2021.10.22 Football: Loudoun County @ Independence

Ashburn, VA (October 22, 2021) - In the Washington Post's most recent Top 20 rankings, the Independence Tigers were at number eleven. The only local team higher was perennial powerhouse, Stone Bridge. Meanwhile, the Loudoun County Captains were busy battling for Region 4C supremacy with Broad Run, Heritage, and Tuscarora, but they were nowhere to be found in the metropolitan standings.

As usual, TigerTown was rocking and the home stands were completely packed, dwarfing the hearty supporters representing the Captains in the visiting bleachers. It seemed like a perfect setup for another Independence win.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the gameincluding the halftime show.

And that's the way it started out. On their first drive--ignited by a brilliant return of the opening kickoff by Josh Hand--they fought their way down the field. Going for it on fourth down three straight times, they got the first down each time--once by pass, once by run, and once by penalty. When Clay Ash caught the ball at the five-yard line and ran it in for the score, the Tigers lived up to expectations and took a 7-0 lead.

But that was about it for the Independence offense.

When Loudoun County took over, they went on a methodical drive relying heavily on the running prowess of Jason Murray. Virtually eschewing the passing game, Wade got the ball near the end zone and quarterback Jimmy Daughtrey ran it to tie it, 7-7. And they would run the same script twice more in the second quarter to take the halftime lead, 21-7.

Throughout the first half, the Tigers exhibited a rare amount of futility as they succumbed to the Loudoun County defense, unforced errors, missed opportunities, and untimely penalties. That trend continued in the third quarter when their best chance to score again resulted in an overthrown pass. 

But both teams struggled to score in the second half, and that was to the Captains' advantage. Although they didn't get into the end zone again until Daughtrey did with less than two minutes remaining in the game, Loudoun County's long drives ate up the clock and kept the potent Independence offense off the field.

In the end it was an off night and a tough initial loss for Independence, but it was an exceptional win for Loudoun County, keeping them apace with the other top teams in the region.

Final Score: Loudoun County 28 - Independence 7

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