INDEPENDENCE, Kan. -- Independence tailback Matt Bromley rushed for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns here Friday night as Independence took a 28-14 victory over Fort Scott High in Southeast Kansas League action.
While Bromley did a lot of damage for the Bulldogs (2-0 SEK, 3-0 overall), the Tigers (1-2, 1-2) committed mistakes that led to two of Independence's scores.
The first of those was the first of Easton Julian's two interceptions on the night. It gave the Bulldogs the ball on their own 28-yard line. Bromley rushed 6 times on the drive, gaining 60 yards. The last carry resulted in a one-yard TD plunge with 4:04 left in the first period that put Indy on the scoreboard.
The Tigers' next possession ended at Independence's 34-yard line when they couldn't convert a fourth-and-12. But Fort Scott's defense stepped up and stopped Indy on a fourth-down play at the Tigers' 34.
That stand set up a game-tying score with 3:27 left in the half. Trevor Swim found Griffin Knopp on a fourth-and-7 play from the Indy 14 for the score.
The defense held firm again, stopping Indy on fourth-and-4 from the Fort Scott 39 with 23 seconds left in the half. The halftime score was 7-7. If you include Dane Cumming's four-yard run that ended the half, there were just seven possessions in the half as both teams were content with running the ball and there were not a lot of stoppages of any sort.
At halftime, the main difference between the teams was about 27 yards rushing in Indy's favor. Each team had run about the same number of plays and each had 7 first downs.
Independence held the ball for 6 1/2 minutes as the 'Dogs had the first possession of the second half. Bromley carried 8 times, converting a fourth-and-3 at the Fort Scott 29 and scoring five plays later on a 2-yard plunge with 5:26 left in the half. The conversion kick put Indy up 14-7.
The Tigers failed to cover a bouncing kickoff and Independence recovered at the Fort Scott 22. Three plays later, quarterback Peyton Botts rolled out and found Julian in the end zone from 17 yards out to make it 21-7 with about 4 minutes to go, putting up their second score of the half before the Tiger offense had touched the ball.
Fort Scott was able to get within one score with 7:13 in the fourth when Kelsey Adams scored from 14 yards out on his first varsity touch of the season. Knopp's PAT kick cut the deficit to 21-14.
Bromley put the game away just over a minute later with a 40-yard touchdown run. It was his 12th of the season. The defending SEK scoring champion set a league record with 29 touchdowns last season and now has 41 in his last 11 games.
The Bulldogs finished with 355 yards of total offense to Fort Scott's 185. In the second half, Indy outgained the Tigers 207-66.
Jaret Thorpe led Fort Scott with 62 yards rushing on 15 carries. Dane Cummings gained 42 on 8 carries. Knopp led Tiger receivers with 3 catches for 30 yards.
Fort Scott will return to the friendly confines of Frary Field next Friday night to take on an improved Parsons team for Homecoming in Southeast Kansas League play. Parsons (2-1, 2-1), which broke a 21-game losing streak last week, defeated Labette County 43-7. The Vikings have outscored their last two opponents 105-27.
NOTES -- In his three seasons on Indy's varsity, Bromley has rushed for 622 yards and 6 touchdowns against Fort Scott, including 323 yards in last season's meeting....
Columbus shook up the SEK race with a 35-31 victory over Chanute. This came a week after the Titans were drubbed 30-0 by Pittsburg. Chanute suffered its first loss of the season, leaving Indy and Pittsburg as the only teams still unbeaten in league play.
Pittsburg took its first loss of the season, although it came in a non-league contest, a 34-14 verdict against Paola....
Rounding out the list of SEK scores, Coffeyville picked up its first victory of the season in a 55-14 decision over winless Iola in league play....