GOOCHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — The Independence Tigers claimed the Region 3B football championship Friday night on the road against the Goochland Bulldogs.
Goochland was undefeated heading into the matchup, facing Independence with a record of 4-1.
But the Tigers set the tone for the playoff game, scoring first with 2:17 on the clock. It was a rushing touchdown from junior quarterback Brian Courtney, who announced Thursday that he committed to play football at Florida State University. Followed by a successful field goal attempt, Independence was up 7-0.
The Bulldogs fumbled twice in the first half, but were able to recover the ball and maintain possession in the second quarter. Less than a minute later, with 9:54 remaining before halftime, sophomore kicker Tyler Black put Goochland on the board with a roughly 20-yard field goal.
Later in the quarter, Courtney led the Tigers on their march down the field. With 3:29 on the clock, Independence called its second timeout of the half, returning to the field for first and goal with the ball on the five-yard line.
Courtney again earned the rushing touchdown for the away day, diving through the Bulldogs’ defensive line and into the end zone. Another successful field goal attempt advanced Independence’s lead to 14-3.
Determined to score again before halftime, Goochland’s junior quarterback, C.J. Towles made an impressive long pass to senior Kameron Holman, who spun off multiple defenders before getting taken down at the five-yard line. The Bulldogs called their final timeout of the half with 2:34 on the clock, coming back to score and close in on the Tigers’ lead, 14-10.
Independence took possession in the final seconds of the half, but were unable to make it into the end zone. With the ball on the 23-yard line, the Tigers opted to go for the field goal, instead, increasing their lead to 17-10.
Back for the third quarter, Independence was the first to score. Courtney dove across the Goochland defensive line and into the end zone with 6:18 on the clock. The Tigers were up 24-10.
Although Goochland would score another touchdown before the end of the night, it wouldn’t be enough to catch Independence. The Tigers held on to win in 27-17.