MANCHESTER — The first half foretold a low-scoring, field possession game.
Then Logan Schmitt got loose.
The Independence senior quarterback ran for 263 yards and three long touchdowns as the Class 3A fifth-ranked Mustangs blanked West Delaware, 33-0, in the District 3 prep football opener for both teams Friday night at Brown Field.
“We just knew that if we kept pounding the rock, we would eventually break some,” Schmitt said. “We saw that their cutback lanes were a little weak and they were over-scraping, so we hit a few cutbacks and they just broke. We took it to them.”
Schmitt accounted for four total touchdowns and 301 of his team’s 319 yards. With 3:25 left in a scoreless first half, Schmitt broke free for a 95-yard touchdown run. The Mustangs piled on 26 more points in the third quarter, highlighted by Schmitt TD runs of 40 and 72 yards. He also threw a 29-yard TD pass to senior tailback Kaine Millard.
“He is a special player and he is a great kid,” Independence Coach Justin Putz said. “It is also the leadership that he gives us out there and that is honestly kind of what we have come to expect out of Logan.”
On defense, Schmitt and Millard each intercepted passes in the second half, while senior defensive lineman Christian Kremer ripped the ball from a West Delaware ball carrier and raced 35 yards for a touchdown during the decisive third quarter.
The shutout was the second in a row and third this season for Independence (5-0, 1-0 District 3).
“That was one of our goals this game,” said Schmitt, who also led the Mustangs with 10 1/2 tackles. “We came out and we did it and it was awesome. Shutting out a good West Delaware team at Brown Field on their homecoming is really something to be proud of and something I will never forget.”
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Junior defensive back Christian Nunley posted three tackles for loss for West Delaware (2-3, 0-1), which visits Waverly-Shell Rock next week.
Independence will travel to Waterloo East next Friday.
Class 3A No. 5 Independence 33, West Delaware 0
Independence 0 7 26 0—33
West Delaware 0 0 0 0—0
IND — Logan Schmitt 95 run (Brady Webb kick)
IND — Logan Schmitt 40 run (Brady Webb kick)
IND — Kaine Millard 29 pass from Logan Schmitt (kick failed)
IND — Christian Kremer 35 fumble return (run failed)
IND — Logan Schmitt 72 run (Brady Webb kick)
RUSHING — IND: Logan Schmitt 21-263, Marcus Beatty 2-3, Kaleb Lamphier 6-15; WD: Cael Meyer 19-88, Jared Voss 13-21, Alias Underwood 9-28, Wyatt Voelker 4-8.
PASSING — IND: Logan Schmitt 3-6-0-38; WD: Jared Voss 8-17-2-79.
RECEIVING — IND: Kaine Millard 2-32, Blake Bartz 1-6; WD: Kyle Kelley 5-53, Logan Woellert 2-16, Alias Underwood 1-10.