Myers Park trailed going into the second quarter for the first time all season at Independence.
But the No. 1 team (AP) in the state lived up to their ranking as the Mustangs scored 49 straight points to turn a seven-point deficit into a 56-20 rout of the Patriots.
Myers Park finished the regular season a perfect 11-0 for the first time in school history. The Mustangs finished the regular-season 10-0 in both 1965 and 1983.
The Mustangs’ junior quarterback, Drake Maye, again stole the show going 11-for-16 for 191 yards and six touchdowns passing.
With score tied at 14, Maye put Myers Park on top for the first time in the game when he found senior, Porter Rooks, on a pretty 34-yard touchdown pass.
After the Myers Park defense stopped Independence on the ensuing drive, Mustangs’ senior, Muhsin Muhammad returned the Patriots’ punt 80 yards for a score with less than a minute before the half.
“(11-0) feels great because we really worked for this,” Maye said. “After last year (4AA state semifinal loss to Vance) we’ve really played with a chip on our shoulders, and we’re not done yet.”
Maye threw touchdown passes to four different receivers in the second half, including Muhammad, Logan Mauldin, Jordan Bly and Rooks, again.
Muhammad led the receiving corps with five catches for 89 yards and a touchdown, while Rooks also had three catches for 46 yards and two scores.
Myers Park senior running back Tim Newman was also big with 137 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Independence (6-5) controlled the ball and the clock for much of the first half using running back, Davion Nelson, in the single-wing as their quarterback.
Nelson rushed for 119 yards on 29 carries, while Independence senior, Shai Wheeler (who also line up at quarterback) tallied 145 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
Three Who Mattered
Drake Maye, Myers Park: The Alabama commit put up video game like numbers again with six touchdown passes on only 11 completions for the game.
Muhsin Muhammad, Myers Park: The Texas A&M commit took over for the Mustangs with a game in doubt, returning a late first half punt 80 yards for a touchdown to give Myers Park a working 28-14 margin.
Shai Wheeler, Independence: The Patriots’ senior was elusive all night with 145 yards and two touchdown runs on 17 carries, including a 40-yard touchdown run to give Independence at 14-7 lead.
Myers Park now has 11 non-offensive touchdowns this year, including five scores on specials teams, and six defensive touchdowns.
Myers Park turned the momentum of the game with 14 points in the final 3:35 of the first half, including Muhammad’s 80-yard punt return for a score.
Independence’s running game was impressive with 283 yards in the game, but the Patriots struggled with pass with just 34 yards through the air.
Myers Park will get a first round bye, while Independence will play in the first round of the 4AA state playoffs against an opponent to be determined.
Myers Park 7 21 21 7 - 56
Independence 14 0 0 6 - 20
I – Davion Nelson 7-yard run (Ryan Howe kick)
MP – Muhsin Muhammad 20-yard pass from Drake Maye (Matthew Dennis kick)
I – Shai Wheeler 40-yard run (Howe kick)
MP – K’Daron Redfearn 35-yard run (Dennis kick)
MP – Porter Rooks 34-yard pass from Maye (Dennis kick)
MP – Muhammad 80-yard punt return (Dennis kick)
MP – Muhammad 38-yard pass from Maye (Dennis kick)
MP – Logan Mauldin 25-yard pass from Maye (Dennis kick)
MP – Jordan Bly 11-yard pass from Maye (Dennis kick)
MP – Rooks 5-yard pass from Maye (Marshall Roberts kick)
I – Wheeler 4-yard run (pass failed)
Records: Myers Park 11-0; Independence 6-5.