By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
There haven’t been many happy moments for the Independence High School football team this season, but it’s a sure bet there were celebrations from Coal City to Crab Orchard, Sophia to Helen, Princewick to Odd and everywhere in between last Friday night.
The Patriots picked up their second win of the season in a thrilling 22-14 overtime victory over the visiting Sherman Tide, thanks in part to the effort of The Register-Herald Player of the Week for Week 6, Brandon Treadway.
Treadway picked off Sherman quarterback Bailey Kirk three times, including one in the end zone on the final play of the game, to pick up this week’s honors.
Treadway, who has served primarily as a defensive specialist, also scored a touchdown on a 40-yard pass from Brian Sexton in the third quarter that tied the game at 14-all and forced overtime.
“I think it’s really good news for this team,” Independence coach Chris Vicars said. “Brandon’s started since day one and has been a good player, who gives a solid defensive effort.”
In the first overtime, Independence’s Dustin Justice scored a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to put the Patriots up by eight points, but the Tide were rolling toward the end zone.
Then it happened.
On 3rd-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Kirk dropped back and scanned the field for his target receiver, Braden Harrah and let it rip.
The only problem for Kirk was that the ball was caught by Treadway; not Harrah.
“Our defense was just getting pressure on him all night,” Treadway said. “I was doing a good job of seeing the ball out of hand and reading his eyes. I just got to where he threw the ball.”
Treadway stepped out of the end zone, took a knee and gave the Patriots the homecoming victory.
“Sherman has a good receiver that we had to key on,” Vicars said. “And honestly, an interception in overtime is always a big play. Brandon has great football instincts.”
While Treadway may have won player of the week, he has other things on his mind, like helping Independence pick up its third win of the season this Friday night when the Patriots travel to Class AA No. 6 Summers County.
“It’s good for me, but it’s good for the team, too,” he added. “It shows we’re doing what we need to be doing to win. Hopefully we can pick up a few more now.”
— E-mail: jrollins
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