By Chris Yow
THOMPSONS STATION — With just two minutes to go in the game, Summit quarterback Destin Wade put the finishing touches on a brilliant performance, leading his team 59 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with just 22 seconds left in the game to give his team a 40-34 win over rival Independence.
Two plays into the game-winning drive, Wade scrambled out of the pocket and ran 41 yards, but caught a cramp near the end of the run and was forced to sit on the sideline for two plays before taking his final snap of the night that ended in an 8-yard touchdown run. It was the only time his team led during the contest, but his confidence never wavered.
“I knew we just had to answer back on offense every time they scored, and our defense did a good job in the fourth quarter to give us a chance to go win it,” Wade said.
Wade finished with more than 500 yards total offense, 257 yards through the air on 14-of-20 passing and 249 yards on 23 carries in the run game.
Independence punted only three times in the game, but twice came in the final quarter. Newly minted wide receiver-turned-quarterback Jaxson Campbell was up to the task of matching his highly touted adversary. The senior threw for 297 yards on 16-of-28 passing and a pair of scores. He was dynamic on his feet as well, leading his team with 130 yards on the ground.
“(Campbell) played a great football game tonight for us, but it wasn’t enough,” Independence head coach Scott Blade said. “Hats off to (Summit), they wanted it more than us tonight.”
The Indy offensive line manhandled Summit’s front seven for the majority of the game, as the Spartans were without their leader Keaten Wade, who is sidelined with a broken foot and will miss the next 6-8 weeks. The final frame, however, was as if the Spartans found a new life.
“Somehow, some way our defense found a second wind and got us a couple stops late,” Spartans’ head coach Brian Coleman said. “You tell these kids things, but you don’t know how they’re going to react. They reacted well tonight.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the two offenses were nearly unstoppable the remainder of the game. Campbell and Wade traded rushing scores in the second quarter, with Indy taking a 14-6 lead into halftime.
The Eagles extended that lead on the first drive, going 67 yards on 11 plays to take a 21-6 lead. Summit answered with a 79-yard touchdown pass from Wade to Brady Pierce, breathing new life into the Spartans.
Indy never relinquished control however, as Tre Hartwell rumbled into the end zone for his first career score for the Eagles. Wade then hooked up with Brandon King for their first of two touchdowns in the game, and Wade converted a crucial 2-point conversion to get his team within eight points going into the fourth quarter.
As the final quarter began, it appeared Indy would continue controlling the game, as they drove quickly for a touchdown with 10:00 left in the game, but a missed extra point by Sam Henke left the door open for the Spartans.
Answering the bell once again, though, was Wade, who once again found Pierce in the end zone on a third-down-and-goal slant route from 11 yards out.
That’s when the Spartans’ defense came alive. Summit stuffed Hartwell on first down and then forced a pair of incomplete passes from Campbell to bring out punter Cooper Allen. The typically steady Allen booted the ball just 28 yards out of bounds to the Spartans’ 40-yard-line. Wade and his team took full advantage, driving the 60 yards to pay dirt, and capping it with a Wade-to-King connection, tying the game at 34 with just under three minutes to play.
Twice more the Spartans would stop Independence short of the goal line, forcing the three-and-out that set up the final drive and again as time expired, but not without some drama.
Following a penalty on the kickoff, which set up the Eagles in Summit territory with under 30 seconds to play, Campbell hit Josh Amor for a 28-yard gain when Blade called timeout to set up one final try to even the score. Campbell rolled to his right and threw back to the left side where he had an open receiver near the goal line, but the pass fell short to end the game.
Summit has now won three of the last four Border Battles, the latest marking the first road victory for the Spartans in series history.
“Every team has an identity, and this team found theirs tonight, I think,” Coleman said.
Summit 40, Independence 34
At Eagle Stadium
SHS 0 6 14 20 40
IHS 0 14 14 6 34
IHS — Jaxson Campbell 7 run (10:59), Sam Henke kick
SHS — Destin Wade 9 run (7:00), kick failed
IHS — Campbell 1 run (2:28), Henke kick
IHS — Brigham Morrical 13 pass from Campbell (8:50), Henke kick
SHS — Brady Pierce 79 pass from Wade (7:13), run failed
IHS — Tre Hartwell 15 run (3:10), Henke kick
SHS — Brandon King 39 pass from Wade (2:00), Wade run
IHS — River Katina 36 pass from Campbell (10:00), kick failed
SHS — Pierce 11 pass from Wade (6:44), Ryan Crane kick
SHS — King 9 pass from Wade (2:54), Crane kick
SHS — Wade 9 run (0:22), run failed
First downs 28 24
Rushes-dards 46-322 30-215
Passing yards 257 207
Comps-Atts-Ints 14-20-0 16-28-0
Penalties-yards 10-65 9-65
Fumbles-lost 2-0 4-0
Summit — Destin Wade 23-249, Sam Kerouac 4-38, Brandon King 2-21, Jakalean Cotton 9-18, John Dippold 1-2, Tre Hunter 2-1, Austin Harvey 2-(-3), Zac Switzer 3-(-4)
Independence — Jaxson Campbell 16-130, Tre Hartwell 13-82, Ethan Pickering 1-3
Summit — Destin Wade 14-20-4-0 257
Independence — Jaxson Campbell 16-28-2-0 207
Summit — Brady Pierce 4-140, Brandon King 3-51, Caleb Jolley 3-38, Austin Harvey 2-23, Zac Switzer 1-10, Konata Werts 1-(-5)
Independence — Brigham Morrical 5-46, River Katina 2-45, Ty Lockwood 3-39, Josh Amor 4-38, Calvin Wilson 1-33, Ethan Pickering 1-6