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Independence looks for payback in homecoming game

Mustangs quarterback Logan Schmitt looks for a running lane against Maquoketa on Sept. 13. He rushed 217 yards and five touchdowns.

Independence has dominated teams so far this season, and for their homecoming game they are looking to defeat conference rival Center Point-Urbana, who defeated them last year.

Last season, CPU defeated Independence at their place 34-14, after the Mustangs committed four turnovers.

Mustangs head coach Justin Putz said his team will need to limit turnovers and penalties to have success against the Stormin’ Pointers.

“I do not think homecoming is any extra motivation, however them beating us last year in a game we felt we did not play well in will be motivation,” Putz said. “That loss last year really stuck with us.”

Independence is coming off a 47-7 victory of Maquoketa on the road last week. During that game, the Mustangs set a single-game record with 26 first downs, breaking the previous record of 23, which was set in 1990 against Waverly-Shell Rock.

The Mustangs coaching staff named Logan Schmitt (five rushing touchdowns) offensive player of the week, Cole Davis (eight tackles, two tackles for a loss) defensive player of the week and Blake Bartz special teams player of the week.

Independence combined for 401 rushing yards against Maquoketa, with Schmitt rushing for 217 yards. Schmitt also was 7-for-12 for 94 yards passing with no touchdowns or interceptions.

“We have the ability to be balanced,” Putz said. “In a perfect world, we would like to run the ball. However, we will take what the defense gives us, and we will try to force them to defend the field.”

CPU is coming off a 33-21 loss to Benton last week that left them with a 1-2 record this season.

Key defensive players for the Stormin’ Pointers include Mitch Bawek (27.5 tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery), Josh Garnett (two interceptions, seven tackles) and Reece Miller (26.5 tackles).

Key offensive players for CPU include quarterback Keegan Koppendryer (619 passing yards, two touchdowns, six interceptions), running back Alex Wade (207 rushing yards, two touchdowns) and receivers Brock Albert (nine receptions for 175 yards and one touchdown) and Kole Tupa (14 receptions for 174 yards and one touchdown).

“We have to play physical defense,” Putz said. “CPU is throwing the ball more this year and we will have to clean up some coverage issues from last week.”