Tigers tame Spartans for big win over Salmen
SLIDELL- Independence Coach Keith Carona beefed up his teams schedule a few years ago hoping to get his Tigers better prepared for district play and hopefully another solid playoff run. The Tigers traveled to Slidell last week to take on the 4A Salmen Spartans.
Independence came away with their biggest win of the season with a 25-20 win over Salmen. “This is a big win for us. Salmen has a solid program and I am proud of the way our team prepared and executed against a very good Salmen team,” said Independence Coach Keith Carona.
The Tigers jumped out to a 10-0 lead then fell behind and fought their way back to pick up their second win of the season. “This was a tough game and a back and forth battle and our players just found a way to win,” said Coach Carona.
The Tigers opened the scoring with a 33-yard field goal from James Cervantes for a 3-0 first quarter lead. The Tigers carried that lead with them into the second quarter when they added to their score.
Junior Quarterback Chris Carter got in on the action when he threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Darrin Airline to pad the Tigers lead. Cervantes then added the PAT and the Tigers were on top 10-0 in the second quarter.
Independence did a sound job of having a balanced attack on offense. The Tigers had 167-yards rushing and 183-yards passing for a total of 350-yards of total offense. The Spartans, who were coming off a 28-7 loss to John Curtis would get back in the game later in the first half.
Salmen cut the Tigers lead to 10-7 by halftime and then would claim their first lead of the game in the third quarter. Salmen took a 13-10 lead in the third quarter and then the Tigers responded with a scoring drive of their own.
Down 13-10 the Tigers tied the game in the third quarter when James Cervantes kicked a 31-yard field goal to make the score 13-13 going into the fourth quarter. With the game tied the pressure began to mount with the game hanging in the balance as the teams entered the fourth quarter.
Independence would take the lead when Carter threw a 26-yard TD pass to Elroy Duncan to give Independence a 19-13 lead. The Spartans then countered with a touchdown pass and PAT and took a 20-19 lead later in the fourth quarter.
It was gut check time for the Tigers and they would respond with a game winning drive that resulted in a Chris Carter two-yard run. The Tigers two-point conversion attempt was no good but they still led 25-20.
Independence’s Defense then held off the Spartans and went on to win the game 25-20. The Tigers are now 2-1 on the season and will hit the road again this week to take on Franklin Parish.