WATERLOO — Independence battled its way to a 35-14 win against district foe Waterloo East at Waterloo Memorial Stadium on Friday to stay undefeated.
Independence head coach Justin Putz said he did not think his team played great in the first half, but ground out a win.
“We knew they were going to come out and try to stop the run ... and we made some plays through the air,” Putz said. “I thought we left a few plays out there, quite frankly. We just missed a play here and there and didn’t execute, but that’s a much improved team and I think that’s a team that is going to do some good things in our district.”
With the Mustangs holding a 14-0 lead with two minutes until halftime, they fumbled a punt return that the Trojans recovered. Soon after, Trojans running back Kjuan Owens ran in a touchdown to narrow Independence’s lead to 14-6.
However, Independence responded with a quick strike, driving down the field in a drive that culminated with a Logan Schmitt touchdown pass to Brady Webb. After a two-point conversion, the Mustangs entered halftime with a two-score lead.
“That was a huge play and those guys answered,” Putz said. “We talked about they were going to make some big plays and how are we going to respond? I’m really proud of the way those guys answered.”
Schmitt was 15-for-25 passing for 209 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Kaleb Lamphier rushed six times for 21 yards and one touchdown. He also caught four passes for 74 yards.
Brady Webb caught six passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns.
The Mustangs defense created two turnovers, intercepting Trojans quarterback Dylan Reyes twice. Marcus Beatty and Lamphier came up with the interceptions.
Matthew Doyle led the team with 7.5 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss. Christian Kremer had one sack.
Waterloo East had seven penalties and Independence had two.
The Mustangs are now 2-0 in district play and 6-0 overall.
Independence will host Charles City at Lyle Leinbaugh Field next Friday, with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.