INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
Independence nearly matc ... »
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CASCADE — The field was slippery. Tanner Kuhens and Jesse Mackey, even more so.
The backfield duo combined for 320 rushing yards, and top-ranked North Fayette Valley handled No. 6 Cascade, 34-14, in a Class 2A District 4 football showdown Friday night at sloppy O’Meara Field.
There was never much mystery what the Tigerhawks (3-0 overall, 1-0 district) were going to do. They’re a run-oriented team anyway, and a sloppy field made them even more one-dimensional.
Stop us if you can, the Tigerhawks said. The Cougars couldn’t.
Kuhens netted 161 yards on 16 carries, including 147 yards in a three-touchdown first half as North Fayette Valley took a 20-7 lead into the locker room.
Mackey did most of his damage in the second half. He finished with 159 yards, including a 45-yard TD.
Heavy rain hit the area around 7 p.m., with lightning delaying the game until 7:50. It was a quagmire between the 30-yard lines, but that didn’t stop the visitors.
With the rain at its worst, the Cougars (2-1, 0-1) went three-and-out on their first offensive series, and a low snap was mishandled, enabling North Fayette Valley to set up shop at the Cascade 25. Seven plays later, Kuhens dove into the end zone from a yard out, and the visitors led, 6-0.
Kuhens got loose for a 35-yard score early in the second period for a 12-0 North Fayette Valley lead before the Cougars mounted a march.
The Cougars, who managed just 2 yards of total offense in the first quarter, went on a 10-play, 62-yard drive. Shaylon Strub’s 30-yard touchdown brought Cascade within 12-7.
But North Fayette Valley answered just before halftime, with Kuhens rambling for a 28-yard touchdown with 39 seconds left in the half. Quarterback Tate Hovden’s two-point keeper made it 20-7.
After Mackey’s touchdown made it 28-7, the Tigerhawks attempted their only pass of the game, and Hovden connected with a wide-open Josh Guenther for a 27-yard TD.
Cascade’s Austin Lieurance rounded out the scoring with a 15-yard scoring run. He finished with 90 yards on the ground.
North Fayette Valley enjoyed a 351-152 advantage in yardage. The Tigerhawks host Monticello next week; Cascade is at Waukon.
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