Bulldogs spoil Mustang homecoming

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

 

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
A dog pile — Iola High’s Mustangs (dark uniforms) pushed back and piled on Independence High’s Matt Bromley, whose on the bottom of the pile during the first half of Friday’s homecoming game at Riverside Park. Bromley and the Bulldogs powered past the Mustangs 28-10 in Southeast Kansas League play.

Iola High’s Mustangs had things under control. Independence High’s Bulldogs were going nowhere in the first half of Friday’s Southeast Kansas League contest.
The Mustangs were up 10-0 then halftime came.
The “big” dogs came back out of Independence’s locker room. And they had the run of the Iola football field in the second half as the Bulldogs became homecoming spoilers.
Independence used 28 second-half points to win 28-10. The Bulldogs stand alone atop the SEK at 4-0.
“We played a great first half but Independence came out and took it to us in the second half,” said Rick Horton, Mustang head coach.
“We take the second-half kickoff and go three and out. We give them a short field (40 yards) and they score. On the kickoff, Drew (Walden) had a nice return but they hit him and the ball comes loose. They score, take the lead and we never could get the momentum back.”
While the Bulldogs were scoring and amassing 219 of their 338 yards rushing in the second half offensively, they stifled the Mustangs defensively. Iola had a negative- 4 yards rushing and no yards passing in the second half.
“We didn’t step up to adversity tonight. We have to find a way to work through adversity and come out on the other side of it,” Horton said.
“Independence is a dang good team and we played right with them in the first half. We have to learn how to shift momentum back our way.”
The Mustang defense held the SEK-leading rusher and scorer, Matt Bromley, in check in the first half. Bromley had 52 yards on 13 carries.
But the Bulldog junior broke loose for 110 yards in the second half. Bromley finished with 162 yards on 30 carries, which was below his 200-yard average but enough to keep the Bulldogs run going.
A year ago, Iola prevented Independence from going 4-0 at the Bulldogs’ homecoming. The Mustangs fall to 1-3 on the season and 0-2 in league play.
Botts, Independence’s junior quarter, provided plenty of momentum also. He connected with Dominique Taylor for a 10-yard scoring pass with 5:30 left in the third quarter. Then after the fumbled kickoff, Botts went 16-yards to the end zone to put his team in the lead at the 5:07
Independence scored two more times in the fourth quarter. Bromley finished an eight-play drive by plowing over the goal line from one-yard out. Demonta Clark had a 40-yard dash to the end zone at the 2:41 mark.
Iola’s only scoring opportunity of the second half came with 5:09 left in the game. Frazell punted for Iola but the football bounced off the foot of an Independence player. Seth Walden recovered the muffed punt for the Mustangs at the Independence 43-yard line.
Junior quarterback Charles Apt’s pass on the first play of the drive was intercepted by Clark at the 28-yard line.
“We’re not a quick-strike offensive team. When we got behind, we had trouble getting our running game going,” Horton said.
It didn’t help that Iola lost its starting tailback to an injury in the first half. Junior Marcus Sullivan also plays corner back on defense and he suffered an hamstring pull defending on a pass play.
Momentum was all on the Mustangs’ side in the first half.
When the Bulldogs tried a fake punt at their own 33-yard line with just over nine minutes left in the first quarter, the pass failed.
Iola couldn’t move the ball but they had senior Connor Frazell kick a 50-yard field goal. The kick put the Mustangs up 3-0 at the 7:22 mark.
Independence moved the football but failed again on a fourth-down play. The Bulldogs needed 15 yards but only got 12.
Not until Botts fumbled the football following a 26-yard scramble did Iola have another scoring chance in the first half. Apt made the recovery for the Mustangs at the Iola 29-yard line with 5:28 left in the second quarter.
Iola faced a third-and-long situation when Apt found Seth Walden over the middle. Seth Walden carried Bulldog defenders for 10 yards before going down. The play was good for 37 yards.
Drew Walden, who replaced Sullivan in the Mustang backfield, ran for 22 yards on four plays and Apt had a five-yard run.
Drew Walden ran for 11 yards more setting the Mustangs up at the three-yard line. Drew Walden finished the drive with a touchdown with 40 seconds left in the first half. Frazell’s kick made it 10-0.
Iola had 78 yards on 20 carries in the first half and ended up with 74 rushing yards for the game. Apt was 5 of 14 for 47 yards in the first half and he didn’t complete a pass in the second half. He also threw two interceptions.
Senior linebacker Kyler Thompson led the Mustang defense with 11 unassisted tackles — one was for a tackle of Botts for a loss of 20 yards — and had eight assisted tackles. Chris Heffern, senior free safety, had 10 solo tackles, three assists and an interception.
Junior Kyle Heffern had five solo tackles, three for losses. Senior Nick Mueller had four solo tackles and seven assisted tackles. Senior Shane Snavely had four solos and sophomore Drew Walden had four solos and two assisted tackles.
Iola travels to Coffeyville (2-2, 2-2) next Friday in SEK play. Coffeyville beat Columbus 41-40 Friday night.

Iola 3-7-0-0-—10
Independence 0-0-16-12—28

Iola — Frazell 50 yd field goal
Iola — D. Walden 3 yd run (Frazell kick)
Independence —Taylor 10 yd pass from Botts (Clark pass from Botts)
Independence — Botts 16 yd run (Bromley run)
Independence — Bromley 1 yd run (run failed)
Independence — Clark 40 yd run (kick failed)
Individual Statistics
Rushing: Iola-D Walden 16-51, E. Fulton 2-31, Sullivan 6-(-1), Apt 4-(-7). Independence-Bromley 30-162, Botts 9-65, Clark 5-57, Turner 4-32, Ysusi 4-22.
Passing: Iola-Apt 5-14-47-2. Independence-Botts 4-14-40-1.
Receiving: Iola-S. Walden 1-37, Browning 1-5, D. Walden 1-2, Sullivan 1-0. Independence-Reed 1-20, Taylor 1-10, Julian 1-7, Ysusi 1-3.
Punting: Iola-Frazell 6-199 (33 yd avg.). Independence-Gudmonson 3-55 (18 yd avg.).