown pass from Malik Henry to Markiese King to go up 7-0 with thirteen minutes left in the first quarter. The visitors didn't take long to answer, scoring in about two minutes to put the score at 7-6 after the missed extra point. ICC drove back into Panther territory but missed a field goal midway through the first.
The Pirate defense came up big in Saturday's slugfest, getting a big sack to kill and Ellsworth drive inside the redzone with around five minutes to play in the opening period. Henry then connected on his second score of the game, hooking up with Boo McKnight for a seventy-four yard catch and run to pull ahead 14-6 with 4:07 to go in the quarter.
Indy feature back Rakeem Boyd then began chipping away at the Ellsworth defense, en route to a four-touchdown night after being named KJCCC player of the week for his performance against Dodge. Boyd got his first score on a one-yard plunge with 12:25 to play in the first half to give ICC a 21-6 advantage.
On the next drive for Ellsworth, a receiver hauled in a tipped pass and took the broken play to the house to pull within eight, with Independence still up 21-13. The Pirates tacked on a field goal to make the score 24-13 with 7:32 left before half. After another big fourth down stop from the ICC D and three and a half minutes to go, Indy seemed satisfied with an eleven point halftime lead. Boyd then broke free for a ninety-eight yard touchdown run to push the lead to 31-13 heading into the locker room.
Coming out of the break, Ellsworth scored a touchdown, then tacked on a field goal to make it a one-score game at 31-23 with 2:41 to go in the third. The ICC defense came up with another huge fourth down play early in the fourth quarter to get the ball back on their own twenty-six yard line with over thirteen and a half minutes left in regulation. However, Ellsworth got it right back on an interception on the first Pirate play from scrimmage. The visitors punched the ball into the endzone from short range, then added the two-point try to even the score at 31-31.
The two teams then traded possessions before Boyd earned his third score of the night. After hurdling a defender on a tremendously athletic play and getting the Pirates inside the five yard line, Rakeem was rewarded with the score to put Indy back on top 38-31 with 5:30 to go.
Ellsworth would not go away, though, scoring on a quarterback keeper with just over a minute left to tie the game once again and force overtime. Independence won the toss and elected to give Ellsworth the ball first, and it almost paid off immediately. The Pirates picked off the Ellsworth pass on the first play of OT, but missed their field goal attempt to win it. Neither team scored in the second overtime, bringing on a third. Finally, Rakeem Boyd recorded his fourth score of the night to give ICC the 44-38 win.
Independence (5-1, 3-0) travels to Highland next week, looking to add another notch in the win column and continue to build their national profile.
Article courtesy of Independence Daily Reporter