MIAMI, Okla. – No. 7 Independence (KS) went on the road and defeated No. 4 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 30-20 in the 2017 Midwest Classic. The Pirates, fresh off of their first Jayhawk Conference title since 1977 held off the Pirates in the team's first meeting since 1988.
- Offensive MVP Rakeem Boyd galloped for 215 yards and three touchdowns– which included a 66-yard touchdown run on one of his 35 carries. As a team, Independence rushed for 240 yards on 4.7 yards per rush.
- The Pirates' offense tallied 470 total yards and showed great balance as quarterback Drake Smith added 230 yards in the air on 14-of-31 pass attempts.
- Kirkland Joseph of Independence garnered Defensive MVP of the game after accumulating nine total tackles and a fumble recovery. The Pirates defense as a whole forced five turnovers, three interceptions and two fumbles to go along with seven tackles for loss.
- NEO's offense moved the ball efficiently as they totaled 442 yards and converted 20 first downs. Darwin Thompson led the Norsemen with 100 yards rushing on 5.9 yards per carry and two touchdowns.
- Independence jumped on the scoreboard first late in the first frame before NEO scored early in the second period. The Pirates, however, went on to outscore the Golden Norsemen 10-7 to close out the first half and did not look back.
- The Pirates close out the 2017 season at 9-2, while Northeastern Oklahoma A&M finishes 9-3.