WHEELING, WV (WOAY) – The Patriots were always going to make history Friday night with their first appearance at Wheeling Island Stadium.
While the offense garnered much of the attention all season, the Patriot defense would make its fair share of plays throughout the night, keeping Fairmont Senior out of the end zone until the second quarter.
Two second-half plays would prove to be pivotal turning points. Judah Price’s third quarter touchdown run was quickly answered by a Polar Bear touchdown run from Germaine Lewis. In the fourth quarter, Independence drove inside the red zone, but would lose a fumble. Fairmont Senior able to win a second straight title, 21-12.
“I thought every time they scored, we bounced back. We had a chance to capitalize and it just didn’t happen. It’s kind of tough because when you’re up in that scrum, you see where that ball went,” Independence Head Coach John H. Lilly said.
“All year long, everyone keyed on Atticus. I thought Judah stepped up and made a great run down there and put us back in the game. That’s the type of player he is.”
Individually for the Patriots, Judah Price finished with 117 all-purpose yards, a touchdown and an interception. Atticus Goodson ran for 129 yards and was named Independence’s Most Valuable Player for the game.
“Last year, my sophomore year, we got in the playoffs and unfortunately, we lost to the same team. This year, we made it all the way to the state championship and played a heck of a game. We’ll see what we can do next year,” Junior Judah Price explained.
Senior Atticus Goodson said, “I’ll always remember it. Even when I’m 30, I’m going to remember it. Hopefully these guys can come back next year and do better than we did. It’s super cool, just sad that we couldn’t get it for our community. They came out and supported us really well. It was a long drive and it’s just great to be here.”